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Old Jun 4, 2004, 1:15 PM   #1
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I am planning to buy a Canon digital Rebel camera but being a novice Iam not sure what kind of lenses I should look for and where to get a good deal.

I plan to take close ups of distant objects and also need to have lens that canlet me take great portraits. SoI guess I'll be needing two lenses. Can yousomebody letmeknow what type/specification lensI should buy? Also is there any scale that lets you know how to convert the optical zoom( 3x,8x etc) to regular lens standard that is measured in mms? Remeber that I am a novice so please feel free to adviseon selecting my lenses.

Any advice or information is appereciated,

S
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Old Jun 7, 2004, 10:09 AM   #2
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The "x" factor of the fixed lens cameras isn't a very good system (rather bad, actually.) It's a ratio of the long to the short end. The human eye sees the same as a 50mm lens, just to give you a reference point.

So a30-90mm lens is "3x" (the long end is 3 times the length of the short end.) But a 50-150 is also a 3x lens. As you can see they might both be "3x" but the first is wider angle and less of a zoom than the other one. So you should just forget about the "x" factor of the fixed length zooms and instead use the "millimeter" measurement ("mm") instead.

To get portrates you usually use a lens between50mm and 80mm. Something like the 28-135 IS works fairly well. The 50mm f1.8 is also very good (and cheap) but its a fixed length lens. So it can't zoom, you have to move you adjust the framing of the picture. The 28-135 is also reasonably light and small, so its an easy lens to carry around.

When you say you want to take "close ups of distant objects" how distant do you mean, and what objects? birds? buildings? air planes? trees? people? This changes the answer greatly.

It should be noted that in general telephoto lenses cost a lot of money and are large and heavy. You should take that into account.

Eric
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Old Jun 8, 2004, 10:59 AM   #3
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speedxtreem-

Free advice based on experience.

The "kit" lens is "OK" but......

Buy the body only and get the 28/135IS for your general purpose "walk around" lens. It should cost you about $375 or so. Figure in the $100 "savings" from not buying the kit lens, and you get a pretty darned good all around lens that you will use for a long time. Also the kit lens ONLY WORKS on the 300D, it is not usable on any other body at this time.

If you want to see what the 28/135 can do, just click here for asample ofshots taken a couple weeks ago. Go the album "28/135 stuff".

http://community.webshots.com/user/setiprime2003

Good Shooting - Jon F.
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Old Jun 8, 2004, 9:14 PM   #4
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Welcome to the world of it's your lens! There are no simple choices, just many of them and the contents of your wallet. The people who've been around typically place an empasis on the quality of lenses -- with a view that you're buying into the lens system as much as a particular camera body, if not even more so. Lens quality will matter for picture sharpness, contrast, photographic flexibilty, focusing quality, and the size and weight of your kit.

The typical route is to worry about the focal lengthsand "crazy" lens pricesfirst, and think that bigger and wider range is better, especially cheaper. You end up getting lenses like 28-300 and 2-3x teleconverters playing this game. Then you typically start to care more about photographic quality and lens brightness ("speed") and get better / faster lenses without being as concerned about magnification / range in a particular lens at low cost (you start to realize that good lenses are usually not cheap, and a good cheap lens is rare). (Some people, notably wildlife and sports photographers, do need very big& fast lenses -- for some of them, photography begins at 400mm.)

Sometimes you go the other extreme, and give up on zoom lenses and go for the optimal price / performance, giving up the range coverage in any particular lens. The latter is rare enough that the camera stores typically don't have a large selection of prime lenses, but don't discount it -- the 50 1.8 is good & cheap enough that IMO it is almost a must have. It gives you a good, fast portait lens, a standard for image quality, and something that lets you shoot in low light, without spending much.

The 18-55 on the other hand, despite havingsomething of a cult following, is a throw-away lens IMO, as are the typical consumer zooms that complement an entry-level camera. The saving grace of the 18-55 is that it is difficult and expensive to get a good wide-angle lens for the cropped digital cameras. So get this lens for that role -- it'll cost you much more to get a wide angle otherwise.

The 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is among the best of the consumer zooms. The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is also in this class -- better than your average lens, and also faster (brighter) than the 28-135. You are probably not going to be wasting money buying one of these lenses, but who knows? You might come to decide that f/2.8 is too slow and that you must have L lenses

One specific problem that comes up too often is focus quality. One would expect that the 300D would not have any problems with focus, but be sometimes rudely surprised. You need to be more careful than you might expect. A faster lens (one with a lower f rating) will help both yourself and the camera focus better.

I suggest checking some of the older threads on this subject so that the same information is not hashed over and over again (or simply not given due to the authors being tired of repeating). But some people aren't tired yet

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Old Jun 9, 2004, 7:36 AM   #5
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Madwand-

Very nicely said - and quite eloquent.

I concur wholeheartedly, having gone through each avenue you describe.

Good Shooting !
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Old Jun 9, 2004, 8:48 AM   #6
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Just started using the Tamron SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) and it is an incredible budget conscience f/2.8 wide angle zoom lense. Optically is is rated a 4.15 MTF where the Canon 24-80 and 28-80 L are rated 4.16 & 4.17 respectively. But it is 1/4 of the cost of the Canon... its build quality is not as great nor is the autofocus ultrasonic ... but dollar for dollar you would be hard pressed to find better quality.
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Old Jun 9, 2004, 10:08 PM   #7
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IME, the kit lens is a good all around lens, effectively a 28-90. The primes and "L" lenses are better but IME people exaggerate the real differences which are subtle especially in the midrange f-stops. There are plenty of reviews with comparison pictures so you can decide for yourself.

That said, I think a good 3 lens combo is the 17-40 "L", 50mm prime, and 70-200 "L".
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 11:53 PM   #8
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Ey Madwand,

Sorry for my not enough knowledge on this forum. :-) Just want to know what IMO/IMHO/IME stands for? I also saw these abreviation on the other threads.

tnx!
dive

p.s. nice explanation there.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 12:43 AM   #9
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IMO = in my opinion

IMHO = in my humble opinion

IME =... don't know that one, can't help you.

Eric
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 1:13 AM   #10
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In My Experience, people sometimes make up acronyms as they go along. (IME, PSMUAATGA).
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