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Old Jun 28, 2004, 4:00 AM   #1
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I have a Tamron 28-200mm XR Canon-mount lens leftover from my days using a film SLR. I am interested in getting a Digital Rebel (or 10D), and I'm trying to determine if this lens will be good enough, even if it's just until I can afford something better.

As it stands now, I'm thinking it's not good enough. :sad:

I recently had the opportunity to try the lens on a friend's Digital Rebel. The first thing I noticed when I put it on the camera was that the color balance seemed much warmer than with his kit lens. I took several photos. The ones taken at shorter focal lengths (less than 100mm or so) look good, but there are problems at greater focal lengths. When I used the lens with film, I noticed pincushioning at full telephoto. The 1.6x crop seems to take care of that, but it's left with purple fringing, softness, and inconsistent brightness.

Here's a photo I took at 200mm.



I was able to get it looking pretty good in PS. But, take a look at the original. This is unedited (except for lossless rotation in IrfanView).

http://www.qrivy.net/~chris/sdf/IMG_2186.JPG

Full EXIF:

Make - Canon
Model - Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
Orientation - Left bottom
XResolution - 180
YResolution - 180
ResolutionUnit - Inch
DateTime - 2004:06:25 18:57:38
YCbCrPositioning - Centered
ExifOffset - 196
ExposureTime - 1/500 seconds
FNumber - 5.60
ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ExifVersion - 220
DateTimeOriginal - 2004:06:25 18:57:38
DateTimeDigitized - 2004:06:25 18:57:38
ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel - 3 (bits/pixel)
ShutterSpeedValue - 1/500 seconds
ApertureValue - F 5.60
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MaxApertureValue - F 5.60
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
Flash - Not fired
FocalLength - 200 mm
UserComment -
FlashPixVersion - 100
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExifImageWidth - 2048
ExifImageHeight - 3072
InteroperabilityOffset - 2366
FocalPlaneXResolution - 3443.95
FocalPlaneYResolution - 3442.02
FocalPlaneResolutionUnit - Inch
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
FileSource - DSC - Digital still camera
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Auto
WhiteBalance - Auto
SceneCaptureType - Standard

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Macro mode - Off
Self timer - Off
Quality - Fine
Flash mode - Not fired
Sequence mode - Single or Timer
Focus mode - AI Focus
Image size - Large
Easy shooting mode - Manual
Digital zoom - None
Contrast - High , +1
Saturation - High , +1
Sharpness - High , +1
ISO Value - 100
Metering mode - Evaluative
Focus type - Auto
AF point selected -
Exposure mode - Av-priority
Focal length - 28 - 200 mm
Flash activity - Not fired
Sequence number - 0
White Balance - Auto
Image Type - IMG:EOS DIGITAL REBEL JPEG
Firmware Version - Firmware Version 1.1.1


I didn't get the chance to try the same shot at other F-stops. Is it likely that the problems are due to the lens being wide-open? Even so, it's hard to shoot handheld at 200mm at smaller than f5.6, at least, without increasing ISO. If I have to use high ISO all the time, then it partially defeats one of the main reasons why I want a dSLR (low noise).
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 12:32 PM   #2
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ouch. If your making 4x6 or 5x7's it would probably look fine. But when you look at the actual full blown picture, then yeah, you might want a new lens. If you was to get a camera, get the DR with the lens. Im sure you would be happy with that and atleast you wouldnt have to get a lens right away.
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 2:42 PM   #3
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The problem is, the kit lens doesn't have enough reach for it to work as my only lens. Also, I'm leaning more toward the 10D at this point, but it's definitely above my budget if I have to buy a lens or lenses. I guess I'll have to wait on this for a while...
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 7:32 PM   #4
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Not to start anything... But I may be forced to sell my camera shortly. May need downpayment for new home. I'd miss it, but wouldnt miss renting either. I own a 10D and my fiancee may decide to sell her DR as well. But it isnt a sure thing but if it's an option we decide to so, Ill let you know.
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 8:52 PM   #5
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Hmmm... Well, my email address is in my profile (I just updated it; it was previously an address that no longer exists!)

I really don't know what to do about this lens. After doing some other shooting with my friend's 75-300 IS, I put my Tamron back on. The results were much better.

This was shot at 28mm at ISO 400 and processed in NeatImage. Resized 50% and with only minimal sharpening (and no manipulation of color), it looks fantastic.



It's amazing how much better the lens is at 28mm. Maybe I could put super glue in the zoom ring and pretend it's a 28mm prime.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 11:12 AM   #6
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I wouldn't retire the lens just yet, or use it as an excuse not to get a DSLR. A couple of things to consider:

The 1.6 magnification factor of the DReb. That 200mm lens is actually 320mm when mounted on the digicam...tough to get a sharp handheld shot.

Shoot at the higher ISO ratings, that's one of the strengths of the DSLR. I recently shot a baby dedication without a flash in a moderately lit church at ISO 800 with noise that was comparable to my Olympus 5050 at ISO 100.

If you get another crack at using your friends Dreb experiment more with the settings...then let us know. I'm looking to purchase a decent long lens.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 2:32 PM   #7
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Yeah, the low-noise performance is amazing, as evidenced by that ISO 400 shot above. I couldn't get something that clear at that resolution from my Sony F717 with it mounted on a tripod at ISO 100. The really amazing thing with the Rebel's high-ISO performance is how easily the noise filters out. Unlike the Sony, there's a sharp and clear image left after filtration.

Still, the problems in the 200mm shot are too great to be the cause of mere camera-shake (and it was a shutter speed of 1/500, which should have been enough, even at that focal length). That wouldn't explain the bad color or purple fringing. Could the purple fringing be the result of shooting wide-open? If so, then it could be helped by bumping up the ISO and stopping down a little. When I used the lens with film (when it acted as true 200mm, I usually had 200 or 400 ISO film in it...
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 7:54 PM   #8
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With most lenses,the purple fringing is usually corrected by using a smaller aperture (check out the night test shots on most digicams at www.dcresource.com), try it at f8 or f11 and a higher ISO.

The color is a more difficult matter. Did you try different WB settings? Was there a marked difference between the color of the two lenses at the same settings?

I think I'm leaning toward the Sigma 70-300 APO because of its performance for my budget...
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 5:59 AM   #9
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I got to take a few more pictures on the DR with this lens. Unfortunately, I didn't get to set it up on a tripod and do controlled tests with photographing the same scene at various focal lenghts and f-stops. Especially lacking were the photos taken at long focal lengths. I still don't know if the softness at 200mm is the result of the lens or camera-shake. The only ISO 100 pictures I took at long lengths were at shutter speeds around 1/100sec, which probably isn't enough (especially given the 1.6x crop). It's hard to guage sharpness in high-ISO pictures, especially if noise filtration is applied.

Anyway, here is a picture taken at 28mm, f5.0. This shows how sharp the lens is when zoomed out all the way. I'm not too concerned about the chromatic abberation, because I wouldn't normally shoot into the setting sun with trees in the foreground!


Click for original: http://www.qrivy.net/~chris/sdf/tests/IMG_2333.JPG

I am wondering if his camera has a front-focus problem. The DOF is pretty great at 28mm, even at f5.0, but it almost looks like the sharpest part of the photo is the row of three large potted plants to the right and behind the pool. With the center AF point used, the focus should have been the palm tree. A front-focus problem would explain the lack of sharpness at long focal length, when DOF is less and focus more critical. The pictures I took with his 75-300mm IS aren't extremely sharp at full tele, either (though better than my Tamron... perhaps because of the IS?)
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