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Old Feb 13, 2005, 9:45 PM   #1
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I'mabout to buy a DSLR & would appreciate some assistance with lenses.I want to have a lens focal length range of 18 - 200 mm. I'm trying to decide whether to buy 1 lens with the full rangeor to buy 2 lens (perhaps a 18 - 55 & a 55 - 200) that combined provide the focal range I want.

Are there any factors I should consider in helping me decide?

Pluses of buying 1 lens with the full focal range that I can think of include 1) cheaper 2) & I guess if I'm not always changing lenses then I'm less likely to get dust in the camera. But what of the minuses? Does a long zoom range suffer in quality? Am I less likely to be able to get a wide maximum aperture?

thanks Bryan:?
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Old Feb 16, 2005, 6:00 PM   #2
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I'd got for two. Probably something like 18-50mm Sigma f2.8 for wide stuff and the 70-200mm L Lens IS f2.8.

But I've just raped and pillaged my credit cards to get the L lens from HK and saved £600 that way. As for the Sigma, I got that from Park Cameras.

Hope this helps,
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Old Feb 16, 2005, 6:52 PM   #3
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I'm no purist and reasonably new to DSLRs ( a Canon 20D). I bought an EF-S 17-85IS as a "walk-around" and am saving for an EF 70-200L f/4. I'll probably get the 1.4 TC later. I also bought the EF 50 1.8 (cheapie) for low light situations.

One can go broke pursuing the "perfect" picture. Don't buy cheap lenses, but the cost/quality curve is pretty steep.

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Old Feb 18, 2005, 7:37 AM   #4
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I would advise against trying to get a single lense that covers that entire focal range. I have not heard of any lense that successfully does so while maintaining high quality. You also need to remember the 'magnification factor' of the camera - assuming you are looking at 20D or 300D or RebelXT then the factor is 1.6. So, a 17-40mm lense will effectivly be a 27-64mm lense on any of those cameras. Exactly what lenses you buy will depend hugely on what you want to use them for. Take the long end of your wish list (200mm). The Canon 70-200 4.0L is an extremely sharp, fast lense. However if you plan to shoot sports, especially indoors then this lensehas too small an aperture (4.0). On the wide angle side youthis is where the mag factor really hurts - if you really need effective18mm, then you need an 11mm lenseto achieve this on one of the bodies mentioned above. I thinkthere are quite a few people that buy DSLRs and concentrate solely on the zoom range - they buy one or two lenses that 'cover the range' they want and find the lensesdon't meet their shooting desires. If you are unsure, I say sacrifice something off both ends of your wish list. Get something like a Canon 28-135mm IS USM- an excellent walk-around lense with I.S. - at around $400 won't break your bank and you can spend some time figuring out exactly what you need in your next lense. This way you aren't spending $1600 on a Canon 70-200 2.8 I.S. if you won't end up using it or buying a cheap 75-300 that is too slow and has non-stellar image quality just to 'cover your range'. Just my humble two cents.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 8:45 AM   #5
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If your not the type that likes to exchange lenses for different shots, then go for one lens (lol).

I know I'm pretty lazy about changing lenses.

Certainly from a quality perspective, a shorter zoom range will give you higher quality than one lens trying to cover a wide zoom range. The most extreme side of this argument is prime lenses, which usually outperform zooms at their fixed focal length.

Another point to think about: You'd be better off buying one quality zoom lens trying to cover a wide range, rather than split your budget for two cheapo zoom lenses with each trying to cover half the range.

Here's another point to consider. I dont think the quality of a lens has as much of a part to play as the quality/megapixels of your sensor. In film days, lens quality was paramount because all cameras had a great sensor - 35mm film!

-- Terry
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