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Old Mar 12, 2005, 6:27 PM   #1
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Ok, after some initial suggestion in another forum I am more confused than before on what to buy but I realize now I should up what I want to spend on lenses. From that perspective it was a useful post.

Here is my situation in great detail. I have a budget now to spend of about $1000 on lens(es) to go with my Rebel XT. I bought the kit lens as I felt it was worth the $100 to start playing immediately with it.

Here are my key needs.
  1. Need decent zoom, maybe to around 400-500mm [/*]
  2. 80% Outdoors, 10 indoors and 10 strictly museum or art gallery were no flashes are allowed [/*]
  3. Not too big orheavy as I travel overseas alot and strict airline weight limits [/*]
  4. Durable [/*]
  5. Good performance (quick focus and good optics) [/*]
  6. A decent wide angle would be nice at times [/*]
  7. Good low light performance but I know I can't buy a 2.8in my$$$ range [/*]
  8. Want to maybe use 1 lens as much as possible for walkaround usage with good range [/*]
  9. Wouldn't mind a dedicated indoor lens in addition to the zoom[/*]
  10. IS would be nice as I can't easily take a tripod with me[/*]
  11. Anyone know of a good compact lightweighmonopod?
[/*]
So here is what I am leaning towards. Canon EF 50 1.8 for a decent low light lens and cheap. Then to add to that a Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD or a EF 70-200/4L USM and then buy a 1.4x tele or possibly EF 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS USM + 1.4 tele + ?

I am totally lost at this point. I've looked at so many lenses I just need a little guidance. I am not worrying about publishing my shots and will never print bigger than an 8x10 and normally will be at a 4x6 or 5x7. I went with the XT so I would have more options if I cropped the image and still have enough data to print. I am not worried about the ultimate lens just something that will be pretty good. I am not married to a Canon lens so I would definitely consider Sigma or Tamron or someone else if decent quality. I don't want to take a bucketfull of lenses as I don't have the room nor the weight allowance on most rooms. At most I can take my XT + 3 lenses max + my mini-laptop and still meet the carry-on baggage limits of some of the countries I travel in.

So...what would be best? What sort of price? Are my expectations realistic? Will kicking in another $200 or so appreciable improve what I can buy? I want tangible benefits no esoterica. I want to be able to see the benefit rather than measure it.

This forum has been a great help to me. Without it I would have never bought the XT in the first place. What a great camera for the $$$

Thanks!
PS jpmcc The links you gave really helped out but sort of overload now.
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 6:47 AM   #2
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OK, well look at it this way.

1. Wide-angle - you've already got one! The kit lens is of reasonable quality and gives you up to 18mm (*1.6=28mm).
2. 50mm f1.8 - yup no-brainer for low light. ($ 75)
3. Main/walkaround lens.
4. Telephoto.

With around $900 to spend on 3 & 4.

You could combine 3 & 4 and go for the Tamron 28-300mm.

But for substantially better image quality giving up some money and weight.

Or you could split them and go for
3a - Tamron 28-75 f2.8 ($ 330) or
3b - Sigma 24-70 f2.8 ($ 380)

plus
4 - Sigma Zoom Telephoto 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO Aspherical Autofocus Lens ($ 540)

My choice would be the two Sigmas.


Or if you were willing to spend $1075 you could get the Canon 50mm plus the Sigma 80-400 OS and combine that with your current kit lens.
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 2:11 PM   #3
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peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
OK, well look at it this way.

1. Wide-angle - you've already got one! The kit lens is of reasonable quality and gives you up to 18mm (*1.6=28mm).
2. 50mm f1.8 - yup no-brainer for low light. ($ 75)
3. Main/walkaround lens.
4. Telephoto.

With around $900 to spend on 3 & 4.

You could combine 3 & 4 and go for the Tamron 28-300mm.

But for substantially better image quality giving up some money and weight.

Or you could split them and go for
3a - Tamron 28-75 f2.8 ($ 330) or
3b - Sigma 24-70 f2.8 ($ 380)

plus
4 - Sigma Zoom Telephoto 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO Aspherical Autofocus Lens ($ 540)

My choice would be the two Sigmas.


Or if you were willing to spend $1075 you could get the Canon 50mm plus the Sigma 80-400 OS and combine that with your current kit lens.
Ok, you got me thinking here. It looks like the Sigma 80-400 might be a good all around lens for a lot of the shooting I do outdoors. From the reviews I read it seems that people really like it other than MAYBE it doesn't focus quite as fast as the Canon.Supposedly the image quality is top notch. It would probably do 90% of what I need day in and out.

I was also thinking about this lens too Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DOIS USM. Is it maybe worth considering because of its smaller size and easier to use day in and out?This might seem to be a good choice as it is small enough I will ALWAYS have it with me. Any thoughts? The price is comparable to the Sigma and it doesn't have the focusing issues. Effective zoom would be about 480mm so that should do most of what I need. Downside is I can't use it with a TC if I wanted to.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 2:39 PM   #4
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My lens collection for my 20D at the moment is:

0. Kit 18-55mm (which I never use anymore because of 1)

1. EFS 17-85mm IS.
2. 50mm f1.8
3. 70-300 DO IS USM.

I like all 3 lenses very much. If weight and portability are issues for which you're willing to pay a bit of a premium then they're an excellent collection. For fast moving wildlife in low light the 70-300 isn't ideal, but it's great for landscapes and action in good light. And it's small and light and inconspicuous.

I travel a bit and my luggage allowance is precious. Those 3 give me a very good coverage at a reasonable weight.

The DO is in many ways a fantastic lens, though a little controversial, and matched with the 18-55 kit lens and the 50 f1.8 would give you good coverage.

For lots of samples and some good reviews of the DO check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...70-300mm.shtml

The DO now seems to be Michael Reichman's walk-around lens on his 1DsMkII. He rates it very highly indeed.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...a-worked.shtml

For some samples including the odd wildlife shot check out my photo site at: http://vanderwooks.blogspot.com
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 11:29 AM   #5
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peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
My lens collection for my 20D at the moment is:

0. Kit 18-55mm (which I never use anymore because of 1)

1. EFS 17-85mm IS.
2. 50mm f1.8
3. 70-300 DO IS USM.

I like all 3 lenses very much. If weight and portability are issues for which you're willing to pay a bit of a premium then they're an excellent collection. For fast moving wildlife in low light the 70-300 isn't ideal, but it's great for landscapes and action in good light. And it's small and light and inconspicuous.

I travel a bit and my luggage allowance is precious. Those 3 give me a very good coverage at a reasonable weight.

The DO is in many ways a fantastic lens, though a little controversial, and matched with the 18-55 kit lens and the 50 f1.8 would give you good coverage.

For lots of samples and some good reviews of the DO check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...70-300mm.shtml

The DO now seems to be Michael Reichman's walk-around lens on his 1DsMkII. He rates it very highly indeed.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...a-worked.shtml

For some samples including the odd wildlife shot check out my photo site at: http://vanderwooks.blogspot.com
Peri - I looked at your other posts regarding your lens choices and your rationale for your choices clearly mirror mine albeit with 1 difference. While I don't love the kit lens its not bad either AND I will keep it and use it when I am in less than great circumstances and don't want to risk a more valuable lens due to climate OR unsavory locals. With this in mind I will end up replicating your lens collection because they bring the best range of coverage for what I need within the budgetary constraints I have. I travel a lot in the FSU and while I might appreciate nice L glass others might appreciate it more than me.

Since I like candid shots the 300 DO is an obvious choice and I have seen some amazing shots from it. I originally choked on its price but no other lens is as portable as it is with the range it has. I don't mind a little post processing work to tweak my real keepers. My only concern might be the lens flare issues. Thanks for all the help. I am placing the 300 DO, 50mm and 17-85IS on order today. Might as well get it over and done with. At some point I might upgrade to the 20D but the size of the XT is great. With the kit lens it fits in my jacket pocket! I am really impressed with its speed and high quality photos. Instant boot-up is awesome. So far it does everything I want and at a sweet price. I definitely like the smaller form factor as it is easier to travel with. I am spending a little more money than I originally planned but I think it will better suit my needs.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 5:15 PM   #6
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Wavshrdr wrote:
Quote:
Peri - I looked at your other posts regarding your lens choices and your rationale for your choices clearly mirror mine albeit with 1 difference. While I don't love the kit lens its not bad either AND I will keep it and use it when I am in less than great circumstances and don't want to risk a more valuable lens due to climate OR unsavory locals. With this in mind I will end up replicating your lens collection because they bring the best range of coverage for what I need within the budgetary constraints I have. I travel a lot in the FSU and while I might appreciate nice L glass others might appreciate it more than me.
I know what you mean. I spent about 6 weeks in Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan nearly 10 years ago. I bought my EOS 50E specially for the trip. I got a bunch of nice shots, but I must say that there were a number of occasions where I was a little worried about taking my camera out. It cost me £500, which was a lot of money for me back then, but the average annual wage in Kyrgyzstan was less than $50. That's a bit like walking around London with a £350,000 camera!

In the end I took to carrying my camera in a plastic shopping bag which attracted much less attention than hanging it around my neck or in a camera bag with CANON written across it.

Good luck with your lenses, and make sure you post some photos. :-)
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 12:55 AM   #7
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Peri- When I went to buy the Canon DO lens, the sales person suggested I also look at the Sigma 80-400 OS lens as well. He said that while it is bigger it does outperform the Canon 300 DO at almost every point and has a bigger zoom to boot which would be a plus for me. Factor in it is about $200-300 less and it becomes appealing. It is not as giant as one of the L lenses but might be a good lens too for my purposes. Any thoughts?

For some reason the 50-500 Sigma is appealing though a little large. But people really seem to like it as well. If it had IS or OS it might be awesome for a lot of what I want to do. What got me really thinking about the 400mm range is the effective 640mm range it would give me. I have a decent 12X IS KM Z3 that I had been using to travel with and sometimes its effective zoom of about 35-420 wasn't quite enough to get me where I wanted to be on the long end.

So with the 80-400 (out to 640 effective) + my 18-55 kit lens I could cover a lot of territory and still have a good lens optically on the big zoom. The extra $$$ I save would allow me to look at a better WA or an intermediate zoom. One last thing is it seems the Bigma might be sort of cool too. I just noticed that the 80-400 doesn't have HSM but the Bigma (50-500)does but then I lose the OS. Too many choices again! Why can't you just have it all?

Any thoughts? Unfortunately I have, this darn hobby is getting more expensive by the minute. :?
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 2:21 AM   #8
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Hmm, the sigma wasn't available when I bought my DO, it's a new lens.

The MTF charts do give the edge to the Sigma at the widest apertures, but you won't always be shooting wide open. On the other hand the DO has Canon's 3rd generation IS whereas this is Sigma's very first OS lens. The DO element pretty much completely eliminates CA, but the bokeh is unpleasing to some, and under some very extreme conditions the DO may flare unpleasantly.

http://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/lens...m/80-400mm.htm

http://www.canon.com.hk/En/Product/P...7&tag_id=10311

The Canon is only 10cm long - half of the Sigma's length. And the DO weights 720g compared to 1.7kg - so less than half of the Sigma.

If I were buying again I might well get the Sigma instead but it's a tough one to call.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 4:43 AM   #9
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Hi,

I hope you don't mind if I ask an off topic question ?

Peripatetic,

I had a look at the link to your site that you provided. Great stuff and very well presented. I was impressed, and hence the questions. I was wondering how or with what software you use to frame you photographs. ie the borders, frame colours and adding of copyright.

I am at the stage where I have a number of efforts that I would like to display in a similar way as you have demonstrated. Is it easy to set up a web page like that one you are on? Sorry if the questions are straight forward, its just that it will be a first time for me in doing so.


Thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 8:16 AM   #10
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vin

Thanks for the kind words, I only really started up again with photography when I got my 20D in November last year, but I'm having great fun and learning a lot on these forums too.

Any variety of photoshop will work for the framing.

Basic procedure in photoshop CS is:
1. increase the canvas size (make the background white).
2. add a new layer
3. select all (selects edges of canvas)
4. Edit -> Stroke
5. Layer Style - bevel and emboss
6. Use the text tool to add writing.

The procedure may vary slightly in Elements or another editing program.

As to the site - it's all free! Sign up for a Blogger account, download and install Picasa2 & Hello from Google. If you're using a Mac then Picasa & Hello don't work - you'll need to use a Flicker account instead.

Then publishing photos is as easy as clicking a single buttton in Picasa.
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