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Old Apr 24, 2005, 7:14 PM   #1
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I am new to digital SLR's, moved from my Canon Pro90. I purchased a Canon Rebel 350 XT with the kit lens and also a Canon 55-200 F4.5-5.6 II USM Lens to go with it. I wanted about the same zoom range that my Pro90 has. The image noise quality is greatly superior to my old camera, and I really like the focus & capture speed. But image sharpness has been a dissapointment. With the kit lensthe sharpnessis about the same as the Pro90 would produce, but the 55-200 zoom is not acceptable, way too soft. The kit lens is sharper than the 55-200at the 55 end, and the old Pro90 is noticably sharper throughout the entire zoom range up to 200. These test were all done using a tri-pod in daylight, with iso 100. I also took some sunset pictures, iso 400, and found lots of noise that I was not expecting. And the pictures were not sharp, the old Pro90 did much better. I have taken over 300 pictures with the two lens on the camera and all the photo's have the same soft focus with the 55-200 lens all through the zoom range.
I am almost wishing I had purchased the Panasonic FZ20 instead of the Rebel.

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From Butterfly I can exchange the 55-200 lens for:
Canon 75-300 F/4.5-6 III USM SLR Lens
Canon 28-135 SLR Lens F3.5 USM IS
Canon 28-200 SLR Lens F3.5 -5.6 USM
Canon 75-300 F/4.5-6 IS USM SLR Lens
Sigma 28-135 AF SLR F3.8-5.6 For Canon
Sigma 28-200 ASP 3.5-5.6 HZ Macro for Canon
Sigma 24-135 AF 2.8-4.5 ASP For Canon
Sigma 70-300 DL MACRO SLR Lens For Canon F4-5.6
Sigma 28-300 ASP 3.5-6.3 HZ For Canon
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Old Apr 24, 2005, 8:36 PM   #2
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I went thru a similar experience when I purchased a 20D a few months ago. I had the kit lens (18-55) and also purchased a 75-300 at the time of sale. I wasn't too happy since I seemed to get better results with my Olympus C7000. I sold both the 18-55 and 75-300 (didn't do too bad) on EBAY and purchased a Sigma 18-125, based largely on reviews on this site. I was much happier with the 18-125 until I bought an EF 50mm f/1.4. That's when I really fell in love with the camera. Comparing 50mm shots of the Sigma and the EF 50mm prime may not be fair but it really illustrates how soft the Sigma is and how much worse the others are. I then found a 70-200L f/4 used and inexpensive at a local camera shop so I decided to give it a try. This L is light, very sharp and again a fantastic lens. I then decided on a lens strategy of only primes or L zooms and acquired a 17-40L. The 17-40 is good but not as impressive as the 70-200. It also has limitations as a general purpose walk-around type of lens (not quite enough reach). I was tempted to buy either a Tamron 28-75 XR DI or an EF 24-70L when a salesman suggested that I try the 17-85 IS. I tried it and I'm very impressed with this lens! I have done exhaustive comparisons between this lens and the 17-40 and find very little if any difference in sharpness, clarity, color or contrast. When mounted on a tripod and shooting charts, the 17-40 is maybe a little sharper on the edges but in more typical hand-held shots of buildings, landscape, wildlife and people, the 17-85 actually produces consistently better results. I would attribute at least some of that to the IS. There are a lot of complaints about the cost (about $600) but when you consider that this one lens can replace my 17-40L and some other standard zoom, it's a pretty good deal. Anyway, I think the right lens will really help you appreciate the capabilities of your new XT. I know the 17-85 IS is not on your list but if you can sweeten the pot a little to upgrade it's worth it. Otherwise I would be tempted to try the 28-135 IS.
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Old Apr 24, 2005, 8:39 PM   #3
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The Rebel is a much better camera thatn the FZ20.

Canon's tend to take "soft" photos in their default setting. You probably need to tweak the "in camera"sharpness parameter up a notch.

If you look on page 66 of your manual ("processing parameters"), you will see instructions regarding how to increase the "in camera" sharpness.

By increasing the sharpness, you will get that "digital camera" look to your photos, ie. sharp. I have the Canon 20D, and I always keep the sharpening parameter up a notch sharper.

Also, get a decent zoom lens like a Tamron 28-75 XR DI (only $330). I generally avoid lenses slower than F2.8 (usually means crap quality)unless it's a long zoom.



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Old Apr 24, 2005, 8:40 PM   #4
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What you have is standard for a DSLR (all brands not just Canon). Changing the lenses will not alter the softer looking images by much. This is caused by the DSLR nor performing in-camera sharpening on the images like the P&S cameras do.

If you do a quick search of the forums (search button at top) you will find large number of similar threads from people moving UP from P&S to DSLR's and gettingthe soft looking image surprise.

This is done intentionally in the DSLR, as they expect you to do the final image processing to get the best image you can. It is possible to twiddle the in-camera settings to give sharpening a boost if you really want it. But if what the camera does is not right you can not undo it, like you can if you do the post-processing yourself.

I'd go on about it more,but must get back to the tax forms

Peter.
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Old Apr 24, 2005, 8:49 PM   #5
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PeterP,

You Canadians always causing trouble up there!

lol.

Terry
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Old Apr 24, 2005, 8:56 PM   #6
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I agree with that lens choice and I use that Tamron 28-75 F2.8 lens myself, it isone excellent lens at alow price.

However just being an F2.8 lens does not mean itis good :-), I had 2 copies of a Sigma f2.8 lens that produced soft images (first copy the diaphragm seized, I got a new one under warranty and onthe second one the HyperSonic AF motor packed up and left, they would not fix or replace it again as I was out of the first lenses warranty period).
Although getting a higher quality lens never hurts. :idea:

And some lenses like the Canon 70-200 F4, and Sigma 100-300 f4(I think) are incredibly sharp, they just don't have the low light capability of the f2.8 or faster lenses.


I hate Tax time 60 pages printed and another 60 to go.


Peter.

[b]Tamron 28-75 XR DI (only $330). I generally avoid lenses slower than F2.8 (usually means crap quality)unless it's a long zoom.





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Old Apr 24, 2005, 9:38 PM   #7
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Peter,

I just bought the Canon 70-200 F/4 today, will arrive later this week.

I was a little concerned about the slowness of the lens. However, I plan to use it outside, and generally I will probably find myself shooting at about F5.6 anyways.

I looked at the sigma 70-200 F2.8 but it was a little out of my price range, and twice the weight as well. I knew I would be "walking around" for hours at end with the 70-200 so I opted for the lighter lens (and hopefully used more often).

Yah, I really like the Tamron 28-75. I'm really getting used to the focal length and the photographic results (see below, that's snow in the background while these poor kids are running!).
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Old Apr 24, 2005, 11:37 PM   #8
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Whoo-Hoo taxes are off and filed. I'm free of them, actually apparently I'm broke :G

I think you will like the results from that lens It is the perfect time for a new lens:!: nice weather should be with us real soon :!:

Peter
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 10:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the information. I guess I will save up my money and purchase the Canon 70-200, either F2.8 IS or F4.0, and the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 lens. Then later, a 50 prime. This is taking away from my motorcycle ride budget for awhile. I might have to come out of retirement
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