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Old Aug 29, 2005, 4:33 PM   #1
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I am about to purchase a new digital SLR for our 3 small newspapers - either Rebel XT or 20D, but I need to also pick out lenses. So far I've come up with these two possible combos:



1) 17-85MM f/4-5.6 IS and 70-200 f4L



Comments: really practical combo - 17-85 seems like great core lens for wide angles and portraits.



Reservations: Don't I need IS more for longer lens than for shorter? Will I be happy with 70-200 without IS? No time for tripod for photojournalism.



or



2) 17-40 f/4L and 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS



Comments: B&H salesman recommended 17-40 over 17-85. IS in longer lense seems more practical.



Reservations: I wonder if I'll be constantly changing lenses with this setup, as 40 is too short for portraits.



So, I kind of feel like I'm in a no-win situation. I could really use some help and perspective if anyone has time to comment.



Many thanks.
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Old Aug 29, 2005, 4:54 PM   #2
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jerry88 wrote:
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Reservations: I wonder if I'll be constantly changing lenses with this setup, as 85 is too short for portraits.
Jerry:

I'm not going to debatethe suitability of85mm for portraits (as it's a pretty popular focal length for this purpose, especially with lenses having larger apertures available fora shallower depth of field).

But, I wanted to make sure you're aware that all of these lenses will appear to be longer on the models you're looking at.

The sensors in the EOS-20D and EOS-350D/Rebel XTare smaller than 35mm film. So, you have a crop factor (a.k.a., focal length multiplier) of 1.6x in order to get the 35mm equivalent focal length (how the angle of view would compare with a lens used on a 35mm camera).

So, a 17-85mm lens on one of the cameras you're looking at would give you a 35mm equivalent focal range of approximately 27-136mm (actual focal length x 1.6).


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Old Aug 29, 2005, 5:04 PM   #3
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Option 2 (17-40 f/4L and 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS) is not a good match for the cropped 20D

... beside you'll find the EF 17-85 to be considerably better sharpness wise - All the nice wide FOV of the 17-40 L will be cropped away by the 20D, unless you plan to move to a full-frame at a later date.

The new EF 24-105 IS USM may be better suited than the EF 28-135 IS :idea:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65
-> but you'll lose the shallow DOF of a 24-70 f/2.8 (Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 may fill the gap here... for portraits)
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Old Aug 29, 2005, 10:03 PM   #4
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Jim - thanks for your reply. I'm afraid I mis-typed in my post - I meant to say that the 17-40 is too short for portraits - not 85. Yes, I am aware of the 1.6 conversion - that would put 40 at 64, again, too short for portraits, hence my apprehension about having to switch lenses too frequently.
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Old Aug 29, 2005, 10:11 PM   #5
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Option 2 (17-40 f/4L and 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS) is not a good match for the cropped 20DĀ* ... beside you'll find the EF 17-85 to be considerably better sharpness wise - All the nice wide FOV of the 17-40 L will be cropped away by the 20D, unless you plan to move to a full-frame at a later date. The new EF 24-105 IS USM may be better suited than the EF 28-135 ISĀ*Ā* :idea:http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...02&forum_id=65-> but you'll lose the shallow DOF of a 24-70 f/2.8 (Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 may fill the gap here... for portraits)

NHL - Thanks for the reply. I'm a little confused. Are you suggesting the 17-85 and 24-105? That seems like a lot of overlap and big sacrifice in long focal length. Do you have any reservations about the 70-200 as compliment to the 17-85? I'm trying to keep my kit to 2 lenses.BTW - I'm afraid I'm not very knowledgable about the relationship between f/ and DOF. Will I get good shallow DOF with the 17-85 - that's really important to me.
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Old Aug 29, 2005, 11:03 PM   #6
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I don't think NHL suggested the 17-85 and the 24-105 L together. It's either one or the other because the 24-105 is a lot more money than the 17-85.

The 17-85 f/4-5.6 is (generally) less shallow than the 24-105 f/4 which is less shallow than the 18-50 f/2.8 . The greater the aperture, the more shallow the DOF gets. Another factor is the distance you are from the subject. The closer you are to them, the more shallow the DOF gets.

So if you do get the 17-85 or the 24-105, maybe you should set the focal length at 50mm (instead of something like 85) so you can get closer to the person and have a more shallow DOF than using longer focal lengths. But I think at f/4 the background can be blurry enough- it really depends on your tastes. I've seen some people at PBase use the EF 70-200 f/4 as a portrait lens.

If you really want to try and stay at 2 lenses, then I would suggest a 70-200. There's the Canon version of f/4L or f/2.8L or f/2.8L with IS. There's also a Sigma version of f/2.8 that's priced a little bit more than the EF 70-200 f/4L . If it's for photojournalism, and you're taking action shots, then I think IS becomes less useful.

For the second, more general one, any of the ones mentioned above seem fine... I'll just throw in the 24-70 f/2.8 (canon or sigma) as well, that way you're covering from 24-200. If you want something a little wider, I'd second the 18-50 f2.8 . I wouldn't worry too much about the gap between the 50 and 70
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 2:19 AM   #7
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Definitely combo 1.

Plus I'd seriously consider a nice fast "normal" prime for low-light.

Something like the Sigma 30mm f1.4 or the Canon 28mm f1.8 or best of all the Canon 24 L f1.4.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 4:56 AM   #8
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Obviously I don't know the content of your paper or what subjects you will be seeking out. However you'll soon wish you had at least f2.8 lens zooms. And again on average you'll only need up to 180mm/200mm. So on your 20D in general you can afford to lower what you think you will require in terms of focal length Concentrate in obtaining something at lease f2.8 from about 16mm up to 135mm. (recalculate for 20D). Oh yourmaybe gonna have a problem at the wide end....opps. Never mind not a huge problem actually.

Look at sigma or canon lenses with 2.8. Then again next you'll soon wish you had stuck with only USM.. thats a fact.

Remember people move around. They will not stand still because you ask them. Again I don't know what you will be seeking out but only fast lenses will hold your subject. IS is of secondary benefit.

For any interviews or when you know you have time to compose.... yip primes will be great.


get the 16-35 f2.8L USM and the 24-70 f2.8L USM, if your going all the way add the 70-200 f2.8L IS USM. howevera cheeper prime around135mm would probably be good enough for now as a compromise.

Full frame cameras for the masses are just round the corner. I'll put money on it you'll be using one within two years.

You also need a good EX speedlite!!!
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 1:57 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone who responded. Lboy and others, I'm afraid my budget for camera + lenses is going to be around $2,000, so some excellent suggestions, unfortunately will be beyond budget. Feel free to share compromise suggestions if you think of any more possibilities, in meantime I'll research the above recommendations - thank you all very much.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 2:15 PM   #10
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jerry88 wrote:
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Lboy and others, I'm afraid my budget for camera + lenses is going to be around $2,000, so some excellent suggestions, unfortunately will be beyond budget. Feel free to share compromise suggestions if you think of any more possibilities...
IMO if you narrow to the XT and stick within this family of lenses: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65

I don't think you'll be given up much except for the $ - They'll do the job provided you can...
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