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Old Nov 20, 2006, 5:38 PM   #1
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Hi All,

Just bought the Canon 400D and want some lenses for it, any tips as to what lenses are good??

I want:

Telephoto.

Wide Angel.

And what ever else anyone can think of??

By the way this is my First DSLR!!

Cheers for any help given!!
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 12:40 AM   #2
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We'll need to know more info about what you want to photograph and how much money you want to spend. Since this is your first DSLR, we'll assume your standards are not up there at the hights of a shooting pro.

For example, do you want to shoot buildings? Landscapes? Groups of people? What will you use the wide-angle for?

What will you use the telephoto for? Football players? Birds? Race cars? Bikers? isolated scenes (like someone leaning out a building window?)

All of these make a difference in how we answer you.

For example, I photograph wildlife, therefor I need a powerful telephoto. And I have one, a 600mm f'4 and the 100-400 f/4-f/4.5. Now, I doubt you want to spend that much money (most people can't!) But if you don't tell me how much telephoto you want, or what you want to photograph I can't know what will be good for you.

It's like buying a car. Someone says they want a car but doesn't tell you anything more you really can't help them. They could want something small - a nice compact to park in the city - or they might want something big - something to move marble statues in the back - and there is no way you'd know so your advice to them would be less than useful.

Eric
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 4:51 AM   #3
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Thanks Eric,

First of all: Wildlife and landscape lenses.

And a lens for taking those wide view pictures of festivals things like that and (Music Festivals

A Good all round lens to keep on the camera most of the time.

Buildings and Architecture.

Price well not to expensive that can wait until im more experienced!!

Best value for money really.

Thanks again for you time

Andrew
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 4:52 AM   #4
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One thats compatible with Macro as i like Bug Life too!!
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 8:35 AM   #5
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What you ask is nearly impossible. Many, many people would want that lens, but is basically doesn't exist.

The 400D has a crop factor of 1.6x, do you know what that means? The result of that is that wide angle lenses are not that wide and telephoto lenses are longer.

Lets handle the wide angle first. When I owned a 10D & 20D, I found that 28mm was not wide enough for most landscape shots. I was able to do ok for small groups, but if I wanted to get a shot of a beautiful tree in fall foliage I couldn't do it - it just wasn't wide enough.

So I ended up buying a 17-40mm and that solved my problem.

I photograph wildlife quite seriously. The "starter" lens that I seriously recommend is the Canon 100-400. For wildlife in New England (where I shoot most) this is really the minimum focal length you can get away with. In other areas of the world, where the wildlife is more tolerant of people you can use a 300mm, but I don't recommend it. There are other good lenses (the Sigma 50-500, for example) which also work but they have limitations (for example, the 50-500 really needs a tripod and f6.3 is a fairly small max aperture for wildlife - but it can work.)

The problem is that those two lenses don't fit your stated needs. They are two lenses (not one) and they cost upwards of $2,000 USD. That violates the "not to expensive" statement.

There are no lenses that I know of which are both wide angle and telephoto (notice I ignored the "not to expensive") and is good for wildlife. It just doesn't exist. And even if there was, it would probably not be very good (really long telephoto lenses are generally lower in quality) it would be expensive if it existed (hard to design and build) and it would be large and heavy (not good as a "walk around" lens.)

And I haven't even touched on the macro request.

Personally, I think you need to consider at least 2 lenses. I know you don't want to, but I don't believe you have no choice.

I would recommend as good lenses:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC

Each seem to cost around $400 a piece.
Unfortunately they don't overlap, which would be nice. This combination might be out of your price range right now. Then get one and use it while saving for the other.

Do you have any lenses right now? Then buy the range you don't have now.

As for macro... I would seriously consider getting extention tubes. They don't work as well as a dedicated macro lense, but they let any lens do macro work. So if you start with a good lens you'll get better macro. They are small and light and way cheaper than a macro lens is. They work by reducing the close focusing distance. Since you can stand closer, the subject is bigger.

I hope that helps.

Eric
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 9:53 AM   #6
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This camera comes with a 17-55mm lens as standard is this a good all round lens??
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 1:49 PM   #7
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It's not bad for a carry around lens, but 55mm is not a telephoto. It is roughly the power of the human eye. The 17mm is fairly wide, that should handle your wide angle. It might not be great for buildings, as they can be very big, but it should work for landscape and other things. Plus, you can always take multiple overlapping picture and merge them together to get one bigger picture.

If you want to take wildlife pictures (I guess it depends on your definition of wildlife) you'll need more power than that.

Eric
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 2:00 PM   #8
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Hi Eric,

What are these like there all Canon:

35-80mm f4

28-80mm

80-200mm

Whats there primary use

Hope im not getting on your nerves!!

Cheers Mate!!
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 4:45 AM   #9
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Actaully Eric it comes with the 18-55mm lens as standard!!
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 8:25 AM   #10
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Hey, if I didn't like questions, I wouldn't hang out there.
I learned a lot from people here while I was starting out and so now I'm returning the favor. I now teach photography (and photoshop) so answering questions here helps me practice for my classes.

I think you need a frame of reference. Have you ever used binoculars? Or a spotting scope? Those are normally talk about an "x" power (which IS NOT the same as the stupid marketing terms used for point & shoot cameras.) For example, a reasonable pair of binoculars for looking a birds (a popular thing in the UK) is 8x. (And note, that is for "looking" at birds, not photographing them!) Since the human eye is around 50mm, a lens with a similar magnification to 8x is a 400mm lens (on a camera with a full frame sensor.) Since you're using a 400D, that means it has a 1.6x crop factor due to the smaller sensor size. Once that is taken into account, a 250mm on a 400D is roughly the same as a 8x pair of binoculars (250mm *1.6 = 400mm.) But since that is only good for "looking" at birds, you really want more. At least 300mm.

Now, to what you asked.
The first two lenses you listed:
35-80mm f4, 28-80mm - They are more useful for things like portraits or isolated scenes. They have a bit more magnification

The 80-200mm is normally a range that is good for fairly close human sports photography. Or if you can get close enough, for plays or other human activities. Humans are fairly large (compared to other things you could shoot, like many animals, fruit, books, chairs,....) and so if you can get reasonably close then you don't need a huge amout of magnification to get pictures.

Something else you need to understand. This is going to sound odd. Your standards matter. Some people are only happy with the absolute best lenses. Some people are happy with cheaper lenses. You need to figure out where you are on that scale. You can just break the bank and spend lots of money on really high quality lenses... and I bet you'll be happy. *But* you might have wasted money. Because you're standards just aren't up there with National Geographic photographers. So it can be a bit difficult to recommend lenses because I don't know what your standards are. The lenses you list for examples are not very good (to my eye.)

Check out this web page:
http://www.photozone.de/active/survey/surveyform.jsp?filter=%22brand='Canon%20EF'%20OR%2 0brand='Sigma%20AF'%20OR%20brand='Tamron%20AF'%20o r%20brand='Tokina%20AF'%20or%20brand='Vivitar%20AF '%22&title='Canon%20EF%20(EOS)'
(if that doesn't work, go here:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html
go down to the bottom, under USER PERFORMANCE SURVEYS, pick the "Canon EOS lenses" link and look at the ratings. Quality varies greatly between lenses and in most cases you get what you pay for. (I don't see the 80-200 listed except for really expensive f2.8 version, which I assume you don't mean. And Canon doesn't make a 35-80, is this lens by someone else or did you make a typeo?


So you have to decide on a combination of factors:
- How much you are willing to spend?
- Will the lens do what you want?
- Will it be good enough for you?

This is not an easy choice, especially since you're starting out with the camera. You probably don't know *how* to answer question 2 & 3. Do realize that you can always sell the lens used and make some money back.

The lens that comes with the camera (18-55) I've heard mixed things on. Some like it, but photozone rates it very badly. Maybe I'm thinking of the other kit lens that it sometimes is sold with? The problem is that it comes back to standards... While others might not like it it might be good enough for you (at least for a while.) It's not bad for the price (in the US about $100USD more than the body without the lens.)
But you'll learn quickly that $100USD is very little to spend on a lens.

Eric
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