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Ballpointpenner Aug 28, 2006 9:47 PM

So, I will be getting a new DSLR in the next month... either a D50, a K100D, or the new Rebel. I don:t yet know which... but, what I really don`t know is what lens I will be getting... Here in Japan, most cameras seem to be selling body only, and lens separately, so I really do have some choice. I am not in the least knowledgeable about lenses, and there seems to be far less discussion about them than there is about camera bodies on this forum, which is ironic, given how important they are to the iq.

I desperately want to keep my total budget under a thousand bucks (cheaper would be better), and I want to get one quality lens. I don`t think that I`ll be needing to go telephoto at this time. Because I am currently living in a mountain village, I`d like the ability to shoot landscapes and insects. Shooting people would be nice too. From this info, which lenses would you recommend for each of those cameras?

Keep in mind that I intend to make large prints.

(I know that they are different brands, so the questions perhaps overly open, but if you have a relevant opinion pertaining to even one of the cameras, by all means post it)

Thanks for your time,

- Bpp

rey Aug 29, 2006 1:31 AM

For walk-around, you probably want to cover the 18-200mm focal length. You can cover that with either two lenses or one. That's a good start, and you can find out later if you need something wider or longer depending on what you shoot.


interested_observer Aug 29, 2006 2:13 AM

I am somewhat in the same boat as you, looking - actually I have decided on the K100D, just waiting on my wife to fit it in the budget (I bought her an un-budgeted gift on vacation a few weeks ago and now she says 1987 is closed and I am now working on her birthday gift for 1988 - I can never get ahead) next month.

One of the primary differences, related to lens, between the three cameras is image stablization. Nikon (D50) and Canon (Rebel) offer it built into the lens - so for each lens you want stablized you have to pay for stablization again, and again.

Pentax (K100D) offers it in the body, so that what ever lens you mount, the image is stablized. It can be auto focus (AF) or manual focus, or auto exposure (AE) or manual exposure, it does not matter as it will work on everything mounted - all you have to do is to turn on the stablization - or shake reduction (SR).

Also, I have found it stated in several places, that both Canon and Nikon have licensed the Pentax patents for their image stablization designs. Some will say that the lense stablization systems are the best, other say the body based designs. I have taken images with both and there is a great difference between stablized and un-stablized on the longer lenses or the darker situations. So either design works well - its a matter of discussion as to which stablization implementation - body or lens is better.

For the lens family, lenses for Nikon - D50 do not fit on the Nikon professional models, and I believe the same is true for Canon. I know that some one wil correct me here if I have mis-spoken. So at least for the Nikon if you move up to their professional line, your going to have to repurchase lenses.

For Pentax, every Pentax lense made by Pentax and third parties are able to be used on the K100D (both automatic and manual lenses, for film or digital). Some are great, many are excellent - however there are about 20+ million pentax lenses floating around the marketplace (ebay, amazon, etc.) A lot of these are available for very good prices.

Lens quality across the three are very good, most will say Nikon has the absolute best lenses, followed closely by Canon. I have read in a number of articles that quite a few rate Pentax lenses among the best, some equal to Nikon & Canon - it depends upon the person and their point of view. I figure unless your a professional or a very talented amerature - it probably dosen't matter - since for these 3 brands, you really can not go wrong - as everyone is rating shades of perfection. What does matter, is if you can afford what you want to buy. If you can not afford it you will never get to use it. I know for Pentax there are websites that comment extensively, rate and grade each lens model by professional photographers. I assume that the same exists for Canon and Nikon.

So that is a take of what I have found on quality and some of the basic differences across the various manufractures.

MTCLIMBER has all three cameras with various lenses for each, that she uses daily. She is a photography instructor. She will probably comment here. Since she and others use the lenses day in and day out. I have found her comments particularly helpful and instructive.

I can say that the Pentax K100D body with a 2 Pentax lens kit, 18 - 55mm and 50 to 200mm zooms can be had for less than $900US (henery's camera in Canada and several others on the web). I have read that even with the kit lenses, they are very good quality and do a good job - again the posters here with experience will provide their opinions. Older prime lenses (either auto or manual) are available for the looking at very good prices - many around $100US. The Pentax SLR thread has many great example images from these kit lenses, and a lot of additional information on the Pentax K100D in general.

If your going to print larger than 16" by 20" then you would may want to go to a camera larger than 6 MP (Pentax K100D and Nikon D50 are 6MP while the Canon Rebel depending on the model is larger - if I remember correctly).

I'll leave it to others to comment on specific lenses that fit your wants.....

BenjaminXYZ Aug 29, 2006 3:14 AM

Alright; firstly, I didn't know that MTCLIMBER is a female...

All the time I was thinkingof ahe, an aged professor teaching photography at a university...sorry about that! :-) (So a Pentax fan she is...)

Regarding this>>>

Code:

For the lens family, lenses for Nikon - D50 do not fit on the Nikon professional models, and I believe the same is true for Canon. I know that some one wil correct me here if I have mis-spoken. So at least for the Nikon if you move up to their professional line, your going to have to repurchase lenses.



You have mistaken Nikon for Canon. Canon have Full Frame dSLRs, so if you buy their APS-C lenses for your APS-C dSLRs, you have to change your APS-C lenses to 35mm/full framelenses to fit those Full Frame/35mm dSLRs. That is Canon.

For Nikon, ALL their lenses are usable among ALLtheir various dSLR models (Currently). :-)A big and huge advantage here! :dude:

Regards.

Regarding Pentax lenses as more superior, I think they are superior in quantity only, not as individual lensquality...Nikon have very good individual lens quality and so is Canon; but with Canon, you have to pay above $1000 USD to get quality L lenses.

I think the best lens quality goes to Sony because they have an R1 prosumer with the best lens out there! :GThat lens is a monster because dSLRs usually have to go two lenses just to match that! :|

Anyway, to be realistic; I read that Canon and Nikon lenses are the best out there and they have been PROVEN scientifically and practically. (Although personally I don't find Canon lenses that GREAT)


I certainly think TOKINA lens build quality is the best with solid optics performance. Sigma and Tamron lens build are plain crappy...(But don't forget that cheap Canon lenses can be even worse)













interested_observer Aug 29, 2006 3:31 AM

Thank you BenjaminXYZ for correcting my mistake! Its late and I am going off to bed - its still 90 degrees here and its midnight - I am glad that there is air conditioning.......

PS - ... I was not claiming that Pentax's lenses were superior to Nikon or Canon, it was that I had read several articles from professional photographers saying that some of the Pentax lenses were equal to Nikon and Canon's - in their opinion. Sorry that I did not state that better.

Overall, like I tried to write - at the entry level, its probably pretty difficult for shoppers to go wrong among the 3 cameras that were being chosen from. I think that it comes down to what is affordable. If you can not afford to buy it - you are not going to be able to use it....

BenjaminXYZ Aug 29, 2006 4:02 AM

Sorry if I was rather harsh to Pentax lenses. I certainly know Nikon lenses are really superior (It is so easy to find that sort of informations!):-). However, I find it hard to search for Pentax lenses infos around the web. It might be the lack of Pentax lens knowledges that placed it so low down on my mind. :G

Regards.

Gozinta Aug 29, 2006 11:18 AM

BenjaminXYZ wrote: [quote]Alright; firstly, I didn't know that MTCLIMBER is a female...

All the time I was thinkingof ahe, an aged professor teaching photography at a university...sorry about that! :-) (So a Pentax fan she is...)

Regarding this>>>

Code:

For the lens  family, lenses for Nikon - D50 do not fit on the Nikon professional  models, and I believe the same is true for Canon. I know that  some one wil correct me here if I have mis-spoken. So at least  for the Nikon if you move up to their professional line, your going to  have to repurchase lenses.
Quote:





You have mistaken Nikon for Canon. Canon have Full Frame dSLRs, so if you buy their APS-C lenses for your APS-C dSLRs, you have to change your APS-C lenses to 35mm/full framelenses to fit those Full Frame/35mm dSLRs. That is Canon.

For Nikon, ALL their lenses are usable among ALLtheir various dSLR models (Currently). :-)A big and huge advantage here! :dude:

Regards.

Regarding Pentax lenses as more superior, I think they are superior in quantity only, not as individual lensquality...Nikon have very good individual lens quality and so is Canon; but with Canon, you have to pay above $1000 USD to get quality L lenses.

I think the best lens quality goes to Sony because they have an R1 prosumer with the best lens out there! :GThat lens is a monster because dSLRs usually have to go two lenses just to match that! :|

Anyway, to be realistic; I read that Canon and Nikon lenses are the best out there and they have been PROVEN scientifically and practically. (Although personally I don't find Canon lenses that GREAT)


I certainly think TOKINA lens build quality is the best with solid optics performance. Sigma and Tamron lens build are plain crappy...(But don't forget that cheap Canon lenses can be even worse)

First off, your take on the best lens out there is absolutely ridiculous even if it were true since the Sony lens you rate as being the bestis permantly attached tothe R1. The poster who started the thread is looking for a lens solution, not your unqualified opinion on which is the best lens attached to a point and shoot camera.

Secondly, your generalizations on Tokina, Sigma and Tamron have no basis. How can you state that Tokina has the best build quality andcall Sigma and Tamron crappy across the board. In fact Tamron makes some of Tokinas lenses and every manufacturer has different levels of lenses with different build qualities.

You are far from qualified to making such generalizations and recommendations in a public forum. Your opinions are dangerous, because someone less informed than you is apt to believe what you are saying. You have no personal experience with these products and following your posts it appears that youcan barely decide what to buy, let alone give advice. You just finally decided what to buy after dozens of ridiculous posts and now you are going to wait a few months. Bet you will change your mind by then.

tmoreau Aug 29, 2006 11:39 AM

A good general purpose quality lens would be something like the tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for about $450 (Sigma competes with its 18-50 EX f/2.8, and tokina has a 16-50 on the way)

Good general range, bright, and WIDE (gawd, I hate the thought of 24 or 28mm zooms). If your going to need two lenses (28-75 and 18-?) why not just get primes? (I did).

Anyway, I dont know how well that would work with close-up filters for macro if thats what you want to do. Your second investment could be a 70-200 f/4 or f/2.8 with close-up lenses, then you'd be really well set. The telephoto lenses are expensive though. Macro lenses arent cheap either, but a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro goes for $250-300 used and is one of the best in its class (check around, its been king of that hill for over a decade).

I dont much care for the 18-200 type lenses, they arent bright enough or good enough to be an only lens. They work well in the right situations, but I'd want something else to pick from too.

mtclimber Aug 29, 2006 12:23 PM

I think it is time to re-frame this discussion. Gozinta has made an excellent point. The OP is looking for some specific answers, not generalizations. You should only buy a lens, if it has a specific application or purpose that fits well with your style of photography. Please take note of the fact that the OP did not mention wide angle lens, he/or she as the case might be, mentioned telephoto lenses and macro lenses.

The OP also mentioned being on a budget as well. So let's stay with those guidelines. Excellent two lens starter combinations are found in the Pentax and Olympus brands. The so called kit lens in the Olympus case is a quite nice 14-45mm lens, the lens added to that as the second lens is the 40-150mm lens. Both are really good lenses.If you want to think in 35mm equivalents, please remember the the Olympus additive is 2.0X. The Olympus E-300 and E-500 DSLR cameras are well price, so that they are attractive budget-wise, but they do not have any IS capability in either their own lens line, not their cameras.

OTOH the new Pentax K100D does have in-body stabilization, which allows ANY lens mounted on the K100D to have that benefit as well. The Pentax kit lens is the 18-55mm and it does have macro capability. The traditional second lens is the Pentax 50-200mm lens. The additive on Pentax DSLR cameras ia 1.5X. Both of these lenses are highly rated.

So, when thinking of a budget either the Pentax or Olympus two lens combinations will give you the greatest value and will cover a focal length, expressed in 35mm equivalents, of 28mm to 300mm. That would be a very workable range, that follows the OP's guidelines.

So start with that range covered, and then add lenses only as you need them. Keep in mind that every lens line, be it Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina,has their "total duds" and their "real winners." Keep in mind that adding lenses can be more economical in the Pentax mount, than any other mount, because of the high number of used lenses available that work well, though they might not be fully automatic. My favorite prime lens is a 21mm Vivitar that I bought on e-bay for a real bargin price. Another general purpose, bargain lens, for the Pentax mount is the is the Sigma 24-135mm lens which is fully automatic and can be purchased brand new for less than $(US) 100.

MT

So those are the

tmoreau Aug 29, 2006 1:47 PM

[img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/TMOREA%7E1.FOR/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/img][img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/TMOREA%7E1.FOR/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/img]He said "I don't think that I`ll be needing to go telephoto at this time." and also "like the ability to shoot landscapes and insects. Shooting people would be nice too."

That seems to indicate two lenses to me, something in the 24/28mm through 80mm equivilent range, and a macro lens capable of near 1:1 magnification. A wide aperture at the long end would be good for portraits, and good in general. Wide angle seems quite a requirement here.

There arent many [quality] lenses for DSLR's that start out very wide, Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 are the only real choices right now. Of course the "Kit lens" from each manufacturer would serve the same purpose for cheaper, with more compromises in close focus distance, speed, and quality.

Insects are probably the real problem here, to get enough magnification your looking at serious macro equipment like extension tubes, close-up lenses, or dedicated macro lenses. The "macro zoom" lenses are great for huge things like flowers, but dont get close enought for such a small subject. John Shaw highly recomends closeup lenses on a telephoto zoom, I dont know if they would work as well on something like the 17-50?


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