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Old Oct 1, 2010, 1:29 PM   #1
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Default Newbie lens question

I'm looking at entry DSLR models and I see different brands of lenses other than the camera brand. How do you know which lenses can be used on which cameras. For example, I've come across Sigma and Tamron brands in lenses on ebay for both Sony A230 as well as Canon Rebel xs. How would you know which ones to buy? Why would you not buy the brand that matches your camera? Would the Sigma or Tamron be interchangeble between camera brands (if in future I changed camera make)?
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 1:50 PM   #2
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Third party lens manufacturers offer the same lens models in multiple camera mounts.

But, each major camera brand will use a physically different lens mount with different electrical contacts and protocols for communication with a camera body, even if the lens is virtually identical otherwise.

For example, if you search for a Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 HSM lens at a vendor like B&H, you'll see separate listings for Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Sony/Minolta and Sigma dSLR models.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...tialSearch=yes

They are *not* interchangeable between camera brands (you'll want to buy a lens with the correct mount for the camera you plan on using it with, and that's normally specified in the lens listings). Otherwise, it won't fit on the camera (you will not be able to physically attach it), and it won't work.
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 2:11 PM   #3
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Thanks JimC

Are 3rd party still good quality?
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 2:16 PM   #4
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You have to take each lens on a case by case basis.

Third party manufacturers make some excellent lenses (like the Sigma I just referred to), as well as some pretty bad lenses (not suitable for door stops, much less taking photos through).

The same thing applies to camera manufacturers' lenses. You'll find some really good lenses, and some really bad lenses.

You'll want to ask about any lens you're interested in the forums, so that members can give you some feedback about them. There are also a number of reputable lens review sites around that test lenses.

Giving information about what you plan on using a lens for can also help get better responses, as there are pros and cons to any of them (size, weight, cost, brightness, sharpness and contrast at various apertures and focal lengths, build quality, flare resistance, distortion, vignetting, focus speed and more).

If you're new to dSLRs, I'd suggest sticking with a basic "kit" lens for a while, unless you have very specific needs (indoors sports without a flash, wildlife photos, etc.).

The kit lenses (typically 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 type lenses for most models with APS-C size sensors) are almost always a good deal when purchased with a camera body in a manufacturer's kit (you usually won't find a third party lens as good for less than a kit lens would cost you when purchased as part of a manufacturer's bundle).

That way, you'll get some experience with it and can make better decisions when buying additional lenses later if you run into any limitations with the kit lens (taking things like size, weight, focal range, etc. into consideration, as there are always tradeoffs when purchasing any lens).
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Old Oct 2, 2010, 3:50 AM   #5
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i got a sigma lens for my canon 30d. it was okay, not great, but after reading reviews, it was what i expected. it was low cost and did the job, and was a long lens for under $150.

on the other hand, my husband got a sigma lens with the exact zoom range he was looking for. he was interested in a faster lens than the one i got, and his is sharp and very nice. again, we researched it by reviews, and the ones we read were spot on. his cost almost 3 times what mine did, but what a difference! and it's cheaper than it would have been from canon.
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Old Oct 2, 2010, 9:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the great info. This is too big of a purchase to go into blindly and I so appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions. I have another one...

I'm looking at the Canon xs 1000d. Is the regular "kit" lens an IS lens? I'm thinking no because I've seen some camera package "deals" that just say "includes 18-55mm lens" and then others advertised to include "18-55mm f1:3.5-5.6 IS lens" . Are they actually different or is this just a marketing/description issue?

Last edited by kfulweiler; Oct 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM.
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Old Oct 2, 2010, 10:45 AM   #7
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No, those are indeed two different lenses. The Canon 18-55mm IS lens is the better lens.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 6, 2010, 3:07 AM   #8
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Hi if you are going canon from what I can see it is offered with the 18-55 non IS and then slightly higher price for the 18-55IS and yes the later is the better lens
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Old Oct 6, 2010, 4:44 PM   #9
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Which sigma or tamron lenses are you looking at getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfulweiler View Post
I'm looking at entry DSLR models and I see different brands of lenses other than the camera brand. How do you know which lenses can be used on which cameras. For example, I've come across Sigma and Tamron brands in lenses on ebay for both Sony A230 as well as Canon Rebel xs. How would you know which ones to buy? Why would you not buy the brand that matches your camera? Would the Sigma or Tamron be interchangeble between camera brands (if in future I changed camera make)?
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 10:02 PM   #10
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As mentioned, both cameramakers and independent lensmakers churn out glass that ranges from the sublime to the gorblimey. MFLenses.Com and PentaxForums.Com both have user review sections where these are evaluated; I don't know where to find such for Canon, Sony or Nikon lenses, but they surely exist. Or look at DpReview.Com at both the technical reports and the user ratings. Some items that test well in the lab absolutely suck in real-world usage. And that's both name brand and third party glass. When in doubt about any specific lens, ask about it here or on another forum. Good luck!
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