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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:52 AM   #1
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Cost benefit is always of consideration. Have two other lenses also from previous slr including 50MM 1.7 and Sigma 28-80 3.5-5.6 that can be used. Thanks for all help.

My basic questions are;

1) For family gatherings including indoor/outdoor and some low light conditions, are my lenses adequate or should I add another(s)? Recommendation please?

2) I am an avid birder and would be interested in shooting both still/action shots. What lense makes sense considering that distances can be long?

3)Need to have wife take indoor/outdoor shots with ease of point/shoot at family gatherings. What lense makes sense for her use?

4) As grandchildren get older, sports shots will be of interest. Lense?

5) I consider myself a novice but willing to learn future SLR capabilities-Do not want to limit my choice only to 5D-But, is probably more than adequate for what I need.

6) Printing is probably limited to maximum of 8x10 by choice
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 12:44 AM   #2
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oldgeezer wrote:
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Cost benefit is always of consideration. Have two other lenses also from previous slr including 50MM 1.7 and Sigma 28-80 3.5-5.6 that can be used. Thanks for all help.

My basic questions are;

1) For family gatherings including indoor/outdoor and some low light conditions, are my lenses adequate or should I add another(s)? Recommendation please?
You'd need to try the Sigma to make sure it works OK.

Some of the older Sigmas have some compatibility problems with newer cameras (not just Digital, either). Sigma doesn't license the lens mount technology from Minolta (now Konica Miniolta).They reverse engineer it instead.So, it's not uncommon for them to need "rechipping" for newer cameras (Sigma can do this for many older lenses if you send it in to their service center).

I've heard some say they'll do it at no charge. But, a lens with that focal range/brightnessis so inexpensive, you may just want to replace it with something else if you do have any issues with it (and you may or may not have any problems, you'd need to test it to see).

You can find a Minolta lens with about the same characteristics for very little money on the used market. Ditto for one with even better characteristics (for example, the Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 or 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 are often found for under $100used if you shop around).

I've got a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, and it's actually a pretty good lens if you ask me (contrast is better than most). It's not as small and light as your Sigma, though (but it's got more range and it's brighter on the long end). I paid a bit more for mine than I see them going for used now, though.

Probably the most well liked zoom in this general focal range is the KM 28-75mm f/2.8. It's bright, relatively light for an f/2.8 zoom (butheavier than your Sigma), and quite sharp. It's coatings are also optimized for digital cameras (which have sensors that are more reflective than film).

Everyone seems to really praise this lens (and it's bright enough for many indoor conditions without a flash at higher ISO speeds, too). I'm thinking about getting one for myself.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that your lenses will appear to be longer on a DSLR. Because the sensor in a DSLR model is smaller than 35mm film, your angle of view is narrower. So, you need to multiply the actual focal length of the lens by 1.5x to determine how it compares to a lens on a 35mm model.

For example, your 50mm lens when used on a DSLR like the 5D or 7D, would have the same angle of view as a 75mm lens on your 35mm camera (50 x 1.5 = 75). It's actually 1.53x if you want to be exact. That's great if you need longer lenses. But, it's not great if you like the wide angle end and don't have something wide enough. So, take that into consideration when shopping for lenses.

With a film camera, I'd use a 50mm lens more often than not indoors without a flash. With a DSLR, I use a 28mm lens more often indoors without a flash. ;-) The 35mm f/2 was actually my first choice (over the 28mm f/'2), but I couldn't find one at a price I was willing to live with They are a bit hard to come by on the used market.

That's one reasonyou see so many "kit" lenses starting out much wider now (because of the 1.5x multiplier for angle of view purposes). For example, the kit lens you can get bundled withthe 5D is 18-70mm (but after the 1.5x, that works out to approx. 27-105mm when comparing it to a lens on a 35mm model).

Quote:
2) I am an avid birder and would be interested in shooting both still/action shots. What lense makes sense considering that distances can be long?
Someone else will have to take that one, as I'll admit that I never shoot birds (well on rare occasions if one happens to be close by, but I don't go looking for them).

Budget would be a question. You can spend a lot or a little on a lens.

For example, a very fast focusinglens, thanks toit's Supersonic Motor Technology (and one of the sharpest lenses around from any manufacturer) is theMinolta70-200mm f/2.8G (D) APOSSM AF lens. When you can find one (they don't stay on the shelves for very long when they do come up for sale),it's not cheap. B&H sells it for $1,799.95 (and they are sold out right now).

An even longer lens that's also very fast and very sharp, is the Minolta300mm f/2.8G (D) APOSSM AF Lens. B&H is taking orders for this one now, at a bargain price of only $4,599.95

Sorry, you didn't specify budget. But, those are the "cream of the crop". ;-)

There are a number of lenses that would be suitable for most users for closer ranges. The newer Sigma EX 70-200mm f/2.8 is a well liked lens (quite fast and very sharp). It's around $800 discounted brand new. I'd watch out for the olderlenses, though (they miight need rechipping). Or,a bit slower and very inexpensive (but sharp, and very well liked) lens is the Minolta 70-210mm f/4.

Uhtil the 5D started shipping, these were quite abundant on the used market for under $100 (I wish I had bought one). Now, they're a bit more (closer to $150 when they come up on Ebay, etc.).

For further ranges (and you may need something longer for birding), there are a number of zoom lenses that go to 300mm, too. Also, if using a bright zoom, you may be able to get by with a teleconverter on it to get more range.

I'd let others know what kind of budget you have, and perhaps some of the members here that do like birding can make some suggestions. Lenses are always a compromise (size, weight, cost, brightness, optical quality, build quality, handling characteristics, focus speed, etc.).

Quote:
3)Need to have wife take indoor/outdoor shots with ease of point/shoot at family gatherings. What lense makes sense for her use?
As long as you can use a flash, a number of lenses would probably suffice. Even the kit lens would probably work OK (and it's a very light lens that is well balanced on a smaller camera like the 5D). I rarely use mine, sinceI keep a prime on my camera more often than not (but I do like it's size and weight)

It won't work on your film camera, though (it's designed only for DSLR modesl with sensors smaller than 35mm film -- that's one reason it is small and light for it's focal range).

Quote:
4) As grandchildren get older, sports shots will be of interest. Lense?
Same as for birding, depending on the sport and conditions.

Night or indoor sports would dictate a brighter lens (i.e., f/2.8 throughout the focal range in a zoom; or an even brighter prime). If you can get close enough to the action, even your 50mm f/1.7 (75mm equvalent when used on a DSLR) could be suitable for some indoor sports (but you'd proably want something a bit longer for most sports).

There are a number of brighter primes available, too (85mm f/1.4G, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, 200mm f/2.8 being some examples, although you may have a hard time finding a couple of these).

Quote:
5) I consider myself a novice but willing to learn future SLR capabilities-Do not want to limit my choice only to 5D-But, is probably more than adequate for what I need.
It's a nice little camera (I've been using one for a couple of months now). Great for low light (anti-shake really works). If I were going to use heavier lenses more often, I might get a 7D instead (and the viewfinder is much better on the 7D, too).

The 7D isa larger and heavier camera, but it balances a bit better with heavier lenses (and it's got more grip surface). I'd try them out in a store to see what you're comfortable with (ergonomics and viewfinder being key considerations).

The 5D does have some features geared more towards beginners (you mentioned your wife wanted something that behaved more like a point and shoot). It's got things like scene modes that are missing on the 7D (but the 7D has things like the ability to store custom settings that's missing on the 5D). There are pros and cons to either camera.

Depending on how you'll use one, make sure to take size and weight into consideration (your wife may or may not like a heavier camera). Let her try them out in a store, too. You can't really tell how well a camera is going to "fit" you until you try it.

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Printing is probably limited to maximum of 8x10 by choice
Not a problem at all. Even a good 3 Megapixel model can produce very good quality images at that print size.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 9:41 AM   #3
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the 50mm f1.7 becomes an EXCELLENT 75mm f1.7 due to the 1.5x (sensor size) factor - PERFECT FOR LOW LIGHT PORTRAITS



for birding you will need a 'big fast' lens (available used)

the 7D due to weight and balance + 93% viewfinder and burst capability

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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