Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 3, 2006, 9:14 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 28
Default

After having my head spinning from looking thru specs on a number of DSLR cameras, I think I have narrowed my search to a few cameras. The qualifications I had been looking at have been
  1. Good low-light camera without having to use a flash (I think cameras with ISO 1600 would be acceptable)[/*]
  2. 8+ Megapixel (I want to be able to get these same low-light photos into posters if possible)[/*]
  3. Good point-and-shoot capability (to be a replacement for my HP Photosmart 850)[/*]
  4. A lens that would give me the equivalent of the 70-210mm zoom I now use on my old 35mm manual camera.
    [/*]
The cameras I had been closely examining the features of (the list is open to amendment):
  1. Nikon D80[/*]
  2. Canon EOS Rebel XTI (400D)[/*]
  3. Pentax 10D[/*]
Looking though, at those cameras, most of the kit cameras came with a 50mm lens or something of that nature. As a result, I started looking at lenses.

I don't know about the choices in lenses for these things, which also brings up the question of using a 35mm lens on a digital camera.

My questions:
  1. What do you lose/gain from using a lens for a 35mm camera on a digital camera? I know the cost is usually significantly less on the ones for a 35mm camera than a digital lens.
    [/*]
  2. What do you lose/gain from using a digital lens on a digital camera?[/*]
  3. Which lenses are the best ones for these cameras? Which are the best 3rd party ones (i.e. Quantaray, etc)?[/*]
I'd appreciate any opinions.

Thanks

SC



schatham is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 3, 2006, 11:35 AM   #2
TDN
Senior Member
 
TDN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,288
Default

I dont know the answer to all of your questions, but I'll try to answer some. if I tell something that's wrong, there are lots of peopleon here that know much more about this stuff than me, so they'll correct me

Quote:
  1. Good low-light camera without having to use a flash (I think cameras with ISO 1600 would be acceptable)[/*]
Well, get yourself a good low-light lens too! It's just as important as the ISO.


Quote:
  1. What do you lose/gain from using a lens for a 35mm camera on a digital camera? I know the cost is usually significantly less on the ones for a 35mm camera than a digital lens.
    [/*]
You gain:
+ FOV crop factor, if your sensor is smaller than 35mm film, it'll seems like you're looking trough a 300mm lens with a 200mm lens. Nice if you want some extra tele-power. Quality should not decrease.

+ Compatibility with film cameras (if you have one lying around...you never know) and more importantly: full-frame sensor cameras, like the EOS 5D. (these are cameras with a sensor the same size as 35mm film, they have lesser noise)

+ Mostly they're cheaper.

+ There are about 1000000 of them out there


You lose:

- extra EXIF data transmitted by the lens to the camera. Apart from letting the SR in the K10D know which focal length you're using, you don't need this to take good pictures.

- The lens is not optimised for the sensor size. Don't know this matter much really.

- the "status" of having "the newest" gear, if that matters to you...


Quote:
  1. What do you lose/gain from using a digital lens on a digital camera?[/*]
You gain:

+ extra EXIF info. see above.

+ Optimized for the smaller sensors, so maybe slightly better results?

+ The knowledge of having the latest gear, but considering older lenses often show more quality than new ones...


You lose:

- The chance of ever using them on a film/full size sensor camera. This is the main deciding factor for me.

- A lot of money that could have been spent elsewhere.

Quote:
  1. Which lenses are the best ones for these cameras? Which are the best 3rd party ones (i.e. Quantaray, etc)?[/*]
Nikon, as well as Canon, as well as Pentax provide excellent glass, no doubt about that.

Respected 3rd party companies are: Sigma, Tamron, Tokina.
I personally really like Tamron because of their firm build quality and "no-nonsense"-approach.


TDN
TDN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 3, 2006, 12:39 PM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Some answers to your questions:
Quote:
What do you lose/gain from using a lens for a 35mm camera on a digital camera? I know the cost is usually significantly less on the ones for a 35mm camera than a digital lens.
The first thing you have to be concerned about if you want to use an older lens on any new camera is whether or not they are compatible. For instance, in the Canon system, any of the 'EF' lenses are compatible with their new DSLR lenses. Lenses that predate the 'EF' series may not be compatible. Each system would have the same issues. Now, if you're talking about a lens that is still manufactured and sold new today there shouldn't be an issue. But if it's a 30 year old lens you might have a problem.

That asside, the question of 'full frame lens' vs. 'digital lens'. 'Digital lens' may mean one of two things: 1) it has special coatings to reduce flare or other issues more prevelent with digital - but this type of lens would still work on a film body or a DSLR with a full size senor or 2) A lens desiged specifically for an APS-C sized sensor. These lenses will not work properly on a full size sensor camera. So, the basic Canon kit lens if used on the Canon 5d camera (has full size sensor) will have vignetting because the image circle produced is not big enough to cover the sensor. The benefit to the lenses designed for aps-c sensors is - those cameras don't use the full image circle of a traditional 35mm lens so in affect their are wasted materials. A lens can be made to create an image circle for these smaller sensors and be lighter, use less materials and still maintain the aperture ability of a bigger lens designed for full frame use. In theory this also means such a lens would be less expensive. The downside is they don't work on full frame bodies. The greatest risk there is with the Canon system which has 3 different sensor sizes (1.6, 1.3 and full frame) - so these lenses don't work on the 1d series or the 5d. Other manufacturers do not currently have (to my knowledge) larger size sensors yet - so the risk is somewhat less there.

Quote:
What do you lose/gain from using a digital lens on a digital camera?
Well, in theory the extra coatings manufacturers are putting on their lens elements should cut down on flare. The other benefit is again you get a smaller, lighter lens that still has the same aperture of the full frrame lenses. And, many of the digital only lenses are proving to be just as sharp if not sharper than their full-frame counterparts. However, typically these lenses are not marketed as 'pro grade' so they don't have the same build quality yet that the full-frame lenses have (and weather sealing).

Quote:
Which lenses are the best ones for these cameras? Which are the best 3rd party ones (i.e. Quantaray, etc)?
Here I'm going to give you the same advice I always give - you should ALWAYS make every lens decision on a case-by-case basis. Many third party operations make some excellent lenses - they also make some crappy lenses. So, Sigma, Tokina, Tamron and others all have some gems in their lineup. But it's bad juju to say Tamron lenses are always as good as the OEM. First, figure out the type of lens you want then research and help from forum members can let you decide if any third party lens is a good option - and, even then it's still a balancing act because price is always a consideration.



As far as you rcamera selections - all 3 are, in theory, great cameras. I just caution that you want to be sure there are reliable reviews out for new cameras before jumping on a new model. Basing a decision on specs alone could lead to trouble. On paper all 3 look excellent but I don't know if there are many good, reliable reviews available yet for these models.



Good luck in whatever you decide!
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 3, 2006, 8:20 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 150
Default

As I understand, you currently are owning SLR and have a couple of lenses, right?

My suggestion would be to stick with the same brand you already have, you'll save on lenses
Edvinas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 3, 2006, 10:25 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
meanstreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,234
Default

I'm not sure aboutotherbrands but with Sony DSLRs(formerly Konica Minolta), some digital lenses are alsoADIcompatible. ADIstandsfor Advanced Distance Integration and is afeature designed to work with certainflashes.ADIpasses distance information through the lens back to the camera for more accurate flash exposure.

meanstreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 3, 2006, 10:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

Only thing I can add to what was already said is about the Pentax. You can use just about any Pentax lens ever made on it (and lots of third party lenses). If your 70-210 lens happens to have a Pentax K mount, you could use it on the K10D, regardless of which model it is (sure wish my Pentax F 70-210 lens hadn't died - it was an excellent lens). Only thing to keep in mind, a manual lens will not suddenly become auto focus - it will always be a manual lens. I often usea couple of25 year old manuallenses on my K100Dwith no problems.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2006, 12:07 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 28
Default

That was one reason (lenses) I had been considering the Nikon D80 - the camera (manual 35mm) I have is a Nikon FE along with the flashes, a Quantaray 70-210mm zoom lens, and a Nikkor macro lens.

However, what's the concensus of aftermarket lenses as compared to manufacturer lenses?

For instance, Ritz Camera has Pentax, Quantaray, Sigma and Tamron lenses for the Pentax. It has Nikon, Quantaray, Sigma and Tamron lenses for the Nikon. There's a wide variety in prices on just the 35mm lenses for those cameras. Same for digital lenses.

What's the general consensus as to 3rd party manufacturers of lenses, specifically for digital cameras? I am still considering using a 35mm lens though on any digital I buy, just for cost purposes.

SC


schatham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2006, 12:22 PM   #8
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

schatham wrote:
Quote:
What's the general consensus as to 3rd party manufacturers of lenses, specifically for digital cameras? I am still considering using a 35mm lens though on any digital I buy, just for cost purposes.

SC

I'm still a little confused. 'Digital lenses' are not more expensive than full frame lenses. You're paying for quality and feature set. In fact, the opposite is true. A quality full-frame lens will cost more than it's equivelent 'digital' lens IF (big IF here) the other features are the same. I.E. if they have the same aperture value, same image quality, same equivelent focal length. Whether full-frame designed lens or digital designed lens you often get what you pay for. For instance, Canon makes both types of lenses and both types have 'good quality' and 'average quality' lenses.

And again, every single third party manufacturer makes good lenses and crappy lenses. I would say however you are going to have a higher likelihood of a quality third party lens if you stay with the national brands. For instance, who sells quantaray besides Ritz? Now, quantaray lenses are actually made by Sigma or Tamron I think - but do you think those lenses have the same QC as the lenses they're putting their own name on? Nope.

But whether you go Nikon or Canon, there are quality third party lenses for both camera systems - but not every lens need has an equivelent third party lens of equal quality. Some times they do and sometimes the 3rd party lenses have an option the OEM lenses don't (like my Sigma 120-300 2.8 - neither Nikon nor Canon offers a zoom lens with 2.8 and 300mm).

So, bottom line - both systems have good and cheap full frame lenses and both systems have good and cheap digital only lenses. And in both systems, the best lenses are still designed for full frame use. And both systems have good quality and poor quality 3rd party lens offerings. So between these two systems there isn't a clear cut leader in lens offerings - they're both top notch - especially with regard to third party manufacturers who make lenses for them.

I would also be leary of making decisions based upon what your local Ritz store carries. In my experience the Ritz stores around me have a pathetic selection of lenses available - there simply isn't the demand. They have plenty of their Quantaray lenses there - but if you want a quality Tamron or Sigma lens it's a special order.


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2006, 7:49 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
meanstreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,234
Default

JohnG wrote:
Quote:
schatham wrote:
Quote:
What's the general consensus as to 3rd party manufacturers of lenses, specifically for digital cameras? I am still considering using a 35mm lens though on any digital I buy, just for cost purposes.

SC

I'm still a little confused. 'Digital lenses' are not more expensive than full frame lenses. You're paying for quality and feature set. In fact, the opposite is true. A quality full-frame lens will cost more than it's equivelent 'digital' lens IF (big IF here) the other features are the same. I.E. if they have the same aperture value, same image quality, same equivelent focal length. Whether full-frame designed lens or digital designed lens you often get what you pay for. For instance, Canon makes both types of lenses and both types have 'good quality' and 'average quality' lenses.

And again, every single third party manufacturer makes good lenses and crappy lenses. I would say however you are going to have a higher likelihood of a quality third party lens if you stay with the national brands. For instance, who sells quantaray besides Ritz? Now, quantaray lenses are actually made by Sigma or Tamron I think - but do you think those lenses have the same QC as the lenses they're putting their own name on? Nope.

But whether you go Nikon or Canon, there are quality third party lenses for both camera systems - but not every lens need has an equivelent third party lens of equal quality. Some times they do and sometimes the 3rd party lenses have an option the OEM lenses don't (like my Sigma 120-300 2.8 - neither Nikon nor Canon offers a zoom lens with 2.8 and 300mm).

So, bottom line - both systems have good and cheap full frame lenses and both systems have good and cheap digital only lenses. And in both systems, the best lenses are still designed for full frame use. And both systems have good quality and poor quality 3rd party lens offerings. So between these two systems there isn't a clear cut leader in lens offerings - they're both top notch - especially with regard to third party manufacturers who make lenses for them.

I would also be leary of making decisions based upon what your local Ritz store carries. In my experience the Ritz stores around me have a pathetic selection of lenses available - there simply isn't the demand. They have plenty of their Quantaray lenses there - but if you want a quality Tamron or Sigma lens it's a special order.

meanstreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2006, 8:02 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
meanstreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,234
Default

JohnG wrote:
Quote:
And again, every single third party manufacturer makes good lenses and crappy lenses. I would say however you are going to have a higher likelihood of a quality third party lens if you stay with the national brands. For instance, who sells quantaray besides Ritz? Now, quantaray lenses are actually made by Sigma or Tamron I think - but do you think those lenses have the same QC as the lenses they're putting their own name on? Nope.

But whether you go Nikon or Canon, there are quality third party lenses for both camera systems - but not every lens need has an equivelent third party lens of equal quality. Some times they do and sometimes the 3rd party lenses have an option the OEM lenses don't (like my Sigma 120-300 2.8 - neither Nikon nor Canon offers a zoom lens with 2.8 and 300mm).

So, bottom line - both systems have good and cheap full frame lenses and both systems have good and cheap digital only lenses. And in both systems, the best lenses are still designed for full frame use. And both systems have good quality and poor quality 3rd party lens offerings. So between these two systems there isn't a clear cut leader in lens offerings - they're both top notch - especially with regard to third party manufacturers who make lenses for them.

I would also be leary of making decisions based upon what your local Ritz store carries. In my experience the Ritz stores around me have a pathetic selection of lenses available - there simply isn't the demand. They have plenty of their Quantaray lenses there - but if you want a quality Tamron or Sigma lens it's a special order.

Whenever a retailer carries a "House Brand" it is their "push" line and they make huge profits selling those while trying to convince consumers is it the same exact lens as their manufacturer equivalent. I don't know about the Quantarays made for all brands but the ones made for the Konica Minolta mount that I have seen for sale are garbage. On one of the most popular KM forums, you can't even find one rated. The only third party I own are Tamron, but I would also trust Tokina and Sigma. Of course every manufacturer makes low end products but they have to because there is demand for cheap lenses.
meanstreak is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:48 PM.