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Old Dec 2, 2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Hi
I am looking at a Canon REbel XTi. I want it mostly to take action shots of my two kids playing sports (hockey and lacrosse) in sometimes a bit dimmly lit rinks and arenas. And also use it for the typical family shots (vacations, birthdays etc). I would match it with a canon 100-200mm lens for the action and a 28-90mm for the other stuff. Does this sound like it would do what I want? I was planning on saving a bit and buying this all new but have found this camera and lenses used - all listed in very good condition. What would you all say about buying used at about 1/2 the cost of new? Better to save my pennies or take a chance? Is it realy a chance as long as everything is guarenteed to work? One lens is listed as being made in taiwan and the other and camera in Japan - is there is difference in quality as to where items are made?
Thanks very much for your time.
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 12:31 AM   #2
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Used lenses? No problem.

Used camera? Do you know and trust the person you're buying it from? Are you getting any kind of warranty with it?

As for the lenses, for Lacrosse, the 100-200 might not be long enough unless you'll be on the sidelines. I think you should check theSports & Action Photosforum to see what others are using. I'm presuming that these will not be night games. Otherwise it might not be fast enough either. For indoor sports, you should use a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 or better, but for hockey you might be able to get away with f/2.8. Chances are, neither the 100-200 or the 28-90 are that fast. And for the other stuff, the 28-90 might not be wide enough.

It's an interesting collection of gear, but it might not do what you want.
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 8:54 PM   #3
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Carson,

Like TCAV I'm not a big fan of used camera bodies. Lenses are more durable goods and thus carry much less risk.

For hockey, it depends on how poor the lighting is. If it's very bright you can use a 70-200 2.8 lens (sigma new = $850, canon new = $1100). If it's not bright then you need a prime - 100mm 2.0 ($370), 135mm 2.0 ($1000)

For lax you'll want a 300mm lens if you're shooting from the sidelines. If you have bright enough hockey rinks for the 70-200 2.8, you can add a 1.4x TC on it for the LAX.

The XTi will work nicely for sports - great focus system - it's probably the best entry level camera for sports work on the market.
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 10:22 PM   #4
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Hi

Thanks for the info - I am just starting with a real camera so I hope you don't mind my stupidity. So for sports I would need a 300 lens with a max aperature of f/2.0? How wide would I want for general family/vacation stuff?

Thanks again

Carson
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 10:41 PM   #5
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Carson wrote:
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... So for sports I would need a 300 lens with a max aperature of f/2.0? How wide would I want for general family/vacation stuff?
Actually, because Lacrosse is played on a large field outdoors, you'd need a zoom lens that goes out to 300mm.

Since hockey is played indoors, you'd need a fast lens with a large aperture ( f/2.0, maybe f/2.8 )in order to keep the shutter speed fast enough to avoid motion blur. but it doesn't need to be as long. Perhaps 200mm at the longest.

For general family/vacation shots, the kit lens (18-55mm) would be ok as long as the light is good or you use a flash.

So, you'll need three lenses: a long but not necessarily fastzoom telephoto lens (or a medium telephoto with a teleconverter) for the Lacrosse to cover the large outdoor field,a fast medium telephotolens (zoom is ok, but fast zooms are big, heavy, and expensive) for the Hockey to cover the indoor rink inless light, and a standard zoom everything else.
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 11:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info and your time. I should have explained that my kids play box lacrosse that is played inside the hockey rinks as soon as the ice comes out after hockey.

What brands of lenses would your recommend to look at and to stay away from? I see on ebay that you can get kits with a rebel XTi and other not Canon lenses. Any big danger of counterfit cameras and lenses through something like ebay?

Thanks

Carson
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 11:24 PM   #7
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Carson wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the info and your time. I should have explained that my kids play box lacrosse that is played inside the hockey rinks as soon as the ice comes out after hockey.

What brands of lenses would your recommend to look at and to stay away from? I see on ebay that you can get kits with a rebel XTi and other not Canon lenses. Any big danger of counterfit cameras and lenses through something like ebay?

Thanks

Carson
Hye.. Just my 2 cents worth here. I think there's not such thing as counterfit cameras. In fact if your talking about brand name cameras (Canon, Nikon,Sony....) the cameras are made in the same plant or even the same assembly line.

The problem that you might face is that the listing is not accurate (hidden damages, over use, etc..) and might not have any warranty from the original manufacturer.

I have nothing against eBay or online sales but you as the consumer have to be careful.

regarding the lenses.. Most people will recommend using the manufacturers lens and not 3rd party lenses. However nowadays it's not only the lens you want but how much you're willing to spend.

There are many good (sometimes better than manufacturer lenses) around in the market. the key is determine your budget and buy the best there is your can afford (meaning google, read review, ask people with experience - other words "Do your homework 1st")
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 6:44 AM   #8
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Carson wrote:
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Thanks for the info and your time. I should have explained that my kids play box lacrosse that is played inside the hockey rinks as soon as the ice comes out after hockey.
Ok, that's different. That makes things simpler ... and more complicated.

You won't need the extra reach for an outdoor Lacrosse field that a 300mm lens would give you, but you wouldn't be able to benefit from the light reflecting off the ice for the Hockey. You would need a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0, and there are no zoom lenses that have that large an aperture. Lenses with smaller apertures would require you to use slower shutter speeds, which will cause motion blur in most of your shots.

Lenses for the XTi that are long enough and fast enough are:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II $74.95
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM $283.97
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM $1,359.95
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM $339.95
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM $1,689.00
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM $389.95
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM $899.95
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L-II (USM) $659.95

Prices are approximate, and subject to transcription errors.

The problem is that, since these aren't zoom lenses, you'll need to position yourself where you can use the lens to get the shots you want. (That's called 'zooming with your feet'.) A shorter focal length lenswill probably only give you good shots if you're on the sidelines and if the action is happening right in front of you. A longer focal length lens might only give you good shots if you're in the stands, but might cover the whole rink/field.

I think the 100mm f/2 would bea good compromise, and it's not very expensive, comparitively speaking, but you should wait for JohnG's comments. The 100mm might give you a good view ofmost of therink/field, and the XTi gives you 10MP images that you might be able to crop to get the photos you want.

Carson wrote:
Quote:
What brands of lenses would your recommend to look at and to stay away from? I see on ebay that you can get kits with a rebel XTi and other not Canon lenses. Any big danger of counterfit cameras and lenses through something like ebay?
The kits that you typically see on eBay are genuine cameras accompanied by a bunch of cheap junk.

Canon (of course), Sigma, Tamron and Tokina all make very good lenses. Other brands aren't as good, butthey generally don't offer the large aperture lenses you're in the market for, so you're not likely to bump into any of them.
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 8:50 AM   #9
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
Lenses for the XTi that are long enough and fast enough are:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II $74.95
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM $283.97
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM $1,359.95
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM $339.95
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM $1,689.00
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM $389.95
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM $899.95
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L-II (USM) $659.95
I don't know about the long enough part. That depends on how close you could get and what shots you'd be willing to live with. ;-)

I don't know about the fast part either.

If you dig around, you'll find that the 85mm f/1.2L is a notoriously slow focusing lens. Even the newest version (with improved speed over the older version) is very slow compared to the 85mm f/1.8 (the 85mm f/1.8 is approximately twice as fast as the newest 85mm f/1.2L).

I think JohnG probably has the best idea:

Quote:
For hockey, it depends on how poor the lighting is. If it's very bright you can use a 70-200 2.8 lens (sigma new = $850, canon new = $1100). If it's not bright then you need a prime - 100mm 2.0 ($370), 135mm 2.0 ($1000)

For lax you'll want a 300mm lens if you're shooting from the sidelines. If you have bright enough hockey rinks for the 70-200 2.8, you can add a 1.4x TC on it for the LAX.
I'd be inclined to get a 70-200mm f/2.8 and try to use it for both sports.

If it's not bright enough for some rinks, you'd still have a lens for your outside sports and more, and you'd have a better idea of what focal length in a prime would work better from your vantage point if you decided to get another lens for sports later.

As for a camera body, I'd be inclined to get a used EOS-20D if I were going used versus new. It's going to have better build quality (body, mirror/shutter), viewfinder, control layout and frame rate compared to an entry level body.

It's also going to have ISO 3200 available (missing on the Xti), in case you needed it (or decided that the flexibility of a zoom at ISO 3200 was an acceptable tradeoff compared to a brighter prime in lower light, depending on the use for the images, and what vantage point you can shoot from, since the extra focal length may come in handy).

But, I'd make sure to buy a used body from a dealer with a good reputation and return policy, with a short term warranty on their gear. The better dealers are going to inspect the products they sell and fairly grade them.

I'd suggest http://www.keh.com

Look under Canon Digital (both bodies and camera outfits) and they usually the EOS-20D in stock used. Check often as inventory turns over pretty fast at times for popular items.

Also check the used gear at http://www.bhphotovideo.com for bargains.

From my perspective, the shutter is the most likely point of failure, and repair shoudn't be more than around $200 from reports I've seen (the last person I saw mention a 20D shutter failure said Canon charged $195 to fix it).

So, even if a $500 body breaks within a year and you spend money to get it fixed, you're probably still going to save money by going used if you buy one at a good price.

Of course, if budget permits, go new.

http://www.buydig.com still has some new EOS-20D bodies in stock at $799.

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=CNEOS20D

A Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX HSM in Excellent condition with hood and caps will run you around $650 to $725 used, depending on the exact version (with or without DG or Macro designations). If you don't mind gray market, http://www.sigma4less.com has it new for $779.95 right now (you don't get the extended 3 year service with the gray market lens, but Sigma still recognizes the 1 year warranty)

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Old Dec 3, 2007, 9:06 AM   #10
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BTW, Sigma just announced a new version of their 70-200mm f/2.8. But, pricing and availability are yet to come (so, it may be a while before it starts showing up on dealer shelves).

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/si...lenses_pr.html

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