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Old Feb 26, 2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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I'm hoping to purchase a DSLR in the next few weeks or so. For some time I had been planning on getting the XTi but with the recent announcement of the XSi I was wondering if that would make more sense to buy. I have about $1000 to spend on the camera and lens.

I plan on doing mostly urban/street photography as well as some concert shoots. My gut seems to tell me that it makes more sense to get the XTi but the IS lens sounds pretty nice. Also, if I wait until the XSi comes out would the XTi have a further drop in price?

Thanks for your help.
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Old Feb 26, 2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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You can buy the 18-55mm IS Lens separately now if you want to go with a different camera body like the XTi. Here's an example:

Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS Autofocus Lens at B&H for $174.95

It's starting to show up in the price search engines now, too.

Price Search for Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS Autofocus Lens

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Old Feb 26, 2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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fLthMsc wrote:
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I plan on doing mostly urban/street photography as well as some concert shoots. ...
For that, you'll need a fast lens (large maximum aperture, smaller f/number) for faster shutter speeds in lower light, and neither of these kit lenses are particularly fast. On a budget, you might be able to use the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM (~$230), but the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG (~$310), the Tamron SP 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD-IF(~$370), or the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF(~$400)would be better. If you want a stabilized lens, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (~$910) might work, but it screws up your budget.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 1:39 AM   #4
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1. Street Photography.

Get the 18-55 IS, lovely little zoom lens. Will do just fine for street photography. Just crank up the ISO a bit and you'll be fine. A lot of the time you'll be stopped down to f8 or so anyway for DOF. I'm not sure why TCav thinks 1 extra stop is going to help much, particularly when you lose so much by eliminating the 28-40mm (equivalent) section of available focal lengths.

On the other hand if you like street photography (as I do) then IMO you're better off skipping zoom lenses altogether and go for a nice fast prime. Something like the Canon 28mm f1.8 or Sigma 30mm f1.4. HCB used a 50mm prime for about 90% of his work. (28*1.6=45 and 30*1.6=48 ) So both of those lenses will do just fine. I used the 28mm f1.8 for a few years with my Canon 20D and loved it.

OTOH. Some street photographers prefer to go wider to around 35mm (35/1.6 = 22mm) or even 28mm. (28/1.6 = 18mm) If you think that will be more your style then I would recommend skipping the Canon altogether and getting a Sigma DP1 when it comes out in a couple of months. (Due End March apparently.) It's a very eagerly awaited little camera by the street/rangefinder community.

http://www.sigma-dp1.com/

And one more item for consideration; you might think about a Canon G9 for street photography too instead of the DSLR. Also highly regarded for that sort of thing.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...G9-Japan.shtml

A fabulous tip is to mount a Voigtlander-Cosina 35mm optical viewfinder in the flash shoe, so that for wide-angle shots you don't need to use the LCD.


2. Concert photography.

Taking pictures in the dark is a difficult proposition. Position is the most critical thing, and if you are an audience member instead of an official photographer my advice would simply be that you not bother about any special equipment and make do with whatever you have - without a good helping of luck your results are probably not going to be great however much you spend. The problem is that you will often want fast lenses. You can't control your distance from stage, so you want a range of fast lenses. Expensive. Fast zoom lenses are very LARGE and expensive. Hence, forget about special equipment, crank up your ISO to the max and use whatever you have and hope to get lucky. Without the ability to roam free and access all areas your opportunities are very limited anyway.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 9:12 AM   #5
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peripatetic wrote:
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I'm not sure why TCav thinks 1 extra stop is going to help much, particularly when you lose so much by eliminating the 28-40mm (equivalent) section of available focal lengths.
One f-stop is better than nothing, and I was just pointing out that the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM is faster and not a lot more expensive than the kit lenses, but there were better choices that offered 2+ stops, and I listed them. And as to focal length, I was interpreting the OP's reference to "urban/street photography" as "environmental portraits", where the "28-40mm (equivalent) section of available focal lengths" is of little value. But if by "urban/street photography", the OP meant cityscapes then I agree with you.

And yes, a fast prime would certainly be a very good choice, but certainly to supplement a kit lens (or suitable substitute), not to replace it.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 10:58 AM   #6
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Hmm, ok. Street photography is kind-of a recognized genre.

Typically it's about people in the urban environment. 50mm (or equivalent) is about as long as one normally goes. It's almost regarded as telephoto! 35mm is most common and 28mm about as common as 50. Some people prefer 21/25.

Any kind of camera can work, but rangefinders are favoured. Leicas obviously, but any of the others too. As there are not many digital rangefinders a lot of street photography is still done with film.

Using wide angle lenses and zone focusing is very common with smaller apertures to get good DOF and allow you to shoot fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_photography

Quote:
Classic practitioners of street photography include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Alfred Eisenstaedt, W. Eugene Smith, William Eggleston, BrassaŃ—, Willy Ronis, Robert Doisneau and Garry Winogrand.
A great place for some modern exponents...

http://www.in-public.com/

And plenty of others too of course, including many of the Magnum photographers who are now "artists" as much as they are photojournalists. Martin Parr obviously and many others at Magnum too, though certainly not the majority. And there are some famous modern photographers who do street photography for fun - Joel Meyerowitz springs to mind.

Anyway zooms are not common as a rule, and using telephoto lenses is very much frowned upon. Street photographers are not spies and people are not wildlife; if you want to get close to someone you walk up to them.

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