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Old Jun 25, 2008, 10:21 PM   #21
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The Nikon 18-135 qualifies as a superzoom and suffers from many of the same problems common to superzooms. Geometric distortion is pretty bad, as is vignetting. See http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/993/cat/13
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 1:09 AM   #22
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I think that if you are making the choice to go DSLR you want to take some decent photos. I would rather have a camera that has the potential to expand with my shooting and photo knowledge (as I will learn). Remember your kids will grow older andhopefully will continue to play sports and move to upper levelswhich of course you will want to take photos of as well..
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 10:27 AM   #23
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I guess I was hoping that rather than have to buy a camera with two lenses, I can get a multi-purpose lens, if there issuch a thing,with the housing and then buy a longer lens down the road.

The way it looks right now...and this may change by my next post....is either the nikon d80 with 135mm lens at sams club for $1000 or the Canon 40d with 135 mm lens @ costco for 1150.00

Strictly a coincidence that they are both at big box stores, but they are both about the best prices around with a lens, even online. I looked at the cameras yesterday and I have concerns that the 40dis still too much camera for me, but the price may be worth it.

I really like the xsi's price point, but it by the time you by a longer lens it comes out closer to the 40 d anyways. Hence the post about the lens usage. It will not support ISO 3200 anyways, which is a criteria for night time sports.

I can't help but wonder if my learning curve would prevent me from capturing a decent shot at ISO 3200 anyways though without too much noise...

Anyways, any input on my choices would be much appreciated.

I've done so much research I'm beginning to get "PARALYSIS THROUGH ANALYSIS"


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Old Jun 26, 2008, 10:44 AM   #24
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If your budget permits, I'd go with the 40D for sports between those two models. It's going to have a better Autofocus System, better build quality, faster frame rates, lower noise levels at higher ISO speeds, and more compared to that Nikon.

The Canon 28-135mm IS lens (I assume that's the one Costco has with it) is not going to be suitable for most sports though (it's 135mm end is not long enough for most outdoor sports, and it's not bright enough for low light sports), and depending on what you're shooting, you may find that it's 28mm is not wide enough either, since it would give you the same angle of view that you'd have using a 45mm lens on a 35mm camera (your lenses will appear to be around 1.6x times as long on a Canon model using an APS-C size sensor).

That's why most kit lenses start out at around 18mm, since you can only back up so far to get what you want into the frame. Some users are OK with a lens starting out at 28mm... But, you may find it a bit limiting in tighter quarters (indoor shots of a group of family members, etc.; as well as for outdoor shots where you may want a wider angle of view).

So, make sure to leave room in your budget for suitable lenses for what you want to shoot (both walk around lenses, and lenses suitable for sports).


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Old Jun 26, 2008, 11:13 AM   #25
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It does like like that particular Canon kit is a bargain right now though (the 28-135mm IS Lens is only adding $190 to the cost of a 40D kit at B&H, compared to the body only price). So, I would take that part into consideration if you're not going to shoot much in tighter quarters. You could always get a wider lens later if you need one for anything, and you probably wouldn't lose much (if anything) selling it since it's priced so low in a 40D kit. See this search for the 40D at B&H for pricing examples with and without it:

Canon 40D listings at B&H

I'd still make sure to budget something for a longer lens suitable for sports though (a zoom reaching out to around 300mm for your daytime games would be a good idea).

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Old Jun 26, 2008, 11:43 AM   #26
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Thanks. So it looks as though this could be a good "starter package" for me, but will need to start looking for a larger lens.

How important is it for the smaller lenses (18mm) to be IS or can I save a few dollars by buying a lens non IS for the canon?

Also, when looking for a larger lens, it looks like the fixed length lenses are a little cheaper route to go. Any value in going that way?

btw-costco package includes 4g card as well.


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Old Jun 26, 2008, 12:00 PM   #27
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Quote:
How important is it for the smaller lenses (18mm) to be IS or can I save a few dollars by buying a lens non IS for the canon?
In and of itself, IS isn't important in shorter focal lengths for most people. But you simply can't focus in on that one attribute. For example the new 18-55 IS kit lens is a better lens than the old one - not because of the IS (although it's a bonus) but it is optically better performing. So it isn't a matter of whether a lens has IS or not you need to look at lenses as a whole.

Quote:
Also, when looking for a larger lens, it looks like the fixed length lenses are a little cheaper route to go. Any value in going that way?
Not always true. A 400mm 2.8 lens costs $7000. Of course there is no zoom lens that goes to 400mm and retains 2.8. You always have to be careful when comparing lenses - they are very rarely apples-to-apples. But, in general, if a zoom and prime are of comparable quality the prime will be less expensive - it takes less parts and less engineering than a comparable zoom. Especially when looking at super-telephoto lenses the question becomes - for what you are shooting, do you need zoom or not? It's very dangerous to talk in generalities about "should I buy a prime or zooms" - lenses should be purchased based upon your specific needs and your specific shooting style. With that in mind, what lenses were you considering and for what purpose would you use them?
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 12:21 PM   #28
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Thanks. Morea general question I guess. I don't really have any specific lenses in mind.

It's obvious that the hobby/profession of photography is complicated and trying to simplifiy it in my terms isn't helping any.

To be quite honest, I am probably grabbing only a fraction of the knowledge. You are kind of speaking a language that I don't understand. In time I will learn the language.I know that ultimately it will come down to time behind the camera to help my learning curve.

As mentioned before, its just a large investment to front and then learn. To reference another post: It's like buying a car and then learning how to drive.

I also realize that I could be potentially spending much more and still not get the results I want, so I thank all of you for your help on keeping me straight.

You've all given me great advice. I can't help but wonder if I need to spend the money on a 2.8 lens to take photos at ISO 3200 when I have so much to learn first.

Guess I have til football season to figure it out.
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 12:49 PM   #29
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robertpilote wrote:
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You've all given me great advice. I can't help but wonder if I need to spend the money on a 2.8 lens to take photos at ISO 3200 when I have so much to learn first.
You're going to need a lens capable of maintaining f/2.8 for the night games, unless you want a lot of blurry photos when the players are moving.

To put things into perspective, most zooms are down to a widest available aperture of f/5.6 by the time you zoom in much with them. f/2.8 is exactly 4 times as bright as f/5.6, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for a given lighting and ISO speed.

You need a bright lens like that (with f/2.8 available, which is capable of letting through more light so that you can expose the image faster), as well as higher ISO speeds (each time you double the ISO speed, a camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture).

Maybe lighting will be good enough to get some keepers at ISO 1600 instead (using an f/2.8 lens). If so, that's a bonus of using a brighter lens. But, I wouldn't count on it (it's better to have the higher ISO speeds available if you need them when shooting in lower light). Noise is often better than blur. ;-)

If the night games are not as important to you, there are less expensive options.

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Old Jun 26, 2008, 1:32 PM   #30
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JimC wrote:
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Maybe lighting will be good enough to get some keepers at ISO 1600 instead (using an f/2.8 lens). If so, that's a bonus of using a brighter lens. But, I wouldn't count on it (it's better to have the higher ISO speeds available if you need them when shooting in lower light). Noise is often better than blur. ;-).
In other words, if your budget won't permit both a camera with ISO 3200, and a brighter f/2.8 lens for the night games, I'd opt for the brighter lens instead.

You'll have a higher percentage of keepers without blur if the light is relatively low (and it probably will be) using the brighter f/2.8 lens at ISO 1600; versus trying to use a dimmer zoom with only f/5.6 available at ISO 3200. The brighter glass is more important.

A dimmer lens also means that the camera's Autofocus Sensors won't be able to see as well for focusing (so, an f/5.6 lens is not a very good idea for shooting moving subjects in low light, even without shutter speed considerations).

But, if budget permits, get both a bright lens, and a camera with a usable ISO 3200 (and the 40D would be a better bet for that compared to the D80). You don't have to use ISO 3200 if lighting permits using a lower ISO speed for higher quality images. But, it's there if you need it when you have a camera with that ability.

You may also find it can come in handy for other types of images (indoor plays, dance recitals, or anywhere that a flash is not practical when shooting non-stationary subjects). I'm not much of a sports shooter. JohnG is the expert in that area. But, I would not buy a camera without ISO 3200. I use it too often for things like live music in dimly lit restaurants. It's all a matter of balance (shutter speeds needed to reduce the number of photos with blur, versus the extra noise you'll have using a higher ISO speed), and sometimes that balance shifts in favor of more noise to get more keepers that aren't blurry. I was shooting images at even higher ISO speeds trying to get some keepers of a band playing in a dimly lit bar a few weeks ago, shooting at very slow shutter speeds, despite using a brighter lens.

Lighting is not something you will always have control over. So, you either make the best of what you have (and a bright lens on a camera with higher usable ISO speeds is desirable for lower light), trying to time your photos when the least amount of movement is occuring for a higher percentage of keepers, or just don't take photos in those conditions. Given a choice, I'd get equipment that's going to give you more options for tougher conditions if budget permits.

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