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Old Jun 26, 2008, 5:00 PM   #1
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Hi

I currently have a powershot g3 but have decided it's about time I upgraded to a Dslr (that and my husband's agreed to give me some money towards it)... I've done lots of research into cameras and have decided that I really like the 450d... But I just don't know what lenses to go with...

I mainly do macro (flowers, insects etc.) and landscape photography - and my husband thinks my talent lies in the macro sphere - but do occasionally take portraits of my small niece and cats, and if he's unlucky my husband!!!

So what lenses should I get - my budget is quite limited at the moment - my husband is giving me about £500 which will pay for the body and possibly also the basic 18-55mm lens kit. I probably have about £150-200 of my own to play with so which lens(es) should I go for? SHould I get the kit lens and a separate macro (and if so which one)? Will these be sufficient for my needs at the moment as I'm going to Yosemite this summer so am expecting a bit of a photographic feast!!!

Grateful for any advice you can give me...

Nicky


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Old Jun 26, 2008, 5:48 PM   #2
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The kit lens should do well for landscapes.

Macro is a very personal thing. Different people do it different ways. Since you already have some experience with Macrophotography, can you check the EXIF data in some of your current macro shots, and see what focal length they were shot at?

And can you post some examples?
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 11:27 PM   #3
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The kit lens is a good idea - usually decent quality for not much money.

As far as macro - it depends on your subject. I take lots of macros but use Pentax. I'm assuming that Canon's kit lens is similar in its capabilities. If you are looking to take pictures of whole flowers, then the kit lens would probably work fairly well. If you are talking about taking pictures of insects or tiny parts of flowers, you will need to get closer focusing than the kit lens will allow. There are several ways of doing that.

One popular way is using extension tubes - they aren't that expensive, the images will be as sharp as the lens you are using is capable of, but you lose light so you'd need to use slower shutter speeds, and you also use infinity focus (you'd have to take the extension tube off to focus on something farther away).

Another way is to get dioper filters/lenses that attach on the front of your lens, just like a filter does. You won't lose light, but you are adding another piece of glass between the sensor and the subject so there may be some softness/loss of sharpness, along with the possibility of flare under certain lighting conditions. You also lose infinity focus with it on the lens. I used one on a really sharp lens and didn't notice much problem, but got tired of constantly putting one on and taking it off.

The third way is to get a dedicated macro lens. It's by far the most expensive way, but would give you infinity focus without removing anything. Most macro lenses are very sharp also. A lot of macro lenses are around 100mm - this allows you to still get 1:1 pictures without getting too close to things that might sting.

My suggestion would be to get the camera and the kit lens, reserving enough money to spend on another lens, but don't get it right away.Play with the kit lens and see what it's limitations are. Then decide on additional lenses once you know what you miss. You might decide that you really want something longer than the kit lens for your trip to Yosemite and that it would make sense to get a set of extension tubes and a tele zoom instead of a dedicated macro lens. Or you might be completely happy with the kit lens and decide the macro lens makes the most sense. The best thing about dSLR cameras is that you DON'T have to get everything at once!
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 1:53 PM   #4
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That's really helpful - thanks guys... particularly the advice to wait before getting a second lens

I'd love to post some details of my shots - but unfortunately I don't have any on the computer I'm currently user as they are kept on a separate storage drive that I can't access at the moment - but shall do as soon as I can...
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 2:30 PM   #5
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As the other's said, the kit lens will work just fine for either until you want something better and more specialised. It can focus relatively close, something like 25cm according to what is printed on the lens, but I found it can go a bit closer under some circumstances.

From the spec's, the Canon 60mm Macro seems great, since it has a 5:1 macro ratio (enlarge the subject 5 times)
That costs about half of what the camera and kit lens costs.

Then for landscapes, the best would seem to be the Canon 10 - 22mm, which is the widest, which costs a little more than the camera and the included kit lens.

If you are always going to shoot under decent light and want something better than the kit lens for macro, you could get the Tamron F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro, which is 1:2, not great, but better than the kit lens, and you can use it from further away with the longer focal length. Thats a cheapy and not great, but might be worth the look.
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 3:17 PM   #6
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Right - I've found some of my images and the EXIF data... focal length ranges from 12.69mm to 17.59mm to 28.81mm...



Sample photos attached...






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Old Jun 27, 2008, 4:25 PM   #7
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The photos you posted don't have the EXIF data that I was hopingwould include thefocal length they were shot at.

Do you have others where the EXIF data might be intact, or can you check the EXIF data to get that info yourself?
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 4:46 PM   #8
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I've posted the focal length above the photos... what else do you want to know? :-)


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Old Jun 27, 2008, 7:06 PM   #9
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Very nice pictures, and both of these should be well within the capability of a kit lens (I know the Pentax kit lens would do this, and I've read that the new Canon kit lens is very similar in capabilities). You really wouldn't need anything else such as a dioper or extension tube since it's a fairly large flower - a tiny flower is another matter.

With macro you can either use a shorter lens, like a 50mm macro, get greater depth of field but have to get very close to your subject to get 1:1 (for instance, a 1 cm object would cover 1 cm on the sensor). A 100mm macrolens allows you to get the same 1:1 capability but would let you be a bit further away, with a 200mm macro lens allowing you to stand off either further. The downside is the depth of field gets smaller as the focal length increases, so you have to use smaller and smaller apertures (which means bigger and bigger f: numbers. I often use f11 or f16).

When it comes to landscape - are you more of a wide-vista type of person or a detail person? After seeing these macros and thinking about your upcoming trip to Yosemite, if you are a detail type of person something longer than the kit lens would be very useful. If you are a really wide vista person, then you might want something wider. And the kit lens would probably work well for most of your macros at the moment. Definitely think you should buy the kit lens only at first, use it in all kinds of situations for the first couple of weeks before you decide on something else.
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 10:50 PM   #10
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To make these photos using a Canon 450D, you'd need a 38.5mm, a 53.5mm and an 87.5mm focal length. The first two are within the zoom range of the kit lens.

I was hoping to also get exposure info from the EXIF data (aperture, shutter speed, ISO setting) to see if the kit lens could fill in as far as aperture is concerned. The lens in your G3 is fairly fast, with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 at its shortest focal length, and f/3.0 at it's longest. The kit lens on the 450D is fairly dim, comparatively speaking. That would require considerably longer shutter speeds and/or higher ISO settings to get the same shots. And the smaller aperture of the 450D'skit lens may give very different depth of field from what you're accustomed to.

The 450D with the kit lens will do what you want, but it will probably require you to change your technique in order to get the same results.

The Canon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 or the 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 might be closer to what you've been using, except their minimum focus distance is 50cm, which isn't as close as the lens in your G3 in MACRO mode.
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