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Old May 15, 2005, 11:42 AM   #11
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the kit lens is really a quite capable lens for the money you will pay on it.. i would suggest you start off with the kit lens.. use that combination for a few months and then reassess what your needs are.. that you will prevent you from spending alot of money on a lens right now that may not suit your needs.. and in a few months you will be in a better place to make the correct lens decision based on what kind of shots you find yourself taking..

if you know right now that you need more range than is provided by the 18-55 and have your heart set on getting another lens.. then i might suggest to you sigma's excellent little 18-125.. it is a remarkably sharp lens for its price range and i have seen some excellent results from it.. it also gives you a very flexible zoom range to work with.. if you went this way, the kit lens would not be necessary, so buy your camera body only, and this lens can be had for about 260 or 160 over the kit price..

here are some examples from it.. remember these are not all pro photos so browse through it to find some good ones.. http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/1...5-56_dc_if_asp

as for flash.. my recommendation is the sigma 500 dg super.. i have this for my 20d and absolutely love it... it has all of the features, including wireless master and slave capabilities,of the canon 550ex, for a price less than the 420ex.. what a deal!! this baby can be had for a litttle under 200USD..

enjoy, dustin
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Old May 16, 2005, 1:10 PM   #12
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Personally,with the D70 getting the 2004 Camera of the Year award, 3 FPS, 0 shutter lag time, and paid only $750 on Ebay for a demo model, without any lenses. Didn't like the stock lense anyway. Got a Tamron 17-35 2.8 and Tamron 6.3 200-500. Now just need a good macro. Still gathering info on that.
I found a good url for the D70 compared to a couple Cannon models.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond70/ Worth a look.
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Old May 16, 2005, 2:27 PM   #13
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First of let me say this is the best place best forum on the web!

So I have nailed it to canon 20D with canon 17-85 lens to begin with. I need a good sharp lens which I can be really sure of so I cannot blame the lens if I don't get a good picture!

Sigma etc are all good choices I guess but there are so many differing opinions out there on these where as the canon was consitently rated high by all except ofcource the price factor.

I need help to choose other accessories: I specifically need help on

1. memory cards- 1GB and over. Is there a difference between the Pro labeled vs regular, fast vs regular. Exact item specification would help.

2. Lens hood, cleaning kit

3. filters- circular polarizer/ UV filter- do I need them to start with?

4. Extra battery- which one? one more of the regular or the hand grip one?

5. AC adapter- Does this come with the camera so I can use it while learning?



Also I see that the canon with 17-85 kit is costing 1899 after rebate at ritz camera store and the body only for $ 1249. That makes the cost of the lens $650 but the lens only is available for $599 at many places like B&H and amazon which would make it combined purchase $1849. I thought the kits are supposed to be a better deal! Please advise if there is a difference in the lens ( canon 17-85 IS) which comes with the kit Vs buying the same standalone. I know its on 50 bucks difference but just need to make sure there is no quality difference out there.

I am ready to order this at the local ritz store this week. Yipee!

Thanks ya all for the help.


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Old May 16, 2005, 2:53 PM   #14
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Well, I'll take a stab at some of your questions:
Quote:
1. memory cards- 1GB and over. Is there a difference between the Pro labeled vs regular, fast vs regular. Exact item specification would help.
I would recommend Lexar 80x, Sandisk Ultra II or Ultra Extreme as they all have lifetime warranties. Here is really the best place to see the speeds of the various disks.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

Personally I would recommend 2 CF cards rather than 1 - if you will shoot primarily jpeg then get 2 1gb cards. If you shoot primarily RAW then get 2 2gb cards. I just don't like the idea of having one single 4gb card with everything on it - kind of a safety net.

Quote:
2. Lens hood, cleaning kit
Canon's site should tell you what hood model to get for your lense (I don't have it so I don't know if it comes with it). For a cleaning kit - anyone should do but I would stick with the cloth as much as possible (rather than using the cleaning fluid). Especially if you get coated filters, you can't use any old cleaning solution on them. For the most part I use just the cloth or water if absolutely necessary.
Quote:
3. filters- circular polarizer/ UV filter- do I need them to start with?
Whether you use a UV filter or not for lense protection is a matter of personal taste - some people here (myself included) have a high quality one on every lense out of concern we may damage the lense. Other people believe any additional filter reduces overall picture quality (since many lenses today have a coating which gives you the UV benefit). I personally believe you should use a high-quality filter - such as Hoya or B+W multicoated - 1. because I believe that you shouldn't put a $15 piece of glass over a $650 lense but 2. if I'm going to damage the front of my lense I would prefer it's a $50 filter and not a $650 lense. I am also a big fan of Circular Polarizers - I think they're absolutely essential for good landscape shots. Again, though I would go for a high quality multi-coated from Hoya or B+H. www.2filter.com has outstanding prices on filters and they're a great company - worth noting is the fact that the price will drop when you add it to your basket - so do that before you judge whether their prices are competitive.

Quote:
4. Extra battery- which one? one more of the regular or the hand grip one?
No opinion - I don't have a spare (probably should)


Quote:
5. AC adapter- Does this come with the camera so I can use it while learning?
No AC adapter comes with the camera. But, it has a tremendous battery life so I wouldn't worry about that while you're learning - I honestly don't think it's an issue.



Quote:
Also I see that the canon with 17-85 kit is costing 1899 after rebate at ritz camera store and the body only for $ 1249. That makes the cost of the lens $650 but the lens only is available for $599 at many places like B&H and amazon which would make it combined purchase $1849. I thought the kits are supposed to be a better deal! Please advise if there is a difference in the lens ( canon 17-85 IS) which comes with the kit Vs buying the same standalone. I know its on 50 bucks difference but just need to make sure there is no quality difference out there.
There is no difference between a 17-85 bought separately or one bought in a kit. From my personal research, Ritz always seems to charge closer to actual MSRP - that is they don't provide much ofa discount - that is why their price is higher than what you are seeing at B&H. Here's where you need to decide if you feel comfortable with mail order or whether you need a brick-and-mortar store to deal with. I have never had a problem with B&H and I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people who do. Also when comparing prices - don't forget shipping from the on-line place vs. tax from the brick and mortar. Tax on a $1800 purchase could be $140 or so compared to $30 shipping.

Good luck - I'm sure you'll love the camera and it looks like you're making sensible decisions about what to buy (i.e. not going overboard). Enjoy!!
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Old May 16, 2005, 4:02 PM   #15
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i agree with john on all points...

if you are not afraid of mail order, b&h is the place to go.. i have used them for all my photographic purchases and they have always gave me excellent service and fast shipping.. as john mentioned, you save quite a bit of money on shipping vs tax..

enjoy your new kit, dustin
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Old May 16, 2005, 4:34 PM   #16
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Is that Canon 17-85 thef/4-5.6 version? If so, that is a relatively slow lens and may not be best for the indoor photography you mentioned earlier.

Others may want to comment with experience with the 20D and this lens.



Bob


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Old May 16, 2005, 4:35 PM   #17
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Thanks for the tips. I was about ready to order but here I go again on the lens choice- Is 17-85 mm a good choice for all in one lens?

I was looking for a hood for this lens and came across this review

http://www.enotalone.com/photo/B0002Y5WXO.html

which really upset me since I am going to spend $650 on it. Should I go for the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 or a similar one from sigma instead?

I do want to take good portraits during daylight and also want a wide angle for landscape. I liked the wide angle of canon but is F2.8 across the entire zoom that important. ...Please advice..

Has anyone used both?




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Old May 16, 2005, 5:09 PM   #18
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the 17-85 4-5.6 is relatively slow.. but then again it is image stabilized, of the 3rd generation, so it will give you sharp handhold pictures equivelent to 3 stops of light faster.. now keep in mind that it will not help you capture fast moving subjects better.. but will be fine for portraits and landscapes.. please take all subjective reviews with a grain of salt, you never know who is making the review.. in summary, the 17-85 is a wonderful lens, albeit expensive, and is more than sharp enough for any purposes you might have, with a very usable zoom range as well..

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"regards, dustin
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Old May 16, 2005, 5:18 PM   #19
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WannabePro wrote:
Quote:
Should I go for the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 or a similar one from sigma instead?

I do want to take good portraits during daylight and also want a wide angle for landscape. I liked the wide angle of canon but is F2.8 across the entire zoom that important. ...Please advice..
Read my earlier posts in this thread where I discussed shooting indoors without a flash (which was one of your desires):

Quote:
For indoor use without a flash, you'll want a bright lens. This means f/2.8 or better (lower f/stop numbers) throughout the focal range. For lower light, some users go with f/1.4, f/1.8 and f/2.0 prime lenses (non zoom). This is because f/2.0 is twice as bright as f/2.8. f/1.4 is four times as bright as f/2.8 (and f/2.8is typically the brightest you find in a zoom lens).
Again, personally, I'd use a flash at parties, etc. You'll probably end up wanting to invest in a decent flash anyway at some point.

Also, keep in mind that a zoom lens is going to be larger and heavier as you get into brighter lenses. For indoor use in existing light, I'd be inclined to go with fast primes when appropriate. Regardless of the "walk around" lens you pick, I'd get a 50mm f/1.8. This lens is under $100.00. The build quality stinks but it does give you more than a stop over an f/2.8.

Even if you shoot witha cheap lens like the 50mm f/1.8prime at f/2.8, it will be sharper than a zoom at f/2.8 since it's stopped down one stop (as well as being a simpler lens design compared to a zoom).

Most lenses are a bit soft shooting at wide open apertures. So, stopping down 1 or 2 stops can increase sharpness (and Depth of Field) a bit.

3 or 4 stops is usuallyeven better for sharpness. But, but you won't have this luxury in low light without a flash or tripod (and a tripod won't help for moving subjects, and shutter speeds would be too slow to prevent motion blur if you stop down much with a bright lens in existing light).

You may need something wider than a 50mm (considering the 1.6x crop factor), if you *really* want to shoot existing light much. But, I'd still get the 50mm anyway. I've got an 85mm f/2.0 (MF) Nikkor I use on a film body that's great in somelow light conditions (and this is about the same angle of view get with a 50mm onmost DSLR bodies).

Make sure to actually try out lenses you buy in a store. Then, you'll get a better idea of how much trouble it's going to be lugging them around (as well as a better feel for the angle of view each focal length provides).

Anything you buy is going to be a compromise (size, weight, cost, performance), and each individual will need to decide for themselves what is appropriate for their needs. Sure, if it were me, I'd also geta brighter zoom if budget allowed (even if my "walk around" lens wasn't as bright, it could come in handy for other conditions).

But, you may not want to lug a larger and heavier lens around (and you maynotreally need one either).

You may even want to go with the lower pricedkit tobegin with. Then, use it a while to get a better understanding of what your real needs are (and how much you are willing to tolerate in the way of size, weight and cost to get the performance you need from lenses).

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Old May 16, 2005, 7:41 PM   #20
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Thanks JimC. Yes absolutely, based on your earlier advice i am also getting the 50mm f1.8 prime. I should have mentioned that.

So its really 2 lenses I am buying prime and 17-85mm. Prime for indoor low light and 17-85 for landscapes and portraits. Will that work? i should be able to take low light bday pics with the prime right? as for the other party stuff, I am going to try this prime with existing flash before I buy an external flash.

Ok I probably should recap the requirements ( these probably changed along the way :rollfor my sake at least:

1. be able to take pictures indoor like bday parties etc with the natural colors and not like the one you get with p/s- bright shiny face with black background. I would to get details of things alongwith natural skin tone.

2. Kids playing indoor and outdoor and be able to freeze their motion ( not sport just regular play for now). I should be at a reasonable distance to get candid shots hence the zoom requirement.

3. Posed portraits- individual / small groups

4. landscapes so need wide ( 28mm equivalent of 35mm)

1, 3- I was going to do with the prime. 2, 4 - with 17-85.

Will this work?

After some experience I was going to buy a bright long zoom lens & external flash.

If i have a tough time deciding still, I might just go with the kit lens ( 17-55mm) and prime for now per your suggestion. It will only be $100 mistake if at all.

And Ithought that selecting the camera was tough!
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