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swiftaw
Dec 30, 2005, 07:55 AM
One of my new years resolutions is to do more activities, rather than sitting around watching TV all the time. I have already been interested in photography and already own a Canon Film SLR, and so I have decided to buy a digital SLR with money I got for christmas. I have pretty much decided that I am going to get the Digital Rebel XT / 350D as it is in the right price range (as opposed to the the 20D) and I prefer the Canon as I already have a nice Canon EF 75-300 lens that I use for long range shots on my film SLR.

So, I have a couple of questions for those in the know. (Yes, I know I should probably ask these at dpreview but I figured I would try here first)

1) I have heard that the stock lens is a little on the weak side, would people recommend I just buy the body and get a different lens?

2) What lens would people suggest for a good general purpose lens? (preferably a Canon) lens?

3) Aesthetically, which is better, the silver or black body?

Also, FYI, Canon seems to be doing a good rebate scheme right now, the more products you buy the bigger the rebate gets on each product. For example, buy a Digital Rebel XT and get a rebate of $75, but if you also buy a lens, you get a rebate of $150 on the Digital Rebel XT, plus a rebate on the lens.



sjl
Dec 30, 2005, 11:50 PM
... and I prefer the Canon as I already have a nice Canon EF 75-300 lens that I use for long range shots on my film SLR.
...
1) I have heard that the stock lens is a little on the weak side, would people recommend I just buy the body and get a different lens?

2) What lens would people suggest for a good general purpose lens? (preferably a Canon) lens?

3) Aesthetically, which is better, the silver or black body?

To the first two: depends on how much you want to spend. The 17-85mm is a lens I'm satisfied with; it does reasonable wide angle shots (although I had to go right to the back of the grandstand to get all of the MCG oval in a single shot - but that's an extreme case where the 10-22 would have been a better fit), and it overlaps nicely with your 75-300. If you decide to go that way, the 18-55 is well and truly of no use to you. (I know that Canon in Australia won't sell the 350D without the 18-55; pro shops get around that by holding the 18-55 in stock and selling them with the 20D bodies to unsuspecting customers.) If you don't have the extra money for a good lens, the bundled 18-55 isn't a bad lens for the price -- just not as good optically as others you can get instead.

To the third: whatever you prefer. They're functionally identical, so there's really nothing to it apart from personal preference. It may also be a question of what the store has in stock, and whether you're prepared to wait for your choice.

puckhead193
Dec 31, 2005, 12:06 AM
well i can answer the 3rd question.... I like black... its looks more professional then carrying around a silver camera.... but that's me... also like the above poster said, you might be limited to what the store has

efoto
Dec 31, 2005, 12:10 AM
I would suggest saving the funds needed to purchase the 18-55 and get a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=284399&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation). I thought this lens was far to plasticy when I first tried it out but it is a sweet lens at a great price (relatively speaking ;) ).

Your third point is completely personal. I find the black body to exude a bit more professionalism while the silver looks a bit more punkish....but to each his/her own. I also think that Canon's white lenses are a bit showy, though I wouldn't complain if given one....that stated simply so you realize my point of view, standard black is just that....standard. It won't be highly noticed which I prefer.

JW8725
Dec 31, 2005, 09:21 AM
I use my 350D with pride for my business. However there is a rumor that Canon will be bringing out a revised version in the spring?? Anyone else hear that??

Dark
Dec 31, 2005, 04:06 PM
I use my 350D with pride for my business. However there is a rumor that Canon will be bringing out a revised version in the spring?? Anyone else hear that??

I doubt it. The XT is fairly new.

puckhead193
Dec 31, 2005, 04:14 PM
if your looking to purchase in a package with mult. lens i would recommend Cameta Camera. Google it, I bought from their actual store in NY and i'm going to buy all my photographic needs from their... i'm very happy with my Nikon 8800

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 13, 2006, 09:49 PM
Late to the dance here, but here it goes...

The kit lens is not the best out there. But many of my customers are very happy with it. The recommendation of the Tamron 28-75 2.8 is spot on. A very sharp lens at great price.

Body color. That is a personal choice. The popular opinion is that black bodies don't attract attention as much as silver bodies do.

On the XT however it goes a bit deeper. The silver body is smoother feeling, while the black body has some texture to it.

I use my 350D with pride for my business. However there is a rumor that Canon will be bringing out a revised version in the spring?? Anyone else hear that??

As said, with this camera being fairly new, I doubt it. At the PMA photo show in Feb 06, I expect that we will see a replacement to the 20D. If the XT is to be replaced I think it will be announced at Photokina in the Fall.

if your looking to purchase in a package with mult. lens i would recommend Cameta Camera. Google it, I bought from their actual store in NY and i'm going to buy all my photographic needs from their... i'm very happy with my Nikon 8800

Working for a camera shop, I would encourage buying locally. At least here in the DC the shop I work for has prices that are competitive with the main line shops on the web.

As a service for our customers, we do not charge a handling charge to ship something out for warranty repairs. We also try to assist in getting rebates paid. We are there for you when you hit a road block. And in extreme cases of a "lemon" that has gone back a few times for repair, I have seen us do our best to work with the manufacture to get things right.

Frank (Atlanta)
Jan 14, 2006, 10:34 AM
Chip-

I wish I had a store like yours near me. I'd gladly pay a premium for service - help, advice, support when there's problems, taking care of repair/warranty work and helping with rebates.

I bought a bit of kit about a year ago from my local shop and needed help with a small problem and an unrelated rebate issue. Shop didn't do a darn thing to help. Gave them another try when I went to get my D2x...they couldn't even explain the feature set to me. So...I buy off the internet now...

I wish, however, there were a local store I could go to get advice, hang-out and learn, etc. - again, I'd gladly pay a premium for service.

Glad to hear you all provide great service - those are the stores that will survive. We need to support these types of stores.

Frank

amin
Jan 15, 2006, 07:25 PM
The kit lens is a versatile, good lens for the money in my opinion. I don't use it much now that I have a dedicated wide angle lens (Canon 10-22mm), but it served me well and still sees some use when I want to travel light.

For a general purpose lens, it all depends on your style (primes or zooms, wide or long) and budget. The Canon 17-85mm IS is a good choice. If you have the kit lens, the 28-135 IS is another good choice. The newer 24-135 f/4 IS is a better one, for much more money. If I could only have one lens, it would be the 24-70/2.8L, but that lens costs twice what the 350D bodyy costs, and exceeds my budget.

As for color, I like my silver body.

Jon'sLightBulbs
Jan 16, 2006, 07:13 PM
I've got a 300d, which works beautifully. It's silver, which looks more ameteurish. That's what most of us are, right? Ameteurs? Why try to look like someone who takes pictures for a living? Have some fun and look it!

As for lens choice, here are the lenses I have, in order of first purchased.

20-35
28-135
10-22
100-400.

Honestly, don't let anyone talk you out of buying the kit lens for lack of sharpness. Unless you're buying an L setup, you're not going to notice anything but increased build quality (and maybe an image stabilizer). Good luck.

fradac
Jan 16, 2006, 08:46 PM
hello,

i am more of a true photographer and hence i hate zoom lenses, fixed focal length lenses are always faster (when i say faster i mean the maximum aperture is better) and with a faster lens you can shoot in low light condition at a lower ISO which inturn means low noise level (which is a big thing when it comes to digital cameras)

you do have to realise that the Rebel XT has a smaller than 35mm frame. hence there is a conversion factor of 1.6 and every lens is effected by it.

so a normal 100mm lens would function as a 160mm lens.

now about the lens itself. i would say get a used lens. specially from reputable places like www.keh.com you get em much cheaper and you are not out of a fortune.

i would think a fast 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 (this would be really good for portrait photography) would be a good choice. the f1.8 would be a lot cheaper than the f1.4

hope this helps

mkrishnan
Jan 16, 2006, 08:58 PM
i am more of a true photographer and hence i hate zoom lenses, fixed focal length lenses are always faster (when i say faster i mean the maximum aperture is better) and with a faster lens you can shoot in low light condition at a lower ISO which inturn means low noise level (which is a big thing when it comes to digital cameras)

As much as I love primes and revel in the optical quality they create (and completely agree... I can tell a 50mm photo taken from the kit lens apart from one from my 50mm f/1.4 prime easily, in many situations, in Photoshop), I also think this is something of an affront to the many, many excellent photographers who use zoom lenses. Particularly for people not doing portraiture, zoom lenses can often be very useful. And there is some nice glass out there, especially at long focal lengths, in zoom guise.

But, I do want to echo, that if the point is to learn, get a prime or two, and put them on the camera, and move *yourself* instead of the zoom ring, to get the shot you want. This will teach you so much about composition, because you won't be able to "cheat."

ChrisA
Jan 17, 2006, 01:11 AM
2) What lens would people suggest for a good general purpose lens? (preferably a Canon) lens?

3) Aesthetically, which is better, the silver or black body?



2) Get the widest lens you can. Get the fastest lens you can.
Seriously, you can most of the time get closer but you can't back through walls, wider is better. Also the perspetive of a wide lens used close up will involve the viewer and create interest. The kit lens is almost free. hard to turn dow such a deal. but if you can afford a fixed f/2.8 wide angle zoom then get one.

3) BLACK. If you shoot pictures of things that reflect, like say a car (clean and recently waxed) or a table top shot of a produc or dishes (with food) the camera may show up in a reflecton. the black color hides it. Silver is meant to simulate metal. I hate simulated anything. That said the reflection problem is best addressed by cutting a hole in black cardboard and shoting through the hole and silver reflects sunlight, maybe keeping the camera cooler on a hot sunny day.

The number one thing that will improve your photography is a tripod

whooleytoo
Jan 17, 2006, 12:01 PM
If I could just piggy-back this thread - I'll probably be buying a 350D in the next week, and hope to use my lenses from my old Canon SLR. Is there much of a difference between using these lenses with the 350D and lenses designed specifically for it? I don't really understand the meaning and effect of 'full frame'.

mkrishnan
Jan 17, 2006, 12:15 PM
If I could just piggy-back this thread - I'll probably be buying a 350D in the next week, and hope to use my lenses from my old Canon SLR. Is there much of a difference between using these lenses with the 350D and lenses designed specifically for it? I don't really understand the meaning and effect of 'full frame'.

It's an oversimplification, but the easiest way to think about the field of view crop is that a lens will look more similar to one with a focal length of 1.6x (or whatever the conversion factor for that body is) the length of your lens. So a 50mm lens on the dSLR body will look somewhat more similar to an 80mm lens on the film body. This is not 100% rigorously true. But the tendency is that you will need extra-small focal lengths to get the level of wide-angle distortion you're used to, but that you'll get a bit of a freebie on long length lenses (since a 200 mm lens will seem more like 320). And since depth is more apparent at shorter focal lengths, everything will be slightly flatter looking on the digital body. This probably will be a good thing, since the short focal lengths tend to distort portraits, and you'll be on good grounds with everything except wide-angle lenses in terms of your focal length.

I personally don't get the EF-S lenses that are designed for the crop-frame bodies. As far as I understand, everything I just said about focal lengths still applies, but you cannot use it in a full frame body. So I don't really understand why anyone would buy one.

But FWIW, you probably already realize this if you have multiple lenses, but the depth effects will not be very noticeable. There's a site somewhere which has pictures that are essentially equivalent but taken at different focal lengths (so the person or figure occupies the same amount of space), and it is very hard for most photographers to accurately tell which lens took which picture. (Here (http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85_100_135/perspectest.htm) is that website if you're interested...if you try to actually take the quiz, then try to ignore the level of bokeh, since that obviously is rather different....)

sjl
Jan 17, 2006, 06:56 PM
If I could just piggy-back this thread - I'll probably be buying a 350D in the next week, and hope to use my lenses from my old Canon SLR. Is there much of a difference between using these lenses with the 350D and lenses designed specifically for it? I don't really understand the meaning and effect of 'full frame'.
Ok. Take a shot with a standard 35mm SLR, using a particular camera. You'll see the shot framed in a certain way. Now take that exact same shot with a digital SLR, with the camera at the exact same spot as the 35mm SLR was, using the exact same lens at the exact same focal length. The image produced will be the same image as taken with the 35mm, but cropped: you'll only get the middle 5/8th of the image from the centre of the original shot (assuming a 1.6 crop factor: 1.6 multiplied by 5/8 equals 1).

This is a function of the size of the sensor. A lens produces a circle of light, focused on the sensor (in the case of a film camera, the film is the sensor). A 35mm negative has a particular size. Most DSLRs have a sensor that is smaller than this -- hence, the crop factor. The exact crop factor depends on the camera you're using. The Canon 350D, 300D, 20D and 10D all have a 1.6 crop factor. The Canon 1D and 1D mark 2 both have a 1.3 crop factor. The Canon 5D, 1Ds, and 1Ds mark 2 all have a 1.0 crop factor: the sensor has the same physical dimensions (height and width) as a 35mm negative.

Depending on what you're doing, this can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. If you're taking shots where you want a telephoto lens, it's an advantage on two counts: (1) you don't need as long a lens for a given shot, and (2) you're using the best part of the lens, optically speaking -- the outermost edges of a lens' circle of light tend to be the worst for aberrations. Nature of the beast. On the other hand, for wide angle shots (eg: landscapes), it's a disadvantage, because you need to get a shorter focal length to get as much into the shot, and very short focal length lenses tend to be expensive. (All this assumes that the sensor in all cases is centred on the centre of the circle of light, but the camera manufacturer would have to be completely and utterly insane to do it any other way.)

I personally don't get the EF-S lenses that are designed for the crop-frame bodies. As far as I understand, everything I just said about focal lengths still applies, but you cannot use it in a full frame body. So I don't really understand why anyone would buy one.

EF-S lenses are designed to deal with the smaller sensor area in the 20D, 350D, and 300D. They are engineered to cast a smaller circle, which covers the 1.6 crop factor sensors nicely, but not the full frame sensor. This means that the size of the lens for a given focal length is that much smaller, and hence the lens as a whole can be manufactured that much more cheaply. The EF-S 17-85mm is an excellent lens, in my experience, for its price; in Australia, its RRP is a smidgeon under $1100. The equivalent for a full frame sensor is the 28-135mm, which is a tad faster (f/3.5 vs f/4) at the wide end, and a bit cheaper (just under $1000); I don't know how it compares optically. Both have image stabilisation.

If you're doing ultra wide angle shooting with a 1.6 crop factor body, your only choice is an EF-S 10-22mm lens. Canon don't make any prime lens wider than 14mm, and their widest non EF-S zoom is the 16-35mm L series. Putting that on a 1.6 crop factor body will produce images similar to a standard zoom on a 35mm body, and you're spending three grand (Australian) for the privilege? You'd have to be nuts. The 10-22 is less than half the price, and there's nothing for those who have cropped bodies that can touch it for its wide field of view.

So in short: your lenses will be a bit "longer" on a cropped body compared with a 35mm body, but the depth of field will remain the same. Not being that much of a photographer (I'm still learning!), I can't comment beyond that.

mkrishnan
Jan 17, 2006, 07:16 PM
EF-S lenses are designed to deal with the smaller sensor area in the 20D, 350D, and 300D. They are engineered to cast a smaller circle, which covers the 1.6 crop factor sensors nicely, but not the full frame sensor. This means that the size of the lens for a given focal length is that much smaller, and hence the lens as a whole can be manufactured that much more cheaply.

I believe this is sort of correct. It was designed to deal with the geometry of these bodies. The screen area is smaller, so the mirror is smaller, so it swings over a smaller arc, and so there is more room for the lens to extend back into the body. And this does allow them to make some lenses that are less expensive or lighter in some cases. So I was being a little flippant to say there is no reason to buy EF-S.

But I'm pretty sure the optical path is the same. That is to say, 50mm is 50mm on a given camera body, whether the lens is EF or EF-S. It is *not* true that a 50mm EF-S lens produces a picture like the picture a 50 EF would on a full frame body, whereas a 50mm EF produces a more telephoto picture.

This (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&message=16449514&changemode=1) thread at DPReview has an extensive discussion on the topic...there are posts by a user who calls himself Token that are particularly illuminating.

sjl
Jan 17, 2006, 09:10 PM
But I'm pretty sure the optical path is the same. That is to say, 50mm is 50mm on a given camera body, whether the lens is EF or EF-S. It is *not* true that a 50mm EF-S lens produces a picture like the picture a 50 EF would on a full frame body, whereas a 50mm EF produces a more telephoto picture.
Indeed, you are correct. The focal length of the lens is the same, regardless of whether it's an EF or an EF-S lens. The only difference is the size of the circle created by the lens on the sensor; this allows shortcuts to be taken in manufacturing, since the circle is smaller than it otherwise would have to be. ie: it's easier to construct a lens to generate a circle ~30mm in diameter (the approximate size of the sensor on the 10/20/300/350D) than it is to generate a circle ~50mm in diameter (the approximate size of a 35mm negative).

Of course -- as has already been stated -- you get a wider angle of view with the larger circle, but that's not the point. If the sensor won't see that wider angle of view, why bother generating it?

fradac
Jan 17, 2006, 09:45 PM
Wow,

we got very technical in this thread, didnt we.

but whooleytoo, in simple terms here is what the full frame thing is all about.

if you have ever picked up a film negative and looked at a single frame. the size is about 35mm x 24mm

and all the lenses are designed with that frame in mind.

the Canon 350D/XT have a smaller sensor (this is analogus to a single frame of the negative) its actually only 22.2mm x 14.8mm


so how does this effect the photo with the same lens? here is how, lets say we use the same lens and have the subject at the same distance from the camera here is what will happen (Frame Comparison).

as you can see the subject doesn't fully fit in the frame of the 350D. so it acts as if it had a narrower lens connected in front of it (hence a 50mm would seem like an 80mm)


now Canon made the EF-S series of lenses. what they do is simply bring the lens element closer to the actual sensor. basically the lens goes more Into the camera then a normal EF lens. something like this (Lens Comparison)



If I could just piggy-back this thread - I'll probably be buying a 350D in the next week, and hope to use my lenses from my old Canon SLR. Is there much of a difference between using these lenses with the 350D and lenses designed specifically for it? I don't really understand the meaning and effect of 'full frame'.

h0e0h
Jan 17, 2006, 10:15 PM
speaking of lenses, i just picked up my Rebel XT and it should be here this week. I'm going skiing at the end of February and was looking for a relatively good zoom lens that will be good for both action and nature shots. I went to my local Ritz, the only camera store really in my town that has a good selection of Digital SLRs and spoke with the guy, and this is what he recommended as far as my budget/application... he said basically a Sigma with Ritz's name on it... (http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&productId=29911&bct=t1004%3Bc1022%3Bc914962#description)
BTW, will be 'editing' photos with iPhoto included with the new iLife 06 suite. Basically converting to B&W and minor color changes. I have PhotoShop, but like Final Cut, i haven't gotten around to mastering it yet.