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NinjaMonkey
Jan 31, 2006, 02:54 PM
I'm looking into upgrading from a point and shoot to a SLR and all these options are driving me nuts.

The camera I was looking at was the Olympus E500 which seems to be about my price and from what I've read in reviews takes pretty good pictures. The big decision is should I buy the camera body only and spend my money on a bit better lense or start off with one of the kits? The kit comes with the 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 & 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 lenses.

I've been leaning in the direction of the kit simply because it is only about $100 more than just the body. Would this set hold me over for a while? Anyone have experience with this camera?



kwajo.com
Jan 31, 2006, 03:18 PM
if this is your first SLR I say go for the kit. It will give you a good base to start from and you can learn a few things about photography. Later, once you know your shooting habits, you'll be better prepared to decide what lenses you'd like to add to your collection.
Keep in mind that while kit lenses are not the top-line optics many pros use, they will still beat almost anything you'd find on a P&S, so there is still plenty of room to grow into as a photographer.

as another note, the E-500 is a very solid camera too, I've seen some top-notch photos from it, but I find its viewfinder too small and dim for my taste, so maybe you should check it out before you buy and see whether that matters to you at all

alywa
Jan 31, 2006, 03:29 PM
I looked very carefully at the e-300 when it came out last year. I really liked the form factor, and the lenses for it were very nice (from the reviews I read). The ruberized metal case felt very solid. The e-500 seems like a good upgrage.

That being said, I ended up spending a few more $$ and goign for the Canon Rebel XT. I was mostly attracted to the large selection of lenses and the active used lens market, plus the time tested mounting system / size.

I love my Rebel XT, and I'm sure you'll love which ever DSLR you pick. There is simply no comparison from P&S to DSLR... the quality, speed and flexibility vastly makes up for the increased cost and size.

Enjoy whatever you pick!

-alywa

aricher
Jan 31, 2006, 03:35 PM
I also have a the Rebel XT - amazing camera for the cash.

budugu
Jan 31, 2006, 03:47 PM
I'm looking into upgrading from a point and shoot to a SLR and all these options are driving me nuts.

The camera I was looking at was the Olympus E500 which seems to be about my price and from what I've read in reviews takes pretty good pictures. The big decision is should I buy the camera body only and spend my money on a bit better lense or start off with one of the kits? The kit comes with the 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 & 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 lenses.

I've been leaning in the direction of the kit simply because it is only about $100 more than just the body. Would this set hold me over for a while? Anyone have experience with this camera?


If you new this kind of "stuff". I would suggest that you get a *standard* camera like D50 or rebel XT because there will be forums and stuff if you are having any problems. And not to mention a lot of cheap lenses. Better lenses will you cost you as much as the body. So you might be better off sticking with the demo lenses. I some how prefer Nikon's cheap lenses than canon's cheap stuff. Sigma is fine too for the price.

Grimace
Jan 31, 2006, 03:55 PM
I'll also back the Canon Digital Rebel XT. Pricegrabber.com will get you a good deal. The lenses are great and the camera is superb.

bousozoku
Jan 31, 2006, 04:10 PM
I'm looking into upgrading from a point and shoot to a SLR and all these options are driving me nuts.

The camera I was looking at was the Olympus E500 which seems to be about my price and from what I've read in reviews takes pretty good pictures. The big decision is should I buy the camera body only and spend my money on a bit better lense or start off with one of the kits? The kit comes with the 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 & 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 lenses.

I've been leaning in the direction of the kit simply because it is only about $100 more than just the body. Would this set hold me over for a while? Anyone have experience with this camera?

I've been using an E-1 for nearly two years. The E-500 obviously is a better deal for those buying today who don't need a water- and dust-resistant body. The standard lenses seem to be of a much higher quality than those that are available with the Canon Digital Rebel series. The thing that bothers me is that the Olympus kit lenses are not great in really low light. You'll have to use flash more often than you might guess. Of course, if you're coming from a point-and-shoot camera, you're used to that, I'm sure. Of course, you can spend big money on Olympus lenses. Even as much as I paid for the E-1 body, I have much more in the three lenses I use. There are Sigma lenses for the 4/3s system but I think you'll have all you need unless you want a fish eye and that will definitely be more expensive than the E-500 body.

The quality of the photos are impressive. The lack of a dust problem is impressive--you wouldn't have the problems the other brands have. (Ask people who have ruined their sensors while cleaning them.) You also won't have the 35mm compromise that the other brands have since Olympus aren't using old lenses or flashes that aren't optimised for digital photography.

The price is right for the E-500. I think you'll find that the camera is a great value for such solid technology.

kwajo.com
Jan 31, 2006, 04:12 PM
If you new this kind of "stuff". I would suggest that you get a *standard* camera like D50 or rebel XT because there will be forums and stuff if you are having any problems. And not to mention a lot of cheap lenses.

if these are criteria, then a Pentax would be an excellent choice. there are a number of truly excellent Pentax forums online, lots of very helpful people, very much like the mac community.
And if it is cheap, high-quality lenses you want, the Pentax dSLRs can use just about any K-Mount glass from the past 40 years, many of which are some of the best lenses every made and there are hundreds of them floating around everywhere from eBay to yard sales.
basically I'm just rebuking the "standard" camera notion, nothing bad to say about either the Nikon or the Canon, I have a D70 in the house, but I just don't like overlooking the Pentax and Olympus models simply because they have a lower market share

NinjaMonkey
Jan 31, 2006, 05:11 PM
Thanks for all the replies everyone. The other camera I was looking at was the Nikon D50 which seems like a popular choice among first time SLR buyers.

The digital Rebel was an option but I've heard the Olympus comes with better lenses in the kit and it costs a bit more. Though I love the Canon S50 I have now.

ChrisA
Jan 31, 2006, 05:19 PM
One question: are these lenses made by Olympus? If they are they are a great value. If not. f they are thid party lenses and the "kit" was assebled by the dealer do not' waste another second even thinking about them. Camera dealers notoriusly bundel cheap crap just so they can offer a low price. But on the other hand camera manufactures typically bundel low-spec but good optical quality lenses. So it matters LOT who mades the kit. You don't say

If it's Olypus the lens is a good value. They may even be selling it at a slight loss or at breakeven price. Even if you intend to get some other lenses you may as well scope of kit lens too.

Ok there is one case what I'd say not to get it. That is if you KNOW 100% that you want one of the professional quality lenese and would never use anyhting that was not a constand f/2.8 aperature.

The reason the kit lenses typically are so inexpensive is that they are "slow" "way slow" in tha case of f/5.6 . Basically they've tradded off a few f-stops for cost.

ONe other thing. Beginners always think they need a long telephoto. That is not o usfull. Your best shots will come from a fast, wide lens. If you have xtra cash to spend put it into a god wide angle and an extrnal strobe.

If you are really concered about image quality you will be needing a tripod. It's the biggest bang per buck you can get. and that long, slow telephoto zoom will not be of much use hand held.

bousozoku
Jan 31, 2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks for all the replies everyone. The other camera I was looking at was the Nikon D50 which seems like a popular choice among first time SLR buyers.

The digital Rebel was an option but I've heard the Olympus comes with better lenses in the kit and it costs a bit more. Though I love the Canon S50 I have now.

Canon is better at point-and-shoot cameras than most of the competition and their printers are great. As much as I've had a number of Olympus cameras over the years, if I were buying a point-and-shoot camera, it probably wouldn't be an Olympus model. Thank goodness the Olympus point-and-shoot software team doesn't have anything to do with the SLRs.

NinjaMonkey
Jan 31, 2006, 05:47 PM
One question: are these lenses made by Olympus? If they are they are a great value. If not. f they are thid party lenses and the "kit" was assebled by the dealer do not' waste another second even thinking about them. Camera dealers notoriusly bundel cheap crap just so they can offer a low price. But on the other hand camera manufactures typically bundel low-spec but good optical quality lenses. So it matters LOT who mades the kit.

The included lenses are from Olympus, it is bundled by them not a dealer.

I've just found a Nikon D50 with the 28-80mm F/3.3-5.6 G Lens for $599 from Ritz camera.

ChrisA
Jan 31, 2006, 06:36 PM
The included lenses are from Olympus, it is bundled by them not a dealer.

I've just found a Nikon D50 with the 28-80mm F/3.3-5.6 G Lens for $599 from Ritz camera.

On the D50 a 28mm lens is only barely marginally wide enough for general use. the D50's CCD sensor is 1.5x smalthen a 35mm film frame so the 28mm lens acts like a 52mm lens on a 35mm camera.

One thing about buying an SRL, film or digita is that you are making an investment in a company. If you buy the D50 you will buy Nikon lenses for it and Nikon strobe and so on. So you next camers body will likey be a Nikon so that yu can continue to use the expensive lenses. Same goes gor Canon and Olympus.

So think it through. Look at how frequently each camera makers releases new stuff and historically which has been the best for your usgae Nikons are typically very conservative but well built, Canon is typicaly the first to have some new technology Olypus has a good reputation but is not a volue sales leader le Nikon and Canon.

I Like the "kit lens" that is bundled by Nikon with the D70. It is a 18-70mm while the D50 is typically bundled with a 18-55. "18-55" sounds close to "18-70" but there are other major differences in the two lenses. the 18-70 is more robut construction, AND has a much faster focus motor, a non-rotating filter ring and best of all a "real" focus ring that intantly overrides the autofocus. These feature do not show up in the simple 18-55 vs. 18-70 spec but matter a LOT in day to day usage. I mean a rotating filter ring is a royal PITA if you use a polerized filter.

One way to decide which camera to buy is to look at the lenses Canon, Nikon and Olypus made and look at the features like focus rings, image stabilization and max f-stop and how the strobe system works and costs too. The make of the first SLR camera body you buy may determine future purchases for many years to came

Hard to pass up those tow Oly lenses for $100.

revfife
Jan 31, 2006, 09:27 PM
I would suggest the Nikon D50. Nikon just lowered the street price of the kit D50 and 18-55 lens to $699. Most places online you can get it for cheaper than that. It is a great camera. Besides later on you can pick up the 18-70 lens on ebay for cheap.

NinjaMonkey
Feb 1, 2006, 07:38 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to decide in the next few weeks between the D50 and the Evolt 500. Right now its looking like I'm going with the e500.

Thanks again!

Abstract
Feb 1, 2006, 09:50 AM
The Olympus e500 isn't a bad choice at all. I just got a D50, but I'm sure I'd be happy with the Olympus as well.

I say get the kit lense because it makes it easier to sell. If you have to sell the body and a lense, it's obviously much better to give your customer a crap kit lens rather than a more expensive lense that you invested in.

bousozoku
Feb 2, 2006, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to decide in the next few weeks between the D50 and the Evolt 500. Right now its looking like I'm going with the e500.

Thanks again!

It may be a wrench in the works, but Olympus is about to replace the E-300 with the E-330. You may not like the look of the camera but it's more versatile, e.g. it has an underwater enclosure available.

NinjaMonkey
Feb 2, 2006, 10:22 PM
I considered the 330 but it was a bit more than I wanted to spend and don't really need any of the new features.

I did go out today and buy the 500. I got it from Costco for $799. That was for the two lens kit and they threw in a 256MB xD card. The also had 1gig compact flash cards for $62, so I picked up one of those too.

So far the only complaint I have is the kit lenses take forever to focus in low light conditions. Not a huge deal it was expected.

So anyone have any recommendations for my next lens purchase? Possibly something that would perform a bit better in low light situations?

Abstract
Feb 3, 2006, 05:02 AM
Don't know much about Olympus, but anything that's f3.5 or f2.8 is good. If you don't care about zoom, then a prime lense might be available. There's probably an Olympus lense out there that's a constant 50 mm and f1.8 or something similar, possibly even a 50 mm f1.4. That'll get you good night shots, but if you're gonna take good night shots, a telephoto probably isn't the way to go since they're not "fast" enough.

nubero
Mar 1, 2006, 01:50 PM
The included lenses are from Olympus, it is bundled by them not a dealer.

I've just found a Nikon D50 with the 28-80mm F/3.3-5.6 G Lens for $599 from Ritz camera.


I did not read all the posts here so I might say something which has allready been said.
Here though is my advice:

- Get a Nikon. The thing you must look out for when buying a SLR or DSLR is the lens mount on the camera. Nikons have the so called F-Mount which exists since the 1950ies... on a modern camera body like the D200 you can use all the lenses that were made since ca 1977. Of course you will want to start with new lenses but it kinda shows the thought that has gone into the lens mount design (of course the design has been extended to allow for data transfer and such but mechanicaly it's the same as in the old days).

- True that a DSLR will always be better than a compact but that doesn't mean that you should buy the camera with the cheapest lens. Beginner or not but consider getting the 18-70mm f3.5-4.5. It is the best value for performance and still affordable. Don' get a 3.5-5.6 lens as these are really bad no matter what.

- The D50 is nice but consider the D70s. It allows you to grow much further into photography without having to buy a new camera body in 6 months. Furthermore the D50 is the only Nikon DSLR which doesn't use Compact Flash. So if you ever upgrade your camera body you will have to buy new memory cards which really is a drag. All others use CF Cards so there is no problem.

- I really don't want to start the flame wars here but do yourself a favur and don't get a canon. Go to a shop and hold the D50 or D70s and then the EOS 350 or 20D / 30D.
It's like Microsoft and Apple. One company put's love and thought into their product and the other just marketing dollars.

- Besides that: the chip inside the DSLRs is normally smaller than the size of film in an analog camera. that means that (on a Nikon DSLR) your 50mm lens becomes a 75mm one because the crop factor is 1.5. 20mm becomes 30mm and so forth.
Now: In the last 13 cameras that Nikon produced the sensor always has a crop factor of 1.5. Nikon calls this size "DX". go to a site like dpreview.com go get more info on that.
Canon on the other hand produces cameras that have sensors with different crop factors like 1.3, 1.6 and 1:1...
That is going to be a problem if you one day invest in some of the more expensive lenses and develop a strategy and then you buy a new body and all the factors of your lenses have changes. Suddenly all your lenses might slip more towards telephoto range or the other way towards wide angle...

That's all that I can say...
Again: I don't want to start a flame war here but I just feel that you get a better value with Nikon products. Them using a different card format on the D50 is a shame though.

Hope the info helps

bousozoku
Mar 1, 2006, 03:44 PM
I considered the 330 but it was a bit more than I wanted to spend and don't really need any of the new features.

I did go out today and buy the 500. I got it from Costco for $799. That was for the two lens kit and they threw in a 256MB xD card. The also had 1gig compact flash cards for $62, so I picked up one of those too.

So far the only complaint I have is the kit lenses take forever to focus in low light conditions. Not a huge deal it was expected.

So anyone have any recommendations for my next lens purchase? Possibly something that would perform a bit better in low light situations?

You'll spend some money on whatever it is but there are two (expensive) solutions that won't overlap a whole lot:

Olympus 50 mm f2.0 macro. This is an ED lens so it's high quality. It's a joy to use but looks quite lost being so small.

Sigma just introduced a 30 mm f1.4. It's their highest quality apparently so it's also rather expensive but it's definitely a low light solution.

Both will cost over $300, even at a discount.

Advice about the camera: do a firmware update for the body and each lens. Smart lenses require updates to perform at their best. This may improve auto focus in low light.

I don't use auto focus so I wouldn't know how well it works even on my lenses. I had it turned on way back when I got the camera until I figured out how to disable it. :D

Let me know if you have any questions. I've had my E-1 for two years now, so I've gone through a lot of situations.

klausson
Mar 1, 2006, 05:43 PM
I'm looking into upgrading from a point and shoot to a SLR and all these options are driving me nuts.

The camera I was looking at was the Olympus E500 which seems to be about my price and from what I've read in reviews takes pretty good pictures. The big decision is should I buy the camera body only and spend my money on a bit better lense or start off with one of the kits? The kit comes with the 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 & 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 lenses.

I've been leaning in the direction of the kit simply because it is only about $100 more than just the body. Would this set hold me over for a while? Anyone have experience with this camera?

I've been shooting with the E500 for a few weeks now and I love it. However, keep in mind I'm a lifetime Olympus bigot who still has all his OM-4, OM-2, OM-10 and even OM-101 gear. I'm really glad to see that Olympus is back in the game for professional photography after a long drought. Looking at the recent releases of Zuiko lenses, it looks like they have finally come to their senses :)

I started with the 14-45 and added two lenses pretty quickly (the 40-150 and the fixed length 150). Which lens you'll need totally depends on what you plan on shooting. So if you know what you'll need and it's covered by the kit, go for it. If you're not sure yet, get the 14-45 and find out what you're missing.

NinjaMonkey
Mar 1, 2006, 09:49 PM
I've been shooting with the E500 for a few weeks now and I love it. However, keep in mind I'm a lifetime Olympus bigot who still has all his OM-4, OM-2, OM-10 and even OM-101 gear. I'm really glad to see that Olympus is back in the game for professional photography after a long drought. Looking at the recent releases of Zuiko lenses, it looks like they have finally come to their senses :)

I started with the 14-45 and added two lenses pretty quickly (the 40-150 and the fixed length 150). Which lens you'll need totally depends on what you plan on shooting. So if you know what you'll need and it's covered by the kit, go for it. If you're not sure yet, get the 14-45 and find out what you're missing.

So far I'm loving the E500. I'm getting ready to purchase the 14-54 Zuiko. I've heard good things about that one and Oly is offering a $50 rebate.

bousozoku
Mar 1, 2006, 10:02 PM
So far I'm loving the E500. I'm getting ready to purchase the 14-54 Zuiko. I've heard good things about that one and Oly is offering a $50 rebate.

It's a good lens but it's not exactly a low light lens, either. If you're going to spend that much money, wouldn't you rather have the macro?

sjl
Mar 1, 2006, 10:35 PM
Sigma just introduced a 30 mm f1.4. It's their highest quality apparently so it's also rather expensive but it's definitely a low light solution.
Ooooooh. This could be a very nice way to get around a small problem I have: Canon's "best" 28mm lens suffers from a fair bit of CA. I'd like something around that focal length range to give me a nice, fast standard lens for my 20D (remember that "standard" means "focal length approximately equal to the diagonal length of the image area", which for the 20D is very close to 28mm), and that looks like it might be a nice fit.

Anybody know of a good quality review of this lens?

*does some checking* About $620, with shipping (Australian price) ... not bad. Especially since the RRP for Canon's 28mm f/1.8 is a thousand dollars ...

bousozoku
Mar 1, 2006, 11:30 PM
Ooooooh. This could be a very nice way to get around a small problem I have: Canon's "best" 28mm lens suffers from a fair bit of CA. I'd like something around that focal length range to give me a nice, fast standard lens for my 20D (remember that "standard" means "focal length approximately equal to the diagonal length of the image area", which for the 20D is very close to 28mm), and that looks like it might be a nice fit.

Anybody know of a good quality review of this lens?

*does some checking* About $620, with shipping (Australian price) ... not bad. Especially since the RRP for Canon's 28mm f/1.8 is a thousand dollars ...

In the old days, I never would have trusted Sigma lenses to mission-critical work but they've apparently come a long way. I'm surprised that you're getting Chromatic Aberration from a "best" Canon lens but it feeds my cynicism about their SLR group. :D

I haven't seen any reviews on the Sigma 30 mm lens yet. I'm seriously considering it because at 60 mm, it's close to normal on my Olympus. My only other choice is an f2.0, 50 (100) mm macro lens. It's good in a pinch but when light is really low, f1.4 would help a lot.

sjl
Mar 2, 2006, 04:42 AM
In the old days, I never would have trusted Sigma lenses to mission-critical work but they've apparently come a long way. I'm surprised that you're getting Chromatic Aberration from a "best" Canon lens but it feeds my cynicism about their SLR group. :D

Well, I don't actually have that particular lens: I've been weighing it up for a little while, and decided to hold off on the basis of reports of this (not to mention a short term lack of money) -- for instance, this review (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-28mm-f-1.8-USM-Lens-Review.aspx) mentions it as pretty significant (although probably not as bad as the 75-300.)

Still, if the Sigma is better quality and cheaper, I see no reason to go the Canon route.

I haven't seen any reviews on the Sigma 30 mm lens yet. I'm seriously considering it because at 60 mm, it's close to normal on my Olympus. My only other choice is an f2.0, 50 (100) mm macro lens. It's good in a pinch but when light is really low, f1.4 would help a lot.
*nods* Yes, indeed. An f/1.4 standard lens would be a nice addition to the lineup; I have the 50mm f/1.8, which is nice, but it's really more of a portrait-type length on the 20D (which is not to say it's a bad lens for the 20D: I've taken a few very nice shots with it ... it's amusing to hand the camera with that lens over to a neophyte, and see them scratching their heads over the lack of zoom. :D). I've seen a few reviews, which are a bit lighter on detail than I'd like, through googling; they all seem to think that it whomps all over the Canon 28mm, and there are suggestions (which I'm taking with a grain of salt for now) that it's better than even the 35mm f/1.4L, which surprises me somewhat. Given that the 35mm is near $2,900 Australian (RRP, so about $2500 street I would guess), though, it's nowhere near being in the running for my money in any case. :D

jared_kipe
Mar 2, 2006, 10:11 AM
The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is a good lens. Make sure you get a good copy
http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/30v35 He got a good copy
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_30_14/index.htm I don't think he got such a good copy

Buy it from sigma4less.com, and if it isn't aceptable tell them your copy is unaceptably soft. They'll send you a new one. I did so with the Sigma 24-70mm EX DG Macro, and the difference was night and day. The first copy was soft, very soft, wide open and wasn't good till like 5.6. But the second copy is so sharp wide open, better stopped down, that people might think it was a prime lens.

You could probably do this in a store too, go in and test every copy of the lens they have and see which one you want.

ScubaDuc
Mar 2, 2006, 10:26 AM
I did not read all the posts here so I might say something which has allready been said.
Here though is my advice:

- Get a Nikon. The thing you must look out for when buying a SLR or DSLR is the lens mount on the camera. Nikons have the so called F-Mount which exists since the 1950ies... on a modern camera body like the D200 you can use all the lenses that were made since ca 1977. Of course you will want to start with new lenses but it kinda shows the thought that has gone into the lens mount design (of course the design has been extended to allow for data transfer and such but mechanicaly it's the same as in the old days).

- True that a DSLR will always be better than a compact but that doesn't mean that you should buy the camera with the cheapest lens. Beginner or not but consider getting the 18-70mm f3.5-4.5. It is the best value for performance and still affordable. Don' get a 3.5-5.6 lens as these are really bad no matter what.

- The D50 is nice but consider the D70s. It allows you to grow much further into photography without having to buy a new camera body in 6 months. Furthermore the D50 is the only Nikon DSLR which doesn't use Compact Flash. So if you ever upgrade your camera body you will have to buy new memory cards which really is a drag. All others use CF Cards so there is no problem.

- I really don't want to start the flame wars here but do yourself a favur and don't get a canon. Go to a shop and hold the D50 or D70s and then the EOS 350 or 20D / 30D.
It's like Microsoft and Apple. One company put's love and thought into their product and the other just marketing dollars.

- Besides that: the chip inside the DSLRs is normally smaller than the size of film in an analog camera. that means that (on a Nikon DSLR) your 50mm lens becomes a 75mm one because the crop factor is 1.5. 20mm becomes 30mm and so forth.
Now: In the last 13 cameras that Nikon produced the sensor always has a crop factor of 1.5. Nikon calls this size "DX". go to a site like dpreview.com go get more info on that.
Canon on the other hand produces cameras that have sensors with different crop factors like 1.3, 1.6 and 1:1...
That is going to be a problem if you one day invest in some of the more expensive lenses and develop a strategy and then you buy a new body and all the factors of your lenses have changes. Suddenly all your lenses might slip more towards telephoto range or the other way towards wide angle...

That's all that I can say...
Again: I don't want to start a flame war here but I just feel that you get a better value with Nikon products. Them using a different card format on the D50 is a shame though.

Hope the info helps


Yes, you are right about the F-mount and Nikon is not about to change it, contrary to rumors posted. However, to say that lenses are compatible between bodies because they have an F-mount is a bit reductive. AI lenses don't really work with the D50/70/100, for example, as the exposure meter won't work. I have been using Nikon products for over 20 years and my lenses are still as wonderful today as they were then! However, I would prefer a native 36x24 CCD and I am also not too happy about the performance at high ASA. I spoke with both Nikon and Canon and they both admitted that film is still better in many applications, so I went with a Coolpix V scanner for my F3/F2

kwajo.com
Mar 2, 2006, 12:06 PM
^that's why I prefer Pentax's model of legacy support over everyone else's. On my dSLR I get full metering options and even focus confirmation with all old K-Mount lenses going back to the 70s, plus old M42 screw-mount lenses are equally supported! I still get to use my lenses from the 50s and 60s as if they were modern manual focus lenses. That to me is truly amazing and makes me glad I stayed with Pentax rather than switch to on of the other systems. Some of that old glass is incredible quality and would cost many times more to get modern equivalents.

jared_kipe
Mar 2, 2006, 01:40 PM
^that's why I prefer Pentax's model of legacy support over everyone else's. On my dSLR I get full metering options and even focus confirmation with all old K-Mount lenses going back to the 70s, plus old M42 screw-mount lenses are equally supported! I still get to use my lenses from the 50s and 60s as if they were modern manual focus lenses. That to me is truly amazing and makes me glad I stayed with Pentax rather than switch to on of the other systems. Some of that old glass is incredible quality and would cost many times more to get modern equivalents.

I've never understood why Nikon couldn't meter through their older lenses. Just doesn't make any sense, it sounds like they disabled it just to make people have to upgrade lenses.

bousozoku
Mar 2, 2006, 02:08 PM
Well, I don't actually have that particular lens: I've been weighing it up for a little while, and decided to hold off on the basis of reports of this (not to mention a short term lack of money) -- for instance, this review (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-28mm-f-1.8-USM-Lens-Review.aspx) mentions it as pretty significant (although probably not as bad as the 75-300.)

Still, if the Sigma is better quality and cheaper, I see no reason to go the Canon route.


*nods* Yes, indeed. An f/1.4 standard lens would be a nice addition to the lineup; I have the 50mm f/1.8, which is nice, but it's really more of a portrait-type length on the 20D (which is not to say it's a bad lens for the 20D: I've taken a few very nice shots with it ... it's amusing to hand the camera with that lens over to a neophyte, and see them scratching their heads over the lack of zoom. :D). I've seen a few reviews, which are a bit lighter on detail than I'd like, through googling; they all seem to think that it whomps all over the Canon 28mm, and there are suggestions (which I'm taking with a grain of salt for now) that it's better than even the 35mm f/1.4L, which surprises me somewhat. Given that the 35mm is near $2,900 Australian (RRP, so about $2500 street I would guess), though, it's nowhere near being in the running for my money in any case. :D

That review tells me that the lens was not coated properly. A shame considering the price. What were they thinking?

I remember selling a few 50 mm f1.2 lenses--Fuji and Canon, I believe, and the results were amazing. Hopefully, this Sigma lens will do as well. I can deal with lower light but I swore that I'd never use a flash and it seems that I almost never do without it these days. Thankfully, they've become a lot more useful, this one working up to 1/4000.

Hopefully, Sigma finds better quality overall, considering what jared_kipe is saying about softness. The last time I had one of their lenses, it was what I consider a throwaway lens but still, I expect better from the pinnacle, which is what this 30mm seems to be.

jared_kipe
Mar 2, 2006, 05:11 PM
Their EX series lenses are quite good, all groups have their quality assurance. If you read the first reviewer's comments about his 24-70 he says he had 3 copies of the Canon 24-70mm L and that the sigma is the sharper lens. That is what it is to achieve a good lens. When the lens you bought for $400 bucks is better than a lens that cost $1200. The Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DG is better than canon's 17-40 f4 L.

Hopefully the NEW Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG HSM Macro will be better than Canon's 70-200mm f2.8 L. That would rock, since the current generation is better at 70 but no at 200.

EDIT: All that said, I'll say it again SIGMA PUT HSM ON ALL EX LENSES. Thankyou.

sjl
Mar 2, 2006, 05:19 PM
The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is a good lens. Make sure you get a good copy [...]

Buy it from sigma4less.com, and if it isn't aceptable tell them your copy is unaceptably soft. They'll send you a new one.
Nice thought ... but that's a US company. I live in Australia. They don't mention anything about their shipping charges, so I have no choice but to assume that they won't ship internationally.

I'll certainly bear the rest of it in mind for when I do go out and buy, though.

And to NinjaMonkey (he says, belatedly dragging the thread back to the original topic): as a rule of thumb, you'll get a faster lens for your money if you're prepared to sacrifice the ability to zoom. Anything that's f/2.0 or faster will be a prime lens; you simply won't find many (if any) zooms faster than f/2.8, and you'll pay through the nose for those (although if you're serious about your photography, they're well worth the money). In sufficiently low light conditions, you're better off shooting with a fast prime (f/1.8 or faster), and cropping the end result if necessary.

I *heart* my 50mm f/1.8, and I look forward to adding the 30mm f/1.4 to the collection. Mmmm... fast standard lens ... excuse me, I have to go dry off my keyboard; I've been drooling all over it.

jared_kipe
Mar 2, 2006, 07:34 PM
Nice thought ... but that's a US company. I live in Australia. They don't mention anything about their shipping charges, so I have no choice but to assume that they won't ship internationally.

I'll certainly bear the rest of it in mind for when I do go out and buy, though.

And to NinjaMonkey (he says, belatedly dragging the thread back to the original topic): as a rule of thumb, you'll get a faster lens for your money if you're prepared to sacrifice the ability to zoom. Anything that's f/2.0 or faster will be a prime lens; you simply won't find many (if any) zooms faster than f/2.8, and you'll pay through the nose for those (although if you're serious about your photography, they're well worth the money). In sufficiently low light conditions, you're better off shooting with a fast prime (f/1.8 or faster), and cropping the end result if necessary.

I *heart* my 50mm f/1.8, and I look forward to adding the 30mm f/1.4 to the collection. Mmmm... fast standard lens ... excuse me, I have to go dry off my keyboard; I've been drooling all over it.
Sorry, don't know much about austrailian shops, I recommended sigma4less.com because they're CHEAP and a real store. Sigma makes a really bitchin f1.8 20mm. I wish I could go the prime rout. But once you add like a 85mm f1.8 and a 50mm f1.4 and a 20 something f something you're spending so much more money than my 24-70 f2.8 now granted you've saved 1-2 stops in light. But you have to swap all the time and you've spent like a grand in lenses already. My only prime at the moment is a 150mm macro from Sigma that I'm happy with. But if you look at my site sailbyair.com you'll see I used to have a Canon 28mm f2.8 lens. Though I don't have the review of my new sigma up I'd say from what I've seen its as sharp as that lens. Primes can be just as expensive, and a more complicated, rout to go with lenses.

sjl
Mar 2, 2006, 10:09 PM
Sorry, don't know much about austrailian shops, I recommended sigma4less.com because they're CHEAP and a real store. Sigma makes a really bitchin f1.8 20mm. I wish I could go the prime rout. But once you add like a 85mm f1.8 and a 50mm f1.4 and a 20 something f something you're spending so much more money than my 24-70 f2.8 now granted you've saved 1-2 stops in light. But you have to swap all the time and you've spent like a grand in lenses already. My only prime at the moment is a 150mm macro from Sigma that I'm happy with. But if you look at my site sailbyair.com you'll see I used to have a Canon 28mm f2.8 lens. Though I don't have the review of my new sigma up I'd say from what I've seen its as sharp as that lens. Primes can be just as expensive, and a more complicated, rout to go with lenses.
Don't sweat it; no doubt it'll be useful information to somebody else ($AU500 for the 30mm f/1.4 is damn cheap, and with shipping it'd still be less than most shops here ... sigh. Although customs might eat up a fair chunk of the savings.)

You're right that primes can be expensive, especially if you get a good range. However, shooting with zooms can make you lazy. What I want to do is get the 30mm and then go out driving to a few national and state parks I know. I intend to shoot lots of nice scenic shots, using nothing but the 30mm. Wide open, stopped down, you name it ... I aim to take a few dozen shots, without having a zoom to rest upon.

That, for a photographer, is a massive challenge. You have to actually think about your shots and their composition, instead of using the zoom to make up for poor positioning. A standard lens in particular (50mm on a 35mm body; 30mm on a 1.6 crop factor body) is a challenge, because the field of view is so close to that of the human eye.

I reckon I'll learn more shooting that way than I ever will using a zoom.

That's not to say that a zoom is a bad way to go. Just that if you want to learn, and learn well, you'll get greater benefit from playing with primes. Each to their own, of course.