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xfiftyfour
Mar 12, 2007, 07:18 AM
So, I'm about to purchase my first DSLR. I know the basics of photography, and have taken a photography class, but I'm still quite a beginner, I'd say. I'm hoping to start taking photos every day to get better (I'll never be a professional photographer or anything, but I am studying graphics, so this skill can only help).

Anyways, I was set on getting the Canon XTi, but I've read that the kit lens is pretty horrible. So, as a second option, I was thinking about getting the Canon XT body instead, and opting for a slightly better walk around lens.

My question to you is: for a somewhat beginner, is the kit lens really all that bad? If so, are there any lenses you'd recommend instead (either Canon or third party), that is a good walk around lens, but is still only around ~$200-$250? Or, would you just opt for the better camera, and worry about the lens at another time?

Oh, and while I'm getting advice anyways - what do you think about the differences between the XT and the XTi? Even if I go with the kit lens, would anyone think that the XTi might be overkill for a beginner, and would you think that the XT would be the better/smarter buy?

Thanks for the advice!



Chaszmyr
Mar 12, 2007, 07:26 AM
Personally, I don't think anyone should use a kit lens. Better optics is really the reason that you'd buy an SLR to begin with. The best lens for general use, in my opinion, is Canon's 28-135mm IS USM lens. However, this lens is more than you're looking to pay.

I also want to add that I've used several Canon DSLR's, and I liked most of them okay. Last week I picked up an XTi for the first time though, and while the picture quality was fine, I thought the ergonomics were terrible. I think the Rebel XTi might be the best selling DSLR on the market, but had it been the first Canon i'd used, I wouldn't have bought another one. I have no idea how the ergonomics of the XT compare to the XTi, but I would imagine they are similar.

If camera ergonomics are important to you, I'd recommend you look around on eBay for a cheap used EOS-20D.

xfiftyfour
Mar 12, 2007, 07:41 AM
Personally, I don't think anyone should use a kit lens. Better optics is really the reason that you'd buy an SLR to begin with. The best lens for general use, in my opinion, is Canon's 28-135mm IS USM lens. However, this lens is more than you're looking to pay.

I also want to add that I've used several Canon DSLR's, and I liked most of them okay. Last week I picked up an XTi for the first time though, and while the picture quality was fine, I thought the ergonomics were terrible. I think the Rebel XTi might be the best selling DSLR on the market, but had it been the first Canon i'd used, I wouldn't have bought another one. I have no idea how the ergonomics of the XT compare to the XTi, but I would imagine they are similar.

If camera ergonomics are important to you, I'd recommend you look around on eBay for a cheap used EOS-20D.
Yeah, well, ergonomics is mostly personal preference - different for each person. I learned photography on a Canon Rebel 35mm, so I'd really like my first DSLR to be the Rebel as well (familiarity, comfortable with the grip, etc). I will take a jump into the store just to be sure that the ergonomics are the same as the film camera before ordering, though. Thanks for the heads up. :)

As for the lens: Yeah, I honestly didn't even know if there WAS a better lens than the kit in my price range, but I thought I should ask.

Fortunately, a friend of my fiance is a photographer on the side, shoots canon, and has a huge collection of lenses that we'll be able to borrow and try out, so we're not too concerned with building up our own collection just yet.

Grimace
Mar 12, 2007, 07:50 AM
For $75, you should have the 50mm f/1.8 -- great bokeh and low light performance; one of the sharpest lenses out there.

It's not a zoom so you may want to look at less expensive offerings from Sigma.

Chaszmyr
Mar 12, 2007, 08:14 AM
For $75, you should have the 50mm f/1.8 -- great bokeh and low light performance; one of the sharpest lenses out there.

It's not a zoom so you may want to look at less expensive offerings from Sigma.

It's a good lens to have, but it's definitely not an all-purpose lens.

Sigma lenses aren't bad, and they're definitely cheaper than Canon lenses, but I think Canon probably makes the best glass on the market. Still, you could also buy a Sigma lens now, and buy an L lens in the distant future.

xfiftyfour
Mar 12, 2007, 08:18 AM
It's a good lens to have, but it's definitely not an all-purpose lens.

Sigma lenses aren't bad, and they're definitely cheaper than Canon lenses, but I think Canon probably makes the best glass on the market. Still, you could also buy a Sigma lens now, and buy an L lens in the distant future.

I'll look into the Sigma lenses. Any off-hand that you think would be a good lens to have if you could only have one?

Or, if not, what should I be looking for in general?

DigitalAx
Mar 12, 2007, 08:22 AM
For $75, you should have the 50mm f/1.8 -- great bokeh and low light performance; one of the sharpest lenses out there.

It's not a zoom so you may want to look at less expensive offerings from Sigma.

I second the 50mm lens as an excellent buy for portraits. You may also want to throw a nice 300mm lens in as well. These two, coupled with your kit lens, will be able to help you immensely as you learn. As you get better, begin to upgrades your lenses.

Remember, the digital Rebels are backwards compatible with the 35mm Canon lenses. This is a great way to give you most of the functionality, without all the cost.

Chaszmyr
Mar 12, 2007, 08:31 AM
Or, if not, what should I be looking for in general?

You want a zoom lens that starts in the 20-35mm range, and zooms up to the 70-150mm range. Autofocus is a must (Canon USM is preferable), Image Stablizer (IS) is nice too. You probably don't want a really wide-angle lens. If you want to check out specific lens reviews, you can always head over to http://www.fredmiranda.com

xfiftyfour
Mar 12, 2007, 02:05 PM
You want a zoom lens that starts in the 20-35mm range, and zooms up to the 70-150mm range. Autofocus is a must (Canon USM is preferable), Image Stablizer (IS) is nice too. You probably don't want a really wide-angle lens. If you want to check out specific lens reviews, you can always head over to http://www.fredmiranda.com

Thank you so much for the help! That info makes it much easier to shop on my own. I really appreciate it!

Westside guy
Mar 12, 2007, 02:45 PM
The problem with any lens that starts at, say 28mm on a Digital Rebel (or any other 1.5-1.6 cropped sensor) is they are likely not wide enough for you to be satisfied having as your only zoom. You have to remember that, on these cameras, 28mm is the equivalent of 42mm on a film camera.

That's why the kit lenses on dSLRs tend to start down at the 18-20mm range.

Grimace
Mar 12, 2007, 03:09 PM
You want a zoom lens that starts in the 20-35mm range, and zooms up to the 70-150mm range. Autofocus is a must (Canon USM is preferable), Image Stablizer (IS) is nice too. You probably don't want a really wide-angle lens. If you want to check out specific lens reviews, you can always head over to http://www.fredmiranda.com

If he has only one lens to pick (ever) -- that is a good thought, but he may also want to consider starting with a wide-midrange zoom and then getting something longer later. There are a LOT of zooms in the 70-200mm and 70-300mm range. A fast zoom at the wide-midrange vs. an all-purpose but slower lens is what I would go for personally. Just different opinions!

Mantat
Mar 12, 2007, 03:18 PM
As someone said, look to buy an used 20D. They perform very well and feels better. It will last you longer than a XT ever will. I know because I have a XT right now and looking to upgrade to a 5D or Mark IIn. The price difference between my current camera and the upgrade is ridiculous. If I had bought a 20D, I would have been able to hold onto it for a bit longer. Now, I just have to pray that they announce the new 5D this fall (or please please please sooner!).

The kit lens isnt THAT bad. its just that when you compare it with better lens, you can quickly tell the difference, at least when the lighting condition arent perfect.

What I usualy suggestion is to get the kit lens, a 50mm prime and a 70-300 zoom. Every range is covered and it will give you the time to learn what you like to do and then upgrade to L lens.

miloblithe
Mar 12, 2007, 04:33 PM
Inspired by the poor reviews of the kit lens, I decided to buy Tokina's 19-35 f/3.5-4.5 as my sort of basic lens for my XTi. I'm not sure if this was a brilliant move or kind of silly, but I have enjoyed the lens for the most part.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/241/cat/33

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=240&sort=7&cat=40&page=1

It tends to get excellent reviews as a cheap but good lens, and I think that's pretty much been my impression of it.

And it's big and heavy, with a 77mm filter thread, which makes me feel like a big boy.

I feel like that's well complemented by Canon's 50mm f/1.8 and I have a hand-me-down crappy zoom, 70-210 Tamron f/4.5-6.3.

archosage
Mar 13, 2007, 01:07 AM
My question to you is: for a somewhat beginner, is the kit lens really all that bad? If so, are there any lenses you'd recommend instead (either Canon or third party), that is a good walk around lens, but is still only around ~$200-$250? Or, would you just opt for the better camera, and worry about the lens at another time?


The kit lens is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's a great lens to learn with and a lot more capable than many say. My advice is to go with the kit and save your money for a very nice lens that compliments the shooting habits you observe and develop. The other fellows here have given some great advice and sites, but here's one you should look at:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=22402000

These were all taken with the kit lens, incredible isn't it. Don't start out thinking that your equipment matters more than your eye or visualization of the image. As your skills develop, so too should your equipment. The next step in lenses would be the 50mm f/1.8. A fantastic little lens for a great price as others have already pointed out.

Cheers,

Larry

xfiftyfour
Mar 13, 2007, 07:39 AM
The kit lens is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's a great lens to learn with and a lot more capable than many say. My advice is to go with the kit and save your money for a very nice lens that compliments the shooting habits you observe and develop. The other fellows here have given some great advice and sites, but here's one you should look at:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=22402000

These were all taken with the kit lens, incredible isn't it. Don't start out thinking that your equipment matters more than your eye or visualization of the image. As your skills develop, so too should your equipment. The next step in lenses would be the 50mm f/1.8. A fantastic little lens for a great price as others have already pointed out.

Cheers,

Larry

Awesome, thank you so much. :)

I think we'll go ahead and get the XTi with the kit lens, and then just buy a better lens down the road, once we've developed enough sense to notice the difference. :p

ChrisA
Mar 13, 2007, 11:04 AM
Oh, and while I'm getting advice anyways - what do you think about the differences between the XT and the XTi? Even if I go with the kit lens, would anyone think that the XTi might be overkill for a beginner, and would you think that the XT would be the better/smarter buy?

Thanks for the advice!

Which body you buy does not matter much. it makes almost zero difference to the finished image. Lenses do matter. But the Canon kits lens is not the best build quality but on the other hand it is cheap, very inexpensive so on balance it's a good deal. It only cost about $100. Use it. Take 1,000 photos and then decide what lens you really want. What you do is remember the images you could NOT get with the kit lens and then buy one that would have gotten those. But shoot 1,000 photos first.

Don't spend more money on a body if that money has to come out of a lens budget.

mrkgoo
Mar 14, 2007, 01:55 AM
The kit lens is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's a great lens to learn with and a lot more capable than many say. My advice is to go with the kit and save your money for a very nice lens that compliments the shooting habits you observe and develop. The other fellows here have given some great advice and sites, but here's one you should look at:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=22402000

These were all taken with the kit lens, incredible isn't it. Don't start out thinking that your equipment matters more than your eye or visualization of the image. As your skills develop, so too should your equipment. The next step in lenses would be the 50mm f/1.8. A fantastic little lens for a great price as others have already pointed out.

Cheers,

Larry

My thoughts exactly. I don't know if I got a pretty good kit lens, or if I'm half blind, but I enjoyed the performance from the kit lens. I've since moved on, but I would still argue that the photographer makes a bigger difference to a photo than the equipment (though, no doubt a good photographer can do even better things with great gear).

Chaszmyr
Mar 14, 2007, 02:48 AM
The kit lens is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's a great lens to learn with and a lot more capable than many say. My advice is to go with the kit and save your money for a very nice lens that compliments the shooting habits you observe and develop. The other fellows here have given some great advice and sites, but here's one you should look at:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=22402000

These were all taken with the kit lens, incredible isn't it. Don't start out thinking that your equipment matters more than your eye or visualization of the image. As your skills develop, so too should your equipment. The next step in lenses would be the 50mm f/1.8. A fantastic little lens for a great price as others have already pointed out.

Cheers,

Larry

The waterfall photo on that website is the perfect example of how things work with the kit lens, in my opinion. It's a really wonderful photo, despite the lens, but if that were my photo I'd be frustrated that it doesnt have better sharpness and color contrast especially in the upper left quadrant. If it had been taken with a better lens, that likely wouldn't have been an issue.

DigitalAx
Mar 14, 2007, 10:32 AM
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=22402000

These were all taken with the kit lens, incredible isn't it. Don't start out thinking that your equipment matters more than your eye or visualization of the image. As your skills develop, so too should your equipment. The next step in lenses would be the 50mm f/1.8. A fantastic little lens for a great price as others have already pointed out.

Those look great! Although, I have very serious doubts that the fruit fly picture was taken with the kit lens. Looks like a macro to me. And IF that really is the kit lens, and the fly isn't 3ft., someone please fill me in, cause last time I checked, I couldn't do that with the kit lens that came with my camera. :rolleyes:

Lovesong
Mar 14, 2007, 10:36 AM
Those look great! Although, I have very serious doubts that the fruit fly picture was taken with the kit lens. Looks like a macro to me. And IF that really is the kit lens, and the fly isn't 3ft., someone please fill me in, cause last time I checked, I couldn't do that with the kit lens that came with my camera. :rolleyes:

He was probably using extension tubes.

Cameront9
Mar 14, 2007, 10:58 AM
He was probably using extension tubes.

Either that, or he reversed the kit lens (I.E. got a fancy adaptor to mount it on the body backwards, which effectively turns it into a cheap macro...)

xfiftyfour
Mar 14, 2007, 12:14 PM
The waterfall photo on that website is the perfect example of how things work with the kit lens, in my opinion. It's a really wonderful photo, despite the lens, but if that were my photo I'd be frustrated that it doesnt have better sharpness and color contrast especially in the upper left quadrant. If it had been taken with a better lens, that likely wouldn't have been an issue.

Well, see, my point exactly: I think I ought to wait until I actually NOTICE these things on my own before spending cash on a better lens. I guess I'll know I've progressed once the kit lens starts to tick me off. ;)

Until then, I think a better lens would just be wasted on me.

bmcgrath
Mar 14, 2007, 06:07 PM
Canon EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 lens is super! I have one and it's performance is very good. I have also used the kit lens that canon supplys with their dslr's and to be honest there not half bad.

sjl
Mar 14, 2007, 06:38 PM
Canon EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 lens is super!

By and large, I tend to agree. Its one major achilles heel, and the one reason why I might replace it down the road, is that it suffers from very noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end. It's not particularly objectionable, and can easily be corrected in software, but it may be a cause for some concern.

But until I can afford the EF-S 10-22mm, and then (probably) the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, it'll stay in my bag. I'm nowhere near the point of needing to replace it; even when I do replace it, it'll be because I want to, not because I've outgrown it.

As a walkaround zoom, you can do far worse, and you'd have to spend a fair bit more to do better.

Grimace
Mar 15, 2007, 12:06 AM
for guaranteed *sharp* pics - you still can't go wrong with a 50mm f/1.8. Yes, it's not a zoom, but you will capture amazing quality -- just move your feet! ;)

Vortexfl
Mar 22, 2007, 09:22 AM
for guaranteed *sharp* pics - you still can't go wrong with a 50mm f/1.8. Yes, it's not a zoom, but you will capture amazing quality -- just move your feet! ;)


I also have the same lense it does a awesome job and benefit is, if you break it your only out 75.00. I have taken pictures of the kids, my friends dog at the dog park and its the best 75.00 I have spent.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8-Camera-Lens/dp/B00007E7JU/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-2261388-0804027?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1174573473&sr=8-1

Here is a article that talks about the the lense:
http://photo.net/equipment/canon/ef50/

This is my next lense for the money, the cannon lense is alot more expensive:
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC SLD ELD Aspherical Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-18-50mm-Aspherical-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000JDJJ82/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-2261388-0804027?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1174573213&sr=8-3

I love my Cannon Rebel XT 8.1MP. :) :)

bmat
Mar 22, 2007, 10:14 AM
The kit lens isn't great, but it really depends upon what you want to do. And it's not a bad lens to start out with. Especially dending upon what you're shooting.

Basically, if you're willing to stop down, the kit lens will produce nice shots. Now, if you need fast glass (f2.8 or wider), then you're not going to be able to afford that in a zoom anyway on the less than $250 budget. So, if you want something last, then I'd recommend a prime of some sort. The 50 1.8 is very good, but also consider a 35 2.0. It's a more normal field of view on a crop camera such as an XTi.

While this may be a contrary view, sometimes it's better to start slower rather than quicker. That way you can decide whether you're going to shoot wide (maybe saving later for a wide angle like a 10-22 or sigma 10-20 would be better) or tele (like a 70-300 IS). But until you spend awhile with it, you may not know what it is you're really going to shoot.

Of course, if you know the focal lengths you want, then that should narrow it down.

jlcharles
Mar 22, 2007, 11:32 AM
... or tele (like a 70-300 IS)...

That lens is $550. Your money would be much better spent on the $580 70-200 f/4L

miloblithe
Mar 22, 2007, 01:26 PM
That lens is $550. Your money would be much better spent on the $580 70-200 f/4L

Depends on what's important to you. The 70-300 IS has two obvious important advantages over the f/4L: it's 100mm longer and has IS. It's also lighter, if that's an advantage (for hikers, while traveling, etc). The f/4 isn't really that much faster. Both are f/4 at 70mm, and at 200mm the 70-300 is f/5.0, only 2/3 of a stop slower than the f/4. It's only f/5.6 closer to 300mm. Likewise, the f/4 would become an f/5.6 at 280mm with a 1.4x extender (which would cost another $250?? to boot). They are both good sharp lenses, with some small advantage going to the f/4. Obviously, the f/4's big advantage is durability and build quality and full-time manual focusing. And the front end doesn't rotate.

xfiftyfour
Mar 22, 2007, 01:59 PM
Wellll.. I ended up just buying the XTi with the kit lens, and have been borrowing a friend's lenses (75-300mm IS and his 60mm f/2.8 USM macro) to fool around with.

At any rate, the kit lens blows after you've been spoiled, lol. So now we're saving up first for a better walk around (the EF-S 17-85mm IS), and then hopefully a telephoto (the 70-300mm IS, or if we run into some money, the 70-300mm IS DO ;) ). Well, those are our picks right now anyways.. might change by the time we've actually saved up enough for 'em.. lol

bmat
Mar 23, 2007, 09:13 AM
I still might consider the 50 1.8, just because it's pretty cheap and offers low light without a flash capability and bokeh that you might not otherwise be able to capture. That brings up another point, which is, as much as you focus on glass, don't forget saving for the external flash as well. Properly used, it's very difficult to tell a bounced flash from an ambient light pic.

-hh
Mar 23, 2007, 01:54 PM
I still might consider the 50 1.8, just because it's pretty cheap and offers low light without a flash capability and bokeh that you might not otherwise be able to capture.

With as easy as it is to crank up to ISO 800+, while I know that fast glass is always good, I'm inclined to opine that its not quite as important to have a 50mm prime anymore.

BTW, I have a copy of the "Plastic Fantastic" Tokina 19-35mm on my Canon 20D. Its not as wide as I enjoyed on my 35mm, but that goes with the course.

For my last couple of vacations, I've been carrying just the 19-35 and my Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS with a 1.4x This does leave me a focal gap of 35-70, but for that, I can 'zoom with my feet' - - I don't even bother to carry my EF 28-135 IS anymore...or my 50mm prime. Where I want to go next is to reestablish something really wide...thinking about something like the 10-22 EF-S. Overall, I'd not avoid buying any EF-S mount lens that isn't any wider than what I can get with an EF mount, which essentially means that I consider around 17mm to be the upper limit for focal length on an EF-S.

That brings up another point, which is, as much as you focus on glass, don't forget saving for the external flash as well. Properly used, it's very difficult to tell a bounced flash from an ambient light pic.

Much of it can depend on your preferred subject - - for some, it may be more beneficial to get a tripod first.


-hh

BurtonCCC
Mar 25, 2007, 02:10 AM
I bought the XT body with the 50mm f1.8 that was mentioned above. It worked out well, but I wish I would have gone with a zoom lens. If you're a beginner, the kit lens is perfect for you. If you want a little bit more length on the lens, you can get this older 28-90mm Canon lens refurbished by Canon for quite cheap from Adorama here (http://www.adorama.com/CA2890AF3U.html?searchinfo=28-90mm&item_no=3). Note that that lens is f4.0, which is pretty "slow," but not that much slower than the f3.5 kit lens.

As for the question of the XT vs. the XTi, the assumption that the XTi is better is actually a false assumption. The XT, even at 2 megapixels less, takes pictures just as sharp as its 10 megapixel counterpart. This isn't just a rumor, it's documented on the best digital photography review site on the net, DPReview. Here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/page24.asp) is the link to the page where they compare the image quality side-by-side and conclude that the only thing difference between the cameras is image SIZE and that the image QUALITY actually looks better on the less expensive camera. To take it a step further, here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/page23.asp) is a comparison that shows that the XT images look just as good as the images from a Canon 20D. How impressive is that? If you want to spend several hundred dollars more for the same quality images, be my guest, but I'll save my bank.

Hope this helps.

Daniel.

Westside guy
Mar 25, 2007, 02:41 AM
As for the question of the XT vs. the XTi, the assumption that the XTi is better is actually a false assumption. The XT, even at 2 megapixels less, takes pictures just as sharp as its 10 megapixel counterpart.

I've been trying to coin a new phrase for this - the "megapixel myth". :D

It's especially in play when you see someone bragging about their 5 megapixel cell phone camera. But even with dSLRs, it's very true - for the vast majority of photographers, there's just no practical difference moving from 8 to 10 or 10 to 12.

Of course just about everyone figures "That may be true, but I'm the exception". :rolleyes:

BurtonCCC
Mar 25, 2007, 03:23 PM
I've been trying to coin a new phrase for this - the "megapixel myth". :D

I like it! And the "megapixel myth" is born! :p

Daniel.

islandman
Mar 25, 2007, 04:12 PM
So, I'm about to purchase my first DSLR. I know the basics of photography, and have taken a photography class, but I'm still quite a beginner, I'd say. I'm hoping to start taking photos every day to get better (I'll never be a professional photographer or anything, but I am studying graphics, so this skill can only help).

Anyways, I was set on getting the Canon XTi, but I've read that the kit lens is pretty horrible. So, as a second option, I was thinking about getting the Canon XT body instead, and opting for a slightly better walk around lens.

My question to you is: for a somewhat beginner, is the kit lens really all that bad? If so, are there any lenses you'd recommend instead (either Canon or third party), that is a good walk around lens, but is still only around ~$200-$250? Or, would you just opt for the better camera, and worry about the lens at another time?

Oh, and while I'm getting advice anyways - what do you think about the differences between the XT and the XTi? Even if I go with the kit lens, would anyone think that the XTi might be overkill for a beginner, and would you think that the XT would be the better/smarter buy?

Thanks for the advice!

A great lens that's just outside of your price-range is the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. You can read great things about it in the Canon SLR Lens Talk forum at http://www.dpreview.com/ or read about it at http://www.fredmiranda.com/.

I own a 20D, a 20D, a 300D (that I rarely use), and several lenses, including:
Sigma:
12-24
70-200 f/2.8

Canon
50 f/1.8 (Love this one)
85 f/1.8 (Love this more than the 50mm)
70-300 DO IS USM (great for travel, but expensive)
17-55 f/2.8 (my favorite lens, but very expensive)

Tamron
28-75 f/2.8

Of the lenses above, the Canon 50 f/1.8 and the Tamron are the best bang for the buck, by far. All of the other lenses that I own are expensive. I love them, but I shoot professionally from time to time, so it's a business expense for me.

walangij
Mar 25, 2007, 11:32 PM
If you're looking to upgrade, then Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is a fantastic lens for around $450. In some terms, it is an equivalent to the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS minus the IS and around $500. If you can't afford the Canon, the tamron is a great bang for your buck lens, with better IQ than the Canon 17-85mm F/4-F5.6 IS and cheaper as well. Check out the fredmiranda.com site that miloblithe and islandman have both recommended. Excellent user reviews which will help in your choice.

Regis27
Mar 26, 2007, 03:41 AM
Well, see, my point exactly: I think I ought to wait until I actually NOTICE these things on my own before spending cash on a better lens. I guess I'll know I've progressed once the kit lens starts to tick me off. ;)

Until then, I think a better lens would just be wasted on me.

I don't think it's just a matter of noticing the quality of the lens, but more importantly using the kit lens will give you a chance to notice what kind of photography you enjoy doing.

There is no perfect lens, and the ones that even come close are $1000 or more. There are plenty of good or great lenses around $200-400 but they don't do everything.

Use the kit lens for a few months and ask yourself these questions:

Did I find myself wanting to get closer to my subjects? -> you'll need a zoom past the kit's 55mm. look for something that goes to 70, 85, or 105mm.

Was the 18mm (wide angle) enough for most subjects? if not, you might want to concentrate on a 10-22 wide angle.
more than enough? plenty of great lenses start at 24mm or 28mm. If you don't need the wide angle of the kit, you can start at these focal distances and save some money (and get further on the tele end.)

Did I shoot a lot of low light and don't like using a flash. -> look into the fast primes. the 50mm 1.8 is almost universally recommended to people starting out.

There's no perfect lens at the price you're looking (believe me because that's approx. my range too.) So instead, figure out exactly what kinds of pictures you like taking and get a first lens to fit that. It will end up saving you money in the long run. (e.g. if you get a good wide angle, you can later compliment it with a middle zoom as your shooting styles change. This is much better than getting a low quality super zoom and then replacing it completely as you realize that it doesn't meet your developing expectations.)

Regis27
Mar 26, 2007, 03:50 AM
One more thing:

The kit isn't as bad as people make out, AS LONG AS YOU KNOW ITS WEAK POINTS.

Take a look at the charts here:

http://photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_1855_3556/index.htm

What does it tell you?

If you're using the kit at 18mm, don't use it wide open at f/3.5. (Horrible edge sharpness.) At 18mm keep it at f/11, and it has decent quality.

At 35mm and 55mm, you can get good and very good sharpness across the board.

Is it a great lens? No. But at least don't make it worse by using it at its worst points.

Regis27
Mar 26, 2007, 04:02 AM
This is my next lense for the money, the cannon lense is alot more expensive:
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC SLD ELD Aspherical Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 can be found now and again for around $410. Might also be worth checking out in comparison to the sigma.

there's a review here:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-17-50mm-f-2.8-XR-Di-II-Lens-Review.aspx