Quick Advice - Camera Lenses

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by efoto, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I think I'm going to go buy a new camera tonight, since I was able to sell my old camera on ebay over the weekend. So here is the kicker question to all you photographers out there:

    17-85 f/4-5.6 IS or 17-40 f/4L??

    I'm going to be getting the Canon 20D and I had assumed the kit lens would be a great starter/walk-around lens, but then when I was looking over their rebate forms I noticed that the 17-40 f/4L was similarly priced after rebates (to lens and body)

    Totals would be:
    20D + 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS (kit) - $1699.95
    20D + 17-40 f/4L - $1749.90

    So my obvious question, which makes more sense as a general walk around lens? Is the 17-40 f/4L worth the $150? I experimented with acquiring cheap glass fast with my last camera and I decided this time I want to slowly acquire good glass. That said, I realize one is 'L' and the other not, but I have heard and tested the 17-85 IS and it's not that bad. So that said, as a sole lens for starters (since I'll not have money for this endevor for a second right now) which is suggested? :confused:
     
  2. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #2
    The 17-40L is a really good lens, better (obviously) than the 17-85 but you might appreciate that extra length if its your only lens.

    Personally I would go for the top quality wide angle but if this is your only lens then the 17-85 is a capable but not exceptional lens. You will find the 40 length quite restrictive.

    My recommendation would be to get a 50mm f1.8 (much much faster as neither is really a capable indoor lens) and a (amazingly sharp) 70-200 L F4. thats a great set-up until you can afford a wide angle
     
  3. efoto thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    This is only my 'one lens' until perhaps Christmas when I may self-gift another piece of glass, perhaps a 70-200 f/4L :rolleyes:

    I had the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-5.6 ED and it was alright but not exceptional, but admittedly it did work for most of what I used it for. The 17-85 is listed as a $600 lens, whereas the 17-40 is listed as $700. While the price is not that different, the features are as you gain 'L' but lose IS and some range. I might throw in the 50 f/1.8 anyway, regardless of my choice....I'm just not sure what to do for starters.
    I am supposed to shoot an event for my cousin, in a church (not a wedding thankfully) this coming Sunday. I'll have freedom of movement and range to the point of interest, but in those situations what is more valuable, IS or f/4?
     
  4. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #4
    Well, in a church i would say neither (without flash) are really fast enough (your going to have to bump the ISO right up).

    Thinking for the future (if your getting the 70-200) then the 17-40 is the best bet, if you need a slightly longer length for a couple of weeks then go for the longer 17-85.
    One is consumer and one is pro... I think the decision is down to what you want to end up with in the future.
     
  5. efoto thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    I realize neither is ideal inside without flash, I plan on borrowing one to cover that aspect....perhaps bumping the ISO depending on the lighting as there are rumored to be a ton of windows and a sunny day.

    I realize one is pro and one is consumer, hard choice either way though. I am really a consumer, not a pro, but I would love to have quality stuff for the future as well. Ideally I'd get the 24-70 f/2.8L but it's too much money at this point, and I'd love to get the 70-200 f/2.8L but it too is too much money for right now.

    I'm trying to plan ahead and I really don't want to have duplicate lenses if I can avoid it (ie get the 70-200 f/4 today and next year buy the 70-200 f/2.8), but at the same time I can't fill out a focal range with sacrificing some quality. I don't want to buy a lens around the thing Sunday either, I'm not getting paid so I won't be spending money to specifically cater to that setting.

    I'm thinking by Christmas I can get another lens, if I spend less than $2,000.00 today it could probably be $500-600. So that leaves me with either the 17-85, 17-40, 70-200 f/4....so many choices. I'm somewhat counting on the Canon setup to allow me to crank the ISO in any setting to allow more versatility indoor (although I recognize none of these are meant for that specifically).
     
  6. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816

    Gizmotoy

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    #6
    Something else to consider is the IS on the cheaper lens may get you an extra few stops for your low-light photography.

    Tough call, good luck.
     
  7. efoto thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Right but if you start with more light to begin with....:rolleyes:

    I don't know, it's a tough decision either way. If I start at f/4 but have IS worth three stops (shutter, and usably two I read/hear) opposed to starting at f/2.8 and dealing with it....perhaps 6 of 1, half dozen of another I suppose. Major difference being that f/2.8 tends to be higher quality glass which is another perk.
     
  8. efoto thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    I'll try to revive this thread instead of a new one for a quick question, here goes:

    Along with this camera I received a plethora of software, some seemingly interesting and some less than toilet-paper. There is that stupid label in the USB packaging that says "install software before connecting your camera to a computer for the first time!!! OMGFBBQ" type crap....is that only a Windows issue for drivers or is there a required app to get pictures from my camera to the computer???

    EOS Viewer Utility
    EOS Capture
    Digital Photo Professional

    Those three are the ones that all mentioning handling images straight from the camera. Are they necessary? or just additional for Canon's way?
     
  9. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #9
    I use none of that stuff, you only need it if you are connecting you camera via usb, its much better to connect via card reader and put the images straight ontto your hardrive... thats the way i do it at least
     
  10. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    You're shooting digital, so lens speed are not as important as they used to be. Just crank up the ISO setting! Likewise IS (image stabilizer?) isn't that important, especially on a 85mm lens.

    I think you dilemna is: do I prefer lightweight and size or do I prefer quality? I also think the extra 45mm zoom range will be quite handy.

    I'd suggest going down to you local camera store with a memory card and shoot away with both lenses and see what the pics are like on your screen and in print. If you can't see big differences, go for the 17-85mm ;) :D
     
  11. iDM macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Isn't anyone gonna tell him that it is only 50 dollars more, rather than 150?!?

    (braces to be flamed for misreading something)

    Anyway enjoy it, I've had a Canon Digital w/ underwater case, Canon 35mm rebel, and went up in MP to a Sony 5.0Mp but the thing blows, my Canon 3.0Mp took better quality, color, and saturation photos then the 5.0Mp, i will never buy Sony again for photo and will make every attempt at a Canon Digital SLR once the price of the 35mm~10-13mp range camera becomes reasonable(*w/ lens*)
     
  12. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I'm having the same dilemma right now, efoto.

    I just got a 20d with the craptacular kit lens (18-55) and the 50mm 1.8 (nice!).

    There are too many options when looking for a walk around lens.


    I've heard great things about the Tamron 28-75 2.8. It's only $350 but isn't quite wide enough.

    For a wider lens I can't decide between Canon's EF-S 10-22 or the 17-40. Argh!

    At this point I'll pick up the 17-40 first, and then the Tamron. The 10-22 is nice, but has some distortion since it's so wiiiiiide.

    Let me know what you end up with!
     
  13. Dafke macrumors 6502

    Dafke

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    #13
    same dillema here, very difficult to decide.

    you might want to take a look at the sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, you get some extra 10 mm compared to the 17-40 canon, and a 2.8 aperture. Price is about 500 euro/dollar. From what i have read this lens is pretty good and can compete with the 17-40.

    oh and another thing, don't you have that 100 euro cashback deal after buying the 17-40 or is that for the 350d only?
     
  14. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Efoto, you ended up with the 24-70 f2.8L?!?

    How is it (saw your desktop in the 'November desktops' thread)??
     
  15. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #15
    Having a 24x36mm sensor (I'm guessing this is what you mean) isn't a big deal with DSLR. Its only drawback is you loose a bit on the wide-angle side. Lenses are easier to design for smaller sensors, so digital wide-angle only zooms come quite cheap. I personally enjoy the extra kick it gives my telephotos :D

    So I guess the bottom line is: if you want a DSLR and have the means, get one know - you won't regret it (even if it has a x1.5 FOV).


    [sidenote:]
    This is what I find a bit screwy in the Canon DLSR line-up: what do they sell cameras with different sized sensor? Why the attachment to the 35mm format?
     
  16. efoto thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16
    :D :D :D :D :D describes it pretty well :D

    It's awesome, simple as that. I spent more than I should have, but I definitely received what I paid for. They definitely spared little when constructing this thing, it's a monster! I feel like I have to hold the setup (24-70 on 20d) by the lens because it's so heavy I'm afraid it's going to tear off the body! :eek: I'm sure it won't, but it feels like it. I'm still playing around with the camera right now more than the lens. Coming from Nikon all of the menus are different and the way to access certain functions/features are certainly different, so it's essentially learning a new device all over, even though the end result is still a picture.

    Once I get the camera working how I want it, and have some decent subjects I'll snap a few nice setups and show off this all-star combo. I seriously love it, there isn't much more to say.

    A note of mention: the 17-40 f/4 L is EF mount which means you can use it on other bodies (film or full-frame digital) without hitch. Once you hit EF-S mounts (10-22) you can only use it on the digital cameras sporting a 1.6 FOVCF sensor. I'm not sure on the specs of that Tamron since I didn't check it out, make sure you check the mount for future-proofing, in case you ever move up to a 1-D series full. I have heard wonderful things about Sigma's EX series, worth looking into those over Tamron I think (I don't like Tamron personally).
     

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