Relative quality of two lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by annk, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #1
    I've been reading so much about the Canon 350D that I finally went into a store to handle it, see how it felt. I keep telling myself I won't buy a DSLR just yet, but husband will be in Singapore in a few weeks, so I'm tempted to have him pick one up for me.

    This is a reputable store, and I made it clear I wasn't going to buy that day, but that I was seriously interested in that particular camera. I'd been assuming that I would eventually buy the camera with the kit lens to save money, get used to the functions while saving up for a better lens.

    But the guy helping me said something interesting. I told him I was coming from a Canon S2 IS, that I'm getting more and more interested in macro, but that I also need a lens that can be used all-around. He said that the S2 IS actually has a better (fixed) lens than the Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens that sells with the 350D. He suggested I get the 350D body with a Sigma lens. I'm sorry I can't remember the exact specs for that lens, but he said it would do well for macro, but could be used all-around, and would be a reasonably priced step up from what I had.

    So - those of you with experience - does that sound right, that the glass on my good P and S is superior to the Canon EF-S 18-55mm? If I'm going to go over to a DSLR, it doesn't make sense to go down in glass quality.
     
  2. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

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    #2
    I'd say he's right. The 18-55mm isn't a praticularly good lens, and it doesn't have USM. Certainly won't be as good of a macro lens as your S2 is.

    Anyway, I'd need to know the sigma lens, but my guesses would be the 17-70mm f2.8-4 or 24-70mm f2.8. Both of which are good lenses. They don't have USM but they still focus quickly. If you're truely interested in macro thought, you might do well to pick up the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM or the Sigma 100 or 150mm f2.8 HSM lens.
     
  3. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #3
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    I think the Sigma is the second one you mentioned. I am planning on getting the Canon 100mm eventually, but I just can't make too big of an investment right off the bat. And my S2 does really take nice macros. It just seemed so silly to go over to a DSLR, without having a better lens.
     
  4. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #4
    The 18-55 isn't the greatest lens so unless you are dying for that range immediately you'd be better off getting another lens and buying the body solo.

    As much as you may be into macro now (and in the future) you won't want only macro lenses for your dslr so having an all-around workhorse is strongly recommended. The best lens for this, and for the money I think, is the Tamron 28-75 f2.8....around $300 I think and it's awesome. If you haven't been tainted by the lug feel of pro glass yet then this is hands down awesome (I still want a 24-70L but my 28-75 takes the same(better) images :p )

    I hope that helps. Without the specs from the lens the salesmen suggested I can't agree completely, but I can certainly suggest you look elsewhere from that 18-55.
     
  5. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #5
    Thanks, yes, it does help. :)

    I also noticed that having a battery grip put on made it a lot more comfortable to hold the camera, especially with the other, heavier lens.
     
  6. efoto macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Yes, especially with the 300/350D models, although the 20/30D and 5D all suffer from having small(er) bodies as well. A vert grip certainly helps out....I just keep finding alternate ways to spend $150 so I have yet to come by one despite my yearnings :(
     
  7. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

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    #7
    the 300D is a lot closer in size to the 10/20/30D than the 350D.

    Speaking of grips. I saw someone with a 20D and the 18-55mm taking a picture (several actually) of something, anyway he was using it in portrait, but instead of rotating the camera the way a normal person would, like having a battery grip but without one so your right hand is on your forhead using the controls, and your left hand is on the lens operating the lens. This guy had it rotated the opposite way, and he was holding it by the lens, and using his right hand to change settings on the lens and "poking" at the camera controls like shutter release without holding the grip. It was hilariously awkward. :D

    Anyway, the Sigma 17-70mm is a great lens. If I didn't already get my 24-70mm sigma I'd have gotten that lens when it came out.
     
  8. nutmac macrumors 68030

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    #8
    If you are considering Canon's DSLR camera, lens choices can be overwhelming. I strongly recommend visiting The-Digital-Picture to learn the basics (and then some). It has a ton of lens reviews and articles, geared toward Canon DSLR cameras.
     
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

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    #9
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

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    #10
    If you're considering getting into DSLR, and since you're a Canon fan already and want to stay with that brand, may I suggest that you skip the upgraded Digital Rebel and move on into the 20D (which can be gotten for a good price now) or the new 30D? I suspect that in the long run you would be much happier with one of those than with the Digital Rebel. Absolutely you should not waste money on the "kit lens" that comes with the Digital Rebel -- put your money elsewhere!
     
  11. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    I wondered about that Clix Pix, but I still feel insecure enough to want some scene settings, letting the camera make the decisions. I'll probably always be in situations where I just want to take snaps to record some family event, without having time to concentrate on being creative. And while I'll be keeping my S2IS, I won't always be willing to lug both around. That's why I thought the Rebel might be a good next step, giving me my security blanket, but room to learn as well. But I'll read up on and take a look at the 20D next time I go by the store.

    I don't know if I'm a Canon fan outside the fact that I really like the S2IS, and I figured it's nice to recognize the layout of menus etc. I mentioned that to the guy selling, he said they were pretty much brand neutral, that if I had wanted to switch to Nikon (for example) it would only take a short time to readjust, but that I may as well stay with Canon if I'm happy.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #12
    I just used the Canon Digital Rebel XT/350D again today. Haven't used one for awhile. It had the kit lens. Horrid.

    I wouldn't even bother getting a Canon dSLR if I had to get the 350D and the kit. The kit lens it comes with feels much cheaper than the one that came with my D50, which already feels cheap to me. All the things that bugged me about it before do even more now that I've had my D50 for awhile. The camera itself feels cheap and not well built, but it takes great photos, like all DSLRs do. And it produces little noise at high ISO, so I guess build quality is a bit of a tradeoff for a very capable camera. ;)

    I'm going to guess that the Sigma.....regardless of which one......will be better than the 350D's kit lens.
     
  13. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

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    #13
    The 20D has the same auto modes as the 350D. But I'm not saying to skip it. If you're just starting out I'd save the money on the camera body and buy a lens or two. Lenses make the experience more fun, and there isn't any difference in photo quality between the 20D and 350D. If you find you're missing features in a year or two you can always sell it and buy a better camera then.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

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    #14
    You might want to have a look, then, at the 20D and 30D, as well as the Nikon D50 and D70s. All of them have the "scene mode" settings and of course also "auto." I think that it is very important to handle all the various cameras, see which feels good in your hands and when you hold it up to your eye and when you use the menu functions.

    Jared has a good point about putting most of your money into lenses and not worrying a lot about the camera body, but you do need to have one which feels comfortable, you can handle easily and eventually intuitively, and which is capable of doing what you want. Good lenses are key, though, and definitely you should buy the best lenses that you can afford that will do the job you want.

    Oddly enough, the D200, the next step up from the D70/D70s, feels easier to me to use than the D70/D70s. Why? Because there are more buttons on the body and I don't have to go digging through menus to make various changes. However, the D200 doesn't have "scene modes," so if you want those you'll have to forgo this camera for the time being.....
     
  15. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

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    #15
    I bought a Digi Rebel XT with the kit lens. For me, the kit lens served a purpose. I hadn't really taken a lot of pictures in the past two or three years, so I used the kit lens to retrain myself on a lot of things I had forgotten (still a noob though). I used the time to learn and to research lenses and save money. Once I placed another lens on the 350D, I haven't even looked at the kit lens.

    One thing that helped me decide which lenses to buy was by looking at the focal length info in the get info panel in iPhoto.

    I found I had very few photos taken below 24mm and I had some pictures where I remembered wanting a macro but couldn't achieve it with the kit lens. So I replaced the kit lens with a higher quality 24-70mm lens.
     
  16. gamer2k macrumors newbie

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    #16

    Nice idea, I think that the kit lens serves as a good "whatever" lens as well. You get a decent range to work with and you can play with the camera a bit with it. I think it's worth getting just because with some stores, the camera + kit lens is only a few dollars more than the camera body alone. Worthwhile even if you just want to use it as a fancy paperweight.
     
  17. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #17
    Thanks for all your ideas and opinions. I'll have husband check the prices for both the 350D and the 20D in Singapore - apparently that's supposed to be the cheapest place on the planet to get electronics. Despite that, I still may end up buying it locally, at the store that everyone raves about. There's a lot to be said for establishing a relationship to a good store with knowledgeable employees. And I'll get something other than the kit glass, since my current Canon has a better lense.
     
  18. efoto macrumors 68030

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    Just to play devil's advocate....when I had my D70 the kit lens there was wonderful, probably the nicest lens to ever be kitted in such a fashion (I'm referencing the 18-70 DX one....I think :p).

    If you aren't set on brand due to previous glass restrictions (since you are referring to your P&S camera) then perhaps a D70s would work well for you (assuming they are still kitting that lens).

    Had to say it...sorry :D
     
  19. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #19
    I'm not necessarily set on Canon, I just figured that since I am happy with my P and S, I may as well take my familiarity with their menus etc with me to my next camera. From reading around, it seems to me that Canon and Nikon (and Olympus, for that matter) are all good cameras, but people seem to be almost religious in regard to what they use. Since I'm happy with my S2IS, I figured why not just continue with Canon.
     
  20. efoto macrumors 68030

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    I think that swearing of allegiance is due to the high cost of quality glass for slr cameras. I had a Sony P&S camera, parents have a Nikon, a lot people I know Canon or Kodak....none of that influenced my decision to get a dSLR, I just made a choice.

    At the time I initially looked into things I chose a Nikon (D70) and after some things happened in my life............lots of dots later I ended up selling all of my Nikon glass and the camera body, ALL of which I took a pretty steep hit on. Moral of the story; switching isn't cheap.

    The reason people are so are so seemingly brand-loyal is because they have to be, no one can afford to be using Canon and then get the new Nikon D200 and use that (with all the same lengths of glass) then get the 5D or whatever is next and yadda yadda..... The reason people are so die-hard about their brand is because they are insecure with their choice. They forget that regardless of brand the camera is simply a tool and that even a disposable film camera ($7) can take astonishing images. Canon and Nikon are both amazing companies, you won't go wrong with either so regardless of where your research takes you rest assured you are getting a wonderfully performing product ;)
     
  21. law guy macrumors 6502a

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    #21
  22. law guy macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Close-up example

    Okay - this was an odd mis-post that I can't seem to delete... see below for what was intended to be the single post.
     
  23. law guy macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Close-up examples for the 18-55

    A few samples in addition to the three people/giraffe shots above - Not really a true-macro as much as a close-up capable lens, at least at these sizes.

    http://homepage.mac.com/tjparadise/.Pictures/2006 Photographs/Flowers/IMG_1105.JPG

    http://homepage.mac.com/tjparadise/.Pictures/2006 Photographs/Flowers/IMG_1116.JPG

    http://homepage.mac.com/tjparadise/.Pictures/2006 Photographs/Flowers/IMG_1109.JPG

    http://homepage.mac.com/tjparadise/.Pictures/2006 Photographs/Flowers/IMG_0984.JPG

    Are there better out there? Absolutely, yes. But the $100 price in kit sets out why the lens might be a good initial choice to build on if your budget is tight.

    Good luck.
     
  24. JobsRules macrumors member

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    #24
    Canon keep shooting themselves int he foot buy kitting up that poor 18-55 with their Cameras.

    Read a few reviews of the 350D asnd 30D. You see 'unsharp mask necessary', 'milky', 'not the sharpest'.

    They're pricey, but I'd personally go for Canon's L-series lenses which have great clarity and sharpness and add real impact.

    For example:

    http://www.pbase.com/cameras/canon/ef_1740_4l

    These Canon shots are nothing like the flat kit-lens images you see. Dare I say, they almost look Nikonesque. ;)
     
  25. law guy macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    You mean they look like they were taken with a Sony CCD?

    Many 18-55 reviews note what I've noted - a fine $100 lens. Many note that performance is just fine stopped up a bit. http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/efs18-55/ or http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/efs18-55/shootout. I'd recommend a better lens, but if the budget is tight, the 18-55 mk II is not a bad starting point.
     

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