Canon 600D + Zeiss Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wasaple, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. wasaple macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2012
    I am completely lost on what to do for my next DSLR purchase.
    I am purchasing the Canon Eos 600D model, with two options:
    • Purchase the 600D with a standard kit lens (18-55mm) for around $780.
    • Buy the 600D body only ( For around $640) and purchase a Zeiss Lens.
    The Canon 18-55mm kit lens doesn't really seem like it is worth it, so I have been considering the option of just purchasing the body and a separate lens..

    Zeiss lens begin at around 1k for the most basic lenses, so I was wondering if anyone could assist me by recommending either a Zeiss Lens or another lens? I used a Zeiss lens today at Bestbuy, and the way the lens rotates smoothly when zoomed is perfect, while the Canon 600D's kit lens has a mechanic, "unsmooth" rotation. My apologies if that was confusing!
    I do not need anything too nice, just something to produce lovely images for the occasional family outing/vacation and Youtube Skits.

    Thanks! Have a splendid day!
  2. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Mar 15, 2007
    Denton, TX
  3. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    I don't mean to insult you if you're not, but from your message, you want to get started in photography, right?

    From what I understand, Zeiss kind of specializes in prime lens, non-zoom lens with a fixed focal length. (I actually don't see any Zeiss zooms on B&H's site that will work on a Canon EOS camera). They are of extremely high quality and made for working professionals. Basically they will produce the highest quality result but won't be versatile. If you're starting out and want to go with prime lenses, you'll need probably something like 3 primes to cover you bases...(yeah that's like 8k$ if you're getting Zeiss').

    While the kit lens is kind of cheaply made, it's a good starting point to see what lens might suit your need. Canon does make some very high quality lenses, namely the L series that might be more practical than Zeiss' offerings. I'd recommend you get the 600d with the kit lens. You could also consider getting the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens with it as it's quite cheap and a segway into higher quality lenses (sometimes you can get it bundled with the kit lens at a discount). It's a prime lens, so it doesn't zoom. Paired with the 600d it'll be a good focal length for portraits. While the kit zoom lens can be used at 50mm, the prime lens opens up much wider and let's in much more light. Allowing you to shoot with much less light and without a flash (I managed to shoot with not much more than candles) but also a shallower depth of field. Which might be a look you care for. Either way, together, I think they're a great way to start off and get an idea for what type of higher quality lens you want to invest in.
  4. wasaple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2012
    @LumbermanSVO: Thanks for the tip. I will look into the kit lenses.
    @paolo, Thanks! After re-reading my original post, I realized how much if a "noob" I am in the world of photography! I am attempting to get into a bit of photography (learning the basics of operating a DSLR, LOL) in order to please the family with decent family pictures (Our 4 year old Point & Shoot broke down, and in addition, the video recording seemed as if it was filmed with a potato)

    It seems Zeiss lenses (My good friend uses one and recommended it) are for when I am ready to take photography to the next level. I will look into both lenses that you have recommended!
    Also, would these lenses be adequate for creating short Youtube videos such as:
    As I will have some spare time over the summer, I am planning to create humorous skits with friends.. ( I am planning on purchasing a Rode Video Mic/ already have FCP X) for this.
    So it seems that the photos will be used more towards family use, while the video recording will be used for my hobby work.

    Thanks for the replies, they are very, very much appreciated!:)
  5. Shiva Dancing macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    Zeiss lens

    wasaple: The thoughts shared by LumbermanSVO and paolo are appropriate and right on target for a new photographer. You won't go wrong in listening to them.
    Now I'll be a devil's advocate! If your budget is limited, their recommendations make the best sense. If your budget is not limited, reconsider your original impulse and attraction to a Zeiss prime. They are great lenses.
    While not a new photographer myself, having shot with Olympus film cameras starting in 1975, I did not get my first digital "SLR" camera (T2i, or 550D) until 1 1/2 years ago. I first purchased the T2i in kit form with the 18-55 plus the 70-300 (non-L). The 18-55 had good image quality; the 70-300 image quality was excellent. I was not happy however with the cheap plastic feel of both lenses and the not-so-stellar build quality and my feeling that they wouldn't last a long time. I also enjoy manual focus capability from my experience with the old film cameras, and these inexpensive lenses don't offer very appealing manual focus capabilities. The 70-300 also had user reviews noting barrel extension slippage with use over time.
    It basically comes down to your own financial constraints and feelings about build quality and what level of quality you want to live with as you start out. I chose to "live with" and begin my digital SLR system with a good starter body (T2i) with very good glass - during the past 18 months, I have chosen 3 L lenses for very different purposes (100mm L for macro flowering, 70-200 zoom for a variety of all-purpose uses, the entry level 400 mm L for birding capability) and the all-purpose 50mm f1.8 (mark I with metal mount). I use the 3 L lenses regularly, and don't use the 50 mm at all. The main reason is likely because I also picked up a modern Zeiss ZE distagon for Canon mount 35mm f2. This lens has stellar image quality, the highest build quality (my perception of course) of any of my lenses, and superb manual focus capability. The Canon 50 mm lens is a very good lens, but gets left at home while the Zeiss gets taken out regularly.
    I don't shoot much video, but the Zeiss gets reviewed by video shooters as being excellent for that application.
    Once again, the advice to be sensible and start out with inexpensive kit glass is very good and makes lots of sense as you explore photography beyond your basic Point-and-Shoot. Just thought I'd share my own experience and 2 cents worth - I am extremely happy with my decision to purchase and use the Zeiss 35mm f2 with the T2i. If I were to choose only one of my lenses for general use with the widest application, it would be the Zeiss, followed closely by the 70-200L. I am now slowly saving up for a full frame body as well as a second Zeiss lens, but am enjoying this high quality Zeiss lens with my starter body.
    Best wishes for your photography.
  6. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    If you're not interested in the Canon lens, you might want to rethink if Canon is the correct choice of camera for you.
  7. gryffinwings macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2012
    As far as I'm concerned, start with the kit lens, kit lens are usually pretty decent for most situations, it's some of those weird situations that cause problems that you could notice. As far as quality picture that for the most part requires knowing your equipment (settings), how to use it effectively and your technique. All that will make your pictures even better. Once you get better then I would invest in some better glass, and from what I know, Canon makes some really decent lens.

    Personally, I have a Nikon D5100 and I love it. Are you set on getting the Canon? Have you tried how it feels? The best thing is go to a camera store or a place that has a selection of cameras and see how they feel, because there isn't too much of a difference in camera performance at this price point except in layout for buttons, switches, and menus, and ergonomics, which is probably the most important. Also another thing to consider is what format your going to want to use, Full Frame or Cropped frame, for Nikon that is FX for full frame and DX for cropped frame. The larger formates tend to perform better, having shaper and more detailed pictures as well as colors being more vibrant, from what I've heard.

    That's my 2 cents, anyone correct me if I'm wrong.
  8. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Yeah, I think you're better of waiting until you have a solid graps on photo and video before dropping a lot of money on a lens.

    For the video you posted, I don't think a very special lens was used. Possibly a prime or a fairly standard zoom. Primes are usually preferred for video as they can give you a shallower depth of field without burning a hole in your pocket and some of them have a better focusing ring (as you need to focus manually) and they won't change focal length in between shots. Primes are, on average, sharper than a zoom of a comparable price. Though for video, sharpness isn't that crucial. Quite a few people actually use older prime lenses because the build quality is better and the focus ring is nice and big. The results aren't noticeably softer.

    Keep in mind the camera and lenses aren't the only things that affect the output. Lighting, props, mics, tripod with a fluid head, possibly a follow focus and a slider for smooth camera motion are things to consider.
  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Actually I'm going to disagree to a certain extent here.

    I did something similar to the OP, buying body-only and a separate lens for my first DSLR. It was also my first SLR or camera or any kind.

    However, I knew going in that I was going to be fairly serious about photography, and that I was going to stick with it. So I circumvented getting the kit lens to start with, knowing I would eventually want to upgrade it, and got an 18-200 lens instead. Going the separates route upfront put slightly better glass in my hands on day one, and saved me the extra step of upgrading from the kit lens, and dealing with trying to resell a kit lens that has relatively low resale value.

    Now, getting an 18-200 is certainly quite different than jumping right in with a Zeiss MF prime. There I am going to agree with the other posters in saying that it's probably too much lens or too specialized for you as a "my first camera lens". In hindsight, the 18-200 worked out well as a starter lens for me because it allowed me to sample a wide variety of photography (owing to its large zoom range) and let me find the types of photography I enjoyed most, allowing me to better focus my subsequent lens purchases.

    So while I do think that going body-only plus one dedicated lens is a better strategy, I don't think a Zeiss prime is a good starter lens. I'd say depending on how serious you feel your photography will be, and your funding situation, you could start off with a upper midrange prosumer zoom, or even a full-pro lens like a 24-70. That gets you great quality and a versatile zoom range to start feeling out where you like to shoot the most.
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I am not sure whether it makes much sense for you to get Zeiss lenses. For one, they're manual focus lenses and in order to be able to focus properly, you need to modify your viewfinder (you need to get a split screen focus screen). Furthermore, you didn't even specify a focal length.

    If you want to learn photography, I recommend you get a ~30 mm prime (e. g. Sigma's 30 mm f/1.4 or Canon's 35 mm f/1.8 prime). Then use that lens exclusively for some time.

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