New Canon Digital Rebel Owner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by odinsride, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #1
    I just bought the 8 MP Digital Rebel from Amazon, after spending the past two days with my mom's Digital Rebel - I just love this camera!

    Some questions I have are - what are some good lenses to get for a beginner? I've never been into photography and want to learn. I will get the 18-55mm lens that comes included in the camera kit, but I was also looking at the 75-300mm with Image Stabilizer lens (once I can save up for it). Are there any other essential lenses I should have?

    What about filters? I don't know anything about filters, but which ones will I eventually want to get and what do they do?

    Also, just out of curiousity, Is there any way to take nightvision/infrared pics with this camera?
     
  2. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    I started with a 28-135 lens. My second lens would then probably be a 17-40L or a 75-300 IS, not sure which. I think it depends on what you use more. I avoided the 18-55 lens myself. Offers a good range for me. As far as filters, I always put on a UV filter to at least protect the lens. As far as the other filters, I haven't used them.

    Oh, and as far as lenses go, it kinda helps to know a price range. If you can't afford to spend much on a first lens, I guess I'd go with the lens kit. But if you have some money to burn, I'd go 28-135 first.
     
  3. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #3
    Well I've already bought the lens kit, and I'd be willing to spend maybe 300-400 on my next lens.

    Though there is a 28-80mm lens on ebay that I'm looking at for about $60
     
  4. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    Probably get the 50mm f/1.8 Mark 2. Cheap and effective and if you're really looking for another lens, go for that. :)
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    I'd skip that 28-80. Nothing special there.

    The 50mm f/1.8 is a gem. It was my favorite and most used lens until I got a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8.

    Before you buy ANY other lenses, I suggest you read at least two or three photography books, take at least 1000 pictures with your kit lens, and pour over these sites:

    http://photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html
    http://the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/
    http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/

    You'll be in a much better position to make good decisions at that point.
     
  6. chuckzee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Yugoslavia
    #6
    Lenses you might want to look at

    A Couple of things that I would recommend would be to get a fast lens(at least f2.8 or faster) For your medium range zoom, you may want to consider a Sigma 28-70 or 24-70mm. You might also try a Sigma for your wide angle lens as well. These Sigma lenses for Canon cameras are less than half the price of the comparable Canon lenses. The Canon 70-300mm with image stabilizer is a great lens, but it will cost you a lot. However, at these long focal lengths, the image stabilizer is worth the money. I also recommend a couple of fixed focal lenses, such as the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens that others have recommended.

    I agree with miloblithe that you should read one or two basic photo books understand how to fully utilize your new camera and Lenses.

    One last note, I STRONGLY recommend a polarizing filter - It reduces the glare from reflective surfaces and it darkens the blue in the sky while enhancing the texture of the clouds. It is an essential filter.

    Good Luck.
     
  7. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for all the advice everyone - any recommendations on books?

    Here are some I found on amazon:

    The Digital Photography Book (Paperback)
    by Scott Kelby (Author)

    Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) (Paperback)
    by Bryan Peterson (Author)

    Canon EOS Digital Rebel Digital Field Guide (Paperback)
    by Charlotte K. Lowrie (Author)

    Digital Photography: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
    by Gregory Georges (Author)

    Are these all good? They all have 4-5 star ratings
     
  8. walangij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    MI
    #8
    Understanding Exposure is a classic, I don't know about the Canon EOS field guide, I assume you are tech savy and will likely be able to fully utilize your DSLR w/o a dedicated manual so I'd recommend that you save your money on that one.

    Also, for looking for lenses, have you checked out websites such as fredmiranda.com and the-digital-picture.com and photozone.de, those are great review websites but more importantly before buying new lenses is the reading, and also finding what you want to shoot: macro/birds/sports/events/portraits/candids/landscapes/ect.

    I'm venturing out but I don't think the XT can do nightvision or IR to my knowledge.
     
  9. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #9
    I am also learning about photography, and I got a bunch of books from my Library.

    Does your library offer online search through a larger catalog system? If so, you can search for any books online, and have them sent to your local branch. I have found a ton of books this way.

    And if you like the book, you can buy it, if not, you won't waste your cash (that you could be spending on gear! ;) )

    I found a bunch of books by Bryan Peterson on my library's system. I am requesting them now!

    good luck!
     
  10. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    A word of free advice with regards the 75-300mm: don't do it. It is not a good lens, by any stretch of the imagination.

    I have heard that the 70-300mm is significantly better, but can't comment personally ... but I've owned one of the 75-300mm lenses, and was not happy with it at all. Save your money.

    I'll second those who recommended the 50mm f/1.8, though. Easily the best value for money in the Canon lens lineup.
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    Excellent advice. I read just about everything my library had on photography before I bought any lenses.
     
  12. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    The 50mm f/1.8 lens is almost a necessity, so I recommend that as others have.

    A circular polarizer does a lot to improve outdoor images. It gets rid of some of the glare and reflections, and sometimes even makes the sky bluer.

    Amazon has a Tiffen three filter "sampler" consisting of a UV, a polarizer, and a warming filter for about $35 US altogether. While Tiffen isn't the best brand for "professional" filters, $35 is a great deal and I think pretty essential.

    (Tip for buying filters: I have the kit lens with the Rebel as well as the 50mm f/1.8. The 50mm has a 52mm thread size, and the zoom lens has a 58mm thread. I bought the filters for the 58mm, and a 52-58mm step up ring so I could use the filters on both lenses. You should consider doing something like that.)
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #13
    I think miloblithe nails it: start with your stock lens. Skip the 28-80 (45-128 mm on a camera with a 1.6x crop factor), the focal length of that lens won't be that useful compared to the kit lens. Once you got a feel for the camera and the focal lengths, get a new lens. Canon also has a 17-85 lens (similar to Nikon's 18-70). These focal lengths should cover at least 80-90 % of what you shoot (unless you are into sports photography or so).

    BTW I don't think current 70/80-200/300 mm zooms have a particularly nice zoom range on dslrs: 75 mm corresponds to 120 mm and is too much tele and you end up changing lenses a lot. I'd suggest you have a look at the Tokina 50-135 or Sigma 50-150: with them, you don't need to change lenses nearly as often (I have a Nikon 2.8/80-200 zoom and I will sell it soon enough for one of those two lenses).
     
  14. form macrumors regular

    form

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #14
    If you're considering the 75-300 focal range but don't want to pay for the fancy Canon 70-300 IS USM model, Sigma's 70-300 DG APO macro is an entry level lens with excellent behavior regarding chromatic aberrations. It gets softer towards the long end, but almost all 70-300 zooms do. At less than $200 online, it's much more attractive to a beginning hobbyist/enthusiast than a $520+ Canon lens.

    Canon 50mm f/1.8 II: $70. Excellent, sharp, inexpensive, but be prepared to add saturation in photoshop if you use it at large apertures.

    Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di: $275-$300 used. Another excellent, sharp, fairly inexpensive lens. If it's not wide enough:

    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR DiII: $380. A significant upgrade to the 18-55, much less expensive than the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8, and with only a few comparative flaws (Wide angle, wide aperture chromatic aberrations at the edges).

    Canon 70-200mm f/4L: $430-$480 used. If you ever use this lens, you'll never be satisfied with the results of your 18-55mm again.

    Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG: $190. An excellent, low-budget starter lens for telephoto zoom.

    Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM III: $190 (Without USM $125). Canon's equivalent low-budget starter lens for telephoto zoom.

    I feel that 70mm is a great starting point for a dedicated telephoto zoom lens. If you like telephoto, I think the 1.6x crop factor only improves your situation. You only have a 15mm gap between your current kit lens and 70mm, and it's not a crucial area. If you absolutely need to cover all bases, I hear the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC macro at about $330 is a pretty good choice for an upgrade to your 18-55.
     
  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #15
    When you want to shoot nice portraits, possibly indoors, I quickly find myself yearning for something that corresponds to `real' 70 or 80 mm. I have to change lenses more often than I would like to and a lens starting at 50 mm would remedy this. For me, it's not so much about the gap, but more about having to change lenses. It's true however, that this depends on the kind of photography you are interested in.

    I second your suggestion to have a look at third-party lenses: they are usually a lot cheaper and (especially amateurs) get very good picture quality. I would just like to add the name `Tokina': their full-metal lenses have a built quality that is on par with original manufacturer's lenses, the picture quality usually surpasses Sigma and Tamron and they come pretty close (or in some cases surpass) original manufacturer lenses.
     
  16. form macrumors regular

    form

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    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #16
    For indoor portraits using available light, I would sooner choose a fast lens, such as the 50mm f/1.8 or 85mm f/1.8, over something that starts at f/4. However, for well-lit portraits, I think the moderate softness of the 70-300 models at full telephoto would actually complement their function for portrait use.

    I've heard positive things about tokina's build quality, but photozone.de's tests dissuaded me from using their lenses. However, that website may not give the most accurate ratings.
     
  17. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #17
    Thanks for all the tips. I bought the 28-80mm on ebay for pretty cheap - it's the lens I found myself using the most while testing my mom's XT. I believe it was the kit lens that came with her 35mm Rebel.

    Anyway, are there any good digital photography 101/primer websites? Something to explain all these numbers like f/1.8, iso numbers, what the lens 'mm' really means, etc. Just feeling a little overwhelmed with it all right now.
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #18
    My 80-200 zoom starts at 2.8 … which is quite ok for available light ;)
    I agree, a fixed focal length is better for available light photography, but I live on a limited budget.
    Really? I thought the review was overall very positive compared to Canon's (or Nikon's) offerings at the same price point.
    The review of the similarly priced Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 IS ($550 at bh photo) doesn't nearly read that well:
    I've owned Tokina lenses already and I have been very impressed by their handling, image and built quality. Perhaps the pro-level Canon and Nikon lenses have an edge, but you have to pay for that edge, dearly, I might add.
     
  19. form macrumors regular

    form

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #19
    You're welcome, but if you weren't going to listen to anyone anyway, why ask for suggestions?

    mm is effective focal length of the lens in millimeters; your zoom. Multiply it by 1.6x and that's what your focal length ends up being equivalent to. Larger numbers bring you closer to the subject. mm also influences Depth of Field, explained below.

    ISO is light sensitivity of the sensor: Double it and the light sensitivity doubles, e.g. 100 -> 200. The drawback is image quality decreases slightly at higher ISOs, especially ISO1600.

    1/100, 1/500, 1/20 are shutter speeds, measured in fractions of a second. Shutter speed is how long the sensor is exposed to light passing through the lens. Shutter speed, ISO and aperture work together and must be balanced by the camera or the user in order to ensure pictures get enough - but not too much - light.

    f/1.8 or any other fraction is light capturing speed of the lens. It represents the ratio of f (focal length) divided by the number. It pertains to the effective focal length of the lens as it relates to a hole in the back of the lens which is widened or narrowed by something called an aperture.

    The aperture is made of 5-9 blades that come together gradually in a circular pattern to make the hole smaller (making the hole smaller is called stopping down). If it says f/4, the effective focal length (50mm, for instance) is divided by the 4, and this gives you the size of the aperture hole (in this case, 12.5mm). A larger aperture is a smaller number (f/2.8 is larger than f/5.6), and lets more light in.

    Aperture also influences DoF (Depth of field), which is the plane along the z-axis, or 3rd dimension, that appears to be in focus. If you imagine a cone coming out of the lens and ending in a point wherever your camera has focused, there is an area along that cone near the focal point or subject (the tip of the cone) that also appears in focus, because lens design and resolution permits the cone to have just a bit of width to it before things appear soft. When you make the cone wide (large aperture, e.g. f/1.8), the depth of the area in focus is more limited, meaning everything before or beyond it will be out of focus. When you stop down (make the aperture hole smaller, e.g. f/8), it makes the cone start out much narrower and become smaller much more gradually, making that maximum cone width before softness occurs come much farther along the cone's length, meaning greater DoF.

    Also, the longer the focal length, the shorter the DoF.
     
  20. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    Jun 5, 2003
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #20
    Definitely recommend this book. It has made me conscious about what I'm doing with the camera, and helped me get started with manual mode on my non-DSLR camera.
    If you want a book that shows you how a certain settings affects a picture, WITH PICTURES, this is it.
     
  21. form macrumors regular

    form

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    Jun 14, 2003
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    in a country
    #21
    I have no praise for the Canon 75-300; I would never buy one.

    The 50-135mm range does not interest me. I have 3 lenses that overlap it, and I would much prefer a telephoto zoom that reaches farther, at least to 200mm.
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #22
    What lenses do you have, if I may ask?
     
  23. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #23
    That doesn't sound like a very good lens for a dslr. Image quality aside, it will start at 44 mm (effectively), so you'll have problems with group shots even. The stock kit lens would have been more practical IMHO.
     
  24. form macrumors regular

    form

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #24
    Sigma 10-20, Tamron 28-75, Canon 50mm II, Tamron 90mm Macro. I want to sell my macro lens and buy a 70-200, but I won't pay the premium for f/2.8 and f/4 is a stop too slow for me.
     
  25. ashcurrie macrumors newbie

    ashcurrie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    #25
    Maybe get urself a 50mm f1.8, greater starter lens and will teach urself how to frame shots better and u will learn to use ur feet as a photographer, then its up to ur own prefrence/style 10-22mm is a fantastic lens and its brilliant to experiment with, its really make photography fun :p have a nice day!!
     

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