Question about Canon Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RibaldJester, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. RibaldJester macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #1
    Hi all -
    I am looking at getting my first DSLR. I am looking at the Canon EOS XSi. I have a concern about lenses though.
    If I purchase the XSi and start buying lenses for it, down the road if I upgrade to something nicer like a full-frame Canon 7D or 50D, would I be able to use those lenses with the "higher end" DSLR cameras?
    It seems like lenses are a good investment, that can outlast the camera frame. I just don't want to make a bad investment however.
    Thank you.
     
  2. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #2
    First off the 7D and 50D aren't full frame cameras, they're APS-C just like the XSi would be, I may be wrong but I think the XSi and 50D share the same sensor. The 50D is build stronger and with better/more features but the differences pretty much end there.

    The 7D is different, but only in that it's the latest iteration of the xxD canon line (10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D and now 7D)

    If you want full frame you've got to buy a 5D or 1D series (not even all the 1D cameras are full frame).

    Anyway, with Canon you have to make sure that the lenses you buy are EF lenses and not EF-S. EF lenses are made to fit all Canon bodies, EF-S only fit APS-C bodies.

    With Nikon, all lenses fit all bodies, but DX lenses only cover an image circle the same size as an APS-C camera. So if you mount a DX lens to an FX camera the camera detects it and automatically masks off an area in the center of the sensor to use for image recording (at lesser resolution).

    Those are the differences, if you want to shoot Canon, just buy EF lenses and you're future proofed.

    SLC
     
  3. RibaldJester thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for the information!
    Are EF lenses "higher end" than the EF-S ones?
     
  4. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #4
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    I don't think that Canon makes any EF-S "L" lenses (L's are their designated professional line). But there are some fantastic EF-S lenses out there. For example, the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM is supposed to be nice. Maybe not "L" durable, but not far off, and it's IQ is definately on par with some of the nest "L" zooms.

    Basically if it's expensive from Canon it's probably a very nice lens. Some inexpensive ones are nice too, but if it's a total potato, Canon can't charge $1,000 plus for it.

    SLC
     
  5. joro macrumors 68020

    joro

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    #5
    As SLC pointed out just stick with EF and you should be fine.

    Also, it is worth it to invest in “better” L lenses over the long term. Making such investments may not be in the budget right now; however, when I moved from some of the EF lenses to L lenses I lost a substantial amount of money because EF lenses don’t hold their value nor their durability nearly as well as the L lenses do. So while it might be fine to invest some money in EF or even EF-S lenses right now (there’s a great EF-S 60mm Macro I use), I wouldn’t purchase a whole bunch of them if you foresee you’re photography developing and necessitating new lenses down the road.
     
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Don't worry about future proofing. If you buy used good lenses, you can sell them and get your money back. Cheap lenses you will always lose money on. For instance, I bought a 17-85 new for 650 in 2006, they are selling used for ~400 now. 250 to use a lens for 4 years isn't bad. At the time, if I had the money, I could have bought a 24-70 for ~1100, they are selling used for more than that now, so if I sold it, it would make money (and have had the use of the lens for 4 years). With cheaper glass (ie canon 18-55 or sigma/tokina), you can get decent pictures (or in some cases excellent), but the resale value (on most) is terrible.

    Buying all EF lenses may not work well for you as they don't go very wide on a crop body. If I were buying reasonable expensive EF-S glass (ie 10-22 or 17-55 2.8), I would stick with canon brand lenses as you cost of ownership should be reasonable. If you are buying cheap glass, don't worry about the future, by the time you have enough money to go to FF, you will have enough money to buy new and better lenses.

    As for higher end for EF, EF are designed for FF sensors, so many of the focal length ranges are awkward on EF-S. Many people love the 50 1.4 on a FF (and some on a crop), but I can't stand it on a crop, I miss too many shots because it is too long for the situations I shoot in. The standard EF zooms (24-70 and 24-105) basically eliminate any sort of wide angle shot on a crop body. If you really want to buy lenses that you can keep and use on a FF, something like the 16-35/17-40 and 70-200 work well on either sensor size.

    I can easily see the difference between my 17-85 and 70-200 when looking at two thumbnails shot at 70mm though. The expensive (not necessarily EF/EF-S) glass really does make a huge difference in the captured image.
     
  7. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    +1

    Canon's decision not to designate any of its EF-S lenses is purely a marketing decision... the 10-22mm and 17-55mm lenses are two examples of L-quality EF-S lenses. The only thing they're missing is weather sealing.

    You need only look at the requirements to become a Canon certified professional (or whatever it's called) and qualify for access to their top tier customer support, repair service, rental service, etc. You have to buy a 1D body or multiple 5D bodies. Canon wants its professionals to use the full frame (read: more expensive) equipment only. And it doesn't want to tempt any pros to switch to cropped with L-designated EF-S lenses
     
  8. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #8
    L lenses

    I own a 17-55 2.8 and have used a 10-22 for a few years.

    Their image quality certainly IS on par with the L lenses. I have read many reviews claiming the IQ is actually better than their comparable L lens.

    However, you really do get what you pay for.

    The lens barrel is very cheap and lightweight plastic on the 17-55, and it suffers from some significant zoom creep. Lack of any decent weather sealing.

    The 10-22 is incredible well built though, like a tank, albeit plasticy.
     
  9. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Plasticy, but quite a bit ligher than, say, the 17-40mm f/4L ;)
     
  10. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #10
    I keep hearing this assessment of the 17-55 build quality, and it really has me scratching my head. The build seems identical to my 100mm f/2.8L IS macro, aside from the weather sealing. I don't get any zoom creep, either (that I've noticed, and I use this lens a lot).

    It's nothing like the feel of the all-metal, vintage zooms of yesteryear (Vivitar Series 1, for example), but those metal casings are more prone to dings and temperature reactions that can ultimately cause a lens to go out of alignment. The plastic they're using in these new lenses is very high-tech (durable and resilient), and I do appreciate the lighter weight.
     
  11. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

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    #11
    Would like to point out that the 7D is its own line entirely and not part of the xxD line.
     
  12. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #12
    How are you finding the new 100mm? I'm waiting on a loan copy at the moment...
     
  13. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #13
    some things need to be cleared up:
    1. none of the Canon SLRs, except for the 20D and 30D (and 1DII(n)?), share the same sensor. consumer-level bodies since the XSi/450D have similar sensors to the more advanced ones, but certain technologies are left out.

    2. there are two 35mm/FF format Canon SLRs: the 5D and 1Ds. the 1D is APS-H. all others are APS-C.

    3. EF-S lenses are designed for the APS-C format. EF lenses were designed for 35mm. one is not inherently better than the other. however, all Canon professional lenses are EF-mount, since Canon believes (or at least used to believe) that most professionals use a 5D, 1Ds, or 1D, which do not use EF-S lenses.

    4. the EF-S lens line is still maturing. prior to the 18-135 and 15-85, the 17-55 and 10-22 were the best optically and had the best construction (upper-midrange by Canon standards). I have no experience with the 17-85, so I can't comment on that. all the others were all-plastic, consumer lenses. the new 15-85 has the best construction so far among EF-S lenses.

    5. the 7D is the flagship of APS-C cameras in the Canon lineup. it fills the ~$2500 gap between the 10-series and 1D for action shooters and provides a clear upgrade path for APS-C shooters. it is not a replacement for anything.

    6. don't buy all EF lenses "just in case" you switch to 35mm. first because it may never happen, and second because you should buy the lenses for the format you use now. even if you did buy all EF lenses, you'd have buy and sell most of your lenses anyway since they will have completely different uses on a larger format.
     
  14. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #14
    Maybe


    Hmmmm. I did buy mine used, so I am not sure how new it really is, although he said it had just over a year of use.

    The zoom creep is not as bad as on the 18-200 IS I had for a bit, but it is still there and noticeable to me, but certainly not enough to make me regret buying it.

    I guess the main build-quality-qualm I have is the zoom action. It is very jerky. Nothing at all like the L zooms I have felt. BUT, it could just be due to my lens age :(

    Regardless, I love it and have no regrets. I regretting paying so much for an IS lens at first, but having the IS has let me experiment with more city walk-around night photography, which I adore now.
     
  15. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #15
    I'm thrilled with it. Its sharpness seems to bear out the claims of its MTF chart, and the IS is very effective. Bokeh is really nice too. I was interested in the lens as both a macro and a telephoto lens. I do a lot of work in locations where tripods are forbidden (and subjects don't move), so the 100 IS is a lens I had long been wishing Canon would design. However, for macro work, I almost always use a tripod, so I haven't yet bothered to test the IS at 1:1.

    Yeah, the zoom on mine is not exactly silky smooth. It's not really jerky, either, though. You're not the first person I've heard say that theirs is on the rough side.
     
  16. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #16
    You don't have to buy EF-S lenses if you don't want to. All depends on what you want to shoot. For example, I use my 40D for all types of photography, including landscapes that require super-wide lenses around 12mm. For landscapes I use a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 lens. If I were to switch to a FF camera, then this lens would not work very well from 12-16mm or so, but my other lenses would:

    100mm Macro
    200mm f/2.8L USM
    400mm f/5.6L USM

    It means that only one of my lenses would not work with a FF camera, but I could always sell it and buy one that would. You could use any non-EF-S lenses with your cropped-sensor camera (like my 40D), including a lot which are primes :14mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, end so forth.

    Again: all you have to remember is that EF-S lenses only work with cameras that have cropped sensors (10D, 20D, 30D, 50D, 50D, Ti, D7...). These lenses aren't designed for using with cameras that have FF sensors. That's why I only bought one super-wide lens to use with my 40D. The rest of my lenses are EF ones, so if I decided to upgrade to FF, all i have to do is to sell the non-EF lens. Don't limit yourself to EF-S lenses, since EF lenses work just fine with your cropped-sensor camera.
     
  17. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    The question is, if you're going to upgrade down the line, are you going to keep the body that you'd currently have when you make the upgrade? Or are you going to sell the body to upgrade?

    If it's the first, then by all means get either high quality EF-S lenses, or L lenses. These lenses keep their values a lot better if you decide to sell them in the future. You should be able to sell them near how much you got them for, as long as you take care of it. But in most cases, once you bite the bullet on high end lenses, chances are, you won't be selling them. ;)

    If it's the second option, then you might as well invest in just L lenses, since EF-S lenses don't work with the EF based cameras. There are some decent consumer based EF lenses that do a great job, such as prime lenses, but usually the zooms aren't as great as the L series counterparts.
     
  18. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    #18
    The EF 17-40 f4 L is plastic too.

    EF is not a distinction from the 'L' monicker. EF simply refers to the mounting system to distinguish it from the prior generation of lenses the 'FD'. EF stands for Electro-focus and will fit on any EOS (electro-optical-system) camera. 'L' refers to the higher end lenses (and has been said to stand for 'luxury'), and is given that designation when the design of the lens holds to the highest standards at Canon, but doesn't necessarily mean anything in particular.

    Typically, though, 'L' lenses have special optical lenses (such as fluorite, low-dispersion glass, and aspherical glass) to improve image quality and sharpness, have high standards in build quality, such as weather-sealing, metal construction, dampened rings, and other professional-level features, such as wide aperture, USM focusing motors, internal focus/zoom designs and so forth.

    That is to say, these features need not be exclusive to 'L', nor that they are in all 'L' lenses. For example, the 10-22 and 17-55 EF-S lenses have high quality glass, the 17-40L is plastic, and the 70-200 f4L is not weather sealed.

    It's just a label to show that it is of the higher end and has most of these features.

    EF-S is a new style lens that has a shorter back focus (hence the S), and often produces a smaller image circle that is only appropriate for the small crop-sized camera sensors. These are designed so they cannot mount on a full frame camera to prevent the back element from hitting the mirror in a full-frame camera.

    So, EF is not 'higher' end than EF-S. The higher end are 'L', and these all happen to be EF at the moment (they also had L lenses in the FD mouton too I believe).
     
  19. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #19
    Well, just for the sake of trivia, there was at least one Canon PnS camera that had an "L" designation for its (fixed) lens. The "PowerShot Pro1" had an L-lens, complete with red ring. Perhaps there were others.

    Clickable:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Ah, yes, I forgot about that. I was mostly referring to lenses in regards to EF vs/ EF-S discussion, but I stand corrected. (I did mention FD had 'L' lenses too).
     

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