So, about to pull the trigger on a used 40D body. Lens suggestions and advice, please

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mattcube64, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

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    Missouri
    #1
    Hi guys!! If you don't feel like reading the novel on my backstory, feel free to skip to the break. :p

    I've lurked here for a looong time, and have even posted a few questions from time to time. Well, I finally have the funds, and am thinking of pulling the trigger on a used 40D body, that seems to be in darn fine condition with about 8,000 clicks.

    I had originally looked at the Sony bodies, as their entry-level bodies felt best in my hand. However, upon further investigation, I found myself liking the lens selection from Canon a bit more (especially the used market). After playing with a 50D at the store, I absolutely fell in love with the size of the upper-tier bodies from all three vendors. Not only did they feel MUCH better in my large hands, the viewfinder was also MUCH better, and I had a much easier time composing shots.

    Unfortunately, the $1200-$1400 price for the 50D was a bit out of my price range. So, I started saving. A while ago. And, being the poor college student I am... that took a while. Everytime I get close, something bad happens. 'Tis life, I suppose. A couple weeks ago, I had the money together, but decided to wait on the 7D specs. 7D is released, I fall in love! ... But, wouldn't you know it... someone backs into my car and doesn't leave a note.

    So, back to square one. However, I did some more research, and found that the 40D is almost every bit as good as the 50D. It feels similar, too, which is VERY important.

    I've been wanting to get into the DSLR game for about four years now, and it keeps getting pushed to the side. Well, this week I've decided no more! I'm missing out on learning, taking the free classes here on campus, and enjoying all the great opportunities to take pictures here on campus. I think, for now, I'm gonna go with a 40D. Seems like it'd be good for me, as it's similar to the 50D, won't lose it's value too much if I decide to upgrade soon, and it leaves me with money for lenses. Because, from what I hear, it's all about glass! Right now, since money is a bit tight, and I want to have a little bit for emergencies, I really don't want to spend hardly anything at all on my first lens. And, as the months progress, I will hopefully add more to my collection, and then maybe a nice L-lens in the summer. :)

    ***********

    So, I need a cheap (CHEAP) lens to go with a 40D body. I can find the 18-55 IS for a little under a hundred. Should I stick with that? Or, is there a better lens that I'm not thinking about from Sigma or Tamron that I'd be stupid not to buy for a little bit more? I plan on taking a lot of different shots. Being here on campus I'd just like to learn the ins-and-outs. Probably a lot of people-shots and portraits. Pictures of the construction going on (architecture), and I'd love to take pics of the night-time volleyball matches, but I think I'll have to wait till I can afford a fast tele.

    Hopefully in a couple weeks I could pick up the nifty-fifty. Seems like everyone recommends that, no matter what.

    After that, I'd like to probably spend about $300-$400 on a wide-angle. Since the crop doesn't let me go as wide, I'd like to find something that starts at about 10mm, I guess? Any lens in particular I should keep an eye out for? A lot in this price range seem to get average reviews at best.

    And then, finally, this summer I'd like to possibly get the 20-200m L 2.8 Non-IS (IS is way out of my price range right now) for outdoor sports photography.

    So, I guess my question is... what lens should I start with to match up and do all my shooting with for the first few months? And then, secondly, what lenses should I keep an eye out for and wait for a great deal? Cause, I *have* the money... I just don't wanna deplete my "emergency funds". So, no reason to buy right now at full price. But, if I could find a great deal, what lenses should I be wanting to jump on?

    Thanks for all the help!! Sorry about the novel.... :eek:
     
  2. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #2
    My suggestion would be the 18-55is its a great starter lens, or if you wanted to spend a little more, then consider the tamron 17-50 2.8 its a great lens that could be had for a god price used! Other than that, see what you like shooting and decide on other lenses from that.

    As for wide angle Canon 10-22mm or I think there is a Tamron or Sigma equivalent?
     
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    In my opinion, your logic is backwards on this purchase. You need to decide the lenses you want and pay for them first, then buy the body with what's left. The 20D loses live view,some megapixels and screen size, but is the same physical body and you should be able to get it for <$300.

    The 40D will likely take a big price hit on the used market when the 60D comes out (which should be soon). Check out the difference between the 30D and 40D, people don't like buying digital bodies 2 generations old.

    For outdoor sports, you probably don't need 2.8 unless you are planning on adding a 2x teleconverter. If the volleyball courts are well lit, f4 will work, if the lighting is bad, 2.8 can't save you. I like 2.8 for the separation from the background, but you pay a fortune (in $ and weight/portability) to achieve the extra stop.

    Why does the first lens have to be so cheap? You won't lose much with the 18-55, so it doesn't really matter, it just seems like a backwards way of thinking. The lens makes the image, the camera just exists. Most cameras made in the last 6 years competently capture images and most people would be hard pressed to tell which camera captured an image, but people can tell which lens captured it.

    I would try to rent/borrow lenses from people in the camera club to see what focal length and what lenses you like, then buy those.

    For $3-400 for a wide-angle, you should expect average at best, you budget is less than average for a wide-angle, so the lens will likely be less than average too. Photography can be ridiculously expensive as for most people, what they want and what they can afford are not anywhere close.

    Other important things to keep in your list are likely a flash and a tripod (especially with your 18-55, it will need to be stopped down to f8 or so for sharp pictures, so handholding can be rough).
     
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I agree with jampat. Unless you're looking REALLY cheap, the lens should be the first thing you think of, since it, and not the body, is the primary determinant of image quality.

    I don't know what your total budget is, but I would think that a 20D + decent lens (Canon 10-20 EF-S?). If you're ok with not having quite the same wide angle, the 17-40 f/4L is a bargain, and can be had used for a song (relative to its performance).

    I would really seriously consider if you absolutely need the 40D. Yes, a newer/fancier body is sexy, but it's the lens that will make better pictures for you in the end.
     
  5. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #5
    Lenses

    Canon 10-22 is an amazing lens. Gives everything a whole new perspective.

    70-200 f/4L is also a great lens you can pick up new for around $600, or used for under $500. I have never felt the need to upgrade that telephoto yet. Some day though.
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Your plan turns everything upside-down: you want to switch to Canon because of their nice glass and you want to buy a cheap kit lens?

    You should always invest money in good glass rather than an expensive body. Getting a rebel or a used 30D or 20D and a nice lens (say, the 17-55 mm f/2.8, the 17-40 mm f/4 or Tamron's 17-50 mm f/2.8) would be better.

    Regarding wide-angle lenses, I recommend you have a good look at Tokina's 12-24 mm: excellent optics, superior build quality compared to Canon's own 10-22 mm. The newer 11-16 mm f/2.8 is better, but the zoom range is more limited.

    Or even simpler: why don't you just stick to Sony? They have quite a few nice lenses. What lenses in particular are you lusting for?
     
  7. mattcube64 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

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    #7
    Thank you guys for all your input! I appreciate it.

    I'm a huge noob at this, but I've had a long time to do some research, so I feel like I have a halfway decent understanding. The problem is... I just want to go take some pics! :p

    The reason I'm eying the 40D is for a couple reasons; One, I know myself well enough that if I get something too old, as soon as I have the money, I'll want to upgrade it. I'm afraid if I pick up something like the 30D or 20D, as soon as the 60D comes out in February (?), I'll try to justify upgrading. Whereas, if I still have a new(er) body like the 40D, I can concentrate on buying good glass. Is it silly? Yeah, it is. But, I think we can all agree gadget-lust is a terribly powerful force. :rolleyes: As for the 40D versus the Rebel-series, or the alpha (entry) series; like I said... the xxD series just fits sooo much better in my hand. I've read lots of advice that says if one body melds much better, and gives you better access to controls, go for that.

    I don't plan on being a cheap @$$ on lenses forever. Just for right now. I've had a terrible run on luck with unexpected bills these past six months or so, and so I'm trying to get back on track. That's why, for now, I'd like to stay extremely cheap, as to save for emergencies. But, hopefully by the summer, I can start dropping some real cash on some good glass, and by then, I could start upgrading the lenses I have but don't like.

    So, yeah.... it's pretty backwards, I agree. But does my reasoning sound justified? I think it does.... but you guys are the camera/photography experts- not me! :D

    Also, just something I should point out. While I'm in school, I have full-access to the photogrpahy major's lens selection (which is rather vast), as I'm a journalism student here. So, I should be able to grab a lens when I need it, or learn on glass I'm considering purchasing for the time being.
     
  8. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

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    #8
    While I agree with jampat and Oreo, I also understand the desire to get the 40D...to me and IMHO, the 40d is easily the best bang for buck camera on the used market right now. 30d, almost 3.5 years old, the 20d, it's been a while....you just don't what's happened to them, what kind of shape, actuations, etc. The 40d is still relatively new and definitely capable of excellent IQ. Also, it was sold new up until just a few months ago and came bundled with a "decent" lens, the 28-135. If you can find a used kit, around $600-700 (with lens and excellent condition body), I think it's a hard package to beat.

    Your lens selection is vital though, the others are correct. I just "Know" where you're coming from (Upgrade bug bites me too)....and the 40d is a camera that won't leave you wondering what you're missing (unless you want video:))

    I would try to pick up the 40/50d kit used, look into the 10-22 or Sig 10-20 and you'll be covered out to over 200mm (with your APS-C cropper). This will give you an idea where and what FL you dig shooting and where to go with your primes!

    Happy shooting
     
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #9
    the 18-55 IS will do fine until you can afford something better. It has a few issues: a slight pink (magenta?) color cast, noticeable chromatic aberration in high-contrast areas, and it's rather slow for most of its range (f/5.6). that said, it's not a bad lens - it's actually not too far behind the 17-40L in sharpness.

    don't, unless you know you like the focal length. primes should be chosen based on focal length, not on how much they're hyped.

    beyond that, don't make any decisions until you shoot around some. you might not need (or like) an ultra-wide. or you might not need a 70-200 - there are cheaper options that perform perfectly fine, or you might need the reach of a 100-400.

    also, try waiting until after the 7D goes on sale. the 50D price might drop since some people are in a panic about whether there'll be a 60D, which means the 20/30/40D prices will drop a little as well. unless you've already found some good deals, of course.
     
  10. flakes8 macrumors regular

    flakes8

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  11. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #11
    I can tell you that my 50D will be available soon, as will a lot of others' as the 7D begins to ship.

    That will not only affect the used price of all the 50Ds soon-to-be-on-the-market, but also the 40Ds, etc.

    If you could wait a month or so, you might get a better deal.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #12
    If you just want to take some pics, why don't you stick with your camera and upgrade after saving up properly? Then you can buy whatever is new on the market or at least newer (better??) cameras than are available now.

    Getting a 40D + kit lens will not enable you to take pictures that are any different from those you can take now. It's a waste of money.
    Forget about this way of thinking: then you'd have to upgrade whenever something new comes along. And usually, you'd also have to change manufacturer back and forth. Get something new when you need it (unless you have the money freely available).
    There's also advice that says you should start small. You plan on buying a BMW 3 series, but you ran out of money, so you put a 75 hp engine in it and you expect that it'll feel great.

    There are plenty of reasons to upgrade, but I'm not sure you have even found the limits of your current camera yet (assuming you don't own good glass). Hint: you won't find it with the kit lenses. Then, once you do know your limits and interests, upgrade, but do it properly. If you go for a Canon, put a worthy lens on the camera.
     
  13. mattcube64 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

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    #13
    I appreciate all the advice! But, I think you may have misunderstood.... I don't have a "current" camera. Whatever I buy will be my first DSLR. So, I don't quite understand why you state a "40D + kit lens will not enable me to take any better pictures than I can now". :confused:
     
  14. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #14
    OC has his own ideas and I don't believe he even shoots Canon. Give extra emphasis to opinions from toxic, etc. if you want thoughts from Canon shooters.

    The updated Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens is actually pretty good considering that it's an inexpensive kit lens (there is an older version of the 18-55mm II that isn't as sharp and doesn't have IS). It's not a terrible place to start. More info here from a guy with just a little experience with Canon glass.
     
  15. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #15
    Olympus by far... :D

    I've had mine for a few months now but never really used it - going to take it out this weekend... :)
     
  16. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Agree with some others about buying good lenses. Buy a 40D and save your money to buy some good L glass. As mentioned above, a 70-200 f/4L USM lens can be a lot of fun and doesn't cost very much. The Canon 10-20 is a very nice lens, too.

    I use a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 for landscapes, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 to replace the kit lens, EF 200mm f/2.8L USM II and 400mm f/5.6L for wildlife.
     
  17. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #18
    be careful where you go with analogies. this is far from what you're trying to point out.

    yes, a 75hp 3-series will lack power. then again, you never said anything about torque. the fact that the engine is weak also doesn't change the fact that the chassis and suspension tuning, driving dynamics, and steering feel are far superior to that of a Corolla (or any compact or family car), whether or not it has racing slicks and a 300hp engine. of course, there's reliability to consider, but that's irrelevant to this topic....

    OP: if you can get something better than an 18-55 IS, get it. if not, just get the kit lens for now and save up for a better one. not liking the handling of a 100-series body is legitimate complaint, so the only cheaper options available are the 20 and 30D.

    that said, in your place, I would seriously consider getting a 30D instead. as someone new to photography, the extra features of a 40D probably won't be evident to you anyway. the image quality is essentially the same. the depreciation is more or less the same for all bodies in the same class - when a new camera (in the same class) comes out, the price drops. if nothing new comes out, nothing drops. so I advise you to try and find a 30D to play with...or a 20D, which is the same thing with a smaller LCD and louder shutter.
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I somehow thought you have a Sony dslr at the moment, my bad. If it's your first one, then it's definitely the wrong mix. Get an entry-level or a used dslr -- e. g. the 500D or a used older camera if you want to stick with Canon -- and after shooting a bit (read: a few thousand shots) with the kit lens, add a better standard lens to it (e. g. Tamron's 17-50 mm f/2.8 or Canon's 17-55 mm f/2.8). Because at first, you won't be limited by the camera body at all.
    I don't think the advice to invest in lenses rather than the body and start step-by-step depends in any way on the brand. And I also believe I'm not alone with this rather general advice.
    You're correct, I shoot Nikon, but that doesn't change my advice one bit. I own Nikon pro-glass (equivalent of L lenses), third-party glass as well as a `better kit lens.' So while I don't have experience with L lenses, for example, I have experience with its Nikon equivalent.
    The analogy should just say that chassis and engine do not fit together at all and it won't give you the sporty handling you expect from a BMW 3-series. Of course, you shouldn't overstretch this (or any other) analogy.*


    <offtopic>* There is a version of the VW Golf with 265 hp that handles great. ;) </offtopic>
     
  19. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #20
    Since we've digressed this far:

    What's the difference between a rose and a beemer?

    The rose has the pr**k on the outside.

    ;)
     
  20. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #21
    I guess the point I was trying to make (unsuccessfully, rereading my earlier post) was that the Canon 18-55mm IS is a pretty decent lens to start with esp. if it comes with the camera. It's also why I referenced the_digital_picture review of the two versions of that lens. I wouldn't expect a Nikon shooter to know that, that's all. Sorry if it came off brash.

    So I'm actually agreeing with you that I'd like to see the OP not invest heavily in a FF camera or L glass until he gets to the limits of what he has. By then he'll know whether he likes shooting at 50mm on a crop body or if wide angle is something he's even interested in. Starting with a zoom or two makes it easy to look at the exif and tell what focal length he "sees" in, IMO.

    If we disagree on something, its' that I'd recommend the 40D/50D route instead of starting with a Rebel. Esp. with the used prices of these expected to drop in the next month or so when a bunch of people (including me!) start trading up to the 7D.

    Great discussion, though!
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #22
    That's why I've written, I own a `better kit lens,' Nikon's 18-70 mm which is a step up from the 18-55 mm. I'm aware that 18-55 mm kit lenses aren't `that bad,' but once you know what you are doing, those lenses feel very limiting. Since getting my UW zoom, I haven't touched my kit lens again. Unless you have special needs (sports or whatever) that require certain features (and the OP is a noob, so he wouldn't know yet), the limiting factor will in all likelihood be the lens -- even with a xxD body. The reason why I'd think of getting a used 30D or so is just the viewfinder: triple-digit Canons have a bad viewfinder compared to the D80 or D90, for instance (they use pentamirrors instead of pentaprisms). The two-digit models feature better viewfinders which, in my opinion, are going to be way more useful than a faster burst rate or better high ISO performance. Photography is first and foremost about proper composition.
    Why (I'm asking for an argument, not for trouble ;))?
    The 40D is still sold today (on amazon.com, for instance) so there is always a fresh supply of 40Ds on the market.
     
  22. mattcube64 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

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    #23
    Thank you very much, everyone, for the input!! I really do appreciate it; especially John, Oreo, and Toxic. :D

    I took into consideration what all have you have said. I went back to Best Buy and handled the T1i. But, if just felt really cramped. And, all the Rebel-series cameras had a very weak viewfinder after fiddling with the 50D.

    No matter what, for my first body, I was planning on buying used. I just don't think it's worth watching my resale value plummet after opening the box; especially on something I'm not 100% sure I'll use/like.

    For some reason, I'm just "drawn" more to the 40D (or even better, a 50D), than the 30D. Sure, the older body might have done just fine. But, if I'm gonna spend this kind of money, I'd rather have something I'm happy with from the start. :eek:

    ***

    I found a Canon 40D body on another forum in "mint" condition, less than a year old, with everything- including box/charger/battery/paperwork, strap. It also comes with the 18-55IS kit lens, and finally, a battery grip. For $750/shipped. (EDIT: With under 8,000 clicks).

    I've seen the bodies sell for as low as $575, and typically around the $650 mark, and as high as $750. So, for $100 more/the same price, I got it in great condition, complete, with lens and grip for a hundred bucks more. And the user has nothing but good feedback on the forum.

    I figure this should be a great starting-off point! And, if for some reason I realize this hobby just isn't for me, I shouldn't lose too terribly much if I try to resell it. :p

    Hope to get it by the end of next week!! :D
     
  23. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #24
    ^^^ I got blessed with a great deal on my 20D kit - love it.... :)

    Check out my Pics of the Day that I took with it. I'm trying to get a grasp on how to use the Nifty-Fifty also... :eek:

    Nice combo using it with the high ISO capabilities of the Canon. :)
     
  24. Chimpy macrumors 6502

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    Mar 9, 2007
    #25
    I love my 40D.

    I shoot my kids mainly - stuff around the house, school events, and sports.

    Canon's 50mm 1.4 is nice for around the house stuff, but can be a *bit* too long for indoors stuff.

    For closer outdoors stuff and indoor events where I can move around I have Canon's EF 135mm f2/L and 85mm f/1.8 - both great lenses, but both primes, hence the need to "zoom with my feet." I use the 135 for indoor sports due to its large aperture.

    For outdoor sports I use a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - love it. Not too expensive and I've gotten tons of great Lacrosse and soccer photos.

    If I can only bring one lens and I have no idea what or where I'll be shooting I'll bring my Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, a very nice all-around lens.

    I did a lot of research before buying each lens, so I think you'll find these are all well-regarded.

    Good luck!
     

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