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27 October 2005

Planning to buy a Canon Digital Rebel XT as my first SLR and can't decide on the lenses. What I know is that my current camera (Sony F717) has a fixed lens that is equivalent to 24-125mm and I would like to have a lens set that is wider at both ends.
I am already decided to take a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II prime lens - for portraits and for low light situations (in-house sports, ...). All experts say that this is a must have lens - it is very fast and gives wonderfully crisp pictures for a price of 75-80$.
Now I can't decide whether to buy the kit lens (Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) or go and buy something better right in the beginning. After reading a comprehensive review of the best Canon lenses from Bob Atkins I am more confused then before.
One of the best compromise "walking" lenses is actually narrower then Sony's range - Canon EF 28-105/3.5-4.5 USM. Buying this lens would mean that after some time I will probably buy the kit lens or a 500-600$ lens for that wide end and a Canon EF 75-300/4-5.6 for the telephoto end. That is a total of 4 lenses - what a waste!
Now, if I would relax myself a bit on the money, I would take a Canon EF-S 17-85/3.5-5.6 USM and then extend to the telephoto end with Canon EF 75-300/4-5.6 or (new, much better, more expensive) Canon EF 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM.
Lets see what the numbers say:
Option 1 - kit lens + Canon EF 28-105/3.5-4.5 USM + Canon EF 75-300/4-5.6 = 100$ + 200$ + 150$ (or 450$ with IS and USM) = 450$
Option 2 - Canon EF-S 17-85/3.5-5.6 USM + Canon EF 75-300/4-5.6 = 520$ + 150$ (or 650$ for the great new Canon EF 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM) = 670$
My start-up lens choices vary from the recommended 350$ (kit + Canon EF 75-300/4-5.6 + 50mm prime) or 270$ (Canon EF 28-105/3.5-4.5 USM + 50mm prime) to 1250$ (Canon EF-S 17-85/3.5-5.6 USM, Canon EF 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM, 50 mm prime). We must also remember that I will also have to buy the camera itself (500-600$), a carrying bag (50$) and a CF card (100$). Ouch.
Spending 2k$ on a hobby, that is just very not me.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have had the 300d for a year and a bit/6k photos.

the kit lens (18-55) has poor manual focus control, this may or may not be an issue for you. the expensive lens have better manual focus controls.

the auto-focus is good, except in low light.

sigma make a 18-55 to fit canon, that may be better.

have a play with a real one in a shop.

27 October, 2005 02:43  
Blogger Pedro said...

You should consider the Minolta 5D. It's in the same class as the 350D but has anti-shake technology so it will be better in low-light situations. The sensor itself moves to compensate for camera movement. Works great.

You can get a 50mm f/1.7 dirt cheap and most of the lenses are less expensive than the canon ones. You'll also get antishake with any one of them and not just the expensive IS/VR ones from Canon/Nikon. That will buy you 2-3 stops for free on any lense and will make you get photos you could never take with a Canon/Nikon. After all neither of those brands have a 24mm IS/VR and that's really handy when you're taking photos at night.

The kit lens is a 18-70 so that should give you a little more reach. You can also get the new 18-200 if you want something like a super zoom. For the wide angle part the 11-18 will give you good coverage. Those are the new DT lenses for the digital bodies.

You can get more for your money and if you want to move up Minolta already has a 7D (20D class) and will shortly be launching a 7D replacement and a new 9D (somewhere around the 1D class).

Good luck,

Pedro

27 October, 2005 03:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't give you much advise about cameras, but my wee 2 year old Canon s200 takes some of the best pics I've seen for a point'n'click digital camera.

This site does decent reviews:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/

27 October, 2005 03:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.8Mk2 sucks as a portrait lens. It is sharp, but the bokoh is ugly and very distracting when you use it as portrait. I would suggest consider something else if portrait is intended for it.

This is the worst lens I have bought as I was thinking the same as you(for portrait) and trusting "experts".

27 October, 2005 05:09  
Anonymous James Curbo said...

I have a Digital Rebel XT and I like it a lot. I like DPReview for reviews, their review of the XT is here.

I haven't bought any lenses for it though but I was under the impression it only took EF-S lenses due to the CCD? (more info)

27 October, 2005 22:27  
Blogger Aigarius said...

Pedro: you are so evil. After long days of discussions I decided on the Rebel XT and now you come and ofer a quite nice alternative. Thanks. I will have to compare the lens quality and price, because the 5D does itself looks good enough for parameters that are important to me ( low noise, good burst performance ).

James: it is the other way around - Rebel XT can use both EF and EF-S lenses, but most other cameras can not use EF-S lenses, because these lenses are tuned to the smaller sensor size of these dSLRs.

28 October, 2005 00:10  
Anonymous N.R. said...

you can't have a lens that's `wider at both ends` :)) ist wide only in the wide end.

about 350D, it's a good choice if you decide to go for canon and are willing to spend a lot of time for serious photography. if you are the occasional shooter of `i was here`, and `this is me in the football game` then better get a high-end prosumer camera, because a SRL also has its drawbacks. i think i will write a post about cameras in sapnis.com when it goes back online (darn ISP)

11 November, 2005 13:10  

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