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View Full Version : Considering the XT, wondering about lenses



Dez
03-22-2005, 06:01 PM
I'm looking for a little info on the new Rebel XT and Canon's lenses, specifically the EF-S 17-85mm. Has anyone used this lense as opposed to the 18-55 in the kit, and how does it compare if you have? I guess I would also like to know how your photo's have turned out in regular 4x6 prints with the standard 18-55 lense as well (after observing some of the problems with sharpness I've seen posted).

I expect I will be buying the Rebel XT kit, as I can get a deal through work that will get me the whole kit for cheaper than I could get the body alone. That would make it a good starter for me, and I could upgrade to the high-end lense later on as I can afford it. Unfortunately the 20D is just too far out of my price range, at least as a rank amateur where digital is concerned... ;)

Thanks in advance.

speaklightly
03-22-2005, 08:25 PM
Dez-

I was disappointed with my kit lens on my Canon 20D. My husband wanted a DigReb XT for his birthday, so we ordered the body and a Tokina 24-200mm F 3.5-5.6. The Tokina has a nice range and proven to be an excellent lens. If you want to go wide angle, we have the 20D kit lens to cover that area. The final lens that we share between the DigReb XT and the 20D is a Canon EF 28-135mm F 3.5-5.6 IS USM.

The Canon 28-135mm and the Tokina 24-200mm lenses allows each camera to have a fairly long telephonto, in case we are shooting at the sametime.

Sarah Joyce

D70FAN
03-23-2005, 02:56 PM
I'm looking for a little info on the new Rebel XT and Canon's lenses, specifically the EF-S 17-85mm. Has anyone used this lense as opposed to the 18-55 in the kit, and how does it compare if you have? I guess I would also like to know how your photo's have turned out in regular 4x6 prints with the standard 18-55 lense as well (after observing some of the problems with sharpness I've seen posted).

I expect I will be buying the Rebel XT kit, as I can get a deal through work that will get me the whole kit for cheaper than I could get the body alone. That would make it a good starter for me, and I could upgrade to the high-end lense later on as I can afford it. Unfortunately the 20D is just too far out of my price range, at least as a rank amateur where digital is concerned... ;)

Thanks in advance.

Since you are getting a "deal" on the XT I won't try to disuade you from that course with the Nikon D70. Even if the D70 is a better camera in most aspects of the genre. ;)

So... someone is actually paying you to take the lens ("the whole kit for cheaper than I could get the body alone") with the camera? Hmm. Interesting inventory reduction tactic.

I guess you can't really loose and maybe you can salvage some usability from the kit lens by setting it at F8, or higher, and using the 25mm-50mm range. If that doesn't work then the words "interesting paperweight" comes to mind, and you can always go lens shopping. :)

jamison55
03-23-2005, 03:37 PM
If that doesn't work then the words "interesting paperweight" comes to mind, and you can always go lens shopping. :)

I'm afraid that it's useless even as a paperweight since a moderate wind would blow it all over the place... :D

As to your original question, the 18-55 will do alright with 4x6 prints, the real softness appears when you look at the full size images on your monitor You can make your prints even better by adding some sharpening and a little contrast in PS.

On the other hand, "new" copies of the kit lens are commanding around $70 on Ebay right now. Gives you an extra $70 discount on the body...

Dez
03-24-2005, 08:22 AM
:)

Thanks for your help all...

Since it does well with smaller prints I guess I'll just use it as a starter, get used to using digital and manipulating the photos on my pc, playing with apertures, etc, then upgrade the lense once I know what I'm doing. It's been a long time since I played around with my old 35mm Minolta, so it'll take a while to get back into the groove, by then, maybe the 20D or whatever has replaced it will be in my price range... :D


Thanks again

TheObiJuan
03-24-2005, 10:51 AM
the kit lens is no better than wrapping saranwrap on either end of a paper towell roll.

I made the mistake of getting it. however, I also got the 50mm f/1.8 and I use it exclusively. I would recommend spending the 60 dollars on it and then upgrading in the future to zoom lenses or larger/smaller primes.
I just use good ol' fashioned "foot zoom" to help out with the 50's shortcommings.

sarcazmo
03-24-2005, 03:35 PM
As far as good walk around lenses, if you don't have enough for L-glass, the Tamron 28-75 2.8 and Sigma 18-50 2.8 have been getting excellent reviews, and are a great bang for your buck.

speaklightly
03-24-2005, 04:21 PM
Sarcazmo-

You raise an excellent point. And you have named two very fine lenses. Currently I am using the Tokina 24-200 which is also excellent. These lenses make getting into the high quality digital photos provided by dSLR cameras like the Canon 350 XT, more affordable.

Sarah Joyce

wingsley
03-25-2005, 10:38 PM
I am also looking at the possibilty of a new digital camera. I may buy a fixed-lens compact camera for certain situations (looking at a Canon PowerShot G6 or an Olympus C-7070WZ) but also looking at a Canon D-SLR if $$$ permit.

I have had the Digital Rebel XT and the EOS 20D rolling around in the back of my mind. Lenses are also a consideration. Here are some of projects which an SLR might be used on:

1: Interior shots of meetings, gatherings, ceremonies, etc.

2: Outdoor wildlife shots (deer, turkey, and some smaller up-close flora and fauna; these will likely require a combination of zoom and wide-angle shots)

3: Outdoor action (sled dog race course shots)

4: Portaits

Is there any limited combination of lenses which could economically deliver results?

nate
03-25-2005, 11:08 PM
the kit lens is no better than wrapping saranwrap on either end of a paper towell roll.

Really?

link (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=12558457)

Mr. Peabody
03-25-2005, 11:10 PM
I have to say that the kit lens that came with my 20D has a nice sharp focus. It is not a piece of crap in anyway.

TheObiJuan
03-25-2005, 11:54 PM
I was being sarcastic, but a good lens gives you excellent contrast, sharpness, and focuses quickly. Also, the kit lens is too slow, and is not built to last. The canon 17-40, albeit f/4, is a great lens!

I do not know if those images that you provided through the link had PS work done. But a crappy lens can make good pictures if you adjust the contrast, sharpen, correct CA, correct lens flare, correct barrel distorortion, and vignetting in photoshop.
but then you really aren't showing an accurate representation of what the lens does, are you?

perhaps I have become spoiled by reading about and using higher quality lenses that cost a huge premium. But I am willing to spend the money and get the job done right the first time. sometimes, altering a photo for sale can be seen as unethical...

mikos
03-26-2005, 07:57 AM
Clearly, there are good pictures and just average :D
...but lens differ quite much along the price range.

Of course, buying an axpensive hi-end lens does'nt guarantee shooting great pictures, but at lest prevent from limiting your cam.

When you look at those nice shots from "the link" you can see:
- small (downsized) images of unknown origin (you don't know if there were some sharpening or else and how downsampling has "improved" overall look)
- these photos are "well made" - deliberated, aranged, well litt, ect. - all this make them look that good

But what if the condition would not be so promissing good or your slow autofocus would hunt the target until is too late?

This is a kit lens - lo-end and chip. It's great for the price or for the start if you are happy with postcard-sized photos.
I've seen lots of picts of this lens and they are little soft (it bothers me, personaly), colors are little washed out and in my opinion averall image quality is just average (not that what I've seen from Tamron or Sigma or Canon L).

Bluedog
03-26-2005, 09:09 AM
Looking around Pbase you can get a pretty good idea of what the 18 ~ 55 Kit Lens can do. There are lots of average photo buffs taking some very good shots and then some that seem not to have a clue producing decent results.

As for that if I do purchase a 350D/XT in the near future I would probably immediately order the Sigma 18 ~ 125 lens for all around use.

speaklightly
03-26-2005, 09:08 PM
Bluedog-

I had the Sima 18-125mm in hand and I did not like it. It could have been defective, I don't know. A lot of other folks have had good results.

When I bought the 350 XT for my husband's borthday, I ordered the Tokina 24-200mm and have been quite pleased with it. We have used that lens in the sample photos so you can see some photos.

Sarah Joyce

D70FAN
03-26-2005, 11:20 PM
Looking around Pbase you can get a pretty good idea of what the 18 ~ 55 Kit Lens can do. There are lots of average photo buffs taking some very good shots and then some that seem not to have a clue producing decent results.

As for that if I do purchase a 350D/XT in the near future I would probably immediately order the Sigma 18 ~ 125 lens for all around use.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a novel (ok a long article).

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/gallery/197044

Most of the pictures in this Gallery were shot with the Sigma 18-125. People who say they did not care for the Sigma lens generally didn't take the time to really try it. There is some minor vignetting wide open, but it's not a big problem (as you can see).

If you can live with the 38mm (after 1.6X crop) wide angle the Tokina is a good choice as well. I found I missed having a 28mm wide angle base.

Bluedog
03-27-2005, 09:08 AM
Thanks for the feedback both Sarah and George. I'd kinda have to go with George on having the 18mm angle of view as compared to the 24mm. I'm no professional photographer, slightly advanced amateur at best so I'd probably get two lens (less weight to carry around) to tide me over for a while and one with shorter focal length would be necessary.

As for that what lens in the 70-200mm range would you recommend?

speaklightly
03-27-2005, 10:06 AM
We are currently using the 20D kit lens to cover the wide angle duties along with the Tokina 24-200mm and the Canon 28-135mm IS.

We are now looking for an excellent wide angle lens.

Sarah Weber

alaksana
04-12-2005, 12:34 PM
Hi Sarah,

I admire your knowledge and "collection" of dSLR bodies. Anyway, I'm currently using a 20D, and want to replace my 18-55 Kit lens. I'm narrowing my choice down to two lenses that you have: Tokina 24-200 and Canon 28-135 IS USM. What do you think is better? Which one do you like best? I know the tokina has more range and much much cheaper, but no IS. Please advise...appreciate your answer.

Andrew.

speaklightly
04-12-2005, 05:37 PM
alaskana-

Actually I have taken great digital photos with BOTH lenses. Naturally, the Tokina is $100+ less in cost and it zooms out to 200mm, while the Canon 28-135mm IS is a lot more expensive and has less zoom. The photo quality of the two lenses is just about equal.

Does the IS feature make it worthwhile? Quite honestly, I don't think so. So, my own personal conclusion, is that we got a bigger bang for the buck with the Tokina which was rated only .05 less than the Canon lens on the PhotoZone Test guide.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
04-13-2005, 11:56 AM
Bluedog-

The Sigma AF F 2.8 70-200mm EF is rated "very good" with a score of 4.02 by the PhotoZone lens tests. You have had a good success with Sigma, so this might be a good way to go. An interesting side note is that PhotoZone rates the Canon EF F 2.8 70-200mm USM L IS lens with the very same score of 4.02 and as "very good."

Sarah Joyce

Bluedog
04-13-2005, 04:15 PM
Thanks Sarah as I had forgotten about this thread ... ;)

D70FAN
04-13-2005, 05:45 PM
Bluedog-

The Sigma AF F 2.8 70-200mm EF is rated "very good" with a score of 4.02 by the PhotoZone lens tests. You have had a good success with Sigma, so this might be a good way to go. An interesting side note is that PhotoZone rates the Canon EF F 2.8 70-200mm USM L IS lens with the very same score of 4.02 and as "very good."

Sarah Joyce

I refer to the photzone test survey frequently, but while I understand their methods, I would prefer to see the actual databases. Since I own a D70 it is a lot easier for me to believe this data than if I owned a 20D or Deb/XT. And considering the price difference it gets even easier.

Since the scores are identical, I have a tendacy to believe that the sigma is at least a player. And again, for me, the Canon lens is not an option.

What we need is a "Sarah" (only with unlimited budget) to test all of these lenses. ;) Many thanks for all of the tests you have contributed so far.

speaklightly
04-13-2005, 07:06 PM
Thank you, George-

I normally would jump right in and get to work. However, as I noted elsewhere I have a large workshop coming up in 10 days that I have to get ready for, big time. You have to give the attendees their money's worth, if you want/expect them to come back again.

So might I beg off this time? We should be back by mid May.

Sarah Joyce

aparmley
04-13-2005, 09:49 PM
I am very curious about what the restrictions are for lenses regarding their compatability with the canon 1.4x canon extender. I have read elsewhere that the lense must be 135mm or larger? Does this exclude zoom lenses that have a smaller focal lenght but extend past that 135mm mark. I read also in this forum earlier, somewhere, but I can not seem to locate it now, something to the effect of "L" lenses, I believe the 70-200mm 4.0 "L" lens working because it does not have any parts that protrude out the rear of the lens? Can some one please confirm/clarify this for me! Thank you in advance.

This is my first post here on this wonderful forum! Greetings all, My name is Andy, I am seriously considering the 350D. I am currently saving my money for this camera, but I will admit, with the late breaking news about Nikon coming out and confirming the D50 and the D70s, this is making the [so called] newly forming amateur DSLR market spice up a bit and I am interested in learning about those cameras at the end of this month. More to the point I am interested in learning how canon responds [particularly a price drop on the 350D]. I believe after the 300D was released Nikon introduced the D70 and the 300D's price came down significantly. Thank you all very much for your time and any words of advice you may share. I will be going back through this forum posting my thoughts on all the wonderful photos I have seen here when I get the time. If I would have known I would have really enjoyed this forum as much as I did, I would have registered first.. oops
Thank you all.

TheObiJuan
04-13-2005, 10:25 PM
welcome! I hope you find a DSLR that you find comfortable and provides images that are pleasing to you. The new nikons will have 6mp sensors, but there is not that much difference in resolution anyways.

the canon 1.4x can be used (officially)with the 70-200f/2.8, f/4, 135L, and the 200mm+ primes.

it is worth note that the 135mm F/2.8 Soft Focus lens does not have a protruding rear element so a 1.4x from canon would work. I have used a tamron without any problems.

aparmley
04-14-2005, 02:31 PM
Thank you OBIJuan. Thats good to know about the Nikons [6mp]. I suppose this not the place to discuss it, nonetheless, good to know.
I currently considering the Black body 350D, with kit lens, I have seen enough pictures posted from it that I have concluded its worth $100 to have a lens to begin learning the camera while the pocket book recovers from the camera purchase, until another can be purchased. I really enjoyed the pictures posted by sarah, aka speaklightly [i believe] and her Tonika 24-200mm lens. I intend to purchase that lens shortly after purchasing the camera. Then, maybe, just maybe. Save up 600 for the 4.0L 70-200mm.. If and only if I do not feel limited by the 200mm focal lenght. The good old foot zoom does not work everywhere.

mcenut
04-19-2005, 12:58 PM
I bought my 20D with the lens kit. A week later I was looking for a better lens. But having just shelled out $1,600 for the 20D with kit there wasn't much left in the bank and way not enough for a Canon L lens. So I went the Samy's camera shop near me and asked them what they recomended. I purchased the Tamron 18-200mm DII lens that had just been released. It has great macro abilities and is very clear IMO. The one thing I don't like is the speed of the lens, it focuses a bit too slow for action shots. But that is only one minor flaw. I'll be purchasing a faster lens one day but for now the Tamron lens is great. The salesman at the camera shop told me they had sold over 30 of these lens in a week to 20D and XT buyers.

aparmley
04-19-2005, 06:36 PM
Here is something interesting that I came across over at B&Hphoto. They are offering the following 2 lens kit Sigma 18-50mm f/3.5-5.6 DC and 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC Two Lens Kit for Canon Digital SLR Cameras for 259.00 USD. Since I lack experience with any lenses I was hoping there would be someone who could share their opinions on these lenses??? 259.99 sounds too good to be true for two lenses... the cheapest one I was considering was 300 dollars... Oh kind and knowledgable forum goers please guide us in the right direction....

I am really wanting something that goes to 300mm. Can anyone offer a recommendation on something that won't break the bank?? Say 250-350 dollars. I am wanting to have decent range so that I can take wildlife pictures from a distance and I would also like the ability to take some sport pictures from a distance as well. Thank you in advance

D70FAN
04-19-2005, 07:14 PM
Here is something interesting that I came across over at B&Hphoto. They are offering the following 2 lens kit Sigma 18-50mm f/3.5-5.6 DC and 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC Two Lens Kit for Canon Digital SLR Cameras for 259.00 USD. Since I lack experience with any lenses I was hoping there would be someone who could share their opinions on these lenses??? 259.99 sounds too good to be true for two lenses... the cheapest one I was considering was 300 dollars... Oh kind and knowledgable forum goers please guide us in the right direction....

I am really wanting something that goes to 300mm. Can anyone offer a recommendation on something that won't break the bank?? Say 250-350 dollars. I am wanting to have decent range so that I can take wildlife pictures from a distance and I would also like the ability to take some sport pictures from a distance as well. Thank you in advance

You all might want to consider the Sigma 18-125 for around $270. A very good everyday lens.

If you haven't seen them already, here are some examples. Most are right out of the camera.

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/gallery/197044/1/8652963

Most of the pictures here are shot with the Sigma. Feel free to roam around.

24Peter
04-19-2005, 08:28 PM
In addition to the Sigma 18-125, I can suggest the Sigma 70-300 APO Super II

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=163657&is=REG

for $219 it gives all the other comers in this zoom range a run for their money.

aparmley
04-19-2005, 09:08 PM
Ok, thank you guys, 24Peter, George Riehm, and mcenut for your contributions! I greatly appreciate your time on this matter...

Bluedog
04-19-2005, 09:10 PM
I agree with George on the Sigma 18-125mm as a very good all purpose lense. See my results with the Rebel XT/Sigma combo in my: Pbase Gallery (http://www.pbase.com/smith_xt/inbox)

wingsley
04-19-2005, 09:10 PM
You all might want to consider the Sigma 18-125 for around $270. A very good everyday lens.

If you haven't seen them already, here are some examples. Most are right out of the camera.

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/gallery/197044/1/8652963

Most of the pictures here are shot with the Sigma. Feel free to roam around.


Please pardon my amateur fumbling on the subject of zoom lenses.

What would the zoom power on the Sigma lens you mention be. It's 18 divded by 125, right? Would this lens serve as a D-SLR version of the "wide zoom" fixed-lens cameras?

aparmley
04-19-2005, 09:24 PM
Help me out here guys:

With the 1.6x mangnification factor that the Canon CMOS sensors add to the focal lenght of lenses, the 35mm equivelant would be more like 28-200mm [18-125 x 1.6]?

Bluedog
04-19-2005, 09:45 PM
Help me out here guys:

With the 1.6x mangnification factor that the Canon CMOS sensors add to the focal lenght of lenses, the 35mm equivelant would be more like 28-200mm [18-125 x 1.6]?

Thats correct ... ;)

24Peter
04-20-2005, 08:28 AM
Thats correct ... ;)

The whole magnification thing is just a fact of life with these cameras. That said, I've found 18mm (i.e., 28mm) is plenty wide for most uses.

gabester
04-20-2005, 09:16 AM
The whole magnification thing is just a fact of life with these cameras. That said, I've found 18mm (i.e., 28mm) is plenty wide for most uses.

Yeah, those with an investment in long telephoto lenses from their film days get a bit of a bonus but those with wide angle lenses get the short (wide?) end of the stick. Luckily the Canon EF-s 18-55 II is improved over the I and quite affordable.

gary_hendricks
04-20-2005, 11:32 AM
Hi speaklightly,

Thanks for the info. I was thinking of sharing lenses between a Rebel XT and 20D as well. Now I know I can try the Canon EF 28-135mm F 3.5-5.6 IS USM. :)

AllanMarcus
04-23-2005, 12:03 AM
If you're interested in lens reviews, check out

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digital/10d300dlenses.html

the guy there, Bob Atkins knows what he's talking about.

I too am considering the rebel xt (or just the rebel). I actually held the XT in my small hands and it was not comfortable, but the original rebel (and the D70) was very comfortable. I was drawn to the XT for its small weight and was disappointed at the small grip. Basically, when I press my hand against the grip my pointer finger should rest right on the shutter release (it does on the rebel and D70), but on the XT then end of my finger is way beyond the release! grrr. Point is, make sure you hold the camera and play with it for a while before you buy it. I just need more time to hold the camera, and not attached to a security cable, to see if I can really deal with it. Otherwise I will probably get a rebel (which is still a great camera) and save some money.


As for a lens, I will probably get the kit and the 70-300 IS zoom ($400). The main reason I'm drawn to canon are the IS lens. Nikon has their VR lens, but man are they expensive! The 70-300 IS zoom has it's problems, but for a new amateur dSRL user it will be a giant step up from my olympus c-750UZ. The other lens to consider, and has gotten pretty good reviews as a "walk-about" lens, is the 28-135 IS zoom. Also about $400 it won't break your bank. Good value for the money, both of them. When you turn pro or win the lotto, then get the "L" lens! :-)

-Allan