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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3

    Lens Help... Newbie.. Same old chestnut

    Ok, so I've decided to take the plunge and buy a 350D. Yea, so that was the easy part...

    Apologies for retreading well worn ground, but in my defense I've read all I can including previous posts as well as lens guides, pbase picture sites and god knows what else.

    Stepping up from good old point & shoot and my requirements are to find a general walkabout lens. I totally agree that buying one good lens is better than several inferior ones and am baring that in mind when looking at the choices out there. Can't go too high (approx 300) otherwise I risk being slaughtered by the wife.

    I've narrowed it down to the following;
    Sigma AF18-125 F3.5-5.6 DC
    Sigma AF18-200 F3.5-6.3 DC
    Canon 28-105mm II F3.5-4.5 USM
    Canon 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM

    Having a hard time understanding if a lens beginning at a focal length of 18mm necessarilly any better or worse than a lens that would begin at 28mm when it comes to taking general purpose indoor / ourdoor shots.

    Also, would I be right to think the two Canon lenses are likely to perform slightly better than the Sigma ones? Remember, I'm coming from a P&S background, so my eye may not be as critical as someone who's been working with SLR's for a long time. From what I've read, most folks say they're all pretty good in one way or another, barring one or two gripes here and there perhaps. I guess another question would be, is there any one gripe that might be so bad as to remove a lens from my list?

    Yes, I know there are comparable Tamron lenses out there, but for the sake of my sanity I've tried to keep the list as short as possible.

    Advice and pointers greatly appreciated.



    Thanks,
    Rich.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,807
    personally, i'm not too crazy about 3rd party lenses in general because autofocus compatiblity isn't the best. in my experience AF is inaccurate, slow, and in many cases just won't lock focus. in some cases, i've used canon lenses that locked focus QUICKLY where a 3rd party lens could not at all. i owned the very popular tamron 28-75 f2.8 for a while and sold it. i also had the sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX Macro for a short time. in comparing AF, the sigma and tamron were identical - where one failed, the other did too. the only 3rd party lens i have now is the sigma 15mm fisheye; i only use it for landscapes and interiors where AF capability and speed are not important. a focal length that short also affords incredible DOF, so pinpoint accuracy is not needed. but for general shooting with more common focal lengths, you may find 3rd party AF to be very frustrating. i know i did, and i'm not the only one.

    about 18mm vs 28mm, your point and shoot probably had a wide end of about 35mm to 38mm. for every lens you put on your XT, you need to multiply the focal length by 1.6x, so 18mm becomes an effective 29mm, and 28mm becomes 45mm. it really depends on your shooting style and needs then. there seems to be a lot of disagreement concerning the 18-55mm II kit lens that ships with the XT, and some quality control problems too, but i found mine to be pretty good considering the price (coming from someone who doesn't use cheap glass). AF on the kit lens is surprisingly fast, accurate, and quiet (maybe i got a really good copy?) i used to own the 28-135 IS and it netted me some shots that i really like, but it doesn't really get sharp until about f8. i've seen some pretty impressive results from the 28-105 f3.5-4.5 II, and i'm convinced it is sharper than the 28-135, especially at wide apertures. the sigmas have a nice range, yes, but i have a feeling that the AF (if it's like the other sigma lenses i've used) problems are going to make you lose as many pictures as the range will gain you. just my opinon.

    i'd suggest

    1. kit lens + 28-105, because the 28-105 seems to be the best lens in the group and likely won't leave you dying to replace it. the kit lens doesn't cost much at all and will cover the wide end.
    or
    2. sigma 18-200 purely based on the range.
    Last edited by ReF; 01-19-2006 at 05:11 AM.
    canon 17-40 L, 70-200 f2.8 L, 400 f5.6 L, 50 f1.4 & f1.8, 1.4x TC, sigma 15 f2.8 fisheye, flash 500 DG Super, kenko extension tubes

    note to self: don't participate in sad, silly threads unless you're looking for sad, silly responses.

    "anti-BS filter" (from andy): http://dcresource.com/forums/showpos...94&postcount=4

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    I would also suggest the 18055 kit lens with the 28-105. You then can learn about your camera, and then later decide what you would like in the long end (and in the wide end). Unless of course you want to have some tele rech, then just opt for the 18-200 sigma for now.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3
    Thanks folks... I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

    I'm glad you speak well of the 28-105. My mouse was already hovering over the "Add to Basket" button and I think that's helped make my decision.

    I don't expect miracles from lenses in the price range I'm looking at and I expect I'll probably want something better at a later stage. But for the moment it sounds as if I won't immediately live to regret the purchase and it's that which is just as important to me.

    The camera, the lens and all the other necessities means it's still a fair bit to invest in kit and if I can minimise the guilt I'm bound to feel after making such a large purchase, I'll be a happy bunny.


    Thanks once again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Near St. Louis
    Posts
    3,528
    You might consider throwing in an affordable prime instead of the kit. The 50 1.8 will most likely be recommend for its cheap price. But, I'd consider the 50 1.4 or the 85 1.8. They are certainly not as cheap as the 50 1.8 but they will allow you to shoot in low light and more importantly allow you to learn better about DOF and its uses and advantages. Just my two cents.
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2
    The Canon 28-105 is a nice lens that won't break the bank. I also love my Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro. I have been shooting for 25 plus years and even though I love my Canon glass, I have found that lenses by Tamron as well as Sigma will perform just as well for the average amatuer photographer if you buy their better quality lenses. Canon, Sigma, Nikon, etc all sell cheap as well as expensive glass. You get what you pay for! Most of the failed photos I see from my friends that are complaining that their lens is faulty usually end up being the shooter and not the equipment. Not saying you can't have a bad lens because my first copy of the 70-200 F/2.8L IS was defective and that is one of Canon's flagship lenses.
    EOS 20D, Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8L IS, Canon EF 100-400 F/4.5-5.6L IS, Canon EF 100 F/2.8 Macro, Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM, Canon EF-S 18-55 F/3.5-5.6, Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 EX DG, Tamron SP AF200-500 F/5-6.3 Di LD IF, Canon 1.4X II, Canon 430EX,plus lots more!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,807
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddy Brande
    The Canon 28-105 is a nice lens that won't break the bank. I also love my Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro. I have been shooting for 25 plus years and even though I love my Canon glass, I have found that lenses by Tamron as well as Sigma will perform just as well for the average amatuer photographer if you buy their better quality lenses. Canon, Sigma, Nikon, etc all sell cheap as well as expensive glass. You get what you pay for! Most of the failed photos I see from my friends that are complaining that their lens is faulty usually end up being the shooter and not the equipment. Not saying you can't have a bad lens because my first copy of the 70-200 F/2.8L IS was defective and that is one of Canon's flagship lenses.
    did the 70-200 have a problem concerning the IS? i hear about IS problems with this particular lens every once in a while.

    "Most of the failed photos I see from my friends that are complaining that their lens is faulty usually end up being the shooter and not the equipment."

    not sure what others are experiencing, but a lens that i refer to as having unreliable or inaccurate AF means that i can have the darn thing tripod mounted and take several shots of a stationary subject, refocusing each time, and half or more of the shots will miss the focus spot. i can then swap the lens out for one that i consider reliable and it will hit the focus dead on each time. unreliable focus to me also means a focus area that is too broad - with most canon lenses i've found that the focus spot which is active is a very small point, while with something like the tamron 28-75 the focus spot can be several inches wide, meaning the AF can sometimes randomly pick any point in this range to focus on. my favorite example is the time when i brought the tamron to shoot low light pics: the f2.8 aperture was useless because it COULD NOT focus at all. i ended up using the 17-40 L's f4 aperture because while the pictures were a bit dark or grainy, i was at least getting shots with it. it focused damn fast and accurately too. during my time with the sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX macro, the 17-40L was able to lock focus on several object in marginal lighting that the sigma couldn't.
    someone else here on these boards also saw a huge increase in focus accuracy when switching from the better third party lenses to canon USM lenses.

    Rich: the kit lens that came with the XT consistently focused faster and more accurately than my 50mm f1.8 mk I and tamron 28-75 f2.8. the recommendation for a prime lens by aparmley is a good idea, though a good one may be out of your budget at this point. the 50mm f1.8 mk I or II are both cheap and will get you some shots that are impossible with smaller apertures, but this lens doesn't have the best reputation with autofocus (nor quality control with the mk II). you could get by with it for a while, but a "medium grade" prime like the 50mm f1.4 will be IMO vastly superior. the 85mm f1.8 is supposed to be very good too, but i have not used it.
    canon 17-40 L, 70-200 f2.8 L, 400 f5.6 L, 50 f1.4 & f1.8, 1.4x TC, sigma 15 f2.8 fisheye, flash 500 DG Super, kenko extension tubes

    note to self: don't participate in sad, silly threads unless you're looking for sad, silly responses.

    "anti-BS filter" (from andy): http://dcresource.com/forums/showpos...94&postcount=4

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