Canon Xsi/Xti/XS/XT Kit Lens

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Sbuxo, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    I primarily use film, but was thinking of taking digital photography my next semester so I was talking to my photo professor about how I wanted to buy an xti or xsi and she said that the many students she's had with those cameras and the kit lens, have distortions on their photos.
    She says the kit lens is horrible, but I did a camera finder search on Flickr to see all photos taken with either and even some with the same 18-55 kit lens and they dont look that bad.

    Who here has the Canon Kit Lens to either of these cameras, and noticed the same thing?:confused:
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a 400d (xti) and the kit lens -- and I hardly ever use it to be honest. But for me its just not in a focal range that I use much - that and my better lenses spoil me...


    You have to remember though that the entry level camera and the kit lens is not going to be the best you can get, good lenses can be as much or more than the cost of a rebel camera body. The exception is the "nifty fifty" a 50mm f1.8 lens that is very cheap (And very plasticy) but which has a very high optical quality for its price point. For starting it can get a good lens that is not too expensive for someone starting out - though it of course has its limits as well (if you are going into sports or wildlife a 50mm lens is not going to be long enough for example).

    However that all said it does not mean that you can't get some good results with the kit lens and for a starting point it is a good place to be on budget - sure there are far better lenses (both zooms and primes) but they will cost you a significant amount and I would not advise them for starting with when you have little to base your choices upon.

    The xsi does have an improved kit lens over the xti and to be honest I would say go with the best starting kit you can. Some might also suggest that you look out at the second hand market for some good deals on gear though that will depend at what level you want to get into things and what kind of images you are looking to create
     
  3. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    so gimme your xti, lol just kidding.
    Thanks for your response, yeah, if I had a choice I would get the 5D Mark II -_- My teacher told me about the 50mm..I've been using a 50mm for my film photography so I can probably live with using one in digital. Is there a 50mm 1.8 that's not plastic built??
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    but but but my xti is all I have :(

    You can hunt around for the original 50mm f1.8 M1 on ebay and other places - it was better built and there are still some kicking around. Also remember that with the rebel camera bodies you have a 1.6 crop factor so the 50mm will "feel" like a longer lens on the rebels as compared to something like the fullframe 5DM2 that you mention (and sadlyeven the 5D second hand is still quite a cosiderable sum of money).
     
  5. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    yes, and I'm just a poor college student majoring in expensive photography lol
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Try wildlife photography - the semi decent lenses for that don't start till the £1000 price range and go up quickly from there ;) :(
     
  7. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    lol sucks. good thing i dislike wildlife photography.:lmao:
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The 18-55mm kit lenses get a lot of bad run, most of which stems (I believe) from how cheap it feels rather than poor optical performance. It's light, mostly plastic and feels very cheap, especially in comparison to a nice, heavy, good quality lens.

    But yes, it's optical performance is nothing to write home about...especially wide open. But like you said, there are certainly many easy-to-find examples of good photos taken with these kit lenses.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The first-generation USA model 18-55 kit lens, the one with no ultrasonic motor and no Image Stabilizer, is utter, total crap. I own one, and even on the 8.2 megapixel 20D sensor, you can see its horrible chromatic aberration and lack of edge sharpness. This lens was sold with the first-generation Rebel,and a few million of these things are around.

    In Japan and the rest of Asia, the original Rebel and its original kit lens was a better-made lens that features ultrasonic motor focusing, but which was also a poor,poor optical performer. The original kit lens was so bad optically that review sites panned it, and Canon was forced by bad publicity to upgrade the optics to compete with much better kit lenses from Nikon and Pentax. If you look at the performance of the newest 18-55 kit lens on the high-resolution bodies like the T2i and the 7D, the image-robbing chromatic aberration the kit lens has is very evident when compared with Canon's "good" lenses like the 17-55 and 17-85.

    The 18-55 is designed for small prints and web-based work and for non-professional uses. It is slow, and has some focus stuttering in bad light on lower-end bodies. it cannot activate the cross-type sensors on most bodies because its maximum aperture is too small. It's not a lens that "leverages" anything--it is a drawback in many situations, not an advantage, and that's why some people will call it a "bad lens". It has a definite list of limitations, and if you own anything better than the 18-55, when you want the pictures to be as good as they can be, you'll leave the 18-55 sitting in the cabinet or on your desk,and pick another lens. If you have one of the first few million of the 18-55 non-stabilized, non-USM models that have been "dumped" in the North American market, you will definitely leave the lens unused. The newer, IS versions ones are better, but are still the lightest, lowest-cost, simplest lenses Canon could design and make, for their lowest-cost bodies, if that tells you anything.
     
  10. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    Ah, yeah. I totally don't want the kit lens I want the 50mm now. But it's also plasticy ):
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The camera has nothing to do with distortion, other than recording it.

    The distortion is caused by the lens and even then is generally worse at the short end of a wide angle zoom lens, which is what what mosy kit lenses are, 18-55 mm.

    So get the body, but get a better lens.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It is not the plastic or the plasticy-ness of the lens that is the problem--there are several very high-plastic lenses, like the Tamron 90mm AF-SP that is made with huge amount of plastic throughout the entire design,both extrenally and internally; there is the plastic-mount Nikon 28-80-D series which is a very cheap,plastic lens that has surprisingly good optics; there is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 which is chock-full of plastic, but is so good that Sony and Pentax have licensed the design and have it built for them,under their brand. Plastic lens components, and even cheezy build quality are not the problem--the problem is that it is very hard to make wide-angle lenses like 18mm to 28mm lenses without aspherical lens designs and high levels of correction, and make the lens weigh only a few ounces, and have a 3x ratio zoom that goes from what **used to be** considered ultra-wide angle to 55mm...and which sells with a camera at a total retail cost of $100 or less!!!

    A "good" 18mm lens used to cost a princely sum. Until the Digital Rebel hit the market, the first d-slr below $1,000, kit lenses really were not firmly established. Canon had to create a really lightweight, low-cost design that dropped down into the ultra-wide focal lengths,where optics are funky and where lens design is very,very tricky. Nikon followed suit as fast as they could, and then Pentax, and the race to design these things was on. if you want a Canon kit zoom, just make sure you don't get stuck with one of the fiust few million of them, that's all. Or just look for a lens that had a higher than $100 retail price point designed into it.
     

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