First time SLR buyer - Canon + Lenses?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by K8-90, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Hey

    I am planning on taking my photography to a new level by investing in a digital SLR, but need some help making the right choices on gear!

    I have been looking at the Canon Rebel XTi or now the XSi. They seem to offer a good foundation at a reasonable price. I considered the 40D, but I think that is more than I am looking for. I also need to consider cost.

    However, the whole point of SLRs is interchangeable lenses, and I don't know where to start! I am budgeting $1000 towards 2 lenses and a tripod - is that reasonable? I would like an 'all-purpose' zoom with some kind of image stablization (preferably slightly wide angle) and a telephoto, reaching arround 200mm.

    I tend to photograph nature and landscapes, as well as a considerable amount of animal/equine photography.

    Any lens suggestions, or other comments? I'm new to this, so please take it easy on me :D

    Thanks!
     
  2. 68Whiskey

    68Whiskey TPF Noob!

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    If you are big into landscapes I would invest in a fisheye or wide angle lens, I personally do not do much landscape so I would feel wrong suggesting for something I do not even do.

    You can find a 30D with a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM on B and H for $999.95, which is a good deal. The lens is nice and the body is a grate body. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/484818-REG/Canon_1234B105_EOS_30D_Digital_Camera.html

    I would, and also recommend to everyone I know, that they invest in a 70-200mm 2.8L, with or without IS. I have one without IS because I am a cheapo. They run around $1,140.99 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/91680-USA/Canon_2569A004_70_200mm_f_2_8L_USM_Autofocus.html

    I got mine for $975 used on eBay, which was a AMAZING deal. You get a nice body and two very good lenses with that setup. Once again, I am not into landscapes and all, I am just giving you a idea of what you can get and such. I do more sports pictures.
     
  3. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    OK, thanks!

    What do you use for the sport pictures? I do equine photography, sometimes within indoor arenas, which are often dark. How well would the 70-200mm 2.8L lens handle that? Seeing as it is an L lens and espensive, it would have to be able to handle that well before I could justify paying that!
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    For a general 'walk around' lens that can also handle typical landscape type shots...I would recommend something that starts at around 17mm. That might be the typical kit lens (18-55mm) or the newer version of that lens with IS. Another good option would be the 17-85mm IS.

    If you shoot sports/equine indoors...then I would suggest a 'fast' prime lens like the 50mm F1.8, 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.8 etc. If you shoot outdoors, then I'd look at one of the 70-200mm lenses. As mentioned, the 70-200 F2.8 L IS, is the king of this range and is spectacular (but big & heavy). The 70-200 F4 L (with or without IS) is smaller, lighter and cheaper, but is still a fantastic lens.
     
  5. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    I see your point with getting a fast prime lens for indoors, but I think I need the ability to zoom :( Often I won't be able to change my physical distance to the subject.

    I found a used Canon 70 - 200 L F4 for $600.00, available locally so I can pick it up rather than pay shipping. What I am wondering is if I need the IS capabilities? Would this lens work well hand-held with lowish light? Or is it better to pay more for a lens with IS, possibly faster too?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. 68Whiskey

    68Whiskey TPF Noob!

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    It depends on the light, a F4 is good for outdoors when there is sun light, it will not do you any good inside unless you have amazing lights. It is a good outdoor lens, and thats about all I could see using it for. I have used a F/4 in a gym before at the University of Illinois, but that is only because it had a million dollar lighting setup.
     
  7. atp_design

    atp_design TPF Noob!

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    K8-90, im in the same position as you.

    I want a 5D - but its a bit too pricy.
    A 40D is perfect and if i saw one i would get it asap.
    However yesterday i spotted a 400D / Rebel XTi with EFS 17-55mm lense used in a second hand shop. They wanted about $500 USD for it and im still deciding if its worth it. Secondly im assuming its just the camera and lense and nothing else.

    However, the thing that im asking myself is that even though the 400D is inferior to the 40D in many ways, its the EFS lense thats attracting me to it.

    I will go back there again today and see if they can do a better deal as im about to embark on a European roadtrip next week and i NEED a new DSLR asap.
     
  8. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Too bad - For some reason I was hoping F4 on an L lens would somehow be capable of handling low-light situations! Wishful thinking, I guess :p

    Big Mike suggested a prime, which I initially thought wouldn't work - but now I'm starting to see the light! I could invest in a fast prime for the few indoor situations, and the 70-200 F4 for outdoors. It just means I wouldn't be able to get all the shots from one lens - but the I could actually invest in two primes (one for closer subjects, one more telephoto) for a much more reasonable cost!

    atp_design From what I hear, there are quite a few of us in the same boat! So many options - just have to see where your piggy-bank will take you! However, the lens that comes with the XTi you mention is the kit lens, I believe, and is actually not very expensive (as far as lenses go!) if you wanted to add that to the 40D... Just a thought! Also, not to burst your bubble, you may want to do some quick research on it... Unfortunately, I've heard it is not the best - that's why I am look at lenses seperately, rather than investing in a kit.
     
  9. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Was that $600 for an IS version of the 70-200mm f/4L?

    The non-IS version you can buy new for about $550 - B&H URL upper right :)

    If it is the IS version - GRAB IT! AND double check seller carefully because those go for about $1000 new. Do not think they depreciate that much especially when some pros think that one has better IQ then the f/2.8L IS.

    The 50mm f/1.8 is perfect for indoor stuff. f/1.4 is better but costs significantly more - I could not justify spending couple hundreds more for ability to shoot with a third (half?) less light.
     
  10. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    No, it was a non-IS. I'm in Canada though, and the price for that lens at Vistek is over $700. I looked at the B&H store, but from what I saw, please correct me if I'm wrong, it's only in the states.

    Vistek has a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens for $390, but you're right, 50mm f/1.8 for less than half that at $120.

    Since I'll probably be mounting it to a XTi or XSi, I would multiply 50mm by 1.6 to get a field of view arround 80mm, right? Confusing stuff! Just trying to figure out the focal length I'd need...
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want the telephoto lens for indoor sports, I'd say the 70-200 2.8 IS is going to be the prime canidate...and the expensive one. Because even with a 2.8 non is at 200mm, your reccomended shooting speed would still be too fast for most bad ambient lights a 1/200. You'd be shooting at 1600 or 3200 iso all the time (which is one reason the 30D trumps the rebel line for sport photography, 5fps vs. 3.5).
     
  12. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, the 70-200 2.8 IS sounds as close to perfect as I could get - but I do not have that kind of money right now!

    thanks for pointing out about the shootig speed - just a nother variable to keep in mind! :confused:

    I think the idea of a prime lens is my best bet for indoors. The sacrifice being losing zoom but gaing picture quality. I'll just limit my indoor shots. I can live with that - for now :mrgreen:
     

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