General Help Question

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by wamguy89, May 13, 2009.

  1. wamguy89

    wamguy89 TPF Noob!

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    It' time for an upgrade. I currently have a Canon Rebel Xsi with the standard 18-55mm lens, and the clarity just isn't cutting it... I would just really like my pictures to be sharper and clearer. Should I buy a new lens or a new body? I have a pretty large price range, because I've saved over 1,000 USD. Is the body more important than the lens or is the lens the most important part? Thanks!
     
  2. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I wouldnt say its time for an upgrade. The fact that the camera is lacking "clarity" doesn't sound like anything more than user error to me. I would stick with your camera, its actually a good one, and buy some better lenses with that $1,000 you have. Its better to invest in lenses because a good lens now will be a good lens in 10-20 years, not necessarily the same for cameras. Besides that 18-55 isn't really the best lens. I would try to sell it and buy a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 or a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 to replace it.
     
  3. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Upgrade the lens -- your body isn't going to be the cause of sharpness problems.

    Actually, almost all of the time, "sharpness" problems result from focusing incorrectly, or using an inappropriate aperture. For example, if you're doing landscape work, you need to understand (quite thoroughly) the ideas of depth of field as it relates to aperture, hyperfocal distance, and also the problem of diffraction.

    So, if anything, look at nicer lenses -- but be sure to read and understand how your camera and its optics work before you spend too much money.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    As the other replies have hinted at...let's first diagnose the problem, it's likely not your camera or your lens.
    That's not to say that you might benefit from an upgrade to your equipment...but there is no point in upgrading if you don't know exactly why or what issues it will fix.

    Post some examples of your shots that exemplify the problems. Also include the EXIF data so we can check the settings etc.
     
  5. wamguy89

    wamguy89 TPF Noob!

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    Well, maybe I should clarify that I mainly do live concert photos and occasional band promo shots. I don't think it's a user error, considering the fact that I understand aperture/depth of field/shutter speed/focus, etc. fairly well... I think you can see this with a quick look at my flickr page... I was just looking for sharpness. While I would have preferred to have an f2.8 lens (especially for concerts), I think I've decided on the Canon L series f4 17-40mm lens... Anything would be an upgrade from what I have now, though... Haha
     
  6. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    The 17-40 isnt a good decision if youre going to be shooting concerts. At f/4 you wouldnt get a fast enough shutter speed. Plus that Canon lens is going to run you $700+... The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is faster, takes great photos, and is less that $450. Hell even the 50mm f/1.8 at $100 would be better for concerts than the 17-40 f/4 lol
     
  7. wamguy89

    wamguy89 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but the quality of glass will be lower in the Tamron; the Tamron will not be as sharp; and I would lose some depth of field with the f2.8... I think the Canon one would be better even with the f4, because I am always using the flash and I do a lot of long exposure with flash stuff at concerts anyways... Even the lens I have now, which is f4, isn't too slow... It's just a clarity issue. I think the Canon lens will give me a lot more sharpness than the Tamron could... Not to say that the Tamron is bad, though, because that is a great lens!
     
  8. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    Actually the Tamron is sharper than the Canon from the tests I am seeing. Looking at the resolution figures at f/4 here are how both lenses play out:

    MTF Resolution Figures for Tamron 17-50 f/2.8:

    17mm @ f/4 = 2127.5
    24mm @ f/4 = 2050
    35mm @ f/4 = 1937
    50mm @ f/4 = 1903.5

    MTF Resolution Figures for Canon 17-40 f/4:
    17mm @ f/4 = 2004.5
    24mm @ f/4 = 1923
    40mm @ f/4 = 1832

    Here are the pages for the graphs I am using, see for yourself:

    Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] (Canon) - Test Report / Review


    Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L - Test Report / Review


    The "low-quality" Tamron is rated higher than the Canon with L glass.
     
  9. wamguy89

    wamguy89 TPF Noob!

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    Wow... That is interesting! I'll have to take a closer look at the Tamron. Thanks!
     
  10. wamguy89

    wamguy89 TPF Noob!

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    Best advice ever... Check this photo out... One of the first I took with my new Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 I got in the mail today!! :) :) Thank you so much, bdavis!!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would sugesst the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. It is a very solid and sharp lens. If you go to the B&H website and read the user reviews it always gets high marks and, praise. And at $420 is a bargain too. Which will leave you more money to pick up another lens or accessory.
     

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