Just another new guy looking for gear advice. :)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Altaholic, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Altaholic

    Altaholic TPF Noob!

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    Greetings,

    As I said in my Introduction thread http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66026 I recently got upgraded from an Olympus C2100UZ to a RebelXT.

    With the Olympus, I was pretty content to just leave it on auto and point and shoot. With the Canon, I would like to get away from that. I guess what am I am trying to say is that I am pretty much a beginner. :)

    Been doing a fair bit of reading here and on other sites about what gear would compliment my camera. Wanted to run it by those that are more knowledgeable and see if I am headed in the right direction or way off base. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Power and Memory
    Learned with the Olympus that too much is never enough. Settled on upgrading to the Battery Grip with 2 sets of batteries and a SanDisk 4gb Extreme III memory card to start.

    Flash
    Is this something that is advisable to get out of the gate? If so, I had my eye on the 430EX.

    Glass
    Now we get to the fun stuff and this is where it gets kind of fuzzy for me. I enjoy taking pictures of just about anything that catches my eye. My critters around the house, landscapes, cemeteries, buildings, car shows, just about anything. For versatility, I was thinking one prime and 2 zooms.

    For the prime, I think the 50mm f/1.8II is going to be my choice.
    For the zooms, looking at the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS and EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS.

    Is this a good combo or should I be looking at something else?

    Thanks again for any advice and hope your day is well.

    Glenn
     
  2. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to TPF!
    It appears you are off to a great start on your camera system. I believe a camera mount flash is an important part of a system and I do encourage you to include it. In my experience, I have left my flash behind and regreted it every time. You just never know what situation you will run in to.
     
  3. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a pretty good setup to me. The 17-85 and 70-300 glass will give you a lot of versatility for shots; but I've got to say, I think the 17-85 would be a lot better lens. In my opinion, a 50mm would be rather limiting; not very well suited for landscapes, and not an asset for close up shots either.

    A 4 GB card should be more than enough memory.
     
  4. Altaholic

    Altaholic TPF Noob!

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    I have read in a couple of places that this is an inexpensive lens and well suited for beginners. Also, the fact that it is fairly fast (hope I am using that in the correct context) will help me take shots of critters in the house with out any flash. Those are the main reasons I was including it. Should I consider something else?

    I had a feeling this may be the case. Thanks for confirming it. Flash added to the shopping list. :D



    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope your day is well.
    Glenn
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I strongly suggest the 50mm F1.8...yes it is fast...which will certainly help to take shot without flash. It will also be good for action shots and for portraits. It could easily become your favorite lens...even though it doesn't zoom.

    The 430EX would be a great flash, if you have the dough...go for it.

    Did you get the 18-55 kit lens?
     
  6. Altaholic

    Altaholic TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I do have the kit lens. Again, in my research, I have read that this a "passable" lens, but that there are far better "midrange" lens' out there.

    I dont have an unlimited budget, but the 430EX is definitely within what budget I do have.

    Another question I just thought of - Are lens hoods advisable for all lens or just certain ones?


    And Mike, a little off topic, but another Oilers fan here. Jumped on the bandwagon in the '80's and forgot to jump off. :mrgreen: If I am not working and they are playing, you will find me planted in front of the tube in my Grant Fuhr jersey watching the game on NHL Center Ice. GO OILERS!!

    Glenn
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    An Oiler fan from San Diego...that's pretty cool.

    I grew up watching the Oilers in their glory days...which made it kind of hard being a season ticket holder for the last 10 years...watching them loose to Dallas every year. Last year was awesome...but awfully expensive.

    Lens hoods are always a good idea. There is usually a specific hood that goes with a specific lens...but you can also get cheap rubber hoods. The one thing you have to watch out for...is wide angle lenses...which need very short hoods. I use a hood on my 50mm all the time...but I don't have a hood that doesn't cause a vignette on my EF-S 18-55. I think there is a specific hood you can get...but it's very short, and probably doesn't do much.

    Before getting the 17-85 IS...I'd stick with the kit lens for a while. While IS is a great thing to have...it's not the same as a wider aperture....and the image quality of the 17-85 isn't said to be spectacular.

    I'm upgrading my 18-55 to a Tamron 17-50 F2.8 sometime soon. From what I've read...the image quality is pretty good...and the wide aperture of F2.8 is what I'm looking for. The ideal lens in this range is the Canon EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS...but it's almost 3 times as expensive as the Tamron.
     
  8. Altaholic

    Altaholic TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info guys. Looks like hoods get added to the shopping list and the 17-85 IS comes off. For now. :mrgreen:

    What are the feelings of "off-brand" equipment as opposed to the "same-brand"? Any things to watch out with regards to this? Have a seen a few Sigma lens that looked interesting but wasnt sure how they compared to Canon.


    Glenn
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    'Off brand' lenses are similar to 'same brand' lenses...in that there are gems and there are dogs. Canon makes some crappy lenses and Sigma makes some great ones. Of course, the best glass does usually come from the primary brand. Canon's L series of lenses are some of the best avaliable.

    You can save some money with off brand lenses...as they tend not to carry the 'name brand' premium. However, top quality Canon/Nikon lenses will hold their value much better than other brands. A $1500 Canon L lens, could probably be sold for $1300 in 5 or 10 years.

    As I mentioned...I'm upgrading from my 18-55 kit lens...to a Tamron 17-50 F2.8. I looked at some Sigma lenses too...and they are pretty good. As with anything, you get what you pay for...but sometimes you can get 90% of the performance...for 50% of the price.
     
  10. SaSi

    SaSi TPF Noob!

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    I bought the 17-85/IS as an upgrade to the kit lens, and although it is not a bad lens, is is also not a VERY good one either. I now consider that I would have rather bought the 17-40/f:4L No IS on that one, but a much better lens as a whole.

    On the other hand, the IS works wonders on the 17-85 and has allowed me to take crisp shots on a whim, something that has value. It has strong barrel distortions on the wide end, however I find it "enhances" the wideangle effect. It might bother me more, if I didn't have the EF-S 10-22, which is exceptionally good in every respect (except price) and provides me with undistorted focal lengths where the 17-85 suffers.

    Finally, the 18-55 kit lens isn't as bad as it is gossiped. I guess it's what everybody got that nobody apreciate. :wink:

    As a sideline, get the battery grip as a must. It changes the way the camera feels and handles. Made me less envious of the large body Nikons that my large hands can handle much better.
     
  11. Altaholic

    Altaholic TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for jumping in SaSi. The more info I get, the better decision I can make. With regards to the battery grip, how many of the Canon battery packs fit in it? 1 or 2. Looked around and cant seem to figure that out.

    For now, looks like I will hold off on the short* lens and go with the kit lens and the 50mm f/1.8 II.

    As for a longer* lens, watching this thread http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66361 with interest as I am starting to second guess my initial choice of the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS.


    *again, hoping I am using these terms in the correct context. Still learning the vernacular along with everything else. :)

    Glenn
     

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