to kit or not to kit?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cjrcdr, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. cjrcdr

    cjrcdr TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    i know you have read a million of these same posts, but i have searched and didn't find the exact answer i was looking for, so here goes. . .

    i have decided on the canon xsi for my first dslr. i am new to the slr world and know that i will have a learning curve. after doing some reading, it seems the 50mm is a good all around lense. my question is whether or not i should go with the kit lenses or just by the body and a good 50mm (1.4) to start with?

    the kit comes with a lense or two for about $7-800. i can get the body only for about $570 and then add the 50mm for about $300. . . price of the two choices is about the same.

    my wife and i have a new 5month old little boy and he will be the focus of most all of our shots. . .family photos is what we will be taking most often.

    will the 50mm suffice or will i be wishing i had more options pretty soon. i realize that like most hobbies, i will be adding more lenses before it's all said and done, but this first one needs to last a bit b/c i don't have a lot of cash to throw at things after the initial purchase. i figure after the camera bag, memory cards, and other necessities, we'll be out about $1k.

    now, tell me what to do. THANKS!
     
  2. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well those two lenses have very different perks. The 50mm has the ultra wide aperture for great low-light shooting and a very artsy bokeh (Blurred background). The 18-55 on the other hand is an extremely useful focal range for a newbie. Though the kit 18-55 that comes with the Canons are optically (and aesthetically) awful, for practical reasons I'd recommend it as your first purchase.
     
  3. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The new IS version with the Rebel XSi and XS kits is better than the discontinued USM version from the Rebel XTi and XT kits.
     
  4. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    CANADA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I bought the XSi this summer, and you've made a good choice :)

    What I did is bought the body (not kit lens) and two lenses: The 50mm 1.8 @ ~$120, and a Sigma 18-200mm OS @ ~$600.

    I realize that that brings you above your $300 budgeted towards your lens, but I find that this combo offers great versatility, and covers a wide range of shooting situations. While you said your main subject will be your child, you'll soon be hooked and wanting to do more :p

    I haven't tried a 50mm 1.4, but I'm finding my 50mm 1.8 does an amazing job. I'm still a beginner, so maybe someone will correct me on this - but I think the 1.8 is all you really need in this stage of the game.

    I'm guessing you're in the States by the prices you quoted, but you may want to try an have a little more than $1K ready. I bought a little more than than the basics I suppose, but I'll tell you what I left the store with when I bought my camera, so hopefully you don't get as shell-shocked as I did when I left

    - Xsi Body - $700
    - Warranty on body - $100
    - 50mm 1.8 - $130
    - Sigma 18-200 - $600
    - 8GB SD card - $60 (now you can get them for alot less :S )
    - Spare battery - $80
    - Large camera bag - $70
    ^ (I got a big one [read:expensive] because i go camping. You probably don't need to this for your purposes)
    - UV Filters for both lenses - $70 and $40

    Some of those prices have since dropped, and they're Canadian, so hopefully they'll be lower for you. Also, I later bought another 8GB card and a polarizing filter, and I'm hoping to buy a tripod.

    Hopefully some of my rambling will help you a bit!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  5. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Unless you're gonna be starting out doing mostly portraits, I'd pass on the 50mm for now and get either a 28 or 35mm fixed lens or a good zoom lens. Not being familiar with Canon's own lenses (other than some of the fixed lenses), I'll leave the zoom recommendations up to the Canonians.

    Edit: Forgot they do make the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for Canon dSLRS and it gets good reviews on Amazon.com :sexywink:.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  6. tenlientl

    tenlientl TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don`t buy 8GB. Go for something lower like 2GB or 4GB. If that 8GB breaks(rare), you just lost 8GB worth of pictures isntead of 2 or 4.

    Anyways. I agree with k8-90. It`s nice to have that 50mm f/1.8, but its also nice to have a nice range. Maybe you can get a 3rd party lens that go wide angle to telephoto.
     
  7. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    And the opposite of that viewpoint is that if you have multiple cards in your camera and sitting in your bag, you stand a much greater chance of losing one, defeating the whole purpose of having a smaller card for 'safety'.

    I say 8gb is fine. I personally shoot with 4x 4Gb cards when I go out, but I concede that swapping them out of the camera and stuffing them in little pockets in my camera bag is a big liability. I'd rather not open my SD card door at all during a shoot if I could.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    8GB is the perfect size. In RAW format, on a 10MP camera that's about 480 pics. Not much at all... less if you want to do JPG and RAW together and more if you shoot in JPG only (ick.). In a day when 16GB cards are starting to be the norm, 8Gb is the best compromise between size, convenience and safety.

    MORE important than size is brand and quality of the cards. Get yourself some el cheapo card, and you SHOULD expect it to die a horrible death early on... usually taking many irreplaceable pics with it. SanDisk Extreme III or IV for the average cameras is about as low in the quality scale that I would go.

    I recently picked up a new camera, its a little higher up the scale, and I will have 4 SanDisk Extreme IV 8GB cards... what I should have done is get the faster SanDisk Ducati edition 8GB cards... that way I would have gained a fraction more speed when writing the pics to the card and faster reads from the card to the computer on the card reader.

    Though I am happy with the speeds of a USB 2.0 card reader, firewire card readers are faster. Oh... 99% of the time, it is faster to transfer pics to the computer via an external card reader vs hooking up the camera to the computer. This is true of even high end cameras like a Nikon D700 and D3.


    And for another opinion... I would *never* get a kit lens under any circumstance. You can get acceptable results with a kit lens... but nothing much more. Kit lenses are affordable for very specific reasons... they are slow (apertures numerically higher than F/2.8) and the optics of these lenses is of lower quality than what you get when you purchase the higher quality lenses.
     
  9. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Steventon, Oxfordshire, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That makes sense for somebody who can afford a D700 and a 24-70mm f2.8. ;) A beginner on a budget who wants to buy a Canon XSi to take family photos might not have the same needs and a kit lens might be a better choice than a 50mm as it is more versatile. The kit lens is fairly inexpensive (~USD 90 when bought with the body) and I think it is a good lens to start learning for beginners. Once they understand the limitations (if they ever reach them) of the lens they can make a more informed decision and decide for themselves what they want from their new lens (either a fast zoom, a different focal range, primes...).
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis
    My advice will be if you already know what lens you need and why you need that lens, I will say the 50mm. If you are not sure what to get and how one lens is better than the others, then I will suggest go with the kit lens first especially if you are tight in budget.


    And the IS kit lens that shipped with the XSI is fine. The build is cheap, but the optical quality is not bad according to the reviews I read.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,327
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    The Upper West Side of Mississippi (you have no i
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Before you decide take a look at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. nice things are said about it and the range will be far more useful than just the 50mm. The extra bit of a stop won't be that big a deal, all in all.
     
  12. cjrcdr

    cjrcdr TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    thank you all for your replies. i have decided to get the kit lens and learn what i like/don't like and need/don't need. i may pick up the cheaper 50mm for only $80-90 and see what it can do and experience the difference.

    i'm sure we'll upgrade as we learn and our needs change.

    i'll be back with plenty of questions once we get the camera.

    thanks again!
     

Share This Page