Turning Digital! Need Wise Advice!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by TravTheMan, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. TravTheMan

    TravTheMan TPF Noob!

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    Hello! So I recently had my Canon 35mm camera stolen from my car. I had been planning to buy a DSLR for a while but now I'm thrown straight into the mix. I'll be honest, I'm a student and I'm a little cheap. I've also explored slightly into the used camera world and haven't been too impressed. Do you recommend new or used?

    I'm currently looking at the Canon XTi and XT. Right now I'm leaning a little to the XT so I can buy an additional EF 55-200 f/4.5-5.6 II USM to go along with the standard EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM. Is that a good idea?

    I've heard a lot that the lense is more important than the body so I thought it would be smart to stick to the XT and get the extra lense. Also, if you have any other camera bodies or kits that you think are a better way, let me know. Unfortunately, the XTi is just about the ceiling when it comes to price ranges though.

    Also, I'm a big landscaper and love to hike and backpack so I'm looking to get a travel tripod also. Right now I'm fixed on the Slik Sprint Pro for about 80 bucks which is a pretty good deal to me. It's got a ball head and a 4.4 lb load capacity and a more-than-acceptable max height 65''. My only worry is that it might not be able to hold the XT or XTi with the 55-200mm lense so I'm open to other opinions as well. Thank you and any feedback is much appreciated!
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=2635&A=details&Q=&sku=278545&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Yes, in most cases, the lens is more important, so it's important to get a good lens, not just an "extra" lens. The 55-200 is not a great lens, and also probably not that viable for a landscaper. The 18-55 is no great lens either. So you saved money on the camera and bought two less than great lenses. You didn't really help yourself. If you love landscapes, and you know that's what you want to shoot, then buy the XT without the kit lens, and spend your extra money on a good wide angle zoom like the Canon 17-40 f/4 L, or one of the Sigma or Tamron equivalents. I'd also pick up a 50mm f/1.8. It's a must have lens and is less than $100.
     
  3. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Ditto for everthing above.

    Bodies, like wives, are generally replaceable - altho with some angst and expense. Lenses, like children, are one's dearest possessions, should be with you forever and be the best you can get.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The_Traveler, Bravo and well said!!

    mike
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm.. so I take it "The_Traveler" has had experience with this replacing wives thing... :)

    But yeh.. well said.
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Yes, lots
     
  7. TravTheMan

    TravTheMan TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all the feed back. Much Appreciated! So I've been obsessed with researching all of the different lenses the past 48 hours and have made only a little progress towards a decision.

    Although I would love to have the 17-40mm L, it's a little out of my price range, I'm leaning towards the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens. This gives me a good focal length range so I would really only need one lense to get a good start with the new camera. Also, I really want a good wide angle lense and this is the best deal beyond the kit lense.

    I was also thinking about the Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens and theCanon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Lens but I'm missing out on the wide angle with those two. Plus the build and image quality is supposed to be nice with the 17-85mm so it should last me a while longer than the other two.... any more ideas?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Just a thought; if the Canon 17-40 is not in your price range, would a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (or similar from Sigma/Tokina) be more within your price range? I can't help thinking that with a relatively slow variable-aperture zoom you're going to want something better before too long, so why not get the best you can afford now? As for range, personally I would be inclined to look for a couple of lenses rather than try to cover wide to telephoto in one lens.
     
  9. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    Frankly the EF 17-40 f/4L USM doesn't do it for me.

    For 1/2 the price you can pick up the Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical, which is faster, 10mm longer, and frankly every bit as sharp.

    The only thing the Canon has over the Tamron is the AF drive, USM beats the Tamron hands down.

    Empirically, the Canon has less distortion than the Tamron, it really is better glass, but you'll never see it in a "real life" shot.

    So for half the money you get everything but the nice quite USM drive.

    But the above advice is dead on. But a body only, forget about the kit lens. Then go get yourself a good normal range lens.
     
  10. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    The EF-S 17-85 IS USM is an excellent lens for the kit. I purchased it with my 20D when it forst came out. Would prefer a bit wider for landscaping though due to the crop factor. Do check out the XTi bodies before you get it though. Go to the camera shop and hold them and get a feel for them. I settled on teh 20D because the Xti felt too small for my hands, and I have small hands!
     
  11. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Too slow in low light. IS is great but still too slow to shoot a moving subject in low light without flash :(

    I'd take any one of the following over it.

    Tamron 17-50f2.8
    Tamron 28-75 f2.8
    Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 (although not all that keen on variable maximum aperture lenses this gets great write ups)

    Look also at the 50mm f1.8 - every canon owner should have this or the f1.4 in their bag. The 1.8 is Canon's cheapest lens and it's very sharp and great lin low light.
     
  12. TravTheMan

    TravTheMan TPF Noob!

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    So I'm a little overwhelmed with the choices and the money piling up. Thanks to everybody for your advice and input. All of you will probably yell at me for this, but I think I'm going to go with the XT kit and get the 50mm 1.8 lense. There's no other wide angle lense approved of across the board that is worth the jump in price.

    From reviews I've looked at, the optical results aren't bad at the wide angle as long as I keep it at F8. Usually that shouldn't be a problem. Plus, the kit is only a small jump up from the price of the body alone, so worse that happens is I decide to eat that cash later and replace this lens. Not too big of a deal because it's a small investment.
     

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