Which lens is better?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jepry, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. jepry

    jepry TPF Noob!

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    I finally picked up my first DSLR (canon XT), I am a complete newbie to photography!!

    I have read just about everywhere that the kit 18-55mm lens sucks. I found my dads old canon lenses from about 100 years ago and was wondering which is better.

    One is the EF 28-70mm 3.5-4.5, and the other is a zoom EF 70-210mm.

    Should I use the kit 18-55 or the really old 28-70?
    (please remember that I am a total newb at this stuff)

    THanks
     
  2. Bev_K

    Bev_K TPF Noob!

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    If the lenses you got from your dad are really old, they might not work on your dSLR.

    The kit lens really isn't that bad. You can take some wonderful pictures with it.

    Bev
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Have you personally found that lens to be lacking?
    It's actually not that bad of a lens. The worst part is its light weight construction, which makes it feel like a toy compared to other lenses. I suggest using it when you need it.

    Use the one that best suits your purpose. The 18-55 is a much wider lens, so if you want or need a wider view, then use that one. If you find that you like the 28-70 better, then use that one.

    If you want to see which one performs better, use a tripod and print off a lens test chart (Google it).
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    They are EF lenses, they will work.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hello there. I'm going to have to dissect your post a bit... relevant bit underlined...

    ... Now as I understand it, you own the 18-55mm lens, so have you just accepted that it 'sucks' based on what you've read... or have you actually tried shooting with it? No kit lens is what I would consider great but many are optically 'competent' especially when stopped down a bit. I expect this is the case with the Canon. And apart from that it offers you a reasonable wide-angle (18mm) at a very low price. I would suggest playing around with it and working out its abilities and limitations rather than just thinking it's no good because other folks say so.

    Any of those lenses you mentioned should be entirely capable of producing good results and since they are different focal lengths I don't think you can say one is inherently better than another. Having said that, what aperture is the 70-210mm lens? If it is an f/3.5-f/4.5 it should be a decent lens, but if it's a constant f/4 it could be very good indeed.

    P.s. I like the talk of the '80s being "100 years ago" - makes me feel really old :lol:
     
  6. torth76

    torth76 TPF Noob!

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    The lenses are okay. My friend has that setup... they are good to get started with as they cover a wide range.
     
  7. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    O.K. I have the Kit lens EFS 18 - 55mm and to be honest it is a good useful and competent lens..Old lenses may have been killers in their day, but time moves on, and with it technology. My top of the range Minolta lenses from the 80s are now not really as good as the canon kit lens which is regularly rubbished .
    If you want to pay huge amounts you will get slightly better results. But do you need them?. Is the lens you have good enough..? Take a good look at some of your better images and look at them in PhotoShop on a real Pixel size (100%) any problems should be evident. To be honest though not evident enough for most people....

    EF lenses are developed by Canon to be used with EOS film cameras. They will work every bit as well with your digital. Although you cannot fit your EFS lens on a film EOS. They are not THAT old and as such should perform excellently. If you have access to all these lenses I can see very few problems as you now have a coverage which would equate in old film terms (which is STILL the way most people understand these things) from 28.8mm all the way through to 336mm with out a break. NICE START.... 3 nice lenses..



    No hang on a minute....

    all these lenses are really rubbish and you can't possibly use any of them. Send the two EF lenses Immediately to me and I will use them instead..just to proove how rubbish they are.. well .. that's what friends are for after all..
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'm not so sure about that. I expect it is generally true of zooms, which have generally improved over the years. Primes I think are another matter, I don't think some of those basic formulas can be much improved upon. Even with zooms, the 80s wasn't that long ago and IMO a real top-of-the-range zoom from back then would still have to be optically better than the cheapest kit lens.
     
  9. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    I'll give you a point there... My 50mm f1.7 Rokkor is pretty close to acceptable in todays arena. Although obviously the EFS18-55 is more versatile.
    Also the Rokkor cost me nearly a weeks wages, and the EFS amounted to and extra payment of about 4 hours work.....
     
  10. jepry

    jepry TPF Noob!

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    This is what I was thinking...but honestly, at this point I can't tell the difference between the 2:lol:

    So now I have these 3 lenses in my bag, and thinking about adding the 50mm f1.8 II that I have heard so many good things about. For $70 why not right? Or should I since I have 2 lenses that already cover this range? The wife says not to get it since I have no idea what the lenses I already have are truly capable of yet.
     
  11. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but can you shoot at 50mm with f/2 on the zoom? :) I guess it depends on how you define versatility. Also how you define 'acceptable'... the results obtainable with old primes as far back not as the 80s but even the 60s and 50s look more than acceptable to me. I guess I'm just curious about how you compare them; I'd probably understand better if we were talking that 50mm f1.7 vs an EF 50mm f1.8 where a newer design and coating might improve things but I don't see how the zoom compares well against the prime unless you're shooting at f/8, in which case pretty much any lens will be acceptable.
     
  12. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    The comparison I stated was, as a general non-specif reply, based upon my personal experience. And if we were to be discussing the topic more deeply, The comparison which you make, of the f1.7 Rokkor against the EF 50mm f1.8, would indeed show all the advances more accurately. However, in the general terms which we were using at the time. I feel that aperture is very much an integral part of a lens. But it is not the only part. The methods used in the construction of the lens and the manufacture of the glass and also the coatings utilised, Not to mention all the computer controlled parameters that are associated with modern lens technology. And of course the design of the components and the shape and the shaping of the elements are all significant. these result in many benefits, not least of which are the reduction of chromatic aberration, internal reflection, refraction, the results of refractive dispersion from the element surfaces, Spherical aberration, field curvature, curvilinear distortion, Lateral chromatic aberration, Astigmatism and a whole host of problems which over the years have (one step at a time), been reduced and in some cases abolished entirely. Lens technology has marched on a pace in recent years and the results, Not just in the image quality, but also in the use and usability of the lens are IMO. significantly improved..
     

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