to zoom or not to zoom. that is the question.

naptime

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ok. so currently, on our FILM cameras, the daughter and i have 3 different zoom lenses.

28-80 f3.5/5.6 canon
35-80 f4.0/5.6 canon
70-300 f4.0/5.6 quantaray.

obviously none of these are quality glass, but they get the job done for us as beginners.


in the next week or so, we should be getting our DSLR's.. I've decided on Canon 450d/XSi for a number of reasons. the new to us bodies will be used.


i am finding a number of deals. some with body only, some with 18-55 kit lens.


i am grasping the concept of the crop sensor. so i know that our existing lenses will not really be 28 or 35 equivalents. i don't know how much more zoomed they will be, but i understand the concept.

as it is, on the film camera, sometimes i get frustrated because i can't get enough in my shot because the angle isn't wide enough so i was looking forward to the 18-55 kit lens. but then found out, it's going to be more like 28 or 35 anyway.

that said, i understand some of the many reasons for good glass.


based on the shooting that we do.... right now, everything. houses, buildings, landscapes, people, indoor, macro, etc.. we have no set style of shooting yet.. however, the kid is leaning more towards people, and i am leaning more towards landscapes, buildings, and abstracts.


that said.. would we both benefit from getting a 50mm 1.8 instead of a kit lens, and instead use our existing glass when we need to zoom.

or will the 50mm be wasted on us, due to our subject matter?

i hate to spend the money on a better piece of glass and then find out, i shouldn't have bought a 50 because i'm shooting landscapes, or buildings, etc...


within the same budget : i can get complete kits. or body only and buy kit lens. or body only and buy 50mm 1.8

i guess also, another option would be a higher level of camera. and get a 500d body only. and only have our existing lenses available.

we are NOT selling our film bodies OR lenses. so we will still have those 3 available to us.


i know i just rambled a lot here...

just can't decide which is the better move.. 450d with kit lens or 50mm better glass. or a 500d with our old glass.


i also looked at those cheap screw on 2.0x wide angle lenses that i suppose could be an option? but i don't know how good or bad those are.
 

o hey tyler

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Okay... Well here is my humble opinion.

If I were you, Jay... I'd sell the 35-80mm as you already have that focal range covered by your other lens. Coupled with the fact that the 35-80 is f/4-5.6, which isn't a great maximum aperture. You could probably live without it, considering one of you could use the 50mm (which is a GREAT walkaround lens on a crop frame digital, or Full frame/35mm film camera).

Hopefully with the extra money, you could get both the 50mm f/1.8 and the EF-S 18-55mm, preferably the MKII IS version. You'll be able to use the 50mm f/1.8 on all of the cameras, but the 18-55mm will be just for the DSLR.

If video is not an issue, the XSi is a great body to start with. You could also look at 20D, and 30D's if they fit in your price range. They should also FEEL more like the film cameras you are accustomed to, with some added benefits of independent aperture and shutter speed controls. The Rebel bodies use one scroll wheel to change the shutter speed, and then you have to hold down an "Av +/-" button and use the dial to change the aperture.

If you're interested in good image quality, stay away from the screw on lenses. They're nothing but junk. The more glass you put in front of your lens that is not of high quality (like Hoya/Tiffen/B&W filters) the more image degradation will occur. It wouldn't be AS noticeable on film... But if you're pixel peeping digital prints, you'll see it.

This is just what I'd do in your shoes.
 

Bossy

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50mm 1.8 for the kid, 35mm 1.8 for you :) I think the 50 will be to cropped in for you and your landscapes/archetecture, but it makes a lovely sharp portrait lens. I shoot a bit of everything with my 35mm, its on most of the time just because my cheapy zooms (18-105mm, 55-200mm, couple others) can't touch the clarity.
 

o hey tyler

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50mm 1.8 for the kid, 35mm 1.8 for you :) I think the 50 will be to cropped in for you and your landscapes/archetecture, but it makes a lovely sharp portrait lens. I shoot a bit of everything with my 35mm, its on most of the time just because my cheapy zooms (18-105mm, 55-200mm, couple others) can't touch the clarity.

Canon doesn't make a 35mm f/1.8...They do make a 35mm f/2, which is considerably more than Jay is looking to spend unfortunately. It's not a super great lens, and is due for a design update (as well as the inclusion of a USM).
 

Bossy

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Oh wow I didn't know that! Sorry bout that :/
 
OP
naptime

naptime

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yeah i was just over on ebay looking. and that 35/f2 is waaay out of budget.

everything outside the 50/f1.8 is out of budget.


tyler we can get TWO lenses. so maybe the 50 and the 18-55 is the way to go.

that would give us 4 different lenses

as you've probably read, i'm against sharing a body. but sharing lenses is a different story. i can deal with that. because we would still have a lens, no matter what.

i suppose this way too, we get a much wider range of focal lengths. AND we have at least 1 piece that's good glass.

and i can put the 35-80 up for sale, since it's already covered by the 28-80 like you said. the money from that plus a little extra can snag us another prime lens.
 

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Based off of what you said get 2 digital bodies, and then see where you each are shooting the most. I'd prolly look for 1 body only and one with a 18-55 lens. Also been a 50 owner I will say you'll find yourself using it more than you think.
 

Big Mike

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I know that budget is always an issue...but when looking at all the lenses you have or are talking about...I just think they are cheap consumer lenses that (if you and her both stick with this long enough) will eventually outgrow anyway.

For example, selling the 35-80mm....what would that get you? Next to nothing probably. I have a 35-80mm that's I've had listed for $50, both on here and in my local classified. I've had offers of $30 and that's it. It's a perfectly good lens (albeit a cheap consumer grade lens)...and I can't even get $50 for it.

I recently sold off several of my lenses, but I had acquired a handful of these cheap lenses. They are good when you have no other options...but eventually, you'll grow out of them, or you'll just get to the point where you are ready to invest in better (expensive) lenses and these cheap ones become obsolete.

So I guess my point is....don't sweat the decision so much....because soon or later, it probably won't matter what you choose to get (or not get) at this point.

And besides, photographers tend to adapt themselves and their style to the tools that they have at hand. So get what you get, don't sweat it....shoot with that until you're in a place to get something better.
 

o hey tyler

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I know that budget is always an issue...but when looking at all the lenses you have or are talking about...I just think they are cheap consumer lenses that (if you and her both stick with this long enough) will eventually outgrow anyway.

For example, selling the 35-80mm....what would that get you? Next to nothing probably. I have a 35-80mm that's I've had listed for $50, both on here and in my local classified. I've had offers of $30 and that's it. It's a perfectly good lens (albeit a cheap consumer grade lens)...and I can't even get $50 for it.

30 bucks towards a 50 dollar 18-55mm kit lens (I've seen them used on Craigslist for around there) is better than nothing IMHO, especially if it's a redundant focal length. An unused 'shelfed' lens is just money sitting around... If it were a sweet unused collectible lens, that would be one thing... Especially when the 30 bucks could be really valuable on a tight budget. ;) That's just my opinion though.

Whatever you decide to do, Jay... You'll have a blast with your new gear (and you won't be shelling out dough for film).
 

SCraig

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... i am grasping the concept of the crop sensor. so i know that our existing lenses will not really be 28 or 35 equivalents. i don't know how much more zoomed they will be, but i understand the concept.

as it is, on the film camera, sometimes i get frustrated because i can't get enough in my shot because the angle isn't wide enough so i was looking forward to the 18-55 kit lens. but then found out, it's going to be more like 28 or 35 anyway.

that said, i understand some of the many reasons for good glass.


based on the shooting that we do.... right now, everything. houses, buildings, landscapes, people, indoor, macro, etc.. we have no set style of shooting yet.. however, the kid is leaning more towards people, and i am leaning more towards landscapes, buildings, and abstracts.


that said.. would we both benefit from getting a 50mm 1.8 instead of a kit lens, and instead use our existing glass when we need to zoom.

or will the 50mm be wasted on us, due to our subject matter?

...
Look through your camera and find out for yourself. Crop factor is about 150% (at least on a Nikon, I suspect a Canon is about the same). Mount one of your lenses on your 35mm and zoom it to 75mm (50mm x 1.5) and that is about what you would see at 50mm on a crop sensor camera. The 28mm lens on your 35mm camera is virtually identical to an 18mm on a crop-sensor camera (18 x 1.5 = 27mm).
 

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For example, selling the 35-80mm....what would that get you? Next to nothing probably. I have a 35-80mm that's I've had listed for $50, both on here and in my local classified. I've had offers of $30 and that's it. It's a perfectly good lens (albeit a cheap consumer grade lens)...and I can't even get $50 for it.

It's only worth 45$, just so you know.

EDIT: Apparently there are 3 versions of the lens.
 

belial

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SCraig said:
Look through your camera and find out for yourself. Crop factor is about 150% (at least on a Nikon, I suspect a Canon is about the same). Mount one of your lenses on your 35mm and zoom it to 75mm (50mm x 1.5) and that is about what you would see at 50mm on a crop sensor camera. The 28mm lens on your 35mm camera is virtually identical to an 18mm on a crop-sensor camera (18 x 1.5 = 27mm).

Canon is 1.6 crop factor
 

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