Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: SLR lens set on a budget ?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    SLR lens set on a budget ?

    Hi, I've been planning to buy a DSLR camera
    and so far, my choice is the Canon 450D. I read many advices about getting a more professional one (like the 40D), but being a first-time to dslr photography and still being a pre-university student without financial stability, I decided to go with this one.

    But the problem now is the lenses. I came out with a list of different locations and different prices. However, I'd like to know if the lenses would make great difference to the pictures quality.

    Here's the list of the lenses included with 450D Body (I can provide links if needed):

    1- US Store:
    Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens
    Canon EF 75-300mm Lens
    Total of 900 USD = 1061 CAD

    2- US online store:
    18-55mm IS Lens
    EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Autofocus Lens for Select Digital SLR Cameras
    Total of 890 USD = 1050 CAD

    3- Canadian local store
    18-55mm IS Lens Kit
    Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 II USM Lens
    Total of 1230 CAD (including the 15% tax)

    Now I have a few questions. First, when they don't mention any brand in the lens, do I assume that they are Canon ones?
    Does the lenses' brand matters?
    I did a bit of research concerning USM lenses and "The main advantage of using a ring USM, is that the motor is built into the lens so that it can auto focus faster than a standard lens." So it's basically the speed. If it doesn't annoy me, I could just buy the regular ones?

    I set to 1000 CAD the limit I want to spend on camera/lens bundle; I try not to go too far over. So far, the sample gallery of photos I've seen taken with the 450D was more than satisfactory for me. Thus, I should be a solid starting point to learn!
    So, I you have any advices or suggestions concerning lens choice, I'd be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance!
    excuse my english grammar
    Last edited by Zephyrize; 7th January 2009 at 02:50 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Hi again Zephyrize,

    Quite a few questions, so I'll launch right into the answers ...

    "However, I'd like to know if the lenses would make great difference to the pictures quality."

    Lenses are far more critical to image quality ("IQ") than the camera; you'll get a far better result with a quality lens on a poor camera than you will with a poor lens on a quality camera. At the end of the day, the camera is just a box that lets light in!

    "First, when they don't mention any brand in the lens, do I assume that they are Canon ones? "

    Probably, but for clarity and peace of mind, I'd confirm in writing before placing any orders. Whilst on the subject of online ordering from the USA, the gold standard - bar none - is B&H Photo. Ask anywhere for the store with the most professional reputation, and this is the first recommendation you'll get 9 times out of 10. A couple of other stores that can be trusted include adorama and amazon.com (there are others too of course - the trick is knowing who they are). Be sure to independantly check the stores reputation before you buy (eg with resellerratings.com) - there are some total sharks out there who will take your money and the shirt off your back - and give you NOTHING but abuse in return.

    "Does the lenses' brand matters?"

    You'll possibly get a lot of "discussion" on this point. In my opinion, yes - and as such I only use Canon lenses. A lot of people swear by alternative brands such as Tamron & Sigma - but a lot of people swear AT them as well. All lenses are NOT created equal. My personal suggestion is if you stick with Canon brand then you're guaranteed not to have any compatability issues - and will typically get more consistant quality throughout the entire zoom range. There are a LOT of lens performance characteristics that differentiate lenses (colour, contrast, Bokah, sharpness to name just a few) - with Canon lenses you generally get a good all-round performer in all these areas.

    "I did a bit of research concerning USM lenses and "The main advantage of using a ring USM, is that the motor is built into the lens so that it can auto focus faster than a standard lens." So it's basically the speed. If it doesn't annoy me, I could just buy the regular ones?"

    USM is Canon's standard lens drive mechanism these days - it made it's debut in 1987, (ring type in 1990) (and USM II in 2002) - so as a rule, any lens that doesn't have USM would be a very old design (but there are exceptions to that rule like the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II). At the end of the day - just like many other things in life - with lenses, you get what you pay for.

    You might like to read throughsome lens reviews ... http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...rpage=12&stype=

    (EF-S Lens reviews are on the last page). To be honest, I'm not a big fan of most EF-S lenses (especially the kit ones), but I'll leave it at that!

    "So far, the sample gallery of photos I've seen taken with the 450D was more than satisfactory for me."

    There's not much wrong with the 450D (although it's smaller size and lack of pro-sumer ergonomics have frequently been listed as notable drawbacks) - then again, image quality from the 400D, 350D, 50D, 40D, 30D, 20D are all just fine as well - to the point where you almost certainly wouldn't be able to tell the difference with a small or medium size print (I still sell 22 x 44" canvas prints taken with my old 20D).


    Hope this helps,
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th December 2009 at 01:10 AM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Thanks Colin for that quick reply.
    And yes, the second one on my list was from BHphoto (I didn't mention any specific names because apparently in some forums, they don't like it).

    Your website was very useful;
    now it turns out that the EF 75-300 mm III USM has a pretty bad reputation (bad image quality, CA, build cheap)
    The best combo seems to be from the first one (Costco) : 18-55 & 75-300, both EF-S.

    Also, may I ask the reasons why you don't really like EF-S ones? What lenses are defined as 'kit ones' ?

    Thx again

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Your welcome

    "Also, may I ask the reasons why you don't really like EF-S ones? What lenses are defined as 'kit ones' ?"

    My experience has been that - for the "kit lens" varients anyway (ie the 18-55mm IS and non-IS varients) the image quality just isn't up to my standard.

    I'll tell you a short story ...

    One of my first modern Digital SLRs was a Canon 350D that came with an 18-55 kit lens. I was never happy with the results I got - contrast was poor - colour was poor - sharpness, although acceptable for small prints, just seemed to lack clarity when I blew things up. Assuming it was just my lack of skill - and not knowing any better at the time - I posted on a few forums to ask what I might be doing wrong. I got some good answers and in one case even drove back to the same spot that I liked and reshot the same scene I think about 3 times - but still I wasn't getting the result that I knew I should be.

    Somewhat disheartened I wasn't far away from tossing the camera in the closet and just forgetting about photography, however a friend kindly let me have a go with his EF24-70mm/2.8L USM & EF70-200mm F2.8L USM lenses and "hey presto" my problems were solved. It wasn't me - it wasn't my camera - it was the kit lens.

    You might be thinking that perhaps I just got a bad copy - but when I upgraded to a 20D that also came with a kit lens I immediately faced the same issue. In the end I sold the 350D with the original kit lens and the only thing that stopped my kicking the 2nd one in to orbit was the fact that someone gave me $75 for it. At that point I made the conscious decision that "if it's not an L-Series lens" then "it won't be going anywhere near my camera". I've stuck to that philosophy to date, and if I had to start all over again I'd adopt the same philosophy in a heart beat.

    I'm a fairly extreme kind of person (I don't do things by halves), so read in to that what you will. There are many arguments raging in photography circles over whether L-Series lenses are indeed superior - my experience tells me that the optical quality from an L-Series lens is never less than a non-L-Series equivalent, and the build quality is as different as chauk and cheese. In terms of ruggedness it's like the difference between a army jeep and a sherman tank. But, they are expensive, and some people have an issue with their weight.

    That my experience anyway - as I say, I take a totally non-compromising attitude to my photography both in my approach and my equipment - and hopefully the results I get reflect that - if you're planning on a different path then my approach almost certainly won't be right for you, so no real "rights and wrongs" - just how I see things from my little corner of the world. Others can and do disagree with my philosophy frequently (they're wrong of course, but they don't know that yet so I don't hold it against them!!! ... just kidding of course!).

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:53 AM.

  5. #5
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,328
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Undoubtedly I would use B&H, but know the others are well recommended too.

    Even if you don't buy anything just go and marvel at the place. Just follow the crowds, everyone on the road I was following last time I was there, just turned left into B&H. (just dont go on a Friday, or religious holiday as they are shut).

    Excellent and very knowledgeable service from the staff too and quite a unique checkout system that has to be seen to be believed.

    I am not an expert on buying stuff in the US and importing it into Canada, but whilst B&H are very competitive, do factor in any duties you may have to pay.
    Last edited by shreds; 8th January 2009 at 01:35 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Well, I've been doing graphic project and getting used to color grading for videos, so I'm quite exgient on colours quality and contrast. Furthermore, quality matters since I intend to start building a portfolio which I have to present when applying for university next winter (summer for you ). However let me tell you, the L-series lenses you mentioned also caused me a heart attack when I saw the prices haha..
    I can't obviously considering purchasing those; it's like having to choose between the Canon HV30 camcorder and a Canon XL2. And for a matter of fact, the only lenses rated over 9 are the L-series ones.
    Therefore since, according to the lens review, the 'kit' USM lenses have a more poor image quality than the EF-S 'kit' lenses, I should go with those latter. Among the non L-Series, they seems to be the best choices.

    Thanks for the help, everything is much more clear now.
    I'll ask if I have any other question
    Last edited by Zephyrize; 8th January 2009 at 01:51 PM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    There are some EF-S lenses that are very good - but the kit ones (18-55mm) are all EF-S.

    I tend to think of canon lenses as being in 3 "classes"

    1. L-Series - best optics and construction

    2. Consumer / prosumer grade (most of the others) that offer good performance.

    3. Kit lenses (which I tend to think of as being in a "cheap & nasty category - cheap enough to practically give away with entry-level and pro-sumer cameras (because unless you already have or are intending to buy other lenses then the camera is useless without one), but not so nasty that they can't be 1/2 pie defended in terms of image quality. I'm not saying you can't take a good shot with them, but in my opinion they struggle more than higher quality lenses.

    If it were me in your position I would put more money into the lenses and less into the camera - even to the point of picking up something like a 2nd hand 20D or a 350D.

    Just my opinion though - others may well feel differently.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:54 AM.

  8. #8
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,328
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Colin certainly makes a good point and this is true regardless of brand. The glass is where you should spend your money, only then consider upgrading the camera.

    So many people sell on last years model because they want the latest kit, yet are they producing massively better pictures this year compared to last?

    If they can answer yes, then ok, but this is where you can make the killing. Those up-graders will sell very reasonably, last years kit: I saw a Canon 1 DS mkII, advertised today for the price you could have picked up a 5D a year ago. It goes through the whole range, dealers sometime refuse to PX purely and simply because the prices do fall very quickly when it is not flavour of the month and they dont want it left on the shelf.

    I too would recommend a carefully checked over S/H camera body and get the best lenses you can afford at present. Sometimes even S/H lenses from a good home that have been carefully looked after, can be a good investment too.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Thanks shreds for the advices, and I will check carefully through the options that I have.
    Sorry for my ignorance but, what is 'S/H' you mentionned ?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    S/H = "Second Hand"

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:54 AM.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Oh right! Didn't make the connection at first :P

    I must admit that would be a good idea. I bought some used stuff but when I comes to delicate, expensive electronic devices such as cameras, I feel more reassured with a warranty..

    Anyhow, I went to Kijiji and found some interesting things.
    However, before making any move, I've read many descriptions that don't have any meaning to me.
    Terms like : hotshoe, fungus.

    (In a few Canon 30D descriptions)
    - "Hot shoe has some silver coming through."
    - "hot shoe is depainted but flawless, I never had any trouble with it and the sensor is dust free."

    I also came across many 20D, but by reading some reviews, it appears that the 20D doesn't have spot meter.. which from what I understand, an important asset to expose the shots correctly?
    Most of the 20D (Body Only) I found on that site were for sale for around 550 CAD (465 USD), and since taxes and shipping fee can be avoided, I find them interesting to consider.

    btw, both 20D and 30D are discontinued on B|H Photo, but they're still available on Amazon.. seems B|H Photo likes to be up-to-date

    Again, I really appreciate your help and don't want to take much of your time,
    so reply when you're free to
    I'm glad to have found this forums
    Have a nice day !

    EDIT: I just had a response from a 30D seller. He wants me to give a price for the package that would include a 22 months old 30D Body + 2 batteries + all cables. I'll do some comparison on other used 30D to determine an eventual price.. what would you say?
    Last edited by Zephyrize; 9th January 2009 at 09:34 PM.

  12. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Carbondale, IL
    Posts
    8

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    i dont know much about the quality of lens but i saw your second option for $750 on amazon. there is a promotion, $100 off the price of the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Autofocus Lens with purchase of canon 450d. just thought you should know.

  13. #13
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,328
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Where they are talking about the hot shoe, this is where the external flash unit attaches and sounds as though some of the insulation might be wearing (Canon owners please correct me if this is wrong?). If you are going to use an external flash unit this might be an issue, unless they are just describing cosmetic wear that is obvious)

    As far as 30Ds are concerned, in Britain they seem to be selling secondhand for between 295 - 350 in good condition at present. (US$440-$530) for the body only.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    "I also came across many 20D, but by reading some reviews, it appears that the 20D doesn't have spot meter"

    Spot metering uses approx 3% of the area visable in the viewfinder for metering, whereas with partial metereing (which the 20D does have) is about 9% (or is it 13% - can't remember which).

    Spot metering can be handy - but the extra precision can also "bite you in the bum" - regardless, it's still a reflectance meter which is is something that needs to be understood and mastered in it's own right (which is far more important).

    Don't shy away from the 20D because of that (apart from the size of the area that your metering, there's no difference between spot and partial metering modes) - but in the same breath, the 30D is a better camera (it's based on the 20D, but updated to include a few extra features - which of course you pay more for).

    Not having a warranty is a risk - no doubt about it - so you have to do your homework carefully. If you buy from a reputable dealer they may well offer you a 30 or 90 day warranty if you ask. Full 1 year warranties (and extended warranties) are only available on new items - that's part of what you're paying for (or to put another way, "there's no problem that money can't solve - so long as you've got enough of it!).

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:54 AM.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: Different Lenses ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearlman
    i dont know much about the quality of lens but i saw your second option for $750 on amazon
    Thx for the info, I checked a few days ago and it was still in the 800. Amazon.com have awesome deals when they cut down prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern
    there's no problem that money can't solve - so long as you've got enough of it!
    Got to agree with you on this one but the problem lies on that second part haha]

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds
    Where they are talking about the hot shoe, this is where the external flash unit attaches and sounds as though some of the insulation might be wearing
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern
    Not having a warranty is a risk - no doubt about it - [...] If you buy from a reputable dealer they may well offer you a 30 or 90 day warranty if you ask.
    After some thinking - I was thinking the same thing as you Colin and it makes sense - , I'll get the 450D new online with the 1 year warranty (included with all Canon product right?); because the site on which I found the used 20D/30D, they're all classified ads, so they just sell their camera with warranty expired; no dealing.

    As for the lenses, I took you guys advices and looking toward this combo:

    Camera XSI body +
    EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS which is rated pretty good and seems quality-wise +
    EF 50 mm F1.8 II - a.k.a nifty fifty.
    ok now, I know all the reviews mention the plastic, cheap quality build, but looking at the samples images and the pros (image sharpness and minimum CA). Overall for such a cheap lens that gives that much quality, I think it's a good starting point to learn DSLR.
    If I get familiarized enough with this prime lens, I may consider a more advanced one when I'll get a job after my winter session

    Thus, correct me if I'm wrong, I intend to use the prime lens for portraits and urban scenery while the zoom lens will be used for landscapes during trips. I'd also continue doing some HDR (finally using RAW instead of JPGs)!

    At the end, quick calculations makes me expect a total of approx. 940 CAD (788 USD) including taxes and shipping.

    Going to sleep now,
    Cheers!
    btw, I just discovered this awesome website : http://www.motleypixel.com/reviews/i...f2.8%20L%20USM

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: SLR lens set on a budget ?

    "Thus, correct me if I'm wrong, I intend to use the prime lens for portraits and urban scenery while the zoom lens will be used for landscapes during trips."

    A 50mm on a 1.6 crop factor give a FF equivalent FOV (Field of View) of an 80mm lens, which is pretty much "best practice" for portraiture (I use an EF 85/1.2L on a full frame camera and it's a good length for portraits.

    Landscape is traditionally shot with wide angle lenses however (<24mm) - not to say a 55-250mm can't be used in specialised compositions, but be aware that it will have a VERY narrow FOV on a 1.6x crop camera. It's a lens more suited to wildlife photography than it is landscapes.

    I took this with an 85mm lens (equivalent FOV to what you're after for portraiture) a few hours whilst scouting out a new shooting location ...

    SLR lens set on a budget ?

    Cheers,

    Colin - photo.net/photos/colinsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 09:15 AM.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: SLR lens set on a budget ?

    Well looks like the 50mm prime is fine.
    Thx Colin, I totally forgot to consider the crop factor!

    I don't know what I was thinking, but you're right concerning the wide lens for landscape.
    And because I'm heading toward architectural studies, I decided to get the EF 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 II USM.
    It offers a small wide for architecture and landscapes when I can still zoom in to some distant objects.

    It's shipping now and at the end, I got the XSI with these two lenses cheaper than it would with the kit ones. I'm pretty satisfied with the purchase (I'll confirm that after a few pics haha) and the advices of the pros here saved me alot of trouble.

    So finally, MERCI for all the help!
    this is such great community

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: SLR lens set on a budget ?

    Your very welcome - and congratulations on your new purchases.

    We'll all look forward to seeing your results here!

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  19. #19
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,328
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: SLR lens set on a budget ?

    If you are doing architecture you might want to consider a tilt and shift lens or if economising, a lens-baby to correct the verticals. One or two specialist software programs do a similar task as well, post capture.

  20. #20
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,302
    Real Name
    Richard

    The 55-250mm IS lens is...

    The 55-250mm IS lens is a better quality lens than the 75-300mm IS lens. It is IMO an outstanding lens for the price.

    What do I use? A Canon 70-200mm f4L IS. Why do I use it since it is so expensive?

    The image quality is great and the build is even better. I was backing up taking a picture of my dog today and didn't realize that there was a step behind me. I fell backward and my 40D went flying and hit concrete. The camera needs a trip to the Canon Doctor but the lens is in perfect shape.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •