18-55mm Kit lens


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hacknet

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Mar 20, 2007
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hey guys,

i've just gotten a book on canon EF lens work and after looking at the lens selection, i think i would like something for wide shots in my lens collection. i am a student and i am trying to get the best bang for buck and thus this question.

how good is the 18mm end of this lens at f3.5?

i hope to do alittle landscape photography with this.. the book had a couple nice building pictures too, i was wondering if this lens is enough or should i save a little more for something with a larger aperture.

my worry is the f3.5 is too small for dim lit scenes like if i were taking the singapore sky line at night, a sunset or shooting indoors. its either i get this 18-55 or i put in alittle more dough for a 24/28-85/105/135 at f3.5 or f4.

btw, is there a non IS 28-135 f3.5-5.6?

thanks guys!
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
hey guys,

i've just gotten a book on canon EF lens work and after looking at the lens selection, i think i would like something for wide shots in my lens collection. i am a student and i am trying to get the best bang for buck and thus this question.

how good is the 18mm end of this lens at f3.5?

i hope to do alittle landscape photography with this.. the book had a couple nice building pictures too, i was wondering if this lens is enough or should i save a little more for something with a larger aperture.

my worry is the f3.5 is too small for dim lit scenes like if i were taking the singapore sky line at night, a sunset or shooting indoors. its either i get this 18-55 or i put in alittle more dough for a 24/28-85/105/135 at f3.5 or f4.

btw, is there a non IS 28-135 f3.5-5.6?

thanks guys!
You seem to be worrying about buying a lot of stuff, which is why I originally suggested in staying with the S3. However, if you really want to jump into DSLR, no one can stop you except yourself (and your finances).

You must learn/realise that f/3.5 is not an aperture most people would use to shoot a landscape/scenery shot. Most would stop down to f/8, if not f/11. Larger aperture lenses won't make your scenery/architecture/landscape shots better per say, because you aren't going to be using the large apertures for scenery, geddit? However, large aperture lenses (generally speaking) have better optics, but they are not cheap.

Now isn't f/8 or f/11 even smaller than f/3.5 you ask? This is where tripods come in. If you're gonna be shooting the Singapore sky line at night, common sense would tell you to sit your camera on a tripod, not boost the ISO. Maybe this is what you haven't been doing, thus complaining about noise. I wouldn't know; only you would. I'm just speculating.

18mm is wide enough. It is actually very wide to begin with, and suitable for most landscape shots. What you must learn is that wide angle photography is not about fitting everything into your frame. Composition with a wide angle requires much skill, and it's something that I admittedly am not that good at.

At your stage, I wouldn't even recommend other lenses, because you already mentioned you're on a limited budget and you want to start on a DSLR system. I will reiterate points about a DSLR system that I have already mentioned in your other thread, just so you know the magnitude of your decision.

1) It's pricey. You are looking at putting down a thousand at least, if not more, inclusive of memory cards, bags, dry cabinet, accessories, filters, blower etc.

2) It's bulky. You may use it, and after awhile complain about the weight.

3) Maintanence is an issue. Either you bring it everywhere you go, or store it in a dry cabinet. Leavning it out in the open, untouched, is a recipe for fungus, mould, and a whole host of other unpleasantries. And even if you're using it all the time, cleaning needs to be done once in a while, and that can take up a fair bit of time, cleaning each lens, wiping your body down, and possibly cleaning your sensor.

4) DSLR is a system; it's an incessant upgrading process, that you are going to spend, in the future, hundreds and thousands of dollars on, if you decide to embark. 'Til now I know of no one who has bought one lens and a body and says "Oh, I'm fine. I'll stop here." I really haven't. You're already looking for better glass before you've even started. That says a lot about your upgrading path ;)
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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Always start out with kit lens if you're not sure.

Whatever the case, while Canon's kit lens is not as good as most other kit lenses (which aren't that good in the first place), by usual logic since the zoom range is not as wide as your typical prosumer/bridge camera (12x or more), the performance should be marginally better.

The differences are only visible if you are super picky, in that case you can wait for a while to be super picky. =D
 

genegoh

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Mar 20, 2006
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usually people don't take night shots or landscapes at f3.5. Usually it's done at f8 and above.
According to reviews, the kit lens does perform reasonably well at f8.

24mm might not be wide enough for landscape photography. Maybe you could take a look at the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. I think that's the best replacement for the kit lens.
 

FilterFunk

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Apr 1, 2006
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卧龙岗
well said, calebk, i agree with most of your points. thats the 'trap' alot of people fall into.

having read the last few threads created by the TS, i dont think you really need a dslr. i personally think its more about a 'want' rather than a 'need'. you see people creating images with dslr and i am guessing, you would go 'wah' about it and blah blah blah.

you mentioned about $ is going to be tight as you are a student. how are you going to fund your dslr spendings? through your parents wallets or working part time? :dunno: eitherway, i dont think its wise for you to do that and grades will probably suffer if you choose the latter.. the S3 prosumer you got is more than capable of capturing wonderful images..

perhaps its time to see some of your images. maybe you might want to post a few of your pictures for some of us to judge if its really a case of poor user or poor camera. :think: not to dampen your desire to own a dslr, but somehow i think you probably need to learn more about photography before jumping into this expensive hobby. :sweat:

and to your last qns, there is no 28-135 f3.5-5.6 non-IS
 

yehosaphat

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Oct 28, 2005
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Though the canon kit lens was reviewed to be not as good as the other kit lens in the market, I have nonetheless, taken many excellent landscape photos with the kit lens and even for night CBD landscapes.

As mentioned by others, you do not need large apertures for landscape. Get to know your basics first before venturing into investing in more expensive lenses. It is through learning and shooting that you will find which aspects of photography you have more interests in. This forum is a good environment for you to learn and pick up skills in photography. Else, your investments may just end up in your dry box most of the time....
 

tensai7

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Apr 17, 2007
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Though the canon kit lens was reviewed to be not as good as the other kit lens in the market, I have nonetheless, taken many excellent landscape photos with the kit lens and even for night CBD landscapes.

As mentioned by others, you do not need large apertures for landscape. Get to know your basics first before venturing into investing in more expensive lenses. It is through learning and shooting that you will find which aspects of photography you have more interests in. This forum is a good environment for you to learn and pick up skills in photography. Else, your investments may just end up in your dry box most of the time....

hmm, i'm a newbie here too, and hacknet kinda sound like me :p
i'm really tight on budget and im a student, but wud really love to own a DSLR (so far i only haf ixus). and i do like photog. im most prolly getting a 400d this wkend.

@yehosaphat: im still not sure whether to get the kit lens or buy another lens, sth verstile but won't burn a hole in my pocket.

any gd place where i can get gd basics? i mean i noe like f-stop, rule of thirds n stuff like tt, but sometimes all the reading wiht all the jargons can be quite confusing. and there are too many threads here, im not sure where to start. haha...
 

yehosaphat

Senior Member
Oct 28, 2005
2,703
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hmm, i'm a newbie here too, and hacknet kinda sound like me :p
i'm really tight on budget and im a student, but wud really love to own a DSLR (so far i only haf ixus). and i do like photog. im most prolly getting a 400d this wkend.

@yehosaphat: im still not sure whether to get the kit lens or buy another lens, sth verstile but won't burn a hole in my pocket.

any gd place where i can get gd basics? i mean i noe like f-stop, rule of thirds n stuff like tt, but sometimes all the reading wiht all the jargons can be quite confusing. and there are too many threads here, im not sure where to start. haha...
Stay with the kit lens and shoot more, unless you have $$ to spare. Even so, you should still spend wisely. Read up more books on basics of photography, read magazines like photovideo or practical photography, participate in discussions in forums like clubsnap and shoot more. If you do these, you are on your way to shooting better photos!

Photography is a hobby that will really test your interest and perserverence cos if you are not serious enough, with that much more added weight and more manual features, your SLR might be spending most of its time in the dry box and you will start to wonder why did i give up on my ixus? ;p
 

FilterFunk

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Apr 1, 2006
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Stay with the kit lens and shoot more, unless you have $$ to spare. Even so, you should still spend wisely. Read up more books on basics of photography, read magazines like photovideo or practical photography, participate in discussions in forums like clubsnap and shoot more. If you do these, you are on your way to shooting better photos!

Photography is a hobby that will really test your interest and perserverence cos if you are not serious enough, with that much more added weight and more manual features, your SLR might be spending most of its time in the dry box and you will start to wonder why did i give up on my ixus? ;p
:thumbsup:
i went the dslr route and my pns havent really seen the light the last year or so :bsmilie:
i had seen some friends who bought dslrs and left them 'rotting' in dry cabinets due to their loss in interest / weight of the camera / and many other reasons..

so technically its an expensive hobby with long term investments that you might want to consider about.. ;)
 

zj2000

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2007
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hey guys,

i've just gotten a book on canon EF lens work and after looking at the lens selection, i think i would like something for wide shots in my lens collection. i am a student and i am trying to get the best bang for buck and thus this question.

how good is the 18mm end of this lens at f3.5?

i hope to do alittle landscape photography with this.. the book had a couple nice building pictures too, i was wondering if this lens is enough or should i save a little more for something with a larger aperture.

my worry is the f3.5 is too small for dim lit scenes like if i were taking the singapore sky line at night, a sunset or shooting indoors. its either i get this 18-55 or i put in alittle more dough for a 24/28-85/105/135 at f3.5 or f4.

btw, is there a non IS 28-135 f3.5-5.6?

thanks guys!
Friend, I'm not going to sing the same tune as some of the guys here. There will never be a point in your life where you will have enough money, so no point waiting. Buy it now even if it means you can only get cam and the kit lense. Think of all the nice photo's you'll be able to take. Sure, you will need to buy a few extra's like drybox($20) tripod($50-$5000) filters in the first few weeks but after that you're set to go. After that slowly save up to buy the next lense. Meanwhile, you'll learn much more than if you stayed with the PnS. Sure a dSLR is a want more than a need but how many of us buy a dSLR because we need it? Besides, unacceptable noise on ur PnS? That qualifies as a need to me...

To answer your question, you do not need a fast lense to shoot landscape because you'll probably stop down to f8 or f11 to get sufficient dof. I know... I tried f3.5 when i first started out, the boats in the fore ground were blur.... the kit lense is pretty decent despite what you may read... the best bang for the buck? stick with the kit lense and get a cheap telephoto... 18mm is equivalent to 29mm.. most PnS widest focal length is 35mm equivalent so I think it should be enough. Otherwise... start saving for the efs 10-22
 

zj2000

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2007
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any gd place where i can get gd basics? i mean i noe like f-stop, rule of thirds n stuff like tt, but sometimes all the reading wiht all the jargons can be quite confusing. and there are too many threads here, im not sure where to start. haha...
Go to the library and look for this book "dslr for dummies" v easy to read... u'll learn most of the technical aspect of photography from this 1 book.... but to get truly stunning photo's that even ansel adams will be proud of... you'll have to depend on yourself to spot that a-hah moment
 

yehosaphat

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Oct 28, 2005
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Now you have the 2 sides of the coin. Decide and move on! ;)
 

phraeb

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Nov 23, 2006
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hey guys,

i've just gotten a book on canon EF lens work and after looking at the lens selection, i think i would like something for wide shots in my lens collection. i am a student and i am trying to get the best bang for buck and thus this question.

how good is the 18mm end of this lens at f3.5?

i hope to do alittle landscape photography with this.. the book had a couple nice building pictures too, i was wondering if this lens is enough or should i save a little more for something with a larger aperture.

my worry is the f3.5 is too small for dim lit scenes like if i were taking the singapore sky line at night, a sunset or shooting indoors. its either i get this 18-55 or i put in alittle more dough for a 24/28-85/105/135 at f3.5 or f4.

btw, is there a non IS 28-135 f3.5-5.6?

thanks guys!
I suggest u can stick to ur kit lens for a while more. For wide angle lens, since u r using a cropped sensor, 24mm might not be wide enough.

U can start saving for EF-S10-22, sigma 10-20 or tokina 12-24, prices range betw 800+ to 1k+

If you had enough of the kit lens and want to place it, there are some lenses out there with similar focal range, 17-40 or the 17-50/55

Cheers! Keep shooting
 

jesbert

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Jul 29, 2005
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hmm, i'm a newbie here too, and hacknet kinda sound like me :p
i'm really tight on budget and im a student, but wud really love to own a DSLR (so far i only haf ixus). and i do like photog. im most prolly getting a 400d this wkend.

@yehosaphat: im still not sure whether to get the kit lens or buy another lens, sth verstile but won't burn a hole in my pocket.

any gd place where i can get gd basics? i mean i noe like f-stop, rule of thirds n stuff like tt, but sometimes all the reading wiht all the jargons can be quite confusing. and there are too many threads here, im not sure where to start. haha...
hi, doesn't 400d comes with kit lens? if it is, why not just use it first, try it out and curb your BBB virus for awhile, as a newbie, the quality of kit lens can still survive for awhile but it is usually the versatility that you can't, eg. like to shoot a building but not wide enough, ... shooting a bird from far but can't zoom enough..

if budget is a concern, you can also consider a 3rd party lens, some entry level lense could be 18-200mm from Tamaron, Sigma, Tokina, etc. 3rd party usually will be 20-30% less in $ term but in quality term, the gap is smaller. You can see many CSers here posted some great shots using only 3PT lens.

I always ask myself if the gap in $ worth the gap in quality, if I see the wroth, I buy the better quality one, else, I will live with the gap in quality.
 

hacknet

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Mar 20, 2007
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hey guys..

i think you guys all kinda feel that i shouldn't get a DSLR.. hmm, i think cash isnt as tight as it may seem, i run a small business of my own in the free time and i am hoping to use that to feed the hobby. i can probably afford $300 a month for the hobby so i believe that i can slowly build up my system. the body will probably be my biggest and most expensive purchase for awhile.. other than that, i suppose i will have to stick with smaller aperture lenses till the dough starts flowing in..

i was tried to do what calebk was described. i tried a couple shots of the road outside my house. i set the camera to 15sec exposure @ f8 (because my camera maxes out at f8) and i tried a couple shots with iso 100 and focusing was a huge problem. manual focus is even harder because it doesnt have a focusing ring. of all the messed up shots i only got one alright looking one.



i think i'm pretty set on getting a canon 350D, probably with the kit lens.

i am still scratching my head if i should get the kit lens or spend alittle more on something with alittle more zoom...
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
hey guys..

i think you guys all kinda feel that i shouldn't get a DSLR.. hmm, i think cash isnt as tight as it may seem, i run a small business of my own in the free time and i am hoping to use that to feed the hobby. i can probably afford $300 a month for the hobby so i believe that i can slowly build up my system. the body will probably be my biggest and most expensive purchase for awhile.. other than that, i suppose i will have to stick with smaller aperture lenses till the dough starts flowing in..

i was tried to do what calebk was described. i tried a couple shots of the road outside my house. i set the camera to 15sec exposure @ f8 (because my camera maxes out at f8) and i tried a couple shots with iso 100 and focusing was a huge problem. manual focus is even harder because it doesnt have a focusing ring. of all the messed up shots i only got one alright looking one.



i think i'm pretty set on getting a canon 350D, probably with the kit lens.

i am still scratching my head if i should get the kit lens or spend alittle more on something with alittle more zoom...
Well I guess the kit lens will serve you fine for now. :) It's the most affordable wide angle-to-standard lens, that can actually give you great results. 17-85 isn't that big a deal to be honest. Sharpness-wise, it's about the same as the kit lens, and aperture is even darker, just that it has IS, which does nothing to help you stop motion in low light.

In fact, I'd recommend something like the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. If you don't mind third-party. It's a great, sharp lens, that's great for low light also. That'll take a while to save up though, as it costs almost 700. It's one helluva lens though. I like it.
 

hacknet

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Mar 20, 2007
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hmm.. sounds like a good idea. i was just talking about a 35mm f2 in the other thread. looks like the wide angle lens will have to wait a while.
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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hmm.. sounds like a good idea. i was just talking about a 35mm f2 in the other thread. looks like the wide angle lens will have to wait a while.
Primes are very specialised. You have to know what you're gonna shoot. Actually I wouldn't consider the 35mm and 50mm range that specialised, because these are very versatile primes to have. However, because you're just starting off, I feel that covering a certain given range is better. :)
 

lightning

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Sep 2, 2004
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victor.shutterbug.sg
Hey for the start stick with the kit lens....I have shot many nice photos with the kit lens, and I discover some of my interest from there. I started with 300D with kit lens for a year. For there I realised what I like to shoot and invested in my first Macro lens (Tamron 90mm). And then from there I continue to discover what other stuff I like, then I slowly invest in my setup (sometimes also kena force by external factor to get certain equipment).

One of the first shot few shots while I learn about zoom lens


Macro with the kit lens:
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
Good photos and great advice from lightning. :)
 

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