Budding enthusiast buying Canon 400d-- What lenses?


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Headshotzx

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Dec 14, 2007
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Punggol
#1
Hello everyone! First post at ClubSNAP :D

Christmas is coming up, and the joy (and rush) of buying presents and items is back.

I'm a young budding-enthusiast photog (noob =X), and I've used (owned) a Panasonic dCompact and a Nikon f801 slr (pretty old tbh).

I've recently finalised my decision to get the Canon EOS 400D body.

With a budget of S$2.2k, and the body alone costing ~S$1100, I have about 900 bucks to spare for a lens (or lenses), and the other $200 for accessories (batt grip, storage cards etc).

My question here is this: What are the better bang-for-buck lenses out there that fit my budget? I'm a newb, so like the newb guide i just read said, I don't exactly know what I'd shoot more often.

So, what's a good walk-around lens that's S$900 and below?

I've been recommended the KIT II lens (17-85 IS USM), which will cost about $800 already. Is that a good starter walk-around lens, and is it value-for-money? I'll probably be shooting with this lens (lenses) for the next half year or so.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to be a frequent poster of this site soon.

Cheers,
Headshot
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#2
You can start with that as a choice. Or you can look at the other 3rd party lenses which offers f2.8 at a much lower cost. This may also allow you to free up some cash for an external flash.

Do remember to factor in the cost of memory card(s), extra batteries, dry cabinet, cleaning kit, etc...
 

jmmtn4aj

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2007
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flickr.com
#3
For me, the best walkaround range is wide to mid zoom, 17-50, 18-55, 17-70, etc. Super zooms tend not to be fast enough, even with IS/VR, and heavy. Then again, I like framing shots up close, so wide to mid suits me.
 

ceecookie

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May 22, 2007
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#4
The 17-85mm distortion is kinda big(stright things appear more bended) so Tamron F/2.8 17-50mm would be a better deal even with no IS and USM
 

ilario

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Dec 2, 2007
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#5
Sorry if i'm not a Canon user, but before buying my camera I saw of a promotion, 400D + battery grip kit II at $1600. I don't know if its still on, check the shop beside (not the side facing funan) cathay photo at Peninsular Plaza. Bloody good deal.
 

Headshotzx

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#6
Thanks for the replies guys.

@ Zac08-- $200-300 should be enough to cover the cost of those misc / accessories right?

@ ilario-- I'll check it out sometime, thanks for the heads-up!

@ ceecookie-- What's the difference without the IS / USM? f2.8 means the aperture can be wider on the lens right? I'll look into it.

Would the EF 50mm f/1.8 II be a good deal, just to mess around with some DOF etc?

Thanks again for the replies!
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#7
yup, the 50mm 1.8 is practically a steal considering its price and performance..

being a prime lens, would force you to focus on your composition too..
 

Headshotzx

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#8
yup, the 50mm 1.8 is practically a steal considering its price and performance..

being a prime lens, would force you to focus on your composition too..
Alright, so the 50mm f1.8 is a go for me. Now for my main zoom lens.. Should I stick with the canon 17-85mm, or go with others (tamron espicially--they seem to have good lenses).
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#9
Thanks for the replies guys.

@ Zac08-- $200-300 should be enough to cover the cost of those misc / accessories right?

Would the EF 50mm f/1.8 II be a good deal, just to mess around with some DOF etc?

Thanks again for the replies!
It depends on the size of the cabinet you're after... a small 30 l one would be about $99, and it goes up...

Memory cards are much cheaper these days, 2Gb would be about $40 - 50. Cleaning kit is about $30. Not sure about the spare batt for Canon though. ;)

Yes, a 50mm is one of the best tool to practise DOF and composition. You got to move to compose the pic. ;)
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#10
Alright, so the 50mm f1.8 is a go for me. Now for my main zoom lens.. Should I stick with the canon 17-85mm, or go with others (tamron espicially--they seem to have good lenses).
Check out the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, should be a good choice for you. If you get a good second hand piece, you probably can save even more.
 

chalib

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2007
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#11
Alright, so the 50mm f1.8 is a go for me. Now for my main zoom lens.. Should I stick with the canon 17-85mm, or go with others (tamron espicially--they seem to have good lenses).

17-85 is a good lens for walkaround..... have a longer range, i like to use 85 to frame portrait. For low light event, u need external flash (internal flash possible for fill flash if u dun mind harsh look)

Focusing also fast with ring USM....

For 3rd party lens, make sure u check and get a good copy when buying.... ;)
 

ceecookie

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May 22, 2007
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#12
17-85 is a good lens for walkaround..... have a longer range, i like to use 85 to frame portrait. For low light event, u need external flash (internal flash possible for fill flash if u dun mind harsh look)

Focusing also fast with ring USM....

For 3rd party lens, make sure u check and get a good copy when buying.... ;)
TS: Do read this part from Photozone's review

Distortions
The lens broke a new record here - at 17mm it shows the most pronounced barrel distortions of all (supposedly) corrected lenses tested to date and that's by quite a margin. As you may observe in the sample shot below this is not only theory ...


I was considering the Tamron F/2.8 17-50mm as well and went for it since of the bigger aperture,better build and less distortion

IS means Image Stabilizer and it can help u make blur-less photos at slower shutter speed
USM means faster focusing

But its up to you if u want to tolerate the distortion
 

Headshotzx

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Dec 14, 2007
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Punggol
#13
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/

Hey, thanks for the replies!

The above link is what I found this morning.

Apparently, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM falls in the specific categories of Portrait, Wedding, and Landscape (wide-angle), and is highly recommended in general purpose.

Comparatively speaking, would the 17-55 be worth the few hundred dollar difference compared to the 17-85? Is it a fixed aperture lens, and would that affect me a lot?

Thanks for the replies. I'll check out the tamron 17-50 too.
 

chalib

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2007
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#14
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/

Hey, thanks for the replies!

The above link is what I found this morning.

Apparently, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM falls in the specific categories of Portrait, Wedding, and Landscape (wide-angle), and is highly recommended in general purpose.

Comparatively speaking, would the 17-55 be worth the few hundred dollar difference compared to the 17-85? Is it a fixed aperture lens, and would that affect me a lot?

Thanks for the replies. I'll check out the tamron 17-50 too.
If you have the budget, definetely go for 17-55 :)

Barrel distortion is unavoidable for wide angle, same for 17-50 Tamron (if finally you decide to take this, make sure you know how to test when purchase to get a sharp copy)
 

Headshotzx

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Dec 14, 2007
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#15
If you have the budget, definetely go for 17-55 :)

Barrel distortion is unavoidable for wide angle, same for 17-50 Tamron (if finally you decide to take this, make sure you know how to test when purchase to get a sharp copy)
Hmm, I'm not sure how to test lens-sharpness. Any idea how to start? I only understand / read the Auto-focus testing part.


=====================================
======Canon 400D + Lens Pricing======
=====================================

#1
Canon EOS 400D Body----------- S$1060
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM----- S$1490
EW-83J Lens Hood-------------- S$ 45
BG-E3 Battery Grip------------ S$ 150

=====================================
Total Cost-------------------- S$2795
+ Misc Accessories Cost------- S$3000
=====================================

#2
Canon EOS 400D Body----------- S$1060
EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM- S$ 860
EW-73B Lens Hood-------------- S$ 45
BG-E3 Battery Grip------------ S$ 150
=====================================
Total Cost-------------------- S$2115
+ Misc Accessories Cost------- S$2400
=====================================

#2.5 (Advertised Kit 2)
Canon EOS 400D Body----------}
EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM} S$1800
BG-E3 Battery Grip-----------}
EW-73B Lens Hood-------------- S$ 45
=====================================
Total Cost-------------------- S$1845
+ Misc Accessories Cost------- S$2045
=====================================

#3
Canon EOS 400D Body----------- S$1060
AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD - S$ 700
EW-83J Lens Hood-------------- S$ 45
BG-E3 Battery Grip------------ S$ 150

=====================================
Total Cost-------------------- S$1955
+ Misc Accessories Cost------- S$2200
=====================================
This is my calculated cost.. and damn, the 17-55 isn't cheap =/

How uhh.. 'bargain-able' are the people at CP? (lol)

EDIT:

@ Ceecookie's pic: Wow, I didn't know the distortion could be that bad. Would the 17-55 (canon) and 17-50 (tamron) suffer the same magnitude of distortions?
 

J-Chan

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2005
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#16
nope, the 17-55 and 17-50 have much less distortion..

anyway, unless you're shooting lotsa straight lines often, like architecture, you'll hardly notice it in everyday shooting.. plus its easily fixable in photoshop if you're bothered by it..
 

Headshotzx

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2007
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Punggol
#17
Alright, so if you're in my shoes now, which of the below 4 lenses would you choose?

Canon 17-55, according to a lot of people, is very expensive, not bang-for-buck, but has very good image quality, sharpness, and is a great walk-around lens, provided I can stand the weight (i haven't actually held any of the lenses yet, other than the 17-85). Distortion is minimal.

Sigma 18-50, according to reviews, doesn't perform very well. Slow AF, left-side sharpness stinks, and flaring is an issue (some times). Distortion is minimal

Tamron 17-50, according to reviews, is priced very nicely, sharp and fast AF, good image quality, good anti-flaring (if you call it that =S) and is my overall fav right now, for the price. Only thing holding me back is that, on one of the flickr discussions, a lot of people popped up saying that the lens became loose after awhile, and one dude accidentally bumped the front of the lens, and the plastic cracked straight away. Makes me fear to bring it out and mess around tbh.

If I get the above Tamron 17-50, I might also be able to get other items / lenses (50mm 1.8 (yes i know it's average quality, but it's S$130 ffs!).

Canon 17-85, according to reviews and personal accounts, is priced nicely, quite sharp, a bit on the slow side. AF focusing is alright, but distortions at wide-angle (17mm) is really really noticeable, even to an untrained eye like mine. Isn't exactly cheap here too.
 

Headshotzx

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2007
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Punggol
#18
Got the body, 17-40 L lens, 50mm f/1.8 and a lot of accessories for 2.6k at CP

Here are some newbie shots.







Thanks for the help in deciding my purchase guys!
 

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