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Full Version: lense talk - same but different
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I would like to add a new twist to the question of what lenses best to use with the 350d, that has in some length been discussed (and tortured my already profoundly confused mind....), as , unlike you, adrian, I would like to eventually use a full frame sensor.
"eventually" could well be a few years away, but I would like to build up a set of lenses I know and like and don't have to toss in its entirety when I upgrade the camera.

And how "bad" does everyone think the kit lense really is? for the ~ USD 90 it costs in the kit, it can't be too bad to start with, can it?

I am hoping for your sympathy here, because it seems everyone has gone though these phases of endless-sleepless-maniac-review-reading decision phases, but now you are a few steps ahead of me :-))

For the majority of shots I find the Kit lens adequate, adn when you check around on line there are some incredible shots taken with it.

My main gripe about it is how slow it is to focus at times.
We all share in your dilemma, Uli... been there, done that. Big Grin

I think the kit lens is pretty good for the money - my suggestion would be to start off with that, and build your kit piece by piece with quality glass. Get to know your shooting habits first and buy accordingly - especially if you haven't used a DSLR before (I'm taking a guess here)...
I'm new to the whole SLR thing myself, and am building a kit from scratch, so I know exactly what you're facing.

My advice is to remember the fundamentals, and don't buy anything you'll replace later. Staying away from the EF-S mount is a good idea for the second suggestion, but also buy quality, even if you have to wait.

For the fundamentals, take a look at what other people are using and why. For example, I'm planning for my third lens (perpetually!) and was absolutely in love with the ZD 7-14mm f4 zoom. Eventually I noticed that almost nobody in the real world has one of these. I also noticed that I shoot at short telephoto more than wide, and like modest macro photography.

Quality macro lenses seem to be a fundamental part of people's kit. So, I'm looking at a ZD 50mm f2 macro lens, and 'saving' massive amounts of money by not buying the exotic ultrawide. The difference is more than enough to cover the costs of my flash, tripod, monopod, and budget ZD 40-150mm f3.5-4.5 telephoto zoom.
Hey Uli,

I agree with the others.. the kit lens is capable of some great shots, and does an amazing job considering its design specs (ie do everything for everybody and cost below US$100). The autofocus is a bit slow as Colin pointed out (and a touch inaccurate at times), but still great compared to my old Olympus compact camera. I also found it a bit soft in the corners, but I don't take many photos where the corners contain important detail (or even are in focus), so this wasn't a big thing for me.

I'm not trying to talk you into getting EF-S lenses here as I believe it is a personal choice (and am glad you have thought about it and made a conscious decision), but just remember when you do upgrade from an APS-sized sensor to a full-frame sensor eventually that all your lenses will suddenly become a lot wider and they will feel like different lenses. This can be a good thing in some cases, but it can also be a bad thing.

When it comes to choosing lenses, I guess there are two main questions that I would ask myself.
The first is "what are my shooting habits?" which the others have mentioned. Its obviously important to get a quality lens that will be the one that is on your camera most of the time and will be used for most of your day-to-day shots. You might choose one decent-sized zoom, or perhaps two smaller zooms; one wide-to-normal and another in the normal-to-telephoto range. Or you might choose to go primes? It depends on how important the focal length flexibility is to you, the need for fast apertures, and your budget. Personally the more I shoot the less I worry about focal length and the more I worry about max aperture and autofocus speed and things like that. The ability to crop on the PC and make panoramas means focal length isn't as critical as it might have been once (but it is still quite important, and you still need to get everything you need in the shot somewhere).
Examining the EXIF data of a large number of your existing shots is a good way of answering the question of your habits, and I can say from experience that I was quite surprised with the results when I looked at my own photos... What I *thought* my habits were did not reflect the shots themseves. There is a thread here (http://www.shuttertalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=2385) about some software called FocalPlot which examines focal length habits, and I also knocked up a little program to provide more detailed information about other EXIF data such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc (download links for both programs are in the thread).

The second question I'd ask myself is "what shots do I really want to get that I can't get satisfactorily with my other lenses?". This covers those lenses that you don't necessarily use every day, but the shots they enable you to take are very important to you. Long telephoto lenses, macro lenses, ultra-wide lenses, fisheye lenses (please no), etc.. These are the types of lenses you might look at as a result of this question. I don't think anybody can tell you what you should or shouldn't get here, its more a case of following your heart. What photos do you love to look at? What photos do you *wish* you could take? What things would you like to shoot but can't? Obviously we can't all afford all the lenses we'd like, so its just a matter or prioritising them and seeing where they fit into your budget.

And finally, I'd also strongly recommend getting the EF 50mm f/1.8 lens.... it might not be the right answer to either of the questions above, but as far as I know its the cheapest EOS lens available and it should be a crime not to own one. It has worse autofocus than the kit lens (well mine does anyway), it isn't an amazingly useful focal length, and mine had dust in it from the first day I owned it. But in low-light it is amazing, when you need a shallow DOF it is amazing, and when you need sharp quality photos it is also amazing (as long as it focuses OK). It has taught me more about photography than any other lens I've used because it forces me to think about things and move my feet to get the composition right instead of being lazy and zooming until it is just "good enough". Think of it as an educational tool, and a taste of what a fast prime lens can do.

But having said all that, its not like I've got a lot of experience to draw on either. I've had my DSLR less than a year, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Tongue

Craig, not colin Tongue
oh nooooooooo... I'm so sorry CRAIG!

doh.. after spending my whole life being mistaken for an "Andrew" or "Damien", I know how frustrating it is when people do that to me!
<slaps self>

Sorry.. its 1:15am... Can I use "I'm sleepy" as an excuse? Tongue

(or Andrew or Damien if you'd prefer)
Lol... I remember when I first published your article Adrian, I referred to you as Andrew... Big Grin
thanks again for great advise!

and now I have to share this feeling with you, I went out today and got myself a 350d!!! feeling so REBEL today.
batteries are charging now, so time to browse through manual. my first impression was fastfastfast, that might have to do that the konica minolta I was using before took about half an hour to start up (ok, that's felt time, but I missed a few nice shots because of it).

speaking of batteries, which one usually lasts you longer, the 720mA battery or 2GB of memoy (not using flash)? 720mA sounds like nothing to me ??

and yes, I think I'll get a 50mm prime, even if just to try attaching it the other way for close-ups :-)

probably the next thing I'll want is a macro lense, because I found myself using the (quite decent) macro setting on my "old" (like the sound of that.....) camera a lot and like the results.

for now it just feel soooooooo good to hold it though....
Congratulations on the new Camera. I can't say bout the 350 battery, but on the 300 I can shoot over 600 shots without flash on one battery, which I think is 1100mA.
Uli........congrats on the new camera...........I have had my 350d for 6months now and am still struggling with what lenses to buy. I am hoping that I get the 50mm 1.8 for xmas along with my new bag and CF card. (its a big wish) outside of that one that I have my eye on is the tamron 28-75 2.8.........man I have seen some great shot out of it and it fits my budget. Then I really want a good wide angle...........then I want a good tele.......then I want then I want.........so on and so on

good luck as you can see I am no help

hey Russt,
well here's all my sympathy for you.... keep telling me though, so I get ideas!
and by the way, which bag are you getting - uhum, I mean wishing for?

Uli - do you have any kind of budget you could help us work out some suggestions?


Woohoo! Congrats on the purchase, Uli... I'm sure it'll be a gratifying one for a long time to come. Make sure you post pics! Big Grin
Congrats on the camera Uli Smile

As far as which lasts longer, the battery or a 2Gb card - I guess it depends on if you are shooting RAW or JPG.

If you are shooting RAW then a 2Gb card will probably hold about 240 images.. and certainly you'll be able to take more than that on a full battery charge.
Like you I wasn't expecting much from such a small battery, but it really suprised and impressed me. You should easily be able to take 600 shots from a full charge if you aren't using the flash much. If you are shooting JPG however then you'll be able to fit loads more shots on a 2Gb card, and the battery probably will be the first thing to run out.
But either way, as long as you recharge your battery and empty your memory card at the end of each day I doubt there will be many situations where either will leave you short (except maybe at certain weddings or sports events where 500+ shots is a realistic occurrence).

And speaking of using the "happy meal" 50mm f/1.8 as a reversed macro lens, I took this shot just last night of a stick insect on the wall beside my front door.
I don't know if I'd rely on it as a proper macro lens because its so awkward to use like this - but certainly it is a good little bonus.

[Image: IMG_0152_440.jpg]
hey adrian,
that looks awsome!! I wanna try.... :-))

i haven't worked with RAW pics so far, I'll see what I can do with the software that came with the camera.

well, my budget is pretty drained right now, obviously.
In very rough terms I would say I am ready to spend about as much as I've spent on the camara and memory again within the next few months to get a basic set of say 1 prime, one wide-mid range zoom, and a macro. probably the largest portion on the macro? Is that realistic? And I would rather wait a bit longer and get better quality.
I haven't found myself using much of a tele range on my first camera (<138mm), so that is not on of my higher priorities.
That being said, I will consider Adrians tip and try to do some stats on my pictures, let's see what I'll find out....

taking my new "baby" to Toronto for a week today, so


Ok - let us know what range of pictures you are mainly taking - this trip to Toronto should be a good guide for what you may need for the future.
yeah, I'll see how I get on with the kit lense (18-55mm), because that"s a different range from what I was using before (38-138).
as I said, I don't feel like I have an immediate need for great tele.
but I would really like to get a decent macro lense that I can keep for the rest of my life.

actually, Adrian, at the risk of sounding stupid, I am not quite sure what you mean when you say "when you do upgrade from an APS-sized sensor to a full-frame sensor eventually that all your lenses will suddenly become a lot wider and they will feel like different lenses", why wider?

anyway, toronto is beautyful and really cold right now. will try capture some impressions tomorrow, but my chances are my fingers will freeze.

wulinka Wrote:anyway, toronto is beautyful and really cold right now. will try capture some impressions tomorrow, but my chances are my fingers will freeze.

Seriously cold!

It's -7 Celsius outside my bedroom window right now, and windy. I had to turn the furnace up last week. I remember, years and years ago, trying to explain the concept of "Wind Chill" to my Australian relatives.

Where in Toronto are you this week?
wulinka Wrote:Adrian, at the risk of sounding stupid, I am not quite sure what you mean when you say "when you do upgrade from an APS-sized sensor to a full-frame sensor eventually that all your lenses will suddenly become a lot wider and they will feel like different lenses", why wider?

Hey Uli,
Its not a stupid question at all (there is no such thing) Smile

As you probably know, the 350D has a "crop factor" of 1.6 which means a standard 35mm negative is 1.6 times the size of the 350D sensor. A normal "full-frame" EF lens will allow enough light into the camera to cover the area of a full 35mm negative, but because the 350D sensor is smaller, some of this light (and therefore some of the image) that would be near the edges of the 35mm negative falls outside the 350D sensor and so is ignored. If you take a photograph and then crop it down to 1/1.6 (0.625x) of the size then you'll see the difference between the view of the full-frame and the APS-sized sensor.

Although what is happening to the image in the camera is cropping (not increasing focal length), the reduction in the field of view is equivalent to the focal length of the lens being multiplied by 1.6 (in the case of a 350D). This means that using a 100mm lens on a 350D will give the same field of view as using a 160mm lens on a full-frame sensor. So your 18-55mm kit lens actually gives similar-looking photos to a 28-90mm kit lens on a full-frame film camera (values multiplied by 1.6).

This means that any lenses you buy now to use on your 350D will appear wider when used on a full-frame camera because the focal length equivalence will be divided by 1.6 when going the other way (from APS-size to full-frame). The actual focal lengths remain the same, but the equivalent focal lengths will change by a factor of 1.6.

Confusing? Yes! It can be easy to mix up real and equivalent focal lengths in the same discussion and end with a horrible mess.

I hope I haven't just made it even more confusing.. Big Grin
yep, I can't believe it is summer down there!!!

I am staying with a friend in the beaches. explored a bit of downtown yesterday, going to a hockey game tonight. where do you live, matthew?

thanks kombi for explanation, not confusing, very helpful. but still too cold here for my fingers to use my 28-90mm equiv. a whole lot :-)

going for a walk on the water, you guys enjoy the sun!!
wulinka Wrote:I am staying with a friend in the beaches. explored a bit of downtown yesterday, going to a hockey game tonight. where do you live, matthew?

I live in the "upper" Beaches, at Main street and Gerrard. I work on the west side of downtown, at Queen and Bathurst. Where are you exploring, and are you looking for other places to go?