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15 Feb 2008 - 02:451621
Cameras and Lenses
Just curious, what do people think is the best all purpose con camera/lens?

I upgraded to a 400d for the last ame and it was definitely worth it, but my favourite lens (an EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens) is not so great for anything beyond a three quarters shot and so group photographs and full body shots suffer a bit

I've been thinking of getting another lens (if i can afford it on top of cosplay) what would you photography buffs recommend as a good all round con lens? Or should i just get an aperture extender XD


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Lost as in a dream I seek the shadow Of one who has Swirled away... Abandoning friends, Abandoning humanity.
What awaits us all Is the path to emptiness. Knowing my heart The flowers weep, And the wild birds cry.
12 Mar 2008 - 18:552014
I have no idea, because I'm a n00b at DSLR photography so... D:

However, I hope to purchase a DSLR so this thread will come in handy!


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14 Mar 2008 - 10:522021
Quote Manjou:
Just curious, what do people think is the best all purpose con camera/lens?

I upgraded to a 400d for the last ame and it was definitely worth it, but my favourite lens (an EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens) is not so great for anything beyond a three quarters shot and so group photographs and full body shots suffer a bit

I've been thinking of getting another lens (if i can afford it on top of cosplay) what would you photography buffs recommend as a good all round con lens? Or should i just get an aperture extender XD


Sounds like you want something wide and fast. I use a 30mm Sigma f/1.4 which is great for indoors and portrait work but far too tight for group shots on a cropped sensor.

Maybe one of the wider fixed primes from Sigma? There's some other options, like the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 but it might not be fast enough at the long end for flashless indoor use. It all entirely depends on how much moolah you have.

Regardless, check out the DPReview forums before you buy anything. They tend to have fairly good diverse ranges of opinions.


14 Mar 2008 - 13:112022
Another option is investing on a decent ZOOM lens. If you want a high end one, I would suggest a 24-70/2.8 mm Canon L lens, it's just superb. I personally use it myself and I find that it is a generally good, all-around lens. It's fast, it's sharp, etc. Here are some unedited pics that I took with it...


If it is not be wide enough however for a 1.6 crop camera, so you might also want to check out Canon 17-55 Canon L.

Honestly though I find that the kit lens (18-55) is good enough as an all-around type of lens. I really have no complaints with it. Some of my best photos were taken with the kit lens.

If you are looking for a cheap, nice, all around lens that is better than the kit lens, perhaps 17-85 will do the trick.


18 Mar 2008 - 19:562066
Thanks for the suggestions ^_^

Some of those lenses are way out of my price range (they're about a months wages o.o)

I might see if i can get some ex-display lenses or something though ^_^

I've got a EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM that i bought when i got the camera but i really don't like it at all ¬_¬ i should really sell it on to help finance a better lens.

Would an extender be a viable option or would it mess about with my little 50mm too much?


__________________
Lost as in a dream I seek the shadow Of one who has Swirled away... Abandoning friends, Abandoning humanity.
What awaits us all Is the path to emptiness. Knowing my heart The flowers weep, And the wild birds cry.
20 Mar 2008 - 02:212072
In that case, then yes. Perhaps you could sell it to help fund a better lens. it's well-worth the investment. Camera bodies change a lot, but a lens you can keep for as long as you stick with Canon.


26 May 2008 - 22:143062
Quote Manjou:

I've got a EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM that i bought when i got the camera but i really don't like it at all ¬_¬ i should really sell it on to help finance a better lens.
I have that lens too, when I bought my 400D I had the choice of either the really crap standard kit lens, or the slightly less crap EF-S 17-85 for an extra hundred. Went for the EF-S, and though I thought it was great at first, I've gotten two other cheaper lenses since then that put it to shame. With that EF-S, you're basically paying out just for the fact it uses the USM system and it's got the image stabilisation. USM I don't find to be that much use anyway though (manual focusing ftw), and I don't think I've ever found a use for IS (it might be good for handheld slow shots of motionless subjects, but damnit cosplayers aren't motionless). The fact it can only open up to f/4 at best is a really crippling factor too, and it's got the worst chromatic aberration problem in the world when at it's widest. I found it's okay when fully zoomed in and stopped down to around f/8.0 and beyond, but that limits you so much it's not worth it at all.

Definitely sell it if you can, though I'd honestly be amazed if anyone was willing to buy one since everyone by now knows how bad they are... I'm amazed Canon thinks they can charge £530 for it.


I'm currently making use of the EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM. I wish it was a bit faster, but other than that I've been pleasantly surprised by the picture quality considering it's price (SRP £230).

Also, the EF 35mm f/2.0 did wonders for me at Minamicon 14 this year. I strongly advise everyone with a 350D/400D/450D to get one of these. Cheap (SRP is £236 though you can get them for under £200), light (I barely noticed the difference between the bare body and the body with this lens), the quality is brilliant for the price (this seems to be a trend with all of the 'basic' Canon lenses - sure you're not getting fancy USM IS II technology, but you're getting better optical quality to make up for it, and that's a much better advantage anyway), filters for it are cheap, and a 35mm lens on a body like the lower EOS digitals means it's basically like a good old 50mm prime (56mm actually, but close enough). I've used this lens now for a couple of professional paid jobs, and it's easily turning out results on my 400D almost as good as the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM on my Dad's EOS 1Ds Mark II - not bad considering this little lens and the 400D combined cost less than half of what just the L-series lens does.


27 May 2008 - 16:463071
There are also some great third party alternatives, Tamron's 17-50mm f/2.8 and Sigma's 18-50 f/2.8 come very close to their Canon/Nikkor counterparts at a third of the price. I personally use the Sigma and it allowed me to get shots in this month's expo that would've made me resort to using flash had I used a slower lens.


24 Jul 2008 - 12:084819
If anyone's interested i ended up getting an old canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L (as the 24-70mm was waaaay out of my price range ^^; )

...now i've just got to hope it'll turn up before ame

I also bought a Carl Zeiss 50mm macro lens (which i got for a steal) with an adjustable bellows unit cos it's looks awesome and i can use for figure photography


__________________
Lost as in a dream I seek the shadow Of one who has Swirled away... Abandoning friends, Abandoning humanity.
What awaits us all Is the path to emptiness. Knowing my heart The flowers weep, And the wild birds cry.
02 Aug 2008 - 23:065031
Im not to up on lenses yet but I have been looking at getting either canon 1000d, a 450d or a 5d I havent made my mind up yet. Wonder what peoplew ith more experience would recommend


04 Aug 2008 - 02:345056
wow.. you guys are really into canon? i only use my 350d canon for back-up, mostly I use my D300 Nikon, with AF-S DX 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED for normal use, and for zoom, I use AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. I also got fisheye lens, AF Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8 DX G ED, really good if you want a dramatic effect during photo shoot, not really useful for con though. oh, my canon only got EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, not their top notch lenses, just standard.
well, I'm trying to save up for D700, or if I can get my dad to it, a D3!


05 Aug 2008 - 00:595137
I'd really love to have a go with a Nikon But i can only afford one expensive camera I had a 50/50 chance of getting either a canon or a nikon, can't even remember why i went for the canon now ^^;


__________________
Lost as in a dream I seek the shadow Of one who has Swirled away... Abandoning friends, Abandoning humanity.
What awaits us all Is the path to emptiness. Knowing my heart The flowers weep, And the wild birds cry.
06 Aug 2008 - 09:125175
Quote Manjou:
I'd really love to have a go with a Nikon But i can only afford one expensive camera I had a 50/50 chance of getting either a canon or a nikon, can't even remember why i went for the canon now ^^;


well, once you pick one of them, you gotta stick to to it, unless it's okay for you to buy another set of lenses or, you can always by a converter. my canon is a gift from my uncle, I actually wanted to sell it to buy a really nice macro lens, I got about 1500 pounds to spare for it, anyone got any suggestion? well, I can push it to 2000 I think.. but keep it below 1500 would be best, anyone?

hey, just saw that canon got a new lens, Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM. the price is like.. UN affordable.. are they crazy?


06 Aug 2008 - 22:155198
EDIT: Eep, didn't mean to write so much!


Quote croix:
wow.. you guys are really into canon?
Nikon's bodies are a little better, but Canon's lenses are the same quality as Nikon's, and cheaper. It's more important to have a decent range of good lenses than it is to have one nice body, so Canon is the 'smart' choice for people who aren't very serious about photography (or who just otherwise plain can't justify spending thousands on it). You can get a decent entry-level Canon body plus two good quality Canon lenses (or one very good quality L-series lens) for the same price as the Nikon body + one decent lens will be (not counting cheap-o kit lenses and the like). Canon's other accessories (battery grips, flashguns, etc) tend to be cheaper too. Most people want the best quality they can get for the least money, so they go to Canon. Sure, they could get a bit better quality if they bought the Nikon equivalents instead, but then they'd be spending a helluva lot more.



Quote knightsaber:
Im not to up on lenses yet but I have been looking at getting either canon 1000d, a 450d or a 5d I haven't made my mind up yet. Wonder what people with more experience would recommend
I've used the 1Ds, 1D, 1000D, 5D, 450D, 350D and I own a 400D. FYI the 450D is exactly the same as the 400D, but they use a wider area of the light sensor to bump it up to a 12million pixel resolution, and the processor is technically faster but the difference is unnoticeable. Here's what I'd say about them.

- The 1000D is pointless. It's a 400D with a slightly faster processor (same as int he 450D; the difference in speed is almost totally unnoticeable) and orientated for people shooting mostly in .JPG format. If you're buying a DSLR though you'll almost certainly only want to be using the RAW format (.CR2 in Canon's case), which the 400D is better at. The 400D also has a 9-point auto focus while the 1000D has a 7-point, so if you're using auto focus (you shouldn't, but hey...), then that's a downside too. The 1000D is cheaper than the 400D, so that says it all really.

- the 5D is great. But it costs three times more than the others we're talking about, so that's a no-brainer. The 5D and 400D are almost exactly the same, just with one difference: the 5D has a much better sensor. It allows full non-cropped images (so a 35mm lens will be like a 35mm lens on the 5D, whereas it would be like a 55mm lens on the 400D due to the sensor cropping), and it has lower noise levels (though ISO 800+ still becomes unusable even on the 5D). Other than that, they're exactly the same. You have to ask yourself is it worth paying and extra £1000 for the full-size sensor and slightly lower noise. If you never go above ISO 200 anyway, then the noise won't be an issue in either camera; and the sensor crop issue can be solved by smart choice of lens, or perhaps you already find yourself cropping most of your images anyway. Also, you need to have some damn fine lenses (L-series preferably) to actually make use of the advantages the 5D offers. If you can afford to spend the £1500 it costs for the body then another couple of hundred on some good lenses that can actually do the body justice, and if you as a photographer think you can justify spending so much on one single piece of kit, then go for it. I think for 99% of people though, they would be better off buying a cheaper body and spending the left over money on better lenses or other accessories.

- 350D, 400D, 450D. These are all the very early starter DSLRs from Canon, and you get what you pay for. The 350D has slightly higher noise levels and gives an 8 million pixel resolution. 400D gives 10 and roughly the same levels of noise as similarly priced Nikons, perhaps slightly less noise. The 450D gives a 12 million pixel resolution and has slightly less noise again, but that is only noticeable once you go above ISO400 (which isn't a smart idea anyway). The 450D's screen is also half an inch larger (but all the screen does anyway is tell you what your current settings are, which you shouldn't need to look at the screen for...), the camera is a little heavier, and it's supposedly a touch faster but I couldn't notice the difference. It will cost about £200 more, which I don't think is worth it. I think the best options are to either pick up a used 350D real cheap (probably only cost a couple of hundred) then spend the rest of your money on some seriously nice lenses and other gear, or get a brand new 400D for a couple of hundred less than the 450D would be, get yourself one nicer lens, and you'll still have something that will do you fine for the next two years at least. Like the 1000D, I think the 450D is pointless. Perhaps when they bring out the 500D, then it'll be worth skipping over the 400D and 350D.



Also take into account these things:

- Resolution. 8 million can do an A4 print at decent quality, 10 can do a single page magazine print at full quality or a double page spread at 'not-good-but-acceptable' quality, 12 could do a decent quality double page (usually A3) print. And hell, even just 5million pixels is far more than you need for online viewing. Do you need a higher resolution? Are you having many images printed larger than A4? Chances are you have no need for any resolution higher than 8 million pixels (so the 12 million on the 450D really will be pointless overkill).

- Speed/burst size. Are you likely to be taking many images very quickly all at once (3 per second or more)? If you are... firstly, slow down and concentrate more rather than getting trigger-happy. Secondly, in those cases than things like the 350D and 1000D may be a tad too slow for you at times.

- How much you can actually justify spending? Just because you have £200,000,000 sitting in your bank account doesn't mean you should blow it all right away, especially if you're at all new to this.

- How do you plan to spend your money? As a general rule of thumb you should budget between 1/4 and 1/3 of your money to the camera body, about 1/4 should be put towards a good flash gun, lens filters, battery grips (you'll NEED a battery grip for any of the Canon EOS range), memory cards, etc. The majority of your money should go towards lenses. A worse body with a couple of good lenses is better than a great body with one average lens. And never, ever ever ever, just settle for the kit lenses, the ones which are offered with the camera body for usually an extra £50-£100. They are always terrible. Occasionally I've seen some shops selling the 5D with an L-series lens, which would be good, but then you're looking at £2000 for one body and one lens, nothing else included. In 99% of cases, buy the body on it's own, then buy a couple of good lenses. Try and pick lenses which cover a good range; a good idea is to have one all-purpose zoom lens, and then a second lens which offers 'something different'; perhaps a fast prime lens, or another zoom lens which covers a different range. Perhaps get a telephoto zoom lens with a lot of range and a prime wide angle lens. Don't think that you can buy just one cheap lens and it will do everything. It won't.

- Also consider 'prosumer' cameras such as the EOS 40D. They have one medium-quality lens fixed onto the body (no lens swapping!), but they tend to work faster, be more user-friendly, and often have extra features like live view on the screen or can double up as video cameras - things that other DSLRs can't do.




For what it's worth, this is what I would consider a good starter kit, assuming you have a medium amount of money to burn and that the kind of photography you're doing is fashion-style photography (including such things as cosplay photography!):

used Canon EOS 400D body = £250
Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 = £180
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM = £300
Canon BG-E3 battery grip for 350D and 400D body = £80
Canon battery = £30
UV filters for both lenses = about £20 for both
Two Sandisk ExIII 2GB memory cards = £30 for both
Bag for it all = £30

Total = £920

And that should see you through for at least a couple of years. There's decent range there (the zoom would handle near anything, and the prime would be good for casual shooting and is fast enough for shooting in lower light conditions) and you've got all the essentials.

Of course you could buy the body new (+£100 with the comfort of it being brand spanking new) or get a used 350D body instead (save £100 but take a slight resolution hit).

Now consider that EOS 450D costs £470 just for the body alone...



Quote croix:

hey, just saw that canon got a new lens, Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM. the price is like.. UN affordable.. are they crazy?
Yes, yes they are. But if you're in a position where you need a 800mm prime lens, the cost is probably irrelevant to you.



Last edited by sebastian (06 Aug 2008 - 22:17)
07 Aug 2008 - 11:205206
just realize, I made a stupid mistake, my budget for macro lens is £150-£200 NOT £1500-2000.. stuuupid...
above: yeah, for those who use photography as main income, probably will buy such lens at such price.. for people like me..
really? NIKON's stuffs are that expensive? hahaha.. well..
anyone wanna buy my ex CANON 350D? nice condition, still got the box, manual book, everything, almost brand new you can say, I got it, like.. last year.


11 Aug 2008 - 17:035242
Quote croix:

really? NIKON's stuffs are that expensive? hahaha.. well..
Nikon's gear isn't expensive in a general sense. It is simply more expensive than Canon.

It's like with any products (especially electrical), be they cameras, computers, consoles, TVs, mp3 players, garden rakes, whatever else - there are always some brands that represent better total quality (Nikon) and others that give you more bang for your buck (Canon). For most people, the slight quality increase you get from using Nikon isn't worth the on average 12% price increase over Canon. It doesn't mean Nikon are especially overpriced or inferior in any way, it just means that for the majority, Nikon doesn't quite meet their priorities.


12 Aug 2008 - 10:185249
If I was to have an EOS 350D what lens would suit it best for general photography such as going on holiday, portraits, etc?


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12 Aug 2008 - 19:465266
Quote Odd-One-Out:
If I was to have an EOS 350D what lens would suit it best for general photography such as going on holiday, portraits, etc?
I'd advise either a 35mm or 28mm prime (fixed, non-zooming) lens, or a zoom lens that covered all the mid-range (e.g. 24-75mm or something of that kind).

The prime lenses will probably give you the best image quality (not to mention will be faster, more compact, lighter, and often cheaper). On most digital bodies (350 included), 28mm will be equivalent of a 45mm lens is on a film body (slightly wide-angle, zoomed out a tiny tiny bit), 35mm will be like a 56mm lens (slightly telephoto, zoomed in a tiny tiny bit). For that 350D, good primes would be the 28mm f/1.8 USM (most expensive; faster auto-focus; aperture can be opened up more to let more light in/shallower depth of field), 28mm f/2.8 (same as above but slower to auto-focus and also slower in an aperture sense; the upside is it's less than half the price), and the 35mm f/2.0 (a good balance between the two in terms of quality and flexibility). I personally use the 35mm and the image quality is fantastic, to get the same quality in a zoom lens you need to pay literally five times the price and put up with three times the weight.

For zooms, there are too many to start talking about in detail, but you'd probably want something around 17mm to 28mm at the wide end and at least 70mm at the telephoto end. Keep in mind that no matter how much you pay, the zoom lens will deliver worse image quality than a prime lens of the same price (especially at the widest end). It will also be slower, unable to go up to such a wide aperture (zooms of any price range can rarely go wider than f/3.5 and often must be stopped down to f/5.6 once you zoom in). Zoom lenses with fancier features like USM motors and Image Stabilisation also tend to cost much more for far worse actual picture quality. Basically the bottom line is with zoom lenses, you're paying more, getting worse picture quality, but gaining the ability to cover a larger range in one lens.


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