Canon EOS Xti and what lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Eric Samonte, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm leaning towards a Canon EOS XTi as I've had good experience with Canons and like their menus and software. I'm torn between lenses however. I'm no professional but have an eye for the unusual. I'll be using it for day to day photos, occasional scholl plays, landscapes, potraits etc. Basically, a little bit of everything. So, the 18-55mm might prove useful enuff but I may be looking for more zoom during events. I've been checking the Tamron 18-250mm. The budget would be breached I know....

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,754
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Michigan
    Generally, the 10x or greater zoom lenses are not very good in image quality, they tend to be slow in focusing, and their maximum and variable apertures can be frustrating. Their only advantage is the convenience of their focal range.

    What is your budget for lenses? Personally, I think you'd be better off with a two-lens solution. The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 gets great reviews, and is about $450. This would give you a large aperture lens for lower light shooting.

    For a telephoto, the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L and Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS are both around $500, and are excellent "bang for the buck" lenses. The former has professional build quality, faster focusing, but less range and no image stabilization. The latter has image quality close to the "L" lens, an extra 100mm of reach, but does not focus as fast, and has consumer-grade build quality. You may be able to find a good deal on a used 70-200 f/4 L, since a lot of people are upgrading to the new version with image stabilization ($1,000). Check out the buy/sell forum on www.fredmiranda.com .

    When I bought my Rebel XT, I started out with the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 macro ($350) and Canon 70-300 IS lenses. The Tamron 17-50 I mentioned above was not available at that time. I've since upgraded the Sigma to a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS ($950) and added a Canon 10-22mm wide angle lens. I still own the Sigma, but haven't used it since getting the Canon 17-55 IS.

    Also, if you want to experiment with prime lenses, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is a very inexpensive way to start. It's not well constructed (has a plastic mount), but at $80 it does have very good image quality for the price. I own this lens, but rarely need it now that I have the Canon 17-55 f/2.8.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,754
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Michigan
    One other suggestion: if your budget is tight to begin with, you may just want to start with the kit lens ($100 if purchased with the XTi). While I've never owned this lens, from what I've read it's not bad if you stop it down to at least f/8. For landscapes, you'll be stopping down the lens anyway. Get used to the camera, and add lenses as you figure out what you need.

    Also, for the indoor events you mentioned (school plays, etc.), neither of the telephotos I mentioned will be fast enough to get the job done without flash. Fast telephoto lenses can get pretty expensive. The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 is least expensive zoom, and it's $1,000. The Canon 70-200's are about $1,200 and $1,600, depending on whether you want image stabilization or not. If you can live with a prime in this range, the Canon 200mm f/2.8 L is a little over $600.
     
  4. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    Budget is a bit tight, around $1k. I've reading a lot about lenses and it seems that it might be prudent to go with what u say. Take on the kit lens first then proceed to getting additional lenses pertaining more to my "habits". Thanks for the reply and the info which is always good coming from a real person.
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,813
    Likes Received:
    204
    Real Name:
    John
    Eric, people are always asking me which camera to buy, but they never give a second thought about the lens, then wonder why (or usually don't even notice) their shots look so awful. Get a good lens. NEVER buy something like an 18-250. I use a Fuji S1. Do you have any idea how old that camera is? Still, my shots blow away most competitors for all around image quality because of the lenses. Now, I don't expect you to go as far as me with lenses, since I have nothing with more than a 2.5:1 zoom, but the point is, it makes no difference how good the sensor on your camera is if you put some piece of junk in front of it. And the kit lenses, always a piece of junk.

    The unfortunate fact is, good lenses are expensive, but if you skimp, you are just wasthing the money you spent on the camera.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,754
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Michigan
    For $1,000, you should be able to come close to getting the XTi and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, as long as you do not need any additional accessories, such as Compact Flash cards, camera bag, etc. If that stretches your budget a little too far, then the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 that I own is not a bad starter lens. It has decent image quality and a good focal range. It's downsides are it's not a constant f/2.8 throughout the focal range, and it's auto focus will hunt sometimes in lower light. You will probably eventually want to upgrade to something better, though. I upgraded to the Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS, but this lens will cost you about $1,000 with the lens hood. I went with the Canon over the Tamron because of the image stabilization and better auto-focus motor (plus I decided not to compromise with the lens that will be on my camera probably 80% of the time), but the Tamron's image quality is comparable for about half the price.

    For extra batteries, I usually buy 3rd party instead of Canon, since they work just as well and are a lot less expensive. Sterlingtek.com is an excellent site for batteries -- their Canon Rebel batteries are about $15, vs. $60 for a Canon-brand battery.

    I do agree with John that the kit lens will not be of high quality. It's only advantage is it's very inexpensive when purchased with the camera, so there is little financial risk, and it gives you something to use until you get used to the camera and figure out what type of lenses you really need. You will outgrow the kit lens very quickly, though.

    One other thing you'll want to work into your kit eventually is an external flash. Even a f/2.8 lens will not be fast enough in many indoor situations, so you'll need a flash at times. The built-in flash will not give you very good results -- it's underpowered, and will only provide direct light. I own a Canon Speedlite 430EX ($230) that I'm very happy with. I can bounce the flash, and it has more than enough power for my limited flash needs.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,962
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    The Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 runs ~$800-900 and is a fine lens. If you're on a tight budget and do not need IS, it's certainly worth considering. But chances are you'll still want some sort of IS when you shoot indoors (unless your subject is very brightly lit) though maybe a monopod would be adequate depending on you. Still, it wouldn't help you too much to trade lens aperture/quality for IS (eg. 70-200 f/2.8 vs 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS). One thing though about a 70-200 f/2.8 lens: it's a rather long, hefty lens at 7-8" long (w/out hood) and 3-3.5lb, especially if you plan to attach the XTi to it (not the other way around [​IMG]). IIRC, the Canon version of that lens is the biggest/heftiest amongst the various brands too.

    Anyway, if you don't mind going the used route, you might save some $$$ that way. For instance, you could probably easily get a non-macro Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 for
     
  8. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks so much guys for all the input. Wish I can get them lenses but it seems too much for me to handle. But rest assured, I will be going back to this thread to check all of them out.
    I've decided I'm going to stick with the kit lens, the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II and maybe the 430EX. My budget would've been $1200. U see, I plan to get these at OneCall where I can get everything with 12 months to pay....that's why I wanted an all in one "shot" for the whole thing. But it seems that may be foolhardy as things might not work out. With all ur input, I would think I'm pretty safe with the above stuff..which I'm sure will make me learn more about this hobby and thus, will make me more informed as to choices.
     
  9. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK..an update of sorts...I've been playing with my new toy for a week now. Frankly, I didn't know there was so much more to learn using a dedicated flash not to mention the camera itself. Its like learning to take photos again. The 50 mm prime lens sure is nice to use, much brighter IMO. The kit lens serves me well, enuff wide and zoom..for now. Like u guys said, I gotta learn how to take the photos first then go from there.
    I've been checking out those HDR shots. I've always wondered how those were made. Pretty intensive I must say but well worth it. Well out of my league for now but quite interesting.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    20,844
    Likes Received:
    1,873
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    If IS isnt a consideration and cost is, the best cost/quality lens I have found is the Tamron 28-75 2.8 XR DI.

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=145586

    I have a 17-40L and yet the Tamron is nearly always glued to my 20D. I'd love to burn $1k and get the Canon 24-105 F4 L IS, but until then this $350 wonder is my work horse.

    Sam
     
  11. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    Another question guys....I seem to be putting thumbprints on that LCD screen. I looked around for some "protection" but am not sure which is best, film or an actual glass thingy? Any of u guys use any of them?
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never tried any of the film protectors as its easy to wipe off the finger prints...esp if you have a good lens wipe (recomended).

    Enjoy your new rebel. I've got the 350D, 50mm, a 28-105 walk around zoom and some extension tubes for Macro (used with the 50mm). If you want to try your hand at Macro the Kenko tubes can be purchased on eBay for under $90US and are a lot of fun to play with on the 50mm.
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,754
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Michigan
    I haven't tried any film protectors on the LCD of my digital cameras, but I have used them on my PDA and iPod. They work pretty well for keeping finger prints off those devices.

    Eric, if you are struggling with learning the ins and outs of flash photography with your new Canon, take a look at this link. It contains a wealth of info on Canon's flash system.
     
  14. karl_burns

    karl_burns Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best value lenses and approximate prices:
    Canon 50 1.8 for $75
    Tamron 28-75 F2.8 for $300
    Both will get you plenty of qulaity at very cheap prices. I'd start there, then figure out what you need more of (length, IS, aperture, etc.)
    I shot many wedding photo with those lenses.
    Karl
    www.pbase.com/karl_burns

    PS, congrats on the XTi. GREAT camera.
     

Share This Page