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Best DSLR Lens Family / Company
I am contemplating my first DSLR and will probably wait until after the new models come out in late January. I probably won't ever buy but two lenses covering the 24-200 range (35 mm equiv.) I want the sharpest lenses at a good cost quality balance. I has thought of getting an R1 since everyone says the lens exceeds all interchangeable ones for under two thousand dollars..

I am open to Nikon, Canon, and Olympus. I am not wanting an expensive body and would be happy with a Rebel or D40. It is the glass for me. I see the D40 does not have the mechanicals in the body but in the lens. That might make the lens more expensive and fewer choices. Maybe Canon is best since you can use the same lenses throughout the range.

Olympus is nice because of the live view - but what about their lenses..

Maybe the closest thing to an R1 would be great lens combined with a Oly 510 or even 330 with it's flip lcd. I just want the newer technology and warranty I would not get with an R1..

These are my random thoughts. Thanks in advance...

Comments (16)

If it's good glass you want then it's Olympus that overall have best quality lens range. Either the mid or top end lenses are best. The lower price ones are very good though when compared to entry level offerings from Canon/Nikon. Kit lens that comes with the basic DSLR Canon is dreadful. Canon do produce some good 'L' series lenses but not all are great. You have to pick the right ones.

Only Olympus have designed a digital lens range camera combination from the ground up which makes life easier for them when designing good lenses as the lens mount is so large compared to the sensor size. Their lens range tends to be more consistently good. Hope this helps...

Comment #1

Your best choice would be the one that makes you money  All the manufacturers are basically neck in neck... Go to your local store, man handle the models that interest you, or better yet go rent some combinations that you are interested in and see what you like the best... I have gear that I like and I could easily tell you that my choice is the best one for you as well... but I really do not know what you like to shoot, what your style is etc. People on a forum are most likely going to tell you to buy the brand that they have decided is best for them.  Do you need 9 fps? Are you going to print 40"x60" or 4x6. What is important to you...



MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -Samuel Butler.

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Comment #2

Mballent wrote:.

Your best choice would be the one that makes you money  All themanufacturers are basically neck in neck... Go to your local store,man handle the models that interest you, or better yet go rent somecombinations that you are interested in and see what you like thebest... I have gear that I like and I could easily tell you that mychoice is the best one for you as well... but I really do not knowwhat you like to shoot, what your style is etc. People on a forumare most likely going to tell you to buy the brand that they havedecided is best for them.  Do you need 9 fps? Are you going toprint 40"x60" or 4x6. What is important to you...



MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures orarchitecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -SamuelButler.

Equipment in profileGallery: http://www.ballentphoto.comBlog: http://ballentphoto.blogspot.com.

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Remember he said he is open to the make and model of camera but it is the lens range that is important to him. His exact words:.

"It is the glass for me"..

That does rather narrow things down a lot and is not really down to personal choice but the 'quality' of the lens range. So with the make/model of camera of secondary importance that does really point to Olympus. Regardless of what you may think of their cameras which is more personal choice as you say, their lens range is the only one that comes out consistently good in reviews and personal experience. The other brands are more hit & miss due to using legacy lens mounts from 35mmm film camera models which restrict lens design because the lens mount is much more narrow compared to the camera sensor size. You only have to look at full frame DSLRs from Canon/Nikon to discover some lenses that were fine with film have real problems when used with digital on the edges of the frame. Olympus on the other hand has a much easier task in designing lenses because they have far more flexibility available to them due of their large lens mount size...

Comment #3

So, I wonder why more people don't pick Olympus? Maybe there is some importance to the Camera / Sensor than the old days of film. The sensor on the four thirds cameras are smaller so does that negate the quality of the lens?..

Comment #4

Have you checked out Pentax?The k10d is cheap right now (k20d announced in January 08)The limited primes are the best from any company (even better then canon's "L").

And weather-sealing, in-body shake reduction....I love my Pentax. That would be my recommendation.Merry Christmas!..

Comment #5

Stu 5 wrote:.

Remember he said he is open to the make and model of camera but it isthe lens range that is important to him. His exact words:.

"It is the glass for me"..

That does rather narrow things down a lot and is not really down topersonal choice but the 'quality' of the lens range. So with themake/model of camera of secondary importance that does really pointto Olympus. Regardless of what you may think of their cameras whichis more personal choice as you say, their lens range is the only onethat comes out consistently good in reviews and personal experience.The other brands are more hit & miss due to using legacy lens mountsfrom 35mmm film camera models which restrict lens design because thelens mount is much more narrow compared to the camera sensor size..

Not really sure what you are referring to, the opening size of the mount? I know that the Canon mount appears larger than Nikon's, I have not compared them to Oly though..

You only have to look at full frame DSLRs from Canon/Nikon todiscover some lenses that were fine with film have real problems whenused with digital on the edges of the frame. Olympus on the otherhand has a much easier task in designing lenses because they have farmore flexibility available to them due of their large lens mountsize..

You are comparing a 2x crop sensor to a FF sensor of course it's easier to cover the sensor with light when it's that much smaller. I have shot with film and I had dark corners/edges (with good glass), it has always been there, and will probably not go away... I do not have a FF camera but I would not be surprised if it showed up..

MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -Samuel Butler.

Equipment in profileGallery: http://www.ballentphoto.comBlog: http://ballentphoto.blogspot.com.

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Comment #6

Digicammaniac wrote:.

So, I wonder why more people don't pick Olympus? Maybe there is someimportance to the Camera / Sensor than the old days of film. Thesensor on the four thirds cameras are smaller so does that negate thequality of the lens?.

Olympus initially wanted to create small and light d-slrs in the process of making that happen they compromised the size of the sensor(making it a 2x crop) now as the other makers start to produce larger sensored cameras Oly will be stuck unless they want to peeve off a lot of their base and toss out 4/3 so they can compete w/ larger sensors. Imagine 12+ on a 2x crop camera I am afraid of all the noise issues. I hope not, but I afraid it will be the case..

MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -Samuel Butler.

Equipment in profileGallery: http://www.ballentphoto.comBlog: http://ballentphoto.blogspot.com.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #7

Mballent wrote:.

Olympus initially wanted to create small and light d-slrs in theprocess of making that happen they compromised the size of thesensor(making it a 2x crop) now as the other makers start to producelarger sensored cameras Oly will be stuck unless they want to peeveoff a lot of their base and toss out 4/3 so they can compete w/larger sensors. Imagine 12+ on a 2x crop camera I am afraid of allthe noise issues. I hope not, but I afraid it will be the case..

Small and light ... yes it may have started that way but, held an E-3? That thing is significantly heftier than my D200 and probably up there with the D2ish class (didn't have an opportunity to A-B them, a neighbor bought a new E-3 and was showing it off..

Olympus has always had a reputation for wonderful glass. The only thing with their newer lenses for the 4/3 is that they can be smaller, since they don't have to project as large an image circle..

And, if you don't mind taking a step back in time to MF and stop-down metering, you can buy adapters that allow you to mount a variety of lenses on the 4/3 system (or the EOS mount too for that matter)..

Thing is, in the film days the film was constant (granted it changed but I could shoot a roll of film in my Nikon and you could shoot it in your Canon and the difference was how the lens "draws" the image on the film..

NOW, how the senor perceives the light from that lens is fixed to the camera choice you make. So it's more than just picking a nice array of glass. You've got to choose the sensor that appeals to you..

In the end, each major manufacturers produce some lenses that are absolute gems. They also produce lenses that "compromise" somewhere to achieve price point or F-stop, etc..

Look at the range of the lenses offered in each of the camera system your considering. Don't bank on future "vaporware" products that may never come out. Pick the system that has the "gems" in the range you want to use. If you simply must have an 85 1.2, or whatever exotic is in Canon's arsenal, that's the camera system for you. If you love the compact size of Pentax primes, then that's the ticket..

Have fun making your choice. And in the end, there is no wrong one, just the one that's right for you..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #8

Mballent wrote:.

Stu 5 wrote:.

Remember he said he is open to the make and model of camera but it isthe lens range that is important to him. His exact words:.

"It is the glass for me"..

That does rather narrow things down a lot and is not really down topersonal choice but the 'quality' of the lens range. So with themake/model of camera of secondary importance that does really pointto Olympus. Regardless of what you may think of their cameras whichis more personal choice as you say, their lens range is the only onethat comes out consistently good in reviews and personal experience.The other brands are more hit & miss due to using legacy lens mountsfrom 35mmm film camera models which restrict lens design because thelens mount is much more narrow compared to the camera sensor size..

Not really sure what you are referring to, the opening size of themount? I know that the Canon mount appears larger than Nikon's, Ihave not compared them to Oly though..

Yes I am referring to the lens opening..

You only have to look at full frame DSLRs from Canon/Nikon todiscover some lenses that were fine with film have real problems whenused with digital on the edges of the frame. Olympus on the otherhand has a much easier task in designing lenses because they have farmore flexibility available to them due of their large lens mountsize..

You are comparing a 2x crop sensor to a FF sensor of course it'seasier to cover the sensor with light when it's that much smaller. Ihave shot with film and I had dark corners/edges (with good glass),it has always been there, and will probably not go away... I do nothave a FF camera but I would not be surprised if it showed up..

Light needs to hit a sensor at a different angle to get the best out of it. That is why some of the older lenses give even worse dark corners on FF cameras. This problem was picked up yet again in this weeks BJP review of the D3. This is why Nikon are producing new lenses designed for digital use, although they are still restricted by by the small lens mount size..

MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures orarchitecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -SamuelButler.

Equipment in profileGallery: http://www.ballentphoto.comBlog: http://ballentphoto.blogspot.com.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #9

Nikonparrothead wrote:.

Mballent wrote:.

Olympus initially wanted to create small and light d-slrs in theprocess of making that happen they compromised the size of thesensor(making it a 2x crop) now as the other makers start to producelarger sensored cameras Oly will be stuck unless they want to peeveoff a lot of their base and toss out 4/3 so they can compete w/larger sensors. Imagine 12+ on a 2x crop camera I am afraid of allthe noise issues. I hope not, but I afraid it will be the case..

Small and light ... yes it may have started that way but, held anE-3? That thing is significantly heftier than my D200 and probably upthere with the D2ish class (didn't have an opportunity to A-B them, aneighbor bought a new E-3 and was showing it off..

Olympus has always had a reputation for wonderful glass. The onlything with their newer lenses for the 4/3 is that they can besmaller, since they don't have to project as large an image circle..

Which means you have to add the weight and size of the camera/lens combination together and compare that with say a D200. Then you will see the E-3 is still less. Just remember to compare lenses of the same speed..

And, if you don't mind taking a step back in time to MF and stop-downmetering, you can buy adapters that allow you to mount a variety oflenses on the 4/3 system (or the EOS mount too for that matter)..

Thing is, in the film days the film was constant (granted it changedbut I could shoot a roll of film in my Nikon and you could shoot itin your Canon and the difference was how the lens "draws" the imageon the film..

NOW, how the senor perceives the light from that lens is fixed to thecamera choice you make. So it's more than just picking a nice arrayof glass. You've got to choose the sensor that appeals to you..

In the end, each major manufacturers produce some lenses that areabsolute gems. They also produce lenses that "compromise" somewhereto achieve price point or F-stop, etc..

Look at the range of the lenses offered in each of the camera systemyour considering. Don't bank on future "vaporware" products that maynever come out. Pick the system that has the "gems" in the rangeyou want to use. If you simply must have an 85 1.2, or whateverexotic is in Canon's arsenal, that's the camera system for you. Ifyou love the compact size of Pentax primes, then that's the ticket..

Have fun making your choice. And in the end, there is no wrong one,just the one that's right for you..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #10

Mballent wrote:.

Digicammaniac wrote:.

So, I wonder why more people don't pick Olympus? Maybe there is someimportance to the Camera / Sensor than the old days of film. Thesensor on the four thirds cameras are smaller so does that negate thequality of the lens?.

Olympus initially wanted to create small and light d-slrs in theprocess of making that happen they compromised the size of thesensor(making it a 2x crop) now as the other makers start to producelarger sensored cameras Oly will be stuck unless they want to peeveoff a lot of their base and toss out 4/3 so they can compete w/larger sensors. Imagine 12+ on a 2x crop camera I am afraid of allthe noise issues. I hope not, but I afraid it will be the case..

Do remember how much less you have to crop a 4/3 ratio image to fit say 10x8 paper. Because of that a 10mp 4/3 camera is already competing with a 12mp camera. Plus it's not all down to MP anyway. Pointless having 12mp when the lens is not up to it..

MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures orarchitecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -SamuelButler.

Equipment in profileGallery: http://www.ballentphoto.comBlog: http://ballentphoto.blogspot.com.

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Comment #11

With the 18-200 vr..

If you are willing to spend substantially more and go for 2 lenses, you can begin to explore the "professional" lens ranges from the different makers as well, and probably find f2.8 apertures, vr/is/as, etc. and af-s,ssm, usm (or whatever they call their anti-shakes and silent drives)...

Comment #12

Mballent wrote:.

Digicammaniac wrote:.

So, I wonder why more people don't pick Olympus? Maybe there is someimportance to the Camera / Sensor than the old days of film. Thesensor on the four thirds cameras are smaller so does that negate thequality of the lens?.

Olympus initially wanted to create small and light d-slrs in theprocess of making that happen they compromised the size of thesensor(making it a 2x crop) now as the other makers start to producelarger sensored cameras Oly will be stuck unless they want to peeveoff a lot of their base and toss out 4/3 so they can compete w/larger sensors. Imagine 12+ on a 2x crop camera I am afraid of allthe noise issues. I hope not, but I afraid it will be the case..

You're missing the fact that Olympus selected the sensor size intentionally because they felt it created the best all around balance for image quality and size of bodies/lenses. Olympus isn't "stuck" anywhere because they're still being innovative in all other areas of photographic interests and pioneering technologies that other camera manufactuers play catch up on..

As far as MP and noise you're forgetting that technology advances everyday. Back in 2003 there were people out there who probably never thought a 10 MP sensor was possible with a 4/3 camera... today, those people would be wrong. Especially considering that several people show that the Olympus E-3 is keeping up with the D300 and 40D up to the 800 ISO point (for jpeg... 1600 ISO for raw images) before falling behind. Other reviewers compliment the Olympus E-3's noise pattern as being more "film like" than others...



I have to say, Michael, your post only speaks of your ignorance about the 4/3 system... Just take the picture, Mike..

MichaelJust take the picture .

Every man's work whether it be literature or music or pictures orarchitecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself -SamuelButler.

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TANK.

'Why is it everytime I need to get somewhere, we get waylaid by jackassery?' - Dr. Venturehttp://www.myspace.com/servantoflove.

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Comment #13

You have accurately pointed out that the smaller sensor disadvantage can be removed with advances in design and materials in the manufacturer of sensors, and future improvements..

What you have missed, is that a myriad of software is becoming available that offsets the vigneting off axis problems of legacy optics with current digital sensor requirements for better lens design.].

Both of these areas will continue to be improved, and Canon and Nikon ARE redesigning the lenses to work better with their new bodies..

While Oly definitely has a current advantage in lens design to work with digital, the physics of the smaller sensor will never change with regard to a comparison of a FF sensor vs. 1:2 sized one. The same amount of light per square mm over twice the physical area will always offer the opportunity for better captured data at the same number of capture sites. That will always translate to better data with the larger sensor..

This is also the reason that MF is coming back with a vengence in the pro field. There is NO DSLR based on 35mm design that currently offers either 39 meg, or 16 bit capture...and that is just better data to work with which if you want to talk "quality" images does make a difference..

FF will never equal MF, and 1:2 will never equal FF..

Photographer's need may make any of these formats usable...but as in all things photographic....we don't all need the "best" image possible to do most jobs.Richard Katris aka Chanan..

Comment #14

Stu 5 wrote:.

Which means you have to add the weight and size of the camera/lenscombination together and compare that with say a D200. Then you willsee the E-3 is still less. Just remember to compare lenses of thesame speed..

Stu, you're absolutely right, it's important to compare apples to apples. If I want to go the kit lens route in Nikon, the 18-55s and 55-200s are equally light..

In the end, the important thing is how any camera feels in your hand. With lenses on, yes. And when I compared the E-3 to an E-500 I bought to try out with some old MF Leica R lenses I have, my first though was "that camera is a tank." Which is good, because it's meant to give pros a viable alternative..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #15

Nikonparrothead wrote:.

Thing is, in the film days the film was constant (granted it changedbut I could shoot a roll of film in my Nikon and you could shoot itin your Canon and the difference was how the lens "draws" the imageon the film..

NOW, how the senor perceives the light from that lens is fixed to thecamera choice you make. So it's more than just picking a nice arrayof glass. You've got to choose the sensor that appeals to you..

Absolutely right..

Http://www.pbase.com/digirob..

Comment #16

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