OK...I am very sld on the Canon 40D, Now...lenses...I am soooo confused... :)
I am finally in the mood to get a new digital. I am going to retire my best buddy, my Sony Cybershot DSC70 after eight years and over 50,000k pictures. It has been a wonderful camera and cost me a mint when new, $1000 or so...but it was about the best I could afford in digital back then and honestly it has done well for my simple needs. Now I am finding I have more time to pick-up the hobby I started back in my teens. So, a new DSLR is a must have. I narrowed it down to three bodies.

After using the tools here, which btw, are what sold me on the DSC70 way back when so I knew exactly where to come for all the info I needed to decide on my new pal. Anyway, I indeed find the sample pics tell me I prefer the Canon 40D. Cool... OK, it dawned on me that I no longer will have the lazy guy's way of taking pics...I have to build a new set of lenses. I figure I need on good general zoom in the 24-80 range with macro, one more general use along the lines of a 70-200 (or even 70-300) here too macro would be nice but I am not sure if it would have a point for me.

Macro is fairly important as I need to take pics of small items in a studio setting. I figure the 100mm macro lens will allow me the distance from the subject in order to have some working room. And the shorter (dunno if that is the correct term) 24-80 zoom w/macro can serve when I must be closer or move the subject and don't wanna move the camera. Also, IS is really important for when I have to hold the camera because I have RA and some days when my hands are "out to get me" I can get some subtle jitters in them. Auto focus is also a must have feature.

I do realize that even Canon branded lenses are going to vary because it's almost impossible to make each part of the optics identical and assemble each lens the same way. But, I see to understand the Canon lenses tend to be more predictable. Another reason for wanting to stay with Canon is I did not see any of the 3rd party lenses with any form of IS. But I could easily have missed them. Now as to cost I would prefer to begin with lenses in the $300-$600 range.

;) Oh, if it would be best for me to post this over on site, please just tell me and I can move it over that-away. I was just unsure and I also did not want to cross post to the other site if the same folks hang out there as here... Annnnyway, I appreciate any discussion to help me choose a nice set of lenses so I can get out and enjoy some fresh air a bit more often and not work so much every day...

Comments (8)

With the 40D, I'd suggest instead of the 28-80mm range, which was a good, common range with film, that you consider the equivalent range with a 40D and it's crop factor, something more along the lines of 17 to 50mm or so, or even to 70mm. However, if you are going to be doing a lot of shooting of small, close items, maybe you might also want to look into a remote, an appropriate tripod and lighting. Let the tripod do most of the work of holding and steadying the camera, the remote removes some more of the potential for jiggle as well. If you are using a tripod there's less need for stabilization but if doing a lot of off tripod work, then AS versus faster, wider apertures becomes a decision point. AS works well to reduce camera motion, if your subjects are moving, it does little to deal with getting to the kinds of shutter speeds you might need to stop action...

Comment #1

Hi Breck If anti shake is so important have you considered the Pentax K10D, as anti shake is built into the camera EVERY lens you use is anti shake. And it really works well I have hand held 500mm lenses and got tack sharp pics - well most of the time. If I lie prone and really support the lens then every shot is sharp. Chris..

Comment #2

Thanks for the suggestion of the remote! I had not thunk of a remote to help. On my old as dirt Sony I use the timer to work around my current less than steady tripod. A remote would be quicker as well as, well, just more sexy... even if it's cabled. Also thanks for pointing out the "crop factor" when considering my the lenses to get. I honestly had over looked that factor and was not making the necessary mental calculations to determine the equivalent focal lengths to my old SLR.

I have been comparing Canon lenses the past couple days and I might need to revise the number of lenses down from three to just two lenses to being. Better to get two higher quality lenses withing the budget I set for myself then three so-so lenses. Even if I got one really flexible l-series zoom now then added the 100mm w/macro prime later on, I would be better off, yes? No? Not looking at the big l-series lenses just the more every day lenses. Or are the l-series over rated when compared to the more standard line of Canon lenses? I was thinking of something like the "24-105mm f/4L IS USM" or the "EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM" would give me decent flexibility?..

Comment #3

Hi Chris, FINE...go and bring up the Pentax stuff!! Actually I had noticed there was the K20D now but had not considered the fact the anti-shake was in the camera. Nor was I really aware there is a big cost difference with the Canon having the image stabilization in the lens vs. the camera body. I used to use Pentax 30+ years ago. My first was an ME Super which I still have somewhere. It was a fine camera then so I naturally looked at Pentax when I decided to get a new DSLR.

But after you mentioned the Pentax I did another google and found a site that shows the RAW pics vs. the jpeg's for each camera side by side. I can see the in camera processing really adds blur and loses detail on the K20D. But when comparing the RAW pics they are on par with each other. Much of what I do is take pics indoors.

From the images on the "Comparometer" the K20D does not appear to be any improvement over my current Sony DSC50. I realize the lens is more important than the camera body if you can grab the RAW image vs. a is the white balance and softness really this bad on the Pentax camera's? Or was this a result of the methods used to take the pics? The K20D does have a lot to recommend it so perhaps I might step back and compare a bit more? I like the build quality of the K20D and it being sealed so thoroughly as I will be taking many pics at or near the ocean or even in damp to wet areas. So, keeping out the salt air, sand and moisture are very important things I should consider. Also, I do like the anti-shake being built into the body but worry I like it simply because it makes the lenses cheaper in price.

I mainly want that for out and about pics, especially with long telephoto/zoomed shots. I do wish there was more info around on the K20D, there does not appear to be much out there just now...I will pop over and read the Pentax forum though. BTW, I'll try and not make this a "which is better debate". I can always keep my Pentax questions in the other forum if that is the protocol on these forums. I said, gee..."THANKS" for creating yet another conundrum for me to waste my heartbeats on.....

Comment #4

"Much of what I do is take pics indoors. White balance and good detail are really important for my needs. From the images on the "Comparometer" the K20D does not appear to be any improvement over my current Sony DSC50." ...all of the pics in the IR reviews are camera jpegs. If you are concerned with camera jpegs, the comparometer is a good tool. If you are concerned with image-quality, you'll need to shoot raw and handle the post-processing yourself. And for that the comparometer is useless...

Comment #5

"The Nikon D300, Sony a350 and the Canon 40D. " Honestly that's a tough choice, all three are good cameras. Though there are clear differences, the difference will not be so much IQ as features and lenses available for each. Tamron now makes a 28-300VC for DX mount so that is one option for both the Nikon and 40d, and they have the 18-250 for alpha mount. As far as the other lenses I am sure that you can find what you're looking for, for each. Probably for Pentax too. just point out as an aside that the a350 is the only CCD camera of the 4..

Comment #6

Thanks TG...I have gone back and forth so many times. But after doing some more research I have settled for sure on the 40D. I am going to the the standard 28-135mm IS kit then add the Sigma 10-20mm lens. I know it leaves some gaps in there but I will fill in later this summer. In the meantime the included 28-135mm is a solid middle of the road lens that will certainly work for now. The Sigma 10-20mm looks like just a FUN lens to use.

You know girls, cars and it is no dairy foods, an hour or two to get moving in the AM and bed by 9pm...but I can at least afford the fun stuff. I looked at the Tameron 28-300vc as well as the Sigma 18-300mm OC lenses too. But since the standard kit lens is cheap enough as part of the kit that I can always sell it and grab something else...maybe...I have a hard time parting with my toys...

Comment #7

I have shot the 28-135 on a 400d and honestly I found it to be a true dog of a lens. The IS is not bad but it's dull as hell below about 50mm on the lens, doesn't focus well...probably the worst lens I shot on my 400d before I sold it, even the Sigma 18-200 DC OS wasn't that bad given the overall performance of the 18-200. It's like what the Sigma 18-200 was before it got OS. Except that the 28-135 has OS. I got some nice shots out of it at high zoom handheld at night, though, but truly at low-zoom it's pretty bad. Just my opinion.

If the 28-135 is selling as the kit lens for the 40d then I'd be careful to check prices on eBay before I start to put too much stock in selling it. It's like half the 18-200 DC OS literally, and at that wide-angle you really ought to get the 28-300VC. I can name two lenses right out that would unquestionably be a better deal for you than that one. I'm not going to give you a hard time about it, but I have to be honest with you. Even if it *were* a "solid middle of the road lens" the Tamron 28-300VC would be a much better buy.

The very same thing will be required for the 28-135. The 28-135 is a doorstop lens. You almost can't do worse than to buy it, any of the EF-S lenses would be better in terms of sharpness and there are EF and EF-S lenses that have the same level of sharpness if not better and a much better zoom range at about the same price, size and weight. Buying the 28-135 would be like buying a Ford Mustang with the 6-cylinder engine and a 4-speed transmission with a broken 1st and 4th gear. Even the EF-S 17-85 is a better fit for the 40D, giving a true wide-angle on a subframe, plus that is decent glass, optimized for a subframe...

Comment #8

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