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Good everyday lens for Digital Rebel -- kit lens, 17-40mm f/4L, or...?

 
 
Mike Kozlowski
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      12-29-2003
I'm looking at the Digital Rebel (300D), and wondering what would be a
good versatile-everyday lens for it. I'd want something that go from
mild wide-angle to mild-telephoto, not too big, not too terribly
expensive, and the higher the quality (both optically and
mechanically) the better.

Obviously the kit lens is one choice, but I have some reservations
about that (which I'll expand on in a second), so I was also looking
at the Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens. Does anyone have any experience with
these two lenses in relation to each other (or particular comments
about one or the other)? Are there other lenses I should be
considering?

(Also, are there any pages comparing the kit lens to other lenses,
preferably with images? I haven't seen any...)

The way I see it, the pros and cons break down like so:

Kit lens:
Pros:
* Very inexpensive ($100 over the bare body)
* Good zoom range (28-80mm equivalent)
* Okay optics(?)

Cons:
* EF-S mount means that -- unless Canon's current sensor size becomes
a standard for them, and the EF-S mount with it (which seems
unlikely to me, particularly since they haven't made any other EF-S
lenses) -- the lens will be utterly useless if I ever buy a new
body, which is not terribly unlikely in the digital world.
* Un-great optics(?)
* Mechanical cheapness(?)

17-40mm f/4L lens:
Pros:
* Optically very good
* Mechnically very good (USM drive)
* EF mount means it's useful on hypothetical future bodies

Cons:
* Moderately pricy, at $699
* Narrower zoom range (27-64mm equivalent)


So, apart from questions about relative quality, the other important
factor for me is the likely future of lens mount formats. If
everything's going to move to EF-S (with EF left as a sort of legacy
mount), the kit lens looks more attractive. If EF-S is a dead-end, it
looks less so. And if EF in general is going to be replaced by some
new, non-compatible format, then both are dead-ends, which makes the
cheap one more relatively attractive. Any thoughts on the likelihood
of these futures? How long has the EF format been used?


--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/

 
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Jeff Zawrotny
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      12-29-2003

"Mike Kozlowski" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bspvph$l4p$(E-Mail Removed)...

[some stuff, big snip]

Unless sharpness is really the overriding issue with you, I'd go with the
kit lens. I, for one, wish Canon would make some serious glass in that zoom
range. If they commit to the APS sensor size, I think they will, but if
they decide to go full frame with their dSLRs, we may be SOL.

Oh, and losing $100 on your lens isn't your biggest concern if (when?) your
$900 camera becomes obsolete.

....and you can always pick up the L glass if the lens isn't sharp enough for
you.

Cheers!

- jz




 
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Mike Kozlowski
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      12-29-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Jeff Zawrotny <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Oh, and losing $100 on your lens isn't your biggest concern if (when?) your
>$900 camera becomes obsolete.


Well, sure. But if I can _avoid_ doing so, I'm all for it. I'm
basically resigned to losing value on digital stuff in the near-term,
but I don't like throwing money away that I don't have to throw away.

If I can spend an extra $500 now, and get a lens that will be both a)
significantly better than what I would otherwise have gotten, and b)
useful over a much longer timeframe, that strikes me as not a bad idea
at all.

--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/

 
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NJH
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      12-29-2003

"Mike Kozlowski" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bsq38n$mgl$(E-Mail Removed)...
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Jeff Zawrotny <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >Oh, and losing $100 on your lens isn't your biggest concern if (when?)

your
> >$900 camera becomes obsolete.

>
> Well, sure. But if I can _avoid_ doing so, I'm all for it. I'm
> basically resigned to losing value on digital stuff in the near-term,
> but I don't like throwing money away that I don't have to throw away.
>
> If I can spend an extra $500 now, and get a lens that will be both a)
> significantly better than what I would otherwise have gotten, and b)
> useful over a much longer timeframe, that strikes me as not a bad idea
> at all.


I'm with Jeff: I'd go with the kit lens.

If you should ever become dissatisfied with that lens you can always sell it
on eBay, so it won't be $100 "thrown away" in any case.

The EF-S mount may or may not become obsolete as you are concerned about.
Canon will presumably make other models using that mount and with that size
sensor. Anyway, I suppose ALL mounts become more or less obsolete
eventually, including the most popular ones of their day. (Exakta mount,
anyone? How about the Praktica-Pentax screw mount and its several
variations?)

Neil


 
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Phil
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      12-29-2003
Go to the dpreview website and the 300D forum there. You will find much
info on the camera, the kit lens -- and many samples.

Overall the kit lens seems to be highly regarded; I like mine.

Not in the same league with L glass, but $700 is not "moderately" pricy
to me

Phil

Mike Kozlowski wrote:

> I'm looking at the Digital Rebel (300D), and wondering what would be a
> good versatile-everyday lens for it. I'd want something that go from
> mild wide-angle to mild-telephoto, not too big, not too terribly
> expensive, and the higher the quality (both optically and
> mechanically) the better.
>
> Obviously the kit lens is one choice, but I have some reservations
> about that (which I'll expand on in a second), so I was also looking
> at the Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens. Does anyone have any experience with
> these two lenses in relation to each other (or particular comments
> about one or the other)? Are there other lenses I should be
> considering?
>
> (Also, are there any pages comparing the kit lens to other lenses,
> preferably with images? I haven't seen any...)
>
> The way I see it, the pros and cons break down like so:
>
> Kit lens:
> Pros:
> * Very inexpensive ($100 over the bare body)
> * Good zoom range (28-80mm equivalent)
> * Okay optics(?)
>
> Cons:
> * EF-S mount means that -- unless Canon's current sensor size becomes
> a standard for them, and the EF-S mount with it (which seems
> unlikely to me, particularly since they haven't made any other EF-S
> lenses) -- the lens will be utterly useless if I ever buy a new
> body, which is not terribly unlikely in the digital world.
> * Un-great optics(?)
> * Mechanical cheapness(?)
>
> 17-40mm f/4L lens:
> Pros:
> * Optically very good
> * Mechnically very good (USM drive)
> * EF mount means it's useful on hypothetical future bodies
>
> Cons:
> * Moderately pricy, at $699
> * Narrower zoom range (27-64mm equivalent)
>
>
> So, apart from questions about relative quality, the other important
> factor for me is the likely future of lens mount formats. If
> everything's going to move to EF-S (with EF left as a sort of legacy
> mount), the kit lens looks more attractive. If EF-S is a dead-end, it
> looks less so. And if EF in general is going to be replaced by some
> new, non-compatible format, then both are dead-ends, which makes the
> cheap one more relatively attractive. Any thoughts on the likelihood
> of these futures? How long has the EF format been used?
>
>


 
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JIM
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      12-30-2003
"Mike Kozlowski" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bspvph$l4p$(E-Mail Removed)...
.....<cut>.... Kit lens:
> Pros:
> * Very inexpensive ($100 over the bare body)
> * Good zoom range (28-80mm equivalent)
> * Okay optics(?)


Without doubt, the higher $$ L stuff will kick sand in the kit lens.
However, getting the kit lens for a C note is a no brainer.

My son has this 'kit' and I am surprised at this lens. Cheap, without a
doubt, plastic mount, plastic about everywhere - still takes excellent
photos. True, also, can't use this lens on about anything else, so changing
bodies/mounts would obsolete it - on-the-other-hand, how much would you lose
should you change systems later (to the dark side, fer instance) and have to
unload any "L" $$ glass?

More importantly, especially if you are moving up from the more digitalis
(my term for non-slr type digital cameras) type of cameras, Sony 700 series
comes to mind; the DSLR is going to require much more attention in achieving
print ready photos. You will find that the digital Rebel produces darker
photos in about all modes right out of the box - not to worry, the Nikon
D100 does the same. Don't think you can "dock" this boy up to some stand
alone printer and get ready made, acceptable prints. Until you understand
what a somewhat correctly balanced histogram looks like, you will be
correcting at least brightness/contrast in most anything you take in some
photo software program before printing it out.

Another consideration, you might not be aware of: this dslr does not give
you a preview of the shot on the LCD screen - you have to view the scene
through the viewfinder. The subsequent LCD preview, once the shot is taken,
is not a good indicator of what the pic will look like in the computer - the
histogram, as mentioned, is.

Jim

















 
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