EOS 20D inexpensive Lens recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Nunya Bidnis, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Nunya Bidnis

    Nunya Bidnis Guest

    I have an old Canon AE1 35mm that has served me well for many years.
    After buying an inexpensive Canon A75 a few years back, I'm hooked on

    After much consideration, I have decided to take the plunge and go for
    the 20D. I'd like to buy an extra lens or two with the new camera, but
    the list of available lenses is quite daunting. I already know that my
    budget won't allow for any IS lenses. In fact the lenses I was looking
    at are in the $100 - $200 range. I typically shoot a lot of nature
    shots, close-ups of flowers / insects, and some candid family
    pictures. I rarely do any sports shots.

    I was thinking about buying the camera with the kit 18-50mm lens, and
    also thought about adding the Canon 50mm 1.8 canon lens. I'd like to
    add a macro zoom to the mix, and was thinking about the Canon 75-300mm
    f/4.0-5.6. Does this sound like a reasonable set of lenses or is there
    some other direction I should be looking. I'm not absolutely set on
    having Canon lenses.

    Nunya Bidnis, Feb 27, 2005
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  2. Nunya Bidnis

    Scott W Guest

    I think you have a good set of lenses there. We have the kit, the Canon
    50mm 1.8 and a Sigma 70-300. I went for the sigma because it has a
    macro mode. I have a friend who just bought the Canon 10-22 and is
    getting great photos from that, but that is an fairly expensive lens.

    Scott W, Feb 27, 2005
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  3. Nunya Bidnis

    Bill Guest

    Addictive, isn't it? :)
    When it comes to SLR cameras, the glass on the front is of primary
    concern since it does most of the work in getting a sharp and vibrant

    Since your budget is limited, might I suggest waiting a couple of weeks
    for Canon to release the highly anticipated Digital Rebel XT which has
    most of the capability of the Canon 20D, but 50% cheaper. Put the extra
    $500 you save on the body into better quality lenses and the net result
    will be better photos.

    If your heart is set on the 20D, then consider one good lense for now
    and add more later.
    If you do go with Canon, I have three suggestions:

    I would suggest the kit lense for general family shots and wide angles,
    and then get something like the 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM lense for the same
    price as the 50 and 75-300. Forget about the 50 as it's not needed right
    away, and the 75-300 is not that good. You can always add more lenses
    like the 50 later.

    Or if you don't need wide angle, forget the kit lense and get the very
    popular 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM lense (note the aperture range). It has
    great optics for the price and will give you most of the range you need.
    You could then add the 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM lense and share filters
    since they both use 58mm mountings.

    Or another option is to forget all of those lenses, and start out with
    one good lense, like the 17-85 f/4.0-5.6 IS USM. It's a bit pricey for
    your budget, but well worth it. It would be a great "everyday" lense,
    covering the most popular range, and it's affordable if you forego the
    other lenses for now.

    There are lots of choices, which makes SLR so diverse. But it also adds
    confusion about what to get. That's why I often suggest getting a good
    quality lense to start off, and then add more lenses as you go. The
    worst thing to do is get a cheap lense "for now" because you won't want
    to keep it once you get something good. :)
    Bill, Feb 27, 2005
  4. Nunya Bidnis

    Stacey Guest

    Bill wrote:

    Exactly, using cheap lenses on an expencive body makes so sense. It's like
    using cheap speakers on an expencive reciever.
    Again, great advice.
    Stacey, Feb 28, 2005
  5. Nunya Bidnis

    VK Guest

    Assuming you are dead-set on a super-expensive body and cheap lenses,
    I'd recommend skipping the 50/1.8. For landscapes, the 18-50, when
    stopped down, should give pretty decent performance. The 100-300 is
    supposed to a smidgeon better than the 75-300, so unless you are
    getting the IS version of the latter, get the 100-300 instead. Stopped
    down and on a tripod, these should yield pretty damn good landscape

    VK, Feb 28, 2005
  6. Nunya Bidnis

    BG250 Guest

    You guys beat me to it. I was going to recommend the same.

    So often people buy too much camera for their budget and forget a nice lens
    selection. The lenses are what it all about!
    BG250, Feb 28, 2005
  7. Actually, the difference is closer to $300, since the 20D is already heavily
    discounted, but the XT will probably be at the MAP for a few months.
    Steven M. Scharf, Feb 28, 2005
  8. I agree. Get the 18-55 kit lens, pretty good at $100 net cost, and the
    100-300 USM..

    In the future, look at the EF-S 10-22, and maybe a 28-105 USM. The EF-S
    10-22 will likely come down in price after a while, right now it's in high
    demand due to the popularity of the 20D.
    Steven M. Scharf, Feb 28, 2005
  9. Nunya Bidnis

    Bill Guest

    I suppose price ranges are different in the US. Here in Canada, the
    prices will be about $1200 CDN for the Rebel XT and $2000 for the 20D
    bodies, an $800 difference.

    The Rebel XT will be cheaper than I expected. I figured $1500 for it,
    but I guess Canon doesn't want to dig into 20D sales and they're keeping
    the price low.

    Still, the price difference should be worth it in the US, and the extra
    cash will get you better glass. :)
    Bill, Feb 28, 2005
  10. Nunya Bidnis

    VK Guest


    Krysztof has a good point - this is indeed a super-sharp lens.

    1/ I dont think the difference is all that big a deal when you stop
    down to f8 for landscapes.
    2/ For your stated needs, a zoom will work better than a prime (more
    coverage for landscapes, etc). Zooming with the feet is great, but
    doesnt yield the same perspective
    3/ AF speed may be faster, but so what? USM on zooms is plenty fast -
    I can do birds-in-flight with zooms, so I reckon you should be ok with
    it, eh?

    The 50/1.8 lens is, contrary to popular opinion, not a good purchase
    for *everyone*. Some people have it and swear by it. Other people -
    myself included - find primes far too limiting. I have a 50/1.8 and a
    24/2.8 and hardly ever use them.

    VK, Mar 1, 2005
  11. Nunya Bidnis

    Bill Guest

    I don't know why people continue to say the lense focal length will
    change, when it does not. There is a slight COC and DOF change using a
    smaller sensor, but it's not dramatic.

    The 1.6x is a CROP FACTOR not a magnification. The 50mm does not become
    an 80mm lense - the image is merely cropped to the equivalent field of
    view that an 80mm would provide. As far as the image is concerned, it's
    still a 50mm, just smaller image size.

    Besides, the 50mm is not a great choice for portraits. It works, but
    it's not really any better than a zoom at 100mm at 5.6 for blurring the
    background. And no one in their right mind takes a low light portrait
    photo, so a seriously slow f factor is not really a big issue until you
    get into the good glass.
    For portraits or almost any shot where a shallow DOF is wanted, AF speed
    is typically not an issue.
    Of course it's the sharpest of your selection, no one would question
    that. But to compare it to an 80mm is not correct.
    This makes no sense. Since cost is a factor, obviously the OP is not
    going to even consider getting a $5000 camera body. And in the off
    chance the OP did want to upgrade, they could easily sell the XT with
    the 18-55.

    Besides, since cost is factor, the 18-55 is one of the better deals
    available. It's actually a pretty decent lense for the price...Canon got
    it right when they slapped it together. :)
    Bill, Mar 1, 2005
  12. Nunya Bidnis

    K S Guest

    Hi Nunya

    reading aswears under your post I found few people adviced you to skip 50mm
    1.8. Do not skip this len! This is optically the best one you can get for a
    100$ limit. And at the same time no other lens can give you 1.8 light. You
    will have no chace to play with a depth of field if you take something with
    3.5 or even 4.5 light at 50mm. On your 20D it will turn to 80mm lens - and
    it works great for a portrait photography. Besides - zooms have slower AF
    even if this 50mm in not USM - it will still be faster than kit lens AF.

    I have few lenses - that are: canon 20-35, canon 28-135, canon
    80-200(almoust dont use),
    canon 50 MK I, sigma 21-35, Jupiter 200 (soon changing to Sonnar 200 f2.8),
    and two more which I dont use. The
    canon 50 is the sharpes and has the higest resolution from all my
    lenses - this is the only one that I actually consider as profesional level

    http://www.photodo.com/nav/prodindex.html - take a look at resolution tests
    for canon 50.

    http://plfoto.com/zdjecie.php?picture=576423 - here is a shot that I've made
    with canon 50. Notice the depth of field and the lightning /This was only a
    single 60W night lamp light source - bounced from a table/. This kind of
    shot you
    would not be able to take using any zoom lens with 4 or smaller aperachute.

    The set of lenses you selected in my opinion is good. hoverer I think you
    should get also some lens covering 28-105mm range later. But for the limits
    you have for now this is a good set.

    Im my opinion it is better to buy one beter lens at a time and buy another
    later - than to buy a set of bad /vineting, barreling, low contrast and
    res/ lenses at one time.

    I would also consider taking cheap used 10D or waiting for new Rebel to save
    some money for a better lens.

    Keep in mind also - that if you take 18-55 you will be able to use it only
    on your Digital Canon. It is merely useles on the analog cameras with no
    crop factor. If one day you will get a full 1:1 no-crop factor digital
    camera (in few years)- you will probably have to get rid of this lens for
    almoust nothing - maybe consider getting something taht will work well on
    both analog and digit camera - used canon 20-35 you can get for around $200
    on ebay.

    wisch you best
    Krzysztof S,
    K S, Mar 1, 2005
  13. Nunya Bidnis

    Nunya Bidnis Guest

    Thanks everybody for your suggestions.

    I had thought about stepping down to the Rebel XT when it comes out,
    but I have a few reservations about doing that. First of all the
    savings will probably work out only about $300. I don't mind the
    slight extra cost if the camera will be better. Also, the metal body
    of the 20D is really attractive to me. I do a lot hiking and camping,
    and it would seem to take a few more hits thatn the plastic body.
    Seeing as how my last SLR has lasted me like 20 years, I plan to keep
    this one for a while, and just wanted to get the best bang for my

    I think I'll definitely go with the kit lens, just because it will get
    me by for now, and for the $100, I haven't lost that much. I'll
    probably just save up for some better lenses. It's just too bad that
    there is such a gap between the prices of the entry level and the
    better lenses.

    Thanks again for all your input.

    Nunya Bidnis, Mar 2, 2005
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