Lenses for use with the canon 300D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Witters©, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Witters©

    Witters© Guest

    Having been used to a film SLR for a number of years I have bought the 300D
    with it's matching 18-55mm lens. I have to admit to being disappointed with
    it's lack of sharpness. Bearing in mind other posts on this forum re L
    series lenses and the 10D, how much sharper would, say, a 17-40mm L series
    Witters©, Oct 24, 2003
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  2. Witters©

    Chris Brown Guest

    A few points to bear in mind:

    1) Canon are (in)famous for doing very little in-camera processing compared
    to other manufacturers on their images. If you want your images to have a
    little more "zing", you'll need to give them a little unsharp masking. I
    do this using Photoshop, amount 200%, radius 0.4 pixels, threshold 0. The
    difference is quite astonishing, and will make the image "jump out at
    you" much more. You will, of course, still get better results with better

    2) People tend to look at these things at the pixel level, and thenconclude
    that they are getting disappointing results. However, when you're looking
    at the image 1:1 on a monitor, remember that you're basically looking at
    a blowup of a part of the image, and the full image would be
    poster-sized. What would your 35mm results look like at that size? What
    size prints are you used to making? It may just be that the easy
    availability of a larger view than you're used to is colouring your

    3) Autofocus systems are not perfect. When shooting a lens wide-open, the
    depth-of-field may well be smaller than the tolerance in the
    mid-range autofocus system that the 300D and it's big brother, the 10D
    use. This is almost ceratinly the case for similar-specced film EOS
    cameras, but has largely gone unnoticed because people don't tend to view
    the vast majority of their film prints at very large print sizes, and so
    a slight error in the autofocus goes unnoticed. I have noticed that when
    using the Canon 50mm f/1.4 (one of the sharpest EF lenses available, by
    all accounts) wide open, I can get consistently better results using
    manual focus on my 10D, even though the difference isn't noticable on
    small and medium sized prints. YMMV

    Having said all of that, you could do a lot worse than getting hold of a
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. They're a bit plasticy, but it costs hardly
    anything, makes a lovely portrait lens on the 1.6x crop cameras, and is
    actually a very good lens optically - fantastic value for money, and no
    Canon EOS user should be without one (unless they have the 50mm f/1.4, of
    course :)).
    Chris Brown, Oct 24, 2003
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  3. Witters©

    Witters© Guest

    Thanks for taking the time to reply Chris.

    I'd not really considered prime lenses, although it could well make sense
    for me. I tend to do a lot of landscape work, together with family photos
    etc. I guess it's also as easy to crop an image in PS as it is to get the
    same result via zooming!
    Witters©, Oct 24, 2003
  4. Witters©

    Chris Brown Guest

    Indeed, and the 300D has the resolution to take a little cropping.

    FWIW, I recently went on holiday to the US southwest (Utah, Arizona, lots of
    spectacular scenery). Hiking up and down mountains meant I had to be fairly
    frugal about which lenses I took. I decided on three lenses, all primes.
    They were the Sigma 14mm f/2.8, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the Canon 100mm
    f/2.8 macro.

    I didn't regret for a minute not taking any zooms, but the results of that
    trip have made me consider some adjustments to my lens collection. Most of
    my photos were taken with the 14mm, and while I got some very good results,
    the behaviour on contrasty edges was disappointing. I could also have used
    something a little wider, so I sold it and bought a second hand Canon 15mm
    f/2.8 fisheye. This is actually wider than the 14mm rectilinear, is
    optically better and easy to "defish" using the excellent and freely
    available Panotools.

    I also found the gap between 14 and 50 to be irritating, and didn't get much
    use out of the 100. With hindisght, taking the Canon 28-135 IS might have
    been handy, even if it's not quite wide-angle on the 1.6x cameras. What I
    have done though is got myself a good deal on a secondhand (but
    mint-condition) Canon 20-35 zoom, which seems to be quite a nice lens and
    will almost certainly replace one of the primes, should I do a similar trip
    in the future.

    The one thing to be aware of with primes is that you'll be changing lenses
    more often. The dust issue is something to be concerned about, but if you
    develop the habit of pointing the body down, shielding it from any wind and
    getting the new lens on quickly, in practice not much seems to get in there.
    I changed lenses in some pretty unpleasant conditions and nothing naqsty
    showed up on my sensor, but YMMV.
    Chris Brown, Oct 24, 2003
  5. Witters©

    Witters© Guest

    Well I was thinking about ths 17-40mm L zoom. Any thoughts on that?
    Witters©, Oct 24, 2003
  6. Witters©

    Ray Fischer Guest

    What parameters are you using? The 300D allows one to choose the
    amount of sharpening done. If you're looking at RAW images then
    you'd want to do some sharpening using your software.
    Ray Fischer, Oct 25, 2003
  7. Witters©

    Witters© Guest


    I'm aware of that but even after setting internal sharpening up or post
    processing it in PS, they still don't look sharp.
    Witters©, Oct 25, 2003
  8. Witters©

    DHB Guest

    I completely agree with your strong recommendation of the Canon
    prime 50mm f1.8 lens which I just received for use on my EOS Digital Rebel /
    300D which also has a FOV crop factor 1.6x. This is my 1st DSLR but not my
    1st digital camera nor SLR.

    This camera has greatly expanded my digital photography options due
    mostly to it's low noise & lens interchangeability. There is much I have to
    learn about this camera but the 50mm f1.8 lens is a very fast & clear lens
    with an effective equivalent of an 80mm lens due to the FOV crop factor of
    1.6x. Would have liked to buy the 50mm f1.4 lens but could not afford nor
    justify it at this time.

    Thus far these are the lenses I ordered with or right after I received
    my camera:

    <1> The EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens.

    <2> The EF 55-200mm 4.5-5.6 II USM lens.

    <3> The EF 50mm f1.8 II

    The 50mm f1.8 II is about $70 but the f1.4 is about $300 & it's probably
    worth it but it's not in my budget at this time & thus far I am very pleased
    with the f1.8 but it does feel "a bit plasticy" as you stated but it is
    working very well for me thus far.

    In time when I can afford it I would like to buy a quality image
    stabilized medium telephoto lens. For now these 3 lenses will meet my needs
    very well while I learn the camera better. Thus far I am disappointed in
    this camera's auto white balance (AWB) performance. Even the manual WB
    selections are a bit off & mostly too warm (yellowish) but thankfully it has
    a custom WB feature which works fine. Considering the cost, I can live with
    this problem & work around it & if necessary I can shoot in RAW mode &
    adjust WB afterwards.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    DHB, Oct 25, 2003
  9. Witters©

    Chris Brown Guest

    I shoot in RAW mode all the time, and leave the white balance set to
    daylight. This seems to work for pretty much all shots (gives the behaviour
    closest to normal film, IME), and any odd ones can be fixed up later, either
    in File Viewer Utility, or in Photoshop using the curves editor.
    Chris Brown, Oct 26, 2003
  10. Witters©

    Mark B. Guest

    I'm top posting, I don't care what the consequences are ;-) That was a
    very thoughtful, informative reply - a rarity here on rpd!


    Mark B., Oct 26, 2003
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