My choice of lenses for the 300D (also kit quality). [long]

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jerry_tig2003, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. I just bought a Canon 300D and I figured that I would post my
    experience with the kit lens in comparison to some fine glass. Not
    that there is a shortage of opinions, but still... here it is:

    First of all I should say which lenses I bought an why:

    -I bought the kit lens, because it is the cheapest 18mm available and
    I was curious.

    -I bought the 50mm f/1.8 because it is cheap, good and fast. Simple.

    -I needed a small telephoto (lucky me: I am not very found of
    wide-angles) and thought for days about the one I would get. Would a
    "designed for small sensor" zoom lens like the 55-200 (Sigma or Canon)
    be sharp enough? Should it rather be an heavy and expensive 70-200
    f/2.8? Isn't the Canon 135 f/2.0 tempting? What about a 100mm macro?
    Different lenses, lots of choice.

    I chose the 105mm macro from Sigma. This may seem strange, because I
    like to take landscape pictures a lot, so maybe I should explain why:
    -it's still small and light enough to take around
    -it's not too expensive (I have lots of Minolta gear, I am not sure
    whether my move to Canon is definitive or not, so I do not want to
    invest a lot of money in that system) (Canon has a 100mm macro that is
    50% more expensive and of no better optical quality, it focuses much,
    much faster, but that's not important for landscapes)
    -it is reasonably fast at f/2.8
    -macro is an added bonus. Even if I won't use 1:1 very often, it's
    interesting to photograph small plants and details.
    -last but not least, optical performance is (according to various
    sources) "exceptional" especialy around f/5.6. I was curious to see
    what difference this made on an electronic camera.

    Next day I took some pictures. No fancy test on resolution targets,
    simply a few pictures of my street, a low-tech "photographic test".
    Compared the pictures on the computer screen (which is the equivalent
    of watching the details on a very big poster...) and this is my

    -the kit lens is not that bad, except at wide-angle in the edge where
    color fringing is very noticeable. Still: I could enlarge most of its
    pictures to A3 posters (30cm x 40cm) and most people would still find
    those sharp.For the price: get it.
    -the 50mm is noticeably better, as expected. It is a very good lens.
    -the 105mm macro is even better. Combined with the grainless nature of
    the sensor, it simply gives truely amazing pictures. I guess that they
    could even be enlarged to A2 (40cm x 60cm), which is a really
    impressive size (unless you shoot medium or large format).

    Interestingly, the zoom pictures shows almost the same amount of fine
    detail than the 105mm pictures. What the better picture has is
    essentialy better detail contrast. Thinking about it: a resolution
    picture alone is meaningless without an associated contrast figure.
    And probably the lenses do not look as much different when shooting
    resolution targets (which are high contrast). Do I make you think? ;-)

    So what is the conclusion of this long post?

    The first conclusion is that the zoom lens is worth having for the

    The second conclusion is that there is more to life than a
    transtandard zoom lens. I am not advising that YOU buy the Sigma 105mm
    (you may not like the resulting 170mm focal length and it focuses
    really slowly). But be creative! Have a look at various lenses
    catalogues and choose the one for the picture YOU make. Why is
    everybody choosing a "universal" 15-800mm zoom, slow, heavy, expensive
    and unable to focus closer than 10 meters away is beyond me.

    The third conclusion is that the lens, not the CCD, starts to be the
    limiting factor for these cameras. No use for a camera packing more
    pixels on the same detector surface. No use for low-quality lenses on
    these detectors. Actually, if all you have is older, low priced zooms
    and you are looking for a camera to reuse them, it may be worth
    considering buying an old 3 Mpix SLR. Should not be too expensive on
    the second hand market and is still good for, maybe, 24cm x 36cm
    prints, which matches what this kind of lens is capable of.

    I hope I have entertained you enough to pay for the long download
    time. Bye.
    jerry_tig2003, Jan 15, 2004
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  2. jerry_tig2003

    jriegle Guest

    jriegle, Jan 15, 2004
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  3. jerry_tig2003

    Mike Kober Guest

    Great test! Thanks for doing some tests on this. I have the Digital
    Rebel on order now, with the kit lens. I was looking at either the
    80-200, or the 75-300.

    I would have went for the 75-300 from the start just because it is
    giving the fantastic range of 120mm to 480mm on the Rebel. I saw
    someone else had done tests on the 75-300 at different focal lengths
    and f-stops. It was acceptable at only f11 for much of the range.

    It looks like the 80-200 is better at a more open f-stop from your
    tests. I'd be interested to see what it looks like at f11, just as a
    comparison to the other test.

    The other person also said the same of the 50mm lens, it's a must-have
    for portraiture on the Rebel.

    You've changed my mind, it's the 80-200 AND 50 lens now! A zoom lens
    of 128mm to 320mm is NOT bad at all, especially if it's small and
    Mike Kober, Jan 18, 2004
  4. jerry_tig2003

    Craig Chris Guest

    My neighbors bought their rebel after me so they used mine seen what they
    wanted more of and bought it. They ended up buying a Sigma 70-300 Super
    Macro instead of the Canon 80-200 like i chose and after a few outings with
    it i kinda wish that i would have done the same. Just something for you to
    think about.
    Craig Chris, Jan 18, 2004
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