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Old 12-05-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
EdsWRX
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Default Photo Noob here, help me choose some lens

So for Christmas this year, my parents are giving me a digital SLR because I'll be going to backpack southeast asia for 2 months and would like to document my journey. I am going to by the Canon XTi, body only, and was looking for suggestions on some lens. Im not a total noob to photography, just to canons and digital SLR's, its been a while since I used an SLR (high school, about 6 yrs ago) but after working in production and with alot of photographers recently I have decided to invest a lil more money into this hobby. Thanks for the input
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:47 PM   #2
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Check the photo equipment review thread if you have some time.

But if not, what is your budget, what will you be taking pictures of, how much space will you have for your photo gear and is weight an issue?
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:49 PM   #3
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50mm 1.8 - should be about $80 and I find myself using it all the time. A good "first" lens. But yeah, it really depends on what you will be using it for and budget.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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I'd get like a 18-55/70mm and maybe a zoom like 70/100-300mm

Everyone here loves the 50mm 1.8 since it rocks and is so cheap, but unless you are taking portraits or a lot of close low light I doubt you'll need it. Great investment when you get back but one less lens to haul
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:53 PM   #5
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What's your budget?
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:57 PM   #6
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Are you looking for just one lens to begin with? What kind of money are you looking to spend?

The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is a great starter lens, good value and provides some reach. If you want something a little economical check out the 24-85MM.

There are many 3rd party lenses available too for a little less. Check out this thread for some good information:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ad.php?t=86975
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorbee711 View Post
50mm 1.8 - should be about $80 and I find myself using it all the time. A good "first" lens. But yeah, it really depends on what you will be using it for and budget.
I think mattjk is selling his for $50..............check the camera trading thread.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:59 PM   #8
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For a general purpose zoom, try to grab the 17-55/2.8 IS. It's expensive, but it's a desert-island kind of lens. Gives my L primes a run for their money. The 50/1.8 is a nice lens for the money, but if you're going to a foreign land you unlikely to be doing much portraiture. Go wide. I would even recommend a super wide like the Canon 10-22.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:04 PM   #9
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+1 for the 10-22 for traveling.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:05 PM   #10
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If you're going to be backpacking across Asia, you'll want to travel light. The 50mm f/1.8 is great because it's small and light, but not very flexible. Still a great addition because its wide aperture is extremely useful in certain situations. In addition to that, I'd recommend a wide-range zoom, like one of the newer 18-200 lenses from Tamron or Sigma. They won't give you the utmost in image quality or speed (they're all f/3.5-5.6 which is not that fast), but they will allow you to keep ONE lens on your camera at all times, won't attract too much unwanted attention, and will fulfill just about any need you have.

Once you're back from Asia, then you can look into better, faster lenses (Canon L-lenses....mmmm....).
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:30 PM   #11
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for 80 bucks you cant ****ing go wrong with the 1.8.

dont listen to him, you will use it a lot. youll be amazed how amny tiems the light isnt quite what you thought, and instead of blurry pictures on msot other lenses in your pack, you'll pull out the 50mm. and tis not jsut for portraits..... its a great beginner lens, and was THE kit lens on many older cameras, meaning, its good for LOTS of situations.

Last edited by Protege Menace; 11-11-2007 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:33 PM   #12
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Protege Menace is right, don't buy cheap lenses. You'll never use them. Buy quality or don't bother.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
for 80 bucks you cant ****ing go wrong with the 1.8.
Sure. But would I buy it to use it for vacation photos? For backpacking, where scenery is probably going to be a big portion of the shots? No. I'm not knocking the 50/1.8, I just don't think it will get used a lot in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
dont listen to him, you will use it a lot. youll be amazed how amny tiems the light isnt quite what you thought, and instead of blurry pictures on msot other lenses in your pack, you'll pull out the 50mm.
The 17-55/2.8 has IS, which if you're doing landscape/city type shots is fine for low light. There's certainly cases where subject blur is the problem and then having the f/1.8 would be great, but in general... the 17-55 will be much more useful.

Personally, I think he should buy both if he can.

The reason I'm pushing the 17-55 is because on a recent trip to Peru I took only my XT, a 35/2 and the 18-55 kit lens. I figured I would use the 35/2 for the majority of the photos, and the 18-55 for wide stuff. I wound up using the 18-55 for the majority of the shots because, well... I was on ****ing vacation and I wasn't doing people photography for the most part. After getting back to the states I got the 17-55 about a month later and have been kicking myself every since. It really is a stunning lens and is every bit as sharp as the Canon consumer primes, even at f/2.8. It is higher quality optically than my 24-70/2.8L. I really cannot say enough good things about it.
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonC View Post
If you're going to be backpacking across Asia, you'll want to travel light.
I'm with this guy, but would go a step further and suggest NOT traveling with an SLR camera. I'd strongly consider a shockproof point and shoot such as the Pentax Optio for a backpacking trip. SLR's are great if you are on a photo safari and don't mind traveling with a camera bag, but they are a PITA which distracts from the backpacking experience imho.
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:35 PM   #15
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I really like the canon 28-105 3.5-4.5, it's better than the kit lense and cheap too at ~$230. A good, cheap walk around lens.

I agree with previous statements that an SLR might not be the best choise... I'd highly recommend something along the lines of a canon A95 or something similar. Light, cheap, but still takes pretty good pictures. I'm going to Argentina for a month this winter and I'm packing my Canon G6 instead of my SLR.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
I'm with this guy, but would go a step further and suggest NOT traveling with an SLR camera. I'd strongly consider a shockproof point and shoot such as the Pentax Optio for a backpacking trip. SLR's are great if you are on a photo safari and don't mind traveling with a camera bag, but they are a PITA which distracts from the backpacking experience imho.
I have made this trip before with my point and shoot, but this time I have more time to play around with the new camera. I've had to change some of my travel plans in the past day and half as well. Half the trip is more leisure anyway with my sister and her friends, a week in a resort in Bali, a few days sightseeing in Singapore, and then visiting clients all over China.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:57 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the responses too, only halfway through reading most of the posts, I ended up buying the camera with the 18-55mm lens that it normally comes with, with the discount (thanks to Protege Menace) it came to 688 for the camera with lens, shipped
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:22 AM   #18
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Do you have a procedure figured out for managing two months worth of images? Have you decided whether to take your pictures in raw format? For an extended trip away from civilization, these two questions are probably going to end up being more important than lens choice...

Personally, I would take a big plastic bag full of film, but then I'm an old fart...
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:29 AM   #19
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yeah, but would that film work in his digital rebel?
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:38 AM   #20
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I just purchased a tamron 17-35 2.8-4.0 at samys for $299. For its price, I think its a steal compared to the 17-40 L

8.9 overall rating at fredmiranda
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=43&page=1

Another review
http://nododo.home.comcast.net/ultrawide/
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:43 AM   #21
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Well, I guess I should have worded that a lil better, I will be visiting family as well, my lil sister is a fulbright scholar in Korea so I am keeping most of my stuff there while we're out in the rest of asia. I was planning on bringing about 3 or 4 2 GB CF cards and I will also have my laptop with me to dump the files
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iofdetiger View Post
yeah, but would that film work in his digital rebel?
Uh, probably not. But if he shoots in raw mode, he's going to be carrying a lot of memory around in the jungle for a couple of months. Or lugging a notebook PC and a bunch of CD-Rs and looking for a place to plug in every couple of days.

Or if he shoots in "tiny little web posting mode jpeg" mode he won't be able to make big prints after he gets back. Plus, if that's the kind of pictures you're going to take, why not just take a little point-and-shoot.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:48 AM   #23
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or he could get a memory bank?
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Old 12-06-2006, 01:47 AM   #24
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I just picked up the 17-70 sigma f/2.8-4.xx and absolutely love it. $390.
+1 for the 50 f/1.8, can't beat it for the price.

Also, the Canon 24-105 L is a great walk around lens.

If I were you, I'd get the 17-70 sigma, 50 f/1.8, and sigma 70-200 f/2.8. Good lenses, good range, and a definite good value.

- Scott
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Old 12-06-2006, 02:06 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illmatic View Post
I just purchased a tamron 17-35 2.8-4.0 at samys for $299. For its price, I think its a steal compared to the 17-40 L

8.9 overall rating at fredmiranda
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=43&page=1

Another review
http://nododo.home.comcast.net/ultrawide/
Nice, thanks!! Im really liking this lens, I think this would be a fun lens to play with.
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