Camera lense advice

This is a discussion on Camera lense advice within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I have a Canon 60D that I purchased in December. I bought the camera body only since I had a decent collection of EF lenses ...

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Thread: Camera lense advice

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    Camera lense advice

    I have a Canon 60D that I purchased in December. I bought the camera body only since I had a decent collection of EF lenses from my Elan IIe setup. My primary lense was a Sigma 18-135 3.5. The motor on it has crapped out and the camera will not recognize the connection to the lense anymore, which even takes away the ability to manually focus the lense.

    I have my eye set on a couple of different pieces of glass to cover the low to medium ranges. Tamron has the 8-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD which looks to be a decent lense based on reviews. The range is a bit more spread out but it would be nice to have one lense to cover that broad a range as long as the picture quality doesn't get sacrificed. Sigma also has some lenses that are comparable.

    Anyone here into photography (amateur like me or professionally) that can recommend something decent without breaking the bank? I don;t need a superfast lense, but something in the 3.5-5.6 range is good. Maybe as low as 2.8 if I can get a zoom that fast.
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    sigma and tameron are rather middle of the road quality of pic wise. decent enough for snapshot photography but they exhibit vignetting and barrel
    once you move away from their 'sweet' spot. which is usually near their low end of 18-135....so may look good and test well at 40 and at 5.6
    the further you move away from this area, the less defined the pics will be.

    try dpreview.com and Steves Digicams - Digital Camera Reviews, Camera News, and Photography Information for some research

    good prices at B & H and at J&R.com

    better glass, like with a rifle scope....is the way to go.

    as a for instance--i want the new 18-200 samsung OIS ll.....but at $800 it will not be mine any time soon
    the 50-200 though at $279 is on order.

    we may look to own with our wants, but we buy with our wallet...
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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    My wife has a Tamron 18-270 zoom on her Nikon and loves it. The image quality is very good (at least as good as my Nikon glass).

    It makes a great walk-around lens, and the vibration reduction works very well.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    My wife has a Tamron 18-270 zoom on her Nikon and loves it. The image quality is very good (at least as good as my Nikon glass).

    It makes a great walk-around lens, and the vibration reduction works very well.

    Matt
    that's the one I am looking at. There are two variations of it. Which one does she have?
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
    that's the one I am looking at. There are two variations of it. Which one does she have?
    It's the 18-270 1:3.5-6.3 Di II

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    It's the 18-270 1:3.5-6.3 Di II

    Matt
    hows the speed of the motor on that one Matt?
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    Senior Moderator
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    It focuses pretty quick. It's at least as fast as the Nikon AF-S lenses we have.
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    this is where research is fun, some models let you change the focus and the zoom while a movie is being made; some do not.
    some motors are so noisy you hear them during playback. and its difficult to get hands on locally ( for me) so i am
    left trusting the review forums and dealing with stores that have a good return policy.

    and a little looking into showed me quick that many of the 'off brand names' are made in the same factories as the
    Canon or whatever, just that somewhere during assembly they fell short and got discounted--and renamed.
    the error may be unnoticeable on our part, but their machines detected it. benefit ours.
    or it s a real internal bad that will make the owner regret the purchase. its a crap shoot.
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    I got into cameras before guns, so it's just as expensive as ARs are for a hobby, after burning through a few Sigmas and Tamarons, I gave the 70-200 F/4 L a shot, and after that I'll never buy another non-L lens, there's a color vibrancy, and sharpness that I have not been able to replicate with any other lens, and I have found even the non-L canon's to be more durable.

    Generally speaking, fixed focal lengths get faster for less expenditure than zooms, and not just in basic specs, but you'll likely find a 135 f2.8 yielding higher shutter speeds than a 2.8 70-200. With the super broad zoom range lenses I tend to notice excessive vignetting and poorer low light performance at all but the widest of focal lengths. That said if the camera only comes out for an afternoon in the back yard for facebook and isn't being used for large prints from indoor events your needs are going to be a little different.

    My Canon tends to live with the 70-200 on it, or I've got a 18-55 that sees lots of use (Glock has put a delay in replacing the kit lens wih an L). I've borrowed a few fixed lengths for events, and eventually I'd like to supplement the zooms to make nights on the football sidelines less frustrating/more productive.

    IS is really handy (I don't notice it as such when shooting but the results show when I get to Photoshop), but it does put a large draw on the battery, so if you go that route, think of at least having some extra power handy.

    Glock Certified Armorer

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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    The ISO available on this thing goes up to 12800. I can shoot near-dark photos with no flash as clear as a bell at short focal lengths but have to adjust the photo after the fact for yellows.

    Claude I use straight manual focus on the HD videos it produces. I prefer having that control when making them to avoid, as you mentioned, the motor noise and constant adjustment in focus.

    Canav I have the old 18-55 that came with my Elan and it works so-so for most applications. I also have a 70-210 I bought many years ago for mid to long range zooms, but it is the cheap offering that Tamron had back in the day. I like the 18-125 or 18-135 range for portraits and general everyday use. The Sigma seems to be the one to go with in that range based on reviews.

    I DO want the IS feature along with the USM. I'll look at the Canon L lenses and see what I can find.

    Thank you guys. Keep the info comin.
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  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Deadguy: I've been taking photos for 4 1/2 decades, and I must tell you that I am NOT at all a fan of these "Super Zoom" lenses, for a variety of reasons. These include:

    1) They tend to be long and rather bulky, and thus not a good choice for an everyday walkaround lens in my opinion.

    2) They tend to be heavy, which again is a minus in my opinion for a "standard" lens that you keep on your camera a lot.

    3) They tend to be rather slow in their max aperture, making them less effective in low light.

    4) It is very difficult to design a zoom lens that can perform well across such a broad focal length range. Issues with things like bad distortion, mediocre resolution, and vignetting become more common.


    So I am more old school, in that I believe in using two zoom lenses instead of one. I have a smaller primary zoom that goes from a nice wide angle to a slight telephoto, and is thus adequate for most picture taking. Being so much more compact and lighter than a super zoom makes handling and carrying the camera much easier, in my opinion. And I have a lens with better resolution, and faster speed too. When I need to take photos at a distance, I then switch to a good 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

    Unfortunately, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is not at all a good quality lens. So I would not recommend it at all. It should be avoided if you are serious about your image quality. A good technical review of this lens that points out its many flaws can be read here on Photozone:

    Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS - Review / Lab test Report

    A Tamron lens that I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND is the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical This is a fast f2.8 across its entire zoom range, and has outstanding resolution and clarity. It is a very popular lens that is easy to carry on a camera:

    This is how it looks on a 50D:





    As you can see, it is compact, and thus balances very easily.

    And its performance is well above average for a zoom lens. It has received many rave reviews, including this one:

    Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] VC (Canon) - Review / test Report

    Images taken with it can definitely be described as stunning. Besides this original version of this lens, Tamron also has an updated version that is a bit more expensive, but does add their VC image stabilization feature to the lens. So if you want a lens that has image stabilization, Tamron does now offer a VC version of this lens now too.


    If you want to consider a Sigma again, I would recommend taking a look at their new 17-70 mm f/2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM. It has a broader zoom range than the Tamron, has a wonderful close focusing ability, and also has their OS image stabilization and fast electronic HSM autofocus. While its image quality is not considered to be quite equal to that of the Tamron, it performs quite well. And at the top of its zoom range, it only loses one f stop in speed down to f/4.

    Here is a link to a real good detailed review of it:

    Sigma 17-70 mm f/2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM review - Introduction - Lenstip.com


    And here is what the lens looks like:




    Either of these zoom lenses would serve a Canon 60D owner very well indeed.


    Here is a recent photo that I took with my camera and my standard zoom, documenting my latest adventure in driving my Pathfinder. As you can see, the image quality is quite good.

    Much better than my driving skills, that's for sure ........





    Before this accident, guys used to compliment me on my Pathfinder all the time as being a good looking rig.......
    .

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    going down the road feeling bad....hay, hay ja....ya.

    ..........and how's the other guy look?

    ----------
    i also agree that splitting near to 50 and 50 on higher is a better way to let the lenses capture as best they can for the price.
    and if a micro motor goes south you still can do half your work.

    so.....Lance, what did you own back in the film days? i still have my Minolta XE-7 with the Rokkor X lenses.
    adapter puts them on my Samsung NX100 though they are rather heavy.
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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    Why do those elected to positions of power than work so hard
    to deny those same opportunities to the same people who empowered them

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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    Lance that Sig looks nice, and the 17-70 with F/2.8 could be the ticket for everyday use. I'm liking it. Can still keep my Tamron 70-210 for longer stuff. Have a 500mm mirror lense too that I need to master now that I have the D. Here's the collection to date. Bad pic, but had to take it with cell phone. Old one is a Pentax. Other is the Elan IIe (i LOVE the eye control focus on that one. Wish the 60D had it). Wife's old Nikon in there as well. I have the battery pack on the Elan and the 60D, and with the BP and the flash on, it weighs a ton, but I like the vertical grip. BP has two Lithium batteries in it for extra life. Running a 16GB High Speed card in it as well. 18 MP shots take up alot of space on the card but I have had 2000 photos on there and it had barely put a dent in it.

    Anyway, here's my amateur spread.
    photo3rq.jpg
    There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive

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    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    so.....Lance, what did you own back in the film days? i still have my Minolta XE-7 with the Rokkor X lenses.
    adapter puts them on my Samsung NX100 though they are rather heavy.
    I had some simple Kodak cameras early on when I was growing up, but my Dad would let me shoot his Rolleiflex TLR sometimes, so it was my first serious camera that I ever used.




    I later got myself a Pentax Me Super, and a flash and a couple of lenses for it. I used that little SLR for quite a few years. It was quite reliable.



  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
    Running a 16GB High Speed card in it as well. 18 MP shots take up alot of space on the card but I have had 2000 photos on there and it had barely put a dent in it.
    I recently sold my professional Nikon D700, battery grip, and a couple of full frame lenses. Nikon gear really keeps it value, and I hardly took much of any loss, and got over $4k for the stuff. I kept my Nikon D90 ( which I used to take that photo of my Pathfinder ) and a couple of DX APS-C lenses, along with the Nikkor FX full frame AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR for distance shooting.

    I'm getting more into shooting video now, and picked up the new Canon Vixia HF G10, which is really super awesome. I'm really enjoying shooting video with it. Nice big 58mm Canon lens, new 1/3 inch sensor with great low light performance. Big 3.5 inch high res LCD, and Canon makes a great hood for it that I have on my Vixia in the photo below so I can actually see the LCD when it is sunny.





    So you are talking about using disk space? You will want to get 32 Gig cards if you start shooting much video. A seven minute video can easily take up a Gigabyte at max quality with my Vixia. I believe that your 60D eats up disk space for video much faster than that.


    Here is "The Parrot that Pooped on my Moma":



    .

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