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  #1  
Old 09-10-2007, 05:36 AM
nithin1 nithin1 is offline
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Default Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

Hi dear all,

Could someone help me with choosing a lens for EOS 400D. I bought it body only yesterday having read that the kit lens is not upto the mark. While I definitely want the new lens to be better than the kit lens, I am wondering If I will get one below USD 400. I was looking at this Tamron and Sigma brands. All you experts out there, can anyone help me?

and err..inspite of the Nikon D40X having a superb offer where they will give 2 nikkor lenses with it, I bought this EOS 400D....was I right?! :D
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2007, 03:13 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

The 400d and the d40x are both good cameras; so you can't really make a bad choice there IMO.

I think I'd have bought the kit lens myself if I'd been in your shoes though; it's not bad and it is very cheap, so it makes a good starting point to show you where to go next. That said as a result of waiting you now have a new cheap option - the Canon 18-55 IS, it uses a cost reduced IS system, so it might not be quite as good as the more expensive lenses, but it'll come in at 199USD or so which makes it great value IMO.

Otherwise you're right; with your budget you're in 3rd party lenses territory. The problem with them is that they're extremely variable in quality, some Sigma lenses are outstanding, some are beyond terrible.

The Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) gets good reviews; but may be a bit long for you. The Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] would probably be a better choice, but it's fractionally over your budget at around 450USD. I haven't used them more than briefly though, so those recommendations are based on review performance rather than actual usage.

It really depends on what focal lengths you prefer to shoot at though; I enjoy shooting wide but others prefer telephoto. Have a look at your usage and see which range suits you best, then narrow it down from there.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2007, 05:02 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

with everything i know about taking pictures now, if I was you, I would try not to hurry, and actually get the cheapest GOOD prime lens available. I see your pix, and though they cover different ranges, all could be (almost) taken with one prime. And having one range will teach you to think composition and approaching tthe subject, with your feet, so to speak.

The 50mm f/1.8 at under 100US$, maybe used, will get you going at minimum cost. The 35 f/2 or 28mm f/2.8 are possible too, but at 3 or 4 times more I believe, and 50mm will accomodate many of the shots like the ones you took and posted on TE (remember the range of 50 is actually 80mm on 400D). Bresides, even with many dollars worth of lenses and zooms on our shelves, we all hold on to that 50mm.

I hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2007, 06:00 AM
nithin1 nithin1 is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

Thank you, Adrian..Yea, it makes sense to have that lens at $90. I just exchanged the box with, one with the lens! Well, fortunately, I had not yet used it and I should say the shop-keeper was nice. :)

But well, I had my first clicks yesterday indoors. The lens is indeed terribly slow. Wonder if most lenses are like this. This is my first DSLR by the way.

And also, on this DSLR, you cant view the scene through the LCD? I have not explored enough yet, but I have a feeling it comes just through that tiny view-finder on top. Is that so? Very stupid question, it might be!
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:06 AM
nithin1 nithin1 is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

Thats a very detailed reply and thanks a lot. For the moment, I got that kit lens now! I exchanged the body-only box with one with the lens in it.

Well, It will be criminal of me, such an amateur, to spend so much to start with. Anyway, I need a telephoto lens soon I guess.

By the way, I had a look at your TE Gallery.. Amazing I must say!! I would love to one day be able to take a shot like your 'Siamese Cat'

Thanks and Regards,
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2007, 06:14 AM
stiginthedump stiginthedump is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

But well, I had my first clicks yesterday indoors. The lens is indeed terribly slow

What do you mean by slow? The autofocus? If it's your first camera then i wouldn't worry about the speed of the lens. Just get out there and shoot stuff. I guess you could pick up the 50mm f1.8 if you need a 'fast fast' lens. I think they go for around $100 or so.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:35 AM
nithin1 nithin1 is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

Yea, I meant the time for the auto-focus. I guess it will make a very bad lens for any action-shot.

Anyhow, being the first DSLR, i guess its fine for now like you say.
by the way, cant you see what is going to be shot on the LCD? I have not explored enough yet, but I have a feeling we have to see just through that tiny view-finder on top. All DSLRs are so?
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2007, 07:38 AM
stiginthedump stiginthedump is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

your ignorance seems to have endless boundaries!
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2007, 08:06 AM
nithin1 nithin1 is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

Yea, like I mentioned I am quite new in here. and earlier I used a Fuji S6500 digital camera.

I never expected such an encouragment though!
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2007, 02:08 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Lens for my new Canon EOS 400D

No the camera doesn't support live view; that's the name for the ability to display an image on the LCD before you take it. It's starting to appear on some models, but very few of the affordable camera bodies have it yet. With the way a dSLR is designed it reduces the amount of light going through the viewfinder and/or to the sensor. A dSLR is a different beast to the compact cameras you're used to. I far prefer dSLRs, but I know a few people who don't.

With most dSLR's you take the shot, then you check the histogram on the screen at the back afterwards to make sure you have the correct exposure and everything's in focus.

The advantage with the non-electronic viewfinder is that you can see the focus and zoom settings without ever turning the camera on; this is very useful for conserving battery life. As the 400d is effectively instant on, you can focus/zoom and then flick the camera on to take the shot.

The autofocus of the kit lens isn't outstanding in low light, but it's fine for daylight outdoors IMO. Most of the less expensive lenses lack what in Canon terms is known as USM (Ultrasonic Motor), USM makes the focus much quicker. For the best autofocus experience you need a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 (or better, like f/1.8) and ring-USM. Sigma has a USM equivalent called HSM, but if you're looking at Sigma read the reviews very carefully, and check that the HSM has a clutch so you can focus manually without having to disengage AF (autofocus).

One thing that may help you is to make sure that the centre AF point is the only one selected; focus on the subject of interest then move/recompose by keeping the shutter release half pressed. The centre AF point is better than the others, so just using that one in low light improves performance.

Something else you can do is use the onboard flash to help the AF; it doesn't pop-up automatically unless you're in "green box auto", but it'll use that to help the AF in low light. You can pop it up manually in any mode by pressing the flash button on the top left of the camera (near the red blob on the lens release).

Hope that helps,

A
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