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Need help buying Canon 20D what lenses

ptipton192

New Member
I am ready to purchase my first DSLR, a 20D, need help with what lenses I need to purchase. I will be spending the next three months in Alaska, planning on doing alot of nature shots. I am considering a EF 75-300 f4.5-5.6 IS USM. Is this lens okay, I also would like to purchase a second lens, I have no idea what I need.

I am planning on waiting awhile before I purchase a flash. I am on a waiting list at Wolf Camera for the 20D, does anyone know where a can purchase the 20D now, I am leaving in three weeks.

Any and all help will be appreciated.

Thank you
 

cristian

Member
My personal opinion is that using a 20D with a lens like EF75-300 is like putting Trabi wheels on a jeep (if anybody does not know what Trabi is: it is an old East-German car, made of cardboard, with a 2 cylinder motor making big noise). I had a EF75-300 non-USM non-IS as beginner and I would not recommend it to anybody unless he/she does not afford a better lens. The great advantage of EF75-300 was that it was very cheap. But AF was slow and extremely unprecise, especially in low-light conditions. It might be that the same lens equipped with USM performs better, I don't know. See opinions at
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, might be usefull.

Choosing a lens is allways a matter of many issues: how serious you are about photography, what you plan to do with it (portrait, landscape, wildlife, etc.), how much money you intend to invest in this hobby, how much weight you are willing / able to carry. One SLR + 3 lenses + accessories can reach easily 5-10 Kg! All these things makes the choice very personal. If you are in hurry consult reviews on Internet, if you can spend some time then you may read John Shaws "Nature Photography Field Guide".

Regarding 20D, since this camera has a 1,6x elongation factor on lenses (35mm-equivalent focal length is equal to approx. 1.6 times the marked focal length) my guess is that you will need a very short lens for landscapes, like EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM or EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM. These would be equivalent to f=16..35mm, respectively to f=27..136mm (original focal lenght multiplied with 1,6). On telephoto domain things are nicer because a f=300mm becomes a f=480mm with 20D :)) At this focal length you shoul have IS or a tripod. What tripod? - this is another long discussion.
 

thd

New Member
Patty, what type of nature photos are you planning on taking? wild animals and such would require long glass 400mm and up. plants and landscapes, shorter focal lengths. two lenses i would suggest would be one of canon's 70-200 zooms, either of the 2.8's or the 4.0 L. the other lens would be the short 50mm macro - excellent lens w/o the huge price tag. I would stick w/canon's prime "L" lenses, for supeior resolution and quality of build. Not to say the zoom you're suggesting isn't a great lens, I just like the extra speed of the 2.8's - they provide such excellent control over your depth of field.

also, are you taking a laptop or some other type of storage device for your images? and how many CF cards? roberts in Indy has great deal on 2gig cards, now less than $ 200.

hope these comments help, have a great trip cheers, thd
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
I would second Todd's suggestion of the 50mm/2.5 macro and 70-200 ... f4.0 if you think the f2.8 IS is too expensive. If you want to get the f2.8 I would suggest you get the IS version so you can use it without your tripod.

Additionally, I would recommend the 1.4x TC and the 17-40/4.0L lens, so you will have a wider range.

The 20D I ordered from Amazon.com should arrive on Monday, if not today! The 17-40/4.0L is my main lens, but I also have the 50/2.5, 85/1.8 and 135/2.0L along with both the 1.4x and 2x TC.
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
Let me add something else here. I don't know what your level of expertise is, but do be aware that with long lenses, you need to use a higher shutter speed.

The rule of thumb is your shutter speed should be the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens you are using. So if you are shooting with say a 70-200 at 200mm, you need to shoot at 1/320 second because of the 1.6x conversion factor of the 20D.

With the 1.4x TC at 200mm, you would need to shoot at 1/500 second ... unless you have an IS lens which means that you gain 2-3 stops.
 

rmacht

New Member
I'm considering purchasing the 14mm f2.8L. I do a reasonable amount of tight indoor shooting. I'm using the 1d & 1dMkII. The lens is pricey so I've also considered (and tried) the Sigma 14mm. I have not been able to try Canon's version of this lens, but found the Sigma to be soft relative to my other L lenses. Can anyone share their experience with the Canon 14mm lens?
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
Randy

I don't own this lens, but those who do do not rate it highly at all. This lens received only 3 out of 5 stars in the FM users reviews, a very poor score. Here's the link:

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Also check the Photodo.com ratings.

I had the 15mm fisheye and didn't like it one bit because of the severe barrel distortion.

The Canon wide-angle lenses are not very good at all, unfortunately.
 

mloufrost

Active Member
I just purchased a Lexar 512mb compact flash card from ecost.com for $49 less a $20 rebate! My original CF card was a Lexar 1 gb and cost over $100. If anyone is in the market for an extra CF card take a look at ecost.com. Mary Lou
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
Prices of CF memory cards are dropping like crazy. You can pick up a 1GB Lexar Pro 80x or a Sandisk Ultra II for under $100 and 2GB card for under $200.

Check prices at Amazon.com, KEH.com, Buy.com, MyDigital.com and places like that before you buy, or check the forums like DP Review, Fred Miranda, PhotoNet, etc for notices about these deals.
 

ptipton192

New Member
I purchased a 20D this weekend with the lens kit and 1gb of memory. I am planning to purchase the 17-40 f/4L and 70-200 2.8L lenses within the next month. After comments from this site and Fred Miranda's site decided to purchase the best that I can afford so I will only buy once.

Thank everyone for your help. I have alot to learn.

Patty
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
Congratulations, Patty - the 20D is a very good choice! I got mine just 2 days ago, and sold my 10D for $825. Lost money on the 10D but I have no regrets at all, as the 20D is better in so many ways.

The 17-40 is a good lens, but on the 70-200, I would advise that you get either the f4 version which is very compact and light, or the f2.8 IS version. The IS version will allow you to hand-hold the camera. If you get the non-IS version, most of the time you will need a tripod to avoid camera shake. If you are going to mount it on the tripod, then why bother with the f2.8 - you may as well get the f4 version which just as good/sharp, and it's so much lighter/smaller and cheaper.

FWIW, I have the 17-40/4.0L, 50mm/2.5 macro, 85mm/1.8, 135mm/2.0L and the 1.4x II and 2.0x II TC.
 

stealth

Gold CI-Patron
Bobby,

I must disagree with you. I own the 70-200/2.8 non-IS and never had any problems with shaky pictures. The glass is even better than the IS version, according to some test I have read (it's something because of the IS moving up and down etc.)

Getting the f4 version saves you lots of money and weight but on the other hand it's more likely you get shaky pictures, simply because of the smaller apperture.

That's just my opinion


Cheers
M;los
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
Milos - of course you can take tack sharp pictures, even when hand-held ... but it's just harder, as you need to use a much higher shutter speed.

With the 20D's 1.6x crop factor and when extended to 200mm, your effective focal length becomes 320mm. At that focal length and magnification, you will need to shoot at 1/500 second to avoid camera shake ... unless the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Withe the IS version, you can literally shoot hand-held at 1/60 second or even lower if your technique is good.

All 3 versions of the 70-200mm are very good indeed.
 

marceloamaral01

New Member
Correct me if i'm wrong here, Bobby, but one can't apply the 1/focal length rule on the cropping factor as there's
no extra optical magnification there but just perceived magnification from cropping.
A 20D camera with a 1.6 cropping factor image sensor should use the same 1/focal length rule that a 1Ds with full size sensor
if both are using a 200mm lens, that is, 1/200 sec. One hypothesis of the 1/focal length rule is that there is increasing optical
magnification as focal length increases. If there is real optical magnification, a shake is magnified as well, that's why
we need a faster shutter speed, right?
 

stevehale

Member
> [When using the 10D or 20D you should take into account the 1.6 cropping factor that is to say 100mm = 160mm therefore 160th or faster.]
 

marceloamaral01

New Member
Hi, Stephen, that would only be true if you compare a bigger sensor with a smaller one but keep the digital sensor's resolution constant. For instance, comparing the picture taken with a Canon 20D (1.6 crop factor) and a Canon Mark II (1.3 crop factor), the 20D would require a faster shutter speed to keep the same degree of crispness than a Canon Mark II. But that only happens because both sensors are 8MP sensors. If one shoots a bird using the same same lens at the same distance using each camera, the bird's eye, say, would be bigger on the 20D picture, as the 8MPs in the 20D are used to depict just a fraction of the frame the 8MPs of the Mark II does. However, if you take a camera with a full sensor size that has 16MP, say, and another one that has sensor of 10MP and a cropping factor of 1.6, then, the size of the bird's eye (supposing same lens, same distance, etc.) would be the same (supposing the bird's eye is in the picture, of course). In that case, the cropping factor doesn't matter at all. So, what really makes the difference is not the cropping factor, but "the size of the bird's eye" when you look at the picture full size. The new Canon 1Ds Mark II with 16MPs and full 35mm sensore size should require a faster shutter speed than our 20D (if both pictures are taken with the same lens, same distance, same shaking) because if you could crop the 16MP digital sensor, it would still have 10MP, which give us more pixel to cover the same are the 20D did. In other words, the bird's eye will be bigger when a picture is taken with the Canon 1Ds Mark II than when it's taken with a 20D when the digital file is seen full size in your computer.
 

stevehale

Member
> [Hello Marcelo, what you say is indeed correct, however I try to think of what is going to be visible in the final form which for me is most often an 10x8, A4 print. I think this rule probably come about with regard to regular 6x4 print sizes anyway in which case a far bit can be lost in the wash. I have always felt that digital cameras are less foregiving to movement during exposure than film, just based on my observations.]
 
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