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Old December 15th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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Basic EOS lens questions

I'm trying to figure out what it will cost to get started in the EOS arena and need to pick a lens. First I need answers to some simple-but-don't-screw-up questions...
What does EF and EOS even mean? USM sounds great but can I do without it? What is the L series? What is a Sigma DC?

On BH, I found some lenses that read "only for use with 20D/Rebel XT". What does that mean, I thought the lenses were all compatible? Here is one
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Lastly I ask for lens recomendations. This is the only lens I can afford for a while so it has to be a somewhat "all purpose" zoom. I'm always fond of wide angle, all my video cameras have one. That's probably amateurish but I'd rather live with a touch of paralax then not be able to tape people in cramped spaces or capture huge structures. So I'm probably looking for 20mm or maybe even less, I might afford USM but likely not IS. I was really surprised to see Canon and Sigma lenses that can do 18-50mm for less then $200, I take it that price is too good to be true? Are those kit lenses?

Also is there a f/number I should look for? These are all basic questions but it's for a camera I need for photography class, hopefully I'll learn something there and won't ask such questions for long :) BTW I was thinking of a 10D or 350D as the body, hopefully the 10D.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 02:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Miller
What does EF and EOS even mean? USM sounds great but can I do without it? What is the L series? What is a Sigma DC?
Well, these are just acronyms and I guess only Canon or Sigma know what they mean.

EF lenses are the current line of Canon lenses (the older ones are designated FD lenses) and EOS, well, it is the current line of Canon (D)SLR cameras. USM is for Ultra Sonic Motor (ha, I know what the acronym is for!!), the type of electrical motor that drives the autofocus. I don't know what Sigma DC is for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Miller
On BH, I found some lenses that read "only for use with 20D/Rebel XT". What does that mean, I thought the lenses were all compatible? Here is one
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
The 20D and Rebel (XT) have a sensor that is smaller than the standard 35mm film size (24mmx36mm). The lens mount of these cameras (called EF-S as opposed to EF) accepts lenses that are designed specifically for these camera bodies. These lenses don't work on the 1D/1Ds/5D/10D or the analogue Canon cameras. The EF-S lenses are extreme wide angle lenses.

EDIT: There is an EF-S macro lens as well now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Miller
Lastly I ask for lens recomendations. This is the only lens I can afford for a while so it has to be a somewhat "all purpose" zoom.
Ah, that's a difficult one. The "all purpose zoom" you are asking for might be the new 24-105mm/f4 lens. However, that lacks the real wide angle you are looking for and it is hard to get at the moment (at least over here in Europe). And it's a L-lens, that's the top of the Canon lens line and hence quite expensive. I don't dare giving you a recommendation for an all purpose zoom. May be, someone else can help with this question.
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Last edited by Rainer Hoffmann; December 16th, 2005 at 12:55 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 01:00 AM   #3
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Jeff,

I forgot to mention that the 10D/20D/Rebel have a 1.6 crop factor as compared to a 35mm frame due to the smaller chip size. Therefor the EF-S 10-22mm gives you the same field of view as a 16-35mm lens on a full frame camera. That's why Canon builds the EF-S line of lenses in the first place.

Keep that in mind when you are shopping for a wide angle lens for one of the above cameras.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 01:05 AM   #4
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Jeff,

I just read your original post again. If you go for the 10D then keep in mind that the EF-S lenses will not work with that camera. If you really want the extreme wide angle then you either have to buy the 20D/350D or invest in a full frame body like the 5D or 1Ds MkII (but I guess you don't want to spend that much money).
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Old December 16th, 2005, 01:37 AM   #5
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if there is no rush you should see tons of 20ds going cheap on ebay in couple of months as soon to be expected 30d is expected ...the 20d is nearing the end of its 18month life cycle....
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Old December 16th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #6
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If you can only get one lens, and can afford it, the Canon EF 28-135mm IS (Image stabilizing) lens is great. Everyone here suggested it to me when I was in the same boat as you, and now I'm passing it on. You can do a search for it on here, we talk about it alot. On a 10d or 350d camera it will have the range of 50-200mm (roughly) with the 1.6x crop factor. There are lots of used ones floating around too.

This of course depends on what you shoot though.... Mine is sandwiched in my bag between a 12-24mm and a 50-500mm for a nice range.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #7
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Check out www.nattress.net for a bunch of pictures. They're taken with the EF 50mm F1.4 prime - a very nice, sharp, fast, contrasty lens, the EF-S 17-85 IS, a nice quite general lens that comes with the 20D as part of the kit, and the EF 70-300mm IS DO which is a very expensive, but portable zoom, and very low chromatic aberation - lovely.

Check out http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/lenses.html and
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/

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Old December 16th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #8
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I am replying to all the very helpful posts in one swipe here

::I forgot to mention that the 10D/20D/Rebel have a 1.6 crop factor as compared to a 35mm frame due to the smaller chip size.::

Aw daaaaaaaangg.... So I practically need a 15mm fisheye EF to get anywhere near 25mm? If I go 10D I'll feel bummed out for buying EF lenses on it, but OTOH you all do not seem to mind.

:: If you really want the extreme wide angle then you either have to buy the 20D/350D....::
Maybe I'm obsessing over wide too much. It's just that in the video stuff I do it often seems essential. I assume that a 5.4mm XL lens will take a completely different picture then a hypothetical 5.4mm EF-S, since the sensors are incomparable?
Also what is full frame; a 35mm substitute or similar?

::if there is no rush you should see tons of 20ds going cheap on ebay in couple of months...::
That is a cool idea, but I need the camera for class in January :/ "Pre-loved" 10D's look like the best course. Thanks though!

::If you can only get one lens, and can afford it, the Canon EF 28-135mm IS (Image stabilizing) lens is great. ::
Thanks much, I will certainly consider it ^_^

::Check out www.nattress.net for a bunch of pictures.::
Awesome stuff and great lens info! Makes me wonder how many awesome pics I had to walk past, grr :}

Thanks a bunch for all the advice everyone, this is newbie stuff but it is really helping me out.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Miller
I am replying to all the very helpful posts in one swipe here

::I forgot to mention that the 10D/20D/Rebel have a 1.6 crop factor as compared to a 35mm frame due to the smaller chip size.::

Aw daaaaaaaangg.... So I practically need a 15mm fisheye EF to get anywhere near 25mm? If I go 10D I'll feel bummed out for buying EF lenses on it, but OTOH you all do not seem to mind.
You got it, but you don't need the fisheye, just a regular 15mm. Now you see why I have a 12-24mm. :)

On the other hand, if you like telephoto, a 50-500mm is 80-800mm....!
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