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  1. #1
    Member
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    Aug 2004
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    Help with lenses

    Hello all. I'm having a little trouble grasping the concept about lens types, and am wondering if one of you nice folks could shed some light on this for me. I'm too embarassed to bring this up in a camera store.

    When I bought my Canon Digital Rebel (SLR) a year ago, it came with the stock lens (18-55mm), and I also bought a Sigma lens kit consisting of a telephoto (70-300mm) and a lens pretty close to the stock Canon, which is 28-90mm.

    I've almost never used the Sigma 28-90mm, since it seems that the stock Canon lens does nearly the same thing, except it doesn't zoom in quite as far and has a macro setting. For everything else I use the 300mm telephoto.
    I've taken thousands of photos with the stock Canon lens, and have gotten pretty comfortable with it. I've never given much thought to upgrading my lens.

    Well, today I had a friend show me a new lens he bought. The folks at the camera store told him that it would take in more light, and allow for a wider angle. The lens was 28-300mm. Unless I'm overlooking something obvious, it would seem that the lower the mm, the wider the angle... the higher the mm, the more you can zoom in. Am I wrong?
    If my thinking is correct, wouldn't the stock lens that came with the camera be the wider angle of the two?

    I love taking outdoor photography and would like to get better. I've just assumed since the camera is only 6.3mpx, spendier lenses would just be a waste of money.

    My question is this: If I had the 28-300mm lens, would that be able to replace my other three lenses? Is there anything really THAT different between the stock Canon lens and the 28-90mm Sigma lens that I'm not seeing?
    If I was to upgrade my lens, would there really be a noticeable difference? What about taking in more light? Would a larger lens help? Would it help image clarity at all?

    Any advice is much appreciated.
    Thanks, Chuck
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    Ghost
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Crystal Lake, IL
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    Re: Help with lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckmoser
    Hello all. I'm having a little trouble grasping the concept about lens types, and am wondering if one of you nice folks could shed some light on this for me. I'm too embarassed to bring this up in a camera store.

    When I bought my Canon Digital Rebel (SLR) a year ago, it came with the stock lens (18-55mm), and I also bought a Sigma lens kit consisting of a telephoto (70-300mm) and a lens pretty close to the stock Canon, which is 28-90mm.

    I've almost never used the Sigma 28-90mm, since it seems that the stock Canon lens does nearly the same thing, except it doesn't zoom in quite as far and has a macro setting. For everything else I use the 300mm telephoto.
    I've taken thousands of photos with the stock Canon lens, and have gotten pretty comfortable with it. I've never given much thought to upgrading my lens.

    Well, today I had a friend show me a new lens he bought. The folks at the camera store told him that it would take in more light, and allow for a wider angle. The lens was 28-300mm. Unless I'm overlooking something obvious, it would seem that the lower the mm, the wider the angle... the higher the mm, the more you can zoom in. Am I wrong?
    If my thinking is correct, wouldn't the stock lens that came with the camera be the wider angle of the two?
    You are correct about everything you said up to this point. 18mm is much wider than 28mm. Also, while it's convenient to have a single lens that covers the 28-300 focal length I can almost guarantee you that the optical quality of that 28-300 lens is MUCH worse than that of your other lenses. I try to tell anyone I know to avoid them unless they really want the convenience as a trade off for quality. Some people might not even notice initially but I'm not lying when I tell you that they eventually do notice the lack of sharpness.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckmoser
    I love taking outdoor photography and would like to get better. I've just assumed since the camera is only 6.3mpx, spendier lenses would just be a waste of money.

    My question is this: If I had the 28-300mm lens, would that be able to replace my other three lenses? Is there anything really THAT different between the stock Canon lens and the 28-90mm Sigma lens that I'm not seeing?
    If I was to upgrade my lens, would there really be a noticeable difference? What about taking in more light? Would a larger lens help? Would it help image clarity at all?

    Any advice is much appreciated.
    Thanks, Chuck
    Honestly, I told you my opinion about the 28-300; which is AVOID it. But you're probably right about the 28-90 not doing much for you. If you find that you never use the 28-90 and only use the 18-55 and 75-300 then you've pretty much answered your own question and there's no need to understand focal lengths and what not. If you don't use it you don't need it. People get stuck on the idea that you should have something to cover all focal lengths and with no gaps in coverage. Generally, it's sound advice but it's NOT necessary. For example, I carry 20-35mm, 50mm, 90mm, and 70-200mm lenses for a typical shooting event. There's quite a few gaps in focal length isn't there? I'm not concerned because for me it's a matter of shooting style. As far as I'm concerned, by walking back and forth five feet or so my 50mm covers a range of 40-80 pretty darn well. Same thing goes with ALL my lenses. So don't let any salesmen or person try to tell you that you shouldn't have any gps in focal length. You'll know simply by using your gear whether the gaps you have matter or not. And according to what you've stated, they don't matter.

    It sounds to me like you're happy with what you have but you're thinking that one lens can take the place of two. Well, I think you're in a better position with those two lenses that you use than the person with the single 28-300.

    My advice, sell the 28-90 and buy a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 prime lens. This will be the highest optical quality lens you own and you will likely be amazed at the sharpness and versatility of the lens. Sure, it's in the same focal length as a lens you already own but the quality is far superior and it's performance in low light will be a HUGE benefit to many shooting situations. Plus, the f/1.8 version of the lens is VERY cheap. I think it's less than $100 if you buy it online.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Member
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    Aug 2004
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    Re: Help with lenses

    Wow. Thanks so much. That clears it up for me.
    I knew there must be a trade-off, or everyone would have just one huge lens.
    Quality is super important to me, so it looks like I'll be sticking with my two lenses for right now. Anything I can do to squeeze a little more light out of my 50mm is worth it... I think I'll pick one up today.

    Thanks again for the detailed response. It's much appreciated.

    -Chuck
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

  4. #4
    Nikon Samurai #14 DownByFive's Avatar
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    Re: Help with lenses

    I was going to say the same thing as Trevor...I have an 18-70 and a 75-300, and it's perfect. My next lens will definitely be the 50 f/1.8. In the future, I might replace the 75-300 with a 70-200 f/2.8. I think the 28-300s are only for people who have to travel extremely light, and can't bring along extra lenses.


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