Lenses for Canon EOS Rebel XT

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Lenses for Canon EOS Rebel XT

Postby Walczak Photo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:20 am

Hey Folks,
Well, I did it last night...I ordered the new camera! I ordered a refurb'd Canon XT with a Tamron 28-80mm lens and 1 gig memory card. I wanted to get the XTi, but after several rounds of grey market and cameras that apparently only come in chinese and japanese, I decided to go with the refurbed USA model...hey, it's got a 90 USA warrenty and at least the bugger's in English! LOL!!!

Now, pending some auctions I have up now on Ebay (anyone want to buy a used/vintage sewing machine?), I'm going to look at getting at least one if not two more lenses (as well as some other accesories to be sure) and thus have a question; other then the mag factor due to the smaller sensor's, is there any problem or disadvantage to using the "non-digital" lenses with the Rebel XT? While I could be wrong here, accept for correcting the magnification factor, it seems to me that "digital" specific lenses are more of a marketing ploy then anything...am I wrong? I don't really think in terms of numbers anyways...for example having a 50mm lens that works like an 80mm lens because of the smaller imaging chip doesn't bother me in the least...not even a second thought really. Thoughts?

I certainly plan to get at least one more CF card (I'll probably end up getting (2) 2 gig cards on top of the 1 gig that comes withthe camera), I already know I'm going to want the infrared remote and the vertical battery grip as well. I'm also eyeballing a couple of spare batteries...I know I'm going to need those! LOL! I should be good on flashes for the moment...I have two older flashes and one newer one that I was using with my Sony as a slave. I already have filters out the wazoo so except for something specific or creative, I should be good there too. Any other accessories for this camera I should be thinking about?


For the moment at least, I'm eyeballing a couple of 70-300mm Sigma's on Ebay...I'm sure they're not the greatest glass, but they are affordable and would get me up and running until I can afford better. Comments? Suggestions?

Also, as long as I have the soap box here, any XT or XTi owners wish to give me any shooting or handling tips on this camera? I've already downloaded the owners manual and will be pouring thru it over the next two weeks until the camera arrives, but any practical advice or suggestions are always appreciated!
As always I'm most grateful for any and all comments and suggestions! Thankyou!

Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes,
Jim
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Postby bob_r » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:00 am

"I certainly plan to get at least one more CF card (I'll probably end up getting (2) 2 gig cards on top of the 1 gig that comes withthe camera), I already know I'm going to want the infrared remote and the vertical battery grip as well. I'm also eyeballing a couple of spare batteries...I know I'm going to need those! LOL! I should be good on flashes for the moment...I have two older flashes and one newer one that I was using with my Sony as a slave. I already have filters out the wazoo so except for something specific or creative, I should be good there too. Any other accessories for this camera I should be thinking about? "

Jim,

I have the Canon 30D rather than the Rebel, but they're very similar. The CF card upgrade depends on how you intend to shoot. If you're going to shoot in raw format, you will need to upgrade the CF cards, however, the 1 gig would probably be adequate for a while if you shoot jpeg.

I have a spare battery for mine, but have yet to actually use it during a day of shooting. The batteries seem to keep their charge for a long time, so I would pass on the battery grip and use that money for better glass.

I'm not familiar with the Sigma 70-300 but have a Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 and it produces outstanding images. It also has IS which really helps in lower light situations. Here are a couple of sample shots using the Canon:

Image

Settings for the Gorrilla shot - 1/250s f/5.0 190mm ISO 1000

Image

Settings: 1/60s f/5.6 300mm ISO 200

Image

Settings: 1/125s f/4 70mm ISO 100

The older lenses and flash units will probably work on the camera, but I doubt that you will have any automatic functions work with them. You will probably have to set everything manually. This may not be a big issue for most settings, but I'd hate to lose AF.

Good luck with the new camera and we expect some pics to be posted.

Bob R

Jim,

I forgot to mention that you can find a lot of used equipment at:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/
You will have to create a login account to access the buy and sell forum, but that's no big deal. I've sold a number of lenses there and had no problems at all.

I have probably posted this site before, but you can get some very in depth lens reviews here:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

Hope this helps,
Bob
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Postby Walczak Photo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:29 am

Hey Bob,
As always, thanks for the great info! I keep forgetting about FredMiranda.com....gotta check them out. I've been toying with selling some of my older Canon 35mm stuff, but I know I won't get crap for the stuff on Ebay...FredMiranda may be worth a second thought there :-).

On the battery grip....actually I think that's going to end up being a "must have" for me...not so much because of the extra battery juice, but because of the vertical mount. I shoot -a lot- of portrait pics and I have a sneakin suspician that the vertical grip might make my life a little easier with the new camera. I am glad to hear about the battery life on those NB-2LH batteries (I'm assuming that's what your 30D uses as well). Battery life is a biggy for me...I've seen way to many folks (amature's I sure) at various places where I shoot, like that Bird's of Prey Photo Day, walking around with a scoul on their face because their batteries went dead! LOL!!! With my Sony and my Olympus (which I just sold), it was no biggy...if my batteries went dead and I didn't have any spare rechargables, I could just stop off and pick up a pack of Duricells or Energizers since both cameras use AA's. These propriatary batteries though...we'll see what happens. I tend to shoot -A LOT- of pictures when I'm out and about...when I did my squirrel shoot in the Cleveland MetroParks, I was literally averaging about 100 shots per hour! When I go to someplace like a zoo or a nature center, it's not uncommon for me to shoot 300-400 easily...that usually adds up to a lot of battery juice. I'm sure at some point or other, I'll probably pick up a spare or two anyways, for peace of mind if nothing else.

I'm not too worried about image stabilization on lenses...my old Canon 35mm never had IS and I've never been totally convinced the IS on my Sony H1 even works. If a given lens has it, groovy, but it's actually not a huge selling point for me at this time, but we'll see what the future holds there.

I agree with you on the memory card thing...I probably will be shooting mostly JPEG and not RAW. I'll probably do a few RAW's just to see how much of an advantage it is, but honestly, I've never had any problems with shooting JPEG. Not to be insulting to anyone, but to me RAW really seems to be a "cheat" for folks who don't really know how to get the shot right the first time! LOL!!! I'm sure it is a very powerful tool in a photographer's arsenal, but it really seems like lots of folks rely on it just a little too much...I'd rather get the picture right when I'm taking it rather then trying to fix it later....where possible :-).

I love your shots there...I think I've seen your gorilla shot before. I've been trying to shoot the snow leapards at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo now on and off for about two years...have yet to come up with an acceptable image. Your Panda shot....where did you take that at? I would -love- to shoot panda's, but the closest are at the Cincinatti Zoo...about a 4 hour drive from here, so it's probably not going to happen any time soon.

Since I got the "package deal" on the camera, as soon as it arrives, you can bet I'm going to get out shooting with it. I'm hoping the camera will get here before the end of the Smoky Mountains exibit that I've been talking about ends...I really want to take another crack at those bear cubs! I will certainly be posting pics for review as soon as they start rolling off the new camera.

Alrighty, again thanks for the great advice! I'm sure as soon as the camera gets here, I'm gonna have a TON of questions! LOL!!!

Bright Blessings,
Jim
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Postby bob_r » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:53 am

Jim,

I may have spoke too soon about the batteries, because the 30D uses the BP511 batteries. I always carry a spare, but have never needed it, even when spending a day at the zoo. BTW, the panda was shot at the Memphis zoo.

After writing my first response, I checked the Photozone review of the Sigma lens that you had mentioned. It didn't get a very good review because the center portions of the images it creates are sharp, but the corners are very soft. The Canon lens I named is not the DO version which is a lot more expensive than the one I have.

Since I got the 100-400mm, I rarely use the 70-300mm. I will take it rather than the 100-400mm if I'm going somewhere that I expect to be crowded or walking a long time. I love the additional range of the 100-400mm, but it is a lot heavier.

I used to have a number of Sigma lenses, but have sold them all except the 150mm macro lens. I really like that lens, but have gone back to Canon for everything else. Besides the lenses I mentioned above, I also have a Canon 28-135 that I use for a walk around lens, a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 that I bought for taking shots at indoor equestrian events where a flash is not allowed and a 17-55mm that I currently use for a wide angle and portrait lens. The 17-55 is probably the sharpest lens I own.

The only 2 lenses that I'd like to add to my arsenal now are the Canon 10-22mm and either a 500mm or 600mm telephoto. I plan on getting the wide angle this year, but the telephoto is going to have to wait a while.

Bob R
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adjusting aperture on the Rebel XT...

Postby Walczak Photo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:15 am

Bob (or anyone for that matter)...
Just had another question pop into my head here...

In the "old days" of my Canon FTb 35mm, to adjust the aperture, I turned the ring on the camera lens, regardless of which lens I used, that was marked aperture or f/stop. I.e., if I wanted to stop a lens down to f/4.5 for example, I would turn the little ring on the lens to change the f/stop. Now on my newer digitals...an Olympus C-4000 P&S and a Sony H1 EVF, I changed the f/stop with controls on the camera, not the lens. On the Rebel XT (EOS 350D), do I have to change these settings on the camera or the lens...or both?

I'm sure that's a dumb question and I'm sure I'll find out for sure when I get the camera, but I'm trying to get a grasp on the basics before the camera arrives :-).

Thanks!
Jim
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Postby hw771230 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:09 pm

Jim

I shoot with a D70, but I might have some insight for you. The aperture adjust is on camera and is very easy to use. I don't know for sure but that camera should hav a depth of field button as well which you will have to use to check what is in focus and what is not, unlike the older 35mm.

CF card. Like Bob said, you probably will not have a problem if you shoot JPEG you should easily fit a couple hundred on a 1g card. I think you will want more space if you start shooting RAW though. I can only get about 150 on my 1g CF.

I use the Sigma 70-300 and it is an OK lens. I have a couple thousand pictures taken with it. The key is to keep the shutter speed up and try not to use it wide open. Like Bob said it does tend to be soft on the edges, especially f/8 and lower. That said it was a decent buy for me. I would recomend a better lens if you can afford it though. Here is one taken with that lens.

Image

Taken at 300mm f6.3

Hope you enjoy the camera. I'm looking forward to some new pictures.

Caleb
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Postby bob_r » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:25 pm

Jim,

You can actually set the camera to have aperture priority or speed priority. You adjust one and the camera calculates the other. Also, on some zooms, even though you have the camera set to aperture priority and set it say to f/4, the lens may not support that speed throughout the zoom range, so the aperture will correct to whatever the lens supports. The speed wil then be calculated correctly.

Unless I'm shooting some type of action or night shot, I normally leave the camera set for aperture priority. This allows me to set the DOF (and as Caleb said, there is a DOF preview button (at least there is on mine)) and the camera will set the speed. The camera has a lot of automatic settings too or you can set it to manual and set everything yourself.

Caleb, that shot looks pretty good. It's hard to tell about the edges with the shallow DOF. I believe Photozone even mentioned using that setup to reduce the softness at the edges.

Bob R
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Postby Walczak Photo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:57 pm

Thanks for the info guys...much appreciated!

Yea, the XT does have a DOF preview button...I saw that in the owners manual. I've never really been able to judge DOF very well on my Sony (or the Olympus for that matter), so it'll be a nice feature to have. I usually tend to shoot with a really shallow DOF, but even if I don't have it exactly right, that's one that's pretty easy for me to fix in Photoshop :-).

Caleb...
You've sold me on the Sigma...that quala pic is beautiful! I know I've seen a couple of reviews that said the APO version of the lens is signifigantly better, but if I can pull out pics compaired to the one you posted, I'll be happy for a while until I can afford better. I'm already eyeballin' a Sigma 50-500 f/4, but it's gonna be a while before I have tha kind of bread again. I'm not really too worried about the 70-300 being a little soft around the edges...again I usually shoot with a really shallow DOF for most of my stuff anyways and any kind of landscape or sunsets etc., where I'd want a nice sharp consistant focus across the whole image, I probably wouldn't be using the 70-300 for anyways.

Bob...
With my Sony at least, yes, I also shoot in Aperature Priority mode most of the time as well. If nothing else, in some cases I'll shoot a few "test shots" in AP, review them, then use the best settings and switch the camera over to full manual so I don't get inconsistancies in the metering (thats what I did with those coyote pics)...kind of a make-shift light meter if you will (LOL!). Honestly, I don't think I've ever used any of the "scene modes" on either of my digitals...I guess that really just carries over from my old manual 35mm days.

I'm sure there's going to be a lot of experimenting and trial & error, but that's why I wanted to get the camera now instead of waiting until June....oh...I don't think I mentioned this yet...I'm shooting my first wedding the first week of June! I'm doing it more or less as a freebie...build up the portfolio and such, but I didn't want to go into this with just my Sony H1. This way I'll have a couple of months of working with the camera to get used to how it works and all and when the wedding comes, I can concentrate on just "being a photographer".

Ok guys...again much thanks for the info! I'm sure there's going to be plenty more questions to come! LOL!

Bright Blessings,
Jim
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Postby bob_r » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:22 pm

Jim,

Another lens that you might consider is the Quantaray 70-300. Wolf/Ritz camera has it for $150.
http://www.wolfcamera.com/product/251666103.htm

My son has one and he gets pretty good results with his. It's not as sharp as my Canon, but it's not bad either. It's also a macro lens. Here's a link to my son's web site with a review of the lens and some sample pics:

http://www.uofmtiger.com/Quantaray%20-%2070-300mm.html

Bob R
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Postby hw771230 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:44 pm

Jim,

A word of warning. I'm sure you are used to shooting with the IS turned on with the H1. You will not have that with the Cannon and the 70-300, unless you go with the Cannon IS. You just have to keep the shutter speed up. I try for minimum 1/250, especially hand held. With a tripod and remote you can really extend that but expect a bunch of blurry pictures because of animal movement.

Thanks, I like that one too.

Enjoy the shooting,

Caleb
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Postby Walczak Photo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:49 pm

Hey Bob,
Yes, actually I have an older Ritz catalog and was looking at the Quantaray lenses but I've been rather leary as I've had a number of bad experiences with Ritz camera...I don't generally do business with them any more. Granted, most of the problems I've had have been with their employees and not their actual merchandise. One of their "lab techs" proceeded to inform me that it was "impossible to do 8x10's from only a 4 or 5 megapixel camera" (yes, those were his exact words). One of their sales people told me that JPEGs degrade simply by opening the file and viewing it (like with a web browser) and yet another of their people tried to tell me that their prints were actual photos and not inkjet or sub-dye's even though they had no actual photo processing equipment at that particular store...when I asked why my pics came out all streaked, the guy just walked away from me. There have been other incidents as well...their processing equipment has totally butchered a few of my photos (I'm sorry, but Kangaroo's are NOT supposed to be green! LOL!)...and they charged me for the photos anyways. I've really only been able to draw two conclusions; either their sales people are completely ignorant and/or very poorly trained or they are simply shiesters trying to con people into buying high end equipment so they can make a higher commision. I can over-look some things as I realize people (including myself) do make mistakes, but this has happened to me all to frequently with Ritz...it's hard to trust a company that employs people of that low a caliber if you get my drift. I can only be screwed and lied to so many times before I take my business elsewhere...

(sorry about that little vent)

Either way, I will certainly keep your suggestion in mind and I'll look at you sons pics a little later when I'm more awake and can actually focus my eyes! LOL!!! I've seen a few Quantaray lenses on Ebay going for cheap, so it's not totally out of the question. Just curious...any idea who actually makes the Quantaray lenses? I'm sure it's a safe bet that Ritz/Wolfe doesn't actually manufacture their own gear.

Bright Blessings,
Jim
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Postby Walczak Photo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:55 pm

Ok...next question about the Rebel XT...

Shutter speed/control...
I'm reading thru the specs and I see that the Rebel XT has a maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds. Is there a way to over-ride that? On my old Canon FTb, I can attach a cable release and for all intensive purposes, open the shutter via the cable, lock the cable and leave the shutter open indefinatly. Is there a way to do this (perhaps via remote) on the Rebel XT? The reason I'm asking is that aside from the stuff I already do photography-wise, I'm also an amature astronomer and have an interest in astrophotography...i.e. some really long exposures...sometimes as long as an hour or more. I'm pretty sure it's possible with the 20D and I know that Canon makes a special version of the 20D specifically for astrophotography....is this possible with the Rebel and if so, how?

Mondo thanks!
Jim
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Postby bob_r » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:56 pm

Jim,

I don't know who manufacturers the Quantaray lenses. I'm not a big fan of Wolf/Ritz either, simply because they are normally $100 more than other camera stores on their lens prices. I've never used them for printing and anytime I've been there looking for a specific item, they didn't have it. They always said they could order it, but why would I want them to order it when I can do that and get a much better price than they offer?

As for my son's lens, even he questions whether his was a manufacturing fluke because of the quality of the pics he gets with it. The reviewers have not normally been kind to that lens either. The price is attractive and I'm sure it could be returned if the quality were not acceptable.

Bob R
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Postby hw771230 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:01 pm

Jim,

It looks like you can use the bulb mode and a release cable to get exposures longer that 30 sec. The info is in here, pretty far down and very concise.

http://www.astropix.com/wp/2006/10/06/c ... l-cameras/

Hope this helps,

Caleb
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Postby bob_r » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:13 am

Caleb,

That is correct about the "bulb" setting. The nightscape pictures I posted under landscapes were taken with the "bulb" setting. Canon's remote switch has a lock on it, so you can just click the shot, slide the switch to the lock setting and come back later to release it.

Bob R
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