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08/14/2008 04:35:07 AM · #1
Hi, ive been studying photography for 1 year now but has been a passion of mine for much longer. I'm looking to invest in my first lens (im sick of the boring canon 18-55) and when I was working with a photographer not so long ago and he said "some people are focusing too much on the camera build for quality rather than a good quality lens" and went on to say how it's the type of glass you should look at. When it comes to image quality, what should i look at/for in a lens? Is there a certain type or order to the glass which makes it alot richer in image quality compared to other? Appreciate any feedback or discussion. Cheers!
08/14/2008 04:41:23 AM · #2
The lens is good when there is a red ring around it :D
08/14/2008 04:42:39 AM · #3
Originally posted by eyewave:

The lens is good when there is a red ring around it :D

and for your EOS mount, it's usually white coloured too ;)
08/14/2008 04:44:23 AM · #4
Originally posted by crayon:

Originally posted by eyewave:

The lens is good when there is a red ring around it :D

and for your EOS mount, it's usually white coloured too ;)


that depends...
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08/14/2008 05:01:57 AM · #5
Sure, Canon L-glass has great quality. And a price to match. That might be a quantum leap for someone coming from the kit lens. I would advise you to try the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II first. It is inexpensive and has great quality. You'll loose the flexibility of the zoom lense, but the reward in price-performance is huge.

More in general, if you are looking for a new lense, go check out some of the great review-sites on the web. I have a blog article linking to them.

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 05:02:47.
08/14/2008 05:03:06 AM · #6
so what exactly does the red or white ring symbolise?
and am i guessing eyewave isn't a fan of the 17-40? ^^
08/14/2008 05:04:05 AM · #7
Thanks alot camabs [:
08/14/2008 05:06:25 AM · #8
Originally posted by plims:

so what exactly does the red or white ring symbolise?
and am i guessing eyewave isn't a fan of the 17-40? ^^


All Canon's L ("Luxury") lenses have a red ring around them. The L-tele lenses (except for the 85, 135 and the 200 primes) are white (not the ring, the lens). I am guessing ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' eyewave is pretty fond of the 17-40, since his profile says he owns one. :)

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 05:07:29.
08/14/2008 05:09:47 AM · #9
Originally posted by plims:

so what exactly does the red or white ring symbolise?
and am i guessing eyewave isn't a fan of the 17-40? ^^


It's one of the best lenses I ever had.
The red ring is around Canons L-lenses, they are of a very strong build, are sealed better, work smoother and the glass and the lens construction are much better than in the regular Canon lenses (the 50mm/1.8 ain't bad, though and the 100mm/2,8 is even better).

The telephotos of Canons L-Series usually come in white (or light grey) instead of black
08/14/2008 07:08:25 AM · #10
The lens is good also when there is a Gold ring around it. It might not fit your camera though..... :)
08/14/2008 07:30:09 AM · #11
Tom, what kind of pictures do you want to take and what is your budget?
08/14/2008 08:08:26 AM · #12
In older lenses the L designation would sometimes mean Low Dispersion Glass, now adays most lenses have either LD glass or LD coatings. Also sometimes you would see an F designation which meant Flourite glass. Another thing to look at is the number of elements in the lense, generally higher performance lenses tend to have more elements than their elcheapo counterparts, additionally the optics tend to be somewhat larger as the quality of the lense increases.

Something to consider is purchasing some older MF lenses for your kit. This will help you become better at focusing and composing your shots while also letting you try out some long or short etc. lengths for very little money(i just got a 200-500 zoom for under $100) then once you know what you like you can save up for higher quality modern glass in the prime lengths that you will really use.

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 08:11:04.
08/14/2008 08:32:49 AM · #13
Originally posted by eyewave:

It's one of the best lenses I ever had.


I hardly ever use mine and don't know why.
08/14/2008 08:37:48 AM · #14
Originally posted by eyewave:

that depends...
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My next lens...<drool>
08/14/2008 10:32:24 AM · #15
Originally posted by mad_brewer:

Tom, what kind of pictures do you want to take and what is your budget?


live music, portraiture, promotional music, is deffinatley what i enjoy, but i also cover other areas such as macro (which i have an adapter for) and landscapes/long exps.

I like the look of the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II for its quality and very low price, considering i'm not totally prepared to invest alot atm, my budget is up to £200 which i know is pennys looking at half the gear out there (: i'd love to be able to find a nice sharp wide angle but reckon that'll take some saving.

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 10:34:05.
08/14/2008 10:37:57 AM · #16
make sure you get a lens thats whiteish rather then black. its higher quality. of course i dont own one cause they're too expensive, but if you're looking for quality aim high

maybe you should just save up til you have enough to get something really great

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 10:38:54.
08/14/2008 10:45:39 AM · #17
how much is that in u.s? lol! Anyways I agree with either the 50mm 1.8 or if you can spring it the 1.4. I know it is a little bit of a price jump but you wont ever need to upgrade it to a better 50mm.

It has faster and quieter focusing
Smoother bokeh
it doesn't feel like a toy

The downside is that apperently hitting the lense head on will make the lense cease to auto focus.I've had this happen twice now and it hasn't messed up the lense at all but as a precaution I'm getting the lense hood which will eliminate that worry.

From what I understand the 50mm 1.2L isn't enough better to up the price a hundred dollars let alone a thousand dollars. anyways the 50s are a great place to start looking. You are going to love the image quality difference.
08/14/2008 10:46:52 AM · #18
I was in your same situation. 2 days ago I recieved my new "professional grade" lens. Spent $1200..but boy am I happy!! It's incredible the difference it makes.. I was shooting with the same 3 "budget" lenses for a 2+ years.. I can't explain how excited I am about my new lens =) =)
08/14/2008 10:53:33 AM · #19
You can't go wrong with the Canon 50mm 1.8 at that price. If you want a slightly longer lens than the kit, the Tamron 28-75 does a great job and it also fits your budget.
08/14/2008 11:01:16 AM · #20
Thanks alot for the feedback everyone.
The one thing that i'd have to get used to with the 50mm 1.8 is that it's fixed focal and i rely on my zoom to properly focus, im sure I'd get the hang of it as I'm not a big fan of auto focus unless it's necessary.
08/14/2008 11:05:34 AM · #21
Originally posted by plims:

Thanks alot for the feedback everyone.
The one thing that i'd have to get used to with the 50mm 1.8 is that it's fixed focal and i rely on my zoom to properly focus, im sure I'd get the hang of it as I'm not a big fan of auto focus unless it's necessary.


you dont neccessarily need auto focus if its fixed focal length as far as i know. maybe im just confused as to what you are saying
08/14/2008 11:19:26 AM · #22
For example i want a certain tree or face to be in focus, so i zoom in, focus, then zoom out. I just think with fixed focus it'd be harder to ensure pin sharp focus. Maybe i've got a parculiar method :)
08/14/2008 11:30:24 AM · #23
Originally posted by plims:

For example i want a certain tree or face to be in focus, so i zoom in, focus, then zoom out. I just think with fixed focus it'd be harder to ensure pin sharp focus. Maybe i've got a parculiar method :)


I think you're getting fixed focus and focal length confused. Both the zoom and prime lenses have a focus ring, and you can set your focus to automatic and manual.

Edit: Try using the focus ring to focus instead of zooming and maybe you won't need a new lens after all, although the 50mm prime is still a great deal.

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 11:31:13.
08/14/2008 11:38:53 AM · #24
Deleted. :P

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 11:46:53.
08/14/2008 11:46:40 AM · #25
ye sorry i must've got somthing confused, lol. Basically a non zoom lens. I have always used this method of zooming into my subject and focusing (using the focal ring) to ensure perfect focus, and zooming out for a wider angle. It dosn't change the area of focus.

Message edited by author 2008-08-14 11:48:30.
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