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Photography Question 
Laura Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2003

Canon EOS 20D SLR

I can only buy one good camera to start my photo business. The Canon EOS 20D seems to be the top rated camera under $1400 (body only). I have an Nikon F100, a macro & telephoto lens, but I doubt they're compatible w/ the Canon. Which lens should I start with if I only get one? Is this a good camera to start with? Thanks. Laura

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2/12/2005 5:36:10 PM

Kenneth -. Rush   Laura:

I just bought my third digital SLR it is a Canon 20D. I plan to shoot this camera for two years or more. You haven't stated your intended subject matter, but for general shooting I would recommend the 17-85mm S lens. This is equivalent to the 28-135mm lens for a film camera.

Ken Rush

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2/12/2005 6:56:54 PM

Ed & Laura Ramsey
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/12/2005
  I too consider the 20D - seems like an excellent camera. You're right, Laura, your Nikon lenses won't work. I too think a good 28-135mm would be nice for general work.

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2/12/2005 8:33:07 PM

Laura Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2003
  Thanks for the tip Ken. I found this: Canon EOS 20D Digital Camera EF-S 18-55mm Kit for $1500. I may get that to start, then work my way into other lens. I'm assuming that this lens is chosen as a standard to go w/ this body. Or else I have to figure out which lens to use first. I don't know if I can use my SB 28 flash or not. I was hoping to use my Nikon F100 accessories. But, I think only Fuji makes a compatible digital body. Any other suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks ! :)

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2/12/2005 10:08:23 PM

Carlito Antioquia   canon eos 20d is a very nice camera,maybe blend it w/ 50 f1.4 prime lense makes it an 80mm lense due to 1.6 conversion,bokeh is pretty good.then get a 17-40 f4,24-70 f2.8,70-200 f2.8,then lastly 100-400 f4.5-5.6,this are all L series canon lense,for a start go w/ the prime

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2/12/2005 10:17:11 PM

Justin Keery   I can't speak for the camera, but (to my dismay) lens quality is also very important. I have an Eos 300D and although it has been rewarding for over a year now, there are clear limitations in terms of focus accuracy and ETTL flash metering. By all accounts the 20d addresses these concerns, and from all the results I've seen the quality is just generally higher. So looks like a great camera.

If you're on a budget, and you don't need a lens that goes toooo wide, then it's simple: TAMRON 28-75mm XR Di. This lens is just unbelievable - when I put it on my camera it's like a different animal. I also have the Tamron 17-35mm which is a better wideangle than the supplied Canon lens, but not as amazing as the 28-75mm. A lower budget wide lens (only $200) which looks extremely promising is the Tokina 19-35mm AT-X Pro.

My suggestions are:
- Get the Canon 20d
- Avoid the standard Canon lens
- Get a Tamron 28-75. It's just awesome, and some dealers offer this with a 20d body as a package.
- If you can afford it, add either the Tokina 19-35mm or the Tamron 17-35mm (if you need wideangle).
- No comment on telephoto, sorry.

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2/13/2005 2:10:38 AM

Carlito Antioquia   if you have the money,invest on L series lenses not the 3rd party lenses they are talking about,you might regret it in the future,get the 17-40 f4 L series for a me I have all the lenses except 24-70 f2.8,L series and im saving for it right now.your camera is canon,might as well match it with canon lenses.

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2/13/2005 5:49:13 AM

Laura Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2003
  Justin: This is great! That's what I need is suggestions on the basics.. the body, the starter lens. I have an SB 28 flash. Would this work w/ the Canon or do I have to get another flash as well? I'm not sure if I still have all the manuals. I have Nikkor lens, but they go w/ the F100. I don't think I can use them on this digital body. So... any flash suggestions? Thanks again ! Laura

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2/13/2005 10:45:39 AM

Justin Keery   First of all on lenses... The sigma 28-70mm is as good as a Canon "L" lens or the famous 50mm Canon prime, based on the opinions of two friends of mine who have owned both - and the results I have seen. I have had 3rd party lenses which are "just OK" - the Tamron 28-75 is just magical! The Canon 17-40L may have the edge (only just) over the Tamron 17-35, but the point I was trying to make is that if you want super quality but also want to save some money, my suggestions stand.

On flash, the problem is you need Canon - or compatible - flash. The word on the street is that the top of the range Sigma canon-compatible is very good indeed, and a lot cheaper than the Canon dedicated flashes. If you don't mind setting ISO speeds and apertures manually on the flashgun, you can get great results with an old-style auto flash (not TTL). This was too much hassle for me and I went for a Metz MZ-3, but the flash results are no better than a $10 Vivitar 5200 picked up on ebay - it's just easier to use. Canon flashes are great, and costly!

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2/13/2005 10:55:58 AM

Justin Keery   SORRY in my post above I mean the Tamron 28-75mm **not** Sigma 28-70. Dunno where that came from!

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2/13/2005 11:01:22 AM

Justin Keery   Me again... just to finish about flashes. When I mention a $10 Vivitar flash picked up on ebay... the point is that older "auto thyristor" flashes will work with ANY camera with a hotshoe flash fitting and manual exposure. The flash measures the light itself with a built-in photocell and under most conditions delivers good exposure every time - sometimes even perfect! After all, photographers used this kind of flash for about 20 years before digital came along.

My experience - plus that of many others - is that Canon's ETTL flash metering (as seen on the 300D) is so rubbish that this old style of flash works better.

The experience of my friend with the Canon 20D is that the ETTL2 system is far better and works just fine. So if you get a 20D and a Canon (or well-reviewed compatible) ETTL flash, you should be OK.

If you have the time to mess around with settings and want to save a LOT of money, a used old-skool Auto flash will work. I have taken all of my best flash photos with old Auto flash units - I'm still waiting to get a great flash photo with my newer flash!

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2/13/2005 11:07:42 AM

Justin Keery   YOUR NIKON FLASH WILL WORK - I think this is my last post. Your Nikon SB28 will work in non-TTL auto mode with the Canon 20D. You will have to set aperture and shutter manually on the camera, and select the ISO, zoom and aperture on the flash manually. If you come up with a standard formula you're happy with - and the flash will remember it - then this won't be too much hassle.

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2/13/2005 11:14:35 AM

Laura Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2003
  Thanks again Justin. This is a Huge help. I expect to offer general photography services & photograph mostly people.

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2/13/2005 1:32:20 PM

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