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Photography Question 

one 28-300 zoom or separate lenses

I am getting ready to purchase a new SLR (leaning towards Cannon T2) I currently have 2 fully manual SLR cameras and want to upgrade to an auto/manual camera. My question is this: Would I benefit by purchasing a Quantaray 28-300 zoom lens, which would cost me @ $370, or would it be wiser to purchase seperate lenses to cover this range. I have heard zoom lenses with this range, although more economical sacrifice quality on the longer end of the range.

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2/11/2006 6:44:03 PM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  welcome kevin,
i hope your manual cameras are cannon, and they are older and have the same mount.and it is really hard to believe
you don't already have some lenses.
espically the?

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2/11/2006 7:58:58 PM

Kevin    my camera's are not cannon, one is a ricoh xr-10m and the other an old sears camera both which are k-mount cameras. I do have a standard 50mm and a 28mm wide angle lens. - I had a zoom lens but for some reason I can't adjust the f-stop anymore. Like I said I am trying to upgrade to automatic equipment and I have heard from many that cannon is a very good brand that is fairly easy to master.

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2/11/2006 8:39:52 PM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  all cameras are easy to master.
and quality does degrade at longer focal lenghts.
anyway,get the camera first and worry about the lens later.
and sigma and tamron do make great lenses.

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2/11/2006 9:06:23 PM

Bob Fately   Kevin, to answer your question: maybe. That is, maybe it would be wiser to buy a couple of primes or short zooms rather than the single 28-300. There are a few things to consider, though:

Having a single "all in one" zoom on a digital camera can have one advantage - less likelihood of you removing and replacing the lens, meaning less likelihood of you getting dust on the sensor. It's still possible to get dust in there anyway (the zooming function of some lenses creates air pressure differences that can sometimes suck in dust) but odds are less.

However, like everything else in life, lenses are compromises. The optical quality of a 28-300 zoom is liely to be less than from shorter zooms or prime (i.e. - non-zoom) lenses. In addition, if you were to get a few primes, at least one or two of them could be appreciably faster (wider maximum apertures) than the one zoom. And actually, Quantary (the Ritz store brand) is not high on anyone's list of outstanding lenses in the first place - Tamron, Sigma or Tokina (all, I believe, who offer 28-300's) are considered a bit better.

In the final analysis, you need to weight all this against what you plan to do. Macro shots? Probably want a sharper lens designed for close-ups. Sports? Maybe a faster dedicated telephoto (or telephoto zoom). Head-and-shoulder portraiture? Perhaps a 50MM f1.8.

Just stuff to consider...

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2/12/2006 4:46:01 AM

Kevin    thank you both for your input. I will definately take your advise into consideration when buying my new equip.
P.S. - I have recently uploaded a couple of my pictures into my free gallery - any comments would be much appreciated.

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2/12/2006 6:50:21 AM

Tom Walker   I have a Ricoh XRP, half a dozen program modes plus manual, 2 speed self timer and built in intervalometer, and isnt your 10m aperture prefered auto?

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2/12/2006 7:17:34 AM

George Anderson   "The optical quality of a 28-300 zoom is likely to be less than from shorter zooms or prime (i.e. - non-zoom) lenses."

Likely, nothing. It WILL be a poorer lens, optically speaking, than a couple of good prime/fixed focal length lenses, or even a nice moderate range zoom from any one of the major manufacturers. None of the superzooms I've ever tried, with the possible exception of the old Kiron 28-105 and 28-200, could come close to matching a top prime lens at any designated focal length, long, short, or in the middle. I'm not impressed with the Tamron, Tokina or Sigma superzooms either, but as Bob says, the Quantaray isn't even at the top of that list. (And Ritz was pushing wide-coverage zooms back in the '80s, so I see nothing's changed).
If you are traveling and taking snapshots, the superzoom might be a handy convenience. I have heard of a few photographers using these lenses when undertaking a project where image quality and lens speed are not a factor. But those seeking to solve all their lens problems with a single purchase is usually disappointed. There's a good reason why that interchangeable lens mount is on the camera.

Note that the superzoom will probably be a much dimmer and slower lens as well over its focal range, forcing you to use faster ISO speeds, also resulting in less optimal images.

If I were you I would probably think out your future needs a bit more before investing heavily (locking yourself into) any one SLR camera system. That includes any future desires in certain features of camera bodies, and quality of lenses offered in your desired focal length (very few manufacturers have uniformly outstanding lenses in each focal length). The lens is the MOST important part of the camera.

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2/12/2006 9:30:40 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I think you would like that Canon EOS Rebel T2 that you mentioned. I have a Rebel GII which is a little older but still very similar. I enjoy using it for my photo classes shooting black and white film and, in the past, slide film.

If you are looking to take photos as snapshots or so, like if you're capturing memories, the 28-300 might be alright, but you would probably have to use at least ISO 400 film, possibly even 800 for when it's a little dimmer. Again, the quality wouldn't be as good as single-focal length lenses (primes), especially at the extremes like the wide end and the telephoto end (long end). Like I said, if you're just taking snapshots or memory shots at events, the 28-300 mights do you well if you don't want to carry around too many other lenses.

If you're more into better images, when I got my Rebel GII as my first SLR I had the regular kit zoom that was 35-80mm. Then I saved some money and got the 80-200 which was around $140 but not the best quality. Decent though. Then, later I got the 50mm f/1.8 that that felt a lot better and I used it almost exclusively unless I had a special need. So, I would suggest that you'd go for that 50mm f/1.8. You can get it new for under $90. Then, later you could get some better zoom lenses.


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2/23/2006 5:37:41 PM

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