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Photography Question 

What Type of Lens to Buy?

Hello all, my name is Mike and I am relatively new to the world of SLR photography. After a bit of research, I recently purchased my first SLR camera, the Canon EOS Rebel G. The camera came with a 35-80mm lens, but I have been told this is not the best lens. Iím looking for some advice on a better lens to buy thatís not overly expensive but will still help me get the most out of my purchase. Any thoughts will really help and be greatly appreciated.

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3/21/2003 1:26:10 PM

Judith A. Clark   Mike, what are you planing to shoot? If you are new and just shoot family snap shots, this lens will be fine. I have a 70-300mm lens that I have only used twice. I shoot portraits mostly and use my 50mm lens more then anything. If you plan on shooting landscapes you may need a wide angle lens. Need more info to fully answer this question.

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3/23/2003 4:25:54 AM

Mike    Judith,
Thanks for your response. In answer to your inquiries, Iím not really sure what I will shoot. I think Iím leaving that open to what ever strikes me as interesting, but I feel that I am leaning more towards photographing nature. I plan on taking a local photography workshop this summer. I guess I am just looking for advice on a good all-around second lens to purchase that will accompany the one I already have. Thanks again.

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3/24/2003 8:02:23 AM

Judith A. Clark   This is just a suggestion from a fellow amature. I would go with a wide angle for landscapes, and a good long lens for wildlife. The few times I have used my 70-300mm lens has been for a shot of a butterfly for a class ( looks like I'm sitting on top of it) a few deer, and some shots of sail boats on the near by lake. I love the shots I've taken with it I just don't have much time alone to shoot these kind of shots. I will however by a long zoom lens to fit my digital soon. I also would love a fish-eye lens to play with, but its not in my budget right now.

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3/25/2003 7:06:55 AM

Ray    Mike, I was in the same boat as you. I bought the same camera and had no specific subject to shoot. However I have always gone toward the nature shots simply because it is always available. I did buy an 80-200 Canon lens recently but I am wishing I bought the wide angle first. As Judith said, they are great for landscape shots and I could have used the wide angle on a recent trip. I started shooting with a Canon AE-1 that was givien to me so the Rebel is a Godsend.

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3/25/2003 4:46:54 PM

Mike    Thanks guys. I really appreciate your advice. I think I will look into purchasing a wide angle lens.

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3/26/2003 7:04:16 AM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
For about $270 I would recommend the Tamron 28-200/3.5-5.6 Asph. XR IF Macro. It is of moderate wide angle and zoom but much more lighter and shorter than its older version. I had it on my Rebel 1000Fn. Just make sure you get the one for Canon EOS system.

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3/26/2003 8:14:49 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Originally, one purchased a "normal" lens with a 35mm SLR body. Normal, in this case, means close to what the human eye perceives. Typically, the focal length of such lenses ranged from 45-55mm dependent on manufacturer. Then came wide angel and telephoto lenses - then ZOOMs.

Since zoom lenses offer a little more to a lot of versatility, some manufacturers and, certainly, camera dealers began offering "kits." The 35-80 tele may be representative. However, I've always felt that this range and even the 28-70 mm range frequently offered is too limiting. I'd rather stick to the normal lens.

But, years ago I bought a Vivitar Series 1, 70-210mm, F/3.5 zoom and complemented it with the Series 1, 28-90mm vari-f/2/8. Now that was a companion set for my Minolta SRT 201.

Now I'm using Canon EOS camera; I've got the Canon 35-105mm and Canon 70-210 mm. I also have the first Tamron 28-200mm and the Tamron 200-400mm. So, what should you buy?

First, buy the best you can afford!! But, don't believe necessarily that camera makers make the best lenses. There's a lot of debate here but, in fact, many reviewers panned Canon's 28-200mm zoom.

Then, think about what kind of shots you're interested in. People - go for something that will allow you a 90 mm focal length [for portraits]. Landscapes - go for a wider angle. If you're into nature, a longer focal length [200 mm].

The answer above dewcribes the current Tamron lens. It didn't get the same "good" reviews as my older version, but, it was reviewed as poorly as the Canon. Tamron's 28-300 mm did much better.

The 28-200 mm range, however, gives you the best of all worlds. It just forces you to more frequently used higher speed films unless you use a tripod.

I hope this provides a little better insight.

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4/4/2003 10:55:37 AM

Celia    I am only an amateur myself, but I'd buy the best and fastest fixed 50mm lens I could get. Then shoot everything in sight until you are very familiar with your new camera. I think fixed 50mm lenses are underrated but they are quite versatile once you get used to them. They also teach you to 'see' and work with limitations, if it can be called 'limitations.'

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4/8/2003 5:47:27 PM

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