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Canon 20D - What lens should I purchase? Really Need HELP!!!

by gattaca1007 / January 25, 2006 12:27 PM PST

Hello All,

I am new to Cnet and I need your help. I purchased a Canon 20D not to long ago and I am looking to purchase a new lens. However, as many of you know there are a whole host of lenses that Canon offers. Are there any good sites out there that compare the different lenses offered by Canon? What would be a good all purpose lens? I was thinking of purchasing the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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The 24-70mm f2.8L seems like a better all around lense.
by Kiddpeat / January 25, 2006 12:47 PM PST

It won't pull stuff in very well, but is good for wide angle and shorter distances which is probably where most of the shooting is.

I would look for reviews on the 70-300. It is, I think, a fairly new lense.

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You'll need 3 ranges of zoom lenses.
by jump1127 / January 25, 2006 4:21 PM PST

You'll soon need 3 ranges of lenses.
1. wide-angle, such as 10-22 EFS,17-40 F4L
2. normal zoom, such as 28-135 USM or 24-70F2.8L
3. telephoto zoom, such as 70-200 F2.8L, 70-300 USM.

Don't haste and purchase all the lenses at once. Figure out what you really need firstly, and buy the next lense when your budget allows. Good luck.

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re: which lens is best for portraits
by gattaca1007 / January 25, 2006 7:53 PM PST

If I plan on mainly shooting portraits at the current time. I believe I should invest in a normal zoom lens, such as 28-135 USM?

Thank you for all your help jump.

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Portraits are probably best handled by a 50mm
by Kiddpeat / January 25, 2006 8:42 PM PST

lense. Perhaps, even the 100mm macro lense. You certainly don't need the 28-135mm.

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re: portraits
by gattaca1007 / January 26, 2006 3:30 AM PST

Ok, but I would still like to have versatility. I mean if I go to a sporting event will I be ok with the 135mm?

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Snapshot has published some good picts taken, as I recall,
by Kiddpeat / January 26, 2006 10:52 AM PST
In reply to: re: portraits

with a 50mm. It's a matter of being close enough with a good flash.

Personally, I don't think a 135mm will be enough for a sporting event. I'ld want at least a 70-200mm f2.8L. That's why you're buying an SLR. Different lenses are optimum for different purposes.

The intermediate zooms like the 135mm are good all around lenses for short range work where a combination of wide angle and moderate zoom is useful. They are not necessarily the best answer for specific applications like portraits or sports events. You have to decide what your initial use of the camera will emphasize.

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re: best lens for portraits
by gattaca1007 / January 26, 2006 7:51 PM PST

Thank you for your response Kiddpeat. I think currently I need a lens to take portraits, more specifically pictures of models at car shows. I currently own the 18-55mm lens that came with the Canon 20D. I sometimes also shoot volleyball events and so I was looking for a new lens that would allow be to shoot both types of events. I am hoping this new information will lead to some specific lens recommendations.

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My guess is that the intermediate range zooms will probably
by Kiddpeat / January 27, 2006 12:26 AM PST

perform best for you as long as you realize that they aren't going to give you telephoto performance. The 28-135 is tempting, but I'm stopped when I see the low price. You need to look at reviews on that one. My own preference these days is 'L' lenses, and it looks like the 24-70mm f2.8L is probably the best fit for what you describe. Canon has a new 24-105mm f4L which is also stabilized. It is not as fast as the 2.8, but would be a good possibility. Look at the reviews, and get something better than the kit lense.

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What good for portrait.
by jump1127 / January 26, 2006 1:31 PM PST

It depends whether what kind of portrait you 'll shoot, for instance, whole body or waist-up type. The 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.8 USM lenses are both good for portrait, especially 20D despite the 1.6 multiple. Since I moved to 5D, my preference is 135 mm F2L. These fixed lenses provide the better quality of shooting picture.

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re: how important is buying a lens with IS?
by gattaca1007 / January 27, 2006 11:40 AM PST

Ok, I have read many great suggestions but how important is it for me to buy a lens with an IS?

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How important is the IS lense ?
by jump1127 / January 28, 2006 12:35 AM PST

It helps your shooting for 1-2 F-stop that is helpful at the dimmer light. There is also another alternative; you can also increase your ISO ( light sensitivity ). But, the higher ISO trade off for more noise when shooting. To me, IS lenses are too expensive and not necessary. For instance, 70-200 F2.8L IS is nearly twice the sales price of 70-200 F2.8L without IS. Meanwhile, the picture's quality isn't that significantly different; I did try some of those lenses myself. As the result, I'd rather use a tripod or shoot pictures with the higher ISO and undergo noise reduction software, such as noise ninja, a plug-in for photoshop CS or CS2. So, it's up to you to decide whether you want to overspend for the lense.

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On the contrary, the stabilization on the 70-200 f2.8L is
by Kiddpeat / January 28, 2006 6:41 AM PST

excellent. If you are ALWAYS going to shoot from a tripod or other supported position, then it's not necessary. However, it doesn't take long before it becomes obvious that the tripod approach simply doesn't work much of the time. For example, if you're trying to track a bird in flight. When handholding the camera with this lense, I can always see the subject wavering a bit. As soon as I turn on the stabilization, the image locks into a steady position very nicely. I can then get a good, well focused shot.

However, the 17-85mm is also a stabilized lense. I cannot see how its stablization affects the shot at all. If there is an effect, it is very slight. I am still not sure the stabilization on my 17-85 works at all. You can't feel, hear, or see much of anything to indicate that it is operating. You may need to actually try a lense before you will know if its stabilization is effective.

Higher noise levels resulting from a high ISO are not a good solution. They can completely ruin a shot. Higher ISOs should be reserved for lower light conditions which is what they are designed for.

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You were right.
by jump1127 / January 29, 2006 11:54 PM PST

THanks for the information. I hardly shoot anything at the ISO above 800, even with RAW the noise level is undesirable and hard to get rid of. Yet, shooting moving objects from a far distance, to me, tripod or monopod is quite a better alternative. Nevertheless, I just found out another alternative for shooting without a tripod. That is folding one arm, locking the palm tightly to your body or shirt, and placing your camera between your bicep and forearm. In many shootings, it works exactly like a steady tripod unless your body moves.

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You r right
by tasuray / January 30, 2006 12:48 PM PST
In reply to: You were right.

When you are in a car or have a near by tree branch or rock bin bag can also be used.It is inexpensive and easy to carry.

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