Please comment on my DSLR system choices...

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by isaac_jacques, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. I never imagined it would take me over 6 days of research to figure out the DSLR system I'd like to purchase. I have several items in my cart and would love to get some personalized feedback form the folks on this site since I found this website extremely resourceful.
    DSLR: Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD
    LENS 1: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon SLR
    LENS 2: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
    MEMORY: Kingston 16 GB Class 10 MicroSD Flash Card with SD Adapter SDHC
    CASE: Canon 2400 SLR Gadget Bag for EOS SLR Cameras
    Thanks for the feedback and final words of advice...
     
  2. Isaac nobody here has any idea what skills you have. The 17-40mm 4.0 lens is a fine lens preferably on a full frame body where I use mine. I recommend that you get the D60 with either the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 VC lens, the Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens or the very sweet Canon 15-85mm 3.5-5.6 lens. Get a good SD card and take pictures for a while before you get the longer lens. Learn to use the D60 and do post processing, what makes a good picture. JMNHO, Good luck!
     
  3. Is this your first DSLR? if so, you may be trying to make some decisions that you are not yet equipped to make. In this
    case I recommend starting with just the kit lens, getting some shooting experience, and then using that experience to inform your purchase decisions.

    Or, if you have some specific sort of photography in mind, tell us. Otherwise it is almost impossible to provide any
    useful feedback.

    Dan
     
  4. Gil... G Dan...
    Thanks for responding. I overlooked mentioning a little bit about myself. I am not used to participating in forums.

    Essentially you can say this is my first DSLR. My real experience is as a videographer but my increasingly growing skills in photoshop have turned on this strong desire to step into the world of digital photography. For several weeks I had borrowed a Canon 60D with a 60/f2.8 Macro and 55-250mm IS zoom lenses...
    I will be traveling the middle east for 3 months and my desire is to take both wide angle shots & zoom shots. I generally like to shoot geographic scenes.
     
  5. You forgot a flash unit with bounce capabilites (like the 430EX) -- very important for indoor pictures and outdoor fill flash.
    If you want wide angle shots, get a dedicated super-wide zoom (Tokina, Canon etc.). 17/18mm is not that wide on APS-C. Replace that L zoom with an EF-S lens better suited for your camera.
    Take a couple of good, fast primes (e.g., Sigma 30mm, Canon 50mm/100mm etc.). Primes also work better in dusty/sandy enviroments (less moving/extending parts).
    Protect your camera and lenses against the elements. Do not forget this! If a grain of sand gets into the zoom or focus helical this means the end of this particular lens and a very costly repair for you.
     
  6. For travel, sometimes you will want to travel light and you will want one lens that will cover most situations. I recommend the 17-85 ES-F IS. For city and landscape, this is good for 95%+ of the shots I want to take. The 17-40 is a nice lens, but it is made for a full-frame sensor and you will be carrying extra weight for no reason.
    Like Bueh said, 17mm is not that wide on an APS-C camera. For city and landscape shooting, if I want to carry a second lens I bring my 10-22 EF-S.
    That camera bag (looks like a bundle deal), is most likely crappy. Get something made by a company that specializes in bags. I like Tamrac, but there are many other good ones.
     
  7. The Canon 60D is good but I would get some lens that are more suited for a "crop" model. The kit lens 18-55IS is very good as well as the inexpensive Canon 55-250IS telephoto zoom or maybe an f2.8 zoom like the Tamron 17-50 2.8, Sigma 18-50 or Canon 17-55 2.8. And also consider adding a flash and a low light prime like the 50mm 1.8
     
  8. I guess the main reason I had focused on EF rather than EF-S lenses is because I know myself and my behavior when it comes to any piece of technology.
    I tend to fall into the trap of wanting to upgrade fairly quickly. So my self imposed constraint when choosing the lenses was to invest in a lens that could be carried over to a full sized dSLR.
     
  9. Buying lenses for future upgrades is not a bad practice assuming your upgrade will come soon. But with APS-C, the matched lenses really do make a difference in weight. And there is no EF equivalent of the superwides in the 10-20 range that are made for EF-S cameras. Most of the lenses that have been recommended fall into two categories. Either you can get them with the camera as a kit and they are very inexpensive (and well worth the extra money), or they are very high quality lenses that can be sold quickly for top dollar if and when you decide to upgrade.
     
  10. I'd go ahead and stay with the EF lenses. You're used to way more load than this will be. 17mm is wide enough for most general usage.
    I wonder what you're shooting on the long end. If it's wildlife, then I'd recommend the 70-200mm f/4L IS for its superior IQ. It'll work well with an EF 1.4x TC and is sharp enough for full-frame if you later take that route.
     
  11. I'd vote for zooms in a desert environment - if for no other reason than to minimize lens changes.
    I still think that it can be risky to buy too much gear too soon if you haven't really figured out what works for your photography yet. Your circumstances seem a bit unusual because you say you have some video experience. (Are you planning to do that with the DSLR? If so, make sure that you get a body that can do this.)
    One option is to get the 18-55mm IS kit lens plus the EFS 55-250 IS lens that I think you mentioned you are already using. Depending on what you will photograph, the circumstances of the photography, and what you'll do with the photos, this could be a fine option. These lenses produced decent image quality - certainly beyond what is needed to post images electronically via email or on the web. I wouldn't have any qualms about making letter-size prints from this equipment.
    If you are certain that your needs will not be met by these lenses, the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is an outstanding lens on a cropped sensor body. I recommend it over the 17-40 f/4 L and the 16-35 f/2.8 L for this purpose. It is not an inexpensive lens. If you need something longer, things can get complicated. The IS or non-IS (I'd pick the latter) f/4 70-200mm lenses are great performers and not too large and heavy.
    Regarding the upgrade concern... you can start with basic equipment (e.g. camera, and one or two kit lenses) and plan to sell all or part of the kit later. You will not recover all of your costs - though if you buy used now you may recover a larger percentage - but it is very reasonable to chalk up the "loss" to the cost of acquiring experience that will let you make better choices when you do buy more expensive equipment. Here are two scenarios that I see from time to time:
    1. New photographer wants to avoid having to upgrade. Doesn't really have a basis for knowing what gear will be right for him/her, so relies a lot on advice from others. Such advice (and photographer's own low level of photographic self-knowledge) leads to expensive purchases of good quality equipment... which may or may not be the right equipment for the photographer over the long term. Despite "buying the best" the photographer often ends up selling and purchasing more ideal equipment later.
    2. New photographer doesn't yet know from personal experience precisely what camera/lens requirements he/she will have. Photographer gets a basic cropped sensor DSLR (sometimes a very basic model) with the inexpensive kit lens and then makes a ton of photographs. From the experience of shooting, the photographer begins to develop specific ideas about what lens/camera features will be relevant to his/her photography. Eventually more ideal equipment is purchased.
    Dan
     
  12. The 17-40 is a very good lens but on a APS-C camera if you get something that goes slighlty longer (such as the 18-55 IS) the added length will make it a very good multi-purpose lens because 55mm is at the lower end of what is traditionally used for portraits and if you are walking round the streets that will be a real benefit. If you can afford more, then consider the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (with or without vibration control).
    The 70-300 is an excellent lens for the money. I have used the 70-300 with the Canon 17-55 f2.8 for about 2 years now and am very pleased with it all. The 55-250 is smaller and lighter and, from the reviews, the quality is very close to the 70-300.
    Mnay times people say that 17mm (or 18mm) is not very wide on APS-C. I disagree. This is equivalent to about 28mm on 35mm and for decades any wider than that was a very expensive luxury. I agree that with improvements in lens design and manufacture you can get wider, but that does not mean that 17/18mm is not wide - think of it like this: it gives one an a hafl to twice the field of view that you see with your eyes. And if you can only afford 2 decent lenses I think you will do better getting a zoom than getting 10-22.
     
  13. Hello Isaac, what is your intended budget?
     

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