• A friendly and periodic reminder of the rules we use for fostering high SNR and quality conversation and interaction at Stormtrack: Forum rules

    P.S. - Nothing specific happened to prompt this message! No one is in trouble, there are no flame wars in effect, nor any inappropriate conversation ongoing. This is being posted sitewide as a casual refresher.

Canon EOS 20D

If I had an infinite amount of $$$ here is how my lens situation would play out:

Mucho $$$
---------------
14mm f/2.8 L $1700
16-35mm f/2.8 L $1400~
24-70mm f/2.8 L $1200
50mm f/1.4 $370~
70-200mm f/2.8L IS $1700~
500mm f/4 L IS $5200~


Not quite strapped for cash but still need to watch it...
-----------------------------------
17-40mm f/4 $700
50mm f/1.4 $370~
24-70mm f/2.8 L $1200
70-200mm f/2.8L $1000
400m f/5.6 L $1000

Strapped for cash!
----------------------------
17-40mm f/4 $700
50mm f/1.8 $60 (EXCELLENT BARGAIN!)
70-200mm f/4 $550

This is still alot... but it should be expected that for the money you put into the body you should equal in lenses. The nice thing about lenses is that they don't lose money nearly as quickly as bodies.... if you shop right, you can make money.

So where am I at? I have little $$$ so I have bought lenses used or focused on primes which are cheaper than L zooms. I sadly made the discovery that cheap glass sucks, and I can immedietly tell the difference even on my ancient D30. This leaves me with several buying options: Non L primes, L primes, L zooms, and some of the assosorted zooms that have the gold ring on the tip that say USM which are typically better than the cheap stuff.

So here is what I have currently with how much I spent:
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 prime $360 new (sells for same now)
Canon 50mm f/1.4 $290 used (sells for 350 new)
Canon 100mm f/2 $370 new (sells for same now)
Canon 200mm f/2.8 $400 used (sells for $600+ new)
Canon 300mm f/4 $500 used (sells for $600-800 used on ebay)


While this setup is great for quaility and low light, lack of zooms can be troublesome at times. The 20mm is typically on my camera the most. This Christmas, I hope to sell the 20mm and buy the 17-40mm.

Aaron
 
Thanks for the kind comment Fred. I'll share what little I know or just something real quick I guess. First off, I am more and more wanting to take my kit lens(efs 18-55mm) off and smash it with anything. I want to do this so I'll quit messing around, wasting my time and amazing sights with it. If it's broke I'll HAVE to get something, even if it means charging it. To me if it's not perfect(which it RARELY is/comes out) I hate it. Aaron is right...cheap glass is cheap glass..don't learn the hard way. The hard way comes in images you won't see again. I think any ol lense will work in bright day light. If you lose much of that at all I think your cheap glass will show itself more and more.

For one this lense is VERY soft wide open. That is sort of important as chasing doesn't always allow that much time to tripod and stop it down. Wide open has two meanings....focal length and your aperature. F8 is an all around good one to get the most out of the lense(or so I've read)...and yeah it will depend on the lense. That and simply having you lense at full wide angle doesn't help matters, but with the mentioned 1.6 magnification you pretty much have to if you want the whole storm. Mine is at 18mm 99% of the time. That is partly because it refuses to auto focus worth a darn in any light less then full daylight. It wasn't that bad when I first got it but it is now. If it's wide open at least I can manually focus the thing by spinning the ring all the way to the one side. You won't want to try and manually focus a zoomed in landscape. It can be done but it's really hard to tell if you are in focus in the lower light and the touchy ring(with the efs 18-55mm).

By far the biggest annoyance with this lense is it's color and contrast detail in lower light(pretty much any storm shot...sun doesn't have to be set to be called low light). I've shot some pretty cool sunsets and numerous storms at sunset that left me wanting to puke violently after seeing the images. All the images I've shot with it on my site were pretty hard to bring out. Most I have to take and remove false colors with photoshop. Like this one.....
[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/04-7-12-16.jpg

The brighter white cloud along the bottom of the shelf was more yellow then anything! That is a common off color. This sick odd yellow. So I'd have to take it in PS and adjust saturation on that one shade of yellow, reducing it's saturation. That can be a real pain in the butt. But hey, the lense will get you better at PS. Maybe some of my lense hatred comes from the raw conversion ap being used basically just to get the image to TIFF. That is a whole nother story you'll love. The RAW conversion ap that comes with the canon sucks big time. It's a joke. It's not just one off color though, the whole shots often look off and it's really truly a pain to try and correct sometimes.

Check out Eric Nguyen's images to see what colors should look like. He's using the 17-40mm L. http://www.mesoscale.ws/04~documents/ I should just close my eyes and order that damn thing now. I just hate seeing off goofy colors and I see them all the time in my images. I just really enjoy his images. The clouds look the right colors! The contrast seems right!

If you want to muck up your thoughts about just going out and plopping down $700 and getting the "great" 17-40mm L.....even at that league not all is peachy! Check this out.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...ses/16-35.shtml

The 16-35mm L is the new version of the 17-40mm L. It's a minute $600 EXTRA at around $1300. Go down to the bottom 3 tree images and just look at that. The 17-40 is MUCH MUCH softer wide open(where you'll likely use that lense the most). I don't know about anyone else, but if I spent $700 on a lense and in the center of the image it was THAT soft wide open I'd feel as if I screwed up. So for me, that lense, even if I felt I could afford it right now, is sort of not too desired. Then again, I look at Eric's with it and I rethink THAT thought. Sigh. I hate photography. But, stopped down it looks plenty close to sharp. I'd think in storm chasing that 16-35mm L would be a dream on a DSLR. Not so sure they 17-40 is worth it unless you feel you can always shoot your storms at around F8. Now that I think about it, that shouldn't be that hard and I should try it more often with a mounted cam. But, aside from this little sharpness thing, color and contrast is so much more important to me, and the non-L glass I'm not sure cuts it for the picky ones of us. Good luck! Oh yes, I think the Digital Rebel uses the same sensor as the 10D and matches that cam in many ways. And now there are even firmware cracks out there that open up nearly all the funcionality the 10D had over the digital rebel....even mirror lockup! That blows my mind that all that would of took for the rebel to have mirror lock up was something in the software???
 
With the Canon 20D having much better noise characteristics... I think the 17-40mm lens will work out ok. Shooting at ISO-400 and at least f/5.6 or so should suffice. I need to bug Eric and try his 17-40mm lens out next to my Sigma 20mm prime. See just how big of a difference there is.

Mike: The review you posted is for the OLD 17-35 f/2.8 lens. Quite different than the 17-40mm lens.

Aaron
 
Thanks Aaron. I never even noticed it said 35 and not 40(all this time!). I also then never realized there was a 17-35 L and a 17-40 L. So the 17-35 L is older then the 17-40....and the 16-35 is newest of them all? Why then would he/they compare the newest 16-35 to the 17-35 and not the 17-40? Well heck that is GREAT to know. That is how much attention I pay to detail. I wonder which ones B&H had cause it always seemed like there were only two of them in that focal length area that were Ls. Nice to know, very nice. Thanks again.
 
Actually it went 17-35mm then 16-35.... then everyone whined that there wasn't a decent cheap wide angle lens for DSLRs... so they came out with the 17-40mm L : )

Aaron
 
Just a quick comment...

Many people will spend much more on lenses than on the camera. Why, you may ask? Because, given the pace of digital photography advancement, chances are you will want another, better, faster camera in 3-4 years. Lenses, on the other hand, can last a long time and can provide just as much difference as actual cameras. For example, a 10D with a nice L lens may take sharper, nicer shots than a 20D (or 1Ds) with a bad lens. If you invest in lenses now, it'll probably last you longer than the same investment (in terms of $) in a camera.

EDITED to clear up some possible confusion as addressed in Mike H's post below...
 
Many people will spend much more on lenses than on the camera. Why?

If you invest in lenses now, it'll probably last you longer than the same investment (in terms of $) in a camera.

Are you sure you asked this right? Anyway...yeah there will always be more and more megapixels for your lense to take advantage of down the road. If you have a decent cam and no nice glass for it I'd surely be more concerned about the glass before worrying about the cam.
 
For one this lense is VERY soft wide open. That is sort of important as chasing doesn't always allow that much time to tripod and stop it down. Wide open has two meanings....focal length and your aperature. F8 is an all around good one to get the most out of the lense(or so I've read)...and yeah it will depend on the lense. That and simply having you lense at full wide angle doesn't help matters, but with the mentioned 1.6 magnification you pretty much have to if you want the whole storm. Mine is at 18mm 99% of the time.

As I can't even afford the Dreble right now, I am a bit distressed to hear of your difficulties with the kit lens. I am aware of the limitations of the kit lens, and would be interested to know if, for low light shots, you have tried raising the ISO (even up to 1600 if needed), shooting near F8 in RAW, and removing the (already low) noise/tweaking the white balance later? That should maximize your sharpness at 18mm.

To me, the notion of leveraging the ISO seems appealing (in theory).
 
I'm still learning to use the 10D to its full potential. It's a heck of a camera! I shoot Canon EOS and have enough invested in glass to not want rush to stock up on a new lens design that is specific to 1.6x factor digital. I'm glad they've changed the lens design because I can put aside any desire I might have for the latest-and-greatest 20D.

The 100mm 1:1 macro for example is a fantastic lens. Maybe Canon will come out with a similar S macro someday, but then again maybe not.
 
Originally posted by Aaron Kennedy


Strapped for cash!
----------------------------
17-40mm f/4 $700
50mm f/1.8 $60 (EXCELLENT BARGAIN!)
70-200mm f/4 $550


Aaron
That's the exact setup I have for my 10D (except I have the 50mm 1.4). The L glass is great...won't be considering the 20D anytime soon given the investment I put in this past year.
 
I will always be a film fan. You cannot beat the saturation of slide films!!
Still, The 20 promises to be a great camera. One thing that I don't like about digital is the 1.6 magnifacation factor. Maybe someday I can afford the 1D with a 1.3 factor!!!
 
Still, The 20 promises to be a great camera. One thing that I don't like about digital is the 1.6 magnifacation factor. Maybe someday I can afford the 1D with a 1.3 factor!!!

My big hangup before I bought a Digital Rebel was the 1.6 zoom factor. The 18-55 kit lens was not wide enough for my liking so I picked up a 15mm 2.8 Sigma fisheye after seeing promising reviews about it. This is now on of my favorite lenes for storm stucture. It is very easy to defish, but not absolutley required since the 1.6 zoom takes away much of the fisheye look. Price is not too bad either.

Defished:
http://www.f5hunter.com/6-10-04/redcloud.jpg

Not defished:
http://www.f5hunter.com/5-24-04/slides/IMG_3536.html
(good example of horizon curvature that can easily be fixed by defishing)
 
got a settlement buying the 20d.. ok so I tool back through these old posts. I find the info here .. I wanted to re clarify.. 17 - 40 or 16 - 35 lense for the 20d??

Aaron?? Mike?? Greg?? Anyone?

Also I guess i need the 70 - 200mm

and the 50mm??? For what?

Please help.. Im trying to figure out wht the hell i need..

More money than experience or sense.. lol
 
Im just looking for a nice lense package..

Just chatted with Mark grant.. he gave me some insight..

Im wanting to shoot some storm bases etc.. I know there was soem speculation rather the 17-40 and 16-35 which one was best for the 20d.

Im pretty sure the 70 - 200 is one i need for tighter work..

What would I use the 50mm for in your other post for lenses Aaron?
 
Hi, Fred How much $$$ do you have to blow? ;)

Apart from the one on my P/S digicam, I don't own a single AF lens; I'd feel silly making a specific reccomendation.

Just for grins, let me offer an alternative to B&H.

Head down to the local mom-n-pop camera store. Forget Ritz, Best Buy, and the other chains - the help is clueless and interested only in shovelling merchandise and extended 'service' contracts. Try a number of their lenses. Look at (IMO) the Canon, Tokina AT-X line, and maybe some of the high end Tamron glass. Put the camea on a tripod and take pictures, then go back home and compare the results. Return and buy at least one lens from these peeps. Negotiate a bit, but don't grind them into the dirt. Yea, you'll spend a few $ more, but isn't several hours of their time worth it?

As I understand it, the Canon 16~35L is somewhat sharper (and a stop faster, if that's going to matter) than the 17~40L. It also costs twice as much. "How much $$ do ya got?" :)

Another thought - you might not need that spendy superwide zoom, at least not immediately. You've probably seen the sweet stitched pano shots posted recently. If you have a few extra seconds, locking the exposure and firing off a string of overlapping shots isn't difficult. A more modest zoom, or even a fixed 17/20mm should work well.

Probably a repeat, but here's a fairly reliable lens performance survey page. http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

Good luck!
 
thanks for the input greg.. i think I can buy one nice lense.. the wider angle.. 17-40 or 16-35.. i can save and buy the 70-200 for next year..

i feel dumb becasue my knowledge is so limited.. i know the only way to get more is in the field using the equipment.

Fred
 
The 50mm is simply one sharp lens that is great for a variety of targets. On top of that, it opens up to 1.8/1.4 (depending on the version). Trust me... you'll want lenses that perform well in low light.

To put it in perspective, the 50mm and 70-200mm I own blow my 17-40mm away in almost every category. The 17-40mm is a nice lens no doubt, but barrel distortion at the wide end can be fairly severe. A good review between the 16-35 and 17-40 is at:

I'd get the 16-35 if I had the $$$.... I'd want the f/2.8 for chasing.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...non-17-40.shtml

Aaron
 
Thanks Aaron,

i looked at the link you gave me. i think the 17-40mm is a nice lense considering the money aspect. Im unsure the 16-35mm lense is a justifiable expense. I can appreciate however the ability to take more pics in lower light. That i understand. Im unsure rather the canon L 17-40mm is rendered useless in low light though.

These are just rambling thoughts of someone who has no experience with either lense or the camera..

Thanks for the input guys.. anymore is appreciated

Fred
 
Back
Top