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View Full Version : OK - reasonable DSLR and lens suggestions please



Skywatcher
03-02-2010, 02:56 PM
I simply cannot go to Africa without taking some decentish pictures of the local wildlife and surroundings

My beloved eos 350d has now been butchered so it can only take astronomy photos.

This has left me with the standard 15-55 :unsure: lens that comes in the box and the 75-300 Zoom again :unsure: they are in the garage and its cold - the second isn't really a brilliant lens and was cheap but it was bought for a purpose at the time.

Not sure whether just to but a cheapo 350d body and get a better zoom lens or to go for a better camera

I would want something for Macroish work as there are apparently phenomenal butterflies etc( to be honest I always thought the lens I got with the camera was pretty good for that) but also want something that could do the bird life justice as well

I do not have a huge budget, but I would like something I can get soonish to practice with before the trip - we are definitely talking 100's and not 1000's here

Fire away chaps

catrancher
03-02-2010, 03:22 PM
My quick tuppence worth.

Get a quick 50mm. If you're looking at Canon, I think they've got a 1.4 also. I'm a Nikonite (hey, I just invented a word) so can't comment too much about specific Canon lenses but I absolutely LOVE my Nikon 50mm.

Tom (:macwave:... takes great low light shots!)

keith
03-02-2010, 03:30 PM
I think he said "reasonable" just so I can't reply :cry1:

:taunt:

keith
03-02-2010, 03:31 PM
My quick tuppence worth.

Get a quick 50mm. If you're looking at Canon, I think they've got a 1.4 also. I'm a Nikonite (hey, I just invented a word) so can't comment too much about specific Canon lenses but I absolutely LOVE my Nikon 50mm.

Tom (:macwave:... takes great low light shots!)

canon do have a 50mm 1.4 (and a 50mm 1.2!) but sadly the 1.4 is soft and the 1.2 is expensive.

The nifty fifty in the canon range is the 1.8 for about 70 quid or so

josh.p.
03-02-2010, 03:43 PM
I'm gonna go against the grain and say I'm REALLY pleased with my sony model :yes: I got the a200k, not sure if it's even around anymore but when I tested them I much prefered the look and feel of the camera as well as the menus, when compared with the Canon and Nikon equivilents (price wise.) I think the lowest end sony out is the a230. I love mine and get some good results, too :yes:

I'd reccomend a different lens than the kit one if you are looking for a REALLY good macro, though :yes: but with the price difference between the canon/nikon equivilent, you could easily afford a new lense :yes:

Britchick
03-02-2010, 05:18 PM
50mm 1.8 fantastic- about 70 you won't regret it. brilliant for low light and i use it on the camera most of the time.

for your macro solution try this one- i have it or the one before it and it isn't bad value for money. I got it for 99 as part of a bundle

http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/66320/show.html

I have heard good things about the 500D- it has hd dvd- got 60 cashback at the moment. There are some bundle deals here. This is everything you need i think

Canon EOS 500D with 18-55mm lens - Jessops (http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/Digital%20SLRs/products/Canon/EOS%20500D%20with%2018-55mm%20IS%20Lens-76113/Show.html)

Britchick
03-02-2010, 05:19 PM
oh and if you're looking for a new camera bag i have a slingshot 100AW for sale at a very reasonable price :thumbsup:

Skywatcher
03-02-2010, 07:06 PM
Hmm that doesn't look bad what do you think Keith? Quite like the video function as well for tiny shots.

This lens has IS would it be reasonable or useless

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom AF Lens for Selected Digital SLR:Amazon:Electronics & Photo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d.html/ref=mp_s_a_2?qid=1265222717&a=B000V9D5LG&sr=8-2)

keith
03-02-2010, 10:04 PM
absolutely! the latest 500 is a really nice camera no doubt at all :yes:

In terms of lenses, the 55-250 is a good little buy to be honest! generally I hear people saying all the time that 250/300 is still not long enough for safari but jeez, to go much longer than that you're talking expense. You could perhaps go for an extender as well perhaps.

The other option is to hire some really top class lenses for a couple of weeks Lenses For Hire Ltd. (http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/)

Skywatcher
04-02-2010, 05:43 PM
I am presuming the white 100-400 lens would be pretty good - cheapest that is going for is about 1,100 though :eek:

keith
04-02-2010, 08:24 PM
I am presuming the white 100-400 lens would be pretty good - cheapest that is going for is about 1,100 though :eek:

I Cant say enough good things about the 100-400. If I were going on safari that would be the lens I took :yes: seriously, it's awesome

Britchick
04-02-2010, 08:33 PM
think of it as an investment, its going to last you forever, you change your camera not the lens :thumbsup:

keith
04-02-2010, 08:44 PM
think of it as an investment, its going to last you forever, you change your camera not the lens :thumbsup:

That's an excellent and true point :yes:

Britchick
04-02-2010, 08:54 PM
That's an excellent and true point :yes:

you trained me well:yes:

Skywatcher
04-02-2010, 09:04 PM
Would the 500d do it justice?

Britchick
04-02-2010, 09:05 PM
once you've had an L lens.................. :drool:

keith
04-02-2010, 09:26 PM
Would the 500d do it justice?

I think Becca has the US equiv of the 500d and from what I've seen, it would absolutely do the lens justice yep! :yes:

keith
05-02-2010, 12:56 PM
I know these aren't the best compositionally or anything but I wanted to show you what the combination of camera + 100-400 would give. These were taken with an older version of the 500d and either 100-400 or 70-200 in some cases. As I say, not the best photos artistically but taken from a slowish moving vehicle and you can see how close you can get + how well image stabilisation works. No work done on them other than resizing to post.

Obviously you'll get much better from a proper safari and I'll totally jealous :lol:

Slowhand
05-02-2010, 02:28 PM
Those are really good shots Keith, despite there being no mention of Nikon. :lol:
I assume they were taken at a UK safari park?

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 02:37 PM
I think my mind is getting set , will need to get this in plenty of time to play before I go

There seem to be 2 on Amazon one is slightly cheaper the other is about 60-70 quid dearer but is an EF lens - all else in th elong line of figures is the same

what is EF - doe is have to do with the type of glass?

I know about apochromatics and fluorite glass from my astronomy.

I have a cheapo 75-300 lens and frankly its useless and I have not been able to take anything decent with it at all :sigh:

Slowhand
05-02-2010, 02:49 PM
Actually Chris, you will be surprised at how close you will be to most of the animals, even some of the big cats like the lions.
By now, most of the animals feel totally at home with the plethera of tourist vehicles that are around.
One day we even had a cheetah walking right alongside our minibus and using it as cover to hide it from some Thompson gazelles that were a short distance away on the other side of the vehicle!

keith
05-02-2010, 03:22 PM
I think my mind is getting set , will need to get this in plenty of time to play before I go

There seem to be 2 on Amazon one is slightly cheaper the other is about 60-70 quid dearer but is an EF lens - all else in th elong line of figures is the same


can you link me to the two types? (ps if you DO buy from amazon please use the site link ;-)

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 03:54 PM
Sorry having a bit of trouble if you type canon 100 400 into amazon you get a choice of 2. Matthew is going to explode if I don't play with him

keith
05-02-2010, 04:02 PM
Sorry having a bit of trouble if you type canon 100 400 into amazon you get a choice of 2. Matthew is going to explode if I don't play with him

both the same lens as far as I can see

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 05:00 PM
Ok terrifyingly enough i have just clicked on both and bought them from amazon after using the link

:mental:

need plenty of time to play with it to get used to it prior

will need spare batteries and a tripod now but not going to push my luck

hope the 18-55 lens is good enough for some macro shots it too has IS so :fingers:

what a scary amount to just click

ah well

:carpediem:

keith
05-02-2010, 05:02 PM
yep life's too short :yes:

The 18-55is is actually a real steal now! the first version some years ago was yeuck but it's a worthwhile lens nowadays :yes:

I think you'll have a GREAT time with them :D

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 05:15 PM
It means I have a good range from 18-400 so that should do me 'for now'

Will aslo mean I can start to use it for my increasing love of ornithology at home as well, will go in search of the blue chaffinch on Tenerife

Plus I can stick the Uberlens on my modified 350d and take widefieldish space pics - the rubbish 75-300 had such appaulling vignetting when using it for astro work I nearly put it in the bin.

To think I actually stayed my hand once on getting a fixed 200mm as the cost was too much and here I am just clicking away :lol:

Looks like I'll need a lens hood for it :unsure: as the glass looks very close to the end

Also it looks like it has a push pull focus rather than a twist - never used a lens like that before - I trust it has a lockable focus :unsure:

expect many a call of

'KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIITH' over the next few weeks :lol:

ukwdwnut
05-02-2010, 05:17 PM
sorry to cut in on your thread chris

guys what would be a good lens to replace the kit lens and seeing as i have the 70-300 macro as well i take it would need to go up from xx-70ish mark yes?

keith
05-02-2010, 05:21 PM
Looks like I'll need a lens hood for it :unsure: as the glass looks very close to the end

Also it looks like it has a push pull focus rather than a twist - never used a lens like that before - I trust it has a lockable focus :unsure:


It's a canon L pro lens my friend :) it's a different category to what you've been used to. It'll come with a large hood and a nice carry case :yes:

push-pull yeah I know what you mean, debate rages on that but I actually find it faster to go from 100-400 with the push/pull than rotate. You'll love it I'm convinced :yes:

keith
05-02-2010, 05:23 PM
sorry to cut in on your thread chris

guys what would be a good lens to replace the kit lens and seeing as i have the 70-300 macro as well i take it would need to go up from xx-70ish mark yes?

The canon 18-135is is a very nice relatively cheap replacement! if you want to cover a large range. I'm pretty impressed with it for the price!

If you want the traditional answer then either the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM or the Canon EF 24-70 (with most people just getting into it seriously opting for the former since the latter is more expensive, heavier and no IS)

ukwdwnut
05-02-2010, 05:27 PM
The canon 18-135is is a very nice relatively cheap replacement! if you want to cover a large range. I'm pretty impressed with it for the price!

If you want the traditional answer then either the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM or the Canon EF 24-70 (with most people just getting into it seriously opting for the former since the latter is more expensive, heavier and no IS)

ok thx keith will go a hunting :)

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 05:31 PM
You'll love it I'm convinced :yes:

For the sake of my marriage I hope you are correct :lol:

Thanks for everyones help as usual - and as usual it has resulted in me spending far more than I thought :lol:

Still it is true that you get what you pay for in life

I shall enjoy playing with the 500d - ever since I modified the 350d I have lost my DSLR and will have to relearn all the functions - not sure how much I would ever use the video function but it will be a nice gimmick for a few seconds of vid here and there.

I can see me becoming obsessed with normal photography now as well as my astro stuff - it was only a matter of time I suppose

I had better get a nice furry closeup of a lions face bathed in orangey twilight now :dozey:

Either that or when I get back I'll nick one from the National geographic website.

Oh and feel free to hijack Mick - I am spent out for a while :lol:

ukwdwnut
05-02-2010, 05:34 PM
well i was told by sir keith that the video function on a dslr is much better than a camcorder. so go get a whopping big mem card too while your shelling out :D

catrancher
05-02-2010, 05:36 PM
go get a whopping big mem card

Or six! :thumbsup:

Tom (:macwave:... who REALLY likes the video function idea!)

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 05:37 PM
got a 4gb one and i still can't believe how cheap they are considering how much I spent on a whopping 128 mb card 6-7 years ago :lol:

ukwdwnut
05-02-2010, 05:39 PM
got a 4gb one and i still can't believe how cheap they are considering how much I spent on a whopping 128 mb card 6-7 years ago :lol:

i know they are sooooo much cheaper, like most things tho :)

Britchick
05-02-2010, 05:51 PM
can't wait to see the results Chris!

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 05:55 PM
I will certainly let you know Julie :yes: or I may have a cheap 100-400 L lens to interest you in if I can't figure it out.

Just been googling sample images and they look amazing

Blimey just seen the ISO goes up to something ridiculous!

I take it its not advanced enough a camera to have its own dark frame subtraction , what with it being an 'entry level' one :unsure:

keith
05-02-2010, 08:13 PM
I take it its not advanced enough a camera to have its own dark frame subtraction , what with it being an 'entry level' one :unsure:

It does I believe. I think they call it high iso noise reduction or something but yep. Manual is here http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/6/0300002246/01/eosrti-eos500d-imh-en.pdf

Skywatcher
05-02-2010, 09:11 PM
Cheers for that I will have a look when my buyers guilt settles down ;)

josh.p.
05-02-2010, 09:16 PM
:thud: oooohh I'm gonna tell Lisa!! :rotfl:

Seriously can't wait to see your results from this one Chris :yes: :carpediem: !

Britchick
06-02-2010, 10:19 AM
you're going to have to practice with it Chris not wishing to teach you to suck eggs. I imagine it's quite heavy. One thought - are you going to need to use a tripod for some shots? if so you may need to buy a tripod collar. I didn't buy a canon one for mine as they were over 100, amazon has some non make ones for around 15!

this is going to make me want to go on safari isn't it?

keith
06-02-2010, 11:28 AM
One thought - are you going to need to use a tripod for some shots? if so you may need to buy a tripod collar. I didn't buy a canon one for mine as they were over 100, amazon has some non make ones for around 15!

did your 70-200 not come with a tripod collar? I thought all decent size L lenses did? I'm sure the 100-400L does

However, I'm thinking a filter to keep dust away from the lens elements and allow easier cleaning will be a must

keith
06-02-2010, 11:30 AM
Those are really good shots Keith, despite there being no mention of Nikon. :lol:
I assume they were taken at a UK safari park?

Thanks Terry :lol: they were taken at Knowsley Safari park Knowsley Safari Park (http://www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk/)

Britchick
06-02-2010, 11:36 AM
nah, i only got the cheap lens :tongue: and they don't come with that one.

keith
06-02-2010, 11:41 AM
nah, i only got the cheap lens :tongue: and they don't come with that one.

wow that's really penny pinching of them

Skywatcher
06-02-2010, 03:51 PM
ill certainly need a tripod - I have a cheapo one - is there a special fit to attach the lens rather than the body :unsure:

I agree about something to keep dust out but will ask about that closer to the time- I see the camera has some sort of vibrating sensor to shake off the dust :lol: not sure how good that will be

Slowhand
06-02-2010, 03:56 PM
I always have a uv filter fitted to my lenses to protect them and it doesn`t seem to adversely affect the shots I take.

Skywatcher
06-02-2010, 04:11 PM
daft question - where does it fit ? only had a clip filter before that fits over the sensor

catrancher
06-02-2010, 04:20 PM
daft question - where does it fit ?

Chris,

Both the front of the lens and the filter have screw threads on them. The filter screws directly onto the front of the lens. Protects the lens glass. Far better to scratch the filter that's easily replaced rather than the glass of your lens! :yes:

Tom (:macwave:... use a circular polarizer myself but hey... I'm weird!)

Skywatcher
06-02-2010, 04:41 PM
this is going to make me want to go on safari isn't it?

The lady we are probably cbooking the safari with has been telling me all about the leopards :mental: - how exciting is that!

Britchick
06-02-2010, 05:04 PM
The lady we are probably cbooking the safari with has been telling me all about the leopards :mental: - how exciting is that!

One of my favourites!

Skywatcher
07-02-2010, 03:37 PM
Ok is there a massive difference in uv filters. From my astro stuff I am expecting a big yes to this but all I am looking for is scratch protection camlink uv and polarising sets 17 quid. Canon 99 just polarising.

keith
07-02-2010, 06:29 PM
Ok is there a massive difference in uv filters. From my astro stuff I am expecting a big yes to this but all I am looking for is scratch protection camlink uv and polarising sets 17 quid. Canon 99 just polarising.

Massive YES.

Think of it this way, are you really going to spend a grand on a really top class lens, every element in which has been finely tuned and aligned to combat flare and other anomalies only to stick a cheap piece of glass over the top of it ;)

Seriously, be careful with the filters. I'm not saying buy Canon, I dont know anyone with any canon filters to be honest but at least stick with the pro makes.

Skywatcher
07-02-2010, 07:34 PM
Total sense, I say the same thing with people who spend 2 grand on a telescope then put a 20 eyepiece in the end - the photon goes through all that pro fluorite glass having travelled billions of miles then in the last cm goes through a grubby piece of bottle glass - I guess I'm just a little 'spent out' at the moment - batteries I will get from e-bay you can get 4-5 for the price of a new canon one and frankly although they are not as good they are not 1/5 as long lived.

Having looked at a few site people who compare them are saying the Nikon 90 is a better buy - hope I haven't made a mistake with that - the fps looks a little 'slow' compared which may affect the wildlife in motion shots a little.

I'm sure all this will go out the window when I have it charged in my hands :)

Have seen some 64 gb cards :thud: - the things our kids will take for granted - gawd I feel old sometimes

keith
07-02-2010, 07:39 PM
T
Having looked at a few site people who compare them are saying the Nikon 90 is a better buy - hope I haven't made a mistake with that - the fps looks a little 'slow' compared which may affect the wildlife in motion shots a little.

Ignore them, honestly.

You know I have both Canon and Nikon. The truth is that these days, you can't go wrong with either make. The Nikons are better at this/that, the canons better at other things. End of the day, the camera won't be the limiting factor in this exercise I promise you ;)

Remember you have video as well!

Honestly you won't have a problem




Have seen some 64 gb cards :thud: - the things our kids will take for granted - gawd I feel old sometimes

too true!

ukwdwnut
07-02-2010, 07:46 PM
one thing i will say about camera batteries, i will not ever be buying any third party ones again, i bought three, and they arent worth tuppence, charged them a couple of times at disney and now they are useless. will get a canon one next time :)

Skywatcher
07-02-2010, 07:51 PM
well I bought 3 others for the 350d and whilst the canon one can just about squeeze 1 hour of continuous exposures - and I mean 6 10 minute expiosures the third party ones last about 40 minutes or so, but as the were a quid or so each I can't really grumble.

:lol: at the limiting step Keith , I will be embarrassed to show my pathetic attempts with only a few weeks to practice

Britchick
07-02-2010, 08:07 PM
you have over 6 months to practice! you'll be an expert by then!

ukwdwnut
07-02-2010, 08:15 PM
well I bought 3 others for the 350d and whilst the canon one can just about squeeze 1 hour of continuous exposures - and I mean 6 10 minute expiosures the third party ones last about 40 minutes or so, but as the were a quid or so each I can't really grumble.

:lol: at the limiting step Keith , I will be embarrassed to show my pathetic attempts with only a few weeks to practice

thats not bad terry, where did you get them from?

Britchick
07-02-2010, 08:17 PM
thats not bad terry, where did you get them from?

:unsure::insane::insane:

ukwdwnut
07-02-2010, 08:18 PM
:unsure::insane::insane:

hush up you mrs lol

Skywatcher
07-02-2010, 08:23 PM
Many things I have been called in life - most of which would have **** if I typed them, but Terry is not one of them :D

If Terry doesn't log on to answer I will say I bought mine from e-bay ;)

Skywatcher
07-02-2010, 08:24 PM
you have over 6 months to practice! you'll be an expert by then!

Yeah ok :lol:

Seriously I know it looks like a dog poo smeared on some sack cloth but its actually a cheetah taking down an impala

keith
07-02-2010, 08:26 PM
Yeah ok :lol:

Seriously I know it looks like a dog poo smeared on some sack cloth but its actually a cheetah taking down an impala

No worries, if it ends up looking like that you can enter it into any number of modern art photography exhibitions at the Tate. You'll earn a fortune!

Britchick
07-02-2010, 08:27 PM
what you say is that you were experimenting artistically with it's spots:yes:

Skywatcher
07-02-2010, 08:29 PM
Just realised I have put this in the wrong group :lol: what a great mod I am! Keith I am sorry to have labelled a camera either a gadget or a gizmo :mental:

Slowhand
08-02-2010, 10:16 AM
thats not bad terry, where did you get them from?
Not guilty m`lud! :lol: