Old 12-18-2006, 02:03 AM   #1
NicTrain35
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Default Digital SLR questions

Evening everyone,

I have some DSLR questions, that I've been wanting to ask.

Currently, I'm using a Canon 350D. My lens are the Canon 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6, and the Canon 75-300mm F/4-5.6.

My first question has to do with ISO speeds. Do you prefer 100 or 200? I know that there's not much difference between the two, but I took a photo at ISO 200, and got better results, than shooting at 100 (color, brightness, sharpness, etc.).

My next question is regarding lenses. I've been looking into the Canon 70-200mm F/4L USM. I know that there are some on this forum who have that have that lens. What do you think of it, and how has it been working for you?

I'd also like a better wide angle lens, other than the 18-55. I checked out the 28-135, and the price seemed reasonable. I was also hoping for an IS wide angle lens, and the 28-135 features that. Are there any other good wide angle lens that you would suggest?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:36 AM   #2
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I was shooting a 300D, now shoot a 20D, which has a very similar sensor to the 350D. Since I prefer handheld, I routinely shoot at ISO 400, often at ISO 800. No noise worth mentioning at 400, so the only reason I go to 100 is if I have so much light that I am heading toward overexposure at 1/4000 second with large aperture. 800 gets me another stop of stutter, often handy. Sometimes, but not everytime, I touch up with a bit of noise reduction.

I upgraded from your 75-300 (version III) to the 70-200/4. It's a stunning difference, just stunning. For rail photography on a crop body I rarely miss the 201-300 range.

In my view, 28-135 is not a wide angle lens on a crop body like yours and mind. 28 is field of view equivalent to 44 on a film body - that's normal! Even 24 is not nearly wide enough - heck, my digicam had 38 wide, that's nothing. If you really want IS, the 17-85 is made for you. I use the Sigma 17-70 because I don't see a need for IS for my purposes and it was a bit cheaper, couple hundred, at the time. If I were buying today, I would include the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 in my consideration - that is one fast lens for the $$, 2.8 throughout the range.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
Evening everyone,

I have some DSLR questions, that I've been wanting to ask.

Currently, I'm using a Canon 350D. My lens are the Canon 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6, and the Canon 75-300mm F/4-5.6.

My first question has to do with ISO speeds. Do you prefer 100 or 200? I know that there's not much difference between the two, but I took a photo at ISO 200, and got better results, than shooting at 100 (color, brightness, sharpness, etc.).

My next question is regarding lenses. I've been looking into the Canon 70-200mm F/4L USM. I know that there are some on this forum who have that have that lens. What do you think of it, and how has it been working for you?

I'd also like a better wide angle lens, other than the 18-55. I checked out the 28-135, and the price seemed reasonable. I was also hoping for an IS wide angle lens, and the 28-135 features that. Are there any other good wide angle lens that you would suggest?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:41 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for your help, J!

When I shoot in auto mode, my XT often gives me an ISO of 400. I'm going to experiment with higher ISO's.

I will definitely look into the 17-85. My digicam also had 38.

Thanks again.

Nick
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:43 AM   #4
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BTW, if you are a person "of means,' AKA beaucoup bucks! then the must lens in this category is the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS at around $1000. I'd LOVE to have that one!

The 70-200/4 is great value. Look for it used, a number are out there for sale as people upgrade to the just-out 70-200/4 IS. Should be under $500, maybe even lower.
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:46 AM   #5
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Thanks, J. I really appreciate your help.

$500 sounds like a good price.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
When I shoot in auto mode...
For shame!! You've got the hardware; don't use it like a PnS!!! [/off soapbox]

I shoot ISO 200 just to get the faster shutter speeds. I'll go to ISO 400 only in the late evenings when I need the faster shutter.

I use the 70-200mm f/4.0L and have been nothing but pleased. 90% of my shots with the XT have had this lens on it. I did send that lens and body in to Canon last winter to have them take a look because I thought I was having back focus issues, but in the end, I'm convinced it was user error and not hardware error.

I too would like the 17-55mm IS or the 24-70mm f/2.8L, but they're a little outside my budget at the moment. I do recommend the 50mm f/1.8. For $80, it's the best bargain out there. It puts the kit kens to shame in terms of mage quality.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I use the 70-200mm f/4.0L and have been nothing but pleased. 90% of my shots with the XT have had this lens on it.
That's great to hear. Thanks, Chris.

I have some more question for all of the DSLR users.

Do you shoot at what the exposure meter suggests? Do you get good results? Is there quite a bit of post-processing that needs to be done? If so, what kind?

Sorry about all of the questions. I'm still learning.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Do you shoot at what the exposure meter suggests? Do you get good results? Is there quite a bit of post-processing that needs to be done?
You're not gonna like this but here's the answers to all 3: it depends, it depends, and it depends. How's that for a political answer?

I'll shoot some test shots at what the exposure meter says is properly exposed, see what it gives me, and go from there. Generally, sunny days (no snow) I'll get good results. When there's snow on the ground, I'll overexpose just a tad as the exposure meter tends to underexpose the subject with so much bright snow in the scene. All of my shots require at least some post-processing, so it's hard to say what 'quite a bit it' is. Typically, I'll make some adjustments when converting the RAW image, hit the shadows/highlight function in PS, maybe mess with the gamma, and if needed, do some manual tinkering with the Levels function. Each shot is different, so I can't really say the exact amounts and whatnot I use. It's an art, which sucks because I'm a more by-the-numbers science-type guy...
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:39 AM   #9
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Thank you, Senator Paulhamus.

How do you convert photos to RAW? Mine are all JPEG.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:44 AM   #10
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Hi Nick,

I don't think you can convert an image to RAW, it must be shot that way from the camera. (I think).

At any rate, I HIGHLY reccomend shooting in RAW (if your photo editor supports RAW images), as you are able to manipulate them more. I first used RAW on night shots, but then kinda never set the camera back to Jpeg, and I have been shooting RAW happily ever after!
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:07 AM   #11
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Thanks for your help, Chris.

I tried looking for a way to set my photos to RAW, on my 350D, but couldn't find a way. I'm going to try looking in the manual.

I'm glad that you had good results, when you used RAW!
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:15 AM   #12
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No problem! I would definetly consult the Manual. On my D70, the RAW setting is under the "Image Quality" menu if that helps any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
I'm glad that you had good results, when you used RAW!
Thank you!

Could not have pulled this one off with out RAW

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Old 12-18-2006, 04:22 AM   #13
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Not a problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
Being the socail butterfly that I am..not, I went night shooting with my dad instead of to my schools homecoming dance!
You did the right thing! I skipped my school's dance also, to train watch!

That's an outstanding photo. I love how you incorporated the Chicago skyline, which is always fun to view at night, or during the day. I've seen photos from the Western Avenue Yard, but I've never been there before. It looks like that's going on my "Places to go" list.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:00 AM   #14
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Default 70-200 f4L

Hi Nick,

I use this lens a lot, it is very good. As regards a wide angle, due to the "crop factor" on your 350D you may like to try something a little wider than the 28-135, for instance the 17-85 or as already suggested the 17-55 f2.8L.

ISO speeds there's so little difference in quality between 100 and 200 I use 200 as my lowest setting unless I need to setup fpr a very slow shutter speed.

As regard RAW settings, you'll find that this is only available in M,Tv,Av and I think P mode. In all other modes the camera behaves as a point and shoot and only takes Jpegs.

Alan
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:03 PM   #15
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I would highly suggest shooting in Manual mode from now on. If you are going to spend the money for a camera like the 350D, you should take the time to use it to its full potential. Shooting in Auto mode will get you no futher than a standard point n' shoot. Set the camera to ISO 200, f8, and a shutter speed of 400. This should be a good starting point for you to work from. The ISO 200 will allow you flexibility to change your shutter speed to a higher setting as well as increase or degrease your f stop as needed.

When I am out shooting I generally tend to try and meter the photo slightly on the + side. This allows the image to be a bit brighter when I open up the image in photoshop. Sometimes it seems as though my camera meters images dark. I also always take some test shots of the location well before there are any trains to adjust my settings to fit the situation.

As for RAW, I personally found that I prefer to use large .jpg's over RAW files. The reason for this is because it seemed excessive work for the same product I can create in Photoshop. You must take a photo in RAW and convert it to a jpg. This process can not be reversed.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:14 PM   #16
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Hi Alan and Brad,

Thanks a lot for your guys' help.

I checked out the 17-85mm, and the price looked very reasonable.

As of right now, I'm leaning towards the 70-200mm F/4L and the 17-85mm F/4-5.6 IS.

Thanks again to everyone for their help!
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:31 PM   #17
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I forgot to mention that the 50mm 1.8 is a definite buy.

Hopefully, when all is said and done, I'll have a Canon 70-200mm F/4L USM, Canon 17-85mm F/4-5.6 IS USM, and a Canon 50mm F/1.8.

New things that I will be experimenting with us using an ISO speed of 200 (rather than the usual 100), to allow the use of higher shutter speeds, and using higher F-stops in sunlight.

Things will work out good!

Nick
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan-crotty
As regard RAW settings, you'll find that this is only available in M,Tv,Av and I think P mode. In all other modes the camera behaves as a point and shoot and only takes Jpegs.

Alan
RAW is available on the 350D in P mode.
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:43 AM   #19
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Thanks for the information, Janet!
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:24 PM   #20
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I must ask; what is exactly wrong with your 75-300mm F/4-5.6?

Why do you "need" a better lens? A "better" lens isn't going to give you better pictures if you don't figure out how to use the camera itself, specifically the relationship between shutter speeds and aperture. You mentioned buying an IS lens; why do you need that if you take EVERY DAYLIGHT SHOT with a tripod?

First of all, ISO speeds aren't set for a certain light or any other reason. If your photos are coming out blurry, use faster shutter speeds and open up the aperture (or just turn up the ISO).

But then again, I also don't understand why you said you are "going to try and experiment with higher ISOs" without a reason. If you want more noise and insanely fast shutter speeds for no reason, knock yourself out.
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNW4404

But then again, I also don't understand why you said you are "going to try and experiment with higher ISOs" without a reason. If you want more noise and insanely fast shutter speeds for no reason, knock yourself out.
I agree, no matter what camera you have/use, the higher the ISO the more noise and grain one is going to get on an image. I notice a significant increase in noise shooting at 400 and 800 which make those settings basically useless on my camera. I've had good results adjusting the other settings such as the f stop setting, the shutter speed, etc.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I do recommend the 50mm f/1.8. For $80, it's the best bargain out there. It puts the kit kens to shame in terms of mage quality.
I agree...what a great inexpensive lens.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNW4404
I must ask; what is exactly wrong with your 75-300mm F/4-5.6?
Image quality. Take a shot with that lens, then one with the 70-200L, and you will see the difference. This will not be as apparent with a 6MP camera, but step up to an 8 and you're gonna see the deficiencies in the cheaper lenses (I am finding this out the hard way with a Tamron lens). Jump up to a 5D or 1Ds and you might as well figure on dumping everything and going with the L series primes.
It boils down to the camera being better than the lens.
Nic, *IF* you could swing the cost of the 70-200 2.8L, I'd recommend it because you can then use the 1.4 or 2x Canon extenders and retain autofocus. As mentioned before, there are some decent buys out there in the used market because many are stepping up to the IS versions of those lenses.
A decent place to check is KEH camera brokers http://www.keh.com to at least get an idea on prices.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:09 PM   #24
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Brian,

Thanks for the info on the F/2.8L. It's tempting, but it seems out of my price range, right now. I'll have to wait and see what happens after Christmas. I found the non-IS online for about $945, which isn't all that bad.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
Image quality. Take a shot with that lens, then one with the 70-200L, and you will see the difference. This will not be as apparent with a 6MP camera, but step up to an 8 and you're gonna see the deficiencies in the cheaper lenses (I am finding this out the hard way with a Tamron lens).
Actually, on a 6mp Digital Rebel it is readily apparent. Great use of $500. Sure, its all about the photographer, but try one of those and you will realize its the equipment too.

Luminous Landscape has a recent essay on photographer and equipment.
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