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$200-$300 budget for DSLR + Lens

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by Wildcat, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    5,120
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    Just arrived--it looks brand new. Not a mark on it anywhere. Seems like it's working fine. The only thing I notice is that when manually focusing the lens, the end of the lens (where you adjust focus) is a bit unsteady and the image shifts slightly when I let go of the focusing ring. (I don't have that slop in my Maxxum lenses.) No issues during autofocus though. Could be because it's the 18-55mm kit lens. Can't complain though--I paid less for this kit than what a body only is going for on eBay (on average). Glad I caught it, as it was only listed for a very short time with six bids on it already. Surprised nobody else grabbed it!

    It looks like longer zooms are not too unreasonable, but I was looking for a prime lens with a wider aperture, as well as a wide-angle zoom. They seem a bit more expensive than the Maxxum/Sony lenses I've seen. Don't need anything now, although something like a 50mm equivalent with a 1.7 or 1.8 aperture (that isn't one of Canon's "L" lenses) would be nice to find.

    The original receipt came with the camera--with tax they paid $710 for this! The top is cut off of the receipt, but payment method showed "QCard" so I'm thinking it could have been one of those QVC deals.

    upload_2018-1-25_15-53-6.png
     
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  2. Chip Chester

    Chip Chester Super Member

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    Glad you found a good one for a good price. My son still uses his, even though it's been a few years since the class. We tend to skip every other 'upgrade' in various technologies, so we're still limping along with an original Canon Digital Rebel -- the one with CF card and no video clip function. But it's nice the lenses swap between the two bodies.
     
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  3. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    The standard Canon EF 50mm prime is a nice lens and not too spendy. An alternative would be this -
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yongnuo-EF...349948&hash=item33a41eb1cb:g:XAEAAOSwl8NVdrEw
    Made by Yongnou, they seem to review well and don't have the price premium associated with a Canon brand lens. They also do a (more expensive) 35mm lens for 'true' 50mm FOV - it also reviews well.

    Personally, I would highly recommend one of the older manual Pentax 50mm lenses like the F/1.7 or the F/1.4 - they do come up quite often for cheap prices. The 1.4 prices can go quite high but I had one and it's a lovely lens with great bokeh potential and shallow DoF.
     
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  4. Jeff Vitale

    Jeff Vitale AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Newaygo, MI
    I am a fan of Nikon... there are a couple of cheap lenses that are really good starters to learn from. The operative word here is learn... I think that a manual lens is one of the best ways to actually learn about light, depth of field, etc. For nikon one of the best lenses you can buy is the Micro Nikkor 55mm... this lens cannot be beat for sharpness and actually is pretty good for portraits as well (reasonable bokeh). If you get one of the vintage ones that is AIS (many available) then it can be used on most nikon camera bodies (digital included). These can be found on ebay or at KEH for under $100... best if all... for serious macro work you usually manually focus anyway... so its a great perminant lens to own... another great and very cheap lens is the Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G ... this is really a pretty good lens... very fast auto focus... sharp pictures... works on most all nikons (wont autofocus on old D40s). These are under $50 all day long on ebay... silver ones are often cheaper since they are seriosuly ugly... as for a cheap camera... a nikon D70s is not bad at all... just get a used one with less than 15,000 actuations off ebay for under $100... so for $250 you could get both of these lenses as well as the camera...
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Location:
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    That is what is confusing today about buying lenses. With Canon, from what I can tell, the EF lenses are based on the full frame (35mm film) lengths which we are all familiar with, while the EF-S (the series in which this kit lens is in) is based on the APS-C sensor size. Same with the Minolta Maxxum vs. the newer Sony lenses I deal with on my own camera body. I'm also not used to image stabilization in the lens--the Sony has it built into the body, so all lenses can take advantage of it. (I'm not as steady or well-balanced as I used to be--any little bit helps! ;) )

    After my last lens buying fiasco, I'm thinking I will probably stay with matching brand-to-brand on the body and lens, even if it costs extra. I found a nice Sigma 17-35mm wide angle zoom for my Sony Alpha-mount body--the optics are fine, but the lens does not communicate properly with the camera body, and I had to take three or four shots to get some that were acceptable (or flick the DOF preview a couple of times to get the situation to somewhat correct itself). Manual settings did no good either. I later noticed the body and my newer Maxxum lenses have eight contacts, where the Sigma has only five, which makes it an older lens. I also have a Tamron 75-300mm zoom from my Maxxum 7000 days which does not work at all on the Sony body (luckily I have another 75-300, genuine Minolta).

    Looks like I have to shell out around $230 and up to get a proper Minolta lens at 17-35. Which really isn't too bothersome, since I found in my travels out west that I used this 17-35mm lens a lot more than my 28-85mm (and used the Maxxum 75-300mm only a couple of times). I may even get a wider zoom (11-18mm) in the future. For the Canon I may find her a similar lens (18-35mm seems to be a choice for EF lenses.)
     
  6. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    EF-S lenses still need converting to 35mm is the 18-55 kit lens is equivalent to a 28-80 in 'old money' but is incompatible with the old EF mount
     

     

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  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    That's my point...I think. :D

    The EF-S lenses are apparently "new money" (to steal your phrase), so at least I know what I'm dealing with. The EF lenses will still fit the T3i apparently, so that's all good. :thumbsup:

    I hate lens shopping. It's dangerous! Never fails I look for one lens, and see three others I need to have. Kind of like our audio "rabbit hole" we fall into here at AK! I really should hit some estate sales that list camera equipment. A lot of times, the camera equipment I've seen has been 35mm film or medium format, older stuff, but I am betting some of them likely have lenses I could use with my current kit.
     
  8. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    Yeah very true - the Gear Acquisition Syndrome is equally as strong in the photographic world as it is in the audio world. I got pretty obsessed a while back, always trying to get a better and better body but then of course I realised that the truly limiting factor to it all was my ability (and my budget, to a lesser extent). So I made a deliberate choice to shoot a small system camera with two lens and that's that.
     
  9. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    2,439
    Location:
    Greensboro NC
    As far as I know all lenses are still characterized by their actual focal lengths. You have to do the “35 mm equivalent” calculations yourself.

    I agree about the off brand lenses. It’s tempting, to save some bucks, but these cameras are so complicated now that I think its not worth the risk.
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Location:
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    I don't think I ever intended to buy more lenses, but I went with the Sony Alpha body since the A-mount fits the Minolta Maxxum lenses. Thing is, two of those five were duplicates--I wanted some lighter weight lenses than the originals when I bought the newer Maxxum 4 film body back in the early 2000s. But anyway, the digital body let me use lenses I already owned. But then that Rabbit Hole called me on the white courtesy phone--I wanted a larger zoom range than 28-85 and bought the 24-105, then the 17-35 since I wanted a wider-angle zoom (which I used more than I thought I would). Luckily there are still good deals to be found on this glass. It's a shame, though, that the film bodies are pretty much worthless. I don't think I could get $100 if I sold both of them.
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    It's either that, or do a ton of homework to make certain it will work. Those companies like Sigma and Tamron are still in business and selling well, so there is something they are doing correctly. But I certainly don't have a lot of time to wade through it all, and then make certain the eBay (or whatever) listing is showing the correct description of the lens, so it's a crap shoot. I'm sure if I'd even taken a moment to look at the photos of that Sigma lens, I would have noticed it had only five contacts, so that one's on me.

    That's the point I was unsuccessfully trying to say above--knowing which lenses need the 35mm equivalent conversion, and those that don't. At least some of the review sites out there will often list the 35mm equivalent length of newer lenses. But yes, they do all use the actual focal length. I know that most of us here who have used 35mm film cameras are very familiar with this, but I would bet this is very confusing for the casual newcomers (even if we explain the reasoning behind it).
     

     

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  12. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    I've found for whatever reason that I am not willing to take the risks others do, just to save a few bucks. Or to put it another way, to me you don't save enough buying these off brand lenses to justify the risks. But others obviously feel differently. Same thing goes with buying used vs new. A lot of time used gear sells for only a bit less than new - you don't save enough to justify it, IMO.

    But then I bought my camera grey market so who knows...
     
  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I'm split on that myself. I figure that Sigma and Tamron are two of the better "alternative" lens companies out there, and I would be willing to bet that any current lenses would work fine with current DSLRs. But at that point, would a new lens from either of these companies still cost more than a used "genuine" lens from Sony/Minolta, Canon, etc.? I figure for what I'm willing to spend, I'll stick to the matching brands and play it safe.

    I hear you on the used gear though...even used cars, depending on manufacturer. There are some audio components out there for sale that are a year to three years old that I would be hard pressed to buy at their price, when I could spend just a little bit more during a sale and get the same brand new component but with a warranty attached to it.

    I have lucked out on my audio equipment deals, but I am also very patient and can wait for that once-in-a-blue-moon deal to come along.
     
  14. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    I've seen some really nice shots taken with the Canon 10 - 20 too, seems like a pretty nice lens.
     
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  15. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Yeah they probably would. But I just prefer knowing that what I get will still work without hassle if say I upgrade to a new camera body in a year or two. Plus I really like for all of my stuff to match cosmetically. It's silly but what that's how I am.

    Yes I figure Nikon made their 10-20 in response to the Canon lens.
     
  16. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    That's true. My "faulty" Sigma would work just fine on my two older film bodies, but not on a modern-ish DSLR. The manufacturers are all pushing the envelope in terms of features, so the secondary brands could easily get left behind.
     

     

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  17. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Oops wrong thread please ignore
     
  18. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    As far as the kit grade lenses I would say there is very little difference now that Nikon has a crop sensor ultra wide. I think the Nikon ones have a bit better finish and feel, especially in the zoom ring but that could just be personal preference. I agree that Canon seems to have a better selection and prices in the “prosumer” range.

    Honestly these days the kit lenses are so good that you really don’t get anything other than speed or zoom range with the more expensive lenses. Not that those aren’t useful things if you need them.
     
  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I did check refurbished at Canon but they were way outside our budget. This deal was too good to pass up, and cost less for an entire kit (which looks and functions like new) than the going rate for only a T3i body. I can see where we might want to add another lens or two before the next trip, but that'll be in the summer. I already got her a cheap but sturdy tripod via Amazon Basics--I picked one up to toss in the car and use with the video camera and for the cost it's plenty good enough for now, and a lot more sturdy and adjustable than it has any right to be for the price. (That's for when I leave the good one at home.)
     
  20. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    5,120
    Location:
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    The camera is doing well--she's used it for still images and also for short video she's had to shoot for another class. She figured out how to manually set exposure for video.

    Are there any lenses out there beside Canon that work properly on this body? I have two non-Minolta lenses that won't work with my Sony DSLR (which takes genuine Minolta Maxxum lenses). Before we head out west on another trip, I at least want to get her a longer zoom, but seeing how much I used mine on my last trip, a wider-angle zoom is also something I might get.
     

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