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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 31 Oct 2006 (Tuesday) 07:19
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Film lenses on DSLRs

 
mknabster
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Oct 31, 2006 07:19 |  #1

I'm on a budget when I am buying my lenses for my upcoming DSLR, I'll probably be getting either the 30D or 20D. My question, as a low cost alternative, would purchasing a film lense be better than buying a digitally optimized lense? Like would the quality be about the same? I"m trying to figure out the equipment i want to buy, because I don't want to deplete my bank account before i go to college next year.


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Oct 31, 2006 07:27 |  #2

Someone may correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, any EOS EF lens (wether it be digital or film) will fit on any EOS body.

I used to have a 70-200 that was made back in 1995, I didn't have any problem at all with it.


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JFFpga
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Oct 31, 2006 07:27 |  #3

I was in a similar position when I went digital. I already had a decent lens (Tamron 28-300mm) and wanted to put all of my limited resources into the camera. I bought a 30D. I can tell you that the quality of the pictures I can take is noticeably better than the film camera I had even with the film lens. My experience is that with a good digital and a good film lens you can take very good quality pictures. Maybe if you know another photographer you can borrow a digitally optimized lens and see for yourself before deciding whether to purcahse one.


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SkipD
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Oct 31, 2006 07:46 |  #4

mknabster wrote in post #2194804 (external link)
I'm on a budget when I am buying my lenses for my upcoming DSLR, I'll probably be getting either the 30D or 20D. My question, as a low cost alternative, would purchasing a film lense be better than buying a digitally optimized lense? Like would the quality be about the same? I"m trying to figure out the equipment i want to buy, because I don't want to deplete my bank account before i go to college next year.

Matt - first of all, please drop the second "e" for the word lens. :p

There's really no such thing as a "digitally optimized" lens. Basically, that's just marketing hype.

Any EF or EF-S series lens (or third-party equivalents) will work on the 20D and the 30D.

EF-S lenses exist because their design criteria are different from EF lenses that need to cover the full 35mm film frame area (24x36mm nominal). The EF-S lenses are designed to cover only the APS-C sensor area (nominally 15x22.5mm) and are allowed to project deeper into the mirror box because the APS-C cameras have smaller mirrors than film or "full-frame digital" SLR's use. With these differences in basic specs, the lens manufacturers can produce a less expensive line of wide-angle lenses for the APS-C cameras.

What you need to consider in purchasing lenses is the required focal length(s) and required maximum aperture for the work you intend to do with them. If you don't have experience using various lenses, it may be virtually impossible for you to make an intelligent choice up front.

What is your experience level? If you've been using a point-n-shoot camera up to now, check the user's manual and see what the "35mm equivalent" focal length range of the lens is. Then, divide that number by 1.6 (for Canon APS-C cameras) and you will have the equivalent focal length range for lenses to use on the 20D/30D that will provide the same range of field of view angle as the lens on the point-n-shoot.

Ask a lot more questions and with the help you can get here and elsewhere (reading books, for example) you will become much more able to intelligently make the necessary decisions.


Skip Douglas
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JulianL
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Oct 31, 2006 09:07 |  #5

I don't own any EF-S lenses. I use nothing but film lenses on my DSLR. Two of the lenses I bought for my film camera body years before I owned a DSLR in fact.

The number of available EF-S lenses is quite small in comparison to their lineup of standard and L series lenses.

Personally, I won't buy an EF-S lens because I can only use it on a few select digital camera bodies.


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mknabster
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Oct 31, 2006 16:07 |  #6

SkipD wrote in post #2194921 (external link)
Matt - first of all, please drop the second "e" for the word lens. :p

There's really no such thing as a "digitally optimized" lens. Basically, that's just marketing hype.

Any EF or EF-S series lens (or third-party equivalents) will work on the 20D and the 30D.

EF-S lenses exist because their design criteria are different from EF lenses that need to cover the full 35mm film frame area (24x36mm nominal). The EF-S lenses are designed to cover only the APS-C sensor area (nominally 15x22.5mm) and are allowed to project deeper into the mirror box because the APS-C cameras have smaller mirrors than film or "full-frame digital" SLR's use. With these differences in basic specs, the lens manufacturers can produce a less expensive line of wide-angle lenses for the APS-C cameras.

What you need to consider in purchasing lenses is the required focal length(s) and required maximum aperture for the work you intend to do with them. If you don't have experience using various lenses, it may be virtually impossible for you to make an intelligent choice up front.

What is your experience level? If you've been using a point-n-shoot camera up to now, check the user's manual and see what the "35mm equivalent" focal length range of the lens is. Then, divide that number by 1.6 (for Canon APS-C cameras) and you will have the equivalent focal length range for lenses to use on the 20D/30D that will provide the same range of field of view angle as the lens on the point-n-shoot.

Ask a lot more questions and with the help you can get here and elsewhere (reading books, for example) you will become much more able to intelligently make the necessary decisions.

Sorry about the whole "e" thing SkipD, lol. Anyway, to answer your questions, I have a G6 right now, as well as all of the accessory lenses you could purchase for it. For my age, which is 17 at the moment, i think my skill level is high up there, not as high a business pro, but i do hope to be one eventually. That's why I think that buying the 30D would advance my options and skill level more than i can now. The lenses i want to get are at least a 75 - 300, wideangle, macro, and all-around lens. Like i saw a starter kit on ebay, for $1565, and it has these lenses, except the macro is the telephoto. But, i really have no idea about good lenses. And i'm jobless at the moment, but i have enough to buy and have some rebound money. So i was thinking instead of buying the ebay kit, get the body and lens seperately, this is all fairly new to me, so i'm doing this all on my own here.


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SkipD
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Oct 31, 2006 16:24 |  #7

mknabster wrote in post #2197073 (external link)
Sorry about the whole "e" thing SkipD, lol. Anyway, to answer your questions, I have a G6 right now, as well as all of the accessory lenses you could purchase for it. For my age, which is 17 at the moment, i think my skill level is high up there, not as high a business pro, but i do hope to be one eventually. That's why I think that buying the 30D would advance my options and skill level more than i can now. The lenses i want to get are at least a 75 - 300, wideangle, macro, and all-around lens. Like i saw a starter kit on ebay, for $1565, and it has these lenses, except the macro is the telephoto. But, i really have no idea about good lenses. And i'm jobless at the moment, but i have enough to buy and have some rebound money. So i was thinking instead of buying the ebay kit, get the body and lens seperately, this is all fairly new to me, so i'm doing this all on my own here.

My sincere recommendation is to stay far away from the ebay "deals". Every one I have ever seen was a rip-off. The price and content you mention smacks of another rip-off. Expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars for any decent lens.

Start slowly with the body and a lens or two that will get you going and build up with quality equipment that will last you a while.

I would suggest that you skip the "kit" zoom (18-55 EF-S) and the 50 f/1.8 because of their build and lack of a true manual focus ring. Other than those (and any similarly built lenses), you can use the formula I put in my last post to see what focal length ranges you really need and concentrate on the most important first.


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Wilt
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Oct 31, 2006 16:26 |  #8

SkipD wrote in post #2194921 (external link)
There's really no such thing as a "digitally optimized" lens. Basically, that's just marketing hype.

Don't know if this claim is merely marketing hype or there is some optical science that is behind the claim...

At wide angles, light strikes the sensor at a steep angle at the edges of the sensor. That causes the different wavelengths of light to each behave differently, leading to Chromatic Abberations. (Ever notice that CA is at the widest angles in your reading?!?!?!) So the claim is that 'digital optimized' designs can collimate the light rays so that they do not strike the sensor at as steep an angle, so the minimize CA.


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vetkrazy
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Oct 31, 2006 16:27 |  #9

So i was thinking instead of buying the ebay kit, get the body and lens seperately,

:)
Good choice Matt, those ebay packages are overpriced and the lenses are normally not the best quality. Lightly used 20D's have come way down in price and there are some very good bargains out there now. You will always be updating bodies, so always buy the best glass you can afford. You did not post what type of photography you like to do. That can have a large affect on what lenses to recommend. Digial optimized is hype to sell more lenses. There are plenty of review sites to help you choose the best lens for your application.


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Wilt
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Oct 31, 2006 16:32 |  #10

mknabster wrote in post #2197073 (external link)
Like i saw a starter kit on ebay, for $1565, and it has these lenses, except the macro is the telephoto. But, i really have no idea about good lenses. And i'm jobless at the moment, but i have enough to buy and have some rebound money. So i was thinking instead of buying the ebay kit, get the body and lens seperately, this is all fairly new to me, so i'm doing this all on my own here.

Many 'kits' contain mediocre or even junk products, to entice the buyer by 'how much they get' for the price. A bit like luring you into a fine restaurant by mentioning that you also get hamburgers for very little money (and what they serve is worth very little money, too!) Before you buy any kit, investigate about the things they include. You might merely be spending money on things that you throw away later!

You are starting right by doing research on POTN. Lots of knowledge and experience to tap into.


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Mark_Cohran
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Oct 31, 2006 19:21 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #2197162 (external link)
Don't know if this claim is merely marketing hype or there is some optical science that is behind the claim...

At wide angles, light strikes the sensor at a steep angle at the edges of the sensor. That causes the different wavelengths of light to each behave differently, leading to Chromatic Abberations. (Ever notice that CA is at the widest angles in your reading?!?!?!) So the claim is that 'digital optimized' designs can collimate the light rays so that they do not strike the sensor at as steep an angle, so the minimize CA.

Actually, I believe this is corrected for by the micro-lenses above each photosite, so Skip is more correct than not.

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AJSJones
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Oct 31, 2006 19:44 |  #12

While the "hype" element is there to be overplayed, the fact that digital sensors reflect far more light than film did, means that internal reflections within lenses are greater than they were before. Newer lens designs take this into account and increase the number of multicoated elements and eliminate any flat surfaces that could reflect back down to the sensor which in turn reduces the flare issues caused by the digital nature of the sensor. "Optimized for digital" has a sound, if overblown, basis in lens design.

Given how far away the rear lens element is from the sensor ( to leave room for the mirror ) even a wide angle lens's rays will not be at such a steep angle as the FL would suggest (they are "retrofocal" designs). The CA problems are more from the design challenges of short focal length design (1.6x shorter for some cameras) than from the sensor properties. Now, if the rear element of a 10mm lens focused at infinity needed to be 10mm from the sensor, at the centre, you'd have problem people imagine with the microlenses, but all EF lenses are (I think) 43mm away so that angle can't be a big problem.


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Xico
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Oct 31, 2006 21:02 as a reply to  @ AJSJones's post |  #13

You can have very good results with an old film lens. I mostly takes pictures of Airliners, if you want to take a look. I took that one (and the others in fact) with and old Canon EF 75-300 that I used on my Canon 1000FN film camera. You can find a used one for around 100$.
Heres the link.
http://jetphotos.net/v​iewphoto.php?id=583577​9 (external link)
It can do the job in my opinion.




  
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balus
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Jun 04, 2007 05:36 |  #14

Xico wrote in post #2198298 (external link)
You can have very good results with an old film lens. I mostly takes pictures of Airliners, if you want to take a look. I took that one (and the others in fact) with and old Canon EF 75-300 that I used on my Canon 1000FN film camera. You can find a used one for around 100$.
Heres the link.
http://jetphotos.net/v​iewphoto.php?id=583577​9 (external link)
It can do the job in my opinion.

Nice shot. Looks like I'll stick with my old 75-300


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nicoy3k@gmail.com
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Jun 04, 2007 06:54 |  #15

You shouldnt call them "film lenses" as they work on both film and digital cameras.

Just call them... lenses.




  
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