digital for dummies

May 3rd, 2005, 01:08 PM
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digital for dummies

In two weeks time we will be leaving for another safari experience in SA. This time I would like to take awesome pictures (had some awesome experiences before,but the pictures never showed what I wanted them to show).
Last year I took pictures with the automatic sony kind of digital camera DSC-100.
But next week, I want my husband to buy me the Canon 350D(rebel XT) when he comes to the US(lots cheaper than in Europe.
The only question is, what kind of extra lens should he buy, considering that the camera comes with a 18-55mm.
I just want an easy lens , easy to handle ,one that takes nice pictures, good close ups,one that doesn't mind me not using a beanbag.
Can anyone tell me (in simple words) what type of lens I am looking for?
May 3rd, 2005, 01:21 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2

If you were more experienced I'd recommned a Canon EF 100-400 L IS but that's a lot of lens for a beginner. It goes for about $1500 USD. For you, I would recommend a Canon EF 75-300 IS. IS stands for Image Stabilisation which means it will reduce the blur on the pictures some. This specific lens goes for about $400 USD. If you get that one, make sure it is the IS version as Canon makes the same lens without IS. I hope this helps.

chiqui74 is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766
Ditto that advice.

BTW there is a huge thread (probably up to 2000 or 3000 posts by now ) started by Rocco on digital cameras and lenses. I would imagine its still in the top 100, so pretty easy to find.
napamatt is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 10:48 PM
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Thanks for the advice chiqui. The EF-75-300 sounds good and at a reasonable price I guess.
Napamatt, I know about the thread, but that got to comlicated for me, too much details, too much opinions.
I just want to buy one good lens (for a beginner) that is recomended on safaris, no fuss.

May 3rd, 2005, 11:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Africa Lover,

I am totally clueless with DSLR's, but I did my research before buying my Canon 20D and lenses. I thought that the Canon 17-85mm IS lens and the Sigma 80-400mm OS lens were the best choices.

In many reviews I read, the Sigma 80-400mm OS lens compared very favorably to the Canon 100-400mm L glass IS lens, but the Sigma is about $500 less expensive. Furthermore, for pure aesthetic reasons, I liked the black Sigma lens better, rather than the white Canon lens.

The Sigma 80-400mm OS lens is about $999, while the Canon 17-85mm IS lens is about $500. I do think you should have each a shorter range lens and one that is capable of a much higher zoom, if possible.

Good luck with your safari. Where are you going?
Roccco is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 12:12 AM
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Well Roccco,

you have posted so many good reviews about simbambili lodge that I have booked 3 nights there .
We are going on a 'quick' safari for 1 week as kind of a 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves.
We are staying 3 nights at Kings Camp, this is a good luxury lodge with a great manager and wonderful guides. We stayed here once before in August 2001 (wilddogs were present!).
After Kings Camp I wanted something more basic and tented, so I booked us 2 nights in Honeyguide Mantobeni Tented Camp.
Finishing with the 3 nights simbambili.
I hope you got it right,that this is one of the nicest lodges price/quality.

I always look to book lodges with no more than 10 to 12 rooms/tents, I believe this gives us that intimate feeling of being in the bush, the real 'I am in Africa' feeling.
And no problems with other tourists bothering us. I don't mind not seeing the big five in a certain place. To me it is all about the thrill of finding animals by ourselves (with the help of our tracker and guide ofcourse).
When you see 20 jeeps gathered around 1 leopard , as we saw in the Serengeti, the sensation of seeing that leopard is spoiled, it gives me the feeling of being in the zoo (very expensive zoo !)
I just love the bush, being there, seeing animals, the beautiful night sky, the sounds and smells!
Cannot wait to be there !
Jun 6th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159
Any good suggestions for lenses to my D70? Nikon's VR lenses (same as IS for Canon) are plenty expensive with the 70-200 costing $1,600 and the 80-400 costing $1,200.
lessthanzero is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 53
Our Canon Rebel XL arrived today for our upcoming trip to Tanzania. We also bought a Tamron 18-200 telephoto for a one-lens package. We also bought Zeiss binoculars to go with our Nikons since I don't want to share with my husband.
Also 110-220 converter to charge batteries.
suoma is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

I am very pleased with my Sigma 80-400mm lens. It features Optical Stabilization (OS) which is the same as Canon's Image Stabilization (IS).

Here is a review from users of the Sigma 80-400mm:

As you will see, it is VERY highly regarded by its users, many of whom chose it over Canon's 100-400mm "L" IS lens.

For some excellent pricing options, have a look here:

I bought a different lens (a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8) from Sigma 4 Less and I was very pleased with the overall experience. The lens arrived within about 3 working days. I have had similar luck with 17th Street Photo, but they are not listed on the above link. I did look up the price I paid, and including shipping from New York to Los Angeles, it was $968.71.

The Sigma lenses do come with very nice lens hoods.

In retrospect, the only thing I would have done differently would have been to get the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 lens. Although it is about $1,850, that is about the same price as I paid for my two zoom lenses combined. To be able to have 300mm (effectively 480mm on a Canon 20d) at f/2.8 would have been great. Plus, for a couple hundred more, I would have bought a 1.4x teleconvertor, making the 300mm lens now a 420mm lens (but effectively 672mm) with a very nice f/stop.

Make sure that you also get yourself a 77mm UV filter and circular polarizing filter. Also, a neutral density filter may work out for your nature shots very well. There is just SO MUCH to this photography thing!
Roccco is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
The only thing I would caution against is that if you have a problem and you have two different manufacturers for the camera and lens, it can be difficult to troubleshoot and get fixed. Canon will say it is a Sigma problem and vice versa.

The lenses from Sigma are very good. But these items are digital and we all know about computer problems.
mpkp is offline  
Jun 11th, 2005, 02:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Have always used Sigma lenses, first on Minolta film SLRs and now on both Nikon and Canon DSLRs. Have never experienced anyone trying to pretend a problem with the camera body is down to using non-branded camera lenses.

Would definitely recommend looking for the long thread referred to above which contains a huge amount of information on this topic.
Kavey is offline  
Jun 11th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 596
To Suoma-

After you have had time to use your Tamron 18-200 lens on your rebel xt, could you please report your experience with it. I am thinking of that lens or the equivalent Sigma.

Marsh is offline  
Jun 17th, 2005, 03:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159

thanks for yuor thoughtful reply. I have heard goo things about the sigma. However at ~$1,000 it is very close in price to Nikon's 80-400VR ($1,200) and I would probably choose that.

Right not I am torn between the 70-200VR + 1.7x converter, vs the 80-400VR.
lessthanzero is offline  
Jun 17th, 2005, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 55
Has anyone out there used the Nikon Coolpix 8800 - I think I got in a bit over my head - I have been practicing, but the different functions can be confusing. Also, I had to get a hood(?) for my filter as Nikon had not distributed a lens adaptor for the filters - should I even bother with this? Do I really need a filter?

And it has this anti-vibration feature -so is a beanbag really necessary?
Canechick is offline  

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