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Which digital SLR system?

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August 7, 2005 11:19:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

I've owned a manual focus 35mm SLR outfit for the past 15 years,
consisting of:

Contax 139
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2.8
Yashica 50mm ML f1.4
Tamron SP 90mm f2.5
Tamron SP 180mm f2.5

I'm considering moving to a digital SLR outfit, but I'm concerned that
I'll have to spend a lot of money to replicate the quality of my
existing lenses.

Will a modern zoom lens deliver the quality I'm used to from my
15-year-old prime lenses, both in sharpness and lack of distortion?

I'm wondering about either:
1. Canon EOS 350D, 17-40 f4.0 L USM, 70-200 f4.0 L USM, or
2. Olympus E-1, 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5

Are there outfits that would give me better quality for the same money?
Or, better yet, would I be pleasantly surprised by cheaper lenses?

More about : digital slr system

Anonymous
August 8, 2005 6:33:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Dewi wrote:
> I've owned a manual focus 35mm SLR outfit for the past 15 years,
> consisting of:
>
> Contax 139
> Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2.8
> Yashica 50mm ML f1.4
> Tamron SP 90mm f2.5
> Tamron SP 180mm f2.5
>
> I'm considering moving to a digital SLR outfit, but I'm concerned that
> I'll have to spend a lot of money to replicate the quality of my
> existing lenses.
>
> Will a modern zoom lens deliver the quality I'm used to from my
> 15-year-old prime lenses, both in sharpness and lack of distortion?
>
> I'm wondering about either:
> 1. Canon EOS 350D, 17-40 f4.0 L USM, 70-200 f4.0 L USM, or
> 2. Olympus E-1, 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5
>
> Are there outfits that would give me better quality for the same money?
> Or, better yet, would I be pleasantly surprised by cheaper lenses?

Strongly suggest you go to dpreview.com and then on to Steve's Digicams
for reviews. These are not totally objective, but, then, nothing is,
and they're far better than anything else around. There is enough
information supplied that you can draw your own conclusions fairly
easily on the camera bodies.

Lenses are a problem right now. No one seems to be doing reliable use
testing of particular lenses. The old adage, "Ask the man who owns one"
might be helpful here. DPreview has forums on different camera brands
that offer a reasonably high level of information without as much ax
grinding as you may find here.
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 2:19:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1123493587.055981.138010@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
> Dewi wrote:
>> I've owned a manual focus 35mm SLR outfit for the past 15 years,
>> consisting of:
>>
>> Contax 139
>> Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2.8
>> Yashica 50mm ML f1.4
>> Tamron SP 90mm f2.5
>> Tamron SP 180mm f2.5
>>
>> I'm considering moving to a digital SLR outfit, but I'm concerned that
>> I'll have to spend a lot of money to replicate the quality of my
>> existing lenses.
>>
>> Will a modern zoom lens deliver the quality I'm used to from my
>> 15-year-old prime lenses, both in sharpness and lack of distortion?
>>
>> I'm wondering about either:
>> 1. Canon EOS 350D, 17-40 f4.0 L USM, 70-200 f4.0 L USM, or
>> 2. Olympus E-1, 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5
>>
>> Are there outfits that would give me better quality for the same money?
>> Or, better yet, would I be pleasantly surprised by cheaper lenses?
>
> Strongly suggest you go to dpreview.com and then on to Steve's Digicams
> for reviews. These are not totally objective, but, then, nothing is,
> and they're far better than anything else around. There is enough
> information supplied that you can draw your own conclusions fairly
> easily on the camera bodies.
>
> Lenses are a problem right now. No one seems to be doing reliable use
> testing of particular lenses. The old adage, "Ask the man who owns one"
> might be helpful here. DPreview has forums on different camera brands
> that offer a reasonably high level of information without as much ax
> grinding as you may find here.

Good advice, also go into a shop and handle any cameras you think might be
okay, many people will prefer one camera over another because it feels right
to them.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 3:53:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Here's a gallery of Lacrosse pictures taken with the 350D and the 70-200f4L
lens. If you click on original, you can see the full size image as it came
from the camera. Judge for yourself.

I also use the Canon 100mm macro USM lens. Check out the "Up Close and
Personal" gallery and "Flowers and Plants" for that one.

-- Martin

"Dewi" <dewi@daniels.org.uk> wrote in message
news:1123467586.310999.135390@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> I've owned a manual focus 35mm SLR outfit for the past 15 years,
> consisting of:
>
> Contax 139
> Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2.8
> Yashica 50mm ML f1.4
> Tamron SP 90mm f2.5
> Tamron SP 180mm f2.5
>
> I'm considering moving to a digital SLR outfit, but I'm concerned that
> I'll have to spend a lot of money to replicate the quality of my
> existing lenses.
>
> Will a modern zoom lens deliver the quality I'm used to from my
> 15-year-old prime lenses, both in sharpness and lack of distortion?
>
> I'm wondering about either:
> 1. Canon EOS 350D, 17-40 f4.0 L USM, 70-200 f4.0 L USM, or
> 2. Olympus E-1, 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5
>
> Are there outfits that would give me better quality for the same money?
> Or, better yet, would I be pleasantly surprised by cheaper lenses?
>
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 3:53:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Martin Schiff wrote:
> Here's a gallery of Lacrosse pictures taken with the 350D and the
> 70-200f4L lens. If you click on original, you can see the full size
> image as it came from the camera. Judge for yourself.
>
> I also use the Canon 100mm macro USM lens. Check out the "Up Close
> and
> Personal" gallery and "Flowers and Plants" for that one.
>
> -- Martin

Very clear. No visible blemishes or defects in technique.

I have posted a couple of similar albums.

--
Frank ess
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 11:40:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Thank you all for your very helpful responses.

I'd already found Steve's Digicams and DPreview, both of which seem to
be very useful sources of in-depth camera reviews. As Charlie Self
wrote, it seems more difficult to find dependable lens reviews. I'm
more concerned to choose the right lens system than the right camera
body, because the camera body can always be changed, but it's very
expensive to replace a set of lenses once committed to a brand.

My current thoughts are as follows. Canon and Nikon seem to be the
front runners in digital SLRs at the moment. I find the Canon lens
range to be slightly more tempting than the Nikon one. What would be
the equivalent of the Canon 17-40 f4 and 70-200 f4 in the Nikon range?
I'm also tempted by the Olympus E-1, because of the anti-dust feature,
because the 14-54 and 50-200 lenses cover the equivalent of 28-400 in a
35mm system with just two lenses and because of the build quality.
Minolta and Pentax seem to have a very restricted choice of lenses
compared to Olympus, let alone Canon or Nikon.

On the whole, I can't help feeling that Canon would be the safest
choice, though I am very tempted by the Olympus E-1. It seems that
Canon's future is certain, at least in the medium term, but is there a
risk that the Olympus 4:3 system could fail and be discontinued?

So far, I've had a look at a Nikon D50, a Nikon D70s, a Canon EOS 350D
and a Canon EOS 20D. I haven't had an opportunity to handle an Olympus
E-300 or E-1 yet. I was pleasantly surprised by the Canon 350D. After
reading the reviews, I expected it to feel cheap and nasty, but the
camera body felt just fine to me. I have fairly small hands, so it
felt the most comfortable of the four cameras that I tried. The 18-55
kit lens, on the other hand, felt horrible compared to my old, manual
focus lenses. If I believed that the optical quality would be fine,
I'd be willing to try it, but as Stacey wrote, having got used to good
glass, I'd probably be unhappy with a kit lens. I know that I'm much
happier with my Tamron prime lenses than with the Yashica ML 80-200
zoom that they replaced. I've previously taken the view that it's
better to invest in good lenses than in an expensive camera body,
though I accept bmoag's point that the sensor is of greater importance
in a digital system than the body was in a 35mm system.

I now have plenty to think about, so thank you all very much for your
advice.
August 9, 2005 12:30:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Dewi wrote:


>
> I'm considering moving to a digital SLR outfit, but I'm concerned that
> I'll have to spend a lot of money to replicate the quality of my
> existing lenses.

You will.

>
> Will a modern zoom lens deliver the quality I'm used to from my
> 15-year-old prime lenses, both in sharpness and lack of distortion?

I can only speak of the olympus lenses you mention but they are both as
sharp or sharper than any primes I've ever used.

>
> I'm wondering about either:
> 1. Canon EOS 350D, 17-40 f4.0 L USM, 70-200 f4.0 L USM, or
> 2. Olympus E-1, 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5

Either should work fine depending on what you shoot. If high ISO shooting in
low light is something that's important, go with the canon. I personally
like the look of the images and colors from the olympus better but that's
just my subjective opinion. That 50-200 is a fantastic piece of glass with
wonderful bokeh.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/couple.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/roseweb2.j...


Each system has strong and weak point so you need to look at the good and
bad points of both systems and decide what's important to you. I liked the
idea of self cleaning sensor, slightly deeper DOF 4/3 has at the same
fstop, spot metering and several other features so went with the E300 over
the canon. I'm sure other may have different needs like a deeper lens
selection, more AF points, avalability of more used lenses, the need for
fast prime lenses and would decide the canon fits their needs better.

> Or, better yet, would I be pleasantly surprised by cheaper lenses?

I doubt it. I bought the E300 with it's 14-45 lens and tried the 40-150 and
while they are pretty good, the 14-54 and especially the 50-200 are MUCH
better. Once you've used good glass (which is looks like you are using now)
you won't be happy with the cheap consumer zooms.

Best thing is to go somewhere you can try them out. Hopefully they will let
you shoot a few shots with each, have them printed at their lab and look at
the results first hand and decide which looks better to you. IMHO what the
images look like blown to 100% on screen doesn't metter to me, what the
final print looks like is what's important.

--

Stacey
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 1:35:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

The short version:
I recommend you get the camera you like, decent lenses, and learn the zen of
raw image processing in PhotoshopCS2 (it has a nifty filter for correcting
distortion too!).

The abbreviated long version:
The more hours I spend looking at freshly opened raw images in Photoshop the
more I believe that the comparison between lenses used in a film system and
in a digital system is not straightforward and may be irrelevant.
If you enter digital photography the quality of the lens, while still
extremely important, is not as absolute a value as with film based
photography. The sensor itself and processing are as important or more so
than the lens once you reach a certain minimum quality of lens, which is not
all that great. You can change film but you cannot change the sensor . . .
Inescapable software image processing, whether in-camera or later
in-computer, significantly affects what comes out of the digital imaging
sensor as much or more than what the lens produces on the sensor.
As of now the resolution/noise of digital sensors generally lags behind what
good, let alone great glass can produce. As importantly the physical
interaction of a digital sensor with light is different than the physical
interaction of film with light.
"Sharpness" and "acuity" are far more relative terms in the digital world
than in the film world because most people confuse actual sharpness or
acuity with what they perceive they are seeing on their computer monitor
without taking into account the extreme amount of computer processing that
goes into the rendering of every digital image.
Every digital original image is "soft" and even a freshly opened raw image
has had some sharpening algorithm applied to it before it hits the computer
monitor.
In the real world most of us have very little rational basis to define the
absolute sharpness of a lens using a digital camera, at best you can only
compare images made by different lenses with as little processing as
possible applied to the images. In the real world, as opposed to the
imaginary world of blown up parts of images on a computer monitor, you
really do not know how sharp your image is until you print it--and printing
is impossible without software sharpening!
Issues like chromatic aberration are more significant to a digital sensor,
partly because of the way the sensor is sensitive to the angle at which it
is struck by light, than with film but are also to a degree correctable with
software. Chromatic aberration from a wide angle lens that might not be
visible in a film image can create shimmering edge effects on a digital
sensor in high contrast areas. This is a very visibile problem if you want
to use wide angle lenses with a digital SLR (you are down in the 12-18mm
focal length range where even things like light diffraction by the diaphragm
can affect the image).
If you learn to recognize barrel/pincushion distortion in your lens and have
a software filter that effectively neutralizes it does your lens actually
have that distortion? Does your lens have chromatic aberration if it is
removed by software such that it is no longer seen on your monitor or in a
print?
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 2:29:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Dewi wrote:
> I've owned a manual focus 35mm SLR outfit for the past 15 years,
> consisting of:
>
> Contax 139
> Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2.8
> Yashica 50mm ML f1.4
> Tamron SP 90mm f2.5
> Tamron SP 180mm f2.5
>
> I'm considering moving to a digital SLR outfit, but I'm concerned that
> I'll have to spend a lot of money to replicate the quality of my
> existing lenses.

That's a given.

> Will a modern zoom lens deliver the quality I'm used to from my
> 15-year-old prime lenses, both in sharpness and lack of distortion?

> I'm wondering about either:
> 1. Canon EOS 350D, 17-40 f4.0 L USM, 70-200 f4.0 L USM, or

You probably would be happier with the 20D body.

> 2. Olympus E-1, 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5

The E-1, and other Olympus dSLR cameras, be avoided.

You really can narrow down your choices to Nikon or Canon pretty
quickly, since they're the only ones with even close to a full line of
high end lenses. With Nikon, wait for the D100 replacement that should
be out soon.

See http://digitalslrinfo.com for more information. It's the premier web
site for digital SLR information. Or google "digitalslr unbiased info"
and it'll be the second hit in the list (the first that isn't a domain
for sale!). ....and I'd say this even if it wasn't my site!
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 9:21:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <1123555250.197459.277310@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
dewi@daniels.org.uk says...
> What would be
> the equivalent of the Canon 17-40 f4 and 70-200 f4 in the Nikon range?

Nikon has a nice 12-24mm f/4 for about $940. Not quite as economical as
the 17-40 f/4, but it does give you a much wider field of view.

The 70-200 f/4L is pretty much the steal of the Canon lineup.
--
http://www.pbase.com/bcbaird
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 10:25:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

> You really can narrow down your choices to Nikon or Canon pretty quickly,
> since they're the only ones with even close to a full line of high end
> lenses. With Nikon, wait for the D100 replacement that should be out soon.
>
> See http://digitalslrinfo.com for more information. It's the premier web
> site for digital SLR information. Or google "digitalslr unbiased info" and
> it'll be the second hit in the list (the first that isn't a domain for
> sale!). ....and I'd say this even if it wasn't my site!

HA ha ha, sure you wouldn't.
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 10:25:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Pete D" <no@email.com> wrote in message
news:F%XJe.76188$oJ.16472@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
>
>
>> You really can narrow down your choices to Nikon or Canon pretty quickly,
>> since they're the only ones with even close to a full line of high end
>> lenses. With Nikon, wait for the D100 replacement that should be out
>> soon.
>>
>> See http://digitalslrinfo.com for more information. It's the premier web
>> site for digital SLR information. Or google "digitalslr unbiased info"
>> and it'll be the second hit in the list (the first that isn't a domain
>> for sale!). ....and I'd say this even if it wasn't my site!
>
> HA ha ha, sure you wouldn't.

LOL!!! "Premier" and "unbiased". I needed a good laugh!
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 4:22:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Peter A. Stavrakoglou" <ntotrr@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:8v%Je.20266$_R1.5823@fe11.lga...
> "Pete D" <no@email.com> wrote in message
> news:F%XJe.76188$oJ.16472@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
>>
>>
>>> You really can narrow down your choices to Nikon or Canon pretty
>>> quickly, since they're the only ones with even close to a full line of
>>> high end lenses. With Nikon, wait for the D100 replacement that should
>>> be out soon.
>>>
>>> See http://digitalslrinfo.com for more information. It's the premier web
>>> site for digital SLR information. Or google "digitalslr unbiased info"
>>> and it'll be the second hit in the list (the first that isn't a domain
>>> for sale!). ....and I'd say this even if it wasn't my site!
>>
>> HA ha ha, sure you wouldn't.
>
> LOL!!! "Premier" and "unbiased". I needed a good laugh!

What a bloody wanker, seriously he must have three dicks.
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 6:58:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Brian Baird wrote:
> In article <1123555250.197459.277310@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> dewi@daniels.org.uk says...
>
>>What would be
>>the equivalent of the Canon 17-40 f4 and 70-200 f4 in the Nikon range?
>
>
> Nikon has a nice 12-24mm f/4 for about $940. Not quite as economical as
> the 17-40 f/4, but it does give you a much wider field of view.

Canon has the 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, which is the competitor to the Nikon
12-24mm f/2.4. It sells for $600-750.

Nikon has the 17-55mm f/2.8 and the 17-35mm f/2.8D, but since these are
faster lenses they are a lot more expensive than the Canon 17-40mm f/4L.
With Canon, if you want the faster lens, you buy the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L.

Steve
http://digitalslrinfo.com
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 12:06:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

I just found that you can buy Contax to EOS and Contax to Olympus 4:3
adapters from http://www.cameraquest.com. According to
http://www.outbackphoto.com/the_bag/paul_lens_adapters/..., the
Contax 28mm f2.8 is sharper than the Canon 24-70L lens.

The adapters require you to use manual focusing and stop-down metering
(just like the Pentax screw to Contax bayonet adapter I used when I
first bought the Contax). Now, while I wouldn't want to do that all
the time, I'm pleased that I'd be able carry on using my existing
lenses to supplement whichever lens(es) I bought with the digital
camera. They're all exceptionally nice lenses, though I suspect they
have very little second-hand value.
!