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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:37 am 
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I currently use a Canon EOS 500D with the 18-55mm EFS IS Lens. Would upgrading the lens improve image quality, or is the quality just really down to the digital sensor.

It is the sensor that processes and records the image, right?

So, perhaps a lens upgrade just offers a different type of image, rather than improving it?

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:55 am 
Like you say, it depends what you mean by image quality.

If you mean for example noise performance, then obviously its down to the sensor.

But if you mean for example pin sharp quality and high contrast wide open, then its down to the lens.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 7:13 am 
It's probably better for you to define what you feel is lacking in your current photography. Do you need better range?


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 7:29 am 
Canon 500D I thought Id reply to what you said in an alternate thread here.

You wrote:
If lenses do not improve quality, then all professionals would be turning up to their shoots with kit lenses, and would save themself a lot of money.


A good point, but this doesnt happen for reasons other than image quality.

Professionals (a flimsy term :wink:) require a high build quality as they use their lenses all the time. Plastic barrels and mounts just don't exude confidence and dont live up to the standards required by a full time photographer.

The autofocus speed is also an issue on kit models.

Also, if the maximum aperture is only f5.6, then this means they still need another lens for low light. If you just used a prime or bright zoom in the first place then this avoids carrying two lenses.

Doesnt mean much to me, but many people complain about the distortion of kit lenses.

Did I mention build quality?

These are the reasons the "pros" (at least the ones I know) dont use kit lenses. Ive never heard anybody who's opinion I respect in photography (sounds a bit harsh I know but didnt know how else to phrase it) complain about the image quality of the kit lens.

Hope ive helped :)


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:37 am 
Rather than blaming sensor or lens better improve ur Skills first i'm not blaming that u take bad pics its just a friendly advice, a friend of mine proves this he owns 7D with various lenses and believe me he makes images taken from 100$ pocket camera, some nincompoops buy expensive bodies and lenses assuming that picture will automatically come great then keep in mind if u don't know how to shoot or handle DSLR body & lenses then super pro body like 1DS Mark III wont help u, sensor and lens will work on your command if u input worse then result will come worse, Pros opt for creamy gear because they know how to get real "Pro" result from them if u give a pro body to beginner then u cant expect same result its the Skill who takes out best from any camera.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:56 am 
see this example

on the left 50D is mounted with 200MM F2 L lens and on the right same camera is mounted with 18-200 IS

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Revi ... LI=0&API=2

crop taken with 5000$ lens just kills 18-200 IS crop like piece of cake its the "Lens" who made the difference in crop, but if u don't know how to shoot then 5000$ lens will bring same result.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:58 am 
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I am not blaming anyone's skills, but I have (in general) seen better results taken on 5D Mk2s etc. I would like more pin sharp images, and regardless of using manual precision focussing, I believe that I can improve both, my skills, and possibly lenses/sensors.

I am starting to get used to using manual modes, and after using shutter priority and apature priority last night, I got okay ish images, but nothing perfect.

Can I ask if you could explain what less noise means, in a bit more detail?

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:07 am 
The short answer to the question: both. But the greatest impact has the lens...a sharp lens on a APS-C sensor camera will deliver better results than a not-so-sharp-lens on a full frame camera.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:07 am 
simply no offense but some say cheap 18-55 IS is blurry at 55MM but see this example shot at 55MM


Image
100% crop
Image

does this look blurry and soft? its resolving more than needed detail.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:54 am 
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You have some very good skills Jatinder. I would say that I have quite a few skills, certainly more than the average point and shoot user would need, but I'm still getting there.

I have seen really good results in some of the auto settings, with flash, but admittedly flash makes it all easy, doesn't it.

I could use a tripod, but hand held is much more convinient to me, as I tend to move around a lot whilst photographing.

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:37 pm 
@500d: i suggest you to stick to one mode and polish your skill on that mode for a week or so take lots of pics compare them at 100% and see what u missed and got and if you think you have mastered that mode then proceed to next one.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:50 pm 
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The 18-55 lens isnt that good lens, the 500d indeed is good (however, not perfect)
Take a look at the 17-85 IS USM. Good lens for your camera.

Strange you cant get those nice pictures on a kit lens of $60. Very strange.

Post a photo which is taken with the 18-55 and tell what lacks the picture.
Maybe it's an incamera processing fault.

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:54 pm 
@ruben:user 500d want "pin sharp" and in terms of resolving power 18-55 IS is slight better than 17-85 IS(as stated by photozone&dpreview) i don't think buying 17-85 will help him that much and if u keep aside USM and extra 30MM range then there is nothing to rave about in 17-85 specially in optical department.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 1:09 pm 
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I dont think if he has a 500d with kit that he wants a $5000 lens.
The 17-85 isnt as sharp as a $5000 one, but sharper than the 18-200 and 18-135.
For the money you get a nice lens, and I dont think that the 18-55 has better optics, the 17-85 has better optics than the 18-200, so the 18-55 has the best for costing 1/10th of the 18-200. I dont believe that.
But, if 500D wants a pin sharp lens, Id set the sharpening higher and buy the 15-85.

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 1:18 pm 
18-55 IS wont have good optics but still it resolves more detail than 17-85, 15-85 is indeed much sharper than 17-55,18-55&17-85 but 15-85 IS ain't comes cheap.


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