help please, I'm out of time

typeprofMay 1, 2010

Hopefully someone out there can help me.

I have earned a $1000 teaching award from my college, but must spend the $$ on equipment and it must be done in the next two weeks! I love photography and would like to buy a camera to grow into. My problem...I dont know anything about lenses (I have been reading, but its overload). I need a lens to use on a copystand to shoot student work-close up and detail, and one for general use-pictures of kids, events. I do understand the importance of a good lens, but I need to figure out where to cut some costs.

I will likely buy a Canon, and I realize that $1000 wont get me far, but I am willing to add to that. Any help is appreciated!

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Congratulations on winning that award!!

I don't know anything about Canon gear, but I can recommend DPReview's Canon discussion forums. Just go to, click on Discussion Forums at left, and check out the Canon forums. There's even one on lenses.

I can tell you this:

Lenses, in general, and as you probably already know, are more important than the camera body.

Not all lenses are sharp and produce equally good colors. You'd think something that costs several hundred dollars could be counted on to produce good images, but that's not always the case. This is where advice from experienced Canon owners will be valuable.

Kit lenses, again in general, don't usually have the best reputation.

I suspect a decent Canon body and two lenses will put you over the $1,000 mark, but I'm not at all sure of that.

I had a $1,000 budget last year and went looking at Nikons because I had some Nikon lenses left over from my film days. I soon realized that a) the big DSLRs felt awfully heavy after a short time of use, and b) my lens needs far exceeded my budget.

I ended up getting (and am very happy with) an Olympus E-520 with three lenses: the 42-42 and 40-150 kit lenses (which have an excellent reputation) and the wonderful 35mm macro/portrait lens that I've hardly taken off the camera since I got it. And I had enough money left over to upgrade my Panasonic FZ5 superzoom to the latest model (FZ35), which is something I'd been wanting to do.

Not to muddy your waters or anything...... :-)

Let us know what you end up getting.


PS: About that 35mm macro lens.....Here are some little drops of olive oil I photographed yesterday.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 10:40AM
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Wow! Congrats. It's beautiful, creative and orginal!!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 3:56PM
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That is cool, Alisande. Your the 3rd person, this week I've seen use this technique...and all are pretty cool!

Canons are good. Go to Canon forum to see what lens is good basics to start with!!! I like going to Greg Kiser's site- A Canon shooter and am familiar with. He has a very informative site you may be able to shoot him an email, very helpful, down to earth guy...

Here is a link that might be useful: Greg Kiser

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 6:35AM
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Since the OP posted on May 1 and had to buy within two weeks, I'd say it's a done deal (whatever it is).

I shot a lot of those oil-on-water pictures in various colors, all hand-held, and ended up with five keepers. I'm looking forward to doing it again! Yesterday I received the enlargements I ordered, and I'm delighted with the way they look, including two at 16x20. I was afraid the lack of a tripod would catch up to me.

Thanks for the comments.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 8:40PM
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