Thread: Dslr?
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Old 24-01-2006, 01:42 PM
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Volans
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeek
I had a look at the 350D in the shop today and the lens that comes with it (18mm-55mm I think) seemed absolutly crap. The manual focus ring wasn't smoth and the whole thing seemed cheap (which I know it is but compared to the other lens' in this price range it seemed crap). Strange that such a good camera comes with such a crap lens. It may have just been the one I looked at though, what are your experiences with it? Manual focus is going to be used almost all the time so it has to feel good. I also didn't like the position of the manual focus ring. All the lens' with it at the end seem very nasty to me, but that may just be me.

Leon
G'day Leon,

I find it odd that you think the 18-55mm is on the dodgy side. I purchased my 350D with that lens and am able to use the other 2 lenses that I already had from my Canon 500N. The 18-55mm will not fit the 500N though.

As you probably saw, the 18-55mm is an ultrasonic lens with quite good automatic focusing but there is a problem and I have heard that it is true for all autofocusing lenses - it is able to focus beyond infinity. So for astrophotography this can prove to be a problem.

The manual side of things I have found to be quite good. I am playing with my 18-55mm as I write this and the focusing ring moves smoothly with ZERO slop. There is enough friction in the mechanism to allow the lens to remain focused - in other words it wont accidently slip out of focus. While trying to battle the above mentioned problem of beyond infinity focusing, I have been able to manually move the focusing ring by very small increments to try to find the best position to get those stars looking like pin pricks.

I will also add that my other 2 lenses (28-80mm and 75-300mm) share all the characteristics as the 18-55mm.

The 350D is a wonderful camera and has served me well in 2 overseas trips. The trip to the USA took in observatories and planetaria which meant I was shooting in low light so had to use manual focus. All in all I took 2.8 gig worth of images over 4 weeks. Please see the attached image of the counter weight of the 24" of the Alvan Clarke Refractor used by Percival Lowell. Following are the data for that image (all of the data is supplied by the camera). Please note: The camera was hand held and the attached image has been reduced to conform to IIS protocols.

File Name
IMG_2553.JPG
Camera Model
Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
Shooting Date/Time
22/09/2005 3:15:34 AM
Shooting Mode
Manual Exposure
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/5
Av( Aperture Value )
4.5
Metering Mode
Evaluative Metering
ISO Speed
800
Lens
18.0 - 55.0mm
Focal Length
34.0mm
Image Size
2496x1664
Image Quality
Fine
Flash
Off
White Balance Mode
Auto

AF Mode
Manual focusing

Parameters Settings
Contrast Mid. High
Sharpness Mid. High
Color saturation Mid. High
Color tone 0
Color Space
sRGB
Noise Reduction
Off
File Size
1922KB
Custom Function
C.Fn:01-0
C.Fn:02-0
C.Fn:03-0
C.Fn:04-0
C.Fn:05-0
C.Fn:06-0
C.Fn:07-0
C.Fn:08-0
C.Fn:09-0
Drive Mode
Single-frame shooting

Maybe, if you have time, find another shop and have a fiddle with a different 18-55mm. I am well aware that even good brands like Canon can let a lemon slip through.

Peter.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (counterweight.JPG)
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