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Lens compatibility between EOS Rebel 2000 (film) & EOS Digital Cameras

Dane Ann Clark-Beausoleil , Dec 15, 2004; 02:53 a.m.

I have been using the Canon EOS Rebel 2000 (film version) for serveral years and have serveral lenses and filters. I'm considering switching to the Digital version but can't find information as to whether I can use the same lenses for both.

Also, what are the pros and cons of making the switch...(other than the obvious film and processing) :o) Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank You!

Responses

Puppy Face , Dec 15, 2004; 03:16 a.m.

All Canon EF lenses work on all EOS bodies, film or digital. Aftermarket lenses, especically Sigma, are a crapshoot.

You don't have to switch. Instead, do both. I enjoy shooting both film and digital. Both have unique strengths and weaknesses and compliment one another well.

Damian Tinsley , Dec 15, 2004; 03:39 a.m.

The lenses you have for the Rebel ought to be fine for the digital version, with one possible caveat:

If your lenses are older and are third party e.g. Sigma/Tamron etc. then there is a possible compatibility issue. If you search the archives on this site you will find several threads regarding third party lens compatibility with newer Canon cameras. From memory, most of these dealt with the issue of the lens/camera combination not working with new digital bodies. In this case, you would either have to sell the lens or get the manufacturer to re-chip the lens. Something they are unlikely to want to do for free, although I think I remember an instance where Tamron were willing to do just that.

If your lenses are canon, AFAIK, the above does not apply!

The advantages / disadvantages? Disadvantages are a loss of real superwide capability unless you buy a new lens. The 1.6 multiplication factor on focal length will make the 50mm standard lens produce the same image an 80mm lens would produce on the 35mm film body you currently own. (Please no outraged comments from others about minor DoF changes - I don't think that is what Dane Ann wants to know ;-)) Obviously this does mean that a 24mm wide angle lens would then take similar shots to a 38mm lens.

A further disadvantage is a steep learning curve if you have never had to work with digital before. How much effort you put in is of course your choice - when you get prints back from the developer, you are pretty much limited to using a marker to corrrect red eye, and a guillotine to crop! Computer manipulation can expand possibilities to a degree none of us could really have imagined a few years ago - however if you are starting from scratch, it takes effort to understand the software packages to make the most of the digital medium. (Or you can just print direct from the card, and forget about the learning but you would be giving up the greater part of the benefits).

Expense is another obvious disadvantage. If you sell that rebel 2000 don't expect to go a very long way towards offsetting the cost of the digital version.

Speed of switch on. You would find that the digital rebel takes a couple of seconds to warm up from cold when you switch on. This has been addressed with the newer digital SLRs from Canon - the 20D takes just 0.2 seconds. This might not seem like such a big issue when you first switch on, but as the camera turns off automatically after a while, and it will take the same length of time to 'warm up' each time you depress the shutter button halfway - you can lose shots.

Lastly, digital is very unforgiving of bad exposure settings. Slides have more latitude that a digital sensor and most film has much more. The flip side is that metering is generally excellent on the canons IMHO and (see below for advantages) if you get it wrong you can always see it on the spot and have another go.

However that's the bad news over with. The instant feedback, the reduced cost/photo (supposedly a couple of pence) each time you hit the shutter release, the aforementioned manipulation possibilities, speed and ease of dissemination of your work, etc. etc. Are all areas where digital is superb. If you are already of professional standard (I am not) and never take a bad photo then the feedback might not be sooo important, but if you are a mere mortal, then the ability to see instantly what you did wrong, correct and do it again is invaluble.

A little long winded, sorry - FWIW, I kept my EOS 50E film body - primarily because the pittance I could have realised for what is a very capable camera indeed wouldn't have made much of a dent in the cost of the 20D I bought. But it has not had more than a roll or two of film through it in the 9 months since I bought a digital point and shoot camera. And I don't see too much use for it in the future now that I have the 20D.

All the best. I doubt you will be disappointed if you get the digital rebel. Note that popular rumour suggets that an update to the camera is due in the spring, if you wanted to wait that long, the new one would probably have more functionality (at slightly higher cost that you would currently pay) or that the remaining stocks of the rebel would most likely fall in price considerably).

Damian

Mark U , Dec 15, 2004; 06:11 a.m.

Any Canon and Tamron lenses you have should work fine. Many older (pre 2001) Sigmas may either only work wide open, or not at all, and problems also occur with some older Tokinas. Of course, if you get any EF-S lenses (such as the 18-55), they will only fit on your digital body.

Steve Dunn , Dec 15, 2004; 12:49 p.m.

Of course, if you get any EF-S lenses (such as the 18-55), they will only fit on your digital body.

To be more specific, at the present time, only the Digital Rebel (EOS 300D in most of the world) and 20D support EF-S lenses. It is highly likely that future EOS digital bodies with the same size sensors as these two bodies will also support EF-S lenses. The lenses will not physically mount on any other body.

You can make EF-S lenses fit on other bodies by hacking a piece off the lens. Doing so, of course, voids the warranty. In some cases, the body's mirror may strike the rear element of the lens, potentially causing expensive damage to both body and lens. And if you're using an EF-S lens with a 1D-family body or a 35mm film body, which have larger imaging sensors than the bodies for which the EF-S lenses were designed, the image may not cover the entire frame.

Which is way more information than you wanted :-) but I wanted to make sure you were aware of it, since the topic of EF-S lenses did come up. The other answers have dealt with the lens compatibility issues and some of the pros and cons of switching to digital photography.

As one response said, there's no reason you can't keep both. I plan on doing this for a while after getting a digital body, though I suspect I'll discover that I rarely if ever use the film body again. Still, it's nice to know it's there, particularly if I need a wide-angle view.

Geoff Francis , Dec 15, 2004; 04:19 p.m.

Most of the issues with lenses are coverred above so I'll stick to the differnce with digital versus film. It also sounds like you are not scanning and digitally editing your own film already.

So if you are a hobbiest who wants far more control over your shots and you are not afraid to work with a few basic computer programs and you can afford it, then go for it. Digital is more fun than you ever thought you could have with a camera.

Instant feedback, including on exposure and the ability to shoot and reshoot a shot is great.

I get better results with digital than with film, but the medium also makes me work harder for it, partly due to its less forgiving latitude but also as the instant feedback often causes me to shoot and reshoot again until I have got it just right.

I also find the printing from retail labs of digital files better than what I could get from either negatives or slides, as there seems to be less scope for human interference from poorly trained and motivated camera shop staff with digital. The colours in the prints actually look pretty much like what they did in the camera, whereas with film the colours were all over the place and typically bland and dissappointing.

I still shoot film occassionaly as I like the sound of film winding through a camera.

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