02-01-2017 05:41 PM
We've got an older Rebel XSi, and the auto-focus went out on the box lens, so I purchased a Tamron 18-270mm as a recommendation to be able to have a general purpose single lens. The wife is saying the pictures are blurry, doesn't seem to focus, etc. The local shop is recommending to purchase a new camera obviously, but we just spent $500 on the new lens 3 years ago.
We don't have a budget for new setup. I could justify $200-300. That's about it. I'm wondering if the body should be sent in for cleaning? Can it be repaired? New (or new used) body? Sell and buy new body and lens?
What are your thoughts. I'm not confident that a new body is going to make the difference, which is what the wife wants. She mainly takes close in pics of the kids and family. Some action pics of kids doing activities and sports. She has taken some family pics for friends, and would like to eventually do this as a part time job/hobby.
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02-01-2017 05:59 PM
The XSi is a very old body. I would not spend any money on it, and I don't think cleaning it would do anything.
Blurry images can bea lot of things, and the camera is not one of
the first things I'd suspect to be the issue.
First id look at the settings being used. Shutter speed needs to be fast enough to stop the action. The lens needs to be bright enough to allow that and also to avoid using a high ISO in dim or indoor light.
Normally I would say the clear answer is you need a brighter lens.; one with a lower F number aperture size to let more light into the camera. Because your camera is quite old however it is kind of a close call. Newer Rebel cameras would work a little better in dim light.
02-01-2017 06:14 PM
This sounds like a big heavy lens. Is it much heavier than your previous lens? Does it have IS? Could your wife be having problems hand-holding it?
02-01-2017 10:44 PM - edited 02-01-2017 10:47 PM
CGoogle for a few short free video tutorials on the "exposure triangle". I suspect your problem is a combination of 1.) bad setting choices, probably set by the camera in Auto mode, and 2.) equipment, both the lens and the camera, that do not deal well with dim light. Outdoors in daylight your problems will more or less go away because there is plenty of light. Shooting indoors you need to understand exposure and take control of your settings instead of trusting auto mode. You may still run up against limitations from the equipment but you can at least know what the problem is.
Faced with dim light and left in Auto mode, the camera tries to compensate for lack of light by slowing down the shutter, opening up the lens as far as the lens can go, and cranking up the sensor's signal gain. Unfortunately a slow shutter makes blurry photos due to subject motion and the shaking of the photographer's hands. Also unfortunate is that a consumer zoom lens covering a huge range like that one will not have a very large opening (aperture) for letting in light. The third strike occurs when the camera has no choice but to raise the sensor's sensitivity (ISO) to make an image with less light, because the side effect of high ISO settings are grainy, "noisy" photos with loss of fine detail.
I think I would look into a brighter lens. For just about $110.00 you could get a 50mm f/1.8 that would let about 8x more light in as your zoom lens. For about $700.00 you can get a better lens, the EFs 17-55 f/2.8. It is sharper and is also very bright. Used you could find one for $500.00.
02-02-2017 08:55 AM
The lens is quite heavy. It was a trade of between buying two lenses at a much higher cost, or purchasing the one larger lens that would be good at all ranges but not NOT great at anything. It does have IS which helps.
My wife does use the auto mode. On occasion she may change to a different auto mode setting (i.e. portrait), but she does not change any of the settings manually. The new lense may have made the indoor photos more difficult than when we had the 18-55mm, as you have stated. I thought she should take a class or learn more about the camera before purchaisng a new body. It may provide her a better idea what she wants.
Thank you for the feedback.
02-02-2017 10:29 AM - edited 02-02-2017 10:30 AM
I believe looking into another lens for closer ranges and indoor may be a viable option. It could always be used wit h a new body as well.
For that purpose you'd probably want the 17-55mm f/2.8 that Scott recommended. A fair number of us have it, and I can't recall anyone saying that he disliked it.
02-02-2017 01:44 PM
Okay. Dumb question:
What are the benifits of the 17-55 f/2.8 over the 18-55 f/3.5 other than aperature? I'm trying to understand why it is 3 times as expensive as the 18-55. Thanks.
02-03-2017 02:01 AM - edited 02-03-2017 03:47 PM
"The wife is saying the pictures are blurry, doesn't seem to focus, ..."
This is/was the case right from the get-go? It hasn't just happened? Like it did work properly at first?
A possibility, since this is a Tamron third party lens, it isn't totally compatible with your older Rebel XSi.
The Tamron AF18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD AF Lens is a pretty decent lens for a 15x zoom. All zooms with such a large extended zoom range are marginal at best. You must remember it is a really slow lens. It will never be a good indoor low light lens.
"I'm wondering if the body should be sent in for cleaning?"
No that won't do any good. Sorry.
"Can it be repaired?"
No, it most likely isn't worth spending any money on it. Sorry again.
"New (or new used) body?"
A more current Rebel is a reasonable choice.
"Sell and buy new body and lens?"
You won't get much for it.
With the stated budget of less than $300, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens is probably the best solution. It is designed to work on Rebel cameras. Plus it will work on a newer Rebel if you decide to go that route later on.