Paying attention in physics class pays off BIG!

After vacillating for months, Canon came up with the Kurosawa of rebate offers (ie compelling but really hard for me to understand), and I ordered a new Digital Rebel 350 XT from, of all places, Amazon. Amazon usually tends to be more expensive, especially when you factor in sales tax, but there were two factors that swayed me. First, they had the lens that I wanted (the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (EF being Canons mainline series of lenses (EF-S is their series for APS sensors), 28-135mm being the focal length (which you can multiply by 1.6 because of the APS sensor size, making this a 45mm-216mm lens on the Rebel), f/3.5-5.6 (the aperture measured in footcandles/joule), IS meaning image stabilization (a neat gyro-stabilized lens element), and USM being the better kind of focusing motor) in stock, and second, unlike the other companies that had that lens in stock, they had few online reviews that said, "I'd rather cuddle with an enraged grizzly than order something from these guys again"

I added the camera, lens, a new flash card, and a skylight filter to my shopping cart, removed the skylight filter (anybody who thinks I'm going to pay $15 to ship a $20 filter is delusional), and checked the "ship all the items together".

And, of course, the camera showed up Tuesday, without the lens. So, what do you do with a camera without a lens? Well, remembering your high school physics (or, perhaps, your college physics. How should I know when you took physics?), you should recall the camera obscura (literally "who hid my camera? C'mon guys, that's not funny..."). So, I got a piece of aluminum foil, put it in front of the lens mount, and captured a couple of images with 20 second exposures. Recognizable images, at least in the "guy who can pretty much navigate his room without his glasses" sense. So, your physics is good for something.

Oh, and I got the black version of the camera.

Comedy question: Is it funnier to cuddle with a grizzly or a tiger? Inquiring minds want to know...

Comments (11)

  1. Dave says:

    So where are the photos huh?

    I’m assuming you pricked a tiny hole in the foil?

  2. Ron Krauter says:

    Yes, where are the photos?

  3. Tim Marman says:

    Since when does Amazon charge sales tax? is it a state by state thing?

    With Amazon Prime ("free" 2 day shipping) and no sales tax (Dell even started charging in NYS) amazon is usually my first choice…

  4. TommyW says:

    EF isn’t specific to the APS-C-sized sensors. EF is the standard Canon lens mount for its SLRs. They introduced this back in the 80s to replace the FD lens system.

    EF-S is the version that only works on certain reduced-image-circle models (the two Digital Rebels and the 20D for now).

    The 28-135IS is a great lens for full-frame cameras and, if you prefer the telephoto end of photography, you’ll enjoy this lens on your Digital Rebel.

    Canon recently made an EF-S version intended to replicate the very versatile 35mm-equivalent 28-135mm range of the lens you bought: the 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS lens. It works out to 27-136 in 35mm terms.

  5. David Grant says:

    Sounds cool… you should flickr those puppies up.

  6. Eddie Parker says:

    To answer the most important question,


    Without a doubt.

    *A tiger’s too lean, and a grizzly’s girth definitely adds to the comedic effect. Trust me.

  7. Scott says:

    Tiger – It’s more likely to rip you to shreds.

  8. ericgu says:


    I don’t shoot a ton of wide-angle, and when I do, I often do panoramas, so I can do without the low end.

    I thought about the 17-85, but it’s fairly pricey, and since it’s the EF-S mount, not readily tranferable if (when?) I want to switch to a FF camera.

    I’ve thought about getting the 70-200 f/4L lens, but it won’t give me much over the other lens, though it may have superior optical performance.

  9. Lars Jonsson says:

    Congratulations! 350XT is an amazing camera.

    Check out the battery grip. It makes the camera feel even better.

    Also, the new 70-300 f4-5.6 IS has gotten excellent reviews. Some think the image quality is as good as 70-400 f4 L. It costs about the same.

  10. Gabe says:

    Watch out for dust with your pinhole lens there. Not only will the dust seem more obvious (it’s like shooting at f/200), but you have essentially nothing to prevent the dust from getting in to the mirror box and onto the sensor.

    BTW, you can actually get what are essentially body caps with precision laser-cut holes for very nice pinhole "lenses".

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