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Author Topic: Newbie HELP -What's a good lens to start with? Finally purchased my first DSLR  (Read 9011 times)

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graficallyminded

« on: March 29, 2008, 14:15 »
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I just nabbed a lightly used 20D and battery grip on ebay for $500, but it doesn't come with any lenses.

Besides the 50mm EF prime lens, what is a good starter lens, maybe one with a little zoom?  I like the 18-55 kit lens on the Nikon D40/D40x, is there something similar that is also relatively cheap on the Canon end of things?  I'm hearing the Canon 18-55 EF-s lens is utter crapola.

I'm looking for a good all around lens that gets wide but also has a bit of a zoom to it.  Something I can shoot architecture and landscapes with, as well as the occasional portraits.


« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2008, 14:39 »
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People say the 18-55 kit lens is crap, but I shot most of my microstock portfolio with it before I "treated" myself to the 50mm!

I found it fine, especially if you're still learning.  Use the lens within it's limitations.  You're never going to shoot low light or action with it.  That's why you're buying the 50mm.   ;)

« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2008, 14:46 »
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well the 50mm is a good lens. 

If i were you I would shoot with the 50mm and save my pennies until I could buy an L Canon lens, or a Tokina / Sigma equivalent.  if you want to pinch pennies I would go for the Sigma 24-70 2.8 once you had enough $$.  You could probably be satisfied and learn quite a lot with just the 50 mm

My first camera (a canon AE-1 film camera) I only had a 50mm lens - and I used it lots and loved it.

vonkara

« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2008, 14:47 »
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The 17-85 f4-5.6 maybe? Most people start whit ... about 650$ depend where you are

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_17-85_4-5p6_is_usm_c16/
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 14:56 by Vonkara »

« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2008, 15:07 »
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Now this is a neet lens Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 fast and sharp

« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 15:15 »
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Quite good and not too pricy lenses:

Sigma 17-70/2,8-4 macro
Sigma 18-50/2,8
Tamron 17-50/2,8
Tokina 16-50/2,8

Very good but pricy:
Canon 17-55/2,8

« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008, 15:21 »
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I like the 18-55 kit lens on the Nikon D40/D40x, is there something similar that is also relatively cheap on the Canon end of things?  I'm hearing the Canon 18-55 EF-s lens is utter crapola.

There is the old EF-S 18-55, and the new one with Image Stabilizer. Considering the price, I don't think this is a bad lens, capable of decent results, although I find purple fringing a bit annoying.

And of course, there is 17-55 2.8 IS  :D, it received many favorable reviews. B&H sells it for 999 $  :-\, which still is a bargain, because in Europe it costs 999 .

« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2008, 18:57 »
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Congratulations on the 20D. I am still using mine and it is a great tool!

it depends all on what you want to shoot. Ok you want:
  • a good all around lens
  • that gets wide but
  • also has a bit of a zoom to it
  • Something I can shoot architecture and landscapes with,
  • as well as the occasional portraits.


I would not buy one lens for that. Wide (on a 1.6 crop body) + portrait does not work very well. You will need 17-85 or a even larger range. These lenses are not necessarily the best (optical) quality.

The best option might be a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO. Check the reviews. I like the 24-105 F4L, but it is not very wide on a 20D and also costs 1,000$.


Below are a few of my personal (!) preferences/ thoughts on lens selection.
Cheers.


1) Nowadays I would not buy a lens anymore, which does not work on a full frame (FF) body.  Like the Canon EF-S lenses. A good lens you can keep a long time. And sooner or later you might want to upgrade to FF.

People say good things about the 17-50 2.8 Tamron. But AFAIK this one does not work on FF?!

1000$ for a 17-55 EF-S? Not for me, thanks.


2) In general it depends all on what you want to shoot and your preferences: zoom (=convenience) vs. prime (=better image quality/ better low light performance, lower price).

With three Canon primes you can get excellent optical quality: 35mm F2, 50mm 1.8 and a 85mm 1.8. Built quality is similar to the 50mm you have. But hey, these are between 80$ and 330$.

However, if you do microstock (MS) semi-serious. You will be able to afford pretty much any gear from the earnings.

3) Also I would not buy medium or low quality lenses. Sooner or later you are going to sell them to get something better. And if you do MS you will need good quality lenses.

I am not a fan of the Canon 17-85. I used it and was not very happy. I did not have/ use the Tamron 17-50 2.8 or the Sigma 17-70, but from what I read, these are better lenses. Again, all not FF.


4) For shooting MS I would recommend a macro lens (for objects etc) eg Tamron 90mm 2.8. Can be used for portraits too. Check the reviews and compare with the sigma 105mm and Canon 100mm macro.

And a 24-105 F4L. I find this lens very convenient. For MS most of the stuff I shoot is >F8. However, if you want to shoot sports (espec. indoors), wedding, kids at home etc., this lens would not be your best choice.


graficallyminded

« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008, 14:59 »
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Thanks so much for all of the responses, guys!  I appreciate all of the great advice!!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 11:28 by PhotoPhan »

graficallyminded

« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2008, 20:29 »
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http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-28-135mm-f-3.5-5.6-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

What about this one, the Canon EF 28-135 IS?  Seems like a decent all around lens, and it has IS.  It's going to be as wide, though as the EF-S 18-55 IS.  BUT, it goes around around $250 used on ebay.

I'm starting to think that I should just get a decent all around performer, and not waste another $80-$100 just for the 50mm f1.8

« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2008, 21:25 »
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Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 f/2.8. Both of them great value and great quality. The 28-75 is probably the most useful one for stock, and it covers full frame as well. I would also consider a macro lens. There are several good ones available (Sigma, Tamron or Tokina) for $250 to 500.

« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 00:37 »
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A must have for any Canon buyer is a genuine 50mm f1.8 for about $US80.

« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 03:28 »
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I started with the lens kit efs 18-55 and a sigma 28-200 wich I have for sale at the moment.
I dont think 18-55 is a crap. It is sharper than the sigma and an allround usefull focal lenght.

There are good lenses for cropped sensors like Tamron 17-50 f2.8 but I wouldnt buy them. If... (better said, "when") I buy a Full frame camera in the future I cant use them.

My most recent purchase is a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and its now fixed to the camera almost all the time.

I wouldnt go for a prime at the beginning because a zoom is much usefull.
I have a MKI 50mm f1.8. Image quality is grat but I dont find it a very good focal lenght in a cropped sensor except for head shots.

I would buy a lens that I can use in the future also if I upgrade my lenses so it is a good medium range zoom (24-70, 28-75 or something like that) OR a not very expensive allround lense to shoot until you upgrade and then you can use to travel with a cheap equipment in case you lose or someone stole it (18-250, 28-200...)

Good luck

graficallyminded

« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 08:08 »
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Here is a new one..seems relatively cheap - the Canon EF-S 17-55 IS

http://cgi.ebay.com/CANON-17-55-MM-LENS-IS-USM-LENS_W0QQitemZ220216434521QQihZ012QQcategoryZ78999QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wonder if it performs better than the newer EF-S 18-55 IS?  (the one kitted on the new Rebel Xsi)


« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 09:01 »
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Its common 17-85 IS USM, check the description down the page. Not bad but also not very good, its fast and stabilised which is both quite useless in studio/stock and its quite dark (4-5,6) which is big disadvantage. Also its optical quality is lower then those lenses i mentioned which cost about $500-600 and Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 is even cheaper then 17-85.

« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2008, 09:26 »
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If you want a lens that will work good for a while, the kit replacement 18-55 IS is supposed to be pretty darn good, especially the price.  It surely is no L, but is also is way better than the old kit lens, and I've heard the street price is less than $200.00, not a bad deal for any lens, it at least is as good of a performer as the 17-85, but much cheaper, the price is low enough to justify a virtual "throwaway" when/if you upgrade to FF (or EF-S becomes obsolete).  The 50mm is definitely more versatile than it seems, to me zoom is kind of overrated, generally I use one end or the other, rarely do I ever use it somewhere in between, which means that a zoom is nothing more than 2 ultra slow primes in one package that never needs to be changed.  Adding an extension tube (which aren't that $$, about $100) can turn a 50mm into a decent macro lens too, and they would work on all lenses, giving every lens you own macro capability.

If you want a lens that will be with you forever, the 17-40L is a great lens.  I just got it not too long ago and love it, paired with a 50mm and a 70-300, my set basically covers all focal lengths pretty good (sans the superwide, but on a FF the 17-40 is a superwide).  At $600 it is the cheapest of all the good FF zoom lenses, if I am not still using it a decade from now I will be shocked.

« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2008, 09:37 »
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600mm f/4 IS :)

Don't be cheap when it comes to lenses.  LIke you said, you will get it back.  The 17-40 f/4 is fantastic, and its not that expensive.  And you really don't need IS anyways.

PS - beware of 14 dollar batteries.  Might not be a good idea

« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2008, 15:12 »
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The lens you are probably looking for is the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8  That is my midrange lens and I couldn't work without it.  It's super fast, light, gets some decent close ups (not true macro - 100m 2.8 for that).

This tamron isn't super cheap at $330 and you'll still need a wide (18-55mm kit lens for $60 or less) but it's definitely the best lens in the mid-range, low-ish price.  I have 3 of them here - mine, Sarah's and a backup.  It's the only lens we have 3 of so far (two 50mm 1.8, two 18-55, two 70-200 IS, one of everything else) but we couldn't possibly shoot without this lens on hand.

M

graficallyminded

« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2008, 20:08 »
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If you want a lens that will be with you forever, the 17-40L is a great lens.  I just got it not too long ago and love it, paired with a 50mm and a 70-300, my set basically covers all focal lengths pretty good (sans the superwide, but on a FF the 17-40 is a superwide).  At $600 it is the cheapest of all the good FF zoom lenses, if I am not still using it a decade from now I will be shocked.

I like the way you think, Waldo - this seems like an awesome kit that covers all of the bases. 

I just bought the nifty fifty and a 2gb Kingston CF card for $100 shipped on Adorama - what a great deal!  $13 for the CF, $82 for the 50mm, and $5 for shipping.  A few hours later someone on a forum PMed me and offered to ship me one for $65...DOH.  Could've saved 20 bucks, but ah well.  At least this one will be brand spankin' new.

I can't wait to get all of the goodies.  I'm getting antsy.  Can't wait to start playing with the starter setup.  Mostly, I'll be shooting shots of the dog in low indoor light, testing out f1.8 for the first time ever ;) 

Another lens that interests me is the Canon 10-22mm I love wide angle, so with a 1.6x crop sensor, I'd better go as low as I can if I want

I just got myself into a very expensive hobby  :o  The return will be worth these expensive lenses in the long run, though.  I've already made enough with micro over the last few years to justify these purchases.   I have to stop being so cheap.

« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2008, 12:39 »
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Cool, new equipment always makes me giddy.  Shootin' the dogs indoors was one of the first things that I tested my 50mm with, given some window light it is fine, but with lamps, unless I'm using a high ISO (super rare) I can't HH the 50 indoors.  The 1.8 is an adjustment though, with my dogs I have to choose, eyes, or snout, at 1.8 I get one or the other, not both ('twood be easier if I had a Pug ;-)).

I was really, really, really torn between the 17-40 and the 10-22, eventually deciding on the 17-40 because I'm going to get a FF with my next camera purchase, I'm basically saving every penny made from MS sites for it.  It is kind of a race (knowing that a XT's shutter is good for about 50,000 clicks), which happens first, either save enough for the 5D replacement, or the camera gets past 45,000 clicks and I order a 5D.  It'll be close given the rate of income growth and projections of it (realistic) and the shooting rate that I'm maintaining.  At the pace I'm at right now (and have maintained all year), I'll be right at about 50000 shots at this time next year, it was hard to justify to myself getting a lens that would last me at most a year, at the same price that I could get the L which will seemingly last forever.  I do love the wide shots, but since my widest lens has been a 50 for as long as I've had my SLR, 17mm is plenty to keep me sated for the time being, and on a FF the 17-40 is basically the same lens as the 10-22, just a bit longer.

My next lens though, that will complete my collection is the 100mm f/2.8 macro.  After that all that is left is to begin upgrading the individual lenses (50mm and 70-300).

« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2010, 04:07 »
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For start you'd need Canon 50mm f1.8 II (it is cheap and great lens - Maybe best of all for money it costs and it is ultra sharp) - only you must take care with it because it is plastic!

Sigma 18-50/2,8 is your next step.

Some Macro like Tamrom 90mm

And some zoom like Canon 70-200L (no matter if it is f2.8 or f4)

When you get those you have all weapons you'd need ;-)

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2010, 06:55 »
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The OP probably bought a lens a couple years ago shortly after this topic was posted.

 

« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2010, 07:06 »
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I just removed the post that brought the thread back to life...

if it is your first post here it is probably best to not to bring a very old thread back to the top with spammy-esque links.


 

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