Lenses for beginner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wingsky, May 27, 2006.

  1. wingsky macrumors member

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    #1
    A friend of mine gave me his 350D body as he bought a second 30D as his backup, so at the moment I have the body, but no lenses (he wouldnt give me any of his :p)

    I'm travelling to Hong Kong at the end of the year and I'm thinking I would need 2 lenses, is that right? A wide one for all the city skyline shots and stuff like that along with a fast one for indoor portraits etc?

    Can you give me any suggestions? I am on a bit of a budget and as it's my first DSLR I don't want to spend too much (plus I sunk a large chunk of cash into booking my holiday and I've set aside some for a macbook :cool:)

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #2
    Budget? It would help a lot if we knew what you wanted to spend for 2 lenses.
     
  3. wingsky thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Hmm, around about $600 - 750? Is that enough for 2 lenses?
     
  4. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #4
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Yeah, that sounds like a good lens.

    Do you know anything about lenses? If I had a choice, I'd get one with lower focal lengths for now. I doubt you'd need a telephoto lens (eg: a 300 mm focal length, which means you can see things "far away" through your viewfinder) in Hong Kong. You're usually better off going for wideangle to mid-range zooms, say from 10 mm to 100 mm, or therabouts.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #6
    I am sure that some may scoff at this; but the Tamron 18-200 may be a great choice for you. It may not pass muster with the Canon L lenses, but it does seem to hold up for many users. Add the Canon 35mm f2.0 and I think you would be set for most any shooting.

    I think that you re selling yourself short in not looking for a lens with a wider FOV than the Sigma 24-70. The new Tamron 17-55 2.8 is a decent lens if you need speed.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    You will need a wide lens, get the "kit" lens

    24mm is not nearly wide enough. On a film body it would be wide but the digital sensor of the 350d is smaller than a 35mm frame. Look for a lens that ranges from 18mm to about 55mm. An sure enough almost all digital rebels are sold with tat lens and it is very low cost. well under 1/2 your budget. ust look at ads for the 350d and look to see what "kit lens" is sold with it.

    Now for low light just get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. On a 350d 50mm is a moderate telephoto. Buy these and you will hace real Canon lenses with total cost for two lenes just over $300.

    I doubt yu will need a long lens in HK. Most everything you will want to shoot is up close. I've been there. My inlaws used to own a flat up in one of the high rises. You want __wide__ get at least 18mm on the wide end.
    The technique is "use a wide lens and get close."
     
  8. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Tamron (or Tokina) 19-35 for wide angle. $125 used

    Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 for all around use. $290 used

    Canon EF 50 1.8 (because it's only $70 and very useful sometimes with excellent image quality).
     
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #9
    *Blushes* I didn't think anyone cared, its so kind of you. Reminds me to put links up to my 10-20mm review. The 24-70mm is a good lens, it do pretty much everything I want in a walk around... except maybe getting to around 100mm lol. It does a moderate macro work too. Downside is its a little big for a lot of people.

    Not wide enough for you. Wide enough for my walk around. If you absolutely need a lens in that range there is the good Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX
    http://www.sigma4less.com/sess/utn1...+Lens+for+Canon+Digital+EOS+=28SG1850F28CA=29 $370

    Or the also good Sigma 18-125mm
    http://www.sigma4less.com/sess/utn1...Lens+for+Canon+Digital+EOS+=28SG18125F35CA=29 $235

    So it boils down to what you like to do most. If you are like me and don't do wide angle very much you could pick up the 24-70mm + maybe something like a 100mm Macro lens, or Canon 50 1.8 or 1.4 or Canon 85mm 1.8. Or a long zoom that isn't so great like the Sigma 70-300mm DG APO Macro, which is the 'thrifty 300'.

    If you like doing wide landscapes... maybe get a 18-50 or 18-125.. But those are probably not wide enough anyway, so you could pick up the Sigma 10-20mm EX HSM. For about $450, its an amazing lens. So maybe the 10-20mm +50mm or 85mm.

    Do you like telephoto? If you already have a kit lens that is ok, like the Canon 28-105mm or something, you could pick up say the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG HSM for around $730. But if you're going to do that, wait and see about the NEW version of that lens which should be shipping soon. It has closer focusing, and probably better performance.
     
  10. form macrumors regular

    form

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    #10
    The sensor size of the 350d is smaller than 35mm film, which is what the focal lengths are based on. Multiply focal lengths by 1.6x (i.e. 10 = 16, 50 = 80, etc).

    What would I get on your budget?.......If I needed ultra-wide and a "decent" portrait lens, probably the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. Total cost would be about $600 shipped. OR...

    If 17mm is wide enough for you, you might be able to get away with a single lens: The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II. It's fairly wide, and fast enough for some portrait use. And it's less than $500 shipped.

    Sigma also makes a 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro, which is actually ~$390 and gives a good zoom range. You could optionally combine this with the faster Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for lower light, and be perfectly happy having two very usable lenses for less than $500 shipped. The only thing you might not like about that idea is having a redundant focal length.

    There will be a LOT of perspective distortion with 10-20mm focal lengths, so the camera's angle relative to the subject(s) can make some things seem really stretched, distorted, etc, especially if they're only a short distance away. For examples, check out http://search.pbase.com/search?q=Sigma+10-20&b=Search+Photos&c=sp

    I prioritize Image Quality over cost whenever possible. To me, Okay isn't good enough, no matter how cheap. However, I can't usually afford Canon L glass, either.
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #11
    The Tamron you mention is an interesting lens, its pretty sharp, but its got some pretty killer CA. As in worse than the Sigma 10-20mm.

    I forgot about the Sigma 17-70mm, that lens is sweet. The edge softness at 17mm is its weakness. But its no worse off than the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8.

    If that 17-70mm was out when I bought my 24-70mm, I probably would have bought the 17-70mm and saved some money.
     
  12. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #12
    Chris - I think your recommendation on the 18-55 kit lens (I have the Mk II version and it's really not a bad lens at all, esp. for $140 [BH price]) and the 50 1.8 is a nice budget package. On the 24-70, I think that this is an average camera range for a lot of folks given that it is more or less the range of the average point and shoot camera out there (e.g. Elphs start at a wide end of 35mm and 24 x 1.6 gets you 38.4mm). I may be biased a bit though, I have hopes that the Canon 24-70 f2.8L will be my next walk around.

    For the original poster here's a sample from the 18-55 mk II kit lens at 55mm
     

    Attached Files:

  13. form macrumors regular

    form

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    #13
    The Tamron's CAs are only worse at 17 and 24mm, and roughly half a pixel at most...not the biggest difference. If you can correct for one, you can correct for the other.
     
  14. wingsky thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Thanks guys for the replies, I've been reading up on the lenses you have suggested, and the Sigma 10-20 with the Canon 50/1.8 along with the kit lens (if i can find it cheap enough anywhere, maybe ebay?) would be a good combination no?

    I doubt I will be doing any macro work in Hong Kong so I guess I can wait on those lenses until next year. Maybe I will do some long distance shots, what would be a decent focal length for say a 400-600yd distance?

    I wish I had more money :)
     
  15. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #15
    I'm not sure what you mean.... But anyway, I don't correct chromatic aberration, at least not until aperture can do it. ;)
     
  16. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #16
    400-600 yd away from you? It depends on how big of a subject you're wanting to capture and how big you want it in the viewfinder.

    Anyway, seems you're pretty new to the basic concept of lenses, so if I were you I'd go in and ask to see some lenses of different focal lenghts and just look at what they do to the viewfinder.
     
  17. form macrumors regular

    form

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    #17
    Your call, though once you use the EF 50mm f/1.8 II you'll probably never want to use the 18-55mm kit lens at the same focal length, because the fixed-focal's image quality is far superior. And the Sigma 10-20mm outperforms the kit lens at 18-20mm. I suppose that if you really want the area in-between, that's up to you.

    Long range? The least expensive usable telephoto zoom lens is probably the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS, at about $550. If you want even better optics (though less zoom), the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L is about $580 (grey market) at Adorama right now. They're both highly regarded lenses in their own rights.
     
  18. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #18
    I can't believe no one has mentioned the EF 28-135 IS USM.
     
  19. form macrumors regular

    form

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    #19
    That's because it isn't a terribly sharp lens, nor does it cover anything this person claimed to be looking for. It's not wide angle on a 350D, and it's not a fast, low-light portrait lens.
     
  20. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #20
    I think carrying around an 18-55 and a 50 would be the worst favor you could ever offer someone. Talk about limiting.

    I've gotten images just as good out of the 28-135 as the 24-70L.

    Anyway, it's a great compromise for a good carry around lens, which is what he really needs. The IS works great in low light.
     
  21. form macrumors regular

    form

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    #21
    I didn't suggest 18-55 and 50, I suggested the 18-70 and the 50, or the 17-50 alone, or the 10-20 and the 50.

    Just about any lens is capable of taking pictures that can look good when reduced in size, and any lens can take bad pictures. It's about contrast, detail and color, and how demanding the person is about those things.

    The IS may be able to reduce motion blur, but at f/4 or f/5 it may require a slower shutter speed to pick up enough light than the IS can compensate for.
     
  22. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #22
    Hey, look. Take a deep breath.

    I didn't say you did suggest that exact combo - I was just saying that the 28-135 might make a nice combo, and I think it deserved mentioning.

    I'm not here to get into a testosterone chest beating match over CA, vignetting, sharpness, IS or any other number of terms that people like to throw around (I'd go to DPReview if I wanted that). I just thought someone should mention the 28-135, regardless - it was a great starting lens for me.

    That's all. :)
     
  23. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #23
    Yeah thats a nice lens too. I think it might be a little overpriced though. But IS is very nice, and I which a lot of nicer lenses had it. I'd like to see it incorporated into more lenses. I'd probably rebuy my 150mm macro and my 24-70mm if Sigma released OS versions.
     
  24. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #24
    My favorite combo (till I got the 28-75 Tamron) was the 17-40L and the 28-135IS. But the 28-135IS found its way in to my bag when I knew I needed more reach than the 28-75.

    I bought the 50/1.8 mkI because of comments all over the web. It sees little use since I have found myself as a below normal (less than a 50mm FOV based on the 35mm format).

    Love the Lensbaby, but with an effective FOV of 35mm on my Nikon cameras, I find that I don't use as much as I would like to. If it had an effective FOV of 50mm or less on a DSLR I might use it more.
     
  25. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #25
    the 10-20 and the 50mm f/1.8 would be a good combo. I doubt you will need a longer lens then 50mm will work for indoor portraits. 10mm is _very_ wide I'd call it a specialty lens. Even 20 is wide. But if you learn to use the 10-20 (You need to get very close to some subjects. you will have photos that people like. Beginners tend to stand back and use a longer lens. Ths makes for a "flat" image and up close and wide style is more engaging and involves the vewer in the image but it's a style you have to work at learning. The 18-55 "kit lens" gives you the easyst to use range

    Best advice is Do Not Wait. Shoot 500 frames before you leave. Try to find a place where there are people, buildings and public spaces. (It should not be hard to find) close to where you live and learn to shot those subjects close to home as that is what you will e doing in KH. It takes some experiance to learn how to use the distortion inherent in a 10-20mm lens to your advantage

    Suggestion: if you have a 10mm and are shooting a building. Don't point the camera up, Keep the camera level and then when you get home crop off the bottom of the frame. You will get a rectalinear renderring. Loads of other things like that learn and try withan extream wide angle lens

    Some of my best shots I got in HK were during back street shopping expeditions. I doubt you's have use for a telephoto.

    You don't need to cover "everything". Carry just one lens and shoot only what you can with it and pass on what you can't. Put th other lens on for the next outing. Bettr to bring home 200 good shots then 1,000 junk ones.
     

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