upgrade lens for canon t1i

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gdeusthewhizkid, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2008
    hey guys,

    Ive recently purchased a pre owned t1i. I have the stock 18-55mm and purchased a 50mm 1.8 lens as a walk around lens. I like the combo but I really just want to walk around with one lens. since i live close to nyc I like to go into the city and get pics of sky scrapers, people on the street and some nice portraits. I really like what im getting out of the 50 but it feels so tight. I would like to upgrade and get better "bokeh" on my portraits. I have found using the 50 on manual gets great results but i would like to get more bokeh and head and shouldier shots. I really like prime lenses too but i can't decide which to go next. B&H suggested 28mm. I have my eye on either 70-300mm or 85mm 1.8. I have examples of pictures i would like to do but from my description what lens would you guys suggest.... This has been a hard decision..
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Sounds to me like 2 different primes. A wide-angle (really a standard lens on a crop sensor) will help you when you feel it's too tight. I really like 28mm on an APS sensor. However, the 35mm is quite a bit cheaper. The 85mm would help you get even shallower depth of field.

    That said, it might be worth looking at a used full frame camera and just use a fast 50mm on it. It would solve both your problems in one go and probably end up costing roughly the same as getting 2 other prime lenses.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    I'm a prime user myself so I understand how hard it can be to choose your next focal length. Here's a few things to keep in mind when choosing a lens with your camera.

    1. Understand that every lens will be cropped because of your smaller censor (the listed focal lengths are for full frame cameras only). This means that your 50mm is actually more like 80mm. A 28mm would be roughly a 45mm. Easiest way to calculate this is to multiply the focal length by 1.6. A good way to pick the best focal length is to use your kit zoom lens like a series of primes. You'll see 18, 24, 35, and 55mm market on the barrel. When taking a shot leave it on one of those settings and see which focal length you enjoy using the most.

    2. While a wider aperture lens will give you a narrower depth of field (making for more bokeh), a longer focal length will also help in that department. Example: the 85mm will give your a narrower depth of field then the 50mm even if they're both set to the same aperture.

    3. While your focal lengths will be cropped that doesn't mean that the characteristics of the lens have changed (lens distortion). Even though I have a 50mm that works out to be the same framing as an 85mm, there's no way that I'd use it for portraits. 50mm and wider will always have a slight barrel distortion that is not very flattering when taking portraits.

    Here's what I have in my kit right now and how I use them.

    24mm f2.8 IS USM = General use, landscapes, cities, crowds.
    50mm 1.4mm USM = General use, Full body portraits.
    85mm 1.8mm USM (FYI my favorite lens!) = Head shots, portraits, sports.

    I have my eye on the 135mm 2.0L for my next lens. Hope this helps!
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2008
    Im really in love with the 5d mark 2 .. i can't afford it right now but that would be my dream camera.. when i go on flickr and look at the type of photography that i want to do. it's usually that camera paired with a 50 mm 1.4 lens...


    been doing research on 500 px for a few months now and honestly the 85mm and 5d mark 2 give me the exact images im looking to do when i do research on it... I would like to great black n whites with that nice bokeh and really do some nice street portraits. Dont have or want to work in a regular photo studio...
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    A 50mm lens on a 1.6 crop body (such as the T1i) gives you the FoV equivalent of an 80mm lens on a 35mm/full-frame body (such as the 5D).
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2008
    I dont understand what you are trying to tell me....
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    The sensor on your T1i is a crop sensor. It is a not a full frame 35mm sensor. They are smaller by a factor of 1.6. You can think of this as shooting a 35mm negative but cutting out part of the sides and keeping only the middle.

    This has for effect to zoom into your picture or in other words to give you a narrower field of view (FoV).

    So, what mustang_dvs is saying is that a 50mm lens on your crop bodied camera gives you the same field of view as an 80mm lens on a full framed camera. However, the depth of field would be shallower on the full frame, if you were framing the same shot and using the same aperture setting.

    IMHO, if these concepts aren't clear to you, you might want to do some studying before dropping money on some lenses.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens, on sale for $200 off at B&H, so only $289.

    Awesome prime lens, and great focal length on a crop sensor camera. My current favorite lens, and on my camera most of the time right now.

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