Basic Kit Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Santabean2000, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Hello Photo Peoples, I'm hoping for some sound purchasing advice for a (soon to be) first time dslr owner.

    Basically I've lined up as an entry into hobbie photography a new Canon 450d/XSi. I'm mostly interested in exploring subject/portrait type stuff and some macro shots too.

    Now obivously the big advantage of a dslr is the ability to swop out the lens, so my real question is:
    What are the '3 essential' lenses that I should start with?

    Do people usually buy a 'kit' or save their money for better lenses?
  2. disdat macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2005
    New England USA
    You MUST have the nifty fifty 50mm f/1.8 - under $100 and is a magic lens. Great for portraits. It really allows you to experiment with DoF and bokeh .

    I started out with that lens, and the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. In hindsight, I wish I waited until I got a bit more practice with the camera first before purchasing a lens.

    For the first few weeks/months, all I used was the 50mm, just getting to know the camera.

    I don't regret the Tamron, but I think I would have been better off waiting to find out what kind of photos I like taking and holding off on the purchase. I might have chosen a different lens, who knows.

    But for sure, I would recommend the XTs body (no kit) and the 50mm

    EDIT: oh and if you are into macro, I would for sure recommend the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. I would wait to get it until you learn more about the camera though. I got mine a couple of months later, and haven't regretted it once! I love that lens!

    But really, you are going to be sooo overtaken with the 50mm experiments, you won't want another lens for a little bit. Give yourself the time, and then decide what you want for the second and third lens.
  3. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    This is just my take, and how I've managed my so-called path. Others will possibly (probably) disagree, but that's part of the process--finding your own rationale. Regardless, think about what you want to do, and plan a little. Lenses are too much of an investment to make mistakes with (well, more than a few mistakes, anyway). Don't forget that Tamron & others make fine glass, too. Also, consider finding a decent shop and pick up gently used lenses at a good savings.

    A quality basic prime and a mid-range zoom should be #1 & #2 on the list, and #3 should be your first "specialty" lens.

    #1: The 50mm f/1.8 (also known as the "plastic fantastic"). Simply too good and too cheap to pass up, an outstanding basic prime. You can afford a new one every year, so don't worry too much about banging this one up.

    #2 The 70-200 f/4L. Canon makes three other L Series 70-200's: another f/4 (IS), and two f/2.8's (IS and non-IS). the f/4 I mentioned is the least expensive of the four (about $600, give or take), and the least expensive L glass made. Absolutely wonderful lens, and will outlive three or four bodies easily.

    Third lens? That's really a tossup, depending on the direction you want to go: landscape, architectural, macro, whatever. There's so much out there, but you should do a lot of work with the other two and see what grabs your interest, and where your natural talents lie. That's why I'll go ahead and take the kit lens, because they're generally of decent quality and a good general-purpose range to give you room to play & experiment. I would stay away from extreme ends of the spectrum until you're really focused on on a category, though (meaning don't buy that 1200mm that B&H has, not yet, anyway!).

    Good luck, good shooting, and keep us up to date.

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