Beginners Canon Rebel XSi Lense?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jplg842, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. jplg842 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #1
    Hello.
    I'm getting Canon Rebel XSi camera, but dont know what lense should i get..
    Im totally new to photography, and just want a good lense for Landscapes, portraits.
    im on a budget...

    Thanks :)
     
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Perhaps the kit lens? The IS one is supposed to be ok, actually. What is your budget? Where will your images end up?
     
  3. BoingoBongo macrumors regular

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    #3
    I got my first SLR, an XTi, last year, and I was also confused about lenses. I ended up getting the EF-S 18-55mm IS to start (about $150). It's the standard "kit" lens for the XSi, and it's not bad at all. I think it's a good starter lens because 18-55 is a pretty general range, and it will give you an idea of where you want to go next. For example, I found that I was constantly wanting more telephoto capabilities, so that made it clear what my next lens needed to be.

    I bought the EF-S 55-250 IS as my second lens (about $300). It's a pretty great lens, and I'm completely satisfied, so I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for an inexpensive telephoto option.

    If you're really into portraits and on a very tight budget, you might want to look into Canon's 50mm prime, sometimes called the "nifty 50." It usually sells for $70-$90. I don't have one, but I've seen some amazing stuff done with it.

    All three of these lenses have been getting fantastic reviews, and I think they're probably the best bang-for-your-buck if you're on a budget. You can Google them if you want and see what other people are saying. :)
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    If money is an issue, get the 18-55mm IS (make sure it's the one with IS) and the Nifty Fifty (50mm f/1.8). With the latter lens you'll be able to experiment with shallow depth of field (blurry backgrounds) that you cannot get with PnS cameras. The kit lens will cover you on the wide end. If you still have money left over, then go for a longer lens too.

    Shoot a lot with those lenses until you discover their strengths and weaknesses and your own preferences. Then you can venture into the world of expensive glass with a good idea of what you really want.
     
  5. jplg842 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #5
    Thanks guys
    i guess for now i will get the EF-S 18-55mm IS
    u guys know any manual or tutorial so i can get the best out of my lense?
    And whats the best way to get the best of my camera too?
     
  6. BoingoBongo macrumors regular

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    #6
    The internet is full of great resources, and most larger bookstores should have a few different books written specifically for your camera.

    And of course, practice along with trial and error is always a great thing. :D
     
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #7
    Depending what your budget is my pick for a great all around lens is the 24-75 2.8L. I LOVE that lens and its amazingly sharp.

    I would suggest if you are unsure perhaps rent some from someplace like rentglass.com and try before you buy.
     
  8. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Go to www.photozone.de for apples-to-apples comparison of the lens performance for almost every Canon EF and EF-S lens ever made, including distortion properties, MTF (image quality), vignetting performance, and chromatic aberration performance.

    The 18-55 IS lens has surprisingly good image quality (even beating many L series lenses... sorry "L snobs" ;) ) The only thing that the reveiwers didn't like was that the overall build quality feels cheap. But it makes a great starter lens
     
  9. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #9
    Shoot in the creative modes: M, Av, Tv, P and avoid the auto ones. You'll learn a lot more that way and will have greater control over your images.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    Buy the 18-55mm "kit" lens. Then shoot a thousand or two frames. After you've done this look at your work and see what images you were unable to get with your kit lens and then buy the lens that would have gotten the most number of missed shots.

    Most beginners think they want a cheap f/5.6 200mm zoom lens. Resist buying one of these untill you've shoot at least 1,000 frames. Maybe you will want a faster lens or a wider one or maybe a speed light. You can't know yet.
     
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    But if he's never used a fast lens, he won't really know what he's missing with the effects that shallow DOF can provide.

    I strongly recommend that the OP add a "Nifty Fifty" to his purchase. They're available on Amazon for $86 (no tax, no shipping).
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #12
    Technically you don't need to know much. What you shopuld do is go to the library and check out some of those big oversized books that have photos by famous photographers. Look through a bunch of them and find the ones you like. Then go out and attempt to emulate or even copy their work. Learning to twiddle dials is monkey-work that you can learn quickly. Leaning to make images that other people will care about is hard. The best way is to look at the work of the masters.

    The point is to have an idea of what the final print will look like before you pick up and aim the camera. Camera don't capture what you see. Your eys scan a scene camera lenses don't work that way. You need to learn the same things a painter learns, composition, line and color. Gets some art books
     
  13. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    #13
    I think for a beginner, the creative modes are quite confusing ... especially if they've never used an SLR before. I know that I had quite a hard time understanding what it all meant.

    I've found that it was useful to shoot a particular shot in the Fully Auto mode and take a look at the results. See what the shot looked like along with the "stats". Then I would switch it over to Av and try to get better results than the Auto mode. Otherwise, I would probably still be shooting outdoors at f/3.5, in the middle of the day .... wondering why everything looks so white and blownout.

    ft
     
  14. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #14
    Well, OK, that's not bad advice for a person who really has no idea how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO work together. Take a test shot with P or AUTO, note the settings the camera chose, and then fiddle with them in the creative modes.

    Also: definitely read the XSi manual. It has a lot of really useful features and settings that you'll never discover otherwise.
     
  15. jplg842 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    What does shallow DOF mean?
     
  16. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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  17. jplg842 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #17
    i wont be able to do that with the 18-55mm IS?
    (i do that all the time with my canon powershoot by adjusting the focus)
     
  18. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #18
    Depends on the separation of the objects. It's all about aperture, not focus. The kit lens is pretty "slow" meaning it has a fairly small maximum aperture (as denoted by a reasonably large f value) so to get some objects in focus and others out of focus they would have to be quite a long way apart in terms of distance from the camera. With a faster lens they could be closer and still get the same effect.
     
  19. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #19
    With that lens, you can get some subtle effects. The only way you can get that effect on a Canon PowerShot (where it will be even more sutble) is if you get very close to something that has a background very, very far off in the distance.

    You'll never get a shot like this, for example:

    (click to enlarge)

    [​IMG]

    I took that with the Canon 50 f/1.8.

    This image might be more instructive, again click to enlarge:

    [​IMG]

    You can see there that not even the whole starting block is in focus: very narrow depth of field. You can have a lot of fun with this kind of effect.
     
  20. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #20
    This book should help you get started Understanding Exposure. It has lots of examples and explains the concepts very well.
     
  21. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

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    #21
    When I got my XT three years ago, I was pretty clueless.

    This book by Gray Friedman helped me tremendously. Of course I have the XT version and still refer to it occasionally.

    I started with the kit lens and the 50mm 1.8 already mentioned and went from there. The 50 is still my favorite lens.

    Oh and I agree with Understanding Exposure.
     
  22. Yoursh macrumors 6502

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    #22
    You'll be able to, just not as much as if you used a lens with a wider aperture. Like the 50mm f/1.8. I just bought the XSi w/kit lens about a month and a half ago for my first DSLR. I had used film SLR's in the past so I was a little more familiar with SLR controls. I also purchased the 'nifty fifty' 50mm about a week after getting the XSi. Mostly for the wider aperture settings. Though as I said depending on shooting situation, you can get some unique DOF shots. Here are a couple of test shots I did with the kit lens strait out of the box...

    [​IMG]
    Shot at the widest aperture of f/5.6
    [​IMG]
    Shot at f/18

    You can see how aperture can affect the dof. They were focused at the same point on the page(actually the back of the manual) and shot at the same distance. The only difference is the aperture setting.

    I would also say buy it with the kit lens. It is a good starter lens that gives you a nice zoom range to experiment with. I found the IS to help with various shooting situations and is a nice feature. The auto focus works well too. My 50mm tends to take a little longer to focus in low light situations compared to the kit lens. Also think about price. When I bought mine, the camera w/ kit lens was only around $75 more than just the body. The lens alone would be around $150. It's a better deal to get it with the lens.

    I also recommend reading the manual cover to cover. It's a little dry to read but covers all the functions and settings of the camera. It is laid out expecting the reader to not have much knowledge of DSLR. It starts with basic mechanical controls(how to put the battery in,etc.), then goes from auto shooting modes to manual shooting modes. It wraps up with the more advanced settings like live view and mirror lock-up. I actually sat with my XSi and played with the settings as I went from chapter to chapter. Learned a lot that way.

    For books I say go with the more general ones that others have listed. I have gone through the camera specific 'handbooks' and found most of the info is carried over from the manual. Just laid out different with more pictures. Just go with whatever works best for you. Good luck.
     
  23. jplg842 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    so basically i can focus anywhere and make surrounding bluer (^^ above Canada for example)
     
  24. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #24
    Bluer? Do you mean blurrier? If so, yes. You can selectively focus more easily (and to greater effect) with a "fast" (i.e. wide aperture) lens.
     
  25. Col127 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2003
    #25
    definitely agree on these recommendations :) the 55-250mm IS is an amazing, budget telephoto lens. and the nifty fifty is a great portrait lens. the 50mm 1.4 is much better though . if you can save for it, i'd opt for that.
     

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