Deciding on a new me?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by CDailey, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. CDailey macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2006
    Hey everyone. I'm taking a trip in a few weeks and I'm looking for a new lens. I've got a Canon dRebel (300D) with a kit lens. Would you guys recommend a fixed 50mm lens or wide angle/telephoto combo lens? There's a few that I'm looking at. Most, if not all of my photography will be in an urban, downtown setting.

    Here are the lenses I'm looking at. Also, if anyone has any other lens suggestings at similar prices of the ones I'm already looking at, it would be greatly appreciated :)

    Here's the 50mm:

    and here's the wide anngle/telephoto lenses I'm looking at:
    Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 III Autofocus Lens - Black

    Sigma Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-70mm f/2.8-4 DG Compact High Speed Zoom Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS

    Tamron Zoom Telephoto AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS

    Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 Autofocus Lens

    Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS

    Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus Lens

    Which one of these do you think would suit me best? Or if none of these, which lens? (similar price please)
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well in my opinion, since it's rather obvious that you're not looking to spend a lot of money on a lens, my suggestion is to buy a lens that doesn't cover the 18-55 mm range. Your kit lens is wider than ALL the lenses you're looking at (since it goes down to 18 mm), so I don't see the point of going with any of these if what you're after is wide-angle. Wideangle lenses are great if you're shooting in a city, but lenses that start from 28 mm aren't wide at all.

    From that list, I would either go with the 50 mm f/1.8, or go with one of the telephoto 70-300 mm lenses since you don't have one. I don't know which one of those is the best. Try to find some reviews at places like or I think they should all be the same.

    If I were you, I'd get the 50 mm f/1.8 even though your kit lens covers 18-55 mm. Why? Because the 50 mm f/1.8 is OK for portraits and great for low-light photography. It will produce nice "blurry" backgrounds if you want it, so it's fun to play with. :)
  3. CDailey thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2006
    Thanks for the reply. I was really leaning towards the fixed 50mm. For one, it's cheap, and two, I've read and heard from professional photographers that it's a pretty decent lens. :)
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    The "nifty fifty" (50mm f/1.8 II) is easily the most-recommended lens for new SLR users. It was my second lens and, paired with my 18-55mm kit lens, I've learned a TON about the camera, the lenses, and what I want/need out of future lenses.

    Definitely go with the 50/1.8 ... You won't be disappointed. :)
  5. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    I have had my Canon 10D for over 3 years, using film before that.

    Stay away from the,
    Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus Lens

    I had an ealier version of this lens and it was decent not good, on a film camera, but horrible on a Canon 10D which is the same thing as your Rebel internally. The zoom range is good but the picture quality sucks... and I mean really the point where a Point and Shot camera may have a better lens. Really, I have never printed a single digital pic that I took with this lense. Even in perfect lighting conditions, it has failed me and not for a lack of my skills. The last time I used this lense was 2 years ago to take insurance pictures and it was the only thing at the time that had the zoom that I needed.

    Depending on your budget:

    I also have the 50mm 1.8 which is the best Canon lens made for the price range. This is an eventually must have, especially if you ever let a friend borrow your camera. The pics I have taken with this always look good on the cpu screen and decent/good/great blown up to a 8x10 depending what the subject matter. Landscapes are great, portraits are decent, in between are good.

    I was told that the difference between the Canon 50mm 1.8 and the Canon 50mm 1.4 are:
    1.4 vs 1.8
    Ultrasonic motor vs none
    Build quality 1.4 vs plastic 1.8
    but the secret so that I was told (but not sure)
    the 1.4 has 8 blades vs the 1.8 has 6
    this accounts for the 1.4 taking better portrait (not group) pictures. The 8 blades make for better bokeh (aka backgroung blur.)

    Anyway, sometime buy a 50mm 1.8 because it is always so cheap and a good prime.

    I had one Sigma zoom 28-80? (never worked on my 10D) that I bought in 1998 that was much better in color and clarity that that cheap Canon 75-300

    "Most, if not all of my photography will be in an urban, downtown setting."

    What pictures do you take in these settings? Graffeti and Buildings, then get a wider lens, takinging pictures of people without them noticing takes a good zoom.

    Spend as much money as you can because you don't want to come home from a vacation and wish that you had purchased a different or more expensive lens. Not sure where you are going but who knows, you may never travel back there again and it is worth have good pics the first time.

    Photoshop can only help so much if the original picture isn't good.
  6. Irish Dave macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2006
    The Emerald Isle
    I too can highly recommend the 50mm f1.8 lens. It is very reasonably priced and optically it is first rate.

    The f1.4 is also a super quality lens but the extra weight and more importantly the extra cost is to my mind not worth it.

    The 50mm lens used on "non full frame" digital slr's gives you the equivalent focal length of approx 80mm which makes it ideal as a portrait lens and for candid photography where your subject is reasonably close. The f1.4 maximum aperture will allow you to use faster shutter speeds than f4 or f5.6 zoom lenses.

    Have you thought about something like a 12mm - 24mm Sigma? This lens is my personal favorite for landscape (rural and urban) and gives you the equivalent of 19mm to 38mm. This lens is fairly free from distortion even though it's angle of view is very wide. I never go on holiday without my 12-24 Sigma zoom.

    Dave :)
  7. CDailey thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2006
    Lots of good info, thanks :)

    I'd say about $150 is about the max I can spend at the moment, so it looks like the 50mm 1.8 is the best I can do.

    I actually don't know what's in store for me visually. I'm actually hoping for some abandoned buildings and some graff work, but we'll see. I just wanted to go with something other than the kit lens so I'll have something else just in case. Maybe I'll find some nice open areas that will put the 50mm to good use.

    Ain't that the truth. :p
  8. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    Go with the 28-105. For me, I wouldnt want to be lugging around a bunch of lenses on my vacation. Get the one that does it all.

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