First Lens Options (Canon)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Xander562, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    I'm finally ready (financially) to get a new lens for my XSi. (That's 450D for you internationals.) I'm wondering what makes the most sense to buy, given I can only afford one lens.

    So far I've been looking at these options:

    • 50mm F1.4
    • Something Similar to the kit lens, just better (17-80mm?)
    • Ultra Wide Angle (9 to 10mm at it's smallest)

    So what are the best options for these types of lenses? My limit is around $350.
  2. maddagascar macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2009

    i was also thinking of getting the 50mm, but i've read that its not that sturdy or made with poor quality on its reviews, even on the canon website. i've been leaning to the L series..haha. i know so pricey.

    i'm on the same boat with you as in needing to get a new lens. i might get the 100m macro lens F2.8L.. seems like an amazing lens that you can use just like a prime lens for portrait,landscapes,macro..etc.

    but still deciding on a good telephoto zoom lens. :rolleyes:
  3. unclegit macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    It's the f1.8 50mm that's a little plasticy - though I'd recommend everyone has one in their bag. The f1.4 50mm is a better build quality, a stop faster and full time manual focusing - with a suitably larger dent in the wallet.

    Both have OUTSTANDING image quality - every bit as sharp as any of the L glass in my bag.

    If you used to the kit lens either of the 50mm primes is going to be a whole new world of image quality to you.
  4. maddagascar macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2009
    haha, sweet. cause i was always interested in getting atleast one prime lens for the low lighting in indoor parties and stuff.
  5. Xander562 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    Yeah, I have heard this as well. But it is cheap. I was thinking I would get the 50mm 1.4 instead of the 1.8, which does not have those issues.
  6. unclegit macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    I own both lenses - the f1.8 really isn't all that bad - and the image quality is every bit as good as the f1.4 if not better.

    With digital cameras and the ability to shift ISO on the fly how much is that extra stop of light worth to you ?

    With the difference in price you could have a nice used 550EX flash.

    Or 2 Lumepro 120 strobes and a couple of radio triggers to match....
  7. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    If you want low light ability go with a prime. Esp if you can live with a certain focal length... In that case nothing beats a prime. I also would advise against a 50mm on a crop frame. It's not all that useful when it's you primary focal length - and many people tend to get primes for lowlight ie indoor photos, and there you have less room to back up. I bought a 50mm 1.8 when I had my rebel and promptly returned it. It didnt focus well in the dark and it wasn't good for more than a head shot or waist up shot inside. I ended up buying the 35mm 1.4 which is spendy, but I think there is a less expensive 30mm option that you should check out. I found it great on a rebel, and if you move to full frame down the road it's still a good wide to normal focal length. It does all but head shots really well on my 5D. But to summarize, def go with a prime - my thoughts are a zoom is more convienient but if that was the only factor we would all have point and shoots. Primes will maximize the dslrs potential.
  8. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2007

    Then you'll probably want to go for something a bit(=much) wider than 50mm. Especially if you've got at crop body.
  9. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    Not sure what you shoot but lets just say "various things". With your budget and camera I would say get the 17-85. It has a very versatile range.
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    If you limit is around $350.00, then for for a 50mm f/1.4

    An excellent kit replacement is Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, but it costs more than your limit. The same for a Tokina (or Sigma) 10-20mm (or so) ultra-wide. These costs more than $400.00 each.
  11. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    don't buy any lens. just get the kit and use the kit lens. you can spend your money on something else, like a camera bag, or a tripod, or a flash, or software, or cleaning supplies...there's much more to buy than just a camera and lenses.

    after you've taken several hundred images, you'll know what you're looking for, and then you can ask for pointers on which lens.
  12. MacCanon macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2010
    yeah there is more to buy than a camera and lens, but the lens is THE most important part of any camera system, spend what u can because quality=cost, the more expensive the better quality.
    every photographer should have a variety of lenses for different needs, but something somewhere in the middle is a good place to start, portrait photography is in the 85mm range, but not macro for portraits.
    i ended up buying a 85mm prime from tamron (with student discount) not too bad.
    but used lenses can also be great, researching camera shops near u is well worth it, and making friends with the owner is extremely smart ha
  13. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Why do people who ask these questions NEVER say what they're trying to photograph?

    The 50mm would be absolutely fantastic for people shots and portraits.

    It would be terrible for wide angle/inner city travel shots. (Get the superwide)

    If you like general zoom type stuff, upgrade the standard zoom you have.

    Personally, I'd just go get the 50 f1.8. It's really cheap and optically probably as good as the 1.4 (although obviously not as fast).

    Spend some shooting people with this lens wide open.
  14. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    That would be 2/3 stop faster.......

  15. unclegit macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    DOH !

    You are indeed correct sir...

    Even more reason to just go with the f1.8 ;)
  16. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    Look on ebay for a Tokina 12-24 f/4 - they sell for about what your budget is. Great for the wide-angle stuff, the long end at 24mm works out to a mild wide angle (35-36mm equiv.) which is quite useful for indoor shooting. It's not as fast as a prime, but it's built like a tank. You won't find an affordable Canon lens built anything like it.

    Otherwise, I'd look for a prime in the 28-35mm range, f/2.8 or faster, which would be a wide-ish normal focal length for general photography, parties, etc.
  17. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    There's also the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

    It's very sharp and fast, if 28mm is wide enough for you. (And it's much cheaper than the equivalent Canon lens ;))
  18. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    I agree. Unless you really need the speed or the shallower DOF, I see no reason to buy the f/1.4.

  19. maddagascar macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2009
    what is crop body? :confused::confused:
  20. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)

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