Help on deciding on lenses for an XSi

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Razeus, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Well, I'm going to purchase the Canon XSi (450D) soon, but I'm having trouble deciding what lenses I want. I want to shoot mostly urban, buildings/structures, and portraits, and general shooting. Also want to be able to get close enough to take photos at the local zoo or ranch.

    Looking at Canon lenses:

    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (EF-S) that it comes with (or I may just get the body only)
    55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 (EF-S) (which everyone seems to say to get)
    28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 (EF) (which I would get if I don't do 18-55mm??)
    55mm f/1.8 (EF)

    I'd love to get a 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 but it's way too expensive for me.

    what do you guys suggest?
  2. Styxie macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2008
    The EF-S 18-55 IS comes bundled with the XSi, and it's a good general lens. You might also wanna check up on the 17-55 f2.8, which is amazing, but like 1000 dollars. Anyway, a 50mm 1.8 might be a good choice for a fast lens, but on a XSi it will look 'zoomed', like a 80mm on a 35mm camera.
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    If you're looking for budget lenses, then you should definitely consider the kit lens and the "Nifty Fifty," both of which are on your list. The kit lens is a very competent starter lens (it's quite sharp for a zoom and has very effective IS) and it is the widest of the bunch, so it will be the best one for the architectural shots. The 50 f/1.8 is very sharp and has a nice, wide maximum aperture, so you'll be able to get nice subject/background separation when shooting portraits. If you still have money left in your budget, then consider the 55-250.
  4. gangzoom macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I bought my 450D 6 months ago and now own three of the lens you mentioned:

    I think you shouldn't worry too much about which lens to buy when you first start, like most of us amateurs the range of subjects you want to cover means you want a lens which can cover wide angle and telephoto...something which the "kit lens" 18-55mm IS does amazingly well, and as you can see from my shots, the pictures it produces are by no means substandard compared to my two other lens.

    Here are some of the shots i've done with the lens..

    18-55mm IS "kit lens" (My most used lens by far!!!)
    Paris 1
    Paris 2
    both of these shots were done hand held, i'm really impressed with the IS on this lens!!

    70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS
    Wild life

    50mm f/1.8: Shot with lens wide open so the sharpness isn't all that great..

    You should also check out some Nikon bodies before committing to Canon (i didnt cos i simply love my Canon point and shoots too much :eek:). Apparently higher end Nikon bodies (D3) offer much better high ISO performance compared to the Canons.
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    you haven't mentioned a budget, but if you're ok with selling things:
    1. buy the kit, sell the 18-55 (think it's worth about $150), buy a Sigma 18-50 macro or Tamron 17-50 (~$300), and buy the 55-250 IS. throw in a 50/1.8 or 35/2 if you have money left over
    2. get the kit, 55-250 IS, and Sigma 10-20mm (~$420).

    17-18mm isn't all that wide, but no one's bothered to make a 15mm standard zoom yet. hence the 10-20 recommendation. later, throw in a 430ex or 270ex (whenever it comes out) to help with indoor stuff.

    the difference is hardly worth switching over, and it'll switch back in a year or two anyway. Nikon cameras all sucked at noise handling just a year or two ago..
  6. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
  7. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    If the 17-55mm comes with your camera, then I would recommend this one:
    EF 70-200mm f/4L. For wildlife during the day, I would recommend the EF 400mm f/5.6L prime. However, if you want a zoom, then the EF 100-400mm L is OK. I do prefer primes over zooms.
  8. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    If you don't already have one, get a fast 35mm prime. From your list, I'd get the 18-55. Or if you like shooting people instead of structures, get the 55-250 (easier to shoot detailed urban things)

    Consider getting the faster versions of any of these though. or rent them and see how you like it. :)
  9. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    If the OP can't afford the 70-300 IS, then suggesting he get the $1230 400 f5.6L or the $1449 100-400 L is pretty useless :rolleyes: The 70-200mm f4L for $600 on the other hand is a useful suggestion for a lens that would be good for "zoo" and "ranch" shooting, as the OP wanted. The 50mm f1.8 is a great portrait lens on a cropped sensor. Honestly, a good general purpose lens for "general shooting" is the 28-135mm f3.5-5.6. It has USM, image stabalizer, and is only like $350
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    Well, at least you agree with the 70-200mm f/4 :D

    The OP listed several lenses. I am quite cheap, so instead of buying a bunch of cheap lenses, I would buy one L lens. I mentioned three lenses, but never said to buy them all. After wasting money on cheap lenses I have learned my lesson: don't spend the money buying several cheap one, but a good one instead. Take a year or two saving mode cash, and then buy another good one.
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I've found the best budget "general"shooting lens to be the 18-55 IS that comes with it. Unless you're going to spring for the 17-40L or the 24-105L, the 18-55 IS will serve you very well. The 50mm/1.8 is a must have simply because it's so cheap and great quality.

    I also have the 28-105mm/f3.5-4.5 and it's OK, but I find that when I'm walking around I like the wide-angle capabilities of the 18-55 more than the extra zoom on the 28-105.
  12. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Good opinions from everyone.

    I think I'm going to go with:

    18-55mm kit lens
    50mm 1.8
    55-250mm for the telephoto

    I think these are good lenses, though not "L" series, but I think it'll be more quality than my current SX10 IS (it would have to be). The 3 lenses should cover everything I'd want to shoot.

    One day, I'll get "pro" lenses, but not in the cards at the moment.
  13. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    That's a really good starter kit. With a large focal range covered and one fast prime in the bag, you'll have lots of fun and will get a good sense of where you want to invest in better lenses.

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