Help with Lens selection / Understanding

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dxm113, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. dxm113 macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2005
    I am stepping up into the world of DLSR from P&S. It is my understanding that it will be better to buy a less expensive body, and use the saved money for a better lens. Hence I'm looking at the Canon Rebel XTi / Nikon D40x range of cameras (entry / prosumer level DSLR).

    Here is my question: How do I know what a good lens is? I know that "good" depends on what you want to do with it.... but what's the difference between the kit lens other lenses? Would any lens be better than the kit?

    For example, the kit lens for the XTi is a (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6). Is the only difference between this lens and a more expensive lens the zoom and f-stop? Or are they better quality in another way? Are they made better? I'm just trying to learn here.

    FYI, I will be doing mostly portrait, landscape, maybe macro type stuff.

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate your input!
  2. Eauboy macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Read the "lens/camera buying guide" sticky thread in this forum. Just read a couple of random reviews of lenses that interest you and you'll learn bunches. I'm going through this right now myself since I'm in the market for a fast prime lens.
  3. dxm113 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2005
    I just found this...

    I just found the above link...and it answers most of my questions. Sorry for the noob question. I really did try to search...just took me some time to figure out what I need to look for.

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. scotthayes macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Birmingham, England
    If you are looking at canon kit then this site is very good.The Digital Picture

    When I first got my Canon 400d (XTi) I was pretty pleased with the kit lens and couldn't understand why everyone kept talking about getting a decent lens. So I didn't listen and bought a canon 75-300 mkIII USM, and was again pretty pleased. But I finally gave in about bought a Canon 70-200 f/4 L lens and I'm blown away at the difference, first of it just feels much better quality, it's so quick at focusing and the quality the images seems much better (and I know it's not me who has improved that much) they seem much sharper and more vivid than with the kit lens.

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