Just bought a Rebel XSi.....Suggestions for lenses?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by berkleeboy210, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. berkleeboy210 macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2004
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Hi gang,

    Just bit the bullet and bought an SLR. Circuit City was doing a promotion on the XSi.

    Got the Camera with the 18-55mmIS kit lens, the Rebel XSi Starter kit, with a good size bag, an extra battery, a filter, and a 4gb SDHC Card all for $749.


    What would be a good lens investment for me? I'm a beginner, and normally go on trips and would have this with me. I was thinking of maybe a 75-300mm.

    Any suggestions and or tips would be great.

    Unfortunately, Circuit City was out of stock on the camera, but the Starter Kit, so I gotta wait a week for the Camera to be shipped direct! ugh
  2. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Use the kit lens until you out grow it. But, a 50mm prime lens wouldn't hurt either as it would force you to get closer and interact with your subject.
  3. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    I'd go for a nice f1.8 or even f1.4 50mm lens.
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Use the kit lens until you really understand its limitations and what you want out of your next lens.

    The 50mm f/1.8 II is a no-brainer, IMO. Paired with the kit, you've got a great lens combo.

    The 75-300 is a pretty crap lens. The 70-300 IS is much better. For the same money you could get the 70-200 f/4 L, which is a really outstanding lens.
  5. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 (I think) IS USM - it's a great all-purpose lens
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I've been really surprisingly happy with the 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS lens. I think for $280 it's a pretty impressive lens.

    But I'd agree with CrackedButter: just use the 18-55 for a while until you get a better idea of what it is you're missing. You might decide that you want to be able to take close ups of really small things and decided a macro lens is for you. You might want to be able to have very shallow depth of field or be able to shoot without a flash in lower light, and then an f/1.8 or 1.4 lens sounds ideal. Or you might realize you like taking pictures of things that are much farther away than you can zoom with your feet. Then you'll want a telephoto lens.

    For now, practice and read. If you have a local library, start working your way through every photography book they have.
  7. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    I have that lens too. I'd highly recommend it:)
  8. jwt macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2007
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Every single last beginner thinks he'll need an ultra-long telephoto zoom and then goes for the one with the lowest price. Yes the 75-300mm is popular but not nearly as useful as you might think.

    The best thing to do is to shoot a thousand or two frames first. Then go back and look to see what you missed. Then buy whatever it is that would have allowed you to get those missed shots. I'd bet a 6-pack that an f/5.6 300mm lens would not have gotten you many of those missed shots. Maybe you'd be better off investing that money in a flash or a fast 50mm or 35mm prime or an ultra-wide zoom or a tripod. It all depends on the subjects you want to shoot. But you can't know what you will need now. A 300mm lens is only usful when you see a istant subject and there is a physical barier between you and it so that you can't walk up close. This is kind of a special case, mostly you can always walk up closer. But the other problem with thelesn is that it is "slow". It's only good in bright light or with non-moving subject where a tripod can be used. But most impotently shots of distant objects tend to be uninteresting and have a rather flat perspective. Also the air is never 100% clear o you are lucky to have them be 100% sharp.

    No need to buy a second lens right away. Wait a bit. The best thing you could do is go to the library and get some big picture boks full of photos from famous photographers and find the ones you like, then go out and try to do work like that. I'm willing to bet that almost none of the photos you find where shot with a 300mm f/5.6 zoom lens.
  10. ManWithhat macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    Best zoom lens in the price range by far.
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Just to support ChrisA's point, I had a Tamron 80-210 lens that I unfortunately lost last December that I used for maybe 100 of the first 20,000 pictures I took with my camera. I got the 55-250 recently for a trip to Namibia. Wildlife is one of those subjects that you cannot walk up nice and close to (or at least, cannot walk up close to and survive). I would have loved to buy an L lens and an extender, but my (photographic) abilities and (family) responsibilities mean that's not a good idea.

    Now that that trip is over, I don't see using this lens all that often until my daughter is old enough to not want a camera in her face at the playground. At that point, a telephoto lens is great fun for candid kid shots.
  12. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    Don't limit yourself to one brand either. I shoot with some Tamrons and Canon lenses. Never had trouble with any of them.

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