Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rubsal70, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. rubsal70 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #1
    I am a rookie photographer. I have two basic lenses that came with the camera when I bought it. I have the canon eos t2i with two lenses.
    Lens #1 canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
    Lens #2 Canon zoom lens EF-S 75-300mm

    What I wanted to know what other lenses I need. Most of the photos that I will be taking be of my newborn. I kinda like a blurred background and not sure what lens I need. Like I said most of the pics are of my newborn and wife. Some props will be used just like professional photographers use on their shootings. Please help
    Thanks
     
  2. Vege-Taco macrumors member

    Vege-Taco

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #2
    Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM - The most useful lens you could ever buy.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #3
    Any lens with a wide maximum aperture shot that way will give you a lot of out of focus background. The 50mm f/1.8 is probably your cheapest option, but focal length depends a lot on shooting style and subject distance. Shoot your 18-55 at 35, 50 and the 75-300 at 80mm and see what distance works best for you.

    Photography is about light- you'll get more improvement by adding a couple of off-camera flashes a la www.strobist.com overall.

    Paul
     
  4. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #4
    I agree with getting the 50mm f/1.8. It's cheap ($120 USD) and it'll get you the depth of field you're not getting with your 'kit' lenses.

    As far as the 24-70 f/2.8, it's a good lens, but in my opinion, it's a very boring lens on an APS-C sensor. It's going to be 38.4-112mm effective on the APS-C sensor. The long end will be good for portraits, but then you've got a wide end which isn't really very wide. The Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS will be a better choice for APS-C, since it will be more useful on the wide end, yet still give you enough length on the long end for portrait perspective compression.

    The only reason I have the 24-70 is because (I'm on full frame) and sometimes am forced to shoot in close quarters. Aside from that, all my portraits are shot with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.
     
  5. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #5
    Sadly out of production and laid to rest goddammit.
    Thank god I snatched a new one right before it went out.


    If you're like me and don't miss the wide angle at all, then the 24-70 is the best lens money can buy, regardless of crop or FF. If you really need the wide angle get the 17-55.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    The way you answer this is to shoot a 1,000 or so frames and see what kinds of shots you want but can't get with the current setup.

    I bet you will find that you don't really like your f/5.6 lenses and woud prefer something faster. At least f/2.8 or maybe even f/1.4

    But likely also you will find you need a better flash. Light is what makes photos and the oon-camera flash can't be aimed for indirect "bounce" flash and the straight on lighting is NOT going to make partraits of children look good.

    I'd go for the 50mm f/1.4 lens or if that is to much money the f/1.8 50mm.

    But really the first thing is to sshoot 1,000 frames and judge them and find what you like and don't like about the images, then buy gear to fix the problem. That is the KEY. If you can't clearly state the problem you are trying to fix, you become a "gear collector" not a photographer. It is a common trap.

    I bet you almost never use the 75-300 zoom. The only use of a long and slow lens like that is if your subject is on the other side of some physical barrier that prevents you from getting closer and it is a bright sunny day. Not likely to happen if the subject is a family member.
     
  7. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #7
    The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is definitely far better than the 24-70 f/2.8L with regards to CA and sharpness/contrast wide open. If you're shooting portraits, the 70-200 will be the better choice (assuming you have room to shoot it).

    But we'll see what the 24-70 f/2.8L II brings when it finally arrives. The MTF charts for that lens look impressive. Though if it is just as good as the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II image wise wide-open, I'm still not sure I'll ditch my 24-70 f/2.8L to buy the II. I just don't shoot the 24-70 enough to warrant updating the lens at that price difference *AND* the extraneous cost of getting a new Singh-Ray Vari-ND and B+W Kaesemann CPL in an 82mm thread (from my current 77mm sizes).
     
  8. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #8
    You can actually get a reasonably-blurred background with your current lens when shooting a baby as you get a quite "natural" perspective being up-close to him or her, because as humans we are used to looking at babies from a foot or two away. If you did that with an adult their face would appear weird/distorted.

    You'd get better quality photos with e.g. a 24mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/2 or 50mm f/1.8 lens, which will allow you to shoot in lower levels of natural light and allow you to further-decrease your depth of field.

    A zoom like 24-70mm f/2.8 is pretty good and obviously flexible but weights a ton and costs loads. You haven't mentioned if you have a budget.

    If you're using "props" including some form of background, then blurring the background might not be an issue at all and you may be wanting to stop down to f/5.6 or f/8 to increase depth of field of your subject's face, assuming you have enough light.

    Using off-camera flashes is an option but adds complexity and cost and is also easy to do very badly and not necessarily easy to do well -- I don't think many photographers would say they mastered multiple off-camera light source use in a matter of weeks.
     
  9. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #9
    Another vote for a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4. Maybe an 85mm, depending on your prefence.

    I think the f/2.8 zooms would be overkill. Lights would be good if you have time to figure them out.
     
  10. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    Location:
    Behind you
    #10
    There are plenty for sale as used.
     
  11. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #11
    Being that you are just starting out, I would highly recommend either the Canon 50mm f/1.8 or the 50mm f/1.4. Both lenses are inexpensive and would be fantastic additions to your lens lineup.

    While the 24-70 is a nice suggestion, it is still a bit pricey (even though the Mark II version is right around the corner). Some other lenses I would recommend which won't break the bank are:

    35mm f/2
    85mm f/1.8
     
  12. rubsal70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #12
    WOW:eek: I dont think i can afford that lol...Its nice I bet but wow...Anything else that isnt that expensive
    Thanks

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    I will mess around with those distance....I like what the 50mm lens does...:) I think I will be purchasing that Thanks

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    Actually I have used the zoom to take pictures of the baby but using a ladder
    THANKS for the info
     
  13. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #13
    I agree with the 50mm f/1.8 recommendation, it's about $120 you get the nice blurred background, it's fast enough for candid moments even in dim light, and it's great for portraits!

    There are better lenses, but as a rookie photographer I image you aren't pixel peeping, and are just going to be emailing baby pictures. If you want something a little wider I hear good things about the 35mm f/2.

    You can spend more, and it's not a bad idea, but if you just taking pictures of the family no reason to spend more. My 50mm f/1.8 is on my camera 85% of the time.
     
  14. rubsal70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #14
    Actually I do have a budget... lol So far I like the 50mm f/1.8 and it isnt that expensive. With the current lens I have used the f5/6 but the lighting is bad for me. I need to buy lighting equipment.
    Thanks

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    Thanks for the input... I do like the 50mm f/1.8 or the f/1.4
    Thanks for your input

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    Well I want my pictures to look professional. I am also learning editing on my new macbook pro retina display....lol sorry had to throw it in there..ANYways I do want them to look professional and eventually do it as hobby or side job...
    Thanks for the info

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    I just want to say thank you to all of you who helped me out. I have already learned a lot. I had one more quick question. Is there a website where I can go and continue to learn photography? I am in a budget but will take any suggestions.....Thanks guys!!:D
     
  15. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #15
    I have used the 50mm f/1.8 on semi-pro photoshoots. Not as nice as more expensive lens, but it holds it's own. In my opinion, you get great photos in this order:
    Knowledgable Photographer > Lens > Body
    And with a lot of practice, if you have the budget and want to get into it, it is worth spending a bit more upfront to avoid the hassle of reselling, etc. Look into the Sigma 50mm f/1.4.

    There are a bunch of great photography website just google what you are looking to do and I'm sure you will find a lot of helpful info!

    Look here for sample photos, it will show you how much the lens you use doesn't matter:
    http://www.pixel-peeper.com
     
  16. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    #16
    If you like the 50mm focal length the 50mm f1.8 II is a no brainer. It might be better than the 50mm f1.4 optically; its only flaws are its bad build quality (which sometimes results in bad samples or inaccurate focus) and its five aperture blades result in pentagonal bokeh. The solution to this is simple--try the lens out and return it if it's a lemon and when you want to emphasize shallow focus, shoot wide open and you will get pretty good bokeh. I got mine from a semi-world famous professional photographer (who's published about a dozen books) and he uses his over the 50mm f1.4. That said, he picks the best sample and his type of photography does not emphasize bokeh but rather performance at infinity.

    The 17-55mm IS is the best "general purpose" lens for APS-C (better than the 24-70mm, which doesn't go wide enough, has too much distortion, and isn't very sharp, though it does have nicer bokeh) but it's expensive and big.

    If 50mm is too tight get a 35mm f2 or something similar.
     
  17. rubsal70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #17
    Hey thanks for your help....I cant wait to go buy it and play with it
    Thanks

    Thanks for the info...I will look into the 17-55mm

    ----------

    /do yall use lens hoods on all your lenses? and what are they for?
     
  18. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #18
    It depends. I have one, but I don't use it too much. The purpose is to stop light reflecting off of the lens causing glare. I personally really like lens flair! (Lens Flare is Flair!) But there are times when they are very useful, mostly outdoors.
     
  19. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #19
    Always use a lens hood, indoors or outdoors. It's not just to prevent visible lens flare, but also to prevent lens refraction which means loss of contrast. Lens hoods also protect the front element of the lens.
     
  20. avro707, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #20
    I didn't know they got rid of it. :eek: I don't normally use Canon - but damn, I liked that lens (on a 5D Mk.2).

    To the OP - the 24-70 won't be as useful on your camera with the crop-factor. The 17-55 will be good as it will give you the wide angle you might want. Otherwise, one of those "nifty fifties" (a 1.4 or a 1.8 50mm) will be quite a good lens, especially for the very fast maximum aperture.

    Looking professional takes time and practice. Look at many other successful photographers and their images and get inspiration from them, but over time, you'll find your own style and look. The rest is just knowing your cameras.
     
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #21
    If your main subject is people, you will want the faster f/1.4 lens 50mm is about right for head and shoulder shots. As a general purpose lens 17-55 is good as long as it is f/2.8 or better
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #22
    rubsal70 There is a lot of info in this thread, some of it better than others. Some of it contradictory.

    If you are serious about improving your photography step away from the technology, and start to learn the basics. For instance....

    1) The advice about a f/1.4 lense being "faster" (i.e. "better") than a f/1.8 lense is technically true... but you very likely won't see any difference. It is all of 1 1/2 stop "faster", and maybe not even that much once you take into account the rounding down the marketing department used to come up with the f/1.4 number. If you can get the f/1.4 lense for the same price, then go for it. But I wouldn't pay any more than $25 for that 1/2 stop. You will see more improvement in your photos if you don't have that cup of coffee before you shoot.

    If you don't understand what a "1/2 stop" is, or why the coffee can be an issue... then that is a place to start learning. Hint: the coffee can introduce camera shake.

    2) Learn what Depth of Field (DoF) is, and then learn to control it. Your current lense set up is fine for this. There are 3 ways to control DoF... Aperture, Focal Length, Camera to Subject distance. Focal Length and CtS distance can be interconnected... for example.... Shoot a head a shoulders of someone with a wide angle lense. Note the DoF. Now, change to telephoto and reposition yourself (subject stays still) so that you have the same head shoulders shot. Shoot at the same f/stop. DoF will be different, even at the same aperture, because the distance changed. You don't have to understand why this happens, just that it does and how it will affect your shooting. Depending on what you want to see in the image, you will choose your focal length and distance accordingly.

    Use a tripod for both these shots.

    If you don't understand why you can use the same aperture/shutter between lense focal lengths - then that is a place to start learning.

    3) The other thing that changes between a telephoto lense and wide angle lense is 'compression' and 'expansion'.... That is why professional portraiturists use longer lenses. Never a wide angle (there are exceptions of course, but you have to be damn good, and you have to understand the basic theories) and rarely a 50mm. Unless you are working with a sensor smaller than full-frame.

    In the days of 35mm film, the majority of fashion photos were taken with a 200mm telephoto. Majority of portraits were taken with something between a 90mm and 135mm. I have no experience with baby photography, so I don't know what the standard is there.

    4) Get and use a tripod before you add lights, probably. Depending on your circumstances.

    5) The most important tool are your feet. Use them.

    I am happy to expand on any of these points if, in your learning process, you run into a wall.

    I am a professional shooter, though now I mostly create art. But I have been teaching photography for a long time.

    You will only learn by doing, and by doing a lot. The bit of advice about needing to take 1000 photos to learn a technique is about right. You do not need any new equipment to get started learning. As you learning process moves along, and you have a better handle on your style and what you want to do you will make much better purchasing decisions.

    When you understand how and why things work in photography, then your equipment can do amazing things.

    Good Luck.
     
  23. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

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    May 6, 2008
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  24. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    #24
    ^

    Mostly good info, but a bit outdated: except for specific purposes, tripods are of little use with today's sensors (which are a few stops faster than film for equivalent grain) and with lenses equipped with IS or very fast lenses. And 50mm might be too wide for portraiture and fashion (though it's equivalent to about 85mm+ on an APS-C dSLR and that's a wide portrait lens), but for close quarters and family photos it won't be too long at all. If it is, the 85mm f1.8 and 100mm f2 lenses are very affordable, but my guess is they will cramp your style. A wider lens gives a sense of proximity and intimacy, whereas a longer lens gives a flatter orthographic projection and facial compression; one is good for family photos, the other for fashion--for the most part.

    The above is good advice, though. If you don't know your f-stops, shutter speeds, etc. then do some quick reading. It's extremely simple and will make your choices much easier. If you do know them, excuse my suggestion.

    And I agree the 50m f1.4 isn't worth anything over the 50mm f1.8 except for build quality and superior bokeh when stopped down. The 50mm 1.8 is optically better than lots of $2000+ lenses; it's just that 50mm is the easiest focal length to manufacture (or so it seems) and popularity drives down costs.
     
  25. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #25
    I do realize the difference in sharpness between the 24-70 and the 70-200 (both of which I own). I still don't think it's big enough to justify buying the II. Especially with the 82mm filter size and non-reverse zoom, it feels as if Canon took a step backwards to achieve a sharper lens.

    OP, you could consider getting a 17-40mm f/4L USM. The 17-55mm has comparable image quality though...

    And Policar, tripods are very useful in many applications. I don't know where you're getting the "of little use" part but even with IS I find that I often need a tripod or monopod when using heavy teles.
     

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