Next Lens Recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gwelmarten, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hi there

    I'm a keen photographer, and I've taken quite a few competition winning photos with my Canon 600D with Canon 18-200mm lens (always believed photos are almost entirely based on the photographer, not the equipment).

    Anyway, this lens has a minimum focus distance of 2ft, and I'm tired of mounting it backwards for macro shots. I'm looking to get a lens that does everything my current lens does.

    My current lens is great at landscapes and middle distance, but it's not wide angle and it's not good at portraits, neither can it do Macro shots.

    So, my question is: can anybody recommend a Canon lens to me that does these things? Ideally not too expensive (<$500). I.e. Wide Angle if possible (although I am told the lens I have is technically 'Wide Angle', I believe there are 'more wide angles' lenses about - would like something that is as wide angle as a point and shoot / phone camera), good for portraits, and able to do macro shots? As an afterthought, I want to be able to do better night shots, so a good variety of apertures would be ideal as well.

    I was looking at this, but I don't think it is any good at Macro: Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens

    Thanks for your advice,

  2. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    You could try some kenko tubes with your current lens to get better macro performance.

    Typically, 18mm is wide. However, your camera has a 1.6x crop factor that makes the 18mm more like 29mm. I haven't looked at APS-C lenses in a while, but I had a 10-22mm for wide angle shots. You could also use panorama software with your current lens to stitch files together instead of buying a wide angle lens if you are mainly using it for landscapes.

    The 100 f2.8 macro lenses are great for portraits and macro. I would go this route if I was in your shoes. The older version can be had for around $550 new.

    The 50mm is not as good for macros unless you mount it in reverse ( backwards). I have never tried it, but there are a lot if articles about it around the web. I love my 50mm 1.8 because it is so small that I can bring it along without taking up much space just in case I need better low light performance than my zooms can offer while I am out.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    A single lens won't do what you want, which is why the camera accepts interchangeable lenses. Lenses in the price range you want aren't generally the top performers in their category. The 50mm Canon is about as cheap as you'll ever find a very good lens, if the one you're looking at is the version that does 1:1 macro, it'll be good for that, but the working distance will be closer than anything longer- which may be an issue if you shoot a lot of live subjects. On a crop body, a 50mm makes a decent portrait lens.

  4. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030


    Oct 29, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    I will suggest you look at the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for your ultra-wide needs and a set of extension tubes (with contacts) for the macro aspects. You should be able to get them both for your budget.
  5. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    For wides I enjoyed using my friends Sigma 8-16mm ƒ4.5-5.6, I feel that at 8mm its a very fun lens and worth the trouble of being slower than some other wides.

    Favorite portrait lens for me is my 85mm ƒ/1.8, and at under $500 its a steal. Its also one of Canons sharpest lenses, also the 100mm ƒ/2.0 is pretty much the exact same lens so those are two great options. 135mm ƒ/2.0L is pretty epic too.
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Either get a good prime wide or an excellent wide zoom for all wide angle work.

    The deal with shooting macro or 1:2 is that it is not always a great idea to get that close physically. Going with a longer lens designed for macro work is a better bet. First, you don't have to be 'on top' of your subject which leaves room for reflectors and other lighting considerations as needed and, if its an animal of sorts, you might be less likely to cause unwanted activity. Second, a well made macro lens will have two things going in its favour - a flat field (unlike many typical lenses and certainly not found on wide angle) as well as being able to double up as a portrait lens if you like to shoot stopped down to f/4 or f/5.6 (often optimal for macro lenses beyond macro distances).

    In short - 2 lenses is a far better bet and worth saving up for and purchasing or at least consider mint used.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why don't you buy a used macro lens? Keep the current 18-200 but you'll need a few other lenses to.

    KEH has a used 60mm f/2.8 macro for $310, well under you budget. and it will go down to very tiny subject, flowers and insects.

    if you were shooting Nikon the range of good used macro lenses is greater. On my dSLR I use a macro lens made in the 1960's I paid about $80 for it. But with Canon EOS, the above 60mm macro is the best option withou t busting the budget
  8. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2008
    since you like shooting landscapes I would say get the 17-40L lens for landscapes and 50mm 1.4 for portraits. Arguably that's all you may need when traveling too. And some good shopping you may be able to get both for 1000 bucks....
  9. JackHobbs macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2009
    Out of interest, why are you restricting your choices to Canon lenses? There is a nice Sigma lens 10–20 that would work on your camera. It would mean 16 –32 on your crop sensor. Also, are you at any stage thinking of upgrading to full frame? If so this would affect what we would recommend.
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I tried both the Sigma 10-20 and the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, and settled for the Tokina. This lens is quite sharp, and its wider aperture works very well for shots of the sky, Auroras, and the rest. The Tokina 11-16 can also be used on FF cameras from 15-16mm.

    For macro photography I would buy the older EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM.

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