Rebel XT Lens Help Needed...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rxl125, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. rxl125 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    Ok I am going to take the plunge and buy the Rebel XT DSLR, moving up from a point and shoot Canon Powershot A70.

    Now I don't want to waste money and buy the lens kit if it is not a good lens. The problem is I don't understand lenses at all. I don't understand what the mm numbers mean, etc.

    Let me tell you the pictures I will be taking. Most important, I have an infant son, and like to take pictures of him everyday:) I also like to go to ballparks and take pictures of stadiums. Usually I like to go to the top of the stadium and take a picture of the whole stadium. I also like to go on vacations and take pictures. Recent trips have been to Ireland and Jamaica, so I like to take landscapes.

    I don't see my needs changing, so what lens would you recommend for me?
    I like what I have read about Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens, but again I don't understand what that will be used for. So what can you recommend for my needs?

    Thanks again.
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'd recommend taking out photography books from your local library (as others here have as well). They'll give you a far more detailed look at how cameras work than people are likely to post here.

    The 50mm f/1.8 is perfect for taking portraits of kids. The angle of view of the lens is about 30 degrees, because a 50mm lens on a Canon XT has the same field of view as an 80mm lens on a full-frame SLR:

    To get wide angle on the XT is harder. To get a 90 degree angle of view, you need roughly a lens that is 16mm at its widest. These very wide lenses are expensive. Canon makes a 10-22mm lens that would be great for panoramic stadium shots, but it's about a $700 lens.

    Not having that kind of budget, I bought a Tokina 19-35mm lens for my Canon. Nowhere near as wide, but at $140 it's not something a reasonable person would expect to compare to a lens 5 times as expensive.

    Those two lenses served me quite well on vacations and taking pictures of my kid.

    But what's your budget? That would define your options a great deal. The Sigma 17-70 DC Macro might be a good bet for you also. Much better than the Canon kit lens, wider angle than the lens I bought, and also able to enlarge things that are farther away (70mm is great for filling the frame with human subjects without having to get right up in their grill).
  3. rxl125 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    My budget is around 250 for lens... maybe more:)
    Shots of my son is #1 priority

    Landscapes and stadium shots are next

    Any opinions of TAMRON 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 AF LENS
  4. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Shots of your son and that budget, I'd say go for the 50mm f/1.8.
  5. miranda.danny macrumors member


    May 29, 2007
    Providence, RI
    Building a Digital SLR System

    I was in your shoes about 2 weeks ago. I bought the Canon XTi and the 50 mm 1.8 lens. I love the lens! Its great and takes amazing pictures. Its incredible for portraits; although, I haven't gotten to head to Fenway to take any ballpark shots with it yet so I can't comment on its ability there.

    I was a little nervous about the 'poor build quality' comments on most (if not all) of the reviews, but it is honestly put together fine for a $70 lens. It is really light and (like you) I won't ever take it off the camera until I get another lens (not for a while because of the $$$ right now), meaning that I can't imagine it falling apart from auto-focusing alone. Sure, if you dropped it from 5 ft on hard ground or constantly take it on and off while carelessly throwing it into a bag with all sorts of other items it might break apart. If you decide to get it I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised. IMO its a must have at its price, and I have been very happy with it for a first lens (I will continue to be for a while too).

    A site that I found very useful that you might want to check out is:

    I also read this book, it was very cool and helpful for someone just moving from a point and shoot to a DSLR:

    Bryan Peterson - Understanding Exposure

    Hope my 2 cents helps with your decision!
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    The Tamron 19-35 and Tokina 19-35 are virtually the same lens. I think the Tokina is better built (Tokina lenses have a reputation for solid build quality).

    Here's a good site for reviews:

    Be sure to check out this thread:

    I'd have to recommend the Canon 50mm 5/1.8 and Tokina 19-35. For a $250 budget you're not going to do much better. Your other best option (in my opinion) is concentrating on one good lens, like the Sigma 17-70 or one of the various 17-50 or 18-50 or 16-50 lenses out there. Those (third party) lenses run about $350-500. None of those lenses will be as good (or as wide aperture) as the 50mm f/1.8 at 50mm, but all are probalby better than the Tokina on the wide end (more or less) and you can enjoy not having to change lenses.

    Another option is the crapshoot of eBay. I got lucky getting a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 and some filters for $200 (would have cost about $630 new). And was further lucky that the lens works and is in great shape.
  7. rxl125 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    would the kit lense be a good choice for wide shots?
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    The kit lens is going to be OK. It's a "crappy" lens, but if your goals aren't too demanding you'll definitely be able to take lots of good and great pictures with it. Here's a place for reviews:

    click on the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II link.

    The fact is, since it is comes in a kit with the camera, at $90-100 you have to spend more to get a better lens. You just have to decide on a budget and whether that's worth it to you.
  9. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Get the kit lens, then. It's a great lens for $100 and you'll learn a lot from learning to work within its limitations.

    Add a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II ($80 or so on eBay, used for low-light and for portraits) and you'll be good to go for a while.

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