What first lens should I buy for my 350d?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cattywampus_, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006

    I bought a Canon EOS 350D DSLR camera a couple of weeks ago. I am going to be going to an international Airport in the next few weeks with said camera. I am looking to buy a Telephoto lens (this will be the first Lens I have bought for the camera besides the standard 18-55mm lens that came wiht the camera) so that I can hopefully get some nice pictures of the aircraft taking off and landing.

    Since I am new to DSLR cameras and such, I am unsure of which lens to go for. All the meansurements etc are alien to me as I am yet to properly start studying the ins and outs of photography. So I am going to ask you guys to help me pick a lens.

    The place I will be taking the pictures from is going to be around 1000-2000ft from where the planes are going to be in their ideal position for snapping the pictures.

    I have around £150 to spend on a lens. From looking at the prices I am not expecting to get anything amazing for the money, but it will be my first "starter" lens so to speak.

    A friend who I am going with has the same camera and the following lens that he has recommened :-


    Do you think that is going to be suitable for what I need - or are there better lenses available?

  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    At that focal length, your budget may be too tight. The 75-300 isn't nearly as good as the 70-300mm IS. It's $549 USD, so maybe 260 pounds? I think it would really be worth it if you need serious reach on a budget.
  3. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    There is nothing in that price range that I would consider 'good'. You better save up for a better quality lens or go on the used market.

    I once had a 70-300 and I was totaly frustrated by the image quality (IQ) when I shot anything that wasnt perfectly lighted.

    Also, from the range you are talking about, even at 300mm it will be too short. You need to find yourself a 600-1200mmF8/16 telephoto. They arent that expensive (usually under 300-400$ used), the real challenge is to find them! Of course they are super heavy and need a tripod. But it shouldnt be a problem when shooting planes.

    Meanwhile, get a 50F1.8 and have fun with it. Its cheap and will allow you to learn a lot about exposure and depth of field.
  4. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2006
    London, UK
    A lot of people think that the first lens they need is the telephoto. I made the same mistake. I bought the 75-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM III and ended up selling it after a month. Shockingly bad image quality:mad:. It almost made me give up my camera. But then I bought a 50mm lens and fell in love with my camera (350d) all over again. If you use it properly, it can really teach you the ins & outs of photography.

    For the $150 I would get the 50mm f/1.8 ($70) and then rent a long lens for this one occasion of going to the airport.
  5. Kolind macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2006
    You might want to think about replacing the stock lens as well, it really isn't that good. It's too bad that they sell such a nice camera with that lens in my opinion, but it of course helps sales I guess :)
  6. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006

    I know a couple of you have said that the 75-300 is a bad lens, but to be honest it was right in my budget (I really couldnt afford much more than 150pounds), and my friend has it and has shown me some good pictures off it.

    Remember, I am a starter photographer. I am not in a position to spend lots of money on big lenses at this time - so this is a step in the right direction at least.

    So I have bought the lens. Maybe I will come on here when Ive used it telling you you were all right and I shall eat my hat :)

    Thanks for your opinions. Will let you know how i get on ;)
  7. Teddy's macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    Right on!
    I have a 75-300 that I bought 6 years ago (on a budget.) It is nice.
    Show us some pictures later
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    One of the differences between Canon and Nikon is that Canon seems to offer a wider range of quality. The go from "really good" to "fair" Yes, you will see most pros at sporting events using Canon equipmment but none of them with Rebels and f/5.6 zooms. Not one. You have to look at what you buy and not just use the argument about most pros using Canon.

    Your problem is you've picked an expensive genre of photography and have a low-end budget. A bad match. If you have picked "street photography", or "studio portrait photos" you could do with some lower priced lenses.

    OK what to do? Spending more is not an optin and you do want to photograph some planes at great distances. The low priced lens will do OK if (big if here) you lock it down firmly with a very sturdy tripod. I've pick a tripod that (1) is from a good company and (2) is heaver than your camera and lens by about 2X or more. If you do this and shot subjects that are NOT moving and the air is STILL (your line of sight does not go over hot pavement) you can get some sharp images.

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