which lens to buy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gelindo, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. gelindo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    #1
    hi
    i'm going to buy a dslr but i have only money to buy one lens.
    i cant decide which one to choose . there's two lenses that i find interesting: the canon ef 50mm f/1.4 and the 15 - 85 mm
    which one would be better to start with?

    i will be shooting mainly portraits and sometimes pictures in the woods (landscapes).

    thanks
     
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #2
    I personally would choose a good zoom over a 50mm as my only lens. Much as I like 50mm lenses, they're a bit long and therefore quite limiting on APS sized sensors.
     
  3. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Portland, OR
    #3
    50mm on a full frame sensor isn't too long.

    OP, what body are you getting?
     
  4. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #4
    especially since the TS main interest is portraits.
     
  5. gelindo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2009
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #6
    However, since gelindo is just getting started I doubt s/he'll be getting a full frame. I'm not really sure what is equivalent to a 50mm on a cropped sensor, though.

    EDIT: nevermind. 50mm will be fine on a 50D. That's a full frame, right?
     
  7. zildjansg macrumors 6502

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    Jan 10, 2010
    #7
    IHMO, i'll go for the 15-85mm since a 50D is a crop factor(1.6x) body,15mm would be quite enough for your landscape and at around 55-85mm will be pretty descent focal for your portraiture,not an expert though, but the zoom lens has its versatility.

    my 2 cents worth
     
  8. zildjansg macrumors 6502

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    Jan 10, 2010
    #8
    I believed that 50mm on a crop sensor would be 80mm,correct me if im wrong.;)

    Canon 50D has a 1.6x crop factor,and not a full frame sensor.:D
     
  9. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #9
    Ah, my mistake then. So a 30mm lens would be about equivalent to a 50mm, right? Then I second the suggestion for a 15-85mm.
     
  10. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #10
    Look at the f/1.7 or f/1.8 equivalent of the 50mm lens you're looking at, it will be significantly cheaper.
    I'd get the zoom to start off with though, it can be used for getting into portraits and perfect for landscapes.
    50mm (x1.6 = 80mm equiv) is too tight for landscapes, you'll be pullin your hair out quickly :)
     
  11. zildjansg macrumors 6502

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    Jan 10, 2010
    #11
    yes sir, around 48-50mm
     
  12. gelindo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2009
    #12
    and how about the 50mm and a 28 or 35 mm prime?
    the price of the 50mm and a 28 or 35mm is about the same as a 15 -85 mm lens
     
  13. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    May 5, 2007
    #13
    The 15-85 is an EF-S lens, hence I assumed he wasn't going full frame. I'd be tempted to get a good zoom and the 50m f/1.8 which is cheap but good. Someone here might be able to suggest a cheaper but excellent alternative to save a lot of money, like the tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (which I have no experience of, I am just giving an example).
     
  14. MacRodster macrumors member

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    May 31, 2010
    #14
    15-85mm all the way and possibly the 50mm F1.8 II as it is a good cheap prime to start with. This way you could buy both :)
     
  15. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #15
    The 50mm is cheap and fun. But slow in focusing. The TS can also look at the 85mm (~135mm) for portraits. It's relatively cheap. I can't comment on the 15-85, haven't used it and don't know it.
     
  16. JackHobbs macrumors regular

    JackHobbs

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    Nov 1, 2009
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    London
    #16
    I have the 50D and the 15-85 zoom. For my previous camera, a 400D, I used the Tamrom 18-50 zoom. I also have the 50mm lens, f1.8 rather than f1.4. I am happy with all of the lenses and love my 50D. In my experience, if you buy a package that is when retailers give the biggest discount. That is one of the reasons I would recommend the 15 - 85 lens. I also think that if you are going to have one lens, then that is the most flexible one. This would be handy for wide landscapes (
    well wider than the 50mm) and still be good for portraits. If later on you wanted a cheap portrait lens, the 50mm f1.8 is a cracker. It's cheap but gets great reviews.

    The most important thing however is go to a real shop and try them all out. If you haven't used a prime lens, as opposed to a zoom, they are a little odd to use at first. Your feet zoom in and out of the scene rather than the lens. This can force you to think carefully about the picture you are taking or it can just be irritating.
     
  17. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #17
    why is there a bunch of talk about "full frame" when the OP hasn't mentioned anything remotely suggestive of it?

    unless you've used SLRs before and know you like prime lenses, get the 15-85. you can supplement it later with a 30mm prime or a longer zoom lens, depending on what you need more.

    as an only prime, I highly recommend something around 30mm or shorter.

    30mm and 50mm is no replacement for 15-85mm.
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    Since you don't have a camera body either, may I suggest you get a Nikon D5000? It a lot cheaper than the 50D; for a first DSLR it's quite adequate. Especially with limited funds you'll want to invest in a good glass that will last a lifetime, not bodies that become obsolete in 2 years.

    With that consider a 10-24 for your wide angle needs, a 18-200 for general use, and then pick up the older 50 f/1.4 (with the aperture ring).

    Good luck.
     
  19. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

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    Nov 22, 2007
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    Ask Apple
    #19
    If you are doing mostly portrait photography, to minimize features on the face, you will need to have a longer focal length. With that requirement, I don't think you will be happy with the small aperture of the 15-85 from Canon, especially in the upper range of the focal length.
     

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