Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

  1. #1
    Deucalion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Somewhere in South East Asia
    Posts
    41
    Real Name
    Reginald

    A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Hi everyone...

    hope to get advice/hear your thoughts, I'm a newbie w/c is to say I have completely no experience with DSLRs and having been blessed just recently with a 60D for a gift I am enjoying using it and learning about photography in general. One of the reasons why I love this site is that information is presented in such a way that is easy for someone like me who is new to DSLRs to understand

    my 60D came with the 18-135 EFS lens and I am absolutely loving the pictures I've taken with my camera, even flirting away from using full on auto and tinkering and shooting with my own Av and Tv settings... from zoomed in close up shots of flowers, to landscape shots and group pictures (will post some when I get up the nerve to one of these days )

    thing is I've been given a rare opportunity to get a new lens for it and I've been reading on some of the posts in the lenses category and I'm now confused about what to get. I've read about the 24-105mm, 17-40mm and the 17-55mm as well as the 70-200mm and the 10-22mm.

    of the above mentioned lenses the 70-200 F4L (no IS); 10-22 EFS; and the 17-40 F4L are at about the same price range that my benefactor can afford (or will consider for purchase) with the 24-105mm and the 17-55mm a bit more expensive but I could probably get if I ask nicely enough

    what lens should I get? I would probably want something to complement my existing kit lens EFS 18-135mm (or should I just sell it and get a better one in the same range?). Is an EF "L" lens really better than a comparable "EFS" lens? I usually take shots "hand held" and the lack of IS in some of the lenses I've mentioned is a bit of a concern for me or should it "NOT" be a concern at all because I'm using a crop not an FF camera?

    It seems I've bunched a lot of of questions together but I would absolutely love to hear ur thoughts/suggestions! thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    20,232
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Reginald

    Given that you say you mainly hand-hold, then 'yes' IS will make a huge difference. Of the option to purchase is a possibility, then I think you should resolve to have an IS. Have an 'L' is the icing on the cake, but you can make perfectly good pictures without having an 'L' on the name of the lens.

    In terms of the next set of questions - It really is a case of having to ask yourself - What do you want another lens for? Or put it another way - What do I want to shoot that my 18-135 can't cover?

    I don't know the 18-135 but have read good reports about it. And you're loving what your doing with it. So why change?

    If we assume you're not getting rid of it, then the question becomes - Do I want a) something at the wider end or b) something at the longer end? That would then have 2 of teh options you mentioned on the list - the 10-22 and the 70-200.

    If you were going for the 70-200 you would, as I suggested above, have to get the IS version (is that within budget?).

    Hope these thoughts help you reach your decision.
    Last edited by Donald; 9th October 2011 at 07:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Reginald:

    Everyone has different needs/desires/requirements. So I won't recommend any particular lens for you or anyone else.

    That being said, Donald's suggestions and advice (above) are sound. I will merely cite my own experience:

    I started with a 30D (same crop factor as your 60D), and the Canon EF 24-105L. It was a good combination except indoors at "people events" (birthdays, etc). The lens was not wide enough at 24 mm for a crop body, and the f/4 was a bit too slow for natural light (I don't use flash). I soon added the Canon EFS 17-55 f/2.8. This lens was designed for the crop bodies, and it's the one I use almost exclusively with the 30D. Meanwhile the 24/105 resides on the FF 5DII.

    If you do what I did, you won't gain any focal length range (in fact you would lose some range), but what you will gain is some considerable image quality. The 17/55 is just a bit short of outstanding (actually stopped down it is outstanding).

    If you are happy with the results you are getting with the 18-135, then keep it. But may I suggest that in time you will discover it's shortcomings - I suspect that the sensor of the 60D will show up the weakness of the 18-135 lens (particularly in the corners of the image). This is not my opinion, it is the result of testing by Photozone.

    http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/46...n_18135_3556is

    Don't be discouraged by the charts and lingo - there are good explanations available on the site. I believe these people do rigourous lab tests of lenses - it's not just someone's personal opinion of a lens they own (which seems very common on line).

    Glenn

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Greece (ex UK)
    Posts
    644
    Real Name
    Russell

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Hi, Quote :- I usually take shots "hand held" Ok I no you are asking about a new lens but before you buy a lens you should really consider that most important piece of equipment "The Tri-Pod" not a cheap flimsy piece of kit but at least a half decent one, would do away with the need for IS in some situations and maybe allow for a very good lens of your choice a little cheaper because you do not go for IS, also maybe extentsion tubes for your close up's. If you asked the question on here of who uses a tripod I bet 99% would say yes for 99% of there work flow.
    JMO.
    Russ
    PS. Also use AV mode along with RAW again this covers 99% of the needs of outdoor photography, I M O.
    Last edited by russellsnr; 9th October 2011 at 01:01 PM. Reason: AV

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama USA
    Posts
    135

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Hi Reginald,

    You need to sit down and really think about what it is you want to do, then pick a suitable lens.

    The 17-55 f/2.8 IS is a flat out amazing lens for Canon crop camera users. The IS, image quality, and constant f/2.8 are nice. I am constantly impressed by this lens. It is the best "all around" option for most of us.

    The 24-105 L is a very nice lens. It would give you more telephoto "reach" in a high end package. Image quality is very good. You could always use your current lens for the times you need a wider optic.

    The 10-22 isn't a lens I have experience with. I personally use the Sigma 10-20. Once you try an ultra wide angle lens, you won't want to be without one. They are great fun and the 10-22 has an excellant reputation for optical performance.

    The 70-200 f/4 L is another great lens. If you like to hand shoot, you'll need good light when using it at the longer end of the focal length range to avoid blurry images caused by not having enough shutter speed to handhold. Image quality is fantastic, so is build quality. After using the IS version of the lens for the past few years (and the non IS before that), I still want to say "WOW" every time I put the lens on and look thru the viewfinder.

    The 17-40L is another excellant lens. It is really meant to be an ultra wide angle optic for full frame (24x36mm sensor) cameras. On the crop cameras like your 60D it is less than optimal in regard in many ways. Image quality, build, AF performance, etc are all top drawer though.

    Another option might be to look into getting two aftermarket lenses. The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 10-20 f/4-5.6 combo would be tough to beat for the money. You could probably get both for the price of a Canon 17-55 IS...

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,568
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    We all like to spend other people's money... It's more fun than spending our own.

    However, along with a tripod, the next accessory that I would suggest is a hotshoe flash such as the 430EX ii. The flash combined with a reflector diffuser which you can either buy or fabricate will allow you to bounce your light and get very nice imagery in areas where the 18-135mm lens is just not fast enough...

    Here is a good primer on flash photography...
    http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...hy-techniques/

    I use a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro when bouncing my hotshoe flash...
    www.dembflashproducts.com

    Or you can fabricate a diffuser/reflector from cardboard or foamboard...
    http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/

    Also don't forget that fill flash outdoors often greatly improves imagery...

  7. #7
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    4,018
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Deucalion View Post
    . . . my 60D came with the 18-135 EFS lens . . . I've been given a rare opportunity to get a new lens for it and I've been reading on some of the posts in the lenses category and I'm now confused about what to get. I've read about the 24-105mm, 17-40mm and the 17-55mm as well as the 70-200mm and the 10-22mm of the above mentioned lenses the 70-200 F4L (no IS); 10-22 EFS; and the 17-40 F4L are at about the same price range that my benefactor can afford (or will consider for purchase) with the 24-105mm and the 17-55mm a bit more expensive but I could probably get if I ask nicely enough. . . what lens should I get? I would probably want something to complement my existing kit lens EFS 18-135mm
    If you like wide landscapes and wide angle view (wider than the 18mm you can get at the moment) then the complementary lens is the 10 to 22.
    Basically, it is the only complementary lens, in that list of 4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deucalion View Post
    (or should I just sell it and get a better one in the same range?)
    I don’t suggest that. You indicate you don’t have a lot of experience and therefore don’t know much about the lenses and what you might use them for: and also (more importantly) you don’t know what you don’t know.
    So therefore, if you must make a purchase, the first idea about getting a complementary lens, is a better idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by Deucalion View Post
    Is an EF "L" lens really better than a comparable "EFS" lens?
    Yes they are.

    Whether the “better” is relevant to you; relevant to what you want to shoot; and displayed the resultant Image Quality, depends on a lot of issues.
    For example I have an EF50F/2.5 and If I take a Portrait Shot in daylight with Flash Fill using F/8 and enlarge the image to 14 x 11inches I doubt many could tell the difference between it and an image taken with the EF50F/1.0L or the EF 50F/1.2L: however if I needed to hand hold in a dim Church at ISO1600 and pull a shot of the Bride at F/1.8 and it was raining (leaky roof) and there was a sandstorm (open doors). . . then the L lens on a 1 series body would perform better . . .

    HOWEVER – IF you are (specifically) discussing the EF-S 17 to 55F/2.8IS, then that is a different question.
    Because IF you are comparing that EF-S lens to (for example) the EF24 to 70/2.8L or the EF24 to 104F/4L AND you only have an APS-C camera, then I would opt for the EF-S 17 to 55F/2.8IS in an heartbeat over either of the other two lenses.

    One criterion for any “L” lens is that it must mount to all cameras in the Series – no EF-S lens can mount to all, EOS Series cameras.

    I am NOT elevating the EF-S17 to 55F/2.8IS to “L”status – I am merely stating it is a fine optic and generally this lens is more useful to MOST Photographers, than a 24 to 70 or a 24 to 105 when used as the standard zoom, on an APS-C Camera.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deucalion View Post
    I usually take shots "hand held" and the lack of IS in some of the lenses I've mentioned is a bit of a concern for me or should it "NOT" be a concern at all because I'm using a crop not an FF camera?
    Having IS or the lack of it and the usefulness of IS to you: is NOT primarily related to the sensor size of the camera.

    This thought might have come about because you might have seen reference to the smaller sensor requiring a slightly faster shutter speed when the “1/focal length” rule is applied to any particular lens.

    In GENERAL TERMS -
    The usefulness of IS is Primarily related to:
     Hand Holding the camera, as opposed you using a tripod or monopod etc
     Typical Shutter Speed being at the slower end
     NOT using Flash Illumination

    And secondarily is related to:
     The Focal Length of the lens at the telephoto end
     The Amount of Enlargement of the final Image being large
     The steadiness and adeptness at the Shutter Release being poor

    Let’s be clear what IS can do – IS allows the Photographer to use a considerably slower shutter speed than usually possible, because IS tends to arrest CAMERA SHAKE and thus there is less BLUR in the Image.

    It is very important to understand that there is another type of BLUR and that is caused by SUBJECT MOVEMENT and IS does NOT address this type of blur – only a fast enough Shutter Speed or using Flash will address the Blur of Subject Movement.

    For example IF you generally take Photos where the shutter speed is about (or can be about 1/400s) or faster; and in low light you use Flash; and your longest lens is about 200mm: then NOT having IS will not generally worry you.


    But it is also good to remember that having IS and not using it, until the day comes when you do need it is a good plan. For example if you find yourself in the museum or church or historic building which allows Photography of the architecture and interiors etc, but does not allow the use of Tripods or Flash - in this case a lens with IS would be handy. Just a note here - there are comments that state that IS is NOT necessary for the shorter focal lengths, well imagine being inside that historic building that does not allow Flash - a normal to wide lens would be useful – and so would IS.

    Considering the last paragraph, the EF-S 17 to 55F/2.8 IS and he EF 24 to 105F/4 IS are very good standard zooms and many Photographers choose those lenses as their main “walk about” lenses because, for one reason those lenses have IS.

    ***

    My general advice to your questons: is to ask your benefactor to hold off on any purchase for a few months whilst you interrogate the new camera and lens you have and learn more and better understand where you believe your photography is heading.


    WW
    Last edited by William W; 16th October 2011 at 12:41 AM. Reason: correcting my gram'ma and her pathetic spelung

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    249
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Excellent post William. For the most part, you summed up everything he needs to know.

  9. #9
    speedneeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,532
    Real Name
    Brian

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    No one ever recommends the efs 15-85?
    My experience with the 18-135 - I love the range but I hate the sharpness at anything other than f8, which is really inconvenient for many shots I take.
    Donald and Bill's posts are both very good.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    249
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    No one ever recommends the efs 15-85?
    Just read this the other day, funny how you ask about it Brian: http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/15-85mm.htm

  11. #11
    speedneeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,532
    Real Name
    Brian

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Thanks for the link, Ken.
    I have read a few website reviews of the 15-85, but have not read any common folks experience with it on sites like this. I'm starting to wonder if anyone actually has this lens?!
    Anyway, this is getting away from the topic of this post - a second lens to compliment the 18-135. This covers such a wide focal length range that I don't know how to answer that question, especially for someone that is getting great results with it.

  12. #12
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by hoffstriker View Post
    Just read this the other day, funny how you ask about it Brian: http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/15-85mm.htm
    Well this is a surprise to me - I thought I was familiar with the full line of EFS lenses until reading this post by Chris (thanks for the info).

    What's really odd is that there are users of this lens that actually agree with KR:

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=27&page=3

    However that being said, KR should really learn more about Canon terminology - to quote:

    S means "small" sensor; it only works on 1.6x Canon cameras.


    Glenn

  13. #13
    Ronny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Glendora, California
    Posts
    133
    Real Name
    Ronny Geenen

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Deucalion:

    At the moment you are exited having a new DSRL and lens and start shooting pictures and look at the results. I think you should take a step back. But think about what you really want to do with your newly found hobby. Look at this photo site and all the different pictures. What direction do you want to go and then determine what lens you want to buy.
    Here is my example. I am not a portrait or wedding photographer. I am more an architectural guy. I take pictures of homes for Realtors, who use these results as a marketing tool on the net. To do that I use a Canon 40D with the battery grip, the Canon 10-22mm wide, and the Canon 430 EXII flash, a monopod, a tripod and a quick release. My walk around lens is a 24-105mm lens, which I have used to shoot pictures of the professional California bike race and an antique auto car show. Recently I made more then 200 pictures of a golf tournament for a real estate Broker who sponsored the Human Habitat Group and these pictures were taken with the 70-200mm F/4 IS.
    Around the house I like to take close-up/macro pictures and use the Canon EF-S 60mm F/2.8 and the remote control.
    Set your goals and buy accordingly. It is your money that you are going to spend.

  14. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    Hi Reginald,

    Ronny and others (particularly William too) sum up my thoughts too. Maybe your benefactor will give you some time to come up against some of the limitations of the lens (whatever lens!) you're using now. But if you absolutely need to decide now, then have a think about what types of more specialised photography you might want to expand into (for which a complementary lens might be useful/essential).

    For example:
    - sports/wildlife: long telefoto (+extender?)
    - landscape: even wider-angle? Tripod?
    - indoor/low-light (2.8 IS lens or faster?)
    - macro: macro lens + small tripod or whatever

    Wish I had a benefactor who wants to buy me a new lens!

    Cheers,
    Mike

  15. #15

    Re: A Newbie's Canon Lenses Dilemma

    You are getting some great advices here Reginald. If I were you, I would hold on with the purchases for some time and find the limitation of my current lens.

    I would also suggest studying picture. Whenever you read self-help photography books or watch images on various websites, most of the time you can see what lens the photographer is using to make the particular picture (EXIF data). If you don't have books, flickr or any other photo community if a great place to start. And if any pictures speaks to you, find out what lens (for focal length) had he been using and what other setting he has used. I am not emphasizing on what brand lens, but rather on focal length. May be you like those pictures so much that you want to shoot such pictures yourself. Keep track of the focal length, aperture etc. and you will eventually discover what your vision in photography is.

    Another way is to use your software (Aperture, Lightroom etc) and sort your own images according to focal length, aperture value. You will get valuable data this way. What focal length, apertures etc. have you been using most? These can help you pick your next lens.

    Do you have friends who are into photography? May be you can borrow their lens for a day or two and take pictures and analyze them and see your inkling. It will also guide you towards knowing the limitation of your current lens.

    It is very easy to get attracted to the red ring of the L lens, but can you utilize it to its fullest potential? Just because professionals use it doesn't guarantee you professional results. Saying that, the L lens quality (build, image) is hardly disputed and it definitely pays in the long run if you are serious about photography.

    Do you need tripod, photo editing softwares, may be a better computer monitor, or a big display monitor to hook it up to your laptop.... these are all part of photography. Sadly I did not understand it earlier when I picked my dSLR. I always thought the best photographers get the perfect images right on their camera. Postproduction was no-no to me. But with learning, the importance of post production is significant to me. I am still learning the art myself. However I am most saying post processing is the most significant thing, the primary thing as always is the art of making pictures (involving photographer and the camera, lenses, filters etc).

    A lot of people agree that every photographer should have 50mm or 35mm lens. I prefer 50mm (on crop body). Have your ever used a fast prime lens? The day I took my fist picture with 50mm 1.8, I understood the power of photography. I was using the 18 -55mm kit lens then.

    If you have to buy lens right away, have you considered 50mm 1.4. With your budget, I would skip the 50mm 1.8 for now. And may be take a weeklong photography course from a local photographer who knows what he is doing. I think it helps a lot. I have never had a photography course or class, but I would like one if I can afford it.

    This is my first forum post in any photographic forum, hope this helps. I have had about a two years experience with basic photography.

    Good luck making pictures!
    Last edited by diogenesdenepa; 5th November 2011 at 08:58 PM. Reason: typos

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •