Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Thread: Lens advise

  1. #1
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Lens advise

    I was just wondering if anyone has a good suggestion on which type of lens i need to upgrade to. I have the Canon T3i with kit lens' 18X55mm and 75X300mm both came with the camera as a bundle. I like shooting landscapes but also like just about anything else. Depth of field is important. I need to upgrade to something with a larger aperture. Currently i can only get 3.5. Cost is an issue but would consider paying for the right lens. I want that great crisp shot of portrait with really good blurred background. Think in terms of you just bought this camera yourself and you wanted to upgrade to a higher quality lens. Which would it be and about how much can i expect to pay? Thank you.

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,296
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Lens advise

    The 18-55mm kit lens can produce some very good imagery, especially when tripod mounted and shot around f/8 or f/11.

    However, a lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture such as the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non-VC) is a great mid-range zoom that will allow you greater versatility in your shooting. A constant f/2.8 aperture allows you to stretch the envelope of capabilities...

    The 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens is not a very good lens and I really don't know why Canon still produces it unless it is to sell camera kits at a very low price.

    For a very reasonably priced substitute for that lens, consider the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS. It has better IQ than the older 75-300mm. I really think that Canon would do its customers a great service by discontinuing the 75-300mm lens and replacing it in kits with the 55-250mm...

    At a higher price tag, consider either the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS or the Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VC lenses.

    I use the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens as my go-to tele zoom and absolutely love it. However, the price of his lens, even used, is considerably above the two lenses I have just mentioned. The non-IS version of the 70-200mm f/4L lens is less expensive but I use my IS version 4-5x more often than I was ever able to use the non-IS lens because of the capability to hand hold it.

    I shoot almost all of my portraits with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens at f/4. This gives me the selective focus I like to use. I don't know where the variable f/stop of either 70-300mm lens is at, say 100-200mm focal ranges (where I tend to shoot most of my portraits) but, I suspect that you could do a very good job with either 70-300mm lens or even the 55-250mm lens if you shot at a fairly long focal length...

  3. #3
    Melkus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Fayetteville,NC
    Posts
    440
    Real Name
    Paul Melkus

    Re: Lens advise

    What your needing is a prime lens since you have the 18mm-55mm and the 75mm-300mm so a 50mm or 35mm would do the trick for you like the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for $100 at B@H, I use this very same lens when I had my Canon and was very happy with it for the price.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Lens advise

    For soft background I use my editor as it is more practical to shoot at a moderate f/stop such as f/5.6 or f/8 so really you do not need another lens ... if you want to shoot in low light then the 'nifty fifty f/1.8 is a good reasonably priced option. I must admit I quite enjoy manually focusing with my f/1.4 legacy lens, a practice which has been forced on me by its lack of automation.
    I feel that people struggle with trying to get the final result out of the camera when they would better to be considering the complete camera+editor process in how they go about things.

    I do not believe one gets a good blurred background out of any lens on the camera short of using a long telephoto lens [ 300< mm] or if the background is way behind the subject. The 50mm is barely adequate to avoid the distortions of being too close with the APS camera, it works nicely with M4/3 where it gives a 100mm angle of view perspective.

    Both your existing lenses are suitable for portraits with the kit lens at full tele and the telephoto at its wide-est. To me the minimal depth of field shooting which causes people to buy the 50mm f/1.4 is a fad and likely to cause considerable grief until one really masters the technique, particularly if using auto focus.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 8th January 2013 at 08:26 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,323
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Lens advise

    I have to say the difference in DoF from f/3.5 to f/2.8 would probably disappoint, so my vote would be for the fast prime option.

    If you have the space to get back from the model where-ever you intend to shoot, the 50 is an option, but it may be too 'tight' if you have to work in confined space, so the 35mm might be the safer option on a crop body.

    That said, there's a limit to how many "ultra narrow DoF" portraits you can shoot and you may find yourself back at f/5.6 before long anyway.

    However, this is perhaps something everyone needs to discover for themselves

  6. #6
    rtbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albertville, Mn
    Posts
    1,538
    Real Name
    randy

    Re: Lens advise

    Tamron makes a 90mm macro that actually is really good at portraiture as well, if you want to go at that angle. As Richard states, the 17-50mm might also fit the ticket. This lens was my gift to myself over the holiday and I have been quite pleased with the results.

    Lens advise

    Both of these lenses can be found at about $400-500

  7. #7
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,963
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    . . . a good suggestion on which type of lens i need to upgrade to. I have the Canon T3i with kit lens' 18X55mm and 75X300mm . . . [very shallow] Depth of field is important. I need to upgrade to something with a larger aperture. Currently i can only get 3.5. Cost is an issue. I want that great crisp shot of portrait with really good blurred background.
    On a Tight Budget and depending upon your generally expected and/or usual Shooting Distances, I suggest: one, two or all of these PRIME LENSES:

    • EF 35 F/2
    • EF 50 F/1.8 MkII
    • EF 85 F/1.8


    ***

    Samples fitting the description, using an APS-C camera

    EF 35 F/2:
    Sample of EF 35 F/2 used at aperture F/2 on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    EF 50 F/1.8 MkII:
    Sample of the EF 50 F/1.4, used at aperture F/3.5 on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    And the EF 50 F/1.4 at aperture F/1.6 and ISO3200 in ‘low level bar-room light’ on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    EF 85 F/1.8:
    Sample of EF 85 F/1.8 at aperture F/1.8 used on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    WW

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Lens advise

    In Bills examples you will note that the relative distances of camera to subject and subject to background have promoted the blurred background rather than the aperture or focal length of the lens ... as Colin said elsewhere he sometimes has DoF problems even at f/11, I assume he is after it whereas you are not

    If you get close to the subject and the background is a reasonable distance behind it will be blurred , a case of relativity that Einstein possibilily didn't consider.

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,963
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    In Bills examples you will note that the relative distances of camera to subject and subject to background have promoted the blurred background rather than the aperture or focal length of the lens
    I understand the point.
    I understand the relevance of the point and I appreciate the point being made.
    It is important to note that there are MANY factors to achieve: ‘background blur’.
    And many more factors achieve: ‘bokeh’.
    In fact, I chose one of the 50mm samples as being F/3.5, because the OP mentioned that F/3.5 was the fastest aperture available.

    I like your use of the word "promoted”.
    It is most accurate in the sense of there is a DoF which is defined by the: Aperture; Focal Length; Shooting Distance and Camera Format.
    And then the Distance to Background can ‘promote’ or ‘improve’ on that for the final image’s appearance.

    But I disagree with a very small phrase: which is a very important phrase.
    It is not an Either / Or – all factors work in accumulation.
    Also, in some cases and this is one - discussing Depth of Field needs to be separated from the discussion of the ‘quality of’ Background Blur – but also it needs to be understood that DoF and Bokeh (quality of Background Blur) are interrelated.

    I would not use the phrase: “rather than”
    I would have written:

    "In Bills examples you will note that the relative distances of camera to subject and subject to background have promoted the blurred background as well as the aperture and focal length of the lens also having an effect on the DoF."

    ***

    To the exact point that JCUKNZ is making:

    Here is a Portrait which was made with a slow zoom lens on a 5D, set at about FL = 100mm and the Aperture used was F/5.6:

    Lens advise
    “Italian Passion” © WMW - AJ Group Pty Ltd, 2012

    I believe it sustains the OP’s criterion:
    ‘I want that great crisp shot of portrait with really good blurred background”.

    And there is no reason why the OP could not make a very similar shot with the EF-S 17 to 55 kit lens set at FL = 55mm and the Aperture set at F/5.6.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 10th January 2013 at 02:53 AM. Reason: added the portion below ***

  10. #10
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    The 18-55mm kit lens can produce some very good imagery, especially when tripod mounted and shot around f/8 or f/11.

    However, a lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture such as the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non-VC) is a great mid-range zoom that will allow you greater versatility in your shooting. A constant f/2.8 aperture allows you to stretch the envelope of capabilities...

    The 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens is not a very good lens and I really don't know why Canon still produces it unless it is to sell camera kits at a very low price.

    For a very reasonably priced substitute for that lens, consider the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS. It has better IQ than the older 75-300mm. I really think that Canon would do its customers a great service by discontinuing the 75-300mm lens and replacing it in kits with the 55-250mm...

    At a higher price tag, consider either the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS or the Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VC lenses.

    I use the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens as my go-to tele zoom and absolutely love it. However, the price of his lens, even used, is considerably above the two lenses I have just mentioned. The non-IS version of the 70-200mm f/4L lens is less expensive but I use my IS version 4-5x more often than I was ever able to use the non-IS lens because of the capability to hand hold it.

    I shoot almost all of my portraits with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens at f/4. This gives me the selective focus I like to use. I don't know where the variable f/stop of either 70-300mm lens is at, say 100-200mm focal ranges (where I tend to shoot most of my portraits) but, I suspect that you could do a very good job with either 70-300mm lens or even the 55-250mm lens if you shot at a fairly long focal length...
    Thanks, I have to apologize for the late response but I forgot to check the subscribe to thread box and wasnt aware i had any replys. Sorry. You guys are so helpful in this forum. You have given me a great place to start looking for a lens. I sure will consider all the advise I get. Thanks again.

  11. #11
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Melkus View Post
    What your needing is a prime lens since you have the 18mm-55mm and the 75mm-300mm so a 50mm or 35mm would do the trick for you like the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for $100 at B@H, I use this very same lens when I had my Canon and was very happy with it for the price.
    I again need to apologize for my late response. Everyone here is so helpful. I think what I need to do is familiarize myself with all the possible lens' that my Rebel T3i is compatible with. I read that anything with EF or EFS will work. Is this correct? Thanks again and I will look into the 35 or 50 mm. I like the wide aperture so f/1.8 sounds great.

  12. #12
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    For soft background I use my editor as it is more practical to shoot at a moderate f/stop such as f/5.6 or f/8 so really you do not need another lens ... if you want to shoot in low light then the 'nifty fifty f/1.8 is a good reasonably priced option. I must admit I quite enjoy manually focusing with my f/1.4 legacy lens, a practice which has been forced on me by its lack of automation.
    I feel that people struggle with trying to get the final result out of the camera when they would better to be considering the complete camera+editor process in how they go about things.

    I do not believe one gets a good blurred background out of any lens on the camera short of using a long telephoto lens [ 300< mm] or if the background is way behind the subject. The 50mm is barely adequate to avoid the distortions of being too close with the APS camera, it works nicely with M4/3 where it gives a 100mm angle of view perspective.

    Both your existing lenses are suitable for portraits with the kit lens at full tele and the telephoto at its wide-est. To me the minimal depth of field shooting which causes people to buy the 50mm f/1.4 is a fad and likely to cause considerable grief until one really masters the technique, particularly if using auto focus.
    I'm apologetic to everyone who answered my post for a late response. I'm new to the forum and still learning the ropes. Interesting that you say you use your editor. I'm not sure I have anything that will soften the background. I do have Lr4 and am still trying to grasp all it has to offer. Do you know if Lr4 has this effect? I'm trying to wrap my mind around all this camera lingo too. Lol. Ill get it. It may take me awhile but I will.i will break down all my responses later and research each lens that's been presented to me so, thanks a lot.

  13. #13
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I have to say the difference in DoF from f/3.5 to f/2.8 would probably disappoint, so my vote would be for the fast prime option.

    If you have the space to get back from the model where-ever you intend to shoot, the 50 is an option, but it may be too 'tight' if you have to work in confined space, so the 35mm might be the safer option on a crop body.

    That said, there's a limit to how many "ultra narrow DoF" portraits you can shoot and you may find yourself back at f/5.6 before long anyway.

    However, this is perhaps something everyone needs to discover for themselves
    So sorry for the late response. I really appreciate your help. I'm going to ask a basic question here so at the risk of sounding too amateurish what do you mean by " crop body" I have seen this and have also seen " full body" I'm new at this so I'm learning every day. I will keep in mind about my space. Great tip, thanks.

  14. #14
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbaum View Post
    Tamron makes a 90mm macro that actually is really good at portraiture as well, if you want to go at that angle. As Richard states, the 17-50mm might also fit the ticket. This lens was my gift to myself over the holiday and I have been quite pleased with the results.

    Lens advise

    Both of these lenses can be found at about $400-500
    Sorry for the late response. ( forum learning curve) That's a great photo. Exactly what I was looking to get. Don't know yet if my kit lens will produce anything like that. I'm still experimenting. I've seen a lot about Tamron but don't know too much about it. Higher end lens though right? That's ok, I'll spend the $$$ if I need to. Thanks again you all are very informative and helpful.

  15. #15
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    On a Tight Budget and depending upon your generally expected and/or usual Shooting Distances, I suggest: one, two or all of these PRIME LENSES:

    • EF 35 F/2
    • EF 50 F/1.8 MkII
    • EF 85 F/1.8


    ***

    Samples fitting the description, using an APS-C camera

    EF 35 F/2:
    Sample of EF 35 F/2 used at aperture F/2 on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    EF 50 F/1.8 MkII:
    Sample of the EF 50 F/1.4, used at aperture F/3.5 on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    And the EF 50 F/1.4 at aperture F/1.6 and ISO3200 in ‘low level bar-room light’ on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    EF 85 F/1.8:
    Sample of EF 85 F/1.8 at aperture F/1.8 used on an APS-C Camera:
    Lens advise

    WW
    My apologies are long tonight for my late response. Those are some great photos of what I'm looking for. I will definitely research the lens' you refer. Wow I have a lot of looking up to do. Thanks again and hope to pick your brain some more later.

  16. #16
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    In Bills examples you will note that the relative distances of camera to subject and subject to background have promoted the blurred background rather than the aperture or focal length of the lens ... as Colin said elsewhere he sometimes has DoF problems even at f/11, I assume he is after it whereas you are not

    If you get close to the subject and the background is a reasonable distance behind it will be blurred , a case of relativity that Einstein possibilily didn't consider.
    Sorry for the late response. I didn't subscribe to the thread so I wasn't aware that I had any response to my question. What you say is something I hadn't considered. Good tip! I ll keep that in mind. I'm pretty new to this so I am always thinking its the aperture that gets you the blurred background. I realize now, that it does have an effect but, also the distance as you suggest between your subject and the background plays a roll as well. Thanks

  17. #17
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,963
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    I need to do is familiarize myself with all the possible lens' that my Rebel T3i is compatible with. I read that anything with EF or EFS will work. Is this correct?
    Yes, the letters 'EF' and 'EF-S' used in this way describe the BAYONET LENS MOUNT of the Lenses manufactured by Canon.

    Your camera will accept both 'EF' and 'EF-S' bayonet mount lenses. (##)

    It will also accept all third party lenses with an ‘EF’ Bayonet Mount.
    “Third Party” means made by another manufacturer other than Canon – for example Sigma.

    Although the third party lenses made to fit onto Canon 'EOS' Cameras are ALL: ‘EF’ Bayonet Mount, SOME of the third party lenses will often be designated something like:
    • “for the APS-C camera” or
    • “for the smaller sensor camera” or
    • “for the Crop Camera”

    and these lenses will also mount to and work fine on your camera, as your camera has an APS-C sized sensor, in it.

    An example of a (Fast Prime) Third Party Lens, which is specially made for the APS-C sensor is the Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM.

    The letters 'DC' in this Sigma Lens's nomenclature are the designating letters which indicate that the lens is suited ONLY for an APS-C Camera. Other Third Party Lens manufactures have similar codes

    WW


    PS - stop apologizing - I am certain we all get the message - you just didn't select to have an alert on the thread.
    It’s cool - don’t sweat it.



    ## Footnote.

    For collectors of trivia – your camera will also will accept Canon Lenses with the designation prefix ‘TS-E’ and ‘MP-E’.

    These lenses have the same BAYONET MOUNT as all the ‘EF’ Lenses – but for a very long and involved reason their nomenclature does not reflect it.
    Last edited by William W; 10th January 2013 at 05:17 AM. Reason: added footnote

  18. #18
    Slabstick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    76
    Real Name
    Larry McMahon

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I understand the point.
    I understand the relevance of the point and I appreciate the point being made.
    It is important to note that there are MANY factors to achieve: ‘background blur’.
    And many more factors achieve: ‘bokeh’.
    In fact, I chose one of the 50mm samples as being F/3.5, because the OP mentioned that F/3.5 was the fastest aperture available.

    I like your use of the word "promoted”.
    It is most accurate in the sense of there is a DoF which is defined by the: Aperture; Focal Length; Shooting Distance and Camera Format.
    And then the Distance to Background can ‘promote’ or ‘improve’ on that for the final image’s appearance.

    But I disagree with a very small phrase: which is a very important phrase.
    It is not an Either / Or – all factors work in accumulation.
    Also, in some cases and this is one - discussing Depth of Field needs to be separated from the discussion of the ‘quality of’ Background Blur – but also it needs to be understood that DoF and Bokeh (quality of Background Blur) are interrelated.

    I would not use the phrase: “rather than”
    I would have written:

    "In Bills examples you will note that the relative distances of camera to subject and subject to background have promoted the blurred background as well as the aperture and focal length of the lens also having an effect on the DoF."

    ***

    To the exact point that JCUKNZ is making:

    Here is a Portrait which was made with a slow zoom lens on a 5D, set at about FL = 100mm and the Aperture used was F/5.6:

    Lens advise
    “Italian Passion” © WMW - AJ Group Pty Ltd, 2012

    I believe it sustains the OP’s criterion:
    ‘I want that great crisp shot of portrait with really good blurred background”.

    And there is no reason why the OP could not make a very similar shot with the EF-S 17 to 55 kit lens set at FL = 55mm and the Aperture set at F/5.6.

    WW
    Wow, my last apology. So sorry for the late response. I wasn't aware that I had any responses. You make some great points ( the ones that I understand) I have a lot of learning to do to understand all the "jargon" So, I will experiment with my 18x55 kit lens and see if I can get the shot I want. I've been taking photos all my life but, this is my first DSLR so, I'm on a huge learning curve. Am I correct in saying that any lens that is an EF or EFS will be compatible with my Canon? I bought the T3i because it was an affordable choice for me. It seems like a really good camera. A great one to learn with anyway. Thanks again you have been very helpful.

  19. #19
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,963
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Lens advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    You make some great points ( the ones that I understand) I have a lot of learning to do to understand all the "jargon"
    Gee you have been a busy beaver catching up - hey!
    Anything that I write which you don’t understand; I will always explain another way, if you ask me.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    Am I correct in saying that any lens that is an EF or EFS will be compatible with my Canon?
    Keep reading and refreshing your browser – I have already answered that one: it is Post #17 and is just above your last response.

    I have to go and eat - well I have to cook it first . . . catch you later.

    WW

  20. #20
    kris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    Posts
    215
    Real Name
    Andrea

    Re: Lens advise

    Dear Larry,

    I have no experience with Canon lenses, I use Nikon. I have a 35mm prime-lens, which I used a lot with my D300. It is one of my favorite lens. However from my little experience I would not suggest a 35mm for landscape. The 35mm on your camera is equivalent to 1.6*35mm=56mm. Moreover you already have a 18-55mm. Speed usually is not as issue for landscape, you can use a tripod.

    For landscape I use a 10-24mm lens, which corresponds to a 15-36mm on my camera. I would suggest to look for an equivalent Canon lens, or a prime lens in the 10-18mm range . It is much better for landscapes than a 35mm on a APS-C camera.

    For portrait the 35mm is good, but a 50mm, 80mm on your camera, it is better.

    If you can, it is better to have two different lenses, one for landscape and one for portraits.

    Cheers
    A.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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