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Thread: Best Lens for Canon 40D

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    New Member Alix's Avatar
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    Best Lens for Canon 40D


    Hi ... Similar to Adrian's thread of June, I would love input for selecting the best lens for my just-purchased 40D (body only) ... this is my first DSLR ... I have a lot to learn ... initially, I expect to use auto settings and plan to take some classes and read a lot during the fall.

    Primary use is to capture 5 young grandchildren at play ... I do love tight cropping. I'm leaning toward the Tamron AF 17-50mm XR Di II 2.8 VC ... I shoot indoors in low light and would prefer not to use a flash. My cousin suggests EF-S 15-85 F/3.5-5.6 IS USM ... the variable range concerns me, i.e., I don't know how to compensate ... will this lens work well on auto settings in above conditions?

    I will be grateful for any and all input and suggestions. I'd like to find a good lens, or glass ... just learned that ... for $US 700 max.

    Warmly, Alix

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Alix

    Welcome on board C in C. Hope you stick around and enjoy your stay.

    I think you've got a couple of things to concentrate in on in making a choice.

    You're main interest is in photos of the grandchildren at play. So you're going to need enough length to get in close to make those tightly cropped images when needs be. Even with the crop factor on the 40D, 50mm may be a bit short. 85 mm is getting there. But some (with greater experience than me) might suggest that you need to look at long length of up to 135mm.

    You say you'll be shooting indoors, in low light without flash. So you're going to need speed. f2.8 fits the bill. f5.6 @ 85mm is probably not going to do so.

    I think 85mm would be long enough (but I suspect others will disagree), but it needs to be faster than f5.6.

    Let others shoot me down in flames.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    When you mention "I shoot indoors in low light and would prefer not to use a flash."; I wonder if

    1. You own an accessory flash...
    2. Are familiar enough with its use to obtain well lit images...

    A flash that is used correctly will provide very good to excellent lighting and won't have the "deer caught in the headlights' look. Flash can look like available light should look but, most often doesn't.

    Bouncing your flash and using a reflector/diffuser (I use a Canon 550EX with the Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro www.dembflashproducts.com) will certainly elevate your flash photography up a notch. Even better, would be to bounce the flash using a reflector/diffuser AND a flash bracket which will elevate your flash and keep it directly over the axis of the lens in both the landscape and portrait positions...

    Neil van Niekirk introduces his excellent flash tutorial with,

    "As photographers we’re always looking for perfect light. And yet, the quality of available light isn’t always ideal. It is rarely perfect... These pages were originally written to help other photographers who struggle with on-camera flash. But they were also written as a reaction against the snobbery of the purists who insist on using available light only – even when it looks terrible."

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...hy-techniques/

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    New Member Alix's Avatar
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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    You've both given me great info ... it's the mothers' requests that I don't use flash or at least keep it to a minimum, i.e., indoors at night. I currently don't own an accessory flash, and I do agree it's the way to go ... any other suggestions for 2.8 lens with that might work? Many thanks, Alix

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Alix

    Had a trawl through the website of my usual supplier.

    One option might be the Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 EX DC II HSM Lens. I don't know anything about the lens, but in terms of speed, telephoto range and price, it would seem to be an option. My only issue with it would be the fact that it starts you at 50mm. It would be nice to have something that was a bit wider at the low end.

    The other Sigma option might be their 24-70mm f2.8 IF EX DG HSM. As we discussed above, 70mm might be thought of as a bit short at the long (if you see what I mean) end. Again, I know nothing about this lens. But, in respect of both lenses, what you need to remember is that Sigma has been around for a long time. And they didn't survive by making duff lenses.

    If your wallet was fatter, then the 24-70 option to think about would be Canon's own. But that takes things up into the higher reaches of the atmosphere!

    The best thing would be to get yourself down to a store where these lenses are stocked. Fit them onto your own camera and get the store staff to guide you through them. Set up a mock shoot of the grandchidlren using anythign else as a prop (use the store staff) and just check out what you can see at what distances etc. And don't feel pressurised by the store staff. Take your time and don't leave until you feel you know which one would suit you better (if any). And tell them you might be back.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Welcome to photography! It is a wonderful medium for creative expression that you will possibly come to love. There is allot to learn so don't let yourself get overwhelmed. When I started out, I read everything I could and took many exposures. My eyes were only really opened when I went shooting with a friend (pro photog). He showed me more in a few hours than I had learned in months up to that point.

    The old style Sigma 24-70 (non HSM) is a pretty darn good lens. It is well within your budget. For tight framing, the 70MM end would be handy for many shots. 24mm isn't overly wide on a crop camera like the 40D, but I use a 24-70 (Canon's version) on mine much of the time without issue. Regardless of the request for limited flash use, you could probably get a Canon 430EX II Speedlite and the lens for close to your lens budget. The flash will prove to be very handy when you can use it. You'll find that without flash many indoor shots require high ISO (sensor sensitivity setting).
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_8_EX_DG.html


    Another option (I haven't personally used this lens, it's new) is the Sigma 17-50 OS. It has the stabilizer feature and folks are already saying good things about it. Obviously, it is wider angle on the short end with less telephoto on the long end than the 24-70. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_8_EX_DC.html

    Personally, I'd steer clear of Tamron all together. I had a 17-50 once that hunted for focus even in good light. A friend had one that was sent for repair. His lens broke again (zoom mechanism) within about 3 months and Tamron wouldn't stand behind the earlier repair. In fact, the second quote was considerably more than the first! All that said, some folks love the Tamron 17-50 (I'm just not one of them).

    As you get started, feel free to ask questions. There are some good folks here that will help you out.

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    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Alix,

    Welcome to CiC.If a flash is out of the question the Sigma 24-70 2.8 would be the lens to look at.Anything longer is going to put you too close,unless you have very large rooms or you plan to do a lot of head shots.
    A Canon 50 1.4 might work,but you will be doing some "foot zooming".
    As Donald said Sigma's been around for awhile.I own two Sigma lenses and the build quality,mechanics and IQ are very good.
    If you are lucky enough to have a camera shop close,I second the advice of checking out some lenses in the store.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Just to clarify, there are two Sigma 24-70s. One is a new model with HSM autofocus @ about $900. The older version is still a very nice lens and runs about $550.

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    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Alix,

    If you can't get to a camera store I can give you examples shot with a few different lenses on a crop body.
    I have:
    Canon 50 1.4
    Canon 85 1.8
    Canon 24-70 2.8

    Also,the Sigma 17-50 OS that Eric mentioned might be a good option.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Hi Alix,

    I also bought a 40D body a few months ago and purchased a Canon 85mm f1.8 for just under $380 used. I have a 50mm 1.8 and an old 70-210 f/4. The best of the lot, for me, is the 85mm. I use it to try my hand at landscapes, equestrian events and portraits. It's worthy of consideration

    Myra

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Hi Alix,

    If I well understood the type of pictures that you would like to do an other option could be the 28-75 f2.8 from tamron. I have this lens since around 2 years optical quality is recognized. Your 40D does not have high capacities for high ISO values (noisy pictures) the wide aperture 2.8 will help you to take indoor pictures

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    New Member Alix's Avatar
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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Everyone,
    I am so grateful ... such generosity ... I can hear everyone's passion ... I will definitely head off to a camera store later this week ... Many thanks, Alix

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    I would think that you be well served with a Canon50mm f1.8 orf1.4 plus 24-105 Canon Zoom.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Hi Alix,

    I've only got about 1 minute, so this will be quick!

    You're going to need a zoom lens - and you're going to need something with a normal to telephoto range, and you're going to need something capable of a wide aperture. Although it's not cheap, I'd consider something along the lines of a EF24-105mm.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Of course, you should go along with the mother's desires. However, sometimes parents fear that flash would be harmful to the eyesight of their kiddies. Bounced flash is not directly aimed at a person's eyes and causes no harm.

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    Re: Best Lens for Canon 40D

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Of course, you should go along with the mother's desires. However, sometimes parents fear that flash would be harmful to the eyesight of their kiddies. Bounced flash is not directly aimed at a person's eyes and causes no harm.
    Joe McNally tells the story of how he was assigned to shoot the preparation for an up and coming shuttle launch. The mission commander was pretty cool on the idea thinking it would be a distraction, but "pressures were brought to bear" so he said "Fine, but no flash" (which would have prety much wiped out the opportunity). So Joe shot for a little while without flash - gained their confidence - then asked if he could use just a little flash (ramped the ISO up so the flash was barely noticeable) and then worked his way up to "regular levels" -- and nobody seemed to have a problem with it in the end.

    If it's good enough for NASA, then it might be good enough for Mums and their Kids

    Interestingly, my studio lights are so bright if I shot behind the subject I reckon it'd be pretty similar to an x-ray (ok, I exaggerate just a little!), but nobody seems to mind (not even babies).

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