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Thread: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

  1. #1

    Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum. I found the website when I tried to brush up on my knowledge about metering and found more tutorials (all very clear and well written - thanks !).

    After a long pause I have decided to pick up photography again and will in the near future indulge in a spending spree. At the moment I am thinking of a CANON 550D but still have doubts about the lenses that are offered. I think a zoom lens would be best for me as it might give me 'the best of both worlds'. I plan to go outdoors to shoot wildlife as well as landscapes. But also indoors (portraits and just family life......) and this is for me the slightly worrying part as I am not sure the max aperture on the zooms Canon offers as a package with this body will be good enough to shoot without using the flash.

    Has anybody experience with CANON EF-S 18-135/3.5-5.6 IS or maybe alternatives to consider ?

    Thanks very much !
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 27th October 2010 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Copied post from intro thread for more answers here

  2. #2

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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Hi Firstcase,

    And wellcome to CiC! Tutorials point me here, and still learning.
    As starting kit, 18-135 IS is a very nice choice. I've play whit it, and with the "bigger brother" 28-135 IS USM. On my opinion, as novice, 18-135 IS will cover 90% from what you wish (landscape, portrets, wildlife, even macro), except those situations when "subject" is too far from you.
    I have now 18-55IS and 50mm (fixed focal). My next one will be 70-200 IS USM, but I do snapshot some wildlife with 50mm. Keep in mind that 135mm focal on 1.6x crop (like 550), means 200+ on full frame. Maybe not 90%...but quite close on it.
    Take a look here: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...era-lenses.htm, to see how focal lenght is "linked" to landscape, portrets and wildlife.

    Leo
    PS: 18-135IS is one of the best consumer lenses from Canon. As "personal advice" I recomend it as "just right". 28-135 IS USM "slightly better", but not too much, due to EF (instead of EF-S) and USM. It's more important to "shoot", aperture, shutter speed and ISO are sometimes much more important than lenses.
    PS2: As far AS YOU MAY CAN, TRY THEM, go in one showroom, and "feel them", take some snapshots, if possible. 18-135 is slightly lighter than 28-135, and so on.

  3. #3

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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    I hesitate to put some pictures here, but I saw Dave doing it so....here I am

    Seagull and ducks....
    Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Boat (awfull, from all points of view..testing purposes only ...but "a flavour of landscape")
    Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Wonderfull ( my wife an my son in it ... ) )
    Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    All were made with 50mm 1.8II, @ F/8 apperture, in the same day, maximum 1 hour interval between them.

    Hope it hepls,

    Leo
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Hi FirstCase,

    Welcome to CiC - it's great to have you with us.

    I can't really comment on your lens, but we've had quite a few discussions regarding the 550D recently - so you might find some of these threads of interest ...

    Which camera/lens??? routine question but with VERY specific needs...

    help in choosing a SLR

    Help me with my choice! Canon vs Nikon camera purchase options

    Confused... Too many options/jargon when choosing a new camera

  5. #5

    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Thanks for advise and sharing your pictures! They look great.

  6. #6
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by firstcase View Post
    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum. I found the website when I tried to brush up on my knowledge about metering and found more tutorials (all very clear and well written - thanks !).

    I think a zoom lens would be best for me as it might give me 'the best of both worlds'. I plan to go outdoors to shoot wildlife as well as landscapes. But also indoors (portraits and just family life......) and this is for me the slightly worrying part as I am not sure the max aperture on the zooms Canon offers as a package with this body will be good enough to shoot without using the flash.

    Has anybody experience with CANON EF-S 18-135/3.5-5.6 IS or maybe alternatives to consider ?

    Thanks very much !
    Dave:

    I have no experience with any of the kit lenses (not quite correct). I started with a 1.6 crop (as is the 550), and bought what is considered the kit lens for the 5D series (24-104 f/4 IS L).

    I think there are good reasons why a beginner might consider a zoom lens; it allows one to explore a range of options for framing. For me, the 24 mm end was in effect a 38 mm on my 30D, and the long end was like having a 168 mm tele lens. - a range from slightly wide angle to tele. Some will argue that using one fixed focal length teaches you to master one focal length - I would argue that what's the point of just learning one focal length?

    The second lens I acquired was the Canon EF-S 17-55 USM f/2.8. While not an L quality lens, it has L optics - in other words excellent. If one had to choose just one lens for the 1.6 body, it's likely the best choice. (this has been endlessly discussed on a Canon forum, and is the usual conclusion).

    I have rarely had to use the onboard flash at family functions indoors - I boost the ISO to 640, set the camera to aperture priority, set it to f/2.8 and shoot. Because it's an IS lens (image stabilized) not many shots are missed.

    The drawback to this lens is obvious - the long end is only 55 mm (88 mm on a crop) - it's definitely not a wildlife lens. But in reality neither is a 135 mm lens long enough for wildlife.

    There is one other drawback- the 17-55 is not a cheap lens - but image quality is really very good. You get what you pay for.

    Glenn

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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    I have rarely had to use the onboard flash at family functions indoors - I boost the ISO to 640, set the camera to aperture priority, set it to f/2.8 and shoot.
    Hi Glenn,

    I just wondered if you knew that you get slightly less noise by using whole "stops" of ISO (ie 800 instead of 640) (intermediate stops are done digitally, and increase noise levels slightly).

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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Glenn NK...

    Kit lenses... the 24-105mm f/4L IS, although it has been sold "as a kit" with the 5D (series) cameras is not, IMO, really a "kit lens". The 24-105mm f/4L IS was introduced as a full fledged, L class, mid-range zoom for Canon DSLR cameras, especially full frame cameras.

    I have always considered a "kit" lens as a low cost addition to a basic entry level DSLR camera. The Canon "kit" lenses include both the 18-55mm non-IS and IS models. Although these lenses can produce very decent imagery, they have really been engineered as low cost alternatives to the more expensive glass for Canon entry level DSLR's.

    BTW, another Canon "kit" lens was the 50mm f/1.8 Mark-II. The Mark-II or "nifty fifty" was a dummed down version of the original 50mm f/1.8 Mark-I and was engineered as a low cost lens to be sold with the entry level Rebel film cameras. Canon produced this lens with a plastic mount and no distance scale as two of the cost cutting innovations.

    The Mark-II now has a cult following because of the dramatic increase in image quality over the 18-55mm non-IS kit lens at a very inexpensive price. In fact, here in the USA, a NEW Mark-II can be purchased for quite a bit less than a USED 20-year old Mark-I.

  9. #9
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Canon lens advice required for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Glenn,

    I just wondered if you knew that you get slightly less noise by using whole "stops" of ISO (ie 800 instead of 640) (intermediate stops are done digitally, and increase noise levels slightly).
    I've been using these charts:

    http://www.box.net/shared/z6b4l7xvmt

    http://www.box.net/shared/a5mfejixdr

    Glenn

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