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Thread: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

  1. #1
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    I'm going today with my mom to get my very first DSLR! We'll be getting a used Canon 40D from a very reputable photography store in town. I have no idea what lenses to purchase with it, though!

    I'll mostly be photographing portraits, landscapes, some macro...pretty much everything except sports and wildlife. I know I want a zoom lens, but would really appreciate some input from more experienced photographers.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    Hi Sarah,
    What is your budget for lenses? Knowing that will make it easier to narrow down your choices.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    I see that Rob has already come up with a suggestion in your other thread (here).

    Now, apart from your mum, the one person in the world you can trust to provide good advice is ..... ROB!

    But if that one sounds a bit too expensive, come back and let us know and we'll offer lots of alternative suggestions.

  4. #4
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    I researched the lens Rob suggested and I saw it costs over $1,000 US. Is that accurate? If so, it's out of my (mom's) price range.

    Maybe something from $200-500 US. Can you make a suggestion within that budget?

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by SGerke View Post
    I researched the lens Rob suggested and I saw it costs over $1,000 US. Is that accurate?
    'fraid so. But that's the new price. Speak to the store about pre-used lenses. If they've came up with a good deal on 40D body (and what a wise choice - that's what I have), then the might also have offers on pre-used lenses.

    The Canon L series is, of course, the top of the tree in terms of quality. There are however lots of others.

    Given what you've said about your interests, then the sort of focal range (24 - 105) that this lens offers would be good. Have a look at some lens review sites and look at what is said about other makes of lens; e.g. Sigma.

    You can find lens review here,here and here

    The Sigma 18 - 125 f3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM Lens seems to get good reviews on a few sites. But I have no personal experience of it. Or the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5.

    But I'm sure others will have alternative ideas.

    Last edited by Donald; 1st November 2010 at 08:11 PM.

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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    The Canon 28-135 IS should just about fit within your budget and is a good all round performer.

    I have used one for several years before eventually getting the 24-105 L; and I still use it as a 'rough use' lens when I am frightened of damaging my expensive alternative.

    Some people like to have something smaller than 28 mm but I find that I very rarely need anything that small. It all depends on what you normally want to photograph.

  7. #7

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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    I will second Geoff's recommendation. I have one and for now it works adequately. Of course, I would love some new L glass, but the wife is still in school and Colin has not donated any of his unused L to me as of yet. As for pricing, I got mine for.....wait for it......... $125 off craigslist. Yep you heard correct. You might not find one that cheep, but you can def. find deal on this lens. KEH, B&H, and adorama will all be slightly more expensive for used glass, but they are still cheaper than new and very trustworthy. It took a long time to find a nice one, but it was worth the wait. You will have to deal with zoom creep, but overall it is a heck of a lens. Not an L, but your mom might even be so happy that she'll allow you to pick up another lens....

  8. #8
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    I would be surprised if they don't include a kit lens unless it is advertised as body only. If it doesn't include the kit lens, do some research on costs before you go. Kit lenses (18-55, 75-300mm f/5.6) are usually priced separately at less than $200.00 each.

  9. #9

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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    One lens to get is the Canon nifty fifty... 50mm f1.8 MkII.
    This is possibly Canon's cheapest lens but oh what a little beauty. Retails in the UK for about 80-90 pounds.
    For portrait work it is spot on, and if you have to zoom closer or further away then use your feet to zoom.
    Being a fast 1.8 lens it means that you can use it in low light.

    David

  10. #10

    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGee View Post
    One lens to get is the Canon nifty fifty... 50mm f1.8 MkII.
    This is possibly Canon's cheapest lens but oh what a little beauty. Retails in the UK for about 80-90 pounds.
    For portrait work it is spot on, and if you have to zoom closer or further away then use your feet to zoom.
    Being a fast 1.8 lens it means that you can use it in low light.

    David
    Good point, David. I should have mentioned that one. I don't use mine enough - as you say it's a brilliant lens at a very cheap price.

  11. #11
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    The 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is a much maligned lens that really does a good (but not great) job in many venues. It was my very first DSLR lens and did a creditable job for me until I got a great deal on a 24-70mm f/2.8L.

    The 18-55mm "kit" lens is also another lens that provides image quality beyond what you would expect for the price at which it is offered. Just make sure that you get the IS model which is superior in every way to the non-IS version of that lens.

    The 50mm f/1.8 Mark-II is a nice lens which can provide lower light capability than either of the above two lenses. However, it is certainly not a use everywhere lens because the focal length is a bit long for a general purpose glass on a 1.6x camera. Again, however; the price really cannot be beaten.

    IMO, which lens to select, depends on a photographers needs and requirements. If this is to be a camera/lens outfit to shoot birthday parties, dogs, little babies and occasional vacation pictures for the purpose of emailing to grandmother or printing to small sizes at your local discount store - you really don't need top line lenses. However, if this could be considered the start of a camera system for more sophisticated work; I would recommend the purchase of a very-good to excellent quality, mid range zoom lens. Most photographers likely use their mid-range zoom for a majority of their photos, so IMO, it would pay to have the best quality lens in those focal ranges. I am not going to suggest the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens because that lens (although head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd) is far too expensive.

    However, Tamron distributes a 17-55mm mid-range zoom that has excellent image quality along with a constant f/2.8 aperture. It comes in two varieties, the VC model which incorporates a motion dampening system (like the Canon IS system) and a model which doesn't incorporate the VC system and which is less expensive. I have heard that the non-VC model actually produces better image quality that the VC model. In reality, motion compensation is not really necessary in a rather short focal length lens such as this. The non-VC Tamron is reasonably priced in the USA http://www.adorama.com/TM1750EOS.html.

    Finally, a nice combination might very well be the Canon 18-55mm IS "kit" lens along with an accessory hotshoe flash (such as the Canon 430EX or one of the Vivitar, Yongnuo or Sunpak models which can be used on the 40D) and a diffuser/reflector (either home made http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/ or one of the Joe Demb models such as the Flash Diffuser Pro www.dembflashproducts.com). This combination of lens and flash used creatively can provide some very nice general purpose photography.

  12. #12

    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    Richard

    Good reply (post #11)

  13. #13

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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    Just for another way to look at it...

    You mentioned portraits, landscape and macro. None of the options discussed so far will give you 1:1 macro. However a good macro lens will also make a fine portrait lens. That leaves landscape. You can do a lot in that field with a short to medium telephoto. So, if it was me, I would consider something like a Canon 60mm macro. This will have better image quality than any of the other options (including the L zoom), it will be a stop or so faster than most of the zooms (i.e. at the same focal length it will be able to put light onto the sensor at twice the rate) and you will probably never grow out of it - it will always be a useful, quality lens (unless you go for a different format camera one day of course). It's also a lot less expensive than a zoom of similar quality.

    So a question to ask is whether you really do need zoom for what you are actually going to use an SLR for. For casual out-and-about use and the like you might very well get better value from a good compact camera. Well, I've come to that conclusion anyway. I take a couple of fixed focal length lenses with my SLR if I want fast performance and best quality, and I carry my compact in my pocket for everything else, for which it is easily good enough.

    Good choice with the 40D by the way. It's a fine camera and very good value. You could spend twice as much and not get any improvement that matters. Chasing every latest feature and megapixel is a mug's game.

  14. #14
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    They didn't have a large assortment of used lenses and the new lenses were out of our price range. So, I ended up with a Canon EF 28-105mm 1:3.5-4.5 for $85 and a Canon EF 85mm 1:1.8 for $295. We also picked up a flash and camera bag.

    Unfortunately Mom's holding tight to the "wait til Christmas" stipulation I hope you're all ready for some pictures after Christmas I don't think you'll be able to stop me

  15. #15
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner Canon 40D lenses

    Good on you, Sarah (or should that be - Good on you, Sarah's mum). You got yourself well set up to explore many options and start on the learning curve. The task now (or soon, once you get the equipment) is to learn how to use it. That might sound very simplistic, but I mean really learn how to use it. Too many poeple get a few of the basics, never read the user manuals, never take time to study and really learn what all the buttons can do and then feel they can't produce good images. Learn everything about your kit - what can be done, what can't be done. And you can do a lot of learning about the camera and the lenses before you get them. Look to see if you can down load the user manuals and learn then off-by-heart.

    You can produce magnificent images with the kit you're getting, so don't just learn the basics, but push yourself to learn all about the equipment you have and what its capabilities are. Once you have done that, then that's the time to start planning the next purchases - not before.

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