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Thread: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

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    New Member declarationend's Avatar
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    First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Hi everyone

    I'm looking for some general thoughts or advice on my choices of lens(es) for my first upgrade to DSLR, which will be a Canon 550. For interest, I've been using a bridge Fuji S9600 for the past few years. (28-300mm fixed lens with f2.8-f11 range)

    I use the s9600 in manual mode mostly these days, and I'm looking to upgrade to improve the picture quality, and to advance my knowledge and skills of course!

    So, keeping this in mind, my choice of lenses would be:

    1) EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5

    I'm sure that this is ideal for landscape photography, which is primarily what I'm focused on improving for the immediate future. Is it suitable for for city-scapes/architecture also?

    2) EF-S 17-55mm f2.8

    I understand it is a fast lens with greater depth of field. The main reason for going with this rather than purchasing the 550D with the 18-55m kit lens is the extra capability in depth of field. What are the benefits to getting this over the kit lens apart from that point?

    If I had to get just one lens, (which is probably best for finances and keeping wife/bank manager happier), I would probably go with the 10-22mm. Are there any pros/cons you can think of that might influence that?

    Sorry for the wordy post, but I've been over this time and again with myself and still no closer to deciding.

    Feel free to voice any thoughts, I'll be really grateful for your help!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Andy

    On of the best places to start would be by clicking on 'Advanced Search' near the top right of this page and, in the Tags window, insert 'lenses'. That will take up a number of threads in which the subject of lenses has been discussed, including on a number of occasions, the lenses that you're talking about now.

  3. #3

    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Hi Andy from Cardiff, I'm down the road in Carmarthen.

    Have you seen these reviews on Fred Miranda? http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showcat.php?cat=27&page=3&sort=7&perpage=12&stype=

    10-22 is pretty wide, even on a half-frame camera. But if you also want to do architectural shots you do need a wide lens. I use a Tokina 11-16 and this shot was taken with it @16mm on a Canon 50D (also half-frame). I'm sure you recognize the location.

    First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

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    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Can't comment on either Canon you mention but I've had the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 for a year now and find it an excellent lens and a lot cheaper than the equivalent Canon.

    Have a look at the Sigma 10-20mm Flickr group here for some examples.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/sigma10-20/

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Hi Andy,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join us.

    I shot with a Fuji bridge for a couple of years, but mine was/is the S6500 - it still works fine.

    That (and your S9600) have, as you say, an equivalent focal length range of 28-300mm.

    I am concerned that if you are considering 'only one lens' initially, even with those subjects, the 10-22, equivalent to approx. 16-35 on that 1.6 cf body, is mighty wide and unless you can get close to the subject and keep it level, it may limit what you can shoot. Did you never use the telephoto end? Sorry, I'm more into wildlife and cannot comprehend not using it at 300mm 50% of the time!

    I certainly won't argue with your idea of having an f/2.8 lens though, having used lens with apertures ranging from f/3.5 to f/5.6 for sometime, I am now buying prime(s) with a wider aperture (and less weight) than a zoom.

    One day, I too might be tempted by an ultrawide though, never say 'never', eh!

    I'm Nikon, so I can't help with Canon models, but plenty of people here that can, as you've seen.

    Cheers,

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    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    IMO, the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is provides the best IQ and fast AF of any medium focal length zoom available today. It is also an extremely versatile lens and the constant f/2.8 aperture combined with the great IS makes it a joy with which to shoot...

    There are two downsides to the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens: First, it is pretty darn expensive. However, IMO, it is worth the cost. Second, the 55mm long end might not be long enough for some people.

    I match the 17-55mm with the great 70-200mm f/4L IS and shoot about 90-95% of my imagery with this pair of lenses. I use them on a pair of 1.6x cameras. The 17mm end is wide enough for most of my shooting. I can always shoot a several frame hand held pano if I need a wider focal length. Here is a hand held pano of the Beijing Birdcage Olympic Venue...

    First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    The f/2.8 aperture and IS capability allows me to use this lens as quite a viable low light glass. I have not shot with my 50mm f/1.8 Mark-I since I acquired the 17-55mm lens.

    First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    The 17-55mm lens makes great walk around lens...

    First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    I shot my April 2010 China trip exclusively with the 17-55mm + 70-200mm lenses.
    See my China galleries at: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/

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    New Member declarationend's Avatar
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    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Thanks for your replies everyone!

    I do take the general point about the 10-22mm being ultra wide, but if I understand it correctly the 28mm equivalent focal length of my Fuji is approximately what I would achieve with the EF-S 18-55mm given the 1.6 crop factor? I found I always wanted that bit more wide-angle than the Fuji could provide.

    Donald, Thanks for the tip about using the advanced search with tags. I will certainly use it to research topics I've had questions on.

    Rob, I hadn't come across that review site before, it was quite helpful with the pro/con summary. I can see your picture is taken in the gower but I'm not familiar with that spot (I did grow up in swansea so I should know it better). Do you happen to have a similar shot but at 11mm?

    Mark, I don't really have a good reason not to be considering other lens brands, but I was being cautionary having read bad reviews on amazon with regards to sigma. I will re-visit other lenses and take a look however, as I realise it is foolish not to at least consider them.

    Dave, your caution on the choice of only one lens does help me weigh up the decision. I did use the telephoto capabilities of the Fuji, but only really on occasion - such as trying to shoot wildlife etc - and I found the quality of the resulting images left much to be desired. It's a trade off between the versatility of having a 300mm lens to hand! I would definitely pick one up in future however.

    Richard, you answered many of the questions I had regarding the 17-55mm and it's ability to be used as an 'all-rounder'. It is as you say an expensive choice but I see you are very happy with the quality and versatility - again very useful for me in making this decision.

    Thanks again for your replies all. It will still be a hard decision but hearing your thoughts has helped me solidify some of the issues that were a bit spongy in my head

  8. #8

    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by declarationend View Post
    Rob, I hadn't come across that review site before, it was quite helpful with the pro/con summary. I can see your picture is taken in the gower but I'm not familiar with that spot (I did grow up in swansea so I should know it better). Do you happen to have a similar shot but at 11mm?

    It's Rhossili beach at the end of the Gower. This one was shot with a Sigma 10-20 at 11mm. I don't have the lens any more, but the new one is supposed to be even better.

    First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

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    New Member declarationend's Avatar
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    Re: First DSLR, lens choices advice/thoughts

    Thanks Rob, the marina looks great in this shot!

    I ought to have known the beach was Rhossili! I was going to guess it was there, but would still have been a guess. It's been many years since I was last there to think actually.

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