Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Royston, Herts, UK
    Posts
    4
    Real Name
    Dylan Morton

    Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Hi,

    I'm about to venture into the world of the DSLR, so am a complete novice.
    After some research, advice and hands on playing, I have decided on the Canon 550D.
    My question is, would you strongly advise I buy body only and a better lens separately, or as a beginner stick with what comes (18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit)
    The 18-55 sounds ok, I am thinking more about the quality of images.

    I plan to shoot the usual type family stuff and have a keen interest in landscape and architecture.
    I don't want to spend riduculous amounts of money, but I am prepared to spend more now if it is seen as a better proposition and investment, rather than changing 3-4 months down the line.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ariege, France
    Posts
    453
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    I confess to knowing nothing at all about Canon but I'd venture to suggest that no manufacturer is going to stick a lens on their camera that makes it look bad. Quality wise it may not be the very best available but I should think it will do. If you're a complete novice I'd personally suggest you stick with it until you know more about the capabilities of the camera and what you really want to do with it. You might for example develop an interest in macro photography or portraiture for example, that would probably be the time to get a slightly more specialist lens of better quality.
    Also I guess it depends what you're going to do with your photos. Are they going to be displayed on screen or printed. Either way a less than adequate output device will probably negate any advantage you may gain by buying a higher quality lens. If it was me I'd probably invest any spare cash in image processing software, a good monitor and or a good printer (if you want to do your own printing) probably in that order.

  3. #3
    meltimtiman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Manila Philippines
    Posts
    173
    Real Name
    Mel Timtiman

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Hi Dylan. The 550D with an 18-55 kit lens is a good choice for newbies. After getting your shiny new camera, the next thing you should investment on is TIME to study the manual that went with it and learn the controls and knobs of that black box. Learn the basic terms such as Aperture, F-stops, ISO, Shutter Speed, and how they are mixed together to produce a award winning photo. Join a camera club near your place if you can and participate in activities like photowalks, model shoots, and tutorials. Once you learned the basics and are satisfied with the results, then it is time to invest on other accessories.

    Remember, your output depends so much on how well you know your equipment. Have fun with your camera and hope to view your photos soon.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,974
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    During the era (not so long ago) when Canon supplied the non-IS version of the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens as its kit with the xx0D (Rebel series) cameras, I would always recommend that a photographer forgo buying the kit lens and start out with better glass.

    If money is not an object, I would still recommend that the photographer buy his new camera without a lens and fit it with a more versatile lens such as the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (with VC or not). This lens would allow the photographer far more flexibility in learning his new gear.

    However, if money is an object, I would strongly recommend that the new photographer purchase the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens as a package with the new camera and flesh out his outfit with a hotshoe flash with TTL or E-TTL capability, such as the Canon 430EXii ( http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Speedlit...6486763&sr=1-1 ) or even a Vivitar DF383 ( http://www.amazon.com/Vivitar-DF383-...6486702&sr=1-1 ) or one of the Yongnuo YN-468 ( http://www.amazon.com/YongNuo-YN-468.../dp/B003LB0DAM ) along with a reflector/diffuser. I personally would choose the Canon 430EXii along with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro ( www.dembflashproducts.com ).

    Learning to use flash creatively (bouncing with a diffuser reflector) is a skill/art which will benefit you greatly and allow you to produce natural looking images in lower light levels. Contrary to the beliefs that are often stated on this and other forums, flash doesn't have to look unnatural. In fact, images creatively lit with flash often look better than those lit by available light which is often terrible looking.

    These shots were lit with an older Canon 550EX bouncing with a Demb Flash Diffuser Pro...

    Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    BTW: Flash is not only appropriate for low light levels, it will boost your outdoor imagery up a notch or two when used as fill light.

    One final recommendation: I would also purchase a supplement to the Canon Manual for your camera. The book, "Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D Digital Field Guide" provides a lot of important information which is not covered in the manual. It is not expensive and is a excellent and easy to read supplement to the Canon Manual. ( http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Rebel-Di...6487212&sr=1-4 )
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 31st January 2011 at 02:22 PM.

  5. #5
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,915
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    I'm about to venture into the world of the DSLR, so am a complete novice.
    After some research, advice and hands on playing, I have decided on the Canon 550D.
    My question is, would you strongly advise I buy body only and a better lens separately, or as a beginner stick with what comes (18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit)
    The 18-55 sounds ok, I am thinking more about the quality of images.I plan to shoot the usual type family stuff and have a keen interest in landscape and architecture.
    I don't want to spend riduculous amounts of money, but I am prepared to spend more now if it is seen as a better proposition and investment, rather than changing 3-4 months down the line. Any thoughts?
    There are two answers, both are based upon the same logic: you do not know, what you do not know.

    1. You do NOT know, for example, in three months time you will NOT be happy with the quality that the 550D can manage for the Low Light Sports Photos want to take, but did not know you wanted to take low light Sports Photos (now) when you bought the camera but only learnt that fact after using the camera and learning and doing and falling in love with the idea of that type of Photography . . .
    SO now: you should by a 7D to cover that contingency (and you should now buy an EF-S 17 to 55/2.8IS and 70 to 200/2.8L also). . .

    OR

    2. Given that you do not know, what you do not know: you take the attitude that you need the tools and to use those tools, to LEARN some things, that you do not know at the moment.

    So having learnt a few things about the CAMERA and played with it hands on, you have decided (with all the experience you have as of today) you need a 550D, which indeed is a very nice camera.

    But you also need a lens, to learn more about what you do not know, you will learn things by using the lens for three months.

    So the BEST lens to get would be the most FLEXIBLE lens: one covering a range of “normal view” Focal Lengths – these FLs will allow you to take “the usual type family stuff” and also “landscape and architecture”. (which is something you DO KNOW you want to do.)

    By using this tool you might learn that you want to go further with “the usual type family stuff” and make some portraits to enlarge to 20 x 24, and you might learn that to do that you need a 5D MkII and a 50/1.2L; 85/1.2L and 135/2L . . .

    On the other hand you might learn that the kit lens and the 550D is more than adequate for the 10 x 8 enlargement of photo of your family you take at the Picnic or Birthday Party.

    My point is you need something to LEARN, what you don’t yet even know you are indeed going to learn.

    The kit lens will allow you to learn these things you do not yet know.
    The kit lens doesn’t cost very much money.
    The kit lens can produce very nice images – make no mistake about that.

    So, my advice is DO NOT spend LOTS of money on something you MIGHT need, but rather spend less money on something which will allow you to learn what you DO NEED to spend money on later – that is even if you learn that you do need to spend any more money, at all.

    WW

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Royston, Herts, UK
    Posts
    4
    Real Name
    Dylan Morton

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Thanks for all the help and information, it was extremely helpful.
    I have decided to stick with the supplied 18-55 lens for now, it is only £22 more than buying the body alone on Amazon.
    I know to my untrained eye it will most probably blow my socks off compared to the compact digital I am used to!
    As advised, I shall wait until I improve, learn and see which area my photography develops in.

  7. #7
    whited3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    422
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    When I purchased my 500D I went with the 18-200mm kit lens. Very practical and reasonable quality. Easier than carrying around 2 lenses.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,231
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by whited3 View Post
    When I purchased my 500D I went with the 18-200mm kit lens. Very practical and reasonable quality. Easier than carrying around 2 lenses.
    Funny, I was thinking the same thing, more money yes, but more versatile by far and will keep you going for a couple of years.
    OTH £22 is peanuts.

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,915
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    OTH £22 is peanuts.
    Exactly where I was coming from . . . we bought a 20D years ago (and I knew exactly what Canon lenses I wanted) and the Kit Lens (the Non IS) was about $40 more than the body only - so I bought it too - I figured why not. . . we then needed to extend another kit and add a 400D to it - so for an extra $40 I got the IS version of the kit lens - it rocks for outdoor daytime shooting JPEGS and 5x7 prints from Booths etc . . . later, I wanted another back up XXD - for the Wedding Kit - I stopped then at collecting those kit lenses - the first one hadn't broken , so at that point I figured $40 was a waste of money.

    WW

  10. #10
    rob marshall

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Paul

    the new 18-55 kit lens has good reports, and it's a great way to get started at a low cost, before you decide more what type of photography you want to do (and what lens you might need in future).

    If you are a complete beginner you might want to sign up to Lynda.com training for a month. It's only £16 a month, and you can drop it after that. I recently signed up for my wife, who wants to learn more about photography. I have to say that the course on Digital Photography Exposure is one of the best tutorial sets I've ever seen. The guy that does it, Ben Long, is really good at putting the basics across. Well worth it.

    http://www.lynda.com/home/ViewCourses.aspx?lpk0=91

    I used to live near Royston (Whittlesford, near Duxford). Happy days.

  11. #11
    Bagus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hiroshima, Japan
    Posts
    23
    Real Name
    Bagus Herlambang

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by whited3 View Post
    When I purchased my 500D I went with the 18-200mm kit lens. Very practical and reasonable quality. Easier than carrying around 2 lenses.
    I myself bought my Canon EOS Kiss X4 (a.k.a. 550D) with its 18-55 mm kit lens. Then 55-250 mm 2 months later. But I agree that carrying and changing 2 lenses all the time is not practical. Sometime I lost my objects when I changed my lens. And made my wife waiting. So I bought my second camera (a second hand of 50D) last month. But carrying 2 cameras is not an easy task sometime. 18-200 mm lens would be more practical.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Hi Dylan,

    Just a couple of points to add ...

    1. I passed on an 18-200mm lens & 550D to a friend at cost to take on a trip to Mt. Everest. When he came back, I took a look at the images and they were all ...

    ... just fine. So personally, I'd give that lens (and the camera) a thumbs up in terms of image quality (in fact if was so good, both got stolen from his son's flat, but that's another story!)

    2. The one thing I don't like about Canon's xxxD range is the fact that they don't have a QCD (Qucik Control Dial) - so all of the frequent mode changes have to be accomplished via buttons, which tends to be a bit of a PITA. Additionally, the xxxD range is of "lighter" construction quality, and smaller in size than the pro-sumer xxD range. I might add that once of my first digital cameras was a 350D (same size as the 550D); not long after I got it I played with a friends 20D - immediately sold the 350d (at a loss) - bought a 20D - and never looked back. Would do the same again in a heardbeat. So just something you might like to have a think about (or seek more opinions on) before committing yourself.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    I recently signed up for my wife, who wants to learn more about photography.
    You should sign her up here Rob -- I can only imagine the things she could tell us about you

  14. #14
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,915
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    The one thing I don't like about Canon's xxxD range is the fact that they don't have a QCD (Quick Control Dial) - so all of the frequent mode changes have to be accomplished via buttons, which tends to be a bit of a PITA. Additionally, the xxxD range is of "lighter" construction quality, and smaller in size than the pro-sumer xxD range.”
    I am up for MY opinion:
    These two points (the former being most relevant to me also) are very important to think about.
    How much comparison of the ERGONOMICS and FUNCTIONALITY was there between model lines? (xxxD and xxD) before deciding on the 550D?

    ***

    I mentioned that we have a 400D (and also A450D now too) – I can’t stand either of them – mainly because of those two reasons Colin outlined. My Second Photographer loves them: light weight; compact and she is rapid with those buttons, usually without moving her eye off the viewfinder . . . but we each have tried both model series before deciding.

    The camera stays in the hand for a long time usually – it has to “fit”

    WW

  15. #15
    BJ Denning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri USA
    Posts
    497
    Real Name
    Bryan

    Re: Advice on Canon 550D Lens

    Hi Dylan,

    I'm right next to you in this journey. I got a T2i (U.S. 550D), the kit 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS, and a 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 IS over the holiday for about $100 more than body. My thoughts were, while a decent investment, this setup is a great place to explore. It is my first DSLR and I am having a lot of fun learning. My journey has been all about reading, reading, and reading, then practice (shoot, shoot, and shoot).

    I love the "competitions" on the forum -- for motivation to shoot and ideas and inspiration from all the entries. Perhaps I will eventually dig up the courage to post a C&C thread soon. Hope to see some of your shots.

Posting Permissions

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