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Thread: A newbie's dilemma

  1. #1
    Deucalion's Avatar
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    A newbie's dilemma

    Hi everyone, since I'm quite new to digital photography I'd like to get opinions ....my brother's friend is selling most of his canon equipment, he has offered to sell to me a canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens, a canon EF-S 10-22m f/3.5-4.5 lens, a canon EF 100mm USM and a canon 15-85mm IS USM lens (this one he tells me is the most expensive and something he bought very recently) ... I may have money for just one... I guess I'm going with the canon system if I get another lens...I would like to get something that will complement my existing 18-135mm lens w/c should I pick? bear in mind that I'm just a beginner so I have very little knowledge on the subject ...or should I just save my money?

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    Reginald

    All of the following is based on the fact that you are just starting on the journey and have not yet decided in which specialised direction (if any) your photography will go.

    15 - 85 is a good lens, but you already have that focal range covered (except for 3mm at the short end that doesn't matter). So, in my opinion, you don't need it at this stage.

    100mm USM -(I assume this is the f2). You already have the focal distance covered and I don't think the extra speed offered by the f2 needs to be high on your priority list at this stage

    I've never heard of a 50mm f2.5 macro (is it a Canon?). I don't do Macro and, at this stage, I don't think you know whether that's what you want to do. And, anyway, I always understood that if you're going for macro, you would go with, at least, a 100mm macro, not a 50mm.

    10-22. Again, if you haven't decided that you are going to go for landscape and want to consider ultra wide angle shooting (which is a specialism in its own right), then maybe it's too soon. However, of the lot on offer, this is the one I'd be tempted to grab if it's in good condition and the price is right. I might not need it now and I might decided eventually it's not for me. If that was the case, I know I could re-sell it. But just in case that's where my interest might go, then to have one now at a good deal would be useful.

    Just for interest - the new price from Warehouse Express in the UK is, at the moment, 616.95 GB pounds

    These are my thoughts. Others may have different views.

  3. #3
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Deucalion View Post
    Hi everyone, since I'm quite new to digital photography I'd like to get opinions ....my brother's friend is selling most of his canon equipment, he has offered to sell to me a canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens, a canon EF-S 10-22m f/3.5-4.5 lens, a canon EF 100mm USM and a canon 15-85mm IS USM lens (this one he tells me is the most expensive and something he bought very recently) ... I may have money for just one... I guess I'm going with the canon system if I get another lens...I would like to get something that will complement my existing 18-135mm lens w/c should I pick? bear in mind that I'm just a beginner so I have very little knowledge on the subject ...or should I just save my money?
    Hi Reginald & Donald
    EF 50 2.5 is an old Canon lens. It is a 'strange' lens as stands in the middle between a fast lens (i.e. ef 50 1.8) and a macro lens (as the ef-s 60 f/2.8) but it isn't so fast (2.5) and it reachs only a 2:1 magification ratio. This 'strange' behaviour could make this lens a right choice if you want to taste macro photography and portrait photography, and then, in the future,will buy a 'stellar performer' as the 100 f/2.8 for macro and/or the 50 f/1.4 for portrait...
    you can buy the 50 f/2.5 new for about 250 euro, an used sample could be a cheap bi-purpose lens...
    If you want to know something more about all the lenses you mentioned see them on http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos

    hope that helps
    sorry for my english, I hope you can understand what I'm saying..

  4. #4
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    The 50 f/2.5 compact macro lens is only a "half" macro lens. It only magnifies 1:2, not 1:1. Probably best to leave this one alone if you're really interested in macro photography and save up for a lens that does 1:1 (where the image on the sensor is the same size as the object).

    The EF-S 10-22 is an ultrawide lens. Probably most used for landscape photography--to get wider vistas in. This is a good lens if you need that focal length range, but keep in mind it is EF-S and can only be used on crop-body cameras. Doesn't sound, however, as if you're planning on moving to a 5D any time soon.

    The EF 100mm f/2 USM is a fast portrait prime. A little long on a crop-body for more than head or torso shots. But could be useful if you need the reach for something like stage shooting or indoor sports. Fast, silent autofocus, great bokeh, very sharp. But really depends on whether or not you need this focal length in a lens that can't zoom.

    EF-S 15-85 IS USM. Optically much nicer (and a bit wider) than the 18-135 you've got, and more capable, given the USM focus motor. It does, however, have a smaller zoom range to go along with the wider angle. This is, essentially, the crop body version of the EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM. If you're not happy with the 18-135, this is a good trade up, but it is the same type of lens: a slow walkaround, so there's a lot of overlap, and not great as a supplemental lens.

    Personally, unless you're already intrigued by one of these lenses or you're getting a whopper of a deal, I'd say give it a pass. Lenses ain't cheap, and they're special purpose tools. If you don't know if you want a lens, then you probably don't need it. Get the lenses that are going to suit you and what you shoot.

    In the meantime, I'd recommend reading up on lenses a little bit. Take a spin through sites that list images by lens, and read up on a few lens reviews to get an idea of what you might be interested in. I like this site on lens basics.
    Last edited by inkista; 9th April 2011 at 11:09 AM.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    It would depend upon your needs and the prices for these lenses against what they would cost used in your area of S.E. Asia...

    Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens: As was mentioned this lens will only get you to a 1:2 image ratio without an accessory 1:1 device which is sort of like a tele-converter. However a 1:2 ratio is not all that bad and will cover many "macro/close-up" situations. The lens provides very good to excellent image quality and if you can get it at a steal; it might be worthwhile buying.

    Canon EF-S 10-22m f/3.5-4.5 lens: This is an excellent lens if you want/need a ultra-wide view. It is only compatible with EFS cameras (1.6x crop cameras from the 20D and 300D onward) and cannot be used on full frame cameras. One bit of advice regarding UWA lenses... IMO, they are both overused and incorrectly used. They can produce perspective distortion which can either improve an image or degrade it. I personally don't like to use a UWA lens for landscape work unless I am accentuating a prominent feature in the foreground such as a photogenic rock or plant and using the perspective distortion to accentuate the subject. I am, however, apparently in the minority regarding that opinion.

    Canon EF 100mm USM: There are three 100mm Canon lenses:

    100mm f/2 which is a fast short telephoto that is good for portrait work and for shooting some available light subjects. While it is not exactly a "specialty" lens, it is not exactly one of the first lenses I would buy.

    100mm f/2.8 Macro: There are two versions of this lens; the older 100mm f/2.8 macro which was the gold standard among macro lenses for years. It is an exceptional lens which can be used for both macro photography and for portraits and for any other use in which you need a short, relatively fast telephoto lens that produces exceptional imagery. Canon has come out with a 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro lens which I sincerely doubt is the lens that you are being offered.

    Canon 15-85mm IS USM: This lens is quite a good lens but it comes close to duplicating the focal range you already have.

    I would not necessarily snap up any of these lenses unless you get them at quite a good price and if you have a use for them

  6. #6
    Deucalion's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    Thanks everyone... I'm just beginning to realize just how expensive this could all be... I was indeed considering the 10-22 lens but after having read a few threads in the forums... I think I'll hold out a little longer on getting another lens... might as well master the one (18-135mm) I currently have and it is pretty good for a kit lens... thank you for all your thoughts on the subject it is very much appreciated...

    I really need to read more and take more pictures! hope to post a few of the pics on some of the threads too ...

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    I think that's an extremely wise decision.

    And because it's so wise, you get the added bonus of my Lee Trevino story, which I haven't pulled out of the drawer for a few months now (everyone else has heard it before!)

    Lee Trevino, champion golfer, used to talk about practicing with one golf club. He would spend days/weeks with that one club, getting it to do everything that it could possibly do, before putting it back in the bag and moving on to the next club. As he knew, it wasn't the club that was the problem, it was about how well he knew how to use it.

    Practice, Practice, Practice. Then practice some more.

  8. #8
    Deucalion's Avatar
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    Re: A newbie's dilemma

    Nice story Donald... thanks.. altho I must admit I'm still itching to take up a lens or two from those offered by my brother's friend... I realize there's still a lot I can learn about the equipment I have now.

    also I've been reading in the threads about filters and it seems the prevailing brand used are hoya and in colin's case singh ray... unfortunately they dont seem to be availble in my neck of the woods... does anyone have any experience in the Conkin or the Kenko brand of filters? that seems to be the predominant brand that is available in the camera/hobby shops I've been to the past week are they any good?

    also thanks to Kathy for that nice site on lenses much appreciated! I must admit tho that I have more questions now after reading thru it to everyone thanks for the advice and the info... I really have a lot to learn

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