samuelpark0125 wrote in post #14640124
For T3i these are the ones I currently owned
1. 18-55mm (came with the camera)
2. 100mm Macro ((Got it for free)
These are the ones that I intend to buy
1. Sigma 30 mm
I like to take portrait photos
both indoor and outdoor. I especially want to have a portrait lens that will serve well in low light condition. In addition to that I am going on a vacation in a month which I do expect to take lots of landscape photos
Well, none of your current lenses nor the ones you plan to buy are what would most commonly be called portrait or landscape lenses.
18-55... sell it. You won't get much, but the 17-55 is a much better lens.
100mm macro: Canon? USM or L/IS? Either one is an excellent macro lens.
17-55mm... great walk-around lens.
Sigma 30/1.4 is a nice, fast standard lens for low light. Just get it soon, in case you have to swap it a few times to get a "good copy". They seem to have focus calibration issues over at Sigma. Yes, it might be used for group portraits, full length (vertical) portraits of couples, for wider environmental portraits (a person in their surroundings, such as where they live or where they work or what they are doing). But get too close and you'll see all sorts of perspective distortions. Position the person too close to the edge of the image and they'll look oddly stretched, too... called anamorphic distortion. These are simply inherent characteristics of a lens this focal length. There's nothing that can be done about it.
Usually a short telephoto lens is used for portraiture, to give the most natural looking perspective. On your camera, that would be a 50mm to an 85mm lens. There are several good 50mm lenses. I am not a big fan of the 50/1.8... it's inexpensive & manages good images, but its focus is slow and erratic. I recommend the Canon 50/1.4, but be sure to get and use the lens hood with it. There are also a couple excellent 85mm you might want to consider: Canon 85/1.8 is fast focusing and a really nice lens. Sigma 85/1.4 is pricier, and it's a little slower focusing, but it has quite nice image qualities. If you go with the Sigma, be sure to order early and test it out, in case you need to swap due to focsuing issues.
Note: some people refer to the 50mm as an "indoor portrait" lens and the 85mm as an "outdoor portrait" lens. That's just referring to the fact that you need a bit more working space with the 85mm... it might be too long in tigher spaces indoors. On the other hand, with more working space you might get more candid shots, avoid disturbing or intruding upon your subject.
This isn't to say that you can't use other focal lengths... longer and wider... for portraits if you wish. In fact, a lot of fashion photography is delliberately done with a longer tele lens, for the subtle compression effect it gives. That would be a 100mm, 135mm, maybe even a 200mm lens on your camera. Various lenses, wider and longer can be fun to use for portraits... but there's a reason people gravitate to those short telephotos for the purpose. They give the most natural perspective and can nicely blur down distracting backgrounds.
Any of the mentioned "portrait" lenses can serve in low light. That's not really the most important reason to get a big aperture lens for portraits, though. In my opinion, the ability of a larger aperture to blur away ugly and distracting backrounds is more important. You do have to watch, though... too large an aperture, used too close, and depth of field or the area in sharp focus, can get too shallow and parts of a person's face might be blurred. You also might experiment with ISO 1600 and 3200 on your camera... that will handle a lot of low light situations pretty effectively.
Most often for scenics, people tend to think of wide and ultrawide lenses. Again, this isn't a hard and fast rule. Some folks choose to use standard and even tele lenses, too. The 17mm end of your 17-55 might be useful, it's moderately wide. But often you might find an even wider lens necessary, to capture the whole view in front of you.
I agree that the Canon 10-22 is an excellent choice (buy and use the lens hood for it, sold separately... but I recommend that for all lenses anyway). I also really like the Tokina 12-24/4 and that's what I ended up buying a few years ago instead. There are several other wide and ultrawide lenses, but personally I think these two are the best of the crop.
The 70-300mm isn't a bad choice, but you are probably going to find it most useful for sports, wildlife, and similar. There are a bunch of different 70-300s. On a longer lens like this, I highly recommend getting IS or Image Stabilization. That's not so important on shorter lenses that are pretty easily handheld, but can be quite helpful on longer teles.
I also suggest look for lenses with USM (or Sigma HSM) focusing drive. It's faster and more accurate. The Canon 70-200s... all four versions, are excellent lenses and all have USM, though only two models have IS. The least expensive lens is the EF-S 55-250, which has IS, but not USM. However, if you only see occasional need for a lens this long focal length, it might be adequate. Depends upon what you want to shoot.