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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 13 Nov 2012 (Tuesday) 14:42
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Need major help on choosing better lenses!

1,263 posts
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Joined Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington, DE
Nov 14, 2012 12:27 |  #31

lisaglamoclija wrote in post #15244727 (external link)
Are the lens HD-like?

There is no such thing as "HD" photos. Unless you're referring to HD video that the camera can record.

The 70-200 f/4 is a very nice lens if you get a sharp copy. However, you may benefit more with purchasing a flash and like others have suggested the 50 f/1.8 lens.

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1,112 posts
Joined Sep 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Nov 14, 2012 13:10 as a reply to  @ post 15244727 |  #32

Many have suggested the nifty fifty (50mm f/1.8). OP seems to be not interested in cheap lens. Don't be fooled by the price of nifty fifty. If you get a good copy and use it correctly, you'll be blown away by the picture quality.

Crazy ­ Dog
58 posts
Joined Jul 2009
Nov 14, 2012 13:12 |  #33

joeblack2022 wrote in post #15244751 (external link)
My recommendation would be to read this before spending more time looking at lenses. …php?p=4409166&p​ostcount=1

I would read up first to see what you really need otherwise you may end up with an expensive lens that you never use. Also, you may look into renting a lens first so you can get an idea of what you like/need.

lisaglamoclija wrote in post #15244727 (external link)
Ok so I've been looking at this one
EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Will it give me sharp photos? Depends....
Are the lens HD-like? Don't know what HD-like is....
Most importantly: Can I shoot images up close? Depends.... up close like macro, NO unless you get an extension tube....

I was thinking of taking a photography course, but it's too often and I have a 16 month old and I'm already running a blog which is a lot of work!

Thanks guys!

^^Answers in red.

TBH I don't think the 70-200mm f/4 USM is what you are looking for. While it is a nice lens with many uses, from what I get from your description it doesn't sound like the lens you are asking for. The 70-200 f/4L USM is too slow for indoor action shots (moving kids/animals) and for me it is not wide enough for indoors, especially on my 50d since it is a crop camera. Also because of the MFD, you have to stand back from the subject, you can't be "right up on it" (like a macro lens). Now for tightly framed, classic portrait shots in a well lit area or OUTDOOR kids sports it's great!

Also, this is not a macro lens so no you can't shoot images up close. Now, you can stand back from the subject and zoom into something. The 70-200mm has a MFD of 3.9'. I would not recommend this lens for product photography like make-up and eyes.

Also, you don't have to take a class but I would recommend it. If you don't have time for a class then I would recommend reading the book Understanding Exposure. Or better yet just stick around this forum and read up. I've learned a LOT for this forum.

Scrumhalf wrote in post #15244792 (external link)
This! And the nifty fifty. 430 EX II - about $250 new, maybe $200 used. Nifty fifty - about $125. Total: $375 at most.

^^ This is also what I would recommend! IMO the built in camera flash is not very good. I never use the built in flash on my 50D. I would suggest you get a good Speedlite flash like suggested above and a 50mm lens. I good flash will make a world of difference for your photo's and open up a lot for you. ;)

However, I would suggest getting a 50mm f1.4 over the 50mm f1.8. It is cheap, lightweight, sharp and fast! I love my 50mm 1.8 but I don't like the focusing issues I have with this lens. The 50mm f1.4 is supposed to be better. I use my 50mm for just about anything though including a lot of product photography. I LOVE the focal length! It is great for low-light indoor photography, action shots, events and gives a nice blurry background.

If you want "close up" macro shots of your make-up and other products then I would look at a macro lens. I never shoot macro so I can't really suggest a good macro lens but maybe others will chime in.


Canon 5D Mark III- Canon 50D - Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM - Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 - Canon EF 70-200mm f/4
L IS USM- Canon Speedlite 580ex flash WTB: 35L, 50L or 85L

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Location: SE MI
Nov 14, 2012 13:22 |  #34

2OP: slow down ! :)

What is the "standard" ? 18-55IS kit ? Do you also have the 55-250IS ?

Do you have an off-camera flash ? If not, you need it. $250 for 430 EXII. I bet this would make most difference in your everyday shooting.

That leaves you $750. You said you want a nice bokeh (out of focus background). That's not enough for an L lens but luckily there's quite a few cheaper lenses that have decent bokeh. First, Canon 85 1/8 ($360 new). This is a very good portrait lens, especially for head and shoulder portraits. It produces nice bokeh. Then there's 100/2.8 Macro that is supposedly as good; there's Sigmas (50 1/4 and 30 1/4), Tamron 90, etc. Basically, there are many primes that are great for portraits and are alll; in the $350-400 range. Th is leaves $350 which I personally would spend on Tamron 17-50/2.8 non-VC to replace the kit lens. It's a very sharp lens with good optics.

One lens I do not recommend is Canon 50/1.8. It has poor AF, terrible manual focusing ring, and so-so bokeh.

However, if I were you, I'd get a flash, one prime, and hold on to the rest of the money until I know exactly what I need.

Ex-Canon shooter. Now Sony Nex.
Life Lessons: KISS. RTFM. Don't sweat the small stuff.
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Nov 14, 2012 15:39 as a reply to  @ Amamba's post |  #35

I would listen to the good people here; and pick up a flash (430 exii is good). Beyond that; I would just use the kit 18-55 lens you have. After a while; if there's something you wish you could do but don't seem able; ask again for specifics.

(If you want to do super close ups; you will want a macro lens or tubes. If you need more range; something like 70-200 or 55-250, etc)


Senior Member
410 posts
Joined Apr 2012
Nov 15, 2012 18:28 |  #36

100L seems to fit your needs

1D IV | converted 1000D | ever changing lenses
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Checking squirrels nuts
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Nov 15, 2012 20:30 |  #37

seriously, i think you need to sit back, research what all these lenses do and then make a decision on what you want. you don't have to spend serious money on good optics, some big ticket lenses are often outperformed in IQ by cheaper alternatives. bokeh aside the image quality of the 50/1.8 rivals the 50L, but the autofocus system, AF speed, build quality, bokeh don't nearly hold up so well and thats where the extra cost comes in.

$1000 is a serious budget and anyone can put together a solid lineup to cover all your needs. but you need to know what is being recommended to you and why.

Canon 5d mkii | Canon 17-40/4L | Tamron 24-70/2.8 | Canon 85/1.8 | Canon 135/2L
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Jason ­ C
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Nov 15, 2012 21:02 |  #38

OP, as suggested, back off a little. Your enthusiasm is refreshing, but may lead to un necessary purchases.

As suggested earlier, find a beginner's photography course. Hands-on shooting in a learning environment will prove invaluable for your future photography.

Understanding Exposure (external link) is a must for new photographers!

You have the 18-55 IS kit lens, this is not a bad lens at all. I actually bought one and used it profusely. Also, the 55-250 IS kit zoom is also a very good lens for a "kit lens." Just because these "kit" lenses are considered "slow" (this is regards to how mush light the lens lets in), does not make them bad. Both are light weight and are image stabilized; they are good lenses to learn, and shoot, with.

If you plan to shoot product, then you will most likely be "stopping down" (higher f/stop like f/5.6, f/8) to attain a greater Depth of Field (how deep your in-focus plane is). Which brings the need for an external flash, as mentioned by almost everyone else in this thread. Using an external flash like the 430 EXII will also require some learning curve, but it'll be fun.

Yeah, it probably all sounds like gibberish, hence the need to at least read-up the above mentioned book and/or take a class.

Okay, to summarize:

Take a class, read a book or two or three, experiment, learn, have fun and slow down a little.

Welcome to POTN!

Good luck and keep us posted.

Jason C

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"I am not interested in shooting new things-I am interested to see things new"--Ernst Haas

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Need major help on choosing better lenses!
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