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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Dec 2013 (Saturday) 01:30
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Recommendations for first prime lens?

 
PH68
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Dec 07, 2013 13:23 |  #16

What do you want a fixed focal length for?
Think very carefully what you will use it for.
Yes... any prime will give you a better IQ, faster lens, good in low light, good bokeh, etc..
However it's one focal length only.

Look at the library of pictures you have taken so far.
What focal length were most taken at?
If you only had a few at 50mm, you don't need a 50mm prime.

Then...
Use you kit lens at 50mm for a few weeks (not just a day) and see how you cope.
Or use it at 35mm, 85mm etc..
If you get frustrated at not being able to "zoom" then primes are not for you.

I mainly use an EF 28 IS USM on my 60D.
Why?
Because it's just under the 50mm equivalent on FF (28mm is equivalennt to about 45mm).
I used to have a film camera with a 50mm lens for years & years, so I'm so used to looking through the viewfinder and seeing that 50mm view.
If I'd bought a 50mm for my 60D it would be no use to me... 50mm on a crop camera is too telephoto. It's like having an 80mm lens on a full frame camera.


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andrewknight
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Dec 07, 2013 13:53 |  #17

50mm 1.4 on a crop body or 85mm 1.8 on a full frame. If I need a fast light setup and can only bring one lens this is what I grab!


_______________
5DII | 17-40 f/4L | 24-70 f/2.8L | 24-105 f/4L | 70-200 f/2.8L II| 50 f/1.4 | 85 f/1.8 | 135 f/2L | 580 EX II | 580 EX | ST-E2

  
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n1as
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Dec 07, 2013 16:26 |  #18

On a crop body, I'd put the ones you've listed in this order.

1. 35 f/2 IS (great lens)
2. 50 f/1.8 (mainly due to cost)

Then learn about Depth of Field and how to shoot at apertures from f/2 to f/4. Shoot in Av mode and think about depth of field with EVERY shot you take.


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kipliq
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Dec 07, 2013 17:58 as a reply to  @ n1as's post |  #19

What price range are you looking to spend? What focal length do you use most with your current zoom lens?


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cala83
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Dec 07, 2013 19:55 as a reply to  @ kipliq's post |  #20

Thank so much for the warm welcome and all your suggestions! I can already see this forum is going to be an amazing resource.

So to give more background, I've mostly been shooting outdoor and indoor scenes as well as closer shots of flowers and objects. Not many portraits yet but that is mostly because my friends are poops and won't let me practice on them. I would like a lens that I could potentially use in lower light situations, or at least one that produces nice bokeh.

I am also somewhat familiar with fixed focal length lenses. When I was younger, my Dad gave me his old Ricoh KR-5 manual 35 mm and that was my primary camera until about 7 years ago when I got a digital P&S (and lost access to a dark room). So I am very used to zooming with my feet.

My budget for this lens if probably around $400 max? Although less is better since I am still learning.

Also some questions based on what I've read from your responses. All of this is helpful for me to know since even though I can only afford to get one lens at the moment, I can always be thinking about future lens as I progress. hehe:

1) Would an 85mm f1.8 be too much like a telephoto lens on a crop body camera? I heard it is an amazing portrait lens but I thought it was more for full body cameras?

2) Some people mentioned the 50 mm f1.4 and I had looked at that lens as well, ultimately took it off my list because I heard it had problems with the autofocusing after time (the canon version, I heard problems about a lottery with the sigma lenses). I did read that the bokeh is much better though, so would you recommend going for the f1.4 vs. the f1.8? Or is the cheaper version fine. I don't mind the idea of focusing manually if I have to.

3) From what I am reading, it seems more people think the 35 mm f/2 would be a good first prime lens. Could I still produce a bokeh effect if I wanted to play with that in pictures (and as far as I know I can't really do that with my kit lens)?

4) ceegee, could you tell me more about the macro lens you suggested? You said I could use it for more than macro photography? I really don't have experience in that area which is why I had overlooked an macro lens for my first prime lens.

5) Qlayer2, that flash might be a little out of my price range (maybe for my birthday?). Are there cheaper options? So far what I have been doing so far with my flash (just the one that comes on the camera) is bouncing light of it using a piece of cardboard or a reflective paper. It has made the lighting less harsh when I use my flash although from what I read, having an external flash is better?

Thank you again everyone for being so helpful!




  
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PH68
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Dec 08, 2013 03:30 |  #21

You have an 18-135 at the moment.
Therfore you will know what any focal length between 18 and 135 is like.
As I said... just leave your lens on one focal length for a few days and try to live without zooming it.

If you want to know what images look like with various lens look at this forums Lens Image Archive.
It's full of users own images with (I think) every single Canon Prime/Zoom represented, and a fair few other brands (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) too.
Lots of folks post the link to the original image and provide the exif data too. That way you can easliy work out what camera they used, what aperture/shutter/ISO they used.
Here's the link...
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdis​play.php?f=107


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PH68
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Dec 08, 2013 03:35 |  #22

cala83 wrote in post #16509743 (external link)
Could I still produce a bokeh effect ... as far as I know I can't really do that with my kit lens)?

I'm amazed you can't get bokeh with a kit lens.
That sounds more like user error, or a lack of understanding, than anything else.


Fuji XE1 ~ XF18 ~ XF27 ~ XF60 ~ XC50-230

  
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I ­ Love ­ Cats
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Dec 08, 2013 03:51 |  #23
bannedPermanent ban

I think you should try this one:
http://www.google.com …4BQ&sqi=2&ved=0​CD0Q9QEwAQ (external link)




  
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MalVeauX
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Dec 08, 2013 05:22 |  #24

cala83 wrote in post #16508044 (external link)
I bought a Canon Rebel T5i with the EF-S 18-135 mm IS STM kit lens as my first DSLR and have really been enjoying it so far. However, I've decided that it is time to spread my wings and look into getting a prime lens. From what I have read, the images you get from prime lenses are much sharper than the standard kit lens (even though the kit lens I got appears to be a really good lens in itself).

After doing my own research, I've narrowed it down to either: a) EF 50 mm f1.8, b) EF 28 mm f1.8, or c) EF 35 mm f/2 and I am having trouble deciding between the 3. Which do you think would be a good first prime lens?

From what I have read, the 50 mm f1.8 is highly regarded (though cheaply made) and the cheapest of the options. However on my camera the images might be a bit too zoomed in and I might be better off getting one of the other two. What would you recommend.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide!

Heya,

For the perspective and field of view, I would look to a 35mm prime. The yesteryear 35mm f2 is a good lens and not that expensive. But I would definitely try to nab one of the latest 35mm f2's (or wider) with IS or equivalent. The latest 35mm f2 IS is an amazing lens and has top notch optics, with very fast and good AF and IS. It will give you a near normal field of view on a crop sensor (your t5i) and then you can simply change perspective by moving to create distance. It's very sharp even wide open. It performs stellar in low light. I highly recommend it as a first prime, and an end-game prime in the realm of non-L glass (even though it performs right next to some `L glass). This lens covers landscapes and portraits easily, and is great as a walk around lens.

Alternatively, the 85mm f1.8 is another stellar prime to get into, and keep basically forever. It's longer reach gives you more perspective options, it's sharp wide open and focuses really well.

I wouldn't bother with a 50mm lens on a crop sensor. But it's a preference thing. I'm also a crop sensor user and I use 50mm the least. I like 35mm for the perspective, and for reach, go with the 85mm. Plus both lenses will work well on any sensor Canon camera in your future too.

If you want to get end-game primes for life, look to the 135mm and the 200mm.

Very best,


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hennie
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Dec 08, 2013 05:27 |  #25

Take into consideration that the primes you are looking at do not have IS, while your kitlens does.
The gain in sharpness by better optics might be lost because of that.
I agree that the 60mm macro will bring you the most new options.




  
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MalVeauX
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Dec 08, 2013 06:11 |  #26

hennie wrote in post #16510426 (external link)
Take into consideration that the primes you are looking at do not have IS, while your kitlens does.
The gain in sharpness by better optics might be lost because of that.
I agree that the 60mm macro will bring you the most new options.

Heya,

Loss of IS on a prime with wide aperture is a non-issue unless you're shooting at a shutter speed that is very low. This is even less of an issue on shorter focal length primes. You can drop a 35mm at f2 without IS down to 1/10s shutter and nail sharp images even without IS and a tripod. It's more useful on longer focal lengths. Granted it is useful, if you drop that shutter way down and you do a lot of low light handheld work. But that's very specific to a user.

Very best,


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S.Horton
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Dec 08, 2013 06:36 |  #27

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #16508068 (external link)
the 40mm pancake maybe?

Second this. Nice images, inexpensive.

If you go with a 50, skip the 50 f/1.8 and grab the 1.4.


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artyH
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Dec 08, 2013 07:21 |  #28

You will get more diffused backgrounds from a longer lens, like a 50. I use the 35F2 IS more than my other lenses, and my older 35F2 just sits on a shelf. Both lenses are sharp, with the "edge" going to the IS version. The newer IS lens is over budget for you, but the older Canon 35F2 is way under at about $290 right now. I can recommend either lens.
A 50 will give you the field of view of an 85 on film (mine does and I checked it against my old Minolta MD 85F 1.7). Not all Sigmas are problematic with AF. I have the Sigma 50 F2.8 macro lens, and AF is accurate. It is a super sharp lens, but F2.8 is not very fast indoors. It will certainly work when the light is brighter, but may not do everywhere in your home. I have never read of any complaints with AF regarding Sigma macro lenses, other than it is slower than some other lenses. That is also the case for Canon macro lenses. The Sigma 50 mm macro lens is fine for portraits or a trip to the gardens. It is not as suitable for very low light as an F2 lens.
You are more likely to run into AF problems with a lens that is F1.4 on a camera without microadjust...a Rebel or other model.
I wouldn't bring a macro lens for shooting by street lights outside at night. I have faster lenses for this purpose, like the Canon F2.
If you are thinking in terms of flowers, a macro lens like the Sigma 50 F2.8 macro or the Canon 60 F2.8 macro would be perfect. A 35 F2 is more general purpose lens and can be used for lots of things, in addition to low light. I recommend the 35 first, but a real macro lens would be better for flowers and still life compositions, assuming the objects are small.




  
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PH68
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Dec 08, 2013 08:05 |  #29

The older non-IS versions of the EF 24 f/2.8, EF 28 f/2.8, and EF 35 f/2 can be got 2nd hand at very reasonable prices.
I've bought, and used, all three, 2nd hand just to "try them out".
I settled on the 28mm and eventually got the new IS version. When I sold on the lenses I pretty much got back what I paid for them.

The EF 40 and EF 50 are also pretty cheap to buy too.
I have an EF 40 pancake that I occasionally use.


Fuji XE1 ~ XF18 ~ XF27 ~ XF60 ~ XC50-230

  
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cala83
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Dec 08, 2013 11:23 |  #30

PH68 wrote in post #16510350 (external link)
I'm amazed you can't get bokeh with a kit lens.
That sounds more like user error, or a lack of understanding, than anything else.

I should clarify that I can get it, but am not satisfied with how it looks, it seems too subtle? Although that could still very well be my error.

---

I went back and looked the pictures I have taken so far and I do stay around the 35 mm - 50 mm range (for focal lengths). Last night I tried at 85 mm indoors (weather was terrible), since a few people were recommending it and I was least familiar with that focal length and it was a little too tight for me, would definitely take some getting used to.

I will definitely have to check out the list and examples of lenses!

Everyone's comments have been so helpful so far. I've been introduced to so many new lenses I hadn't even thought about!




  
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Recommendations for first prime lens?
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