Melissa6 wrote in post #17213412
Hey guys, I'm wondering if I could get some recommendations for my first non-kit lens. I am just learning photography, and would like to get a decent lens that I can learn with, but would also like to keep around for a while.
I have a Canon 350D. I would like to photograph wildlife, birds, architecture, nature/landscape. Is there a lens that would be suitable for these uses? I would like to spend around $400-$500 (preferably for a used lens).
Please keep in mind that I will not be selling the photos, however, I would like decent quality. I can always upgrade in the future to something even better.
Lenses have been getting better and cheaper over the last few years. If you have the original 18-55mm kit lens that came with the 350D, then you should consider the more recent 18-55mm STM lens. It is getting real good reviews and is much better than the earlier one. As usual, it is relatively expensive to buy by itself but much cheaper in a kit. So if you think you are due to upgrade your body, then that would be the right time to upgrade the lens too.
The 18-55 is of course a general purpose lens. It should do very well for landscapes and architecture. Judging from your post, I don't think you want to get into serious architecture photography, but if that time should come, there are expensive lenses available for that.
For bird photography, you really need something long. To avoid frustration, you should have at least a 400mm lens on an APS-C body. Unfortunately the different 400mm options are over your budget for now.
For many nature subjects like squirrels, mountain goats, etc, a medium tele zoom should work well. Consider the 55-250 STM (the STM part is important), which is getting great reviews, or the older 70-300mm IS, which is also very good stopped down one stop.
For smaller wildlife like butterflies, you could use the 18-55mm. To get even closer for smaller subjects, consider extension tubes (many use the Kenkos) or a closeup lens (like a Raynox). You might want to stick with the larger bugs at first, though, because the smaller critters usually require special techniques including the use of diffused flash to get good results.