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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 14 Oct 2014 (Tuesday) 22:19
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Lens Recommendation For Amateur

 
Melissa6
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Oct 14, 2014 22:19 |  #1

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.

Thanks for any suggestions! :)

-Melissa


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gonzogolf
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Oct 14, 2014 22:34 |  #2

The efs 55-250 is a good choice. Your range of subjects is too broad to be satisfied well with a single lens but most people in your position want a telephoto lens and that is a good one for a bargain price.




  
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hang ­ your ­ cross
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Oct 14, 2014 22:36 |  #3

You will need multiple lenses for what you want to photograph.


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DreDaze
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Oct 14, 2014 22:42 |  #4

this is probably what i would go for if i was looking for an all in one:
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …00mm_f_3_5_6_3_​di_ii.html (external link)

it is a bit over your budget however...it's going to be tough to get all of that for the price you are looking...even more difficult to do it all in one lens

assuming you have the 18-55mm you can do some nature/landscapes, and some architecture with that...the 55-250 suggested above is a good compliment, and allows you to get some wildlife...although it will come up short many times...maybe the tamron 70-300VC?


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Jiggo0109
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Oct 14, 2014 22:49 as a reply to  @ hang your cross's post |  #5

Maybe look for a lens which covers the wide and telephoto range but that is a bit difficult to find for a decent one. Options are efs 18-200 for the budget and the EF 28-300, but have not heard nor read anything from members about this white lens. One thing I'm sure about is this is expensive.

EDIT: Oh by the way, you could also compliment your kit lens with the EF 70-300 f4-5.6 Is usm. It's a good lens for its price. I own it.




  
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Oct 14, 2014 23:32 as a reply to  @ Jiggo0109's post |  #6

Tamron 70-300 VC. Used is slightly over half your budget. Then decide if you want to purchase a 10-18 for the wide angle or maybe a prime in the 35/40/50mm range.


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Archibald
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Oct 15, 2014 00:49 |  #7

Melissa6 wrote in post #17213412 (external link)
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.


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urbanfreestyle
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Oct 15, 2014 01:47 |  #8

If you want a 70-300 you should look at getting the Sigma 70-300 DG Macro, I picked one up for a massive £120 2nd hand.


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melcat
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Oct 15, 2014 06:28 |  #9

It isn't clear whether you're asking for a lens that does something different or one that does the same thing but with higher quality.

If it's the second, I can't give specific advice, because I've never owned an APS-C camera.

As for the first, your lens is lacking in its focal length range and how much light it lets in. As others have said, you will have to buy multiple lenses. The kind of lens that shoots at all focal lengths while at the same time letting in a lot of light would be prohibitively big and expensive for a sensor as large as APS-C. You can get them for smaller sensors (e.g. the one on the Sony RX10), but they're still not cheap and the smaller sensor brings its own compromise (mainly to do with not being able to handle brightly lit white objects and dark shadows at the same time).

So I might say a bit about focal length in the subjects you're interested in. I'll start with wildlife. For a long time, I steered clear because of the cost. I now have a camera with a high frame rate, and 420mm of focal length on a slightly larger sensor than yours. I am happy with the results and mostly wasn't with lesser equipment (there are exceptions where the wildlife is tame and almost poses). Getting good results with wildlife is usually pricier than other kinds of photography, and if you have to give up an area that might be the sensible one to pick.

Landscape and architecture I do a lot of, and I personally would not be happy to have a lens that only went as wide as 18mm on APS-C. My first purchase would be a 10-something wide zoom. My second would be a tele zoom. But I've been doing this a long time and maybe the reason people here are steering you towards the telephoto zoom is that very wide lenses are rather harder for a beginner to make an interesting picture with. A telephoto is very handy for picking out details on buildings.




  
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heathermc72
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Oct 15, 2014 08:51 |  #10

Since you're just starting, I would start with something with decent glass and inexpensive. If you have the original (non-is) lens that came with that camera, you can get a large improvement in image quality by picking up any of the newer versions of the standard kit lens. These include the is, is II, or the newest STM versions. I have a 400D that I use the IS lens on, and it makes great images for very little investment. I think I paid less than $100 for the used lens off of flea bay. Also, learn some basic post processing skills in either DPP or Lightroom. Have fun!




  
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GeoKras1989
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Oct 15, 2014 09:04 |  #11
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I agree with heathermc72. The latest version of the 18-55 is quite good, and quite inexpensive. It doesn't have a big aperture or really fast focus. What it does have is very good image quality. On your budget, I'd recommend a used Canon 15-85. It is wider, longer, USM (focuses quickly), and significantly higher IQ than the 18-55.

If you want to go long, used Tamron or Canon entry level 70-300s are in your price range. I had the Canon. It is worth the cost of a used one. Any version of the Canon 55-250 is also an option.

As heather said, learning to shoot raw and process your own images goes a long way. DPP is technically not an image processing program; it is a really nice raw converter. Lightroom is fantastic.


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Phoenixkh
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Oct 15, 2014 09:27 |  #12

Melissa,

If I were you, I'd pick up a used Canon 15-85 for landscape and nature photography. I started out with one and still love it. It is wide enough that I don't feel the need for an ultra wide lens but that's me. You can find them used for between $450 and $600.

After that, I'd start saving up for your wildlife lens. You could get the very fine Canon 55-250 STM lens. My wife uses one and she's happy with it but it isn't long enough in many cases. My first wildlife lens was the Canon 70-300L but it's expensive. It's a great lens but again, there are many times when I want something longer to fill the frame of the photograph. In any event, it might take you a while to save up for one of the better, less expensive telephoto lenses so the Tamron 150-600 might be more readily available when you have the cash. Sigma has announced two such lenses as well and they might be shipping by the time you have the money saved. Plan on spending over $1000 for these options. Wildlife/birds are one of the most expensive genres to photograph, so make sure it's something you really want to do.


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Melissa6
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Oct 15, 2014 11:01 as a reply to  @ Phoenixkh's post |  #13

Thanks so much, everyone!

Okay, so it seems different lenses for different uses is the best option. I love photographing wildlife & birds (of course, the most expensive option! ;) ), but I find that, right now, I rarely find any wildlife to photograph. So, I'm thinking that a nature/landscape lens would definitely get used more (which I also love to photograph).

melcat wrote in post #17213812 (external link)
It isn't clear whether you're asking for a lens that does something different or one that does the same thing but with higher quality.

If it's the second, I can't give specific advice, because I've never owned an APS-C camera.

As for the first, your lens is lacking in its focal length range and how much light it lets in.

Yes, I do find that my lens lacks in focal length and how much light it lets in. Also, I don't like the color it produces. And my photos are not as sharp as I would like (even when using a tripod).

I noticed the 70-300mm was mentioned here a few times. That was the one that I was originally considering, based on my own research, but wasn't sure if I was heading in the right direction. I was also considering the 70-200mm.

So, do you guys think the 70-300 would be a good nature/landscape lens, or would you now recommend something different? Are the Tamron 70-300mm VC and the Canon 70-300mm IS comparable?

-Melissa


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GeoKras1989
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Oct 15, 2014 11:33 |  #14
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Canon makes several 70-300 lenses. The least expensive one is on par with the offerings from Sigma and Tamron. Canon also make the $1,500 70-300L. Lots of folks really like it. Canon also makes (made?) a 70-300 DO. I know nothing of that one, besides it is expensive.


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Oct 15, 2014 11:35 |  #15

70-300mm may be a little long for landscapes...in my opinion, you'd want to use something a little wider

for $500, you could come close to covering 10-250mm

10-18STM for $300
18-55IS for less than a hundred
55-250IS for like $150


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Lens Recommendation For Amateur
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