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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 16 Oct 2008 (Thursday) 20:48
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Deciding on a lens set..

 
tripsis
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Oct 16, 2008 20:48 |  #1

In a few weeks I'll be getting a Canon XSi and a few lenses. I really shouldn't have gone over $1500 including the cost of the XSi but my current set up is looking to be closer to $1900. So if you have any other suggestions/recommende​d changes, please keep that budget in mind. I cannot add anything onto this list, but if you feel it would be best, I can swap something(s) out.

  • Canon Digital Rebel XSi with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM


I take most of my pictures on my daily walks, while traveling and just casual portraits (mostly upper body) of my cat/family. I'm thinking I'll mostly use the kit and 70-200 lenses for travel, the macro and 70-200mm while on my walks (for macro work and a bit of larger wildlife like deer/coyotes/mountain lions), and the 50mm for the portraits. I don't feel the need to get a better wide lens to replace the kit at this time. I may do so in the near future, but not right away.

I was pretty much decided on the first three a few weeks ago and only just recently decided to add in the 70-200mm 4L. Obviously that shot the total price up another $600 so I feel like I want some confirmation that this is a pretty good set for me.

Canon XSi | 18-55 IS (kit) | 100mm 2.8 Macro
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twofruitz
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Oct 16, 2008 20:56 |  #2

Good, but you still don't have a decent walk around lens.

Buy the XTI body only + Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and forget the 50mm f1.8.


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JeffreyG
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Oct 16, 2008 20:57 |  #3

Do you have a good tripod? If you are getting the 100mm macro to shoot between 1:2 and 1:1 you may find yourself in need of a decent tripod in order to get what that lens is capable of. I'm not saying that handheld macro is impossible, but it is very limiting.

Another option that would recover your initial budget would be to ditch the macro lens in favor of getting either a macro diopter or a set of extension tubes to use with the 70-200/4.


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tripsis
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Oct 16, 2008 21:08 |  #4

twofruitz wrote in post #6509527 (external link)
Good, but you still don't have a decent walk around lens.

Buy the XTI body only + Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and forget the 50mm f1.8.

Is that significantly better than keeping the kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS) plus the 55mm 1.8? Because I'm pretty sure that the lens you're suggesting would actually increase my overall cost by $100, which I would like to avoid if I can. Plus that would leave me without a prime for portraits. I have heard that the 100mm macro does a decent job with portraits but I'm sure the focal length would be a problem indoors.

JeffreyG wrote in post #6509531 (external link)
Do you have a good tripod? If you are getting the 100mm macro to shoot between 1:2 and 1:1 you may find yourself in need of a decent tripod in order to get what that lens is capable of. I'm not saying that handheld macro is impossible, but it is very limiting.

Another option that would recover your initial budget would be to ditch the macro lens in favor of getting either a macro diopter or a set of extension tubes to use with the 70-200/4.

Yes I do have a tripod. I have considered getting extension tubes and have looked at various images with and without them. That being said, I still prefer the 100mm over the "extension route" because of the incredible sharpness that the macro lens has. But depending upon what other suggestions people might make, I will not throw that suggestion out the window completely.

Thanks a lot you two :)


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ooo
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Oct 16, 2008 21:31 |  #5

People are always suggesting tripods for macro, but if your shooting insects, a tripod would not help you too much, because the insects are constantly moving around. The time you set it up, they would of probably crawled or flew away. Now if you are talking about flowers, then yes, a tripod would be helpful.

Your lens selections is looking good. You could technically swap 50mm + 100mm macro for an 85mm and extension tubes. You'll get an amazing portrait lens and a great lens for macro, of course its not an 100mm macro, but its sufficient for flowers.


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DreDaze
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Oct 16, 2008 21:53 |  #6

tripsis wrote in post #6509492 (external link)
70-200mm while on my walks (for macro work and a bit of larger wildlife like deer/coyotes/mountain lions)

i want to know where you're able to see mountain lions close enough that a 200mm lens will give you the reach needed...

i think you've got it all figured out...the only thing i would agree on is that maybe extension tubes wouldn't be a horrible idea if you're budget is tight right now, and then save for the macro...you can still use the tubes on your macro if you want to get super close...

also i agree that the tripod isn't necessary for macro...but a flash pretty much is, due to the shallow DOF


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tripsis
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Oct 16, 2008 22:16 |  #7

ooo wrote in post #6509699 (external link)
People are always suggesting tripods for macro, but if your shooting insects, a tripod would not help you too much, because the insects are constantly moving around. The time you set it up, they would of probably crawled or flew away. Now if you are talking about flowers, then yes, a tripod would be helpful.

Your lens selections is looking good. You could technically swap 50mm + 100mm macro for an 85mm and extension tubes. You'll get an amazing portrait lens and a great lens for macro, of course its not an 100mm macro, but its sufficient for flowers.

I definitely wouldn't be using the tripod for insects. It would be used for flowers and any indoor macro projects (I have been wanting to have a go at some fun water macro stuff :P).

I will consider the 85mm + extension tube idea. How does the 85mm do on a crop body, indoors for a portrait lens? How far away would I have to be to get a decent upper body shot?

DreDaze wrote in post #6509805 (external link)
i want to know where you're able to see mountain lions close enough that a 200mm lens will give you the reach needed...

i think you've got it all figured out...the only thing i would agree on is that maybe extension tubes wouldn't be a horrible idea if you're budget is tight right now, and then save for the macro...you can still use the tubes on your macro if you want to get super close...

also i agree that the tripod isn't necessary for macro...but a flash pretty much is, due to the shallow DOF

I'll admit they're not common, but we do get the occasional mountain lion sighting around where I live. There are various hiking trails near my house where you can find them. But deer, coyotes and turkeys are far more common. If I do manage to catch one, I don't expect to get too close of a shot and I'm fine with that.

I am definitely starting to consider the extension tubes. It will also allow me to spend a little extra money on a few more accessories.


Canon XSi | 18-55 IS (kit) | 100mm 2.8 Macro
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ooo
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Oct 16, 2008 22:21 |  #8

Indoors might be a little tight with the 85mm, it would be waist up shots. Sigma 24-60 f/2.8 is a decent zoom fairly sharp for about $200-$300.


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AlanU
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Oct 16, 2008 22:54 |  #9

I think you should consider buying the body only. Then get a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for an excellent quality lens for a walkaround. You may not feel the "need" but after you do some picture comparisons you'll wish you bypassed the kit lens.

When you say portraits do you mean full body shots or waist up??? With a 1.6 crop I'd go for a Canon 28 f/1.8 or a Sigma 30 f/1.4. I never thought I would appreciate primes but after owning the Sig 30mm I absolutely love it.

When you buy the 50 f/1.8 you'll later upgrade to a f/1.4 version. I'd hold off on the 50mm range "if" you get the Tamron 17-50.

A 30mm prime on a crop 1.6 body is almost equivalent to a 50mm on a full frame camera. Indoors you'll find the 50mm on the long side and the 30mm range perfect.

The 85 1.8 is awesome for outdoor portrait shots. Indoors it's quite long and it seems more for headshots when space is limited. I find this lens freaky sharp wideopen.

I would look into saving up and consider the 70-200 f4 IS. Seems theres a following for that lens vs. the f4 non IS.


5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
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t60p
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Oct 16, 2008 23:58 as a reply to  @ AlanU's post |  #10

My biggest complaint about the 70-200 f/4 was the lack of an image stabilizer, otherwise it is a great lens. If you plan to take photos early in the morning, late evening, or in less than ideal light, then you would greatly appreciate the IS in the zoom.

So, I think you should simply consider the XSI w/kit lens and the 70-200 f/4 IS.

If you are not set on getting the 70-200, then you might want to consider the XSI kit and the 135 f/2.




  
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nordstern1
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Oct 17, 2008 02:39 |  #11

since you said you wont be using the 100 macro for insects, i suggest you check out the 60 macro instead. its cheaper, smaller, lighter & as sharp as the 100. you dont need the longer working distance of the 100. youre goin to save a few bucks from this swap.

how about...XSi + 18-55 IS + 55-250 IS + 60 macro + sigma 30 1.4?

extension tubes are also a good option to cut down costs. you might be able to squeeze in the 70-200 f4 L in your budget.

hmmm...XSi + 18-55 IS + 70-200 f4 L + 50 f1.8 + kenko extension tubes?


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xarqi
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Oct 17, 2008 03:36 |  #12

I've been impressed by how well the 18-55 IS handles near-macro work. It focuses to 25 cm and gives a magnification of around 1:3. The 100 macro is high on my wish list, but the 18-55 IS is doing the job for me now.

It is also a dandy walk-around lens. It may be a little slow, but that is not usually a problem as boosting ISO or using the IS will often do the job perfectly well, without a faster, heavier, more expensive 2.8 lens.

So, somewhat oddly given my own desire for a 100 macro, I'm going to suggest that you omit it from your list at the moment, and instead apply the funds to getting the 70-200/4L IS.

Here's a 100% crop of an orchid, Earina mucronata; each bloom is only about 5 mm across.

Taken with a 30D and the 18-55 IS using the onboard flash; ISO was 160. It's f/11, but the DoF is still pretty thin at this range, making the upper flower shown a bit soft. It's noisier than it should be as I had about 1.5 stops of minus FEC dialled in by mistake and had to recover the shadows in post.

It's not an ideal example, but it's an image I had to hand and it might give you an idea of what this lens can do on the "macro" front, even in the hands of a rank amateur.


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dithiolium
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Oct 17, 2008 04:43 |  #13

It nice to have a plan for which lenses to get. I suggest you don't get them all in one shot, needs will change over time and you end up buying/selling too often.

People I know buy standard lens and a 70-300 telephoto lens initially, only to underutilise the tele, what a waste of $$.
Is the $1500 budget one time only? or is it $1500 now then $1000 annually? Think about it, you won't only spend $1500 on this hobby, it will get out of hand easily. So now you can plan your lens purchases over time.


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The_Camera_Poser
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Oct 17, 2008 04:57 |  #14
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I love these questions! LOL

NOW:

-Refurb Canon 30D (from Adorama) $574
-Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 Macro (not a real macro, but still good for closeups) $329 (Sigma4Less)
-Canon 50/1.8 II (just for messing around with) $75
-Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS $510 (Sigma$Less)

Total: $1488

And those lenses will keep you happy for years to come.




  
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JeffreyG
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Oct 17, 2008 05:17 |  #15

ooo wrote in post #6509699 (external link)
People are always suggesting tripods for macro, but if your shooting insects, a tripod would not help you too much, because the insects are constantly moving around. The time you set it up, they would of probably crawled or flew away. .

Yes, then instead of a $250 tripod you need a $1000 twin flash rig. Where I was headed with my original tripod advice is that macro needs to be stopped down a lot for most shots which precludes ambient light handheld shots.

Lot's of newbies add macro lenses to starter kits without knowing this, so it was worth a mention.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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