View Full Version : A questioned for the wise

19-05-2010, 9:09pm
The question is what would be viable.

I am in the market for maybe 2 lens.
What I have is:
1x EFS 55-250mm (Kit lens)
1x EFS 18-55mm (Kit Lens)

The 55-250 is basically a piece of junk. It is all loose in the body. It does produce some good shots and lots of bad shots, but I want more. I would use this lens for 80% of my shots.

The 18-55 works well and I have no problems with it.

I would like something for more close up shots though, not necessarily a macro lens though.
Would tubes be a viable option.

Opportunity to get some gear before we leave Thailand.

Any ideas/views on what would be good buying greatly appreciated.

19-05-2010, 9:46pm
As you know there is a huge array of Canon lenses available and it is not really possible to give advice without knowing what you REALLY want to photograph, and how much money you have to spend.

If you want to do macro work then get a macro lens. Canon make a few good ones, It is generally recommended that you use a good quality prime with extension tubes if you want to go that way for close up work.

19-05-2010, 9:51pm
Extension tubes on something like a 50mm f1.8 might be a good option and would also give you a low-light/shallow DOF lens to use. I've used tubes with a nifty fifty to good effect before.

That might not be long enough though, if you've been using the 55-250 a lot. Were you thinking zoom or prime? For zooms, one of the Canon 70-200mm might be good. I have the f4 IS and it's great. Haven't tried it with tubes, but have heard of other people doing so. Not the widest max aperture though.

A tele prime such as the Canon 85mm f1.8 or the Canon 100mm f2 might be an option. Both would give you decent reach, allow for low light shooting and can produce beautiful bokeh. Again, I haven't tried it myself, but you could probably use tubes with these (definitely can't do macro without tubes though - the MFD for these lenses is about 90cm).

Hmm, I kinda rambled a bit there - hope it helps!

19-05-2010, 10:19pm
50mm f1.4 - good for portrait.

Tamron 17-50 is pretty good as well...

Other than that maybe a flash if you haven't got it already, for night-time photography.

19-05-2010, 10:26pm
not sure what the prices are like where you are.... but i'm in perth and i was trying to decide between a macro lens and a normal lens with tubes. What made me get a macro lens in the end was because the prices, when calculated, didn't differ too much...
I think you have to ask yourself if you're going to be doing alot of macro shots in the future, if so, i think maybe go for a macro lens straight up. The macro lenses like the Tamron 90mm is also good for other things like portraits (if i remember my reading of other threads in the forum regarding the tamron correctly)... I use my sigma 105mm for other things like street photography - i'm afraid to say this because i think i might get hammered for it... but i find that some of the photography i like to do, the sigma works well for it.... so.....
I got my sigma for less than $700... I think it was $630 to be exact... If i remember correctly, the Tamron costs less than the sigma and then there's the Tokina which is the cheapest make for specialised macro lenses - this is at the shop i often frequent at... so maybe shop around and always ask for the best price... that's what i did... one shop offered me $700 but i went to another shop and told them what i've been offered and they totally beat the daylights out of that and offered me $630... kekeke....

19-05-2010, 10:32pm
Graham I'm not a landscape shooter for the most part. I like using the long lens for picking out interesting aspects of a scene or getting in close and personal while keeping my distance. Cost is always a factor but this time around I'm looking for quality. Any suggestions on a true macro.

Jules, would a nifty fifty? be a good versatile option with a tube? Probably a zoom in a long lens. My problem is there a so many to chose from it would take months and months to try and work out what would be feasible.

19-05-2010, 10:43pm
Folks thanks so far. As for would I use macro a lot, hmmmm who knows, I like the idea but probably need a bit more flexibility.
I would most likely use a long lens more.

20-05-2010, 12:10am
Takes months and months, study up when you are saving up.

Research while you save.

That's what I do, drool over the unattainable and google the rest


20-05-2010, 10:22am
I'll second the tamron 90mm f2.8 as a good macro + portrait. No personal experience but that lens has had a long standing good reputation.
For longer zooms, next step up u can consider one of the 70-300mm variants with IS, or the sigma 50-150mm 2.8.
Even better would be one of the 70-200mm varieties and I hear the canon f4 version of this lens is stellar. It all depends on ur budget and how big/heavy u're willing to carry and image quality.

20-05-2010, 10:27am
A relatively long macro lens MIGHT solve 2 of your problems at once.
Something (expensive) like a Sigma 150 macro, or a Canon 100 macro will give a true macro lens AND a lens that can be used to pick out details in scenery. They are both upwards of $1,000 though.

Otherwise just keep googling and read up as much as you can.

20-05-2010, 10:28am
Oh..u can also consider one of the zooms + a closeup filter like the canon 500D.
I hear the 70-200s work well with the close up filter so that'd be a longer zoom and macro in one. U won't be able to get to 1:1 with this setup though.

20-05-2010, 7:01pm
Thanks folks for the input, I'm still lost in the maze of lens.
So I shall take another angle.

I'm happy to spend 2000-3000 on a lens. Most of my shooting is with my long lens, the 55-250 but as previously stated the lens is a heap of junk. This is what I want to upgrade.

So if I'm thinking a 100-400mm lens what would people recommend. Canon or third party.

Another thought, is the 450d worthy of hanging a big lens off it. I'm very happy with the camera and like using it.

20-05-2010, 10:31pm
Re: the quality of images with something like a 50mm 1.8 and tubes - I've used it before and while you can't obtain 1:1 magnification like a true macro lens, it still allows for pretty good closeups and the quality of the image isn't too bad. Unless you really want to start doing true macros, probably best to just get tubes for now and put the extra $$ towards a good tele lens. Focal length will depend on your own preferences and whether you found yourself always at the long end of the 55-250 and wanting more, or if that range worked well for you.

For now, with your current kit lenses, you're not really maxing out the 450D's potential, so I'd say focus on getting some good glass and then upgrade the body later if you want. I love my 450D and you can get some amazing shots from it.

20-05-2010, 11:06pm
Takes months and months, study up when you are saving up.

Research while you save.

That's what I do, drool over the unattainable and google the rest


Bravo, this is what I do:efelant::efelant:

21-05-2010, 12:55am
Thanks Jules, you have gone a long ways to helping me out, yes most of the time I'm at the long end of the 55-250 and yes I want more. That is why I was thinking 100-400 but was wondering if that is going to be too much for the 450d

Daryl and Richard, I appreciate the input but it didn't help one little bit. I have trawled and researched and I have the money in my pocket.

Right now there is probably a dozen alternatives out there that I could buy. That is why I am asking for other peoples input.

21-05-2010, 10:10am
The Canon 100-400 is very good, but it an old design and might be updated any time soon -- perhaps!
The NEW Sigma 50-500 f/4.5-6.3 should be very good for less than $2,000 but there do not seem to be many reviews of it yet. The older Sigma 50-500 (Bigma) was very good but did not have optical stabilization. Note the old lens had a max of f/4 and the new has a max of f/4.5
The Sigma 150-500 is cheaper and probably not quite as good optically.
Any of those three are good for birding.

21-05-2010, 12:48pm
70-200 with a teleconverter?

Should be in the budget, and when you don't need the extra reach, you're not pointing a bigma into a crowd of people.

21-05-2010, 4:50pm
Re: the quality of images with something like a 50mm 1.8 and tubes - I've used it before and while you can't obtain 1:1 magnification like a true macro lens, it still allows for pretty good closeups and the quality of the image isn't too bad.

Hey Jules
Im just starting out - and yes maybe im a little confused (?)

i would love to do macro photography and yes it will take years to come up with photos of the quality on these forums

i do have a genuine canon extension tube and the only "non zoom" lens i have is a EF 50mm 1:1.8 II - can i attach the tube to this lens and manually focus to achieve a good photo if all the other elements are perfect - ie light, composition etc? Or is will i achieve similar results with the standard kit IS lens i got with my 400D

Im not sure but is there any point using an extension tube on my 70-200 F4 L lens??

bit confused :(



21-05-2010, 7:42pm
Hey Kellie, if you have an extension tube you can definitely use it with the 50mm and with a Canon tube you should retain autofocus and metering. It won't be as easy to use as an actual macro lens, as the tubes impact on the minimum and maximum focusing distances (the effect varies depending on the lens you use). Manual focusing is probably the best option. The combo will certainly let you get closer and capture more detail than if you just use your kit lens, but as I said before, it's not a complete substitute for using a macro lens capable of 1:1 magnification.

As to the 70-200, I haven't tried mine with a tube, but I imagine you could use it to some extent.

23-05-2010, 2:55pm
I agree with Jules re the 70-200 F4L IS, it's a fantastic lens and neither too bulky or heavy, if your current favourite is the 55-200 then the 70-200 would be a quantum leap. The 90mm tamron would also be a very cost effective choice for macro and portrait work.