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Thread: But which lens?

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    Account Closed justjane's Avatar
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    But which lens?

    Just bought my first DSLR Canon 650D + 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6. I want to shoot mostly street/landscape/architecture. Is there one moderately priced lens that will fit the bill while I am learning. I have looked at the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM but also read that a simple Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM would be very useful to me.
    Any thoughts anyone?

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    Member The Man from Mona's Avatar
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    The Canon 17-40 is better than the 50 for what you want, but it's not great for architecture.

    Tokina make a 16-28 and a 17-35 that cover FF and have less distortion across the frame than the 17-40. They're also cheaper.

    Otherwise there's the Toki 11-16 or 12-24 for landscapes on a crop body.

    I'd get one of those and a 40 2.8 or 50 1.8 as well. They're so cheap it's stupid not to own one!

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Moderately priced?
    Are you unhappy with the lens you already have? Take photos with it and see the focal length you are using the most (after a period of time). If they're all at 18mm you may wish to get something wider (Canon 10-22 or Tonika 12-24). If between 25 and 80mm then a different lens would be on your shopping list.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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    I've just flicked through some recent landscapes with this lens and many of my horizons are either smiling at me or frowning! How on earth does the camera capture a curved horizon? Something horribly wrong with the lens or the photographer?
    As for my subjects, I seem to be either zoomed right in or way out....so maybe I do need something wider.

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    Member The Man from Mona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Moderately priced?
    Are you unhappy with the lens you already have? Take photos with it and see the focal length you are using the most (after a period of time).
    This is a kind of unnecessary post as OP has already stated their preference for a variety of photography which utilises wide angles and values distortion free lenses.

    your issue here is distortion. This is the 18-200mm at 18mm:




    and here's the Tokina 16-28 at 16mm (on a FF body)



    Look at the centre area primarily or view it with the overlay here: *removed - please read site rules 3-7*
    Even on a FF the edge distortion of the Tokina trumps the Canon, and most other lenses will too. If landscapes are something you're interested in, however, I'd recommend you learn to use TDP's distortion tools. You can fix distortion in post (LR will profile your camera and lens and do it automatically) but you're much better off going straight for a higher quality optical solution.

    Note: Images from TDP are used under Fair Use as per TDP guidelines etc. DWBH
    Last edited by ricktas; 28-10-2012 at 9:35am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man from Mona View Post
    This is a kind of unnecessary post as OP has already stated their preference for a variety of photography which utilises wide angles and values distortion free lenses.
    There was nothing unnecesary about that post at all, the OP's comment about distortion was made AFTER this post was made. If you'd read the OP's original post she doesn't mention anything about distortion, and street/landscape/architecture doesn't need to be shot with a wide angle lens. She says she seems to be shooting at either 18 or 200.

    How long have you had your camera Jane?

    Photography can become an obsession that is fed by the need for the right gear for the job, along with the need to keep up with technology, rather than a passion for you to enjoy.

    For example, you state that you enjoy street/landscape/architecture, you COULD need a fast prime for street, an UWA for landscape and a TSE for architecture, so you could easily $2-3K. For what it's worth Jane, follow the Mark L's advice and use the lens you've got for a while until you decide what focal lengths you're shooting at the most before going out and spending more money. The 18-200 is probably the lens that makes the most compromises with regard to image quality, simply because it's trying to do so much.
    Last edited by unistudent1962; 28-10-2012 at 10:57am.
    Mark

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Jane.
    You can expect some distortion in almost all WA lenses. This is illustrated by Man from Mona's posted images above.

    The thing is how do you handle it?
    Two obvious ways are: either buy the most highly-corrected lens you can afford, or, use some PP (OK, post-processing) to reduce/eliminate it.
    In the many stitched panoramas I have tried, the second method is the one I use.

    When taking the picture, you can reduce the amount of horizon curvature by the positioning of the horizon in the frame and by the angle off vertical that you hold the camera.
    Try a bit of this with some simple - even artificial - horizon.
    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 28-10-2012 at 11:21am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justjane View Post
    Just bought my first DSLR Canon 650D + 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6. I want to shoot mostly street/landscape/architecture. Is there one moderately priced lens that will fit the bill while I am learning. I have looked at the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM but also read that a simple Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM would be very useful to me.
    Any thoughts anyone?
    Yes.
    The lens you already have will be excellent for learning: I suggest at this stage you buy no other lens until you have learnt enough to reasonably identify what is lacking in the zoom lens you have already purchased.

    WW

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by justjane View Post
    As for my subjects, I seem to be either zoomed right in or way out....so maybe I do need something wider.
    This is common for beginners to use a zoom lens, only at either extreme of the zoom's compass: in fact it is common for many Photographers so to do.

    Assuming your 'Subjects' are people: I suggest you spend a couple of days using only ONE Focal Length and get to understand how each FL can frame a Subject and notice how the Subject's relationship to the scene, changes.

    I suggest starting with the Zoom lens set at about FL = 30mm; then use 50mm for a few days; then use 80mm; then use 18mm and finally use 135mm - AND in each case make Photographs and DIFFERENT DISTANCES to the Subject.

    Then sit down and critically look at the images you made.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 29-10-2012 at 6:29am. Reason: corrected grammar

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    I have a 600D and have so far not been able to afford anything beyond the 18-55 mm and 55-250 mm kit lenses. It has made me work harder at getting other aspects of taking photographs right as well as deciding what to buy when I can afford it especially as my preferences have changed over time.

    In the meantime have found the 18-55 particularly useful and have some photos to be proud of while I save my pennies for the 24-105L etc. In addition I am hoping that improving in other areas will assist me in getting the best out of the equipment once I can upgrade.

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