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Thread: Which of my lenses do what?

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    Member Brettmc20's Avatar
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    Which of my lenses do what?

    Ok being still faily new to photography having a 550D im kinda stuck on which lens to use for what.
    I use my canon 50mm 1.8 for nearly everything.
    50mm 1.8
    18-55
    55-200

    Would someone be able to help me with which is best used for what application.

    I use my 18-55 for landscapes and my 55-200 next to never. I wouldnt mind a walk around lens for taking street photography, street scapes whilst walking to my landscape / seascape location.

    Thanks

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also got about $300 to spend on a new lens, i am also thinking of selling my 2 kit lens if they arent needed.

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    You can use defferent lenses for many reasons / applications. Here is my personal 'typical' use:

    • 50mm - landscape, portrait
    • 18-55 - landscape, portrait
    • 55 - 200 - portrait, wildlife


    Before you part with your money for more lenses, ask yourself what it is you do not like about the lens you want to replace. Your kit lenses may not be top of the range but do cover most situations. I am not saying don't get another lens, just work out what you really want first and then go for the best you can afford, they will last you for years so try not to skimp at this stage.

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    Well, given the 550D is a cropped sensor your lenses actually have different focal lengths.

    Your 50mm is around 80mm through the lens instead.

    Your 18-55 is around 28-85mm approx.

    Your 55-200 is around 85-300mm instead.

    So, what does this mean?

    The 50mm is a great portrait lens (shooting from below the bust up of the subject), and you can leave it on for most situations as it will help you in low light too. Using a fixed lens mostly imporantly will also strengthen your composition skills and force you to move around to find the best way to fill the frame, rather than a zoom which may make you complacent.

    The 18-55mm would be good for landscapes, street, group shots.

    The 55-200 would be good for portraits, birding, isolating subject matter.

    Why do you need another lens? You have the entire focal range of 18-200mm covered and have low light covered with the 50mm.

    In daylight shooting, your lenses will be fine. Have a good shooting and post things up here. Don't get hung up on gear aquisition and think more about the shots and how you will acheive them with your current set up since that is the best you have at the moment.

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    I'd be inclined to keep those 3 lenses as you're still learning the basics. what you've got is ideal for getting out there and learning the ropes.

    I shoot landscapes at 16mm...I shoot landscapes at 400mm.
    we choose different focal lengths because they changes the appearance of the image - and I'm not just referring to magnification.
    they alter the depth of field and the angle of view...two terms you may have to look up.
    angle of view is (oh so very) often confused with 'perspective' so be careful when you google it...too many fools have blogs
    perspective only changes when you're walking around etc.

    explaining it is one thing but seeing it in action will be more helpful
    take a photo at 18mm...take another one at 200mm using the same aperture and from the same position looking at the same subject.
    only allow the focal length to be different.
    compare the 2 shots. note the change in depth of field. note the 'apparent' change in distance between near and far objects.
    it's these things that will help you determine which lens for which situation.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    $300 isn't going to buy you all that much.

    Tamron 17-50/2.8 with or without VC springs to mind.
    'Tis a very good lens, and keep you entertained for years to come.

    Otherwise hold onto your money for a while longer and allow it to multiply to greater levels!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    all your lenses take photos, and you could fairly much use any of them for anything. Limiting yourself to a particular lens for a particular genre, is doing just that, limiting yourself. Some have a reputation for particular genre, like using a wider lens for landscapes, but you can shoot landscapes at 200mm.

    I agree, keep your money, learn more about photography and then buy better lenses.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

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    What Rick said!
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

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    Done, i ordered some books recommended to me
    -The art of Photography
    -Photo Inspiration: Secrets behind stunning images
    -Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Image Wherever You Are

    These will keep me entertained during my lunch break at work instead of facebook or youtube.

    Thanks for your advice, you all saved me some $$$$ which i really appreciate.

  9. #9
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    One of the best things you can do now is read, learn, take photos and put them up for CC on this site. Then you get feedback on your actual photos and can use that feedback to improve, combining it with the knowledge you get from here, and your books. The more you take photos the more you will learn.

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    Ausphotography Regular glennb's Avatar
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    I spent hours working out what lenses to get when i started, was looking at the $1000s in the end, but have relized before thankfully what i have now is doing fine as for a beginner and though not low light lenses they are sharp in good light and night when using flash or tripod. I have nikon 35mm f/1.8 18 - 55, 55 -300 I am looking a wider lens 11-16 f1.8 tokina because of the crop issue on the 5100. Im putting up with the changing of lenses till I see what I really need/use often.

  11. #11
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    Well, given the 550D is a cropped sensor your lenses actually have different focal lengths.<snip>
    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO !!!!!!!!!
    DO NOT PERPETUATE A LIE!!!!

    Ok Kym, calm down!

    Refer: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...vs_Crop_Factor

    1. Focal length is NOT different!!! A 50mm FL is 50mm no matter what the sensor size is.

    2. The crop factor is what makes the difference.

    3. Refer 1.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettmc20 View Post
    Ok being still faily new to photography having a 550D im kinda stuck on which lens to use for what.
    Then you are stuck in the wrong place: and for all the wrong reasons.
    If you continue on this path you’ll probably never really understand what Photography is all about and you will be severely frustrated and limited in your application of the Craft.
    Stop worrying about defining what lenses are for what purpose and think more about what Photographs that you see in your everyday travels.
    Then make them – DON’T worry WHAT lens you have – just make the Photograph – and then work out what was right and what was wrong about it – and work out how you can do better next time.

    How to make it better next time maybe will require using a different lens – BUT it will be using a different lens for that ONE particular shot – and you will NOT defining one lens for any particular Genre of Photography.

    Best advice – stick the 18 to 55 on the camera and make 10 (ten) Photographs this weekend that you planned and thought about, BEFORE you press the Shutter Release.

    Then dissect them.
    Ask for assistance if you want critique.

    I suggest you keep the $300.00 for awhile and NOT buy any other lens.

    WW

  13. #13
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I'm sure all of this is great advice, but .... you also need to find your own path, unless you plan to be exactly the same as the norm. Different lenses give different perspectives. You need to use them to see what the difference is. Try to get close to your subject and don't just rely on your eyes, look through the camera and take pictures as the result will be a little different from the view through the viewfinder.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    Kim beat me to answering Avalanche's comment in kind. +1 to Kim.
    Re the camera and lenses you have, you have a great starting set there. I had similar when I started (400D, 50 1.8,18-55 and a 75-300 kit lenses, I used these for 2 years before deciding which way to go updating them.
    My advice is to select one lens and use it for a day, look at the shots and pick them to bits, post some here and get feedback and help with anything you might be doing wrong, go back and retake the shots using the advice from here. Work your way through the other lenses and when you get to the stage where you feel you can no longer get any more out of these kit lenses then it is time to look at upgrading and by then your knowledge will allow you to know what you need. the amount those lenses are worth 2nd hand they are usually not worth selling, I gave mine to a friend who wanted to get a DSLR and got a 600D, over 12 months later and he is still getting good service out of them but is starting to look at upgrading and tries one of my lenses whenever I visit him.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    I really like using the 50mm 1.8. It keeps me moving and i have to use my feet to get the shot i need.
    The 18-55 i use the second most but always swap back over to the 50mm in low light. I mainly shoot cars, my daughter or family so i use mainly one of these 2 for some reason.

    My daughter dropped my 55-250mm lens the other day the glass is broken, i was cleaning it on the table and she dragged it off by accident. Completely my fault, so now im stuck with only the 2 lenses.

    Thanks to everyone for their input and help.

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    Wow...I don't appreciate that kind of reply at all. I'll be careful to be so vague in the future with posts.

    Okay then, without elaborating too much and as my understanding of it in better terms...when a lens is mounted on a camera like the 550D, the angle of view is different than the lens' stated focal length. The end result therefore, is the same result as if you shot with a 35mm/film camera and then cropped away some of the perimeter.

    Is this somewhat correct or am I way off????

  17. #17
    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    You are spot on Avalanche.
    Cheers
    Keith.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    Wow...I don't appreciate that kind of reply at all. I'll be careful to be so vague in the future with posts.

    Okay then, without elaborating too much and as my understanding of it in better terms...when a lens is mounted on a camera like the 550D, the angle of view is different than the lens' stated focal length. The end result therefore, is the same result as if you shot with a 35mm/film camera and then cropped away some of the perimeter.

    Is this somewhat correct or am I way off????

    You are correct, the field of view changes, not the focal length of the lens. Whilst you may not have appreciated the reply, your original comment: "Well, given the 550D is a cropped sensor your lenses actually have different focal lengths", is not correct and did need clarifying/correcting.

    A lens doesn't magically become a different focal length cause it is on a crop sensor body. A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens, whether it is on a crop body, a full frame body, or sitting on a kitchen bench. What changes is the field of view:

    Last edited by ricktas; 16-03-2013 at 8:23am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettmc20 View Post
    Done, i ordered some books recommended to me
    -The art of Photography
    -Photo Inspiration: Secrets behind stunning images
    -Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Image Wherever You Are

    These will keep me entertained during my lunch break at work instead of facebook or youtube.

    Thanks for your advice, you all saved me some $$$$ which i really appreciate.
    A couple of good site while your on your learning curve (Beside AP that is)

    The Digital Picture - Canon wonderland

    Cambridge in Colour - Learning the wonders

    Tamron Focal Length Tool - This allows you to choose different focal lengths and see the results, may help you down the line with focal length choice.
    Last edited by Roosta; 16-03-2013 at 12:05pm.
    They call me "Blue" it's a red head thing.
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    Canon Bodies - 1DMk2N + 50D - Lenses - 17-35mm F2.8 L - 24-70mm F2.8 L - 70-200mm F2.8 L - 300mm F4 IS L - Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 - Sigma 10-20mm
    " I Never get tired of looking at our diverse country, even if its through the lens of someone else".
    CC is always appreciated.


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    For Avalanche:

    The reason we like to keep to a certain level of correctness with respect to lens focal lengths and crop factors, is because of the differences in DOF.

    So if you shot at 35mm on APS-C and 50mm on full frame, you will certainly have very similar FOV in both images, but the 50mm lens image will naturally provide a shallower DOF if the image is focused at the same point and the aperture remains the same.

    Similarly with your question about cropping the fullframe shot to suit the FOV of an smaller sensor image.... the DOF rendering is going to be shallower, so while the image may appear to be similar, it will look different to an actual shot from an APS-C camera. The output size of the respective images will determine whether you can see those differences or not.

    ps. angle of view is not entirely set for any specific focal length either.
    The angle of view is related to the sensor size.

    That is, you can get two different lenses at 15mm that can give you two different fields of view!! One could be set to 90° on a 35mm frame .. the other could be as much as 180° if the lens designer wants it to be.

    Also! a 50mm lens gives you a FOV equivalent to about 50° on a 35mm frame, but that may also equate to a 60° FOV on a medium format frame .. or even a 90° on MF too! But then again the lens may only privide a 42mm radius imaging circle, and hence only give you only 55° FOV on medium format .. irrespective of what MF size is used.... etc, etc.

    It's not really as simple as you may think it is!

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    ..... the angle of view is different than the lens' stated focal length. .....
    So this should read: the angle of view stated for this lens on one format size will be different for another format size!(ie. not focal length).

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