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Thread: Lens choice for beginner

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    Member robbiedee's Avatar
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    Lens choice for beginner

    Hi guys,

    I am just new to the forum and have been amazed by some of the photos posted up by the members! I always enjoyed taking photos with my old P&S, but it wasn't until I started looking into SLR cameras, that my eyes were opened to the possibilties of SLR photography. Researching online and coming across this forum, my interest grew rapidly, and here I am...

    I'm only 19 and have just bought my first SLR camera, a Canon 1000D with the 18-55mm IS kit lens. I'm about to head off for a trip to New York and really wanted to be able to bring home a photo collection to be proud of.

    I am now in the hunt for an additional lens. I was after something which would be appropriate for capturing photos of architecture, landscapes and close ups of people/objects (Common situations on my holiday). In the few days of having my new camera, I've played around with close up's and am quite happy with how the kit lens performs (see below for a link to a few photos I have taken). I'm only a beginner and with my budget (being a poverty stricken uni student ), I'm not expecting the flashest set up in the world. With only 3x optical zoom however, I am interested in a lens that would offer a little more.

    I'd appreciate it if any of you would point me in the right direction for a budget lens that I should look at taking into consideration the above factors. As I said, I am a beginner, so please tell me if you think I should be looking for something else rather than more zoom capabilities for capturing photos of buildings/objects that I may come across in New York. Obviously I will use it for other things than my holiday as I am fast becoming addicted to the whole Photography scene .

    From what I've read, it's well worth looking into the Tamron range?

    Cheers,
    Robbie

    Here are a few photo's I've taken: http://s126.photobucket.com/albums/p...e/Photography/

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    Are you looking for a lens that offers 'a little more' wide-angle, 'a little more' telephoto? Does it have to be an all-in-one lens or are you happy to have 2 lenses on the trip?

    My first thought is Canon's 55-250 IS.

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    Thanks for your reply. I would definitely be willing to carry 2 lenses with me, so I guess it would be a bit of a waste if my new lens overlapped with the benefits of the kit lens. I would still like it to be reasonably 'general purpose'. Again, I'm not after the best photo's on earth, but rather something that will allow me to build my skills, and then upgrade once I have the money.

    I am after something with a little more telephoto, as my kit lens only has 3x zoom, I may well miss out on some good opportunities for a photo. With a lens that you suggested (55-250mm telephoto), are there any other uses that these lenses are good for. ie, portraits, landscapes, anything else? I had a quick search and that is definitely something around the price range I am after (~$200-$250).

    Thanks again
    Robbie

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    If I had to go for a one lens kind of does it all, maybe look at the canon 18-200, some tamrons have a reputation of having sharp, but their focusing is pretty slow, I had a tamron 28-300, image quality was OK, but like I said, the focusing was too slow.
    Jayde

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    OK, after reading your response I suggest the Canon 55-250 IS. It does close portraits, candid streetscape, wild animals and other long distance shots, and sports. And the picture quality is actually very good. With this and the 18-55 IS kit you have better optics than you would have with a 'superzoom' 18-200, and a lot cheaper too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    OK, after reading your response I suggest the Canon 55-250 IS. It does close portraits, candid streetscape, wild animals and other long distance shots, and sports. And the picture quality is actually very good. With this and the 18-55 IS kit you have better optics than you would have with a 'superzoom' 18-200, and a lot cheaper too.
    It's not really long enough for wild animals (you've got to be pretty bloody close still) and the perspective compression + barrel distortion would make for pretty poo streetscapes. He'd be better off with the 18-55 for that.

    If you do get one, get it second hand. EVERYONE has one lying around that they don't want. Get a 50mm f/1.8 as well, it's the best learning lens and cheap as butts.

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    Unfortunately, I can't agree with most of what Bromeo says.
    1. I have plenty of shots of wild animals with this lens. It is equivalent to a 400mm IS lens on a full frame camera, which would be considered sufficient for a pro wildlife assignment.
    2. As for barrel distortion, the slrgear test measurements say
      "Barrel distortion isn't a big issue: 0.4% maximum (corner) distortion at 55mm, with 0.2% overall. This distortion is fairly linear until there is effectively no distortion at 80mm, and is easily corrected in image post-processing."
      There is nothing to complain about the optics of this lens. Maybe Bromeo is thinking of the non-IS model which has much worse optics. The IS version has a UD element, unbelievable at the price! The slrgear technical test concludes "The bottom line here is that Canon has packed two important things into this lens for a surprisingly low price - high optical quality and image stabilization. I think we can safely say this is a lens where you do get much more than you pay for."
    3. Why on earth get one second hand (possibly the non-IS model, possibly optically misaligned by a knock) when a new one is $200-odd on the internet?


    I still can't think of anything to match it given the OP's beginner status, 1000D camera, and "poverty stricken uni student" budget.

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    Personaly, I'd go with what Arg has suggested for you. If you cant afford a castle, thats fine, every body has to start somewhere. Down the line, when and if you upgrade your body, and you can afford better glass, well thats fine. If you can afford some decent glass now. even better, but you dont want it to eat into your holiday funds. Get the above 55-200 if you feel its right for you, If you have a quality camera shop near you, go and try it, they will let you, see if it works for you.

    You'll get a good focal coverage from 15-200mm, mightn't be the longest focal length, but it will do the job, speciality lens and fast glass (F2.8) cost, so say it for later.

    My work mate just came back from Fiji, he purchased the 60D twin lens kit, which came with the 18-55 and 55-200, and he was more then happy with it.

    The Nifty Fifty is also a great Fixed Focal Lens, $140 should get you a brand newy, good to learn your manual setting with, ISO-EXP-SHUTTER SPEEDS, also get used to the App and Shutter priority modes.

    Just remember, some people have all the toys and still have no idea. So work with what you've got and make it work for you. But down the line, if you persist with this hobby, you'll want to spend your money wisly, work out what you want to shoot, and buy the right lens to suit what you shoot. Lastly, if and when you get to that stage, buy the best glass you can.

    You might find a bargin whilst in the USA, due to the finacial situation alot of Americans are in.

    Have fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    [*]Why on earth get one second hand (possibly the non-IS model, possibly optically misaligned by a knock) when a new one is $200-odd on the internet?
    Don't ever buy anything secondhand ever, someone might have used it previously.

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    I recently got a Tamron 18-250 f3.5 - 6.3 XR Di II and couldn't be any happier with it. Great "all in one" lens that I got for travelling so I don't have to carry different lenses around with me. No complaints about IQ or focus speed when you balance it against the price. You can get one from Adorama (site sponsor) landed in Aus for about $340.

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    Gday buddy,
    I recently got a nifty fifty (due to the regular good wrap they get on the forum) and haven't looked back.
    They are nice and light too.
    Cheers

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    Robbie, the lens you have purchased with the camera is a good basic lens. I have a 75-300 zoom that I have used mostly for sporting but have surprised myself when using it to take portraits. It may be too powerful for landscape depending on your distance to the focus point but it may be worth a look. It didn't cost the earth either.

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    If you were looking for telephoto this wouldn't be much use but a very fine little lens is the Sigma 17-70mm OS Macro, it isn't really a macro but a great general purpose lens which is sharp and produces good colour, lot more money than you have already spent, but well worth researching
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    I'm sure glad I stumbled across this forum, wow! Thank you so much for all of your advice, I now have the EF-S 55-250mm IS and EF 50mm f/1.8 II lenses on their way!

    I'll be sure to post up some shots from New York!

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    I'll look forward to that. It will be our little reward!

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    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    Very sensible choices. I had a look at your postings - some very imaginitive shots - mind you - its a bit sad having to take your own portrait shots! Time to get a buddy interested in photography!
    Berni

    ""The most important piece of camera equipment you will ever own sits between your ears...."

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