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Thread: Newby looking for new lens.

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    Member enigma82's Avatar
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    Newby looking for new lens.

    Hi, I am new to photography. I own a Canon 350D with 18-55mm kit lens. I'm trying to use this lens a bit to increase my skill but am considering other options which might open up some interesting photography experiences.

    I find myself mostly photographing flowers fairly close up, but I would also like to do a little bit of landscape photography when the opportunity arises. I am interested in macro photography as well but this may have to wait until I can afford an appropriate lens.

    Can anybody suggest a suitable lens? I have looked at things like the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8-4.5 DC OS, and the Canon EF 28mm f2.8 .

    Even if I can develop a plan of which two lenses to eventually acquire I can make a start. Any help would be greatly appreciated because I really am lost at this stage.

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    Unfortunately, landscape and macro are two different beasts that require different lens. Since none of your wish list lenses would be particularly useful for close ups of flowers, I'll assume you're going the landscaping route.

    Now, generally, for landscapes, you'll want a widish lens. So, of the bunch you listed, perhaps the Sigma would be most useful (but close to what you have - which is fine for landscapes to begin with. So, maybe the 28mm.

    It really depends what sort of images you hope to capture.

    Scotty
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    Thanks Scotty. This is quite a tricky situation as my photography subjects tend to be somewhat limited (for now) by agoraphobia and social anxiety. For example... I recently challenged this and went for a walk and noticed a view I would much like to photograph which probably would have required the 28mm lens. However, because this situation wouldn't come up very often I am careful in shelling out for that lens. And this same thing might happen with a subject that might be suitable for the Sigma 18-50 for example.

    I guess I'm going to have to think more on this. I suppose ideally a versatile lens is what I would buy, so that when I happen to find myself in a situation where I want to photograph something I have a lens that will do it - but I realize that even a versatile lens would probably have great limitations (which as I understand it is the point of having a digital SLR and so many lenses available).

    Hmmmmm. Well, thanks again.

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    If you want to do macro, get a macro lens, something like a canon 100 or tamron 90

    Your 18-55 should be wide enough for most landscapes
    Darren
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    No worries. I guess the best way is to wait a while and when you find yourself thinking, 'damn, I wish I had [lens x]', a few times...

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    You have a lens, what's wrong with it ?

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    Good point Scotty, that's probably the way to go. Perhaps my best starting point would actually be macro. I've noticed that trying to get up close with my kit lens has sort of eliminated some of the obstacles from agoraphobia and social anxiety which stops me pursuing things like portrait photography. I can also find photo opportunities in my yard rather than being only limited to public places.

    Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    You have a lens, what's wrong with it ?
    Well, since you ask:
    I'm not sure that anything is wrong with it. However.... I am sure that most people get a kick out of better results. I'm hoping that I might get some better results with a higher quality lens, which in turn will hopefully encourage me in my hobby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enigma82 View Post
    Well, since you ask:
    I'm not sure that anything is wrong with it. However.... I am sure that most people get a kick out of better results. I'm hoping that I might get some better results with a higher quality lens, which in turn will hopefully encourage me in my hobby.
    Not wanting to curb your enthusiasm but, just wait a while, post some shots with the kit lens and ask for / accept some critique. The kit will perhaps not give you the extra 'sparkle' a specialised lens will but, it will be good enough to develop your skills with.

    Once, you have the know-how, the switch to a better lens will blow your mind.

    Scotty

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    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    taken with a nikon 18-55mm kit lens. I dont see any problems with this shot.



    practice make perfect.

    that said i use a 35/1.8 mostly now but if i need to go wider i dont hesitate at puting the kit on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enigma82 View Post
    Well, since you ask:
    I'm not sure that anything is wrong with it. However.... I am sure that most people get a kick out of better results. I'm hoping that I might get some better results with a higher quality lens, which in turn will hopefully encourage me in my hobby.
    The point here is that you've said you want to do macro, that required either a dedicated macro lens or the cheaper option is a 50 1.8 and extension tubes, on the other hand a 50 1.8 is not great for a landscape lens

    So, really, you either get general purpose or specialty lenses

  12. #12
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    None of the lenses you mentioned would be more suitable for landscape than what you have and most probably no better for close up work either.

    For landscape something like the Canon 10-22mm would do nicely if you have the budget, if not, one of the 10-20mm lenses would hit the mark. Note that those choices greatly extend your range to a much wider view than what you have now and your kit lens is still relevant.

    For close up work you need a macro lens and prefrably one of a reasonable focal length. Possibly something in the 90 to 105mm range. Tamron and Sigma make dedicated macro lenses that are much cheaper than the corresponding Canon lenses. These are generally f/2.8 lenses and will also make a passable longer portrait lens on your camera.

    If you want a short portrait lens for available light photography, the 50mm f/1.8 is a cheap entry point. It is getting a bit long for general use and landscape but may have some very limited application. I suggest to people to spend a day with their kit zoom at a fixed focal lenght to test what primes to get, e.g. fixed at say 28mm, or fixed at 35mm or fixed at 50mm to 'test' how they would manage with such a lens. You can estimate the setting on the zoom ring if there isn't a marking for it.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


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