Best Lenses for...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jen70280, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. jen70280

    jen70280 TPF Noob!

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    I'm really new to photography, I have decided to learn something new for the new year, I am interested in sports photography and portraits. I know, I know... wide difference there lol


    What kind of lenses would you recommend for hockey photography and then of course portrait photography (I have 2 small daughters) I would eventually love to learn enough to take photos of others so I have a lot to learn and I hope that I am welcome here so I can read and learn a lot from everyone!


    btw, I have a Canon DLSR

    Hope that 2009 is starting great for everyone!


    Jennifer
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Which Canon DSLR do you have? Need to know because with certain models you can't use some of the Canon lenses available.

    What kind of budget are you working with? The really good Canon "L" lenses aren't cheap.
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You need the fastest lenses you can afford
     
  4. jen70280

    jen70280 TPF Noob!

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    Right now a Rebel XTI but as soon as I save I'll buy another cam.

    I definitely cant afford the L glass yet... but I just want something to learn and get started with.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well many recomend the canon 50mm f1.8 for portate work and it would be a cheap lens to pick up. On a crop body like the XTI though it can prove to be a bit too far reaching in close conditions and a shorter prime might be a better bet for you, The best way to find out is to shoot your zoom kit lens like a prime; keep the zoom fixed at around 50mm and see how you find it.

    As for sports the prices go up here - you want something like a 300mm lens (zoom or prime) or you can try with a 70-200mm zoom. Its a more expensive area and things are really dictated by budget and level of interest.
     
  6. jen70280

    jen70280 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for your input. I was told by another photographer the other day that I shouldn't buy a 50mm 1.8 that I needed a 1.4, I have found a good deal on a 1.8, or so I think ($70 shipped) maybe I should buy it?
     
  7. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    The 1.8 is a great piece of budget glass and is generally fast and sharp enough for the average photographer. The 1.4 has better build quality and slightly better optics, but is $200 more expensive on average.
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    $70 is a pretty good deal. The 1.4 is a better lens It has HSM focusing better build and better optics, but the 1.8 is still a great lens especially for the price.
     
  9. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    Did he or she offer any explanation as to why exactly you needed the 1.4? It's only marginally faster, and though the optics are better, it's an enormous price increase to pay for a small improvement if you're just getting started. The 50mm f/1.8 is a great place to start building your lens arsenal, as it is fast, cheap, and much higher quality than the entry-level zooms we all get stuck with. It will work great for experimenting with portraits as well, whether naturally or artificially lit.

    When it comes to sports, there are very few shortcuts. You need long, fast glass, which is never cheap. You can get cheaper zooms that will give you the distance but not the speed and be confined to bright outdoor situations, or you can buy a faster shorter lens (like the 50mm f/1.8) and be confined by your short telephoto focal length (you'll have to be close to the action). If you want a lens that will do both, prepare to double or more what you paid for your XTi.
     
  10. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Oh, okay...you can pretty much use any Canon lens available.
    My suggestion is to stick with the XTi as long as you can and concentrate on your shooting skills and saving for good lenses first. A better body won't make your pictures any better, but good lenses definitely will.

    A good body and lens in the hands of a so-so photographer will result in so-so pictures. The XTi is a very capable body and can take very good photographs if the photographer is skilled and has a good eye. Work on the basics (exposure, understanding light, composition) and then only upgrade the body when the XTi can't do what you need it to do. Buy good lenses first.
    Yeah, I can' either...but they are definitely worth the price in terms of performance and image quality. A friend of mine uses his EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM as his portrait lens. My other friends prefer to use prime lenses for portrait work (EF 50mm f/1.4 USM or EF 85mm f/1.8 USM).
    The EF 50mm f/1.8 II "Nifty Fifty" is a good lens to start and learn with. It's not the best made lens and tends to hunt for focus in low light situations and has been known to fall apart when hit or dropped (but it goes back together easily). You can probably use it for portraits but it's not a good choice for sports (not enough reach).

    Try looking at the EF-S 55-250 f/4.0-5.6 IS lens as a starter lens for sports. Nicely priced, has IS, decent optics and is said to produce pretty nice pictures.

    And try looking at Sigma lenses. I don't know much about them but a friend of mine says they're good alternatives to Canon lenses.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sigma lenses are a good choice, though its very much a lens by lens fact. Some of their lower end ones (70-300mm macro) are not the best out there, but the prices on them make them good budget choices for people.
    The more serious sigma lenses can perform very well and they are also very good with making lenses go that little bit further. Many of their zooms have close focusing (dubbed macro though its not full 1:1) and they also produce 5 macro lenses - all of which are very sharp and well built (the 180mm sigma is often chosen over the canon alternative because of its far cheaper price and equal optical quality).
    Sigmas only problem is that they do seem to suffer from quality control issuse, though this is very much made to seem worse than it is because they make several superzoom lenses, which even canon (with their 100-400mm) have problems with quality control - they are complexe lenses and its easy for softer ones to slip through the system.
    Sigma do give you 3 years warrenty though so you can easily get it fixed :)
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For sports, you really want a 70-200 f/2.8. They're expensive, but if you stick with Sigma or Tamron, you can get one for under $700 used. They're good lenses for the price as well.

    For portraiture, a 24-70 f/2.8 is a good lens. I think Sigma or Tamron have one for about $300 new.
     

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