Buying a new lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by deliveryguy, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. deliveryguy

    deliveryguy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey guys! I'm a bit new to all this; I'm trying to learn as much as I can so I can start taking some nice shots.

    I'm looking at a lot of different lenses right now because all I have is the 18-55mm kit lens and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I use the 50 for portraits and any sort of low lighting photography and I save the kit lens for landscapes and any photos where I can't "zoom with my feet".

    Does this seem like reasonable usage? I know the kit lens has a shorter focal length so it can capture a wider angle (scenery), and the 50 can take more light in quicker but it has a pretty restrictive focal length.


    I've been looking around for a decent lens to expand my abilities; I'm torn between getting a macro lens (I would LOVE to take macro pics) and a decent all-purpose lens.

    I was wondering:

    What makes the following lens so much better than the kit lens that comes with the XSi?

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-17-50mm-Aspherical-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000EXR0SI/ref=cm_cmu_pg__header]Amazon.com: Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP ZL Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo[/ame]

    Do you have any suggestions with regard to a f/2.8 macro lens with a focal length short enough for portraiture? I'm hoping to spend less than $500. Any advice would be awesome :).
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,255
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    It can open to a wider aperture, and the wide aperture stays constant as you zoom the lens.

    Unfortunately, it is a DI-II (Canon EF-S) lens and will not work on higher end (EF only) Canon camera bodies.

    Also unfortunate is the part of the lens discription:

    or put another way, forget about getting sharply focused images. ;)

    You need to search online for other reviews of the lens.

    Canon makes some very nice Macro lenses, this one in particular: Canon U.S.A. : Consumer & Home Office : MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo
     
  3. DanFinePhotography

    DanFinePhotography TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Redmond, OR
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would go with a better lens, you have limited lenses with only the kit lens as I have learned with my Rebel, the kit lens is not even DECENT IMO, The 50 2.8 is a pretty tight lens, but get something else that has a nice zoom range and lowest possible F/ stop number. Look to pay 400-600 for a piece of quality glass.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,417
    Likes Received:
    10,678
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    FTFY
     
  5. mrsmacdeezy

    mrsmacdeezy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma, Wa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I just bought my first lens besides the kit lens that came with the xsi (an 85mm 1.8), but not before I spent about 2 months researching lenses, reading LOTSSSS or reviews, and thinking long and hard about what I really wanted. 2 months might seem a bit excessive, but the more time you spend on it the easier it is to narrow down your decision based on what you lean.

    In my opinion, I would say since you are really interested in macro pics to start there. But seriously, read, read and READ those reviews! Google your brain out! I'm really just starting out so at first I felt like I was diving into it head first totally blind, but the more I read the easier it became to define what I wanted (the 85mm 1.8). I could hardly find a bad review about it, and the fact that so many people absolutely love it made me more confident in my choice.

    Or, if there is a certain thing you just LOVE to take pics of, like butterflies, flowers, flies... etc... google what is a good lens to take pics of ____? That's a good starting point.

    Good luck on your lens hunt!! I know it's overwhelming because I was just there when I started my hunt a few months back!
     
  6. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Definitely narrow down where you want to start. By no means do you have to decide you're interested in Macro and get five lenses into it. I bought a versatile lens (paid for that versatility), 18-270mm, because I was just starting out and it offers such a great range for when you're just starting out. From there I'll be going with a wider, higher quality, faster wide angle then down the road who knows. The point is you can try different things and as long as you put thought and research behind them you'll be fine.

    Differences in lenses are staggering. There is a physics in these optics and how they're engineered matters, a lot. Also the quality of the lens elements themselves have a big impact on the final image that makes it to the sensor. You're also asking about a f/2.8 lens which means its maximum aperture size is several stops greater than a kit lens, this means you can open the aperture to a larger size, allowing more light which significantly affects your final product. Having a lens with a wider aperture (smallest f/#; referred to as fast glass) means you can open that aperture wider and thus either lower the ISO, increase the shutter speed, etc. These factors can become very important in certain situations such as low light, very fast motion, etc. A lens is typically sharpest a few stops down from its widest aperture so with your kit your sharpest f/value would be in the f/5-f/8 range. If, for instance, your kit lens is f/3.5-5.6 then at your widest you would want to shoot ~f/5 and at your furthest ~f/8. This means with your f/2.8 stopped down to f/3.5 you would get a sharper photograph than your kit lens wide open at f/3.5. Down the road it will make a big difference to you. These are all things to learn first, then apply to lens decisions.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

buying a new lens