Canon Zoom Lense Suggestions Needed!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ckeiner, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. ckeiner

    ckeiner TPF Noob!

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    Hello Everyone!

    My name is Corey and I am new to the world of photography and even newer to this sight so I apologize if this should go somewhere else. I also have searched for a while and haven't quite gotten the answer I'm looking for.

    Here's the dilemma. I have a Canon Rebel K2 (SLR). I want to branch out into some more areas of photography and would like to know what suggestions there are for a good (but reasonably priced) zoom lens. From what I understand I think I'm looking for something up to 300mm/500mm range? I also have heard that if I do get a zoom lens and then get extension rings I will be able to dip into macro shots as well? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm going to be using if for general purpose - landscapes / wildlife / live motion - anything that would be better off with a zoom lens. I also want to try some macro shots like up close flowers and bees etc.

    I'd like to find a reasonable, good quality lens and save up for it rather than getting bad results from a very cheap lens, but I don't need the high end stuff either - Off brands would be an option too.

    What do you think? Thanks for any advice I can get.
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Well, it's better to take shots with a 'mediocre' lens now, than nothing with a good lens far off in the future.
     
  3. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Bigma 50-500
    canon 100-400
    sigma 170-500
    sigma 100-300 f/4
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Nobody buys a 500mm lens for general purpose shooting. I think you better nail down what exactly you like to shoot, and what focal lengths you need.

    Finding one zoom lens to cover every focal lenght you'll ever need is not wise. It's just not going to be a good lens.

    Extension tubes work best with prime lenses, specifically a 50mm.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good advice. My recommendation is always to buy the narrowest zoom range available. 3X is about as far as I'm willing to go and I find even those to be pretty soft in the corners. The more focal lengths a zoom lens covers the more compromises in its design.

    Telephoto lenses have a strange attraction to beginners. I can't tell you why. But they are harder to use and less useful than shorter lenses. Get up close to your subjects. Use your feet. They are the most important tool in effective composition.
     
  6. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I think it's because there's a promise that you won't miss a shot when the subject is too far.

    The sad fact is that the wide angle closeups are the best part of photography, especially for photojournalism, people and lots of other stuff. Digital and the crop factor killed the wide angle. Everybody is shooting with a 28-70 and 70-200 on the crop sensors nowadays.

    UWA crop zooms are changing it a bit, but the general trend is still in the other direction.

    IMO unless you're shooting professionally, there's no need for a lens that's longer than 100mm on a crop sensor.
     
  7. Dylan

    Dylan TPF Noob!

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    here here. Wide angle lenses are nice for landscape work however if you're looking to get into wildlife/live motion shots you will need a longer zoom. that said, Matt is right "Nobody buys a 500mm lens for general purpose shooting". So it sounds like you will need two lenses. I'd suggest you get something like this to start. This is a nice all around lens to start you off. you won't need extensions to get a decent macro shot either.
     
  8. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    I have sigma 70-300 mm APO DG and it is fabolous. 500mm is way too far IMO... it is big and heavy. ok it works great in the woods when you are waiting for wild animals in a bush or a special tent but not necesarilly for everyday photography
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't include me with "everyone." The 12-24 wide angle zoom is my most used lens with 17-55 as the second most used. I have an 80-200 zoom but I don't use it very often at all. I think beginners have been fascinated by long lenses forever - certainly longer than the existence of digital cameras.
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I second the Doc's opinion; with crop sensors wide-angle photography is not easy to achieve without spending a lot of money. My kit lens is 18mm at its widest, which equates to just under 28mm in 35mm terms. Prior to this I had been using a 19mm and a 19-35mm zoom with film. Both were cheap but did a very good job. Personally I never felt the need for anything wider than 19mm, but 19mm was useful and I shot at 24mm a lot. 35mm is probably my favourite focal length. My first non-disposable camera (Olympus XA2) had a fixed 35mm lens, and for me it was ideal. Now with my dSLR and kit lens, 24mm equivalent is impossible (I'd need 16mm) and the 35mm equivalent isn't great in terms of detail and sharpness. Meanwhile my 50mm primes - which were themselves often not quite wide enough for me but made up for it with sharpness, bokeh and useability in low light - are now 75mm, which is even less useful to me.

    Thing is a 12-24mm zoom is expensive, as is a prime in that sort of focal length. When you can buy a couple of zoom lenses and a 50mm prime too for the same price, it's understandable that so many people would choose to go down that route and adapt to that style of photography rather than shoot wide-angle.

    I think a range is useful... sometimes it's not practical to get close to your subject and sometimes it's physically impossible, so it helps to have a longer lens (especially since you can only crop so much). But the same applies with wide-angle; sometimes you need a wide field of view, and if you keep walking backwards trying to get everything in the frame you'll walk into a wall, road, river etc. Wide-angle is great. But for reasons of cost the average kit is much more likely to include 300mm than 12mm.
     
  11. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    If you are serious then that has to be one of the most untrue statements I have every seen... at least you label it as an opinion. By saying this you are saying that wildlife shooters, amatuer sport shooters, transportation shooters, and probably a bunch of other genres that NEED longer lenses shouldnt have them unless they are a professional?

    Anywho... I agree that really you should look at your current shooting and what range you feel you need based on your outcome. All of the lenses that DocFrankenstein listed are decent or better... so if your shooting requirements are in that focal range they are ways to go. I have personally shot with the Canon 100-400L and the Sigma 50-500, and both are fine lenses. Probably the best inexpensive way to get going and see where you want to be is look into some used gear from here or another classifieds and try out lenses in the 70-200, or 70-300 range. For used or slightly outdated glass (that still functions perfect) it will save you quite a bit from new, and generally glass retains its worth unlike camera bodies. Maybe even go to a local camera store and just try out a couple midrange lenses with your camera body to see if they "feel" right to you... honestly no one is going to be able to dictate a lens to you since you are going to be the one that has to live with your purchase.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maybe. I went to B&H to do a little research. The Sigma 10-20 zoom is $499 and the Tamron 11-18 is $549. I know a pro who uses the Sigma and swears by it. I would be willing to guess the Tamron is just as good. I would also be willing to bet they are both comparable to my Nikkor 12-24 in terms of optical performance.

    There were some wide angle through normal to modest telephoto zooms for even less than these super wide angle zooms.

    The Sigma 70-200 (comparable quality to the wide angle zoom) is $889. There are some very cheap telephoto zooms but they aren't in the same class as the wide angle zooms available at B&H. The comparison would be a high quality lens against a low quality one and that isn't really fair.

    Why aren't there cheap ($150) wide angle zooms? My guess is demand (beginners like long lenses) rather than design and manufacturing costs. The people who want a WA zoom are looking for better image quality and buy better lenses. Those people apparently pay more for a telephoto zoom than a wide angle zoom.

    Wide angle photography takes some effort. It is easier to include more than you need in the frame to make a composition interesting and hard to exclude it. Wide angle photography usually means getting up close and personal with your subject - something that some photographers view with discomfort. Wide angle photography accentuates perspective distortion and is difficult to control if the photographer indeed wants to control it.

    My wife asked what I want for Christmas. I told her a I wanted a 10.5mm full frame Nikkor fisheye. Looking forward to that.
     

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