Help - Lens buying

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by GreenSlime89, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. GreenSlime89

    GreenSlime89 TPF Noob!

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    I've recently bought a Canon EOS 20D body only. I am interested in buying a standard lens and a telephoto lens maybe 70mm-300mm. I was wondering if you could let me know what you think of getting lenses from the internet, I think they might get damaged in the mail, and what Brittish sites you would recommend, if any. Also would you recommend EF mounts or EF-S mounts, Sigma, Tamron or Canon lenses. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.

    Oh yeah, my price range for a lens could maybe go up to £300, I'm still at school and don't have a part time job, but I can get a job during the summer and stuff.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The standard kit lens that usually comes with the camera, EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6...is a good choice for someone on a tight budget. You may be able to find a good deal on it, since a lot of people get it with their cameras and then upgrade. If you have a little more to spend, then maybe look at a Sigma or Tamron in the 17-50mm range.

    For a good quality telephoto...look at a Canon 70-200mm. The F4 version is a very good lens...as is the F2.8 version, but that's really expensive. For a less expensive telephoto, look at the 70-300 lenses...there are several to choose from.

    I would also recommend a prime (non-zoom) lens. They aren't very expensive and they are better optically than the zooms. The 50mm F1.8 is the least expensive and a pretty good lens. Also, the maximum aperture of F1.8 is really nice to have.
     
  3. GreenSlime89

    GreenSlime89 TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure, the magazine I have a subscription to says that you could get that lens for £7 extra when you buy a body. I can get a 50mm F1.8 lens for £70 so that's gonna be my first choice for just now.
    I was thinking of a 70-300mm too, sigma are pretty good quality right?
    I'd love sigma's 800mm lens, it's £4000, but I can dream can't I?:D
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good choice :thumbup:

    Sigma is a good brand, but like everyone else...they have good lenses and not so good lenses. Usually the easy way to tell...is by the price. You get what you pay for. (the 50mm F1.8 could be an exception to that rule. It is built cheaply...but optically it's very good...a good deal for the price.)

    Absolutely. When I dream of lenses...it's of Canon L lenses... :drool:
     
  5. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    sounds like the 70-300mm IS would be a good choice for you. around the same price as a 70-200mm f4 L, but with an extra 100mm and IS. good lens from what i've heard. ive only used it a few times, but it has USM
     
  6. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Think carefully before buying a long zoom for a couple of reasons.
    first off - do you actually need it?
    because it has such a large focal length the optical quality will be decent but no more than that. And again because of it's length you might be fairly limited in where you can use it.
    secondly - don't fall into the trap i did of buying a longer lens thinking it'll improve your shots.
    On the contrary - it may depress you. A long focal length and therefore powerful zoom will exaggerate any imprrfections or flaws in your technique so if you have a bit of camera shake it'll be exaggerated at the high end and look worse.

    i bought one - a Canon 75-300 IS and thought it was great but when i got my L lenses, i pretty much stopped using the 75-300. And if you check my signature you'll see my L lenses aren't as long as the 75-300 - even still i never used it again and decided to sell it.

    I don't regret it at all.

    unless you're dead set on getting one and take shots of nesting birds, wildlife, or details in buildings i'd suggets getting a shorter higher quality lens to improve your technique and learn how to use the camera before getting a lens that will require quite a bit of light to shoot at a speed of at least 1/500.

    it's 1/500 because the slowest shutter speed should be 1/focal length. And since the 20D has a 1.6 crop factor it effectively makes the 300, the equivalent of a 480. Hence at 300mm you'll need 1/500. Increase the ISO because the aperture will be around f5 at that length.

    like i said, a shorter better lens may be more useful since it can be used day to day and help you practice.
     
  7. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    with the IS you wouldnt need 1/500 at all. From everything i've read, you should be able to get at least 1/60 from the 70-300 IS.

    I kind of disagree with the above post. I think having the option of longer focal length will encourage creativity. When I first gained access to some longer zooms, I think my creative photos drastically improved. You can only do SO MUCH with your standard 18-55mm lens. Anything extra wide or extra long is going to make your photos inherently more interesting. It gives you an edge that most other digicams and p&s cameras don't have.
     
  8. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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  9. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I was quoting a general rule of thumb with the focal length and shutter speed. I'd also point out that IS isn't as good as going from 1/500 to 1/60 "at least". it'll give you 2 stops, maybe 3. In other words 1/60 at best. 1/500 min. 1/250, 1/125 1/60 is your 3 stop improvement that IS can give. so 1/60 is the best while adhering to the general rule of thumb. Any less than that and camera shake is a probability.
    Having used and owned one I'm fairly well placed to quote these figures.
    The original poster didn't ask about IS so i never mentioned it in my reply.

    A larger range of focal lengths within a lens means the manufacturer has to sacrifice some quality. I'd also suggest there is much more to a lens than just sharpness. It may be fairly sharp but is "fairly sharp" good enough?

    I used to own a 75-300 IS with USM so i'm talkng from experience, not "From everything i've read".

    And the trap with a longer lens is that you can get images others can't. So it may lead to laziness with composition, and thinking that super zoomed shots are better. You're right in that it may give you an edge, but does having an edge mean it's more creative? or better?

    A longer zoom will exaggerate flaws in technique so you may find that shots are poorer because of shake, blur etc even with the IS.

    I think you'll find many of the photographers on this forum (including yourself) don't have lenses of that type with a really large focal range.

    Greenslime didn't say what he/she liked to shoot so that's why i suggested thinking carefully. Would a flash gun be a better buy? a battery pack? a good tripod? Lots of things will improve photography especially for a beginner.

    It is a decent lens but that doesn't mean you should just go an buy it.
     
  10. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    Believe me, its all I can do right now to keep from buying either the 300mm f4 IS, or the 100-400mm IS, or the 400mm f5.6. But if I dont buy an engagement ring soon, my gf will kill me. I often run up against the limitations of the 200mm limit on my zoom. I absolutely know that i could use another 200mm of zoom.

    I agree that a longer focal length can exaggerate flaws, but you could make that argument for almost any lens. Many people have difficulty composing with a super wide angle, or with a very shallow depth of field.

    regarding shutter speeds, I know that personally I have and can handhold my 200mm at probably 1/125 no problem, so for ME, the IS should at least let me go down to 1/15. that's a guess really, but it shouldnt be impossible. But then again, I shoot with a tripod pretty heavily, so I dont have to worry about shutter speeds if its even remotely dark because i mount it on my tripod. Another good thing to mention when talking about these long focal lengths. A tripod can be extremely helpful.

    I agree that there are probably lots of other things that might help this person improve, I was just trying to give them some suggestions per their mention of a telephoto zoom.
     
  11. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i think it all depends on style........lense with long focal lenght is practically useless if you dont use it....same applies to short focal lenght lense.....having the convenience is good.....but given that you are on a tight budget.....i would suggest you wait until you really feel the need of it....then go ahead and get it.....dont rush into traps......think about what you need before making the purchase.....peace
     
  12. GreenSlime89

    GreenSlime89 TPF Noob!

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    I've got a problem now, I think the mount might not be metal, rather plastic. Does this mean I should avoid it like the plague?
     

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