Help me choose my next lens...please!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Schwarzfischer, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Schwarzfischer

    Schwarzfischer TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post to TPF (or any photography forum for that matter), and as with any newbie, I need help. I'm looking for a lens mostly for macro, but good for all around indoor use as well. I've scoured the archives, but to no avail. I think I know what I want to do, but I'm looking to the anonymous masses to bolster my confidence. Here goes...
    My camera:
    - Rebel XT
    My current lenses:
    - EF-S 17-85
    - EF 70-300
    - EF 400/5.6L
    My 'narrowed' list of options
    - EF 50 1.8 + tubes (which ones and how many would I need)
    - EF 50 1.4 + tubes (same ? as above)
    - EF 50 2.5 macro
    - EF-S 60 2.8 macro

    I'm leaning heavily towards the 60mm, but I'm not sure what I could do with the 50mm/1.8 that I couldn't do with the 60mm. I also don't understand how to determine how much extension I'd need to make the 50/1.x equal to the 60mm. If it ends up being as big as my 400mm, then forget it.

    Most of my shooting is outdoors wildlife, and I want to be able to capture more plants, flowers, and bugs typically in bright daylight. The ability to shoot in low light might be nice, but it's not a necessity for me. If I saw that need, I could always go back and buy the 50/1.8 later.

    If you were limited to the list of options above, and money was no object up to a limit of $500, what package would you put together and why?

    Thanks, and hopefully I can post some photos to let you know how the recommendation worked out,
    Schwarzfischer
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    what about a close up lens for the EF 400 ? I am exploring the use of my canon close up lens at the moment with a 300 L , and I like it :) also with 400mm you have quite a distance to the subject you photograph.. whereas with any other macro you have to get pretty close...
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh, and welcome to the forum :)
     
  4. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    I have the Canon 60 EF-S F/2.8 and found it to be sharp and easy to use. I'm not a macro freak ... but enjoy the occasional flower or two. Some macros with the 60 can be found here:
    Backyard Stuff

    I wouldn't get the 50 2.5 compact macro as it is not a true 1:1 macro and requires an extension tube to obtain 1:1. This makes the Compact 50 $100+ more than the 60 macro.

    The 50 1.4 and 1.8 w/tubes would be okay if you have a need for a 50mm lens. I found 50s on APS-C sensor as not all that useful. But you have a different set-up than I so maybe a fast 50 would be used a lot. I don't think the stop or two will make that big of a dif on the macro side as one needs to stop down for all the DOF possible. The fast 50s may make a difference because there is a light drop off when a tube is attached. The thicker the tube the greater the magnification and a lessening of light transmission.

    Don't forget third party lens makers. Tamron makes a 90mm macro which is considered a bit of a classic performance wise. And Sigma just came out with 70mm which supposed to the the sharpest macro of the lot. Goto photozone.de to see lab testing and reviews of most macros.

    Canon's 100mm macro and the 60mm macro both focus internally ... which is a good thing as you won't scare off small animals as you rack out the lens barrel. But usually, you'll set the macro at a certain magnification and move the camera to obtain focus ... so internal focus may or may not come to play.

    If you plan to purchase a FF camera then the EF-S is not the lens for you.

    Gary

    60mm EF-S
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Schwarzfischer

    Schwarzfischer TPF Noob!

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    Alex, thanks for the welcome, and for adding yet another wrinkle in the list of options. What close up lens do you use with your 300, and how do you think it compares to a true macro lens?

    Seefutlung, I think you've hit what I'm looking for. I like your shots with the 60mm, and I've yet to see a need for a fast 50mm, but this is an addictive hobby...

    Thanks for the speedy replies, too,
    Schwarfischer
     

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