Just bought the camera, now I need Lenses!!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by JDHoward, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. JDHoward

    JDHoward TPF Noob!

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    I just bought my first DSLR, a used Canon 20D, to gain experience and see if professional photography is right for me. Now that I have the body, I need to get at least one quality lens to get me started. I'm not opposed to getting two right now, but obviously I need at least one. Also, I'm looking for lenses that would suit me well if I turn professional and possibly upgrade the body, or if I stick with photography as a hobby.

    I'm looking to test out a few forms of photography, such as sports, weddings and portrait (ideally in that order), so lenses that would work for two or all three of those areas would be great.

    Here are a few lenses I was looking at:
    • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM (Non-IS)
    • Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM
    • Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
    • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

    Those are the ones I've looked at online at great length. I'm not afraid to spend $1,000+ for my first (or second) lens if it's a good one. (I've essentially got $1,600 set aside, but I don't want to go crazy with it too fast.) I'm leaning towards to 70-200 F/2.8 first so I can start shooting sports. I know the IS would be better for other applications but I'd be shooing with a high enough shutter speed most of the time so I can't really justify the 50% higher price tag.

    Also, would it be worthwhile to get the Canon BG-E2N Battery Grip? How much does having that second shutter release and additional battery help?

    I appreciate any input you all have in the matter and I look forward to getting my first piece of glass.

    Also, does anyone have any tips on how to get started in the business of photography. Such as submitting photos to newspapers, photo contests, local photographers, a self-employed track, etc. It'll be great once I have the gear, but I'm clueless on what to do after that.

    Thanks,
    ~Jeff
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome aboard Jeff.

    The 20D is (still) a great camera.

    If sports is your first priority, then the 70-200mm would be a great lens. It's also good for weddings and portraits. I would recommend getting the IS version, because if you don't have it...you will wish you did....sooner or later.

    However, that lens is pretty long...and you may find yourself in some situations where it's just too long....so you might want another one first or in addition to that one.

    The 17-55 F2.8 IS, is a great lens and perfect for wedding photography. This one, in combination with the 70-200mm are the kit of choice for pro wedding shooters.

    The 24-70mm F2.8 L, is also a great lens but I find that to be an awkward focal length on this camera. 24mm just isn't wide enough for a lot of indoor stuff.

    The Sigma 30mm F1.4 can be a great lens. It's very sharp and is super fast. Focus accuracy can be an issue though (to be fair, it can be an issue with some Canon lenses as well).

    You might also consider the Canon 50mm F1.4 (or even the 50mm F1.8 because it's so cheap).
     
  3. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I got the canon 50mm 1.4 recently and a cannot stop recommending it to people its just great!
     
  4. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    I hope you enjoy the camera -- it's a nice one. I like Ryan's suggestion of a 50mm 1.4 -- I'm far from a pro, but understand that it's a lens that could be useful to one. Plus a fixed 50mm lens is (in my very, very humble opinion) great for learning with.

    Otherwise, the only thing I'd note is that the 17-55mm would not work on a full frame camera like the 5D. So if you're thinking you might switch to one of those in the future, the 24-70 might be a better choice.

    With regards to the battery grip, I don't have one and have never really seen the need -- I don't find the 20D uncomfortable shooting in vertical at all. (Though others swear by them, of course.) It may be one of those things where you might want to see how you feel -- if you start finding that you shoot in vertical a lot and are finding it uncomfortable, then maybe picking up a grip is a good idea.
     
  5. lextalionis

    lextalionis TPF Noob!

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    Jeff,

    You picked some good ones. I agree with Big Mike and the IS on the 70-200. I use the 70-200 f/4L non-IS and still love it. I also use the ef-s 17-55 2.8 IS and love it too. The Sigma 30 1.4 is a sweet lens, but try before you buy to make sure you get a good copy.

    All these lenses have a sample photo showcase in my Lens Photo Review Gallery. It will give you exif details (camera etc.) and ability to download a high-res sample, have a look.

    -Roy
     
  6. JDHoward

    JDHoward TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the input.

    I just purchased the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM today and hope the expedited shipping gets it here by Friday. (Why hasn't it shipped yet!!! It's been 20 minutes!! :D) I'm going to my friend's band's CD release show that night and figured this would be the best all-around lens to start with. So, hopefully I'll be able to get some good shots on the first weekend with the new gear.

    I've also been looking into flashes, tripods and cases/backpacks as well. Any suggestions there. Obviously a tripod with a ball head, but beyond that, I don't know what I'm looking at. And I'm not sure if the 580EX II is overkill or would a 550EX or 430EX be adequate enough?

    Again, I appreciate the help and pointing out the situational differences between the lenses.

    Thanks,
    ~Jeff
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Tripods are really a personal choice. Some are taller than others, some are lighter or heavier, some are more or less expensive. If you can, find a store with a good selection and get a hands on look at them. Tripod heads as well...plenty of options available so get something that is comfortable to you. I like Manfrotto/Bogen personally.

    Sorry to say it...but it's also the same deal with bags, cases and backpacks etc. It's really a personal choice. I can certainly recommend the Lowepro brand of bags.

    As for the 580EX vs the 430EX. That has been discussed before...search around and you should be able to find what has already been said. The 580EX II...is the replacement for the 580EX. It has a few new upgrade, some of them useful, some not.
     
  8. JDHoward

    JDHoward TPF Noob!

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    Just wanted to say that I'm loving the camera and lens. Here's a few samples of what I've taken. I've edited them using the free trial of Aperture just to see how it works and if I like it. I know the pictures aren't perfect, but it was a learning experience. All of them were taken handheld with only the natural light (or lack there of for the band shots). Now I just can't wait to get out into the sun with the gear.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Honestly I think your entire list would be good but if you have to pick one I think the best all around lens would be the 70-200 2.8.
     
  10. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    If your shooting sports i would definitely get a battery grip. The extra shutter is so nice when shooting tons of shots vertically which is most of the time when shooting sports
     
  11. ddm1975

    ddm1975 TPF Noob!

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    I know you've already made your purchase, but I would go for the 50 1.4 for your next lens. I shoot with the 20D and it's by far my favorite lens!

    Danielle
     
  12. M_Werner1

    M_Werner1 TPF Noob!

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    Is the battery grip really worth the money for the battery or or is it worth it for the better grip on the camera??
     

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