lens advice...canon 50mm or 85mm or 55-250mm..confused

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by g0bl0k, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. g0bl0k

    g0bl0k TPF Noob!

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    I also posted this question @ canon forum hoping that I could get more suggestions :)
    so I finally got my Xsi which came w/ the kit lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. I also ordered canon 50mm f/1.8 since it was pretty cheap, thought that it would be perfect for entry-level lens. For the past few days, I read all over this forum and other forum that 50mm f/1.8 was not a good choice, and I should've gone w/ 85mm f/1.8 with better build quality, sharper focus, better bokeh, etc. On the other hand, I also read that EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 lens is pretty good for entry-level lens.

    I know this has been asked a million times, but please convince me as I don't want to make the same mistake like I did on 50mm...
    I'm going to return the 50mm f/1.8 for sure and will add money for either 85mm or 55-250mm. Which one should I get, the 85mm f/1.8 or 55-250mm f/4-5.6? I understand that both lenses have different capabilities because one is prime lens (mainly for portrait) and the other is zoom lens (landscape or possible portrait?). But I'm looking for lens that is good for all-around-everyday-use type of lens, at least for a beginner like me. Any suggestion/comment will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    The 50mm F1.8 is certainly not the best lens around...but it's probably the best value (what you get for the money). I wouldn't return it.
    The 85mm F1.8 is a better lens, but it's also 3x the price.

    The EF-S 55-250mm is a new lens. I haven't heard any first hand reviews from people I know...but the first on-line reviews seem to say that it's pretty good...for an entry level lens. If you want a higher quality lens, look at the 70-200mm offerings.

    I would suggest that you be content with what you have (or have ordered). Use those for a while and see what you can do. After a few weeks or months, you will have a much better idea of what you will want or need next.
     
  3. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is no reason why nobody shouldnt have a 50mm F/1.4 or F/1.8
    They are excellent lenses!
     
  4. sburatorul

    sburatorul TPF Noob!

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    don't return the nifty fifty. since i got mine it seldom left my camera for the safety of my gear bag and i have the 1.8 too (nikon though) very good value for your money. i'd say raise money and get the 55-200 but don't return the 50. i'm doing the same.
     
  5. g0bl0k

    g0bl0k TPF Noob!

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    thank you all for your comments. it looks like 50mm is one of the favorite entry-level lenses :wink: what is the main difference between 50mm and 85mm besides 85mm has good bokeh and better build quality?
    i also noticed that some ppl use extension tube along w/ 50mm. what is extension tube and how does it affect your shots?
     
  6. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Extension tube reduce the minimum focusing distance of a lens, this allows you to get much closer to a small subject and do macro type shots without the expense of buying an actual macro lens.

    As you know the the 50mm 1.8 has a pretty cheap build quality, and a slower and noisy focusing motor, but it has very good optics especially for the price.

    The 50mm 1.4, and the 85mm 1.8, both have a more robust build, more aperture blades that produce a smoother bokeh, and they have Ultra Sonic focusing motors which are very fast and quiet. With the extra length of the 85mm it makes a very good choice for head shots and tighter portraits.
     
  7. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50mm was NOT a mistake! If you can get past the plastic feel and look at the image quality, you'll understand why.

    I upgraded to the 50mm f/1.4 due to the USM motor. The 50 f/1.8 is probably the best bang for the buck out there.
     
  8. g0bl0k

    g0bl0k TPF Noob!

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    ic...now Im leaning towards keeping the 50mm since most comments recommend me to keep it and use it as decent learning tool. :thumbup:
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A 50mm prime is never a mistake, I learned on 50mm primes, they are always my recomendation for beginners regardless of body.

    85mm f/1.8 would make for an exelent next lens, I have a manual one on the FD mount and I am loving it. Granted mine is a film body mount so yours will likely behave a little differently than mine but it does not make for any lesser of a lens.
     
  10. g0bl0k

    g0bl0k TPF Noob!

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    ok...after some intensive reading here and there, i've made up my mind. i will keep the 50mm f/1.8. thanks to all of your comments that convinced me enough to keep the lens. i guess 85mm and 55-250mm will have to wait..lol...these lenses could be my next purchase though. in the meantime, i'll have fun w/ my kit lens and 50mm f/1.8. again, thanks to all of you.
     

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