Need help buying my first set of lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mattgwinn, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. mattgwinn

    mattgwinn TPF Noob!

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    I will be starting photography classes soon so I am buying my first DSLR camera (Canon Rebel T1i). Although the school has lenses I can borrow, I would like to have a set of my own.

    I'm not quite sure what I will need as I take pictures of a wide variety of things. I guess I need a well rounded selection. Being inexperienced with buying separate lenses and being on a budget I was hoping you folks could help me.

    If you had $1500 to spend on your first set of lenses. What would you buy?
    Here are the Canon lenses that are in my price range:

    Standard Zoom Lenses
    EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (this is the lens that comes with the camera)
    EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II - $390
    EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 - $480

    Telephoto Zoom Lenses
    EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS - $300
    EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III - $270
    EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM - $320
    EF 100-300mm f/4-5.6 USM - $470

    Wide Angle Lenses
    EF 24mm f/2.8 - $490
    EF 28mm f/2.8 - $290
    EF 35mm f/2 - $390

    Standard & Medium Telephoto Lenses
    EF 50mm f/1.4 USM - $520
    EF 50mm f/1.8 II - $150

    Telephoto Lenses
    EF 135mm f/2.8 w/ Softfocus - $470

    Macro Lenses
    EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact - $400
    EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM - $470
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I'd use the schools lenses first and see which ones you like the most, then go from there.

    Hard to go wrong with a 50 1.8 though.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    I agree with the idea of waiting to buy your additional lenses. The lenses that you use most, will probably be based a lot on personal style and preference. And you won't know that until you have been shooting for a while.

    I'd suggest sticking with the EF-S 18-55mm lens and maybe adding the 50mm F1.8.

    Most of your list is the lower end of Canon's lenses. They are the least expensive, but the quality won't be as good as a more expensive lens. You may find that you really want a high quality lens, rather than three cheaper ones.

    There are still some great lenses, that don't cost as much. The 50mm F1.4 & the 85mm F1.8 are two examples. The EF-S 17-85mm IS or the EF 28-135mm IS are good 'all-around' lenses.

    There are even some top quality lenses that are fairly inexpensive. The EF 17-40mm F4 L and the 70-200mm F4 L are two examples that are around $700 each. (yes, that is a good deal for the quality you get).
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Save your money and wait to see what you like photographing before making a purchase.

    With $1500, you could get 1 L lens and a some accessories (flash for ex). But before making the plunge into an L lens, make sure you know what you want to do, and even that you want to do photography.

    The only one I would consider is the 50mm 1.8 for now.

    Why the T1i? One of my biggest regrets starting photography last year was buying a Rebel instead of the 40D.
     
  5. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    I think an excellent combo is the EF-S 17-85 IS and the 70-300mm IS. It covers a huge range and quality is very good for consumer lenses. These two have served me really well and can handle most photography situations. Combined, they should cost comfortably under $1500, which leaves room for a 50mm or some other accessory. I chose to add in a 50mm 1.8 and super-wide 10-22mm to give some more creative flexibility, but those first two are what I use the most.
     
  6. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    My thoughts on the 50 1.8......garbage. Get the 1.4 if you want a 50mm. Fast primes are not as flexible as zooms, but you can be more "artistic", get excellent image quality and it kind of forces you to think. I am a prime lens fan, but sometimes zooms are darn near necessary.
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Easy.

    50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 Macro.

    You should have a little left for a spare battery or memory card...
     
  8. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I would maybe trade that 50mm for something around a 35mm.
     

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