Picking a first lens...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JMack, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. JMack

    JMack TPF Noob!

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    OK, I'm going to be picking up a used DSLR in the next week or so. I'm only looking at bodies because the complete kits available used are somewhat limited.

    Since this won't be coming with a kit lens, what would be a recommended lens? Not necessarily brand vs. brand. But for a SLR newbie looking to learn, doing mostly outdoors and action shots what would be a good range to start with? What should I look for or stay away from?
     
  2. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    28-75 Tamron f2.8 also has macro.
    Very good lens, I use it and recommend it.
     
  3. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    How much do you want to spend on the lens? That will be a big factor. Also, for specific lens suggestions, Nikon, Canon, or something else?

    Many cameras come with an 18-55mm lens included and that's a great all-around lens. For something with more reach and versatility, there's also a 18-200mm (Nikon, but I suspect others have similar). Some might suggest just a nice prime lens like a 50mm. There's a lot of lenses with different ranges and I think knowing what you're looking to spend on the lens will be a big factor in suggestions.
     
  4. Hybrid Designz

    Hybrid Designz TPF Noob!

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    50mm f/1.8 is a great lens - just a suggestion
     
  5. JMack

    JMack TPF Noob!

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    At this point the lens is likely to be for a Canon. I'm also looking at Nikon, but based on price, feel in the hands and that there are several photographers I could use as information resources that use Canon, I'm leaning towards Canon.

    As far as price, I'm not looking at over $500. And honestly, I'm trying to keep the costs down at least for the first lense. I see using this as a way to learn the use of the camera and as a way to gauge what future lenses may better suit what I'm doing. I understand the downside of going too cheap, but I'm hesitant to spend a lot of money before I truly understand what will be best for me.
     
  6. Nolan

    Nolan TPF Noob!

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    If your doing outdoor/action shots i would defiantly pick up a 105mm, its in between all out telephoto and just your standard 50mm lens. I have one and it works great for what you just described.
     
  7. Stamp

    Stamp TPF Noob!

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    Although that pretty much puts using it indoors out of the question, unless you're in a church or a massive building. I realize he says he wants to shoot outdoors and sports mostly, but I guarantee he'll want to use it inside and around the house to play with, and a 105 is too much for just having one single lens imo.
     
  8. JMack

    JMack TPF Noob!

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    That's a good point, but in response I can say that using this one predominantly outdoors would work as we have a bridge camera that still works well for family shots and such. Just doesn't do very well at a bike race.
     
  9. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    Nikon 16-85mm DX VR - if you are getting a Nikon
    Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS - if you are getting a Canon
     
  10. wtdeane

    wtdeane TPF Noob!

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    Outdoors almost demands a long lens, while action demands a fast lens. A long and fast lens will cost you.

    I would stick to a prime (fixed focal length) and buy the best you can afford. A 50mm lens (75mm focal length because you don't' have a full frame camera) is nice for some outdoor (not birding), but you will not be doing too many indoor party shots. If you want to take pictures of friends and family as group indoors, you will want a 35mm. (personally, my 35mm lis my general use lens. It's wide enough for close group shots, but not too wide to be relegated to landscape photography).

    Quality costs and you do not want to buy the lens again after you learn that what you saved in money is hampering you in quality. Also, by using a prime lens, you will hone your eye. Relying on a zoom to frame your shots teaches you BAD habits. You need to think and see as your lens does so you can see the shot in your head before you take an exposure. Then, taking it becomes secondary nature. if you have a crutch of a zoom, you will always be thinking about framing up and down the focal length.

    Granted, once you have trained your eye, this exercise becomes academic, but at the end, you have a great eye, a great fast prime lens and the specific knowledge of the next lens you want, because you are now looking to expand your view.

    I do hope that helps.

    Cheers!
     
  11. PatrickCheung

    PatrickCheung TPF Noob!

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    i second shockey's advice on the tamron 28-75mm f2.8 it's sharp (sharpest when stopped down) enough for beginners and its constant aperture is really nice. its usually always on my camera... unless i really need the 18mm (tight spaces, big landscapes). it's also inexpensive! gogogo.
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Go Nikon, stretch the lens budget a little and spend the time to track down a decent, used AF 80-200 mm f/2.8D at a good price.

    It will handle the outside action stuff well, is fast and though a bit short on reach, is a high quality lens that will let you crop your images to scale up your subjects.

    You'll need at least a Nikon D90 to have auto focus with that lens.
     

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