Starter Lens for the 30D

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by 5nap5hot, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. 5nap5hot

    5nap5hot TPF Noob!

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    Welp... I am about to finish my Beginner Photography course and have signed up for Intermediate. To celebrate I am buying myself a Canon 30D. I hope to go semi-pro. What lens would you recommend for a good all-around lens?? My instructor said to get a fast lens. Anyone?..... Bueller? ;)

    PS my current equipment is a Canon AE-1 with a 50mm lens. :D
     
  2. 964

    964 TPF Noob!

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    What is the budget for the lens? What do you want to do with it?
     
  3. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    This is a very broad open question as you didnt say what type of photography you enjoy or what you plan on doing as a semi-pro.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    An ideal choice might be the EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS
    It has a 'normal' range of focal lengths on that camera. It is fast, with a max aperture of F2.8. It has Image Stabilizer which will help you get sharper shots at lower shutter speeds.

    On the down side, it's an EF-S lens...which means it will only work on the 'crop factor' cameras like the 30D, 20D, Rebel XT etc. If you one day upgrade to a full frame DSLR, the EF-S lens will not work. However, it would be great with a 30D and would probably hold it's value quite well.

    Speaking of Value...it's a really expensive lens. Almost as much as the camera, I think.

    If your budget is not so big. I suggest getting the 'kit' lens. (EF-S 18-55) and supplementing that with a 50mm F1.8 which is only $100 CDN or so.
     
  5. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

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    Another alternative would be the EF-S 17-85mm USM IS lens, might be a bit pricey but you're getting what you pay for. ;)
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    This lens is said to be of fairly good quality (better than the kit lens for sure) and it does have IS. However, it's not fast at F4-5.6

    How do you like your 50mm on your AE-1? The closest thing to that would be a 28mm or 30mm prime.
     
  7. Hyperion

    Hyperion TPF Noob!

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    I just bought myself a camera yesterday. I went with the XT instead of the 30D. The lense I paired it with was the EF 28-135 F3.5-5.6 IS USM. You lose some of the wide angle that you would get from the EF-S 17-85 but it is faster, cheaper ( by about $100 or so), and can fit full frame cameras.
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I'll quote what I said in another thread:

    The Canon 50mm/f1.8 is hard to beat for it's value. Even if you get a zoom, get this one too.
     
  9. You know, I'm not sure I agree with not getting a zoom and getting a fixed focal length. The technology is there, and it is part of photography. On some level there are people who also argue that you should shoot film first, and then move to digital. That is hogwash.

    The reason (in my mind) to get a fixed focal length lens is that it makes photography much more of a "contact sport." You have to move your butt to frame the picture perfectly. With a zoom lens, the temptation is to put the thing up to your face, and to try and compose an image by pumping the lens back and forth until you find a framing you like. With a fixed focal length lens, you gotta move around. You become part of the action, and you are no longer a voyeur or a lurker. When a person is moving around a crowd or a space with a black piece of technology stuck to his/her head, suddenly that person needs to be interacted with. If you're shooting people, they know you're there. They wil look at you, and respond to you. It's different. I highly recommend it.
     
  10. 5nap5hot

    5nap5hot TPF Noob!

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    I am a student. I will need the lens to do a variety of different types shots depending on my assignment. I find the fixed 50mm on my AE-1 sort of frustrating because many times there is a shot I want... that I can't get because I can't move to the area to take it. (fences/security/high places/water obstacles,ect.)
    That being said, I am still considering getting a 50mm/f1.8 prime lens because it's a fast lens.
    The budget ... the lens should not cost more than the camera body. ;-)
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Lenses can get expensive, but the good news is that they hold their value very well, compared to most things these days.

    The kit lens (18-55) is only about $100 extra when buying the camera. It's not a great lens but it's certainly decent for the price and the focal range is good. The 17-85 IS, that Xmetal suggested, would be a nice upgrade if you want something better than the kit lens. Either way, get the 50mm F1.8...it's so cheap that no EOS owner should be without one.
     
  12. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    There's a bigger problem with this. Moving around may get people's attention, and they may be good or bad depending, but if you zoom to compose, you introduce focal length "distortion" based on composition. I personally think that it should be a conscious choice. If you are going to shoot a portrait at 35mm, I think there should be an intended use for the balloon-head look you're going to get. Telephotos will compress distance, so that should be a conscious choice also. Otherwise you are leaving a major compositional element to chance based on where you happen to be standing. If you are shooting photojournalistically, you get what you can get, so that's different.

    This is why I think zooms are dangerous for people who are learning photography. There are people who have been shooting a while that still leave focal length to chance and don't really see the difference.

    Things have gotten mixed up with digital, but with film, I think the lens *should* cost more than the body. The body is just a light-tight box. It can have all sorts of do-dads on it, but that's basically what it is. The lens is what delivers that light. I hope UPS spends more on their trucks than I did on my mailbox.
     

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