What can I do with this lens Canon EFS 18-55 f3.5-5.6 kit lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rfosness88, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    So i have a Canon 40D, I have yet to take a picture with an SLR. I just ordered this lens "Canon EFS 18-55 f3.5-5.6 kit lens" lack of funds and experience.

    From what I understand with an 18-55mm I will mainly use this lens for wide angle shots such as landscapes, and the 55mm range will let me do portraits?

    Is there any thing I should watch out for or be aware of when using this lens?

    Thanks,
    Richie
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lens will be sharp so long as you know its limitations. It is not a low light lens, so if you need to use it indoors, you are either going to be working from a tripod, with a dedicated (or on camera flash), or by kicking your ISO setting up. However, if most of your shots will be taken outside, or in well lit indoor settings, you should be fine.

    Remember this mantra: "Just because its kit, don't make it ****!"
     
  3. TheUndisputed

    TheUndisputed TPF Noob!

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    The 18-55mm is a pretty universal lens. There is a lot you can do with it, and a lot you can't. It is a good starter lens. I am looking to upgrade to a different lens, but I use an 18-55mm AF-S VR f/3.5-5.6 on my Nikon.

    Good starter lens.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Point - shoot - practice - experience - experiment

    What a lens will or will not do is limited only to your vision with the image you are wanting to create. You can take shots of wildlife and birds with an 18-55mm lens and have them come out great - you just have to compose the image correctly to get the right effect - or have insane fieldcraft+luck to get close. You won't get a full frame filling shot but one could take a landscape shot with it of flying birds for example.

    So really the best thing is to get the lens and then play with it and see how it fits your shooting style and your eye for images - you might find it perfect for what you need or you might find that it has its limits for you - that is when you start looking at other lenses to extend you photographic capacity
     
  5. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    Great! Thanks guys im super excited!
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    If you haven't used an SLR before...then this is probably a good lens to get you started.

    I wouldn't worry about the type of shots you should or shouldn't take with this lens...just have fun with it and shoot whatever you want. After a few months (or maybe years) you will have a much better idea of what you like to shoot and how you like to shoot it...then you will be in a better state of mind to evaluate you lens.

    One thing to be aware of (with any lens) is your shutter speed. If your shutter speed drops too low and you are shooting hand held or moving subjects...then you will get blurry photos. This lens is considered a 'slow lens' meaning that you may tend to get slower shutter speeds when the light is not great...so keep an eye on the shutter speed and if it drops below (1/50 for example) then you may want to turn up the ISO setting.
     
  7. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    You don't need to look out for anything in particular...it is a pretty decent lens for it's category..

    The Canon optics are high quality, although you don't get into some serious quality control, multi-coatings, and extreme engineering until you get the L series, with a much higher cost involved.

    Get yourself a UV haze or Skylight filter to screw in the end so you don't have to worry about scratching or damaging the front element, and a hood is nice to help with any unwanted side glare.

    Since it's not the best optics you can find, you need to help the glass as much as possible... Don't expect fantastic shots at high ISO values. Good lighting is a must.

    The inner barrel extends out from the main barrel a fair amount during zooming and is susceptible to hard knocks, so be careful swinging the camera around...

    Snap a couple of thousand shots with this lens, decide what range you feel is your best "feel", and then consider which lens to get next..
     
  8. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    I feel better, i was a little worried that the lens is a POS....
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Compared to top quality lenses, it is sort of a POS...but may also be the best $100 zoom lens you will find for your camera. It's got a terrible reputation (mostly on the internet) and I think that is largely due to how it feels. It's very light and feels like a toy compared to better quality lenses.
    Like most lenses, it's at its' best when the aperture is stopped down a little ways. So it will probably be much better at F8 to F11 rather than F3.5 to F5.6.
     
  10. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    ok so i have my aperture around F8-F11 so my shutter speed will be longer, and i will probably need a tripod so it doesnt blur?
     
  11. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    Well... yes, and maybe...

    You can easily see the shutter speed and if it is below 1/30 or so, or if you are not a pretty solid person, then a tripod may be necessary. But don't lock yourself into thinking that you always have to shoot at f8, just be more conscious of your depth of field and shutter speed at more wide-open moments..

    It's probably more important that you learn about your camera than the lens for a while.. Learn how it behaves if you turn the ISO up, find out about white balance and know that your camera will bracket your shots on either side of your exposure in both white balance or f-stop with the motor drive....... You might be amazed at what you can do...
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    I should have added to my previous post that to shoot at F8 to F11 (or smaller (higher number)) you may need plenty of light.

    But as you mention, yes a tripod is also an option if you are not shooting moving subject.

    Many photographers, including myself, have made great shots with that cheap lens...and by putting it on a tripod and using a smaller aperture like F8 to F16, you can make the most of it.

    Again, I wouldn't worry about any of this for right now...just start shooting and having fun with your new camera.
     

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