What else do I need? (Canon XSi)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Pointandshooter, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Pointandshooter

    Pointandshooter TPF Noob!

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    I was at my kid's soccer game with a dummycam remenacing about the good pictures I used to be able to take when I had my Canon AE1. I was somewhat serious about photography back then and still have 4 boxes of prints/slides from those days. When marriage, job, moves, children came along, I sold the camera and all of the lenses. :(

    Behold, my wife heard me and bought me a Canon XSi kit for my b-day with permission to spend a few $$$ on lenses (I do stress the word, "few"). Financially, we are a long more secure then we were when we first got married but we are still watch our spendings.

    My main interest right now is my children including typical family portraits, the odd weddings, outdoor hiking/cycling, indoor/outdoor soccer games, indoor dance recitals, indoor concerts.

    My kit lens is a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.

    I am thinking that I should add a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 ($130ish) and a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS ($300ish) to my bag as my first two quick and cheap additions.

    The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM is on sale for $199 right now ($149 with no USM); I have heard bad things about the lens but for the price, can't help but wonder.

    Just wondering, for my needs, am I making good choices? Assuming I have a $500 budget.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    For your uses, it sounds like you will be OK with the 18-55mm IS & either the 55-250mm or the 75-300mm. They are not high quality lenses, but certainly good enough. I don't know a lot about the 55-250mm, but I like that is has IS. IS will help to prevent blur from camera shake, but will not help to freeze the blur of a moving subject...only a fast shutter speed can do that....and that brings me to my next point. All of the lenses mentioned (besides the 50mm) are 'slow' lenses....their max aperture is in the F3.5 to F5.6 range....which can make it hard to get fast shutter speeds in lower light.
    Having the 50mm F1.8 on hand, can certainly help with that, but you would be limited to just that focal length.

    There are plenty of options for 'faster' lenses...but they can get expensive...so you may only want to look at them if you feel you really need them.

    Another thing to consider is a flash. Very handy for weddings, and any indoor shooting. The camera does have a built-in flash...but the best thing you can do to improve you flash photography, is to bounce it off of walls/ceiling....and to do that properly, you need a flash that can tilt & swivel. My recommendation would be the Canon 430EX...although the 270EX is a less expensive model if the budget is tight.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What are you planning on shooting? You mentionned being at a kid's soccer game, so is this going to be your main shooting interest?

    If so, you are looking at a telephoto as your next important purchase. Alot of places sell the 55-250 as a kit lens, and its a decent starter lens. Its not fast, but it has IS and a decent reach. What you should be looking at is the 70-200 f/2.8 IS, but this is over $1500, out of budget.

    Do you really need the 50mm right now? I dont think so. Its a cheap lens to buy and it should be part of your kit, but if your need is to shoot your kids doing sports, then I'd skip on that lens for now as you can get the 50mm with the 18-55 you have with the kit.

    I'd look at the Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS. BH has it for $550, so its slightly over budget. It has a bit longer reach than the 55-250, but I find the image quality is that much nicer that is worth the extra price. The aperture width is the same on both lenses.

    Once you start getting back into photography and are seeking more things to photograph and need a lower light lens, then the 50mm is an option and isn't too expensive.
     
  4. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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  5. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50mm 1:1.8 is a must. It's the best glass for the money. Not very versitile, but for those portraits of the kiddos, it's awesome. Maybe look at a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. You can usually find one of those for around $300-400.

    Also the 75-300 should be fine for good daylight pics. I've never had any problems out of mine, except that the lens retaining ring is cracked from an accident that should have shattered the entire lens.
     
  6. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    I have the 75-300 cheapo version(non is ,non usm) and unless you constantly shoot at F8 and are ok with mediocre images then get it. But I would not recommend it. Maybe look at the 70-200 F4L [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-70-200mm-Telephoto-Zoom-Cameras/dp/B000053HH5]Amazon.com: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo[/ame] I think you would be much happier with image quality. Although none of the lens that you listed will really help with indoor/low light shoots. You will need at least a lens with F2.8 or lower. I have the 50 1.4 and love it.
     
  7. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    The 50mm 1.4 is great for low light. That's what I use for pictures of my 6month old everyday. I'm no pro, and just starting out, but for me, it has been a great investment so far. I think I paid about $350 for it from Adorama. I did tons of research before buying it, mostly for the purpose of taking the pictures of my son, and everywhere I looked, there was nothing but good reviews for intentions. Just an idea.
     
  8. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin TPF Noob!

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    Yep, those sound good, and are actually the same lenses I'm getting first besides the 18-55mm kit lens. Talking about the 50mm 1.8 and 55-250mm.
     
  9. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    Costco sells the XSi with the 18-55 and 55-250 as a kit for about $800 for anyone who also has those plans.
     
  10. P3 Photography

    P3 Photography TPF Noob!

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    I love my 50mm 1.8 for portraits, not too happy with the 75-300(no usm or is)but the macro shots are decent with it. Good luck!
     
  11. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    My opinion is to avoid pinching pennies when buying a lens. Because I'm such an expert. Haha. But really. I could have bought a few more lenses at this point but I know I want to invest in quality, so alas, I am saving for some of the higher end lenses. That's why I went with 50mm 1.4 instead of the plastic 1.8. I really know little to nothing about photography at this point, but I knew that as I grow I'll have wished for better tools. Just my two cents. When I get a zoom, it'll be the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS mentioned above. I could get it now, I suppose, but I feel silly sticking it onto an XSi body... :)
     
  12. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 55-250 is decent, but it is soft at the long end.
    I have one, and the XSi.

    Save your money and buy better glass. In 3-5 years, when you go to upgrade the body, you won't need to upgrade lenses.
     

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