What is a good camera lense for the Canon 400D

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by roger.wee, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. roger.wee

    roger.wee TPF Noob!

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    Hi Guys,

    I've been tearing my hear out to find the right wide angle lense to buy.

    I am travelling to France at the end of the year, and am wanting to buy a lense to take shots of buildings and landscape - but also take photos of people close or far, without having to change the lense everytime.

    I've been told that the smaller the number (i.e. 18mm) the wider shot you'll get. So i went looking around and most of the "wide angle" lenses and found something like this:

    Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle 18-50mm f/3.5-5.6 DC Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS Digital Cameras

    When i bought my camera - it came with a Canon EFS 18-55mm & Canon EF75-300mm Lenses, does that mean that i already have a wide angle lense??

    I have no idea what i'm doing - things are getting more confusing by the minute.....can anyone please help me clarify what would be a good lense to take photos in France???

    Cheers,
    Roger.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    You can't always follow the marketing catch words that are attached to things like lenses.

    Yes, the focal length of the lens (18mm to 55mm, for example) will determine how wide your view (field of view) will be. The lower the number, the wider the FOV.

    So a Sigma 18-50mm won't give you any wider of a view than your Canon 18-55mm.

    If you want a wider view, you will need a shorter focal length. The best one is probably the Canon 10-22mm, and a less expensive option would be the Sigma 10-20mm.

    I don't believe that they have a zoom lens that goes from 10mm to something like 70mm or 100mm. Even if they did, the quality would have to be compromised quite a bit.

    There are plenty of other factors involved when looking at what lens to buy...but that's another question.

    So what is your budget?
     
  3. roger.wee

    roger.wee TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply Mike,

    My budget is around $400 - $650ish....I am an amatuer photography, so i don't want to spend too much, but at the same time, i hope to get better one day, and in that case, don't want something that i would need to replace when i get better...

    In terms of getting something that's in the range of 10mm-22mm, what does that mean in terms of wanting to take snapshots/portrait shots - and the sort of everyday shot you might get while on holidays? (i.e. one moment i might want to take a photo of the Eiffel tower, the next i might want to take a photo of someone riding a bike...). Will there just be more in the shot - and can i assume that in that case the main downside is that i can't zoom-in close to the face of the person on the bike...

    Also, you mentioned there are a lot of other factors - can you mention any that might be important in my case?

    Thanks for you help.

    Roger
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, the downside of a lens like the 10-22mm...is that you can't 'zoom in' very far. If you wanted to get a close up, you would need a longer lens. Or, you could take the photo and crop out the unwanted parts later...but that will limit the resolution and make it harder to print.

    But the advantage is that you can get a lot more of the scene into a photo. For example, you might be very close to the Eiffel tower and still be able to get it all in the shot. With a longer lens, you might have to back up a lot more.

    Also, wide angle lenses can give you distortion in your photo. (think of a fish-eye effect, but not that much). Sometimes this can be fun though. It's not recommended for close up people shots (make their nose look big) but again, it can be really fun.

    As for other factors to look at. After the focal length, you will want to look at the maximum aperture. That's represented by the F number in the name of the lens. For example, you 18-55mm lens is F3.5-5.6. That means that at 18mm, the max aperture is F3.5 and at 55mm, the max aperture is F5.6. (NOTE: a lower F number is a larger aperture).
    A bigger aperture has some advantages. It can give you the ability to get faster shutter speeds, which may mean sharper shots, especially if the camera or the subject is moving. A wider aperture will also give you the ability to use a shallower Depth of Field (DOF). This means that you could have your subject in focus, but have the background out of focus (nice effect for portraits).

    A large aperture might be something like F2.8. Top end zoom lenses might have a max aperture of F2.8, throughout the whole zoom range. This does, however, make the lens bigger, heavier and a lot more expensive.

    Also, there is the quality of a lens to consider. The build quality and the image quality. The two lenses that you have, are decent, but they are at the lower end of the quality scale. You can get lenses that are much, much better...but they can be very expensive.
    Also, you should know that for the most part, the bigger the zoom range, the lower the image quality. So while it may be convenient to have a lens that goes from 10mm to 300mm...the quality would probably be poor.

    I suggest that you find a camera store and ask to try out some different lenses on your camera. Try them out, in the store and then you can see for yourself, the view that you will get with different focal lengths. You may also be able to tell which lenses are better quality, just by the feel of them.
     
  5. roger.wee

    roger.wee TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again for the info Mike, a lot more there than i expected :D.

    I've been chatting with a few friends, and i'll probably be getting something along the lines of a 10mm - 20 mm wide angle lense.

    I was interested in getting the Sigma 10mm - 20mm but my friend said that sometimes it doesn't work too well or something and suggested "tamron" i think, so i'll look into that brand to see what they offer.

    Thanks again for the advice, it's been extremely educational :D
     
  6. GeorgeUK

    GeorgeUK TPF Noob!

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    There's a guy over on one of the car forums I frequent who has just purchased the Sigma 10-20mm for his 400d and is impressed with it. :thumbup:
     
  7. roger.wee

    roger.wee TPF Noob!

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    That's good to know. I'll need to do some more research, but thanks for the note.
     

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