Help with First Lens Upgrade

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by PhotosInParadise, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. PhotosInParadise

    PhotosInParadise TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I know there are so many posts on what to choose for a better lens for your camera but I thought maybe you could help me if I told you what kind of photos I mostly take. Background...I have a Canon t5i with an 18-55mm IS kit lens. I take portrait photos of my dogs, sometimes on a setup I have on a table and sometimes of them just standing on the floor. I am usually about 6' from them no matter. I shoot in Av mode with an external speedlight. My desire is to get the clearest, sharpest photo I can get altho I think that also comes with experience as I go along. I am also interested in the pet portraits having a blurred background.

    I am interested, at this point, in stepping up to a mid range lens, not yet ready for the pro prices. I have been reading reviews on the 85mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.4, just cant figure out if either are right for my needs or if I'm off base and something else is better for my first step up.

    I am in a very rural area and dont have a camera shop within 100 miles so have to order and I favor my Amazon Prime method if that makes any difference. Thank you for any advice you might have.


     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    462
    Location:
    St. Louis
    If you use your 18-55mm lens and set the lens to 50mm focal length, do you feel the subject is too close to you physically. If that is the case, get a longer focal length lens such as the 85mm f/1.8. In that case, you will need to step back further from the subject.
     
  3. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Messages:
    2,570
    Likes Received:
    2,022
    Location:
    New London, CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    An 85mm lens on a crop sensor from 6 feet might be a bit too much -- this was from about 6 feet and 60mm with my lab....

    [​IMG]20150830-IMG_1522 by jwa04, on Flickr

    I would think the 50mm or maybe even the 35mm lens would be fine for that kind of distance, depending on the size of your dog.

    I also wouldn't be afraid of looking at the cheaper 50mm 1.8 if you are going to be stopping down anyways. The above photo was at F4.5.
     
  4. gckless

    gckless No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Korea
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You can figure out which focal length would be best to buy with the lens you have now. Do you like 35mm? 50mm? Or longer?

    Do you shoot a lot in low light? Do you need the extra DoF? If not, then you may not need a f/1.4. I mean if that's what you want, then by all means go for it, but you might be able to get two 1.8 primes or a decent zoom for the price of a 1.4.
     
  5. PhotosInParadise

    PhotosInParadise TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok, in looking back over my photos I see that I shoot closer to 35mm than any other. Still a newbie so wasn't thinking clear on that point. I would like a better DOF than I am getting with the kit lens. So I just need to go back to my original question, asking for help to upgrade my lens. Maybe a fixed lens is not my best option, that's ok but I am interested in a larger aperature than the kit.
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    18,491
    Likes Received:
    4,823
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    By "better" do you mean deeper or more shallow? I'm going to guess you mean more shallow.

    I think you should get the 85mm f/1.8. It really doesn't matter what most of your shots are right now, because when you get the 85mm, you will just be farther away from your subjects, it sort of just works out that way. When you look through the viewfinder, you will automatically back up to get your subject in the frame.

    Don't back up over a cliff or into the road.

    BTW: if you try shooting at the widest aperture; f/1.8, your DOF will be quite shallow, often throwing part of your subject oof.
     
  7. PhotosInParadise

    PhotosInParadise TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you much for your advice. I have been reading all afternoon since I first posted. So I see that I just could backup with the 85mm, wonder if my rooms are big enough, LOL. And yes, I think I mean a more shallow DOF. Bottom line, I want more blur surrounding my subject (my dog). I am also hoping I get a clearer photo with better glass.
     
  8. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Messages:
    2,068
    Likes Received:
    539
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    yes, the 85mm 1.8 is going to be better for more background blur

    [​IMG]
     
  9. spiralout462

    spiralout462 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    495
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That Canon 85 f1.8 is a good looking lens! One I will own eventually! For a zoom the 24-70 f2.8 sounds like it might suit your needs. For portraits only? I wouldn't want anything wider than 85mm. Just my opinion.
     
  10. SaugaPhotoGuy

    SaugaPhotoGuy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I got a T5i on boxing day. I got a package that came with the 18-55 but also a 55-250. I also recently purchased a 50mm f1.8 STM lens. I love my new "nifty fifty" lens. It's great for portraits. The 1.8 is almost a bit too much and I'll probably shoot it at 2.8 from now on unless I need the light. But it's a great lens at a great price and I'm very happy with it. I also take lots of pictures of my pets, and the nifty fifty is great for indoor portraits, especially with lower light and without a flash. But if I'm outside and trying to take photos of my dog, I need the zoom lens. If you're at a dog park or a normal size back yard, you're going to want a pretty big zoom to get good shots of your dog. When I first got the camera, I didn't think I really wanted a telephoto lens, but the package was a good deal so I just got it. I ended up using the lens quite a bit. It's obviously a bit bigger, but it's not huge. I plan on going to the zoo when the weather is warmer and I'll probably shoot everything with the 55-250. But I'm happy with all three of my lenses and I don't think I'll need to buy another one for quite a long time. I'll have all my bases covered I think. Next purchase for me will be a flash, tripod, and strap.

    This one: (Canadian Amazon)

    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Image Stabilized Lens (2044B002): Amazon.ca: Camera & Photo

    And this one: (Canadian Amazon)

    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Normal Lens for Canon EF Cameras: Amazon.ca: Camera & Photo
     
  11. PhotosInParadise

    PhotosInParadise TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you for all your suggestions here. After looking all over, I think I will just do what most newbies do for their first lens upgrade and order the nifty fifty. There seems to be an improvement on the most recent available one to the build quality which is what had turned me off to begin with. I will later on evaluate my need for an upgrade lens to take outdoor photos.
     
  12. spiralout462

    spiralout462 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    495
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    I think that is a sound decision. I have the new 50 stm. It's a great value. Useful when you have to have more light.
     

Share This Page