Whats lens should I invest in?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cjmadan, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. cjmadan

    cjmadan TPF Noob!

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    Hey there. I'm a newbie to photography and this forum. I currently have a Canon T3i with the 18-55 mm kit lens and the 55-250 kit lens as well. I was looking for some opinions on what lens to invest in next. I will be shooting mainly portraits, family portraits and kids. The price doesn't matter too much as I don't mind spending money on something that will give me sharper pictures. Thanks for any opinions!


     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Price might matter when you hear some of them ;)

    For portraits you can consider a few popular options:
    Zoom: 24-70mm f2.8 L - very good choice and whilst not as wide as your 18-55mm its a top performing zoom; it is heavy though (its nick name is "the brick").
    There are also a range of crop sensor zooms (some just as - optically - good as the zoom above) though I don't know this zoom range all that well so I'll let others chip in.

    Primes - 50mm f1.8 is cheap and popular, though the f1.4 is superior in build and general quality (the Sigma f1.4 is currently about the best being a newer design over the canon).
    85mm - various options though I don't know them that well myself.
    135mm (might be a bit long for general shooting with a crop sensor body - esp indoors).
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    70-200F2.8LII, 85F1.8,50F1.4
     
  4. DivaKaye09

    DivaKaye09 TPF Noob!

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    I was wondring this same thing. Thanks guys for chipping in.
     
  5. madjace

    madjace TPF Noob!

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    Me too
     
  6. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, it all depends.

    First of all, do you find that you often want a wider lens? A longer lens? If so, look into one of those. However, if you find that the lenses you have now are focal lengths you use comfortably and you don't need anything wider or longer, then look at getting a better version of the lenses you have now. For example, Tamron makes a wonderful 17-ff constant f2.8 lens.
     
  7. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Then you should have bought a 5D III :).

    I would get a 70-200 f/2.8L IS
     
  8. SHaller

    SHaller TPF Noob!

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    Right off the bat i could tell you that investing in a fast prime such as the canon 50 1.8 or the sigma 50 1.4 would be a huge help. Also, take a look at a wide angle like the tokina 12-24. Its a great lens thats sharp and built great. Give us more information and more recommendations will come your way.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm for general family portraits and such why this lens? I ask only because once one goes below around 50mm perspective distortion grows stronger, for a 12-24mm you'll be getting points closer to the lens enlarging compared to points further away, and those will be quite noticeable in general portrait work (big noses and fingers and such).
    I'm not saying such is not desirable sometimes and that creativity must be limited to only certain viewpoints; but its a more selective look that isn't mainstream so wouldn't be the lens I'd suggest upfront first.
     
  10. cjmadan

    cjmadan TPF Noob!

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    I would get a 70-200 f/2.8L IS for using outdoors and in low light situations, it would be a dream. But for shooting in the studio I think it may be a little too much zoom to work with in a small space. I also have the Canon 50mm 1.8 but I find it cheaply made and it is slow to focus when shooting kids so I am not liking it much right now ( I know you get what you pay for!) I was also thinking about the 24-105mm f/4L IS, any opinions on that one? I also agree that a wide angle 12-24mm would be too wide and not that great for portraits.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    24-105mm f/4L IS is a very popular generalist lens. For general indoor snaps you might find f4 a limit compared to f2.8 with regard to light gathering (helping AF and exposure); however in the studio f4 shouldn't be a problem since you can use lighting to support it (though for critical sharpness an f2.8 set to f4 will be sharper than an f4 zoom wide open).
    The long end is the bonus to this lens over, say, the 24-70mm, along with its IS to help with handholding (though IS isn't critical in shorter lenses).


    If you're at all interested teh 24-105mm is also very good for video, IS helping handholding and the lens also retains the same focus point as you change the zoom (most other still camera zooms shift the point of focus as the focal length is adjusted - a problem if you're shooting video and zoom in or out whilst recording).
     
  12. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, first you have to make your primary choice: What to get, a Prime or Zoom?

    While both may be within similar price ranges here are some advantages of going either way:

    ZOOM: Focal Lengths, you will have multiple focal lengths available. This is really the only advantage of a Zoom.

    PRIME: Price, size/weight, sharpness (although good zooms may be as sharp), f-stops (THE main reason to get a prime)


    If you will be shooting a lot indoors, with low light, it may be worthier to get a f/1.4 or 1.8 prime. So that way you don't have to fall back to incredibly high iso settings in your camera. This is also cheaper and if you don't mind moving back and forth while shooting, it really is a best choice.

    Zoom will be more expensive and won't be able to shoot in equally dark conditions due to smaller f-stop but it does offer more versatility with multiple focal lengths. Especially a quality zoom like 24-105 L.
     

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