Which lens should i buy?

cwsbaker

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Hi, I own a Canon EOS 1100D and I want to photograph still cars. I have been told I should get a new lens. Is there any suggestions out there on what lens I should buy? Thanks :)
 

orf

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Hi, I own a Canon EOS 1100D and I want to photograph still cars. I have been told I should get a new lens. Is there any suggestions out there on what lens I should buy? Thanks :)
What's your maximum spend?
 
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cwsbaker

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I dunno relatively cheap I'm a newbie to photography so I don't really know the prices probably up to 550
 

orf

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OK. What do you have at the moment ? 18-55? There's Sigma 10-20 and Tokina 12-24 in EFS mount for your Canon. Assuming you' re looking for a wide angle. Have a look on eBay for those; bump this thread a bit later today when there's more Canon peeps around.
 
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cwsbaker

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Hey thanks a lot will look for those :)
 

jaomul

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Canon have a relatively inexpensive 10-18mm lens that should be good, and maybe a tripod
 

jaomul

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.....but just because someone says you need a lens, you only need one if your existing one is not doing something you need
 

Destin

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.....but just because someone says you need a lens, you only need one if your existing one is not doing something you need

This. So much this.

For cars you want a fairly deep depth of field and you’ll be shooting at f/8 or higher more often than not. Your kit lens performs exceptionally well at small apertures and you won’t see much difference out of a nicer lens.

The biggest secret to good car photos is composition and light. You’d be best served by getting a decent tripod and maybe some off camera flash gear to learn with, in my opinion.
 

benhasajeep

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.....but just because someone says you need a lens, you only need one if your existing one is not doing something you need

This. So much this.

For cars you want a fairly deep depth of field and you’ll be shooting at f/8 or higher more often than not. Your kit lens performs exceptionally well at small apertures and you won’t see much difference out of a nicer lens.

The biggest secret to good car photos is composition and light. You’d be best served by getting a decent tripod and maybe some off camera flash gear to learn with, in my opinion.

I am just repeating what Destin said. If you have a kit lens, it will do the job! And as he said, the control of lighting is what you need. There are several off brand flashes available now for around $100 for good flashes (reported by users). Buy a couple flashes, stands, and some light modifiers. You will get much better pictures with better lighting, than a lens will get you on its own!
 
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cwsbaker

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Thanks everyone!
 

KmH

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Note that f/8 is a small or medium lens aperture, while f/3.5 is a bigger lens aperture.
Point of focus distance, lens focal length, and the size of the image sensor in your camera will have a lot to do with how much depth of field you get.
As lens focal length gets shorter, depth of field gets deeper for any f/number, compared to a longer focal length lens.
Understanding Depth of Field in Photography

Short focal length lenses will likely distort the line and shape of a car if the car takes up most of the image frame.
Understanding Camera Lenses
Using Wide Angle Lenses
 

nerwin

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This is a tough one. It really depends on your shooting style. I've been to hundreds of car shows and everyone has their preference.

Are you taking pictures of cars for clients or just at shows/events?

Most of my car photography friends typically use an 85mm prime, 135mm prime or a 70-200 2.8. Sometimes 50mm if there isn't enough room. I also have some who love to use fish eyes and ultra wide angles. I honestly gave up taking photos at car shows, it's too much of a PITA to get a good shot when there is hundreds of people around, background distractions, window plaques, etc. Instead, I focus on the details hence where a macro lens would come in handy.

Ultra wide angles distort the car too much for my liking but it can work in some cases, especially for environmental car shots.

So if you are taking pictures of the car only and not the location, then I'd suggest using a 85mm prime. But I'm thinking something like a wide to mid range fast zoom would be better. Like a 24-70 2.8 if on full frame or a 17-50 2.8 if you're on crop.

It's a REALLY difficult question to answer because there is no wrong or right lens to take pictures of cars. So you just gotta experiment and find your medium.

Hope this helps.
 

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