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Thread: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

  1. #1

    Question Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Hi ClubSnap-ers,

    My first post here after lurking quietly for quite some time. I'm going to buy a DLSR pretty soon, most likely will go with the Canon EOS 600D. I'm not going to take the kit lenses, but will choose from other available lenses out there.

    I don't really take wildlife shots, instead I enjoy taking portrait, candid (especially people's expression - just love 'em), a bit of landscape and architectures. I also enjoy night photography.

    So, I need lenses which can cover these needs, and from my research, I found these 3 lenses:
    - Tamron 11-16 mm f2.8 for wide angles
    - Sigma 30 mm f1.4 as a primary lens & night lens. (Have tried Canon's 28 mm 1.8 before, it's a good social lens)
    - Sigma 50-150 mm f2.8 or 70-200 for tele.

    The questions are:

    1. Is this combination good enough? I'm afraid about that "blank spot" in the middle - as in I don't have that reliable single lens such as 17-55 for general use or light travels. Can anyone of you share your experience in traveling using only a prime lens? Is it OK or do you find any difficulties?

    2. This might sound funny, but.. comparing the 30 mm prime with the 17-55 mm, how far should I walk to compensate the zoom? For example, standing from the same starting point, using 30 mm lens - how far should I walk to get the same image magnification with a 50 mm /55 mm lens?

    3. Let's say that budget is a problem (after the drybox etc), and that I can only buy 2 lenses at first. Which 2 do you people suggest?

    4. I'm also open to other range of lenses, be it new or second-hand, would love to hear your suggestions on this.

    Sorry if these questions sound silly.. Thanks in advance, all!

  2. #2
    Member bojee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Hi there! I am also a newbie and I am currently using a Tamron 17-50. I find myself using both ends of the range (17-24mm and 50mm) often. I believe each of us will have a preference on focal length. You do not need to cover all the range, you only need to cover the range at which you are comfortable shooting with. Even if you cover all from 11mm-300mm you will find that you shoot more often at a particular range. It all depends on your style. If you have tried the kit lens before then I believe you will know which focal length you are comfortable shooting with. Also, if I were you I won't immediately purchase 3 lenses at one go.

    Hope this helps.
    ADDICTED

  3. #3

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    You don't need to "cover the whole range" as you mentioned. It all depends on what is you shooting style and genre. You might end up buying lenses that you don't even use. If you do not want to get the kit lens then you can maybe get a 17-50 or 17-55 which you would very probably have use for. And from there, see what you need and proceed with the buying of other lenses

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentSeth View Post
    Hi ClubSnap-ers,

    My first post here after lurking quietly for quite some time. I'm going to buy a DLSR pretty soon, most likely will go with the Canon EOS 600D. I'm not going to take the kit lenses, but will choose from other available lenses out there.

    I don't really take wildlife shots, instead I enjoy taking portrait, candid (especially people's expression - just love 'em), a bit of landscape and architectures. I also enjoy night photography.

    So, I need lenses which can cover these needs, and from my research, I found these 3 lenses:
    - Tamron 11-16 mm f2.8 for wide angles
    - Sigma 30 mm f1.4 as a primary lens & night lens. (Have tried Canon's 28 mm 1.8 before, it's a good social lens)
    - Sigma 50-150 mm f2.8 or 70-200 for tele.

    The questions are:

    1. Is this combination good enough? I'm afraid about that "blank spot" in the middle - as in I don't have that reliable single lens such as 17-55 for general use or light travels. Can anyone of you share your experience in traveling using only a prime lens? Is it OK or do you find any difficulties?

    2. This might sound funny, but.. comparing the 30 mm prime with the 17-55 mm, how far should I walk to compensate the zoom? For example, standing from the same starting point, using 30 mm lens - how far should I walk to get the same image magnification with a 50 mm /55 mm lens?

    3. Let's say that budget is a problem (after the drybox etc), and that I can only buy 2 lenses at first. Which 2 do you people suggest?

    4. I'm also open to other range of lenses, be it new or second-hand, would love to hear your suggestions on this.

    Sorry if these questions sound silly.. Thanks in advance, all!
    Tamron do not make a 11-16/2.8. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    1. What is enough or not enough is totally up to how you shoot. For me, it is not enough.
    2. Even if you get the subject to be of the same size, you will notice that different focal lengths give you more than just that, the compression of the scene, as well as perspectives will be very different.
    3. If I am you, I will go for Canon 17-55 IS (or tamron 17-50) and Tokina 11-16/2.8 and I will squeeze in a 50/1.8.
    4. Range is not everything.

  5. #5
    Member crystal1993's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    You can make do without the tele since you will not be shooting anything that requires a tele.

    Portrait - Your sigma 30mm is sufficient.
    Candid - Again 30mm should be sufficient or a walkabout will do the trick.
    Landscape and architecture - Your UWA will cover it.

    Instead of getting a tele why not instead go for a general walkabout like a 17-55?
    And from there if you feel that 55mm is very restricting than consider a tele.

    I've known people who buys the 'whole' range.
    -UWA
    -Walkabout
    -A Prime
    -A Tele

    They probably only used the tele once or twice and it's left in the dry cabi as it's too heavy for them to handle.

    In response to your question 3 - The walkabout and the UWA.
    The prime can wait.

  6. #6
    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by crystal1993 View Post
    You can make do without the tele since you will not be shooting anything that requires a tele.

    Portrait - Your sigma 30mm is sufficient.
    Candid - Again 30mm should be sufficient or a walkabout will do the trick.
    Landscape and architecture - Your UWA will cover it.

    Instead of getting a tele why not instead go for a general walkabout like a 17-55?
    And from there if you feel that 55mm is very restricting than consider a tele.

    I've known people who buys the 'whole' range.
    -UWA
    -Walkabout
    -A Prime
    -A Tele

    They probably only used the tele once or twice and it's left in the dry cabi as it's too heavy for them to handle.

    In response to your question 3 - The walkabout and the UWA.
    The prime can wait.
    Tele has its uses. My most used lenses are the teles.
    Having said that, it all depends on your style of shooting.
    If the TS feels comfortable not having a tele, he can drop that and but a 17-55.
    Or he can do like I do and forget the middle range but for a couple of primes (35mm and 50mm 1.8 in my case). I don't even have a UWA.
    Basically everyone has different styles of shooting. You need to figure out what yours is.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    1) It's ok to have "blank spot". You won't necessary need to cover all focal length. I'm pretty sure there will be at least some focal length which you will not miss much.
    3) Given a choice, Walkabout and UWA.
    4) Can consider Tamron 17-50 Non VC version instead of 17-55.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  8. #8
    Member crystal1993's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by fmeeran View Post
    Tele has its uses. My most used lenses are the teles.
    Having said that, it all depends on your style of shooting.
    If the TS feels comfortable not having a tele, he can drop that and but a 17-55.
    Or he can do like I do and forget the middle range but for a couple of primes (35mm and 50mm 1.8 in my case). I don't even have a UWA.
    Basically everyone has different styles of shooting. You need to figure out what yours is.
    Yes i agree tele has it's uses since i do use tele lens myself but i would normally advice people to rent a tele first and take it out for one whole day before making the jump as not all can handle the weight.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    There is no such thing as enough lenses
    ok. Practically for what you want to do, uwa to short tele is enough.
    There is no Tamron 11-16mm. You might have mixed it up with the Tokina.

    I'd suggest the following :
    1. Sigma 10-20mm f3.5-5.6
    2. Tamron 28-75 f2.8
    3. Sigma 70-200/2.8

    Better coverage for the money, and no lack in performance.
    You will need to switch lens for landscapes anyway on the setup you mentioned anyway.
    If I have to choose to buy 2 lenses first, I will certainly take no.2 and choose the other two based on what photos I will take more of.

    Find a cheap 2nd hand 50/1.8 or 35/1.8 as a fast lens if you need it.

  10. #10
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Didn't know that there are 'social lenses' .. hey, another funky term...
    TS: is there any good reason for you not to start with the kit lens? Since you are new and most cameras come with one it would only be a good starting point, better than to muse over a "blank spot"...
    EOS

  11. #11

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    i think you should think about what you shoot, before thinking about having a complete range. that way you can think of what lens you need to accomodate the way u shoot.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Wah bro & sis, thanks for the replies & suggestions! Much appreciated!

    Now to some details of it;

    1. Yea sorry I was probably too excited, it should be Tokina 11-16, not Tamron 11-16.. *paiseh*

    2. The reason for the tele is for.. well.. tele candids. Let's not start talking about privacy issues here, but, not everyone is comfortable having their picture taken candidly =) So I think tele lenses would be a solution. I tried the Sigma 50-150 before (and although now it's already discontinued), I just love the weight & dimension.

    3. Social lens.. LOL it means like.. it's a good lens to bring to social events with friends - such as birthday party, karaoke, bbq, church events.. And it's even better since it's f1.4. A bit soft I heard, but.. well that big f stop is really mouth-watering.

    @daredevil123,
    Thanks for your input about the dimension & compression related with focal length - a good thing to consider indeed. But I was just curious, as in, how far should I move in order to cover the same distance with a, say, 50 mm lens? (It's ok if no one really knows, it might be too technical anyway)

    @Octarine
    A reason not to go with the kit lens or 17-55 f2.8, for example; is.. well I've tried both lenses before. While it is very versatile and reliable, it doesn't really have the low light performance I want. Of course I know that the last resort is.. to go with 17-55 kit lens AND get the 30mm f1.4 also.

    @crystal1993
    Noted.. probably renting is a good idea to start with.

    @pinhole,
    Thanks for your input on the lens.. Will later try to compare the price & performance for this set you mentioned.. Honestly never seriously considered a 28-75 before.

    @All,
    Well, with all these inputs, let's ignore the uwa and tele and go with the simple question:
    - Do you think it's OK to use prime 30mm f1.4 as your everyday lens / light traveling?

  13. #13
    Member crystal1993's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    It really depends on your shooting style and what you are going for. I personally don't mind having a 30mm as my everyday lens as i find the focal length just nice, but it may not be the case for you.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentSeth View Post
    @All,
    Well, with all these inputs, let's ignore the uwa and tele and go with the simple question:
    - Do you think it's OK to use prime 30mm f1.4 as your everyday lens / light traveling?
    I personally have my 35mm f1.8 prime on my camera body 95% of the time now. Went for a walkabout last weekend and find myself swapping out my kit lens for my 35mm even though it's the afternoon.

    There was also a period of time where my beercan (70-210mm) was on my body doing candid shoots when I want street shooting.

    So it's really up to you and what you want to achieve.
    Last edited by NoS77; 8th June 2011 at 12:00 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Haha,post questions like that and u will get hundreds of possibilities. This is because different people have their own preferences. Even for genres like street people candids, some people use normal range lenses, some people like tele-lenses, I personally like ultra-wide lenses. Some people say uwa lenses are not suitable for people portraits but I like to use it coz I gives a "fun" perspective

  16. #16

    Default

    For me portraits with an 85mm, streets with a 35/50mm combo and landscape with a 16/24-70mm combo. And a 10000mm for shooting the moon

  17. #17
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentSeth View Post

    @daredevil123,
    Thanks for your input about the dimension & compression related with focal length - a good thing to consider indeed. But I was just curious, as in, how far should I move in order to cover the same distance with a, say, 50 mm lens? (It's ok if no one really knows, it might be too technical anyway)
    I am sorry I don't understand you. you need a starting point of reference to really estimate distance.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    I am sorry I don't understand you. you need a starting point of reference to really estimate distance.
    Let's say that I'm using a 30mm lens, and you're using 50mm lens (Let's say it's 17-55 on the tele end, more or less). There's a brick wall in front of us, and we both stand 20m from the wall. For sure when we compose pictures, you and I will get different result - as in you'll have a more magnified/bigger picture than mine.

    The question is, how far should I walk closer to that wall in order to get more or less the same picture like yours, who's using a 50mm lens?

  19. #19
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    It's up to you. Frankly speaking I'll be fine with just a 50mm and Sigma 10-20, 90% of my shots are taken with these two lens.

    But there are also times where I need a 10mm fisheye (hence the 10-17 mm FE that I have), a longer perspective (70-300), and a slightly wider fast prime (35mm f/2.4). I also kept a 18-55 kit lens because it's the only cheap lens that is reasonably wide that doesn't produce hotspots for infrared photography.

    I also dabble a bit with film, so I have a 19-35 mm as well that's compatible for use with FF cameras. It's worth noting that I would probably be fine with not having the remaining 4 lenses, but I do have the financial capacity to obtain these and retain them, so I don't see why not. Especially when the last 4 are less than $300 each.

    On holiday, I'd usually want to have more options, since I have no idea what I'd have, so I bring the FE, 10-20, 50mm , 70-300 and 18-55 (or 19-35). It's still quite carry-able.

    That's me, I'm not sure about you.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 8th June 2011 at 11:43 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Question about a complete-enough range of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentSeth View Post

    @pinhole,
    Thanks for your input on the lens.. Will later try to compare the price & performance for this set you mentioned.. Honestly never seriously considered a 28-75 before.

    @All,
    Well, with all these inputs, let's ignore the uwa and tele and go with the simple question:
    - Do you think it's OK to use prime 30mm f1.4 as your everyday lens / light traveling?

    A recent thread that might convince you on the 28-75/2.8
    http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...lots-pics.html


    Whether you can 'live' with just a 30/1.4, only you can find out yourself.
    Personally, if I bring out only 1 lens for an easy day out, it would be either a 15mm; 24mm, 35mm or 43mm.
    The 24mm or 35mm on aps-c is generally rather versatile, but it ultimately depends on ones comfort zone in using one focal length.
    Of course, some shots will be missed, but maybe 5% of shots at most in most non-specific walk about situations. (ie. not specific soccer matches, F1, etc)

    Oh, one more thing on the Sigma 30/1.4. Its known to be softer on the edges even when stopped down, so if you want even sharpness as an all round lens, it may not be for you.
    Some ppl like me don't care that much for the edges as the main elements in a photo are seldom in that edge, but YMMV.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 8th June 2011 at 01:32 PM.

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