Lens Recommendation for first 650D: Zoom and Prime


Sep 26, 2010
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#1
Hi all. I am about to get the 650D and this will be my first DSLR. But I am in a dilemma when it comes to which lens to start out with. I am planning to start with a zoom and a prime so some help needed.

For the zoom lenses, I am looking at three options:
1) Kit 1 18-55 + 55-250 (as recommended by other forums for the range, price should be around price of kit 2 if I get the 55-250 2nd hand)
2) Kit 2 18-135
3) Sigma 17-70

As for the prime lenses, I am looking at the three options below:
1) Canon 50mm f1.8
2) Canon 35mm f2
3) Sigma 30mm f1.4

Do give some advice! Just some background info on my style of shooting. I love to shoot buildings, scenery and streets. As much as I like to shoot people, I like to incorporate part of the surroundings as well, which is why I am leaning towards the 30mm or 35mm. And a shorter focal length will allow me to shoot indoors better as the 50mm may be too tight.

Now for the zoom lens. Kit lens wise, my friends in photography are telling me to start with the kit lens to learn my own shooting style. I would go for the 18-135 but some say it's optically inferior to the 18-55 for the common focal lengths, that's probably why people are suggesting the 18-55 +55-250, although the trouble of switching lenses will be there. The Sigma is a compromise between the two but it will cost more than the first two set ups.

So, any advice for a newbie?
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#2
So, any advice for a newbie?
Yes, start by reading the many threads that have also asked the same question as you. As a newbie, it is important that you show some initiative and ability to do basic research on sites with as much accumulated knowledge as CS.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#3
Oh, and one more thing: when in doubt, rent first.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#4
Why not a Tamron 17-50/2.8?
 

Sep 26, 2010
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#5
Yes, start by reading the many threads that have also asked the same question as you. As a newbie, it is important that you show some initiative and ability to do basic research on sites with as much accumulated knowledge as CS.
I did a lot of research. CS, photography-on-the-net, dpreview forums etc and that's how i ended with these 6 shortlisted lenses. That's why i decided to post here to see if anyone can give me their inputs on my shortlisted lenses.

Oh, and one more thing: when in doubt, rent first.
That's true, but I have not purchased the camera and when I do, I must have already made my choices (at least for the zoom lens). It isn't logical for me to purchase the body first, only to purchase the 18-55 later when I could've gotten it together at a discounted price right?

Why not a Tamron 17-50/2.8?
That's true, But the Tamron will require a higher budget right?
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#6
I did a lot of research. CS, photography-on-the-net, dpreview forums etc and that's how i ended with these 6 shortlisted lenses. That's why i decided to post here to see if anyone can give me their inputs on my shortlisted lenses.

That's true, but I have not purchased the camera and when I do, I must have already made my choices (at least for the zoom lens). It isn't logical for me to purchase the body first, only to purchase the 18-55 later when I could've gotten it together at a discounted price right?

That's true, But the Tamron will require a higher budget right?
OK, maybe my very simple English was not clear. So here's round 2:

1. The questions you asked, namely "which of these zooms" and "recommend a prime lens" have already been asked and discussed to death. Read the existing threads.

2. You can rent the body as well - or did that simple thing not occur to you?
 

SkyStrike

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Nov 29, 2010
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#7
Not to be rude, but your topic have been discussed in CS quite a number of times before.... Anyway..

The usual answer I will give is get a 18-135 or 18-200 if you can afford it... 18-55 and 55-250 can be troublesome at times because you have to change lens and at times in situations where it's windy/dusty etc.

But 18-200 will cost more than your 18-55 + 55-250 combination. But convenience vs cost. (Maybe also got weight difference). You may also want to check out Anson's EF-S 18-200 thread (sorry, this 1 need to search, not sure where is it..)

For primes, I would get the 50mm 1.8, so far serving me quite well (with only a couple of minor complains). And I do agree that it's a bit tight indoors, but still usable for some shots.

Another thing to note for indoors shoots is that, It doesn't mean that you HAVE/MUST to use those large aperture lens, even a 18-55 can do quite well with a flash. Large aperture lens will also give you another problem and that will be the DOF.. Large aperture gives you extra light, but reduces the DOF which may be undesirable at times.


If you are having doubts about the additional lens (prime lens, L lens etc.. ..) to get, just use the kit lens. Be it 18-55/135/200, you will know what you want in time to come when you have shot enough.
 

Sep 26, 2010
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#8
OK, maybe my very simple English was not clear. So here's round 2:

1. The questions you asked, namely "which of these zooms" and "recommend a prime lens" have already been asked and discussed to death. Read the existing threads.

2. You can rent the body as well - or did that simple thing not occur to you?
Nothing wrong with your English, just that you probably misinterpreted my question cos when I said advice for a newbie, i meant advice with regards to the lenses I mentioned. Thanks for your "help" though.

Not to be rude, but your topic have been discussed in CS quite a number of times before.... Anyway..

The usual answer I will give is get a 18-135 or 18-200 if you can afford it... 18-55 and 55-250 can be troublesome at times because you have to change lens and at times in situations where it's windy/dusty etc.

But 18-200 will cost more than your 18-55 + 55-250 combination. But convenience vs cost. (Maybe also got weight difference). You may also want to check out Anson's EF-S 18-200 thread (sorry, this 1 need to search, not sure where is it..)

For primes, I would get the 50mm 1.8, so far serving me quite well (with only a couple of minor complains). And I do agree that it's a bit tight indoors, but still usable for some shots.

Another thing to note for indoors shoots is that, It doesn't mean that you HAVE/MUST to use those large aperture lens, even a 18-55 can do quite well with a flash. Large aperture lens will also give you another problem and that will be the DOF.. Large aperture gives you extra light, but reduces the DOF which may be undesirable at times.


If you are having doubts about the additional lens (prime lens, L lens etc.. ..) to get, just use the kit lens. Be it 18-55/135/200, you will know what you want in time to come when you have shot enough.
I see, thanks for your help man! I definitely appreciate you spending time to type out everything but it gave me a v clear direction. Looks like I will get the 18-135 and probably rent the primes to test them out before deciding. Have to decide on the zoom first. Will upgrade once I have spent enough time with the 18-135.
 

rhino123

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Sep 1, 2006
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#9
I see, thanks for your help man! I definitely appreciate you spending time to type out everything but it gave me a v clear direction. Looks like I will get the 18-135 and probably rent the primes to test them out before deciding. Have to decide on the zoom first. Will upgrade once I have spent enough time with the 18-135.
Good choice with the 18-135mm... although I would have prefer to stick with the 18-55mm + 55-250mm lens combo (I have this combo for quite sometime b4 changing to a Sigma 17-70mm + Canon 70-200mm f4L). I don't mind changing lenses and so far my 1000D, 40D and 7D all survive my frequent changing of lenses.

Anyway, do look into third party lenses like Sigma's 30mm f1.4 (it was a fabulous fabulous lens) and tamron 17-50mm (even the VC version is selling at 7xx the last time I see - which is from Cathay Photo).
 

CScsCS

New Member
Mar 3, 2013
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#10
I am using 650D with 18-135mm, it serves me well. It's versatile enough for me to walk around and shoot away. Your interests on the subjects are quite similar to me.

For prime, I have had the nifty fifty for a while, and just bought the 40mm pancake. The pancake had won me overnight over the nifty fifty. If I have to choose just one of them, I would buy the pancake at any material time. Just my own preference. Hope it helps. Cheers
 

Sep 26, 2010
70
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#11
Good choice with the 18-135mm... although I would have prefer to stick with the 18-55mm + 55-250mm lens combo (I have this combo for quite sometime b4 changing to a Sigma 17-70mm + Canon 70-200mm f4L). I don't mind changing lenses and so far my 1000D, 40D and 7D all survive my frequent changing of lenses.

Anyway, do look into third party lenses like Sigma's 30mm f1.4 (it was a fabulous fabulous lens) and tamron 17-50mm (even the VC version is selling at 7xx the last time I see - which is from Cathay Photo).
Yes, I am looking at third party lenses. I realised a 2nd hand tamron 17-50 non VC will be around the same price as the sigma 17-70, if not cheaper. I'm actually working towards a fixed aperture zoom lens my next upgrade but it's too early to say for now.

I am using 650D with 18-135mm, it serves me well. It's versatile enough for me to walk around and shoot away. Your interests on the subjects are quite similar to me.

For prime, I have had the nifty fifty for a while, and just bought the 40mm pancake. The pancake had won me overnight over the nifty fifty. If I have to choose just one of them, I would buy the pancake at any material time. Just my own preference. Hope it helps. Cheers
I see, But if given, choice, it will be one of the above 3 for the wide aperture for some sweet bokeh. Apparently, the Sigma 30mm f1.4 has sweeter bokeh than the 35mm f2, so it should be between the Sigma 30mm f1.4 vs the Canon 50mm f1.8!
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#12
50mm F1.8.

Sharp. Cheap.
Thin DOF available.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#13
Yes, I am looking at third party lenses. I realised a 2nd hand tamron 17-50 non VC will be around the same price as the sigma 17-70, if not cheaper. I'm actually working towards a fixed aperture zoom lens my next upgrade but it's too early to say for now.



I see, But if given, choice, it will be one of the above 3 for the wide aperture for some sweet bokeh. Apparently, the Sigma 30mm f1.4 has sweeter bokeh than the 35mm f2, so it should be between the Sigma 30mm f1.4 vs the Canon 50mm f1.8!
I guess the Canon 50/1.8 is hard to overlook mainly due to the low price. But 30mm prime should be a more useful focal length on a 650D if you're trying to shoot environmental portraits.
 

CScsCS

New Member
Mar 3, 2013
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#14
Shizuma said:
50mm F1.8.

Sharp. Cheap.
Thin DOF available.
Second that. Not much to lose given its low entry price :)
 

rhino123

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Sep 1, 2006
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#15
Yes, I am looking at third party lenses. I realised a 2nd hand tamron 17-50 non VC will be around the same price as the sigma 17-70, if not cheaper. I'm actually working towards a fixed aperture zoom lens my next upgrade but it's too early to say for now.
Or the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM... it will work very well with the 650D... especially in movie mode. And if you have other Canon DSLR, the STM motor works wonder too. And... btw... there really is no need for constant aperture zoom lens unless you really really need or wanted it. Variable aperture zoom lens are just as good. Work more on your skills and techniques, before upgrading of your equipment... I have seen excellent shots from cheap cheap kit lenses too.
 

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CScsCS

New Member
Mar 3, 2013
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#16
rhino123 said:
Or the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM... it will work very well with the 650D... especially in movie mode. And if you have other Canon DSLR, the STM motor works wonder too.
Suggested that. But it has been dismissed :)
 

Sep 26, 2010
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#17
Suggested that. But it has been dismissed :)
Not that it is a bad lens, but if I were to upgrade to the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, the 40mm will be severely underused. It's definitely a good lens!
 

wongce

New Member
Sep 9, 2012
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#18
Harlo, i am a newbie using 650d with 18-135 stm + 50mm f1.8 lens

For me, 18-135 stm kit lens is a walk around lens. No hassle for changing lens as 18-135mm is good range and enough for most situations. I go traveling around using only this lens...fast and sharp for me,not sure if it is inferior compared to 18-55mm though..from what i know,no lens is perfect....it very much depend on what you want to snap and suit your purpose.

The stm kit lens works very well for videos...no focusing noise at all... Love it as i took vids sometimes and generally i got nothing to complain about this lens except it might be slightly heavy lol

50mm f1.8 is a very good buy. I find primes very sharp but 50mm is a bit long for me...it takes some practicing...well can't complain about the price and quality...

Above are strictly my humble opinions only,hope it helps...
 

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rhino123

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Sep 1, 2006
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#19
Not that it is a bad lens, but if I were to upgrade to the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, the 40mm will be severely underused. It's definitely a good lens!
Not that Tamron 17-50mm is a bad lens or what, but I would suggest that down the road, and if you are not going into FF, you should save up and get the Canon EF17-55mm f2.8 (that is a L lens in EF-S mount)... trust me, that is a fabulous lens, you will not be disappointed with the performance.

Oh... another lens that you should consider also... was the 15-85mm (another fabulous lens)...
 

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CScsCS

New Member
Mar 3, 2013
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SG
#20
wongce said:
Harlo, i am a newbie using 650d with 18-135 stm + 50mm f1.8 lens

For me, 18-135 stm kit lens is a walk around lens. No hassle for changing lens as 18-135mm is good range and enough for most situations. I go traveling around using only this lens...fast and sharp for me,not sure if it is inferior compared to 18-55mm though..from what i know,no lens is perfect....it very much depend on what you want to snap and suit your purpose.

The stm kit lens works very well for videos...no focusing noise at all... Love it as i took vids sometimes and generally i got nothing to complain about this lens except it might be slightly heavy lol

50mm f1.8 is a very good buy. I find primes very sharp but 50mm is a bit long for me...it takes some practicing...well can't complain about the price and quality...

Above are strictly my humble opinions only,hope it helps...
Birds alike flock together. I share exact same sentiments :) 50mm is indeed a bit long and narrow with our crop censor, that's why the pancake won me over in many many aspects. You shall give it a try too :)
 

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