What lens should I choose?


assr92

New Member
Dec 17, 2012
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Singapore
#1
Hello guys!

I just became interested in photography abt a few months ago and is currently lost in the mountain of lens! HAHA!

What I want to take is mainly scenery and sometimes portraits. So from what I have gathered, the lens I should go for is a telephoto zoom lens and a portrait lens? (correct me if Im wrong pls!)

So from what I have read from the internet, the lens I should go for is a 70-300mm lens and a 50mm lens?

I just looked through the canon website and there are so many! Maybe you guys can enlighten me :)

Thanks in advance!
 

Mar 30, 2013
2,018
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#3
Actually your kit lens either 18-55/18-135 can take both landscape and portraits.

There's no point buying the 70-300 if you want it for portrait. It's more of a telephoto lens used for wildlife/nature. You can use it for portraits provided your subject is quite far away. The 50mm 1.8 is more suitable for portraits up close.

Also remember to factor in the 1.6x crop when choosing lenses. So your 50mm is effectively a 80mm lens.

I suggest you try using your kit lens (if you have and I hope you do) doing the above stuff that you mentioned. They are not bad lens for a start :)

You can also search the stickies at the canon forum for more guides and tips to help you on your photography journey. Cheers!
 

Alexcheng

New Member
Dec 10, 2013
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#4
Scenery must use the lower mm lense. What they call wide angle. Play around with your kit lens first then perhaps you can one day think about upgrading to an L Series Lens (those with red rings on them)
 

SkyStrike

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Staff member
Nov 29, 2010
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Somewhere
#5
Scenery must use the lower mm lense. What they call wide angle. Play around with your kit lens first then perhaps you can one day think about upgrading to an L Series Lens (those with red rings on them)
Scenery/landscapes doesn't mean that must use wide angle. Even telephoto lenses like 70-200 can be used for it.

If one doesn't know the value of upgrading, getting a L lens means nothing. So does upgrading any lens/equipment.
 

Likes: IsenGrim

Edwin Francis

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2006
883
3
18
www.sgwriter.com
#7
Scenery must use the lower mm lense. What they call wide angle. Play around with your kit lens first then perhaps you can one day think about upgrading to an L Series Lens (those with red rings on them)
'MUST' ? Are you the focal length police? :bsmilie:

Landscapes are generally shot with wide angles, but it isn't a law. Same with portraits. I've seen wonderful portraits shot with a fisheye. Rules and guidelines are there to be bent and broken, especially in art.

I do agree with the recommendation -- stay with your kit lens (whether 18-55, 18-135 or whatever). YOU should know what range of lens to get after that, without having to ask anyone else (you may still want to ask for recommendations within that range). If you are frequently trying to get wider than 18mm, then you need a wide/ultrawide. Same at the tele end.

Or just borrow or rent and try a different focal length range and see if you like it.
 

Mar 1, 2012
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#8
Ur kit zoom will suffice.

Or u may get the 15-85 instead. The wider end is useful for landscapes.

And a 50/1.8 is always recommended as a portrait / low light lens for beginners because it's dirt cheap.
 

dennisc

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2002
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#9
actually 70-300 can also be used for landscape where single object is focused. But then at all depends on your style, should develop your style first before deciding on any lens. For a start the lens comes with your camera should suffice for everything
 

assr92

New Member
Dec 17, 2012
28
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0
Singapore
#10
Hello guys,

Thank you all for ur inputs!! Really appreciate them :)

However, I have been experimenting with my 18-55 lens for quite some time already :) bought my camera almost a year ago?

The reason for me buying a new lens is because I just wanna have a few more diversity in my collection :) So I can use it when I travel overseas or for outings :)
 

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
5,243
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NA
#11
Hello guys,

Thank you all for ur inputs!! Really appreciate them :)

However, I have been experimenting with my 18-55 lens for quite some time already :) bought my camera almost a year ago?

The reason for me buying a new lens is because I just wanna have a few more diversity in my collection :) So I can use it when I travel overseas or for outings :)
My friend. Since you have been experimenting on your 18-55mm for 1 year, you should by now know what is lacking. None of us here actually know what is your shooting style. For scenery and portrait shots, your 18-55mm will do just fine. To take pic of something further away, then get a 55-250mm which will become an excellent companion for your 18-55mm. For macro, get yourself a Raynox 250 or 500D close-up lens, that you can add on to your lenses, and this type of filter like add-on is pretty useful and not all that expensive.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#12
The reason for me buying a new lens is because I just wanna have a few more diversity in my collection :) So I can use it when I travel overseas or for outings :)
What kind of diversity? Are you going to collect lenses for the sake of owning them? Well, if that's the case then go ahead but we can stop all photographic discussions here.
If you are asking for lenses with a specific intention and purpose in mind then share this with us and we can give you specific advice. Secondly: do define a budget. It becomes clearer then whether we talk about the consumer lenses (as your kit lens) or the maybe the L series of Canon. But please keep in mind: A few can tell the difference between two pictures taken by a consumer lens and a professional L lens. When downsized for Facebook I doubt anybody can, except maybe for a few specific situations where the characteristics of the high grade lens still are visible. All this comes with a hefty price tag (Check the Canon price list here. It's sorted according focal length so you can directly compare the consumer and L lenses.) - back to the budget question.
 

assr92

New Member
Dec 17, 2012
28
0
0
Singapore
#13
I don't really understand by what you mean as shooting style? And no, I'm not going to collect all of them. Photography is not abt collection of all lenses, so pls don't be sacarstic thanks a lot. I'm not very good in this and obviously would have questions phrased wrongly. As stated, my main objective and purpose is for portraits and for scenery shots. And wish to buy smth other than my 18-55 so as to enhance my pictures. Pls help thanks.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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rainy Singapore
#15
I don't really understand by what you mean as shooting style? And no, I'm not going to collect all of them. Photography is not abt collection of all lenses, so pls don't be sacarstic thanks a lot. I'm not very good in this and obviously would have questions phrased wrongly. As stated, my main objective and purpose is for portraits and for scenery shots. And wish to buy smth other than my 18-55 so as to enhance my pictures. Pls help thanks.
Well, your expectations are still rather vague, in my opinion.
My suggestion is to go through your photo library and look at the types of photos you shoot most often, and the focal lengths you use for these photos. Do you often wish your lens gave you a wider view? Or could focus closer? Or could magnify a distant object? etc etc etc...
This should give you an idea what sort of focal length (mm) would appeal to you.
There are some websites which give you online tools like "Focal Length Simulator". Something like that may be useful to help you decide.
 

catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#16
Hello guys,

Thank you all for ur inputs!! Really appreciate them :)

However, I have been experimenting with my 18-55 lens for quite some time already :) bought my camera almost a year ago?

The reason for me buying a new lens is because I just wanna have a few more diversity in my collection :) So I can use it when I travel overseas or for outings :)
my suggestion is keep it simple for the time being.

you can check out what others can do with their Canon 18-55 lens.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1552464@N22/

anyway, unless you already specialise in certain genre like sports, birds, or architectural, require using specialise lenses.
you still will be using 18-55 lens shooting 90% of the general shots, a new longer or shorter focal length lens may not justify the spending if consider the usage.
 

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
5,243
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#17
I don't really understand by what you mean as shooting style? And no, I'm not going to collect all of them. Photography is not abt collection of all lenses, so pls don't be sacarstic thanks a lot. I'm not very good in this and obviously would have questions phrased wrongly. As stated, my main objective and purpose is for portraits and for scenery shots. And wish to buy smth other than my 18-55 so as to enhance my pictures. Pls help thanks.
Different people have different type of style in which they shoot their photo. Everyone had different ways and methods that they like to compose their photos. What I like to do, and what I find pleasing might not work for you. If I tell you that I use a 85mm to shoot landscape, are you going to follow me? or if I tell you that I use a focal length of 10mm to shoot portrait to achieve certain effects that I want, do you want to follow me too?

I mean, no one know what you like and what works for you. That is why I say it is difficult for anyone of us to advise you on what to buy.

The only lens that I see that could fit into your category is the 55-250mm lens (pretty sharp, good range and could complement your 18-55mm kit lens). This lens don't sell too expensive nowadays and it is a really beautiful lens. I used it for quite some time and loved it... that is, until I was bitten by the BBB virus and got myself a 'L' lens.

So my advise is for your 600D would be,

1) 18-55mm
2) 55-250mm
3) Raynox 250 or 500D close-up lens filter.

You would be set for lots of fun. If you find changing lens a hassle, sell away your 18-55mm and get yourself a Sigma 18-250mm or Tamron 18-270mm, these two lenses are a good general purpose lens with excellent focal range.

Play with them for awhile then decide whether you want to go prime and get yourself a 50mm f1.8 etc.
 

Apr 30, 2010
303
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16
Seagull
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#18
In order not to waste $$ buying stuff that you regret, a good suggestion (like that a bro mentioned above) will be to rent the lenses that you think that you are interested in and try them out. There are plenty of good and reputable places to do so, and there are those that even have weekend specials with discounts (you can search in CS for more info). :)
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,539
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48
Pasir Ris
#19
I don't really understand by what you mean as shooting style? And no, I'm not going to collect all of them. Photography is not abt collection of all lenses, so pls don't be sacarstic thanks a lot. I'm not very good in this and obviously would have questions phrased wrongly. As stated, my main objective and purpose is for portraits and for scenery shots. And wish to buy smth other than my 18-55 so as to enhance my pictures. Pls help thanks.
Please read my questions as plain as they are. There is no need for getting upset or feeling offended, but it is important to clarify your motivations.
Shooting style includes the genre (e.g. landscape, portraits) as well the the way you want to capture it (portraits can be from head only to full body) and the distance (very close, from a distance, studio, outdoors, candid or arranged ...). There are many ways to create a picture and since you don't know what you want it is difficult to make recommendations. Also, what exactly do you want to enhance? Or: what is lacking in your pictures? What is it that other pictures make you "Wow!" ? Go deeper at this point, it has little to do with lenses.
The best way to enhance pictures is
1) Composition skills (The difference between creating an image versus freezing / snapping reality)
2) Basic skills about managing exposure (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) and using tools like filters
3) Post processing skills (Not everything can be achieved straight from camera)
[Long break]
4) Better lenses
5) Better camera bodies
The first three items make up for more than 80% of the final image. (Which explains why skilled people are able to use any camera to get simply great pictures.) At the moment you are discussing about the little maximum 20% which becomes less and less visible even to the trained eye when the picture gets downsized for Facebook & co. I seriously think you are trying hard at the wrong end.
If you need a wider lens, then Canon has a superb 10-20mm, Sigma has 10-22, Tokina has something in the same range and all fit your budget with a bit left over. For longer lenses you can use the Canon 55-250. Forget the 75-300 (still offered cheap sometimes). Most other lenses are out of budget as first hand. I haven't checked the 3rd party makers but I'm sure they have something equivalent. For reviews just use Google to get results from controlled test environments, user reviews tend to be biased for obvious reasons.
 

Jun 29, 2012
220
0
0
Singapore
#20
Hello guys!

I just became interested in photography abt a few months ago and is currently lost in the mountain of lens! HAHA!

What I want to take is mainly scenery and sometimes portraits. So from what I have gathered, the lens I should go for is a telephoto zoom lens and a portrait lens? (correct me if Im wrong pls!)

So from what I have read from the internet, the lens I should go for is a 70-300mm lens and a 50mm lens?

I just looked through the canon website and there are so many! Maybe you guys can enlighten me :)

Thanks in advance!
If your interest is mainly on scenaries, you can consider the following:

- continue using with your 18-55
- consider investing in the following useful tools (if you dont already have them):
1. A sturdy tripod
2. Graduated neutral density filters + maybe polarising filter.


If you want to get more omph from shooting potrait, a 50mm f1.8 is a cheap way to give you the narrow depth of focus which you cant get with you existing kit lens.
 

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