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Author Topic: picking out lens  (Read 8381 times)

mr.ranger

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picking out lens
« on: July 09, 2011, 02:45:33 AM »
Hi I'm new to the SLR world. I'm planning to purchase a canon 60d with in the next couple days. what would be some good lens to go with the camera. I'm planning on doing landscape, sports, and lots of macro.

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picking out lens
« on: July 09, 2011, 02:45:33 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 05:25:00 AM »
What's your budget?  IMO, the best general purpose zoom for an APS-C camera is the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS.  The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS is great for macro.   What sports, and how close will you be?  A general recommendation would be a 70-200mm f/2.8L (IS II if it fits your budget).
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dr croubie

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 10:46:14 AM »
ouch, probably the 3 things that you can't do with the overlapping lenses.
and neuro beat me to it, i'll ditto what he said.

just on the 'lots of macro' bit, also consider the MP-E 65. Static subjects (unless you're really good), tripod, and manual focus only, can't use it as a normal lens, but it's a "real" macro lens (5x magnification).
The 100L macro you can use handheld, has the best IS, and can also work as a real lens (makes a good portrait lens).
For a cheap option, which i'd recommend only for static subjects and MF (or a lot of practice and frustration), a set or two of Extension tubes are cheap (kenko are cheapest and good quality).

and for the wide end, consider the 15-85 to save a bit of cash, longer zoom range, just not as good in the dark, if you don't mind taking out a bit of barrel distortion @15mm in PP.
Another option for really wide landscapes is getting the 18-55 IS kit lens for every day, and pairing it with the 10-22 (or any number of 3rd-party versions, Tokina or Sigma make a few good ones).

sports, yeah, the 70-200L 2.8 IS II is where it's at, if you can afford it (or the 70-200L 2.8 half the price, or the 70-200 f4 half that again).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 10:51:49 AM by dr croubie »
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 12:17:47 PM »
Hi I'm new to the SLR world. I'm planning to purchase a canon 60d with in the next couple days. what would be some good lens to go with the camera. I'm planning on doing landscape, sports, and lots of macro.

Being new to DSLR's, I would not recommend going right out and buying a lot of expensive lenses until you have more experience with your camera.

Lenses are very important, but not the only thing to get.

There is nothing wrong with getting the kit lens to start with.  There is so much to learn.  Buy software like Adobe Lightroom, learn to shoot and develop raw images, purchase a separate flash, and perhaps a better beamer for the flash to use for birds or small critters, diffusers and reflectors, a good tripod and head, monopod, etc.  At the very least, save money in your budget for some accessories.

It would not be a good idea, for example to buy a $50 tripod for a $1500 telephoto lens.  The cheap tripods are not stable enough to eliminate vibrations, and you will wonder why you get blurry images with your telephoto lens.

Once you learn how to master your kit lens and have any of the above accessories you might need, you should know what you'll want in your next lens.

I'm one for fine tools, and I have a lot of high end lenses, but they were each bought for a specific reason and a lens that might have been a best choice for another would not have done the job for me. A shotgun approach can work, or it can waste a lot of money.

We all look at our lenses and feel that we have spent our dollars on the best lens  (for our use).  That might not be the best for you.

Thats why the kit lenses are there, a starting point and a way to learn without spending $$$ on the wrong choice.

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 12:39:15 PM »
Hi I'm new to the SLR world. I'm planning to purchase a canon 60d with in the next couple days. what would be some good lens to go with the camera. I'm planning on doing landscape, sports, and lots of macro.

Being new to DSLR's, I would not recommend going right out and buying a lot of expensive lenses until you have more experience with your camera.

Lenses are very important, but not the only thing to get.

There is nothing wrong with getting the kit lens to start with.  There is so much to learn.  Buy software like Adobe Lightroom, learn to shoot and develop raw images, purchase a separate flash, and perhaps a better beamer for the flash to use for birds or small critters, diffusers and reflectors, a good tripod and head, monopod, etc.  At the very least, save money in your budget for some accessories.

It would not be a good idea, for example to buy a $50 tripod for a $1500 telephoto lens.  The cheap tripods are not stable enough to eliminate vibrations, and you will wonder why you get blurry images with your telephoto lens.

Once you learn how to master your kit lens and have any of the above accessories you might need, you should know what you'll want in your next lens.

I'm one for fine tools, and I have a lot of high end lenses, but they were each bought for a specific reason and a lens that might have been a best choice for another would not have done the job for me. A shotgun approach can work, or it can waste a lot of money.

We all look at our lenses and feel that we have spent our dollars on the best lens  (for our use).  That might not be the best for you.

Thats why the kit lenses are there, a starting point and a way to learn without spending $$$ on the wrong choice.
Totally agree.  There is another point to consider. Since you are new to the DSLR, you may not be used to the weight and bulk of  all the extra lenses.  You might even start to hating it. The 18-55 IS kit lens is not bad for the price ($100??).  I have actually use it to compliment my 17-40mm for low light. The other kit lens (55-250) is a cheap price (another $100 ??) to learn about using long lens. Both lenses will give you good 12X14 easily. 
If you are going to buy the expensive lenses that are suggested in the different posts. Then you might want to buy the 7D for the micro AF adjustment. You will need it eventually. Since you are going to spend thousands of dollars on the lenses you might as well spend extra few hubdred buck on the body.

mr.ranger

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 02:23:41 PM »
thanks for the advise i have been debating on 60d and 7d for a while but i decided 60d was a better route for me. my budget for lenses and other items ill need is about $3000 as for what kind of sports shots ill be doing will be mainly at horse shows/events. i have been in debate over which lens to get for tele zoom. Ive been looking at canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and the canon 70-200mm f/4L USM there is only a $50 difference. the EF 100mm
f/2.8 Macro USM is great lens as from what i can tell. thanks again for the advise.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 02:30:05 PM by mr.ranger »

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 02:30:19 PM »
thanks for the advise i have been debating on 60d and 7d for a while but i decided 60d was a better route for me. my budget for lenses and other items ill need is about $3000 as for what kind of sports shots ill be doing will be mainly at horse shows/events. i have been in debate over which lens to get. Ive been looking at canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and the canon 70-200mm f/4L USM there is only a $50 difference.

If they are indoor events, f/4 lenses are way to slow.  Even f/2.8 will struggle unless the lighting is very good.

Are you doing indoor shows?  The f/4 lenses are fine for outdoors.

You might want to rent lenses for a updoming show to make sure you have the right focal length, and that they can handle the lighting.  If you need more light, then you might have to go to a fast prime, 85mm or 135mm.  Beyond the 135mm f/2, prices take a quantum leap for very fast lenses like the 200mm f/2.

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 02:30:19 PM »

mr.ranger

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 02:35:17 PM »
the shows are almost always done outdoors sometimes they do do under cover arenas if its bad weather. but they have tons of lights on them.

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2011, 03:32:45 PM »
With that budget, I'd go for the EF-S 60mm Macro, the EF-S 10-22mm for wide landscapes, and the 70-200mm f/4 IS for the sports and telephoto landscapes.  I've used that lens for several equestrian events and it is perfect for them.  You could also ditch the EF-S 60mm and buy an extension tube to use with the 70-200mm to give it a closer minimum focusing distance. 
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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2011, 06:57:19 PM »
the shows are almost always done outdoors sometimes they do do under cover arenas if its bad weather. but they have tons of lights on them.

If its well lighted, a 70-200mm f/4 lens might work.  Many lenses are not sharp wide open but the f/4L is very sharp at f/4 and at all zoom lengths.  I've been at some arenas around locally, and to my eye, they are well lighted, but to my camera, they are not. 

If you have used f/4 at arenas you attend, you will be fine.

As for landscapes, many feel that a ultra wide lens is needed, however, many use longish focal lengths quite nicely.  The one usual thing in common is small apertures to give you as large of a depth of field as possible.  f/16 is not uncommon, and at small apertures, most lenses are pretty much equal.  You need a sturdy tripod to get sharp images with slow shutter speeds, so don't forget that.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 11:30:30 AM by Mt Spokane Photography »

dr croubie

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 07:52:40 PM »
I've been looking at canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and the canon 70-200mm f/4L USM there is only a $50 difference.

I tossed up that decision for ages, ended up with the 70-300nonL, used it for a few months and came to the following conclusion:
on the 70-300, the 70-200 range isn't that bad, only slightly behind (sometimes just in front) of the 70-200 f4L nonIS in resolution. Plus you get IS, and it's a good implementation. And neither are weather sealed. the 70-300nonL is lighter and packs up smaller, using a polarising filter takes getting used to (front rotates when focussing) but isn't impossible.
It's really let down in the 200-300 range though, fuzzy at 300mm, which is where i really wanted extra reach, so i got the 70-300L when it came out.

For outdoors, and for horses (which are huge compared to the birds i go for), you probably won't need the extra 200-300 reach, and if it's well lit and sunny, staying at ISO 200 or so, you can easily get good handholdable shots at f4 with a fast enough shutter speed, you won't need the IS (although it is handy for framing). f4L nonIS also focusses faster than the 70-300nonL (USM vs micromotor). So i'd recommend the 70-200 f4L nonIS.

if you want to spring for the extra cash, the 70-200 f4L IS and the 70-200 f2.8L nonIS are both about the same price as each other, neither will disappoint you (read the reviews of the f4IS, it's one of the sharpest lenses you can get for the price, and weathersealed).

One thing to watch out for, make sure you constantly adjust the EV when shooting, if it's a dark or light coloured horse, the camera will try make the dark horse brighter and you could blow out your background (or just meter manually).
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WarStreet

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2011, 06:28:39 AM »
for what kind of sports shots ill be doing will be mainly at horse shows/events. i have been in debate over which lens to get for tele zoom. Ive been looking at canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and the canon 70-200mm f/4L USM there is only a $50 difference.

regarding the 70-300 IS and 70-200 f4, I have to agree with dr croubie.

The constant aperture, the fact that it is about 2/3 stop faster at 200mm, and the faster AF, are all strong advantages for sports and I would choice the 70-200 f4 even for just any of the above. Then you also get an optically better lens, IF, L quality build, and accepts a 1.4 TC in case you need it, with still good results. In fact this lens, when used with a 1.4 TC getting 280mm @ f5.6, the image quality is still better then the native 300mm @ f5.6 of the 70-300 IS.

One of the main advantage of the 70-300 is the IS, but if this is intended mainly for this sport event (assuming you are shooting the horses while racing), than you don't need it. I switch IS off for sports, with the exception for panning.

Another advantage of the 70-300 is the extra reach flexibility without the need of using a TC. But I think in your case, you will use only a small range of the focal length, maybe the telephoto side. It depends on your position and how far you will be. If you do find out that you need the 300mm, you can either add a TC to the 70-200 with a small decrease of resolution and AF performance (but still better than the 70-300) or just use the 200mm and crop to obtain the same framing, using the advantage of the higher resolving power of the 70-200, but this will lead to lower detail than then 70-300 although with still acceptable results.


To complicate more, you may also consider if you intend to use any of these lenses in other non sport situations, how often will this happen, and how important is for you the advantages of these lenses for such situations.  Hope that knowing more about the advantages of these lenses will help you decide.

Finally, Considering the 70-200 2.8 non IS is also a good idea. The main advantages is not just for higher shutter speeds/lower ISO, but also for more background blurring. If this is not important for you, than the F4 version is a cheaper and lighter solution. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 06:38:25 AM by WarStreet »

mr.ranger

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 01:56:13 PM »
thanks for the great advise on lenses. i think im gonna have to make a trip to sammy's camera store with my 60d to make the final decision.   

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 01:56:13 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2011, 04:20:21 PM »
The Canon on-line store had a 15% additional off all their refurbished lenses and cameras this weekend.  Naturally, all the good ones were sold in less than a hour.  A 5D MK II was $1699, for example. 

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2011, 06:43:58 AM »
Quite some you like to invest, this gives you some possibilities.
Let's start with the general walk around lens. I would go for the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4. It is inexpensive and covers a nice focal range. It is rather fast, and even has some macro capabilities. This is a nice lens if you go out, and carry only the camera with one lens. It won't help you for serious macro work though; therefor you need a dedicated macro lens. The Canon 100mm f 2.8 is as good as it gets for a macro, but at a price. An alternative is the Canon 60mm macro, which got pretty good reviews, and can double as a portrait lens.
For the tele-zoom I would suggest something with a longer zoom range then the 70-200. The max aperture should not be a problem for outdoor. So I would go for a 70-300 or even a 100-400. Not cheap lenses, but if horses are what you do most, then it should be your most important lens. With these lenses you will be able to record details, even if the horses are a little but further away.

For Landscape a wide angle would be nice, but I would wait, and see how the 17-70 suits you. There are several options in the 10-20mm range.

I would not stick to the kit lenses, they are nice, but if you are just a little bit serious about photography, you will soon grow out of them. The Canon 15-85 has a nice zoom range, and produces nice pictures, but in my opinion, it is a bit overpriced.

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Re: picking out lens
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2011, 06:43:58 AM »