I'm brand new to DSLRs having recently bought the T4i. I currently have two lenses, the "shorty" 40mm 2.8 and the 18-135 IS STM kit lens.
I love shooting with the 40mm and have been using it almost exclusively. It focuses fast, I enjoy working with the shallow depth of field, and image quality looks great. I thought I'd want to keep the kit lens because of its versatility, but I'm not finding situations where the 135 focal length comes in handy. For instance, I've tried using it to shoot birds in the back yard, but I find that it just isn't long enough for that purpose. I know that portrait photographers use the 85-135 focal lengths, but this lens only opens up to 5.6 at that range. So far I've been getting better portraits with the 40.
What I'm looking for is a second lens to compliment the 40mm. Something well under $1,000 that is fun to shoot with, and that will serve a clear purpose where in situation X I'll definitely prefer my new lens to the 40mm prime. I think the answer probably involves a focal length that is further removed from 40mm (such as 200?).
Thanks in advance for any advice you can lend.