October 25, 2014, 01:47:48 PM

Author Topic: Starting Lens Recommendation  (Read 4360 times)

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 02:48:29 PM »
I think that the biggest parts of learning to shoot are finding/manipulating light (which doesn't necessarily fit in this discussion) and learning to see the world through your camera.

I completely agree -- and that's exactly why I think zooms are so much better than primes for beginning students.

With a zoom, composition is a matter of finding the location where you've got the perspective you want and then turning the ring until your subject is framed the way you want. It's very intuitive and easy.

With a prime, you've instead got to start making compromises between perspective and framing, and you might have to switch lenses and start cropping to get what you want. And all that additional time and attention spent learning how to compose with a prime could be much better spent on learning about light.

Similarly, I'd encourage students to learn how to drive in an automatic transmission car. Might a professional driver be able to get something extra out of a manual transmission car? Sure, of course. But what students need to learn isn't speed shifting, but situational awareness and right-of-way. Having the additional confusion of all these levers and pedals takes away from what's important.

Once you've mastered that which is important, then it's time to start adding on the advanced techniques. But anything you can do to simplify up front is an advantage.

Indeed, I'd start students in green square mode. The first lessons would be on composition (no waist-up portraits in landscape orientation with the head centered in the frame!) and quickly add in light. Only later would I introduce Av and Tv modes, finally full manual, and I'd only mention manual focus late in the game as part of a discussion of the autofocus system. Indeed, I'd certainly spend time in the digital darkroom before discussing manual focus.

Many educators make the mistrake of making their students learn by reenacting the history of the field, keeping them from the modern methods until they've mastered the primitive. This is counter-productive! Make full use of all modern advancements to teach the most fundamental concepts. If there's a crutch that'll let students learn something important without having to claw their way to it, use the crutch! Then, when they understand the important parts, show them how to start dropping the crutches.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 02:48:29 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 03:39:33 PM »
I believe a fixed 50mm on FF will teach someone much more than any zoom lens ever could. Composition.

Dantana

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 03:42:19 PM »
As I said, only my opinion. I am sure there are many learning strategies that would work out just fine. I can only speak from my experience.

I went to school to study film-making (still photography was something on the side) and through film moved on to animation. In retrospect, I'm glad that I went to a smaller school where we had limited and older equipment. I'm glad I learned to shoot on Bolexes that were older than I was, that hand-holding a 16BL wasn't a big thing, and that we didn't have every light at our disposal known to man. I am especially grateful for learning to use an analog incident meter, and for working on film in general. When you can use that equipment, you can use anything. The technical basics become second nature and you can concentrate on the truly important things. We concentrated on look and subject matter and didn't have to think about tech because everything was so basic. The definitely was no green square mode.

I'm also glad that when I went back to school to learn CG, that I had to learn the finer points of classical animation first. If you can make something move with a pencil, then it doesn't really matter what software package you are forced to use later on.

I'm glad that I learned to shoot stills with a hand me down AE-1 and a 50 prime. I'm glad that I learned how to process and print. I still use skills that I learned on analog equipment now that I live in a digital world.

I am grateful for these things because when I got out into the "real world" I found that things don't always work as planned and understanding the root of the craft will get you through most anything. I have seen people who were not taught from the ground up totally overwhelmed when things don't go as planned.

I think learning to shoot with primes is a very valuable experience.

Again, this is an opinion based only on my experience. Again Trumpet, I'm not saying that your approach is wrong. I only know that different paths have different merits.

I apologize for hijacking this thread, and I'll try to refrain from jumping in again.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 04:04:40 PM »
5) Tokina 16-50 f2.8 + Canon 100mm f2.0

brad goda

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 04:46:07 PM »
"I'm a traditionalist with this kind of question and others will disagree. I would always get a 50mm focal length and stick to that for a while."
and choice #4
++1

yes intimately knowing a particular focal length.. its angle of view..what it does to foreground and background.. its depth of field is important as a student of photography.
starting off with zooms you will get lost in just cropping and not seeing... or later previsualizing composition.
physically moving yourself to make a shot is part of photography.
Canon dumbed us down with ads in the 80s with marketing zooms in point and shoot cameras...
as "dont be the HUMAN ZOOM" as people depicted moving close and far to subject... LOL
fine for lazy quick pics but I dont think thats proper photography or the understanding of photography...
good luck... have fun!

aroo

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 06:18:10 PM »
When you're just starting out, I say get a whole bunch of really different lenses. Just to see what lenses are, and what they do. Maybe one of each type, plus get a speedlite:

Fast/portrait
50mm 1.8
40mm 2.8
60mm 2.8 macro
85mm 1.8

Wide
20mm
18-135mm
15-85mm
10-22mm

Tele
55-250mm
70-300mm

BrandonKing96

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 10:35:34 PM »
My suggestion:
-85mm f/1.8 (around $370)
-40mm f/2.8 (around $160)
-24mm f/2.8 (around $393) OR if you could stretch your budget a little more, the 20 f/2.8.

Getting them second hand could have a little cash too.

And if your sole purpose is photography (you're not planning to use video), I'd sell your t3i and buy a 5D C.
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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 10:35:34 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2013, 12:55:40 AM »
I believe a fixed 50mm on FF will teach someone much more than any zoom lens ever could. Composition.

+1
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Hobby Shooter

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2013, 01:25:14 AM »
As I said, only my opinion. I am sure there are many learning strategies that would work out just fine. I can only speak from my experience.

I went to school to study film-making (still photography was something on the side) and through film moved on to animation. In retrospect, I'm glad that I went to a smaller school where we had limited and older equipment. I'm glad I learned to shoot on Bolexes that were older than I was, that hand-holding a 16BL wasn't a big thing, and that we didn't have every light at our disposal known to man. I am especially grateful for learning to use an analog incident meter, and for working on film in general. When you can use that equipment, you can use anything. The technical basics become second nature and you can concentrate on the truly important things. We concentrated on look and subject matter and didn't have to think about tech because everything was so basic. The definitely was no green square mode.

I'm also glad that when I went back to school to learn CG, that I had to learn the finer points of classical animation first. If you can make something move with a pencil, then it doesn't really matter what software package you are forced to use later on.

I'm glad that I learned to shoot stills with a hand me down AE-1 and a 50 prime. I'm glad that I learned how to process and print. I still use skills that I learned on analog equipment now that I live in a digital world.

I am grateful for these things because when I got out into the "real world" I found that things don't always work as planned and understanding the root of the craft will get you through most anything. I have seen people who were not taught from the ground up totally overwhelmed when things don't go as planned.

I think learning to shoot with primes is a very valuable experience.

Again, this is an opinion based only on my experience. Again Trumpet, I'm not saying that your approach is wrong. I only know that different paths have different merits.

I apologize for hijacking this thread, and I'll try to refrain from jumping in again.
Hi,
I'm not a youngster, I'm a middle aged family father, nor have I any formal training in photography so my view might be a bit uninformed. However, having spent +17 years in the IT business I think there are parallels to modern digital photography. I think being taught from the ground up is different today than it used to be, the baseline have changed. Of course, composition, light, colours etc will always matter because they are the fundamentals of photography irrespective of if you are a photo journalist or an artist. But kids today learn Photoshop at the same time they learn photography, they are interlinked. Also, technology will likely help you to speed past things that used to be obstacles without even noticing them. There are new and different challenges.

Having said that, I don't mean to diminish the knowledge and experience photographers in my generation (not counting myself) and older have since it is the foundation of true photography.

In terms of zooms versus primes, well I have both but I do prefer zooms thanks to their versatility. This week I have shot two track and field events at my childrens' school with my 5D3 and 70-200. Simply couldn't have been done with a prime. But I still love my 35L also although some on this forum don't  ;)

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 01:50:09 AM »
Option 4 + 5Dc. Sell the rebel, your better off learning on that camera.

+1.  or better yet, just get a 50mm F1.8, 5Dc, an external flash and some off-camera flash accessories (the most basic accessories as suggested from strobist.com).  Just add lenses as you need them.

sagittariansrock

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2013, 04:06:23 AM »

One caution, the 28-105 does not have IS.
If you are a student of photography (instead of merely a student interested in photography) :P then I'd recommend getting a 35mm prime.
Among your choices no. 4 seems the most versatile to me (for me the aperture ranges provide more versatility than the focal length ranges of a zoom). Personally, on my own crop sensor I'd be happiest if I could have a fast 24mm lens.

Oops typo there. Should have been 28-135. Sorry about that. And, yes, I am taking photography course at my high school now (used the old Pentax K1000 last semester). Thanks about advice. But adding another prime would be out of my budget... I guess using the kit lens with f/8 setting would work for that...


I'm a traditionalist with this kind of question and others will disagree. I would always get a 50mm focal length and stick to that for a while. On your crop body the equivalent would be any 35mm lens. Any of them will do. The faster (=wider aperture) the better but that's a matter of budget also. The basic Canon 35 2.0 (non IS) should be fine. Any of the Sigma lenses are nice as well. The 30mm 1.4 is a steal for instance.
And then there is always the Canon 40mm 2.8 pancake lens.

Once you're getting good results with any of those you can then make a more educated decision as to what else you need and what your style of photography is.

If I had to chose one of the combos above I'd personally go with #4.

So prime is the way to go I guess. But I cannot buy more lens nor it wouldn't be wise to replace any. Maybe i can replace 100mm with 35mm but that would leave me no telephoto lens...Thanks for help anyway.

Y no Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC? Alright, it's a bit above your limit, but probably of the best affordable standard zoom.

Uh, that's quite a bit above my budget... thanks for advice though!

I would say that the EF 28-135 is a good, affordable alternative to the 24-105L but the L is a MUCH better lens, combinded with the EF 100mm macro (non-L) with the 70-300 IS USM (non-L) you would end up with 3 affordable lenses that are outstanding for the cost and would cover about 99.9% of all of your shooting needs. I have used/still use each of these lenses to this day.

D

So you are suggesting range coverage over the aperture...I think they'd be nice for traveling as well! But 28mm on a crop sensor would be about 45mm on full frame so the only way for me to shoot wide angle is to shoot with my father's film camera. Thanks for help though.


Thanks for advice everyone! So I guess I'll go with the primes. But let me ask just one additional question. In terms of photos' quality, are the primes comparable with the 24-105L?

The 24 2.8 is better at 24mm than the L zoom @f/4. 50 1.8 is very sharp above f/2.8, although the zoom is quite strong at this focal length especially stopped down to 5.6. I haven't personally used the 100mm but I have only heard good things about it.
Couple of other things to chew on:
A very good advice someone gave- you don't need to buy all at once. Buy one and then expand slowly.
A 35mm might replace 50mm depending on your preferences. Or the 40 2.8 instead of the 50 1.8.
In case you reconsider zooms the Tamron 17-50 is a very good lens for crop sensors and costs about $ 300.
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BrandonKing96

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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2013, 06:17:02 PM »
Why you not choose Canon Lens - EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens . best budget lens online.
get more specification or buy online from Canon official Store Online - http://www.imagestore.co.in/
I wouldn't go for a zoom like that when it's better to learn from the primes forcing you to think. And why the 17-85 and an only lens when the 15-85 would be a completely superior option for just a little more.
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Re: Starting Lens Recommendation
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2013, 06:17:02 PM »