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Author Topic: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i  (Read 4284 times)

billnelson75

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$1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« on: April 11, 2013, 03:57:22 AM »
So where I work, there is an employee that takes all of the photos for the office.  Right now he has the Canon t1i with the kit 18-55 lens to shoot all of the “official” photos.  Of course the biggest issue they have is in low light situations, and while the kit lens does well in some situations, in others it can struggle.  So they have requested and been approved for $1000 to spend on additional equipment.  The person who uses the camera is not super comfortable using any mode but auto, although I’ve been working with him on using aperture priority and he is getting better.

 So what would you suggest for upgrades?  Please remember, the $1000 limit is a hard budget, and we have to purchase through normal channels, amazon, b&h, no ebay option, craigslist or refurb is an option. 

They will use the camera indoors, and outdoors about 50/50 and some of the indoor venues will require tight shots as the rooms are often very small, and sometimes indoors a flash won’t be able to be used.  Also, at times outdoors, it will be necessary to shoot from a distance.  I do think they need the external flash for sure, but any input is great.  Plus they will also commonly do portraits both indoors and outside.  So a fairly versatile lens combo is necessary.  It also won't be possible to sell any equipment that they currently have, the kit lens or the canon t1i body. 

I’ve put a list below of the lenses and flash which seem to make the most sense, but I'm not sure in what combination.  So what would be the most versatile package for under $1000 in your opinion?  (I wouldn’t mind having a little left over for a tripod and basic case, and all the prices below are from B&H, which is where we will likely order from)  For example, my first thought is the 430ex flash, a 50mm f1.4 and the 55-250, but I'd appreciate any other input.  Thanks.

Canon 430ex II flash $254
Canon 50mm f1.8 $109
Canon 40mm f2.8 $179
Canon 55-250mm IS $233
Canon  50mm f1.4 $339
Canon 85mm f1.8 $359
Canon 28mm f1.8 $449
Canon EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM $649
Canon 100mm f2.8 USM Macro $499
Sigma 17-50 f2.8 $594
Canon 70-200 f4 $649

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$1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« on: April 11, 2013, 03:57:22 AM »

Hobby Shooter

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 04:08:41 AM »
There was a similar thread just a week or so ago. Get the 15-85 and the 430 flash. The 15-85 is a very good lens, especially at that price. It's basically an L-lens in an EF-S package, the range is very versatile also for the use you describe.

billnelson75

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 06:58:28 AM »
There was a similar thread just a week or so ago. Get the 15-85 and the 430 flash. The 15-85 is a very good lens, especially at that price. It's basically an L-lens in an EF-S package, the range is very versatile also for the use you describe.

My primary concern with that lens is low light performance.  Will it be any better than the kit lens?  The t1i doesn't have that great of ISO performance, and the reach is only slightly more than the kit lens.  I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.

Hobby Shooter

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 07:25:07 AM »
There was a similar thread just a week or so ago. Get the 15-85 and the 430 flash. The 15-85 is a very good lens, especially at that price. It's basically an L-lens in an EF-S package, the range is very versatile also for the use you describe.

My primary concern with that lens is low light performance.  Will it be any better than the kit lens?  The t1i doesn't have that great of ISO performance, and the reach is only slightly more than the kit lens.  I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.
The 15-85 is a completely different beast. Up to 85 i significantly longer and the iq is awesome. But for low light you should add the 50 1.8

neuroanatomist

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 08:33:20 AM »
I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.

No, the 15-85mm will not help you there.  The 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 would be good...if a short tele is what you need in those situations.  Else, consider the 35/2.

Here's my suggestion:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 $499 (better IQ than the Sigma 17-50 and cheaper, too).
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II $109
Canon Speedlite 430EX II $254
Manfrotto 294 tripod w/ QR ballhead $135

Leaves you $3 from your $1K budget.  :)
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jdramirez

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 09:08:11 AM »
 at under a grand,  versatility  and image quality don't go hand in hand.  I agree with Neuro as far as the package goes,  but I think you can skimp on the tripod. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

neuroanatomist

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 09:18:01 AM »
but I think you can skimp on the tripod.

The Manfrotto 294 with midi ballhead IS skimping on the tripod.   ;)  But at least it's going to be useful - a super-cheap tripod + pan-tilt head likely won't be used at all.
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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 09:18:01 AM »

billnelson75

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 11:22:52 AM »
I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.

No, the 15-85mm will not help you there.  The 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 would be good...if a short tele is what you need in those situations.  Else, consider the 35/2.

Here's my suggestion:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 $499 (better IQ than the Sigma 17-50 and cheaper, too).
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II $109
Canon Speedlite 430EX II $254
Manfrotto 294 tripod w/ QR ballhead $135

Leaves you $3 from your $1K budget.  :)

Thanks for the tripod recommendation.  I will do some homework on the Tamron lens as well.

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 11:38:08 AM »
There was a similar thread just a week or so ago. Get the 15-85 and the 430 flash. The 15-85 is a very good lens, especially at that price. It's basically an L-lens in an EF-S package, the range is very versatile also for the use you describe.

My primary concern with that lens is low light performance.  Will it be any better than the kit lens?  The t1i doesn't have that great of ISO performance, and the reach is only slightly more than the kit lens.  I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.

Are you using this for candids, or product work, or office head shots, or what?  Why do you say that a flash won't be possible to use?

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 12:44:35 PM »
I'd say get two flashes with remote releases like pocket wizard or chinese knockoff, flash / light stands, large umbrella reflectors, a tripod, remote release, and you are fine.  The 18-55 is plenty sharp, but you need evenly distributed light, and lots of it.

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 12:47:20 PM »
100mm F/2
50mm 1.8
430ex II

Botts

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 09:51:45 PM »
I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.


No, the 15-85mm will not help you there.  The 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 would be good...if a short tele is what you need in those situations.  Else, consider the 35/2.

Here's my suggestion:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 $499 (better IQ than the Sigma 17-50 and cheaper, too).
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II $109
Canon Speedlite 430EX II $254
Manfrotto 294 tripod w/ QR ballhead $135

Leaves you $3 from your $1K budget.  :)


Thanks for the tripod recommendation.  I will do some homework on the Tamron lens as well.


If you could spring like a few extra, or save up before buying the tripod, I would certainly go with http://www.ebay.com/itm/Benro-A2691TB1-Travel-Angel-Tripod-Kit-A2691-B1-T131-/290825133906?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item43b6875f52.  I know you said no eBay, but it's a way better deal off eBay than B&H.

Otherwise Neuro's suggestions are great.  The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is way way better in dim light than the kit lens.  The Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC is even better but $150 more.
6D, Sigma 35/1.4, 40STM, 50/1.4, 70-200/4 IS, 430ex II
T2i, 17-55/2.8 IS, 270ex

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 10:37:52 PM »
Just my 2 cents... For indoors, I've been living on 28mm F1.8 (mine is a very good copy (@F2, not so much @F1.8), I bought a new one, just manufactured 2012...) + 50mm F1.8 (very good even @F1.8) for quite sometime, 1 flash, 1 led lighting (or another flash), umbrella, remote and light stand/holder.  If you're not going for branded names, you can get all of them for under $1K.  I'm using Yongnuo, Nissin and local branded (Malaysia) strobist accessories.  They're cheap but still offer good quality accessories.  For outdoors, you can try Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (VC or non-VC).  Non-VC is cheaper and sharper but doesn't have stabilization.  VC is better all-around.  For tripod, you can get the cheapest manfrotto or jusino (if available).  You can just replace them later based on need.

28mm F1.8 - $450-500 (you may want to replace this with the 17-50).
50mm F1.8 - $100
Nissin flash + batteries/charger - $200

« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 10:44:43 PM by verysimplejason »

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 10:37:52 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 10:48:56 PM »
There was a similar thread just a week or so ago. Get the 15-85 and the 430 flash. The 15-85 is a very good lens, especially at that price. It's basically an L-lens in an EF-S package, the range is very versatile also for the use you describe.

My primary concern with that lens is low light performance.  Will it be any better than the kit lens?  The t1i doesn't have that great of ISO performance, and the reach is only slightly more than the kit lens.  I would guess that 25% of the time, the camera will be used indoors where there isn't great light and a flash won't be possible to use.  I'm worred that the 15-85 won't be any improvement over the kit lens in that type of shooting situation.

How much flexibility does the guy need in the lens.  It sound like ya'll might be able to get away with using primes... maybe a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 maybe... and rather than getting the Canon 430ex ii (which I have), maybe get a Yongnuo or Newer for $40 to $60.   They are manual, but they do work off camera, and they can bounce light off of 2 umbrellas.  It really doesn't take too much to get the right set up for studio portraiture. 

And for outdoor work, the 55-250 should suffice.  I know zooms are GREAT!!! but if he can do some work in post and crop the subject(s), it should be fine provided yall don't make prints larger than an 8x10. 

And in regards to skimping on the tripod, I have a $40 Dolica with a ball head and it is more than sufficient for my needs.  I will be getting a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS mkii and a 5d mkiii within the next year... and at that point, I don't think my Dolica will be graded to hold that weight... but a t1i and 30mm lens... it's light and I doubt there will be any issues.  I'd also suggest getting a wired shutter release.  It's just so much easier to set up your shot in advance, and to actually look at your subject with your eyes (I know... what a concept) and know when to hit the trigger.  I think I paid 10 bucks for mine and it was well worth the purchase price.

Alternatively, the 50mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/2.8 should be more than sufficient in getting a very nice sharp image.  Also, the 40mm f/2.8 is very sharp wide open and the former costs a third of the 30mm and the latter costs 1/2 of the 30mm.

So to answer the question I'd lean towards:
40mm f/2.8 - 150
Yongnuo flash - 50x2=100
umbrellas = 10x2=20
stands (I actually don't know what the stands cost)
55-250mm $200
dolica ballhead tripod - 40


My total is less than $500... zooms are fine... but they have difficult competing with even cheap primes.  And yall are definitely not in the market for a 24-70mkii or a 70-200mm f/2.8L is mkii.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 10:51:15 PM by jdramirez »
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 10:54:36 PM »
Why are we spending so much on a tripod?  Spending 20% of the budge on a carbon fiber one for what I imagine is "studio" work seems unnecessary.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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Re: $1000 budget, need lens recommendation for Canon t1i
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 10:54:36 PM »