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Author Topic: First dSLR, lens recommendations  (Read 12882 times)

Sartor

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First dSLR, lens recommendations
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:35:39 PM »
Hi

I'm buying my first dSLR and I'm looking for some advice.

My current camera is the Canon Powershot G9. I have played with the different modes for e.g. aperture and shutter speed, and now I want more :)

I have looked around on the internet, reviews and forums and have reached the conclusion, that the 60D will do a nice upgrade from my current camera.

I like to photograph landscapes and animal as well as portraits.

As for lenses, I have read that the EF-S 15-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is a good choice for an all-round starting lens so I’ll buy that unless you convince me otherwise :)

Now, the thing is I’m going to Malaysia in six weeks where I among other places will be going to the rainforest and hopefully I’ll be able to 'shoot' some wildlife.

I was fist thinking of getting the ES-F 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 USM as my second lens for landscapes, but now I’m wondering if a tele lens might do me better as the difference between 10 and 15 mm isn’t that much.
How long focal length will I need for 'shooting' animals? My guess is that even the 15-85 mm will be too short even at the long end. So is this 200, 300, 400 mm?
I will be shooting handheld most of the time, so IS is almost a requirement.
I’d appreciate any suggestions for primes or zooms lenses. My budget for lenses is 1,500 € at the most.
EOS 60D - EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM - EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

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First dSLR, lens recommendations
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:35:39 PM »

marekjoz

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 04:48:01 PM »
Hi

I'm buying my first dSLR and I'm looking for some advice.

My current camera is the Canon Powershot G9. I have played with the different modes for e.g. aperture and shutter speed, and now I want more :)

I have looked around on the internet, reviews and forums and have reached the conclusion, that the 60D will do a nice upgrade from my current camera.

I like to photograph landscapes and animal as well as portraits.

As for lenses, I have read that the EF-S 15-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is a good choice for an all-round starting lens so I’ll buy that unless you convince me otherwise :)

Now, the thing is I’m going to Malaysia in six weeks where I among other places will be going to the rainforest and hopefully I’ll be able to 'shoot' some wildlife.

I was fist thinking of getting the ES-F 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 USM as my second lens for landscapes, but now I’m wondering if a tele lens might do me better as the difference between 10 and 15 mm isn’t that much.
How long focal length will I need for 'shooting' animals? My guess is that even the 15-85 mm will be too short even at the long end. So is this 200, 300, 400 mm?
I will be shooting handheld most of the time, so IS is almost a requirement.
I’d appreciate any suggestions for primes or zooms lenses. My budget for lenses is 1,500 € at the most.

Congratulations on your choice. 17-55 you selected is expensive but great. Wildlife is expensive unless you shoot wild spiders or flies playing on the table. 70-200 F4 would be a great choice if you can afford your budget together with 17-55. If you still will have budget go for 50 1.8 - not good built lens with great picture quality for no money.
flickr | youtube | 5D2, 50 F/1.4, 24-105 F/4 L IS, 300 F/4 L IS, x1.4 II

Zo0m

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 05:29:02 PM »
15-85 is a great lens and so is the 60D. No complaints for me there. 15 is pretty wide on crop and I think you should probably get a tele at first instead of a wide angle. The 10-22 overlaps quite alot with the 15-85. 85mm is nowhere near far enough for shooting shy wildlife.


Maybe an Canon 70-200L f4 non-IS would suit your needs. You could get the IS version or possibly the 70-300L IS if you got the dough. I heard alot of good about the Tamron 70-300 VC too. Great bang for your buck that lens.

Have you considered the 7D. It's more weatherproofed then the 60D for sure. Good if you're hiking in rainforest. Though you'll need weathersealed lenses to go along with that body. Also, what kind of budget do you have?

Personally, I have always had a week spot for the 550D. Same sensor as the 7D, 1/3 of the price.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 05:58:06 PM by Zo0m »
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ksuweh

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 05:52:33 PM »
Have you considered the 7D. It's more weatherproofed then the 60D for sure. Good if you're hiking in rainforest. Though you'll need weathersealed lenses to go along with that body. Also, what kind of budget do you have?

This is a very good consideration! Remember that a "weather sealed" lens isn't FULLY weather sealed until you put a screw on filter on the lens. I would recommend B+W Multi Resistant Coating (MRC) UV filter. The logic behind buying an expensive filter to put on your lens is to protect the front lens element of the lens. Its much easier to replace a filter than a lens.
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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 06:00:43 PM »
Ideally, it'd be nice to get both the 10-22 and the 70-300L (or 100-400L).  Any of the 70-200mm variants are good choices too, but the 70-300L and 100-400L have more reach natively.  Anything past 400mm natively gets very expensive very quickly.  That said, even 400mm on a crop might not be enough if you're shooting small objects from a large distance, and the same focal increment has less of an effect the longer the lens gets (i.e. big effect from 100 to 200mm, much smaller from 300mm to 400mm).  It might be worthwhile for you to try out the 70-300 and 100-400 in a store to decide between the two.  Some people really do not like the push/pull design of the 100-400L.

There is a big difference between 10 and 15mm.  The G9 has an effective focal range of 35-210mm, so the 15-85 will definitely give you a wider perspective (24mm).  If you don't find yourself at the wide limit of the G9 all that often, I'd suggest getting a tele zoom first.

If you do choose the the 15-85 over the 17-55, then you might want to consider a fast prime sooner rather than later down the road because the difference in max aperture is larger.  Both 17-55 and 15-85 are fine choices.

gtog

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 06:41:01 PM »
A 60D with the EF-S 15-85mm is a good start for outside daylight shooting.

The "classic" Canon telephoto zoom for wildlife is the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. It is a push-pull zoom design, does accept the Canon teleconverters, but has an older less capable IS.

The newer Canon telephoto zoom I would suggest is the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. It is a more compact lens, equal or better IQ than the 100-400, and has the newer 4-stop IS. It does not accept the Canon teleconverters (but will work with the Kenko). See the Canon Rumors Guy's review for more info and pictures.

The Canon 70-200 zooms are great lenses but are likely to leave you wanting more "reach" for wildlife, though they would provide a constant aperture and do accept the Canon teleconverters (which you will probably find yourself wanting to use -- may as well get the range built-in). They would work better for portraits but you might consider an EF 85mm f/1.8 prime for portraits paired with a "wildlife" zoom.

For longer focal lengths, you are into super-telephoto primes territory and probably outside your budget at this point, though maybe not for a future acquisition.

Enjoy your trip!

Oh, the answer for how long a lens you need for shooting wildlife is 100mm longer than you have available (I believe it is a corollary to Murphy's Law).   ;D

G

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 11:31:46 PM »
Congratulations on your decision to get a dslr. It sounds like you recognize that you're ready for the next step. I think we all remember the day we made that decision.  :D

One thing that helped me when I first got started: I bought a 50mm f/1.4 and just stuck with that on my Rebel for a long time. It helped me really get a handle on composition and forced me to recompose with my feet, instead of just zooming in/out. I believe I became a better photographer because of it. You can get a Canon 50mm f/1.8 for like $130, probably the best lens anywhere for the money. After that, you can start deciding how to add to your stable.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 11:31:46 PM »

helpful

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 12:23:03 AM »


One thing that helped me when I first got started: I bought a 50mm f/1.4 and just stuck with that on my Rebel for a long time. It helped me really get a handle on composition and forced me to recompose with my feet, instead of just zooming in/out. I believe I became a better photographer because of it. You can get a Canon 50mm f/1.8 for like $130, probably the best lens anywhere for the money. After that, you can start deciding how to add to your stable.

I agree with that. At the beginning of your photography career you have the most potential to develop your photography talents the fastest.

As a past photography instructor I have seen that zooms tend to kill any photographic intuition that would be normally developed by a new photographer with a prime lens.

With a zoom lens you can just sit there not being a good photographer and you'll never even know it. And keep getting mundane shots.

The over-arching thing about photography isn't cropping, composition, etc.--it is first of all what is in the picture and second of all from what perspective you are taking the picture from. In other words, where you physically are, in a relationship with where the subject physically is.

Once someone becomes an expert with lighting, their equipment, and all of that, photography basically boils down to the relationship between the subject and the camera, which is acting in the place of eyes for whoever will be viewing the photograph forever after.

A prime lens teaches you how to have this relationship between the camera and the subject, whatever that might be. A zoom lens does not teach this. It makes you think about zooming in or out, or getting around obstacles, rather than a simple relationship with the subject.

A zoom is like someone who stands in one place and screams for what they want at whatever volume is needed to irritate everyone into paying attention, rather than talking in the right tone of voice for each situation that is at hand.

As soon as so many people stopped using zoom lenses, for me I have seen for them the true world of photography open up and blossom.

The 50mm f/1.4 mentioned is an excellent choice, and I would highly recommend the superb f/2.8L 200mm lens at the ridiculously cheap price of about $800 as your next lens (it will revolutionize your photography, and it is equivalent and just as good as the 300mm f/2.8 $11,000 lens on your 60D camera). You can keep your kit lens for any wider angle shots that you need.

How far will these two lenses put you ahead of anyone else? Light years.

A lot of people think that they want a lens like a 28-300mm.

At 50mm and beyond you would be shooting closer to f/5.6 than f/4.

The 50mm lens is sharper and lets in one, two, three, four stops more light (f/5.6, f/4.0, f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.4).

This is SIXTEEN TIMES more powerful of a tool for your photography than the zoom lens.

And even if that were not true, prime lenses are still better for learning and executing the art of photography and the relationship with the subject which is all important as soon as all the technical details are mastered.


« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 12:25:16 AM by helpful »
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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 12:36:50 AM »
I read through your post again and based on your budget for lenses and the subjects you want to photograph, this is what I recommend:

* get the body only (the first lens I am recommend would be way better for your needs and a much better value than the 15-85mm)
* Sigma AF 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM OS
* Canon 50mm f/1.4
* Canon 200mm f/2.8L II

If you can't afford all three lenses, you could actually skip the 50mm f/1.4. The 200mm f/2.8L II is just the ticket you need for wildlife. It doesn't have image stabilization, but believe me, it is a much better choice for what you want than the 70-200mm f/4 IS, and actually is hundreds of dollars less expensive. On the 60D body using just the center of the image circle and having a 1.6x crop factor, it is equivalent to the 300mm f/2.8 L II lens. Once you have experienced this lens, any other option seems laughable.

PS. If you can't get the 50mm f/1.4 then the 50mm f/1.8 is a must-have option after you buy the other two lenses, and surely that would make all three fit within your budget. The only thing that I can't stand about the 50mm f/1.8 is its noisy and slow autofocus, but I still have multiple copies of it and can assure you that it is a wonderful lens, and a miracle to be priced so low. It's like a little Leica or Zeiss lens for just $100.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 12:41:10 AM by helpful »
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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 02:29:52 AM »
I had the 60d. My personal experience led me to believe that one should rather look at the 550d, 600d or 7d. Mine may just have been a lemon, but then again it may not. Good luck with your decision.

elflord

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 06:18:11 AM »

A 50mm lens for portraits. 200mm or longer for wildlife.

Look into / budget for a tripod (landscapes), and a flash (portraits).

Marsu42

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2012, 06:18:59 AM »
I had the 60d. My personal experience led me to believe that one should rather look at the 550d, 600d or 7d. Mine may just have been a lemon, but then again it may not. Good luck with your decision.

... um, that's *very* questionable advice if you'd got a broken 60d and don't even describe what the problem was! You can read all about the differences 600d/60d/7d elsewhere, but really there's no bad body in these.

Have you considered the 7D. It's more weatherproofed then the 60D for sure. Good if you're hiking in rainforest. Though you'll need weathersealed lenses to go along with that body.

Remember that the 60d is somewhat sealed, too - mine never crapped out in light rain, and when in doubt there's always the plastic-bag option. A larger lens is a much larger target for rain, so I'd be more concerned about non-sealed ones because the consumer lenses afaik do not have any sealing at all. But if you really want to shoot in the rain for extended periods - get the 7d with better sealing (but still less than "pro" bodies), but there's no warranty on that too if shooting underwater...

The newer Canon telephoto zoom I would suggest is the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. It is a more compact lens, equal or better IQ than the 100-400, and has the newer 4-stop IS. It does not accept the Canon teleconverters (but will work with the Kenko)

+1 - I've got the 70-300L on a 60d and it's a very good combination for ok lighting conditions. In combination with the 15-85 you should be ready for almost anything except shooting in the dark and creative shots with ultrawide or very thin depth of field.

The 200mm f/2.8L II is just the ticket you need for wildlife. It doesn't have image stabilization, but believe me, it is a much better choice for what you want than the 70-200mm f/4 IS, and actually is hundreds of dollars less expensive. On the 60D body using just the center of the image circle and having a 1.6x crop factor, it is equivalent to the 300mm f/2.8 L II lens. Once you have experienced this lens, any other option seems laughable.

I wouldn't be so fast to laugh: Of course the 70-200/2.8 is an excellent lens, but imho has some drawbacks: a) physically larger, front-heavy on 60d, less suited for travel, b) no IS which is handy when some animal doesn't move for some time, c) very small depth of field on 2.8 - even when a bird is looking towards you, you need something like f5.6 if you want to have it in focus, d) more need for a good af and af micro adjustment (i.e. not the 60d)

If you want to freeze-shoot something that *really* moves fast your options are limited on 60d: apart from the questionable af tracking, you still need to raise iso pretty high which does show on the crop sensor (same goes for the 7d). Then if you've got to crop on the crop because of the framing when tracking an object, sensor noise gets even worse. That's why everybody is so excited about the 5d3, and sports photogs use an 1d body...

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 09:11:19 AM »



I wouldn't be so fast to laugh: Of course the 70-200/2.8 is an excellent lens, but imho has some drawbacks: a) physically larger, front-heavy on 60d, less suited for travel, b) no IS which is handy when some animal doesn't move for some time, c) very small depth of field on 2.8 - even when a bird is looking towards you, you need something like f5.6 if you want to have it in focus, d) more need for a good af and af micro adjustment (i.e. not the 60d)


Good comments about the 70-200 f/2.8, but I said the 200mm f/2.8L II. I specifically said prime. It is far lighter, perfectly balanced, and if you haven't used it, you have no place to comment.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 09:12:56 AM by helpful »
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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 09:11:19 AM »

AJ

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2012, 11:05:57 AM »
I completely disagree with putting a 50/1.4 on a camera and using it exclusively.  Whatever you do, don't do that.

200/2.8 is an okay suggestion.  I have this lens and I've taken it to the rainforest in Costa Rica (with 1.4x TC).  It's very user unfriendly (no IS, no zoom).  100-400L would be much more user friendly, have a much higher keeper ratio, and it's in the budget.

Now, my suggestion is a little different.  Buy the 60D plus 15-85, and add a macro lens.  How about a 100/2.8 or 100/2.8L IS.  In the rainforest, a lot of wildlife is small and right in front of your eyes.  e.g. insects, frogs. There's also foliage detail.  You can shoot monkeys and birds that are close by.  The lens also doubles up as a great portrait lens.  100/2.8 allows you to play with aperture in order to control DOF.   One of my earliest lenses was a Tamron 90/2.8, and it taught me a lot about photography.


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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 01:41:12 PM »
Good comments about the 70-200 f/2.8, but I said the 200mm f/2.8L II. I specifically said prime. It is far lighter, perfectly balanced, and if you haven't used it, you have no place to comment.

Wups, missed that - sorry. I guess its because everybody is raving about the 70-200/2.8 that I read this whenever something starts with 200 :-p ... and you're right: Since I didn't use this prime, I cannot comment on its iq (in contast to the 70-200L which I have tried). Having said that: *every* prime does limit flexibility when traveling and not having time to perfectly frame a picture, so that's certainly one thing to consider.

Now, my suggestion is a little different.  Buy the 60D plus 15-85, and add a macro lens.

+1 - that would be my setup if I didn't use my good ol' 28-105 from the 80s. Another advantage of a macro lens is that since it has no minimum focal distance, it's fun to use. But if you don't add another tele lens with IS, best get the 100L if you can afford it.

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Re: First dSLR, lens recommendations
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 01:41:12 PM »