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Old 26.03.2011, 11:04
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Camera lens advice

Hi guys,

I know there are a few people here who have a serious interest in photography and I need a bit of help.

I want to buy the Canon 550D later today, but am undecided whether to buy the base with the 18-55mm lens or get the more expensive model that comes with an 18-135mm lens.

Is it worth forking out the extra 300CHF for the more expensive version? I want to use it to take pics at family outings, as well as pics of trips to the mountains and further abroad.

Thanks
Kash.
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Old 26.03.2011, 11:10
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Re: Camera lens advice

With the 2 combinations that you have to choose from it would probably be better to pay the extra 300 CHFS for the longer zoom range option.

For general use and family shots the wide angle end is the same on both lenses but the extra length - 135mm -will allow you to cut in much closer on family shots and is very useful.

You might regret it if you did not have it...
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Old 26.03.2011, 11:45
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Re: Camera lens advice

As a general purpose lens, of course the longer one will be more flexible, even if it may make some compromises on image quality to get that extra range.

Also check the "speed" of the lenses. A high-speed lens is important for indoor photos of fast-moving children ;-)

I have both a 17-85mm and a 18-55mm but I use the 18-55mm mostly because it's smaller and lighter (important for hiking/skiing, etc.) and actually for most purposes it's all I need.
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Old 26.03.2011, 15:22
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Re: Camera lens advice

18 - 135 all the way the kit lens is plastic crap the financee rarely uses it when you have the cash invest in a 24 - 70 l lens expensive but a different class of photo. Or save the 300 put it towards a L lens at a later date. Buy a 1.8 50 mm fixed about 150 chf amazing in low light.
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Old 26.03.2011, 15:32
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Re: Camera lens advice

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18 - 135 all the way the kit lens is plastic crap the financee rarely uses it when you have the cash invest in a 24 - 70 l lens expensive but a different class of photo. Or save the 300 put it towards a L lens at a later date. Buy a 1.8 50 mm fixed about 150 chf amazing in low light.
The kit lens is light has anti-shake, and saves 300, a significant part of the outlay. An L lens would be fantastic, could be all you need, and should easily outlive the camera. You can sell the kit lens on when you have the cash for the L.
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Old 26.03.2011, 15:40
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Re: Camera lens advice

The Kit lens is quite ok, and has much improved when they made step from the non-IS to the IS-version. IS however doesn't help when you need fast shutter speeds because of moving objects, so I would rather suggest getting this combination of a relatively fast zoom with image stabilizer: http://www.fotokoch.de/Canon_EOS_550..._VC_38774.html
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Old 26.03.2011, 15:54
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Re: Camera lens advice

Thank you all for your advice. I'm going to go for the 18-55mm which should be fine to start off with, and then buy an L lens later this summer.

Thank you all!

Kash.

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18 - 135 all the way the kit lens is plastic crap the financee rarely uses it when you have the cash invest in a 24 - 70 l lens expensive but a different class of photo. Or save the 300 put it towards a L lens at a later date. Buy a 1.8 50 mm fixed about 150 chf amazing in low light.
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Old 27.03.2011, 12:45
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Re: Camera lens advice

Any time someone asks for lens advice, I suggest reading this article:

The Forgotten Lens

My parents have some fantastic pictures of me as a little boy, thanks in no small part to the fact that a 50mm lens came as part of every camera kit back when I was a kid.

Between the pleasing bokeh (the blurry, out-of-focus parts of the picture) and the ability to shoot indoors using available light (no more crappy flash photographs), it will transform your shooting.

You can pick up a 50mm 1.8 lens for the Canon for under CHF100-. That's how I would spend the extra money.
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Old 27.03.2011, 15:27
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Re: Camera lens advice

The 50mm F1.8 is nice, but is it fast enough, and a bit long with the crop factor? The 50mm F1.4 is nicer still. With the kit lens you can still zoom in and get some blur, without being so close as to distract the child. Then there is the crop factor, the 50mm on this SLR will be more like an 80mm, rather than a 50 on an old film SLR in the link. So using the kit lens at 30mm is more like Full Frame 50. That 550 has some low noise high ISO modes, so good that with the kit lens you don't loose much at all. I have taken clear indoor portrait shots no flash on a 550.

I have a 50mm F1.8 and a 50mm F1.2 on my manual focus, and just adore the extra speed of F1.2 in comparison. I suppose you would need a 31mm F1.2 EF-s, which should be doable and compact. I expect the only reason Canon are not making one is that the couldn't do a full frame version for the Pros.
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Old 27.03.2011, 18:58
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Re: Camera lens advice

I usually recommend the 50mm/f1.8 as a good first prime lens, mostly because you can buy a mint-condition, auto-focus version for around CHF100. It's a low-risk way into prime lenses.

Yes, the 50mm/f1.4 gives you better speed, but it'll set you back CHF350 or more, making it a pretty costly experiment for someone who hasn't owned a prime lens before. I'm a Nikon shooter, and one of my favourite lenses is the 35mm/f2, which lets me do lots of low-light shooting and gives roughly the same perspective as a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, since my body is DX. But it also costs CHF400+ for a decent one. Most people who buy one are pretty competent photographers who understand what they're buying.

Good glass is always a compromise. I shoot an 85mm/f1.8 instead of the 85mm/f1.4 not because it's a better lens, but because I can't justify the extra CHF1'000 for an extra half-stop.

As far as the f1.4 begin faster, I think that matters a little less these days than it used to. Modern sensors deal much better at high ISO than film used to, so you can jump from 800 ISO to 1600 ISO without a huge drop in quality, nothing like you could in film days. And you can do it "mid-roll" in a way that only a Hasselblad allowed you to, way-back-when.

Finally, in terms of speed, most people (unless they're shooting pro glass) will have a lens that tops out in the f3.5-f4.5 range. The difference between that and an f1.8 lens is huge.
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Old 31.03.2011, 19:35
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Re: Camera lens advice

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Finally, in terms of speed, most people (unless they're shooting pro glass) will have a lens that tops out in the f3.5-f4.5 range. The difference between that and an f1.8 lens is huge.
I think you hit an important point here. The kit lens, if I remember correctly, is f3.5. The 50mm is a great investment. Its cheap, fast, and very sharp. A prime lens always seems like a good choice, although, some people are bothered by the inability to change focal lengths.
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Old 01.04.2011, 10:28
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Re: Camera lens advice

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...although, some people are bothered by the inability to change focal lengths.
That's why God gave us feet. They work perfectly (until you back into a wall -- then you need more lens!)
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