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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> $500 dollars to spend on lenses...now what?
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12/28/2005 01:26:09 PM · #1
Hi all. I am going to be ordering a Canon Digital Rebel 350d and I am going to spend a max of $500 on lenses. Should I get one really nice one or two decent ones? I need some recommendations and I don't know much about lenses, so be gentle. This is the kind of shooting I will be doing:

-A lot of walkaround stuff/nature shooting
-Closeups
-Night shots
12/28/2005 01:30:11 PM · #2
Get a Canon 50mm F/1.8 It's great for low light situations, and seems to be pretty crisp. Best of all, it's only about $80 at B&H. You might also look at a Canon 28-135, I've heard it's good for walk around, although it is pricy. The Tamron 28-75 is supposed to be good as well.
Hope this is some help!
12/28/2005 01:36:02 PM · #3
you don't give us much options.. small budget for a lowlight lens that is both long and wide... ;)

get the tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Price : $ 364.95 Mail-In Rebate: $ 30.00 Price After Rebate: $ 334.95
and the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro Price : $ 159.95

that is within your limit, the 28-75 is excellent, the other is just a cheap lens, but will do until you master your camera and are ready to spend $1600 on one lens ;)
12/28/2005 01:39:14 PM · #4
Originally posted by DanSig:

you don't give us much options.. small budget for a lowlight lens that is both long and wide... ;)

get the tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Price : $ 364.95 Mail-In Rebate: $ 30.00 Price After Rebate: $ 334.95
and the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro Price : $ 159.95

that is within your limit, the 28-75 is excellent, the other is just a cheap lens, but will do until you master your camera and are ready to spend $1600 on one lens ;)


oh man, $1600.

How about the forementioned Canon 50 mm f/1.8 with either the Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 or the Sigma 18-200?
12/28/2005 01:42:10 PM · #5
The Canon is almost a must-have. Neither the Tamron or Sigma you've listed are going to be steller in low light, but if you're using a tripod, or just don't mind high ISO (1600), then they may work well for you. Something with as much range between ends as the 18-200 runs the risk of being soft at the zoom end, just to point out.
12/28/2005 01:46:39 PM · #6
Like what the other said. If you run out of money after the Tamron 28-75 (and yes, it's priority number one at this point), and don't have enough for a cheap 70-300 (the sigma one is also well spoken of - get the newere one, its like 20 or 30 dollars more), then get the 50mm 1.8 and wait a month or two until you can free up enough to get said 70-300mm lens.

When you are ready, consider seriously moving to a Canon 70-200 F4L as a next step.

Now this is assuming a lot about your shooting style. You said that you wanted it for:
-A lot of walkaround stuff/nature shooting
-Closeups
-Night shots

To me that includes most ranges, from medium close to far, macro ability and wide aperture lenses.

It's up to you to decide. The previously mentioned choices are probably the best, but might leave you shortchanged in the long end of things.

I know some others who would recommend that you go straight for the Canon 70-200 F4L(which is just a little over 500 dollars actually) and use the kit lens for closer stuff.

The basic principle is - if you really want your best quality on stuff closer in, get the Tamron first. If you really want some super quality on distance shots, get the 70-200 f4L. The kit lens is not really all that bad.

The worst thing most people say about it is that it's got a cheap build quality. If it's not your primary lens anyways, you might not care for now.

This option leaves you cold for macro.

Watch out for taxes (which will put you overbudget quickly) and look around for stuff in the local second hand market as well. You can easily save a buck or two that way and good lenses have a way of staying good for a long time.

Message edited by author 2005-12-28 13:50:35.
12/28/2005 01:47:07 PM · #7
the canon f1.8 is a great lens, but try to keep your lens within the f2.8 throughout, lenses that are f3.5-6.x are so slow that handholding at the longer end is virtually impossible in most cases, you'll need a very sunny day to be able to freeze action.

the tamron 28-75 is a great lens, if I wasn't a big spender I would have gotten the tamron instead of the Canon 24-70 L that I bought.. for 3x the price of the tamron ;)

try to avoid lenses that do not have fixed max aperture, good lenses usually are fixed throughout, at f2.8 or f4, not f4-5.6 or f4-6.3 ore something worse.

the canon 28-1355 is a good lens, but not as good as the tamron, and more expencive.
12/28/2005 02:02:42 PM · #8
Tamron 28-75 looks great. What situations would that excel in? How about the 70-300 for the sigma?

Thanks for all the help, guys. I look forward to hearing more responses.
12/28/2005 02:13:24 PM · #9
Originally posted by AdamThomas:

Tamron 28-75 looks great. What situations would that excel in? How about the 70-300 for the sigma?

Thanks for all the help, guys. I look forward to hearing more responses.


The Tamron 28-75 actually works very well as a near-macro lens also. It won't go 1:1 like a true macro lens, but it goes1:2, which is pretty danged close in. I have both the Tammy and the Canon 60mm macro, and I only use the Canon when I need to get REALLY close; the Tamron is more versatile because you can make slight changes in zoom instead of having to reposition the tripod.

So the Tamron (the only non-canon lens I own) is my primary walkaround lens, and it serves me admirably. It's not especially wide of course, but I have the 10-22mm Canon for that when I want it. And the Tamron is just exceptionally good value, fine crisp optics and good build quality.

Robt.
12/28/2005 02:41:54 PM · #10
1) Tamron 28-75 2.8 (I know you hear this over and over but there's a reason) $340
2) Canon 50mm 1.8 $80
3) Save the other 80 towards a Tamron 75-300 f4-5.6

:)


12/28/2005 09:51:02 PM · #11
I say get the Canon 50mm, and the Tamron 28-75mm. And with the money left over, buy a 52mm UV filter, a 67MM UV filter, a 67MM Circular Polarizer and a 52-67mm lens-filter adapter. And a 52-58mm reverse lens adapter if you have the kit lens (52-67 or 67-52 would probably work too, not sure), that way you can play with really close macro shots a little.

That way you have a clear UV filter to leave on both lenses so they don't get scratched, and you have a CPL filter that fits on the Tamron, and an adapter to fit it on the Canon. I have the Tiffen 67mm Circular Polarizer, it was about 50 bucks and I'm very happy with it so far. But all of them should be good, except maybe the generic ones.

A polarizer is really good to have in my opinion, in a lot of cases you can get a very pretty effect with the blues in the sky, and if there's any water you can play with it and see if the shot looks better with or without the reflections from the water (or glass for that matter).
You can see examples if you search google, but here's one of mine:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/13077/thumb/272511.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/13077/thumb/272511.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
12/29/2005 06:47:52 PM · #12
Easy answer!

Tamron SP 24-135 3.5-5.6 for $400.
Great range, super sharp and contrasty at all apertures, fast and accurate to focus even in low light.

Sample shots on a 300D:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/273204.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/273204.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' A night shot
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/258991.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/258991.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/258993.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/258993.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/258975.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/258975.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' The lens zoomed, i didn't move.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/251919.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/251919.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/252881.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/252881.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Macro! The second is an unouched/unsharpened 100% cropped from the full size capture.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/261621.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/16648/thumb/261621.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Very sharp, and the BG goes nicely OOF. This lens will focus at practically no distance at all, and by being close to the subjec the BG can easily be thrown out of focus.

See the review of it here at fredmiranda.com

Edited to add:
You asked for a walkaround lens rec. See above. Alot of people in this thread are recomending teh tamron 28-75 2.8. A nice lens, no doubt. But 28 is no where near wide enoough indoors. 24 works, 18 is better (see the sigma 18-50 2.8 ex dc if indoors or low light is a priority) indoors. If you are outside, 75mm is not very much zoom. I had a 28-80 for 6 months..i found both ends of the focal range lacking, might as well had just a 50mm lens and saved my money.

Message edited by author 2005-12-29 18:54:28.
12/29/2005 07:08:59 PM · #13
My suggestion: take the 500 you have leftover, experiment with the kit lens for a long while, spend 50 on a good book or two, and now you have 450 for a lens...by the time you decide what you want you may have saved up another 100 or so...just my opinion though.
12/31/2005 10:10:36 AM · #14
Thanks for the great responses so far!

dpaull - I am going to be buying the body only, so I'll need to grab a lens right away. I was having a friend help too, so I've been looking at glass for a while.

Prof. Fate - awesome post, I really appreciate the time you put into it.

What do the rest of you guys say about Prof Fate's recommendation of the 24-135 over the 28-75? I'd easily spend the extra 60 bucks to get the more flexible 24-135, but do the optics suffer?

Also, thanks Madman for the tips on the polarizer - I'll do a little more research into those. Do most of you have polarizers?
12/31/2005 10:15:23 AM · #15
Forget the 24-135, you'll quickly learn that nothing beats fast glass and the Tamron 28-70 f/2.8 is a gem, best value for the money.

Later on when u need wider you can go with the EF 17-40 or the EF-S 10-22

Message edited by author 2005-12-31 10:19:51.
12/31/2005 11:43:29 AM · #16
Originally posted by doctornick:

Forget the 24-135, you'll quickly learn that nothing beats fast glass and the Tamron 28-70 f/2.8 is a gem, best value for the money.

Later on when u need wider you can go with the EF 17-40 or the EF-S 10-22


Why do you say that about fast glass?

And then recomend the 10-22 - with an ap of 4.5 when the tokina 12-24 is a constant f4?

Either recomend fast glass across teh board, or say you are a canon snob and leave it at that.
12/31/2005 12:39:28 PM · #17
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Originally posted by doctornick:

Forget the 24-135, you'll quickly learn that nothing beats fast glass and the Tamron 28-70 f/2.8 is a gem, best value for the money.

Later on when u need wider you can go with the EF 17-40 or the EF-S 10-22


Why do you say that about fast glass?

And then recomend the 10-22 - with an ap of 4.5 when the tokina 12-24 is a constant f4?

Either recomend fast glass across teh board, or say you are a canon snob and leave it at that.


He recommended the Tamron, how does that make him a canon snob?
12/31/2005 12:58:44 PM · #18
when i bought my rebel i got the 18-55 lens that comed with the camera just to see what i could do with it, then i bought the EF75-300 canon because i was frustrated that i couldnt take far off pics though expensive well worth the money. i have just recently purchased the EF-S 17-85 canon and i wish i would have just bought this one right off the bat instead of getting the package rebel xt. with this lens you're able to take some macro and still get some distance shots, it also gives a real nice wide angle shot. a bit more than you want to spend but if you can save for another month or so well worth it. starting out you want a lens that is good in all round situations.

just my opinion because i am still learning myself
12/31/2005 01:42:35 PM · #19
Adam, Canon also has a special rebate offer on their EF 75-300. The lens sells seperately for about $150. BUT, when bought with your Rebel XT, it doubles the camera's rebate from $75 to $150. Therefore, you essentially get the lens for free!

My recommendation:
1) Get the Rebel with the kit lens since it will give you a learning/general-use lens until you save up for some really nice glass. For only about $75 on top of the body price, it's a decent bargain and an affordable way to reach reasonably wide angles.
2)Buy the EF 75-300. Gives you telephoto ability and it's free after the rebate!
3)Pick up the EF 50mm f/1.8. As others have pointed out, this is a great lens for the price. Good clarity and low light ability.

When all is said and done, you should be able to pick up all three lenses and the camera for about a grand after rebates :)

Just messing around last night, I took this shot from a bumpy moving car with the 50mm 1.8...
50mm f/1.8

Message edited by author 2005-12-31 13:48:18.
01/01/2006 05:03:21 PM · #20
I wish I wasn't so indecisive.

I will for sure get the:

1.) XT
2.) Canon 50mm

then I have to decide between:

Tamron 28-75 or the Tamron 24-135
and possibly the sigma 70-300

hmmmmm?
01/01/2006 05:24:16 PM · #21
You might want to look at the Sigam 28mm f1.8 ex dg macro, its cheap, well made and sharp. I feel lonely being the only one on this site with the Canon fit!!
I agree with the 50mm f1.8 its excellent.

Mike

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