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Thread: What lenses should I choose?

  1. #1
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    What lenses should I choose?

    Hi all,

    I have a Canon 550D with the standard kit EF 15-55 lens.

    I am only just really getting into photography and my main interest lies in photographing landscapes, city scapes and general photos around and about the city and tourist attractions.

    I have purchased a Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens but I don't know what to compliment it with. I was looking at the Canon EF-S 15-85mm but my concern there is that there is a cross over of 5mm's between both these lenses. On that basis the Canon EF 24-105mm would seem to give me a follow on from the 10-22mm.

    I'm also looking at prime lenses with the Canon EF 50mm and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8.

    Please could someone offer me some advice as I've got bogged down in a minefield.

    Many thanks

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Overlap isn't a bad thing. You don't want to have to constantly switch lenses because you need to zoom in or out just a little bit more... and that may happen a lot with the 24-105, depending on your style. 24 isn't wide on a cropped sensor body. Lens choice is tricky because a lot comes down to personal preference, atleast at the wide to normal range. Another prime to consider is the 40. It's closer to a normal lens than the 50 on your body, is built better, but doesn't let in quite as much light. On our crop bodies we didn't use the 50 wider than 2.5 in general, as it was too soft a lot of the time. The 50 is nice wider open on a fullframe body. If you have no immediate plans to upgrade bodies, the 40 could be the better choice.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Steve,

    I'd recommend to take lots of photos with your 18-55 and 10-22 and find out what short comings you find that you have with that equipment. That'll help you figure out where to get the most benefit for the money spent.

    If you buy the wrong thing and need to sell it later and then buy other new stuff it gets expensive. That said, many people really like the 15-85. It is a very useful range that'd cover general walk around shooting very nicely.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    For your interests, the 15-85mm sounds ideal. If you haven't already, you should also strongly consider investing in a good tripod and ballhead. For a landscape/cityscape shot at f/5.6 from a tripod, the 15-85 isn't a whole lot better than the 18-55 kit lens.

  5. #5
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    +1 on a good tripod, there are several threads here about picking one.
    If you haven't one already, add a CPL filter. Get one in 77mm thread size, and then just add a step-up ring so that you can use it on your kit lens as well. If you decide to upgrade the kit lens later, you will just have to buy another step-up ring which is not very expensive.

    I did upgrade from the kit lens to the EF-S 15-85mm and really like if for the longer zoom range (even for landscapes sometimes), better image quality when shooting wide open, and faster AF. The latter is useful when shooting kids and pets, for landscapes it won't make so much of a difference. The zoom range allows you you take a lot of shots from wide to moderately long without having to switch lenses. As Neuro said, image quality for most landscape shots won't be always visibly better, the kit lens is actually not bad.
    Arnt

  6. #6
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    15-85mm sounds like a good choice but mabye not good enough to justify the upgrade? In that case a 17-55mm f/2.8 may be in line with better IQ and faster aperture (although not really a big plus for landscape photography).

    Just another lens to consider,
    John.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  7. #7
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    the 15-85 on the 550 is meant to match the 24-105 on a full frame in perspective. I have did the move from the 15-85 to the 17-55 to gain the 1 f-stop in speed. Not sure it was that good of a move. It helps indoors, but outdoors, pretty much a lost differential - and certainly for landscapes.

    My bet is that you would find the 24-105 not wide enough. test this by setting your 15-55 at 24 and walk around a bit, do you find yourself backing up? took at the exif data on your shots (if you use DPP it is in the "info" menu item on the photo). See you many of your shots are less than 24, just above 24? I be you find you shoot at the extremes of your zooms 80+% of the time and in the middle almost none.

    As for the 40 2.8 vs. 50 1.8 - hands down 40 - nifty lens, nice and compact and very very sharp.

    My suggestion is the 15-85. Very good image quality, good range, and for outdoors very handy range. If you find you want alot more reach, it time to consider the 70s to 200-300 options from canon of which there are several.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by shh2407 View Post
    Hi all,

    I have a Canon 550D with the standard kit EF 15-55 lens.

    I am only just really getting into photography and my main interest lies in photographing landscapes, city scapes and general photos around and about the city and tourist attractions.

    I have purchased a Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens but I don't know what to compliment it with. I was looking at the Canon EF-S 15-85mm but my concern there is that there is a cross over of 5mm's between both these lenses. On that basis the Canon EF 24-105mm would seem to give me a follow on from the 10-22mm.

    I'm also looking at prime lenses with the Canon EF 50mm and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8.

    Please could someone offer me some advice as I've got bogged down in a minefield.

    Many thanks

    Steve
    EF17-55F2.8is is a sweet lens that will cover most of your needs and really is close to L quality.
    I shot with this lens for four years, just sold it for 85% of what i paid for it as Im full frame on all bodies.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I can easily recommend the 15-85 on a cropped sensor body. The ability to go from the FF equivalent of 24-136 mm is truly remarkable and a real asset for a walk around lens. You can go from landscape/waterfall shots to include the full portrait range with a single lens. You need light with the lens, but can compensate indoors with a good flash (I used the 580 II). Great combination. Regarding your other lenses, I moved from the 50 mm f/1.8 to the 50 mm f/1.4 and highly recommend the latter over the former. IQ from f/2.8 on is about the same, but better build quality, faster AF and better IQ from f/1.8 to f/2.8 make the upgrade well worth it. I've been tempted several times by the 85 f/1.8 (same build quality as the 50 f/1.4), so I expect that is a very good lens as well. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    Since you already have the 10-22, I think the 24-105 would be a good additional lens. I liked shooting at 24mm on a crop body and think it would be a very versatile addition to your kit. It will also use the same size filters as your 10-22, which is an important consideration when starting out.
    Slipping the 85/1.8 or the 50/1.4 in addition to those 2 lenses would give you a fast low light portrait alternative.
    Then in the future grab a 100-400 and you have it all covered with quality glass and then you just have to keep on shooting.
    Good luck with it.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

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