Canon Lens Recommendations

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by luztra, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. luztra

    luztra Member

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    I have just purchased a Canon 500D with the intention to get back into photography. I currently have a 40D which doesn't get used (too heavy for me so my partner is going to use it) which is why I didn't go with a 50D.

    I mainly would like to take pictures of my 1 year old son - I am guessing most of these will be indoors. I am tossing up between these two lenses. I am not sure if I will need both but I can afford to get both if I need them.

    • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
    • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

    I currently have:
    • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
    • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
    • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM (My partner will be having this)
    • Canon EF 70-200 mm F4L IS USM (I won't use at all)

    Out of those I will probably keep the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro. Unsure whether to keep the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 or upgrade to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. I am open to more suggestions for other lenses as well; I prefer prime lenses. I will also eventually get a wide angle for landscapes.

    Would appreciate some input as I will be ordering tonight if possible. I hope I don't regret ordering the 500D as I ordered without trying first, I was just after something lighter than what I already have.
     
  2. StuartL

    StuartL Member

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    Nothing wrong with the 500D - it's a perfectly capable camera.

    With a one year old son, I'd say the 85mm f/1.8 is going to work a little better for tight framing. The 50mm f/1.4 is a very capable performer (although, to be honest, I'd suggest that you need something more than just "I want it" if you're upgrading from the f/1.8 - I'm happy with my f/1.4, and I had my reasons for moving from the f/1.8, but frankly, you're hard pressed to beat the f/1.8 given the price.)

    I don't really have any other suggestions for glass; the 135mm f/2.0 is a fantastic lens, but may be a bit long on the crop body, and it's not exactly a budget lens (although it's excellent value, I don't think anybody except a photographer would think of $1000 as being "cheap". :) )
     
  3. nxsr20

    nxsr20 Member

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    I'd go Canon 85mm f/1.8 for longer ranges or the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for closer range. Do you already have a speedlite?
     
  4. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

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    I use my tammy 28-75/2.8 for baby photos :)

    [​IMG]

    If you want uber-shallow dof I'd go the sigma 30/1.4
    50mm and 85mm on a crop body like the 500d are getting a bit too tight in my opinion, unless all you want is headshots. On a 500D all you need for this type of work is the tamron 17-50/2.8 and the sigma 30/1.4. No need to spend extra for full frame lenses, you will not get any extra value for your money. Also, put some sort of a diffuser on your camera's pop-up flash (even a used white film canister will do), dial EV-1 and dont hesitate to use it for some fill flash.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  5. OP
    OP
    luztra

    luztra Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies.

    My reasoning for going with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 was I thought it would be a better performer (i.e. faster) than the 1.8 I already have (so better if my son is moving around?). I should have mentioned that I have a 580 EX II but I have never used it (I think my partner may end up with it). Only reason I haven't used it is because of the weight it adds to the camera. I have severe long-term wrist/hand injury which is why I am having a problem holding the 40D at the moment. I may use it on the 500D or get one of the smaller speedlites.

    chilloutbuddy - awesome picture. I am trying to achieve something of this level (but obviously my son is a bit older :) ). Thanks for the showing me what is possible. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  6. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

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    By faster you mean faster to focus? I dont think you will see a difference between the Sigma and the Canon. In low light light use the middle focus point only, focus on the baby's eyes, half press to lock focus and recompose as you wish, you'll be fine. If you're gonna use the 580ex, try to find something like this:

    [​IMG]

    maybe from a packaging or something, velcro it on the flash and use EV-1 or -2, it works like a charm for portraits :)
     
  7. Kevlarman

    Kevlarman Member

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    I believe he means faster as in it has a bigger maximum aperture.
     
  8. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    You'll get much better results with a flash. With your wrist/hand issue, you should probably look into off-camera flash options - whether that's simply a long off-shoe cord to a flash on a tripod, or a wireless option. That wireless flash transmitter that sits on the flash shoe wouldn't weigh much I imagine.

    If I had a little one I'd be using my Tamron 28-75 and probably grabbing a 85 F/1.8 as well given their great price. Whether you need something longer might come down to how big your living areas are etc.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    luztra

    luztra Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I think I will order the Canon 85 1.8 tonight along with one other lens.

    I have never purchased a non Canon/Nikon lens before, but have read some reviews at Fred Miranda this afternoon. I am still deciding between the Tamron 17-50/28-75, but seems 17-50 might be better for the 500D with its 1.6 crop factor.

    Cheers
    Kristine
     
  10. alexc

    alexc Member

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    I've got the 85 1.8 - bloody fantastic lense. The colour and contrast from it is just gorgeous.

    I've got a six month old baby, and it's awesome for shooting portraits indoors without needing flash.

    But It is a bit long - particularly for instance if the baby being held is on the sofa and you are standing above it. You've got to go about five back to get a full baby length using a crop body - I've got a 40D.

    So it's a great portrait lense when you have the room to back up, but not so good for intimate baby-in-action shots or baby-being-held by relatives etc...

    I want to get the 28 1.8 as well.

    from my flickr account:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  11. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    With an 85mm F/1.8 on the way I think a 17-50 to go with it would be a wiser choice (or a Canon 17-55 F/2.8 IS - if you've got a money tree - but then it probably weighs a fair bit, so the Tamron is probably a good option for you).
     
  12. Photon_Embargo

    Photon_Embargo Member

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    I'd second the tamron 28-75 f2.8. great cheap lens and sharp as hell for the price.

    Gives you a little flexibility.

    Otherwise there are plenty of primes to choose from.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    luztra

    luztra Member

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    I also just bought a 28mm f/1.8 today...Can't wait for it to arrive. I think that is a better option on my camera (500D, 1.6 crop) than the 50mm for the type of shots I am wanting to take. I played around with my 50mm f/1.8 and felt that the 28mm will be better suited to me, but I am still thinking I may upgrade to the 50mm f/1.4. Then my lens collection will be:
    • 28mm f/1.8
    • 50mm f/1.4
    • 85mm f/1.8
    As well as having access to my partners lenses should I ever wish to use them.
     
  14. Photon_Embargo

    Photon_Embargo Member

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    Sounds like a sweet setup you have going there Luztra.
     
  15. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

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    Υeah it looks good. I'll bet that the 85 will see the least use of them all but it does have its place.
     
  16. losfp

    losfp Member

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    The trouble with kids is that they are deceptively quick, especially once they discover walking (yours will be very close to that). I have a Nikkor 85/1.4 which is brilliant but I hardly use it because it's just not practical. Damn kid just won't sit still long enough!

    For kiddie photos I generally use a 17-55/2.8 on a D300. 70-200 if I am outdoors and can get a bit of space.

    YMMV.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    luztra

    luztra Member

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    I got the 85mm because I love the the bokeh. I think my main lens indoors will be the 28mm.

    I'm still contemplating the 17-55mm or the new Tamron 17-50mm. I'm just waiting on the reviews of the new 17-50 before making a decision (i.e. is the IS on the new Tamron worth the extra few hundred?).

    My partner has the 70-200mm, but it is just too heavy for me to hand hold for any more than a few minutes with my wrist injury.
     
  18. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

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    The 85 lasted about 2 days in my hands before I sold it, I found the colour aberrations wide open annoying, as with most Canon lenses. Maybe I had a dud copy, who knows.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    luztra

    luztra Member

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    Ok, so if I shouldn't have got the 85mm, what should I have in that range in a prime? All the images I looked at online were quite nice (colour and bokeh) and it had good reviews on Fred Miranda. As I said earlier, I will probably get the 17-55 or the 17-55 (Tamron) and maybe that is what I should just do instead. I can afford get the canon 17-55 so may just grab that.

    Cheers :)
     

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