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Old Dec 11, 2006, 4:54 PM   #1
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Hello everybody,



I have just ordered a Canon EOS 30D for my husband. I still have some spare money and I would like to buy a couple of very good quality lenses for the camera. Unfortunately, I have no idea about lenses. All I know is that EF lenses are more compatible than EF-S lenses. So I would like to know what kind of lens I would need to complete the Christmas present for my husband.



% of type of photography-
--- Landscape - 25%
--- Portrait indoors - 25%
--- Portrait outdoors – 10%
--- Macro -30%
--- Fast sports photography -? (once only – Formula 1, but it is not his usual type, I think).
--- Wildlife photography -10%




I probably will not have money for all the necessary lenses (?), but at least I would like to get him a very good lens for portrait indoors so that he can take pictures of the family this Christmas and one very good lens for landscapes/dramatic skies. Perhaps –if I can still afford it- I would also like to get him an excellent macro lens.



I prefer getting less lenses, but better quality ones.



Could you please help me?



Many thanks and all the best,

Amarillaa
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 2:13 AM   #2
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My view is that it makes sense to spend the most money on the lens you will use the most.

Both EF & EF-S lenses will work fine on the 30D, but in case he ever wants to upgrade to a 5D I have only recommended a single EF-S lens; probably the best digital lens available on the market at the moment, and the lens that would be used the most.

I would therefore recommend (stop when you run out of cash):

1. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM.
2. Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM DG.
3. Sigma 150mm f2.8 EX HSM DG Macro.
4. Canon 580 EX Flash.
5. Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM.
6. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM.


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Old Dec 12, 2006, 4:44 AM   #3
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Peripatetic,

I know you know your stuff... but I was just wondering why you left a big focal length gap between 55 and 100mm?

Cheers

polarwasp
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 6:06 AM   #4
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One can close this gap somewhat with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX DG Macro and replace the 150mm with the also excellent Tamron 200-500 for even more reach... in wildlife
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Actually I don't think it's a big deal to leave a gap between 55 & 100, one can always take a few steps forward with the 55.

NHL can always be relied upon.

If true 1:1 Macro is not required (and of course it's usually not).

Revised list (stop when you run out of cash):

1. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM.
2. Sigma 70-200 EX IF HSM DG Macro.
3. Sigma 1.4x TC.
4. Canon 580 EX Flash.
5. Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM.
6. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM.

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Old Dec 12, 2006, 10:16 AM   #6
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Let me add a different spin. Buy just a single lens only. If you have money left over, get your husband a gift card for your photography retailer of choice and let him choose his accesories and additional lenses. If he doesn't know yet, that's OK too - he can use the certificate at a later time when he has a better idea what he wants or needs.

Lens selection is a very personal thing - what works for one person does not work for another. Some people love prime lenses, others hate them. So, buy a single ZOOM lens that fits somewhere in the 17-100mm range and let your husband decide based on need where he wants to spend the rest of your money :G This way you have a lens to work for Christmas so he can take some immediate shots and he doesn't end up with expensive paper weights because his photography takes him in a direction different than you anticipated.
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 10:18 AM   #7
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Thank you very much for the revised list and additional comments. :-)

I have been reading about different lenses for a while now. It's double-dutch to me... I may have to read a "Buying a digital cameras for dummies" to be able to get the present ready...

I started by looking for information on macro lenses. It seems that the best lens is the Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM. I think that given the price of this lens, I should leave my husband buy a macro lens in the future, as it is his favourite type of photography and I would like to get him a lens that he can use to take pictures of the family during Christmas.

However, for future reference, I would like to know your opinion on the following review I found:
"Good lens (Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM) but better options exist. Especially in the Canon line up. Buy the 70-200 F/2.8L at similar price or F/2.8L IS at a bit more, and get a few extension tube (you can get a set of 3 Kenko extension tube for around $170 at 12mm, 20mm and 36mm), you will get a fantastic zoom telephoto lens and a far more versatile package. With the 70-200mm zoom lens, you get all the focal length not just the 180mm. If macro is desired choose an extension tube or any combination of extension tubes, you get so much more choices in focus distance and magnification factor combinations, it's mind boggling. If you go with the IS 70-200mm lens, you get the benefit of the image stablizing when taking Macro as well to reduce the camera shake effect. The combination of the 70-200mm family with a set of extension tubes are a far better choice if local focal length macro photography is wanted."

Would a 70-200 F/2.8L (IS) be better than the EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM for macro pictures. Would my husband be killing two birds with the one stone if he were to buy a 70-200 F/2.8L (IS) for macro and "telephoto":??


Then I started looking for good lenses for indoor portraits, as I presume that macro lenses are not the best choice for indoors portraits… (right? :?)

However, I have stumbled upon a "walk-around" lens, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, that seems interesting. I read that the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM is also good for indoor portraits. Now I am completely confused.:-? Should I buy a lens for each type of photography or go for a more versatile lens?

My main priority is to get my husband:
1)Very good quality lenses to ensure that my choice will please him.
2)Get him enough lenses for him to be able to play around with the 30D at
Christmas, i.e. indoor portrait and landscapes/dramatic skies.


Oh, gosh, there is so much more to photography than meets the eye!!! Buying a camera as a present is turning out to be an extremely time consuming hobby of mine…

I must get some work done now.

Thank you for your patience with my very basic questions.

All the best,

Amarillaa
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 10:35 AM   #8
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If you want him to take indoor potrait shots, I would say buy him a flash like 550EX or 580.
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 3:00 PM   #9
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The 24-70 is a nice portrait lens on a full-frame camera like the 5D or 1D, it was designed to be used on 35mm cameras.

Unfortunately it's not a great all-round lens on the 30D with the 1.6 crop factor. It simply isn't wide enough.

18*1.6=28

So you really want to start at around the 17mm or 18mm mark with the 30D.

The best lens you can buy for that camera is the EF-S 17-55 f2.8, it's very sharp has Image Stabilisation, has the fast and quiet USM focus motor. It's not cheap however. If you want to start with just one lens start with that one.

If he really loves macro photography then you should get him a dedicated Macro lens. There are some good ones about: Canon 100mm f2.8, Sigma 105mm f2.8, Tamron 90mm f2.8. Then a step up in quality are the Sigma 150mm f2.8 and the Canon 180mm f3.5L. But as NHL often tells us there are no bad macro lenses.

The Sigma 150mm f2.8 is also a very nice portrait lens. If you want to stick with Canon the 100mm f2.8 is a great portrait lens as well as an excellent macro lens.

I would generally avoid macro tubes if you can afford and need a dedicated macro lens.

For any kind of wildlife shooting he will need a telephoto lens.

Final revised list if money is really no object.

1. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM. (Best general walk-around lens for 30D)
2. Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM. (Superb medium telephoto.)
3. Canon EF 180mm f3.5 L. (Superb Macro)
4. Canon 580 EX Flash. (Flash is very important.)
5. Canon 1.4x TC. (For extra reach with #2 for wildlife.)
6. Canon EF 85mm f1.2 L mkII. (Best SLR portrait lens there is?)
7. Canon EF 28mm f1.8. (Great snapshot lens in low light.)
8. Longer telephoto - ask if you still want to keep spending.

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Old Dec 13, 2006, 4:47 PM   #10
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Hello all,
Thank you very much for your good advice.

I have been reading about lenses for the last two hours. And things are slowly falling into place.

I have read lens reviews on the net. I have not yet decided what lenses I am going to get except for the EF 50 mm f/1 which seems to be a good lense to have and excellent value for money.

I am also interested in the 24-70mm, as it seems to be "The" Wedding lens and therefore ideal for the many family/friend events that my husband covers. Then I stumbled across the 24-105mm. Unfortunately it has f/4, rather than f/2 like the 24-70, but I also read that the f/4 is "compensated by image stabilization" (this is beyond my limited understanding:?). I was wondering if the 24-105 would also have the same quality for Weddings (it is actually a lighter lens) and perhaps could also be used as an all-round lens and the expensive 70-200mm can then wait (Sorry if what I am talking about is nonsense )… Do you have any experience with the 24-105? Would you recommend it over the 24-70?

I have read everywhere that the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 is a very good all-round lens. Unfortunately it is an EFS lens and I was trying to avoid EF-S just in case my husband decides to upgrade from the 30D. Similarly, I think that the 10-22mm
would also be a great choice for my husband's dramatic skies/landscapes. However, it is EFS and not cheap. Are there an EF lenses similar to these ones?

A new concern of mine is: what accessories are a must? The 30D comes with an on-camera flash, but I read that it can cast shadows and ruin pictures. Should I get hubby a flash? What about cleaning kits and protection filters…?


Can you please help me? Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million,

Amarilla
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