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Old Nov 9, 2010, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default Canon T1i lens recommendations

I purchased the T1i with the 18-55mm kit lens. This is my first DSLR camera that I finally changed out after a nightmare experience with a new Panasonic FZ100 super zoom. (2 of them)

I've only had it a couple of days, and I'm really happy with the results. I knew that I would be limited on my shots because of the lens as I typically shoot birds, the moon, landscapes, macros and low light.

The macro actually seems pretty good, although it's probably not true macro with the lens I'm using, but none the less, decent close ups. I'm fairly impressed with the low light performance as well, but I'm sure there is a better lens for that purpose as well.

I really see my zooming is going to be the first issue, trying to shoot birds and far off buildings, objects, etc.

Budget is a concern here, I wasn't really ready to make the jump from a bridge camera to a DSLR, but the image quality of the super zooms was killing me.

Do you have any recommendations for a budget zoom lens? Then, is there a lens that can do nice macros and low light stuff?

Thanks in advance.

Scott

PS, Is there a good tutorial on understanding lens' and what to purchase for each shooting situation on a budget? Seems as though you could go lens crazy, but I just want a couple for most basic shooting situations.

By the way, what is the 18-55mm kit lens best for?

Last edited by Logansdad; Nov 9, 2010 at 11:48 AM.
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Scott,

there's simply no guide to what budget lens to get for each situation. Let's take birding. If you're shooting seagulls at the beach/parking lot, 135mm can be plenty of reach. They're easy targets. If you're shooting small birds in trees (sparrows, jays, etc...) then you'll find that 400mm-500mm lenses are required. The budget 250-300mm lenses just aren't long enough to do a good job. But larger crows/robins etc on your deck rail in back yard, 250-300mm can be enough. If you're talking more difficult birds in flight (big difference again between the common gull which is easy, a large bird like a heron where 200-300mm can be enough if you can get close and hawks which you typically aren't going to get close to and require more focal length).

As you found out with the superzooms, sometimes what you want to do and what you want to pay don't always coincide. They might. But might not.

Some budget options for zooms are:
Canon 55-250 - nice price point, good quality optics for what you get
Tamron 70-300 - nice price point, great optics for the price but slow to focus
Canon 70-300 (non-L): now in $500 range. From users that have used both this and the 55-250, the 70-300 is a bit sharper and faster to focus - and of course more reach.

Those are the big players for budget zooms. But even the canon 70-300 isn't a great birding lens. But as I said above - it depends on what types of birds and in what situation.
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 4:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply JohnG.

The FZ100 lens range was 25-600mm, so I got spoiled with the lens, but it was lacking quality images for sure.

Bird pictures are of hummingbirds, and birds in trees. Even then, I wasn't really using the full zoom by any means, but like you mentioned, I would need to be in the 400-500mm area, which I probably was.

I'll probably opt for the Canon 55-250 at this point. I'll just have to live with it and climb the trees to get closer. Kidding of course. Hummers and subjects that I focus on are fairly close to ground level anyway. It would probably be fine.

Changing the subject a bit, I'm also thinking of a Canon 50mm f1.8 for low light. Ok choice for budget?

Would I be able to get fairly good macros with either of these? The kit lens does fairly well, just can't get close enough.

Thanks for taking the time with my novice questions.
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 4:02 PM   #4
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What about the Tamron 18-270 f3.5-6.3 for $629? I know it's a little more, but they are offering a $150 rebate, plus I could possibly sell the kit lens and have this as an all around lens.

Or would it be better quality pictures to keep the Canon 18-55, and purchase either the 55-250 for $219 or the Canon 55-200 for $164?

Thoughts please.

Regards.
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 4:09 PM   #5
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With either of the canon lenses that john mention, you can greatly improve the macro ability of them by adding a 80 dollar canon 500D close up lens. It should work for the tamron 70-300 LD DI, but form 200-300mm it is very soft. So not how if the close up lens will effect the photos. It is a good inexpensive way if you do not want to invest 400 dollars right away for a true macro lens.

There is a new tamron 70-300 LD VC, suppose to be good in the 450 dollar range. But it is new so not sure how reliable the reports are.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/cl...e-up-lens.html

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/cl...00d-macro.html
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 4:11 PM   #6
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For a megazoom lens, it is one of the better ones. But it will not be as good as a 2 lens setup. Also it is not that fast to focus. So not ideal or shooting any action outdoors. And it is very dark at 270mm at f6.3. While all the other lens that john mention at f5.6.

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Originally Posted by Logansdad View Post
What about the Tamron 18-270 f3.5-6.3 for $629? I know it's a little more, but they are offering a $150 rebate, plus I could possibly sell the kit lens and have this as an all around lens.

Or would it be better quality pictures to keep the Canon 18-55, and purchase either the 55-250 for $219 or the Canon 55-200 for $164?

Thoughts please.

Regards.
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