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DigitalFool Oct 7, 2010 1:29 PM

Looking at Canon T2i - best budget friendly setup?
I've been doing research for about a week now and I'm pretty much set on the Canon T2i. I'm new to the DSLR realm and for all practical purposes, a photo noob. Nonetheless, I want to get a jump start learning the camera before my family goes on vacation next Spring.

My biggest hurdle to get over is deciding what lens(es) to purchase. For the most part, it will just be scenery shots and photo ops with the family. At this time, no sports or fast moving type capturing.

The budget is set at $1,200 to include all the necessities (body, lens(es), extra battery, sd cards etc.). From what I gather, the basic 18-55mm kit doesn't really get much done. I've come to found from researching is the best all around lens is the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS but at the price point ($750) is probably a little too much.

Can anyone give me any guidance on a happy medium lens for what I'm looking for? What about the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (Canon has a promotion for $200 off bundle kit)?

waoldrifleman Oct 7, 2010 2:13 PM

My take would be get the two lens kit (18-55 and 55-250). I have the T2i and really like it. Get a good class 6 or 10 card at least 8 gig in size (16 is better). The battery would be a maybe or a later when you have an extra $60, the one will let you shoot several hundred (somewhere between 3&4 hundred) shots unless you use Live view and flash a ton. The kit lens is pretty good and has IS. It is just a little short for my tastes, but many live with fixed lens shorter than this everyday. This would get you started and let you see where your interests lie in terms of shooting style. Steven

shoturtle Oct 7, 2010 2:53 PM

Yup the best budget friendly setup for the t2i is the 18-55 and 55-250. And it will keep you around 1k for the whole setup.

Spare batteries look on ebay, you can get 2 for about 15 dollars. Card I would get a class 10, something at least 8gb, if you take video it will eat up allot of memory.

[email protected] Oct 8, 2010 5:30 PM

best kit
Another option is to get the Canon camera body, and get a Tamron 18-200 (for Canon) which is on sale at B&H Photo Video for $189 after rebate

That would give you one "walk around" lens that could do it all in one zoom.

The 18-200 is a very highly rated lens and probably as optically good as the two Canon kits lenses mentioned.

Advantage is you don't have to swap lenses when the need arises. Also, if you swap lenses you risk more likelihood of getting dust on your sensor eventually, which means sending your camera to Canon (and loosing it for a few weeks) to get your sensor cleaned, which could cost about $35 to $50.

Every camera deserves a good case (I use Pelican crush proof cases). You might also want to consider investing in a Canon lens cleaning kit (about $8).

mtclimber Oct 8, 2010 7:07 PM


The Tamron 18-250mm lens is highly reviewed, but the Tamron 18-200mm has far less image quality. I know, as I own one and I would happily sell it for $100.00 with free shipping, it is that bad.The standard Canon two lens combo is much, much better.

Sarah Joyce

Bikentrike Oct 8, 2010 10:56 PM

As one noob to another.............................good choice on a T2i. :grin: I purchased one myself from Costco last week. I got mine as a package with the 18-55 lens and the 70-300 IS USM telephoto. I have to say..........don't under-rate the 18-55 kit lens. When buying it as part of a package it costs about $120 and in my "noobie" opinion takes pretty darn nice pictures. My personal feeling is that if I get to the point, with my photography, that I can really see the limitations of this lens, for myself, I'll be more than happy to spend the "big bucks" for a really nice lens (or lenses). I'm sure that by then I'll have gotten more than my $120 worth out of this lens.

In the meantime my two immediate goals are to: 1.) learn my T2i inside out and 2.) become more proficient at looking at the world around me as a good photographer would.

Good luck on whatever you decide and enjoy the journey.


[email protected] Oct 8, 2010 11:05 PM

Perhaps the 18-250 is the better buy.

I use a Sigma 10-20 (for Canon) for indoor stuff and people shots. It's a really great lens for close up people photography. I can be speaking with a group of two or three people at a distance of 3 or 4 feet, raise my camera, and get the whole group in!

The lens that probably is on my camera 70 percent of the time is a Sigma 17-70 (since been discontinued) which is a great "walk around" lens.

Finally I use the Canon 70-200 for mid-range sports.

I wish I had something in the 300-400mm for birds etc. but I can't really afford a decent quality one.

I'm not a huge fan of Canon kit lenses. I think both Tamron and Sigma generally do a better job for less $$'s. Can't beat the Sigma build quality - they are built like tanks!

I don't tend to swap lenses during the day. I put one lens on the cam for the day and that's it. I only change the lens when I have a specific need (on a different day) for a different focal length. Lazy I suppose.

peripatetic Oct 9, 2010 2:34 AM

Check out the lens blur charts at or, the tamron superzoom is quite good for such a compromise lens, but the basic rule is that the bigger the zoom range, the worse the quality.

You will be much better off with the two-lens kit as far as quality is concerned. MUCH.

siko2000 Oct 9, 2010 5:07 AM

The Tamron 18-250mm lens is highly reviewed, but the Tamron 18-200mm has far less image quality. I know, as I own one and I would happily sell it for $100.00 with free shipping, it is that bad.The standard Canon two lens combo is much, much better.

wave01 Oct 9, 2010 5:14 AM

Heres my take I have the 550d/T2i the kit lens isnt that bad. Next I went for an external flash nissin di622. On the lens front I got a 50 1.8 cant beat it at the price and the efs55-250is. This is a nice lens again for the price and it also light so if you are traveling that could be a point to look for.

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