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Old Jun 30, 2009, 8:10 PM   #1
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So I finally settled on a camera and bought the Canon T1i. It came with a kit lens which is nice but I want to have options. Considering I want the most options for my coming trip to Disney World in which I will be wanting both vivid day and night photos. Emphasis on daytime however. What would be the one lens I should buy to go with my camera? I'm looking for a consumer level lens, something in the 200-350 dollar range.

Should I consider a 50mm 1.4 lens? I have heard this this lens is great and very sharp - but isn't the kit lens similar?

I'm also looking at the 55-250mm telephoto zoom lens with IS for around 300 dollars.

I can't afford but probably one additional lens at this point, but I think I need to have at least one for options. Thoughts?

Thank you.
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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Well I don't shoot Canon, nor am I knowledgeable about Canon lenses - So why am I writing. Your post appears to be asking the question - I am starting off - what set of lenses can I best use? (a paraphrase, but probably close)....

You currently have the kit lens an 18-55 stabilized zoom - which is pretty general purpose. The companion to that lens for general photography is the 55 - 250 lens that your looking at. This would give you a wide range of focal lengths that essentially cover just about all aspects of photography. Wide angle to telephoto. To get a bit of perspective of what this would provide you here is a comparison tool on focal length.

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/learnin...comparison.php

The other lens that you listed is the 50mm f1.4 also a wonderful lens. It is a prime lens, and a very fast lens (its able to gather a lot of light), so it would provide you the ability to take low light images, interiors with ambient lighting (no flash), etc.

The question is really, what do you expect to take pictures of? The 50mm is great for indoor shots, while the zoom provides you the ability to zoom up close where ever (however its not a very fast lens) but would probably be used in a lot of light (outdoors, etc.).

I would probably quickly list how I would anticipate to use each lens, what situations, etc. Then see what list actually interests me more or would be more useful, which would probably help you decide which one, or possibly point you to another lens. You could also make a separate list of things you are interested in that the kit lens would not be very good for, and then fit a lens to that list. Two general approaches to the age old photography problem of - how do I spend my budget?

... hope that helps...
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 1:49 AM   #3
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Thank you for such a great response.

I plan to take portraits and outdoor shots mainly. I just like the samples of the 50mm that I have seen. The shallow DOF and clarity of the photos is what has really drawn me in. I was looking at the Sigma 30mm 1.4, but someone said that it has a hard time AF on Canon bodies in low light. I plan to take lots of low light pictures and that would not be ideal. I'm just wondering if I will be just as happy with the Canon 50mm 1.4.

It really is stressful trying to figure out how to spend the money. I'll obsess of this for the next couple of days before I finally decide probably.

Do you think that the kit lens would be sufficient for low light situations handheld?
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 2:41 AM   #4
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Well, if you are looking for a single lens you need to decide what focal length you are interested in.

The 50mm f1.4 is a nice enough lens. On a crop it is effectively a short telephoto. Is that the focal length you want or is it a bit too long? You can find out by setting your current lens to 50mm and using it that way for a few hours. Steve McCurry uses mostly this equivalent angle of view.

The Sigma f1.4 is nice enough, but also consider the Canon 28mm f1.8 - which is fantastic and falls nicely at the "normal" focal length for a crop camera. I loved it on my 20D, and it's the only lens I ever really regretted selling. Once again you can test this out by setting your lens to 28mm and leaving it there for a few hours. Henri Cartier Bresson used mostly this angle of view.

Alternatively a 55-250 IS is a very versatile lens and will give you full coverage from 18-250mm, which means in daylight you should have all focal lengths pretty well covered. If you often feel like you are just too far away from your subject matter and would like to get closer but can't then choose this lens.

Actually the thing to do is probably get both the Canon 28mm and the 55-250 then you should have all bases covered; get one now and save up for the other. :-)

The best way to improve your photography IMO is to get the Canon 28mm, put that on your camera and leave it there for a few months. Inexperienced photographers should not be allowed to use zoom lenses because it leads to composition by zooming instead of by looking and moving your camera to the right position.
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 3:14 AM   #5
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Great response. I'm going to look into that 28mm. I'm definitely not an experienced photographer. I took a couple classes in college and I'm just now starting to get really interested in it. The wealth of information out there is overwhelming.

Right now I'm looking to clean up my pictures as much as possible. I don't think I need a whole lot of zoom right now. I'm mostly interested in just taking great pictures. Plus I love the shallow DOF I can get with the low f-stops.

Additionally, I really want to take low light situations. I doubt that kit or the zoom lens will achieve either of those very well.
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 6:47 AM   #6
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It seems that you've already narrowed you choice down to the 50/1.4 and the 55-250 IS. Both are very good lenses. It seems to me that you're almost, but not quite, sold on the 50/1.4.

I'd like to suggest an alternative. The Canon 50/1.8 has almost the same shallow depth of field that the 50/1.4 does, and it costs a lot less. In fact, the difference in price is enough to pay for the 55-250 IS! The 50/1.4 sells for $400; the 50/1.8 sells for $115 and the 55-250 IS sells for $255. You would get a good, low light, shallow depth of field lens, plus a stabilized telephoto zoom lens for Animal Kingdom Park.

I think that, after using the 50/1.8, you'll wonder what the 50/1.4 would do that the 50/1.8 can't. But you might be very satisfied with it, and you'll have a telephoto zoom to boot.
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Old Jul 2, 2009, 2:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I think that, after using the 50/1.8, you'll wonder what the 50/1.4 would do that the 50/1.8 can't. But you might be very satisfied with it, and you'll have a telephoto zoom to boot.
Erm well. Focus quickly and accurately for a start. Give a pleasing rendering of OOF areas for another. It is sharp though. Discussed in more detail here...

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...0mm-1-8-a.html
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Old Jul 3, 2009, 1:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the help guys. I decided to go with the Canon 50mm 1.4. I'm hoping that its in sometime today so that I can have it tomorrow to take pictures of the kiddos. Next trying to pick a zoom lens...My picks are...

Canon 70-200 f/4 L
Canon 55-250 IS

The price difference is a pretty big deal. I could swing it but is the 55-250 worth the money comparitively? I will not be using a tripod so is the 70-200 even an option?
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Old Jul 3, 2009, 1:23 PM   #9
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Personally, if I were a Canon shooter, I'd go with the 70-200mm f/4L between those two choices. It's a very sweet lens from what I gather from user reports, and you could also use a 1.4x TC (Teleconverter) with it, making it behave more like a 98-280mm f/5.6 lens after losing a stop of light through a 1.4x TC, which is still bright enough to maintain Autofocus. It would also work if you upgraded to a dSLR with a larger sensor size later.
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Old Jul 3, 2009, 9:05 PM   #10
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if your a newbie stick with the Image stabilized lens , much cheaper and easier to use and with IS you can hand held at 1/10 to 1/15 sec.
the 70-200 lens is a L lens so it is a far more superior lens but it also cost a great deal more
good luck
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