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Old May 11, 2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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Default lenses to go w/ canon t1i

ok i have decided to for sure go w/ the t1i (w/ kit lens)... now i just want to be sure i'm clear on what i need in the way of additional lenses. here are the suggestions i've gotten so far--please clarify what they are for, which ones i should get, and where my priorities should be as far as what to get first and what to save up for... (i'm starting w/ a $2k budget for the whole deal)

canon 55-250
50 mm f/1.8
85mm 1.8
50 1.4
70-200 2.8
70-300 4-5.6 IS OSM

metz 48 af-1
nissin di 622
tamron 70-300 di ld

thanks in advance!!! ya'll are SO helpful!!
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:04 AM   #2
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could you remind us in this thread what you intend to shoot the most? that way we can have some idea which lenses will give you the most flexibility. i know it was in the other thread, but its too many to keep up with and easier for us to remember.
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:12 AM   #3
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I went back to your original post to remind myself what you want to shoot. You mentioned "two small kids", one of which is a "speedy 2 year old". If the other isn't much older or much faster, then neither of them is likely to be able to outrun the 55-250 any time soon, so you could save some money getting that instead of the 70-300 IS USM.

Either the 50/1.8 or the 85/1.8 would be good for indoor candid shots (I don't think the 50/1.4 would be worth the extra $200+) but I think the 50/1.8 would be more useful. There will probably be times that you'll want to get both of them in the same shot, and to do that with the 85, you'll probably have to be in the next room.

In your situation, I'd pick the Canon 55-250 over the Tamron 70-300 Di LD. I think the 70-200/2.8 will be too unwieldly to use in the house and less convenient to use outside, so I'd leave that for later, if the need arose.
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by vmhill View Post
(i'm starting w/ a $2k budget for the whole deal)
I would buy the camera with kit lens for a start. Some of the stuff on your shopping list is quite expensive. The 70-200mm f/2.8L lenses are very nice, but you will end up spending your entire budget if you buy the latest IS version.

You can decide which extra lenses you will need later. Most users will want a longer zoom lens. The 70-200mm Canon L series lenses are the expensive option. 70-300mm zoom lenses from Canon, Sigma and Tamron are cheaper and may be adequate for your needs. If you are more interested in macro or close-up photography, you might prefer to spend the money on a macro lens.

I would agree with TCav about the 50mm f/1.8. Even the 50mm lens has a fairly narrow field of view when used on a camera with an APS sensor like the T1i. This lens is only about $100 new, so it probably isn't worth the effort to shop around for a used one. However, you can save a lot of money by getting some of the more expensive lenses second hand.

Last edited by corkpix; May 11, 2010 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Add comments.
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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OK, let's categorize things:

Canon 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 are all fast prime lenses. They allow you to get faster shutter speeds in low light and allow you to take shots with shallower depth-of-field (where background is more out of focus). The 85mm 1.8 is the fastest focusing of the 3 lenses. It's also the sharpest. 50mm 1.4 is in the middle in sharpness and focus speed. 50mm 1.8 is the least sharp and slowest to focus. But it's a LOT less money. Focus speed is most essential when you're focusing on moving subjects. A bigger discussion here is: focal length. what focal length is most appropriate - 85mm or 50mm. For your subjects - kids, think of it in simple terms - the 85mm is more appropriate for portrait type shots (torso or head only) the 50mm is more appropriate for tight full body shots (note I say tight because on the camera you're considering, 50mm is still pretty tight). My personal recommendation is not to buy one of these lenses just yet. Keep the money in escrow so to speak. Use the camera with kit lens for a while. You will have the money to buy the 'quick prime' as soon as you're ready to.

Canon 70-300 IS USM, 55-250, Tamron 70-300, 70-200 2.8 (and I'll throw in the canon 70-200 f4 as it's about the same price as the 70-300 IS USM). These are all telephoto zoom lenses. They will allow you to take photos of your subject from further away.
Every lens but the 70-200 f4 is a f5.6 lens. So they'll all get you the same shutter speeds. Here's where trade-offs start coming into play though. The Canon 70-300 is the sharpest, fastest to focus AND has IS. The Tamron is sharp and good short focus ability but it does not focus fast and it is not stabilized so if you have lower shutter speeds your images will show more blur. The 55-250 gets you IS again, at a lower price point but it isn't as sharp and it's slower to focus than the 70-300.

Now, the canon 70-200 f4 is faster to focus than any of the above, has much better build quality (metal vs. plastic) and at f4 is capable of faster shutter speeds in low light. But it does not have IS.

If you can afford the price tag, there is no good reason to select one of the 'lesser' lenses. To me it comes down to Canon 70-200 f4 vs. 70-300 IS. IMO, the only reason to choose the 70-300 is if you need more reach - maybe for occasional widlife use. For general shots and for action shots of your kids playing outdoors the quality of the f4 makes it a better choice.

Now the flashes - Metz, Canon and Nissin. My opinion is - toss out the NIssin. Not as much of a track record as quality performer - it's the budget option. The choice comes down to Canon vs. Metz. The biggest choice here is a matter of compatibility. If you change bodies down the road the Canon flash will work. The metz might or it might need a firmware change. NOw the good news is - metz is the one company I know of where you can update firmware yourself. So if you don't mind doing that, then you can save some $$ on the metz. If that scares you then you can pay a bit more for the Canon flash and piece of mind that comes with it. Up to you. From a quality standpoint, metz flashes are every bit as well built as canon flashes.
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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Now, the canon 70-200 f4 is faster to focus than any of the above, has much better build quality (metal vs. plastic) and at f4 is capable of faster shutter speeds in low light. But it does not have IS.

If you can afford the price tag, there is no good reason to select one of the 'lesser' lenses. To me it comes down to Canon 70-200 f4 vs. 70-300 IS. IMO, the only reason to choose the 70-300 is if you need more reach - maybe for occasional widlife use. For general shots and for action shots of your kids playing outdoors the quality of the f4 makes it a better choice.
But not having the IS could be a problem, and adding IS to the 70-200/4 almost doubles the price, costing more than everything else she's buying. As much as I'd like to have the 70-200mm f/4.0, and as much as I miss my 70-210mm f/4.0, I don't think it's a good investment in this situation.
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Old May 11, 2010, 1:57 PM   #7
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wow! thank you for all the great info.. and so quick!!!

one of you mentioned getting secondhand lenses... where's the best source for that? online??

to answer someone's question--i'm photographing an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old...
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Old May 11, 2010, 2:05 PM   #8
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adorama, bh photo, keh are all good places for used lenses, I buy allot from ebay also. But you need to know what you looking for.
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Old May 11, 2010, 2:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
As much as I'd like to have the 70-200mm f/4.0, and as much as I miss my 70-210mm f/4.0, I don't think it's a good investment in this situation.
OK - I'll bite. What is it about this situation that requires IS? If the OP is in the house, 70-200 or 70-300 is the wrong lens without flash - period. If the OP is outdoors, at f4, shutter speeds of 1/320 are easily obtainable? What is it about the OP that suggests they'd be using the telezoom at slow shutter speeds?

If they were doing some bird work then I could see it. But for their kids, I'm not seeing where it helps. Later in life there may be school activities but that's down the road. And in those instances I still don't think an f5.6 lens and no flash is a good solution because of motion blur. Or, if the kids were a lot older and we were talking about full field soccer or baseball where more reach would be beneficial. For lower level sports - if the OP cares about them - 200mm is fine and the improved AF performance would be a huge boost.

The only other benefit to the 70-300 is size/weight. That's a legit thing to consider. Maybe the 70-200 f4 is too bulky and would more easily be left behind.
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Old May 11, 2010, 3:36 PM   #10
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johnG--what is IS and OP???? i think OP refers to me, right?? i'm a newbie-forgive me!!!
you talk about needing a flash... i plan on getting the 430ex speedlite, if that makes a difference in your advice...
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