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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-25-2017

Canon 100d lens upgrade

I have a Canon 100d with a 18-55mm lens. I recently got into photography and started taking classes. As a beginner, I quickly realized what I have is not ideal for my needs. I am especially interested in blog and product photography. I need a longer lens such as 85mm or longer. I was wondering investing money in my Canon 100d and buying a lens such as 85mm or 18-135mm would be enough to make product photography. As an other option, I can also consider buying a better camera. I would appreciate if anyone can tell me what the best option is. Should I stick with my 100d and buy a 18-135mm lens for multi purpose?
Or two fix lenses 35 and 85 for example? Or buying a better camera? Thanks
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,182
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon 100d lens upgrade

[ Edited ]

Alpkan wrote:
I have a Canon 100d with a 18-55mm lens. I recently got into photography and started taking classes. As a beginner, I quickly realized what I have is not ideal for my needs. I am especially interested in blog and product photography. I need a longer lens such as 85mm or longer. I was wondering investing money in my Canon 100d and buying a lens such as 85mm or 18-135mm would be enough to make product photography. As an other option, I can also consider buying a better camera. I would appreciate if anyone can tell me what the best option is. Should I stick with my 100d and buy a 18-135mm lens for multi purpose?
Or two fix lenses 35 and 85 for example? Or buying a better camera? Thanks

Over the years, Canon has released a few versions of an 18-55mm lens in Rebel camera body kits.  I think most 100D [SL1 in the U.S.] came with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, which is a surprisingly good lens when used in good lighting conditions.  This is most recent and best version of the 18-55mm lens.

 

Similarly,, Canon has released a few versions of 18-135mm lenses in their mid-size [EOS #0D] camera kits.  The 18-135mm lenses offered better image quality than their 18-55mm counterparts, that is until the release of the most recent version of the 18-55mm.  The only advantage of buying an 18-135mm lens would be the wider "standard range" of zoom focal lengths.  They are all good lenses, and the most recent "USM" version in that series is probably the best of them all.  

 

I am not sure if another standard zoom lens, one which duplicates many focal lengths that you already have, is the most frugal choice to make.  You mention product photography, but did not say what type of products.  Investing in a macro lens, or a fast prime lens, might be a better choice depending upon what it is you're photographing, of course.  My opinion is leaning toward the EF 85mm f/1.8 IS USM, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, or the EF-S 60mm macro lens.

 

Regardless of what you're photographing, a good professional grade tripod will improve you product photos.  Investing a couple hundred dollars in a high performance tripod can make just a big improvement in the quality of your images as a better lens can, especially if you're trying to create product photos.  Stay away from the big blue box stores when it comes to shopping for a tripod.  All they offer are plastic tripods that are good at doing the "shake and break".  

 

Look for a set of tripod legs made from aluminum, magnesium alloy, or carbon fiber.  The most popular type of tripod head is a ball head.  Look for a ball head that includes what is known as a "friction" adjustment, which is sometimes called a "drag" adjustment.  Finally, look for a sale.  I have never paid list price for an online tripod.  In fact, I have bought all of mine at clearance pricing from B&H PhotoVideo.

 

Without knowing what you're photographing, I would advise purchasing one of the lenses I previously mentioned.  I would also strongly advise investing in a professional grade tripod.  Finallly, if you have not done so already, learn how to become proficient with the Canon DPP software that should have been included free of charge with your camera.  Post processing of your photos after they come out of the camera is just as important as planning your shots before you capture them.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-25-2017

Re: Canon 100d lens upgrade

[ Edited ]

Thank you for your response. I am trying to photograph simple design objects on plain backgrouds and minimal interiors. Please see the attached sample images. 

 

Buying a 85mm lens makes sense to me. I was wondering a macro lens such as the EF-S 60mm macro lens can be also used to make interior design photography also.  What is the difference between the EF 85mm f/1.8 IS USM and the EF-S 60mm macro lens eaxctly?

 

Please let me know if you have further information. 

Thank you.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 14.29.50.pngScreen Shot 2017-03-25 at 14.30.04.png

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,182
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon 100d lens upgrade

Those are both very nice shots.  You certainly seem to have the basics nailed down.  I'd be curious to know the focal lengths of the two posted shots, though.  A fixed focal length lens may not be best for you, as your posted shots demonstrate an apparent need for a range of focal lengths.  So, I am curious to know what focal lengths were used to capture the shots.

 

Aside from the obvious difference in focal length, 60mm versus 85mm, there are a couple of differences between a conventional lens and a macro lens.  One difference is that a macro lens will allow you to have to photograph objects much closer to the lens than with a conventional lens.

 

Another technical difference is the shape of the plane of focus.  A conventional lens will tend to have a plane of focus that is at a constant distance from the lens, which means as you move away from the center of the focus plane, you will move on an arc to maintain the constant distance to the lens.  I've observed this behavior when I photographed a couple of wall murals with a wide aperture setting, which gives a shallow depth of field.  The center of the image was in focus, but it fell of towards the edges.

 

A macro lens tends to have a much flatter focus plane as you move away from the center.  A macro lens also tends to be very sharp, but slower to autofocus.  In most circumstances, the macro photographer is using a tripod and manually focusing th lens.  Had I used a macro lens to photograph the same wall mural, the image should have been sharper as you moved away from the center of the photo.  

 

Having a flatter focus plane makes it easier to capture and stack images of the very small.  But, you're not in that world of photographing the very small at all.  I think your shots look pretty good.  A better lens can always improve your images, but at what cost.  I might have used two entirely different lenses for your posted shots.  I would have been inclined to use a "standard" focal length [35-50mm on an APS-C camera body] to photograph the towel.  I might have used a wider angle lens [18-35mm on an APS-C camera body] to photograph the room.  I would have used a tripod, and a remote shutter release or shutter delay, to take either shot, too.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,461
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Canon 100d lens upgrade


Alpkan wrote:
I have a Canon 100d with a 18-55mm lens. I recently got into photography and started taking classes. As a beginner, I quickly realized what I have is not ideal for my needs. I am especially interested in blog and product photography. I need a longer lens such as 85mm or longer. I was wondering investing money in my Canon 100d and buying a lens such as 85mm or 18-135mm would be enough to make product photography. As an other option, I can also consider buying a better camera. I would appreciate if anyone can tell me what the best option is. Should I stick with my 100d and buy a 18-135mm lens for multi purpose?
Or two fix lenses 35 and 85 for example? Or buying a better camera? Thanks

There is nothing wrong with your camera! There is no need to upgrade your camera.

 

The EF-S 18-135 IS STM is a nice general purpose lens. 

 

What makes you think you need to use 85mm for your product photography over what is already a mildly telephoto 55mm?

 

Or put another way, why can't you just get closer to the products you are photographing? 

 

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,272
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon 100d lens upgrade

Most of the pros in my circle of friends have come to agree the ef 70-200mm f2.8l is the lens of choice for most situations.  It has become THE portrait lens of choice.  Not much different than product photography.  I would certainly give one a look. I know I couldn't survive without mine.  It would absolutely cover the stated focal lengths of 85mil and 135mil you mentioned.

 

If this is a serious endeavor you should consider it. Possibly look at a 6D, too, if it isn't just a hobby.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,777
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Canon 100d lens upgrade

Whether or not a lens is ideal for product photography really depends on what the "product" is.

 

Realty and cars typically prefer shorter focal length lenses which stretch the sense of depth in an image (making rooms seem bigger, car interiors seem bigger and the car seems longer, etc.). Basically the background will appear farther away than it really is.  

 

Very long lenses have compression -- which is the opposite effect (the background will appear closer than it really is).

 

Only at (or near) 1x magnification will the image seem neither stretched nor compressed.  1x magnification is focal length which matches the diagonal measurement of the sensor size.  For you camera that's around 27 to 28mm.  

 

On your camera, 55mm is roughly 2x magnification.  85mm is nearly 3x magnification.

 

As you use lenses with longer focal lengths, your "angle of view" gets narrower and that means you need to get farther away from an object in order to get the object in the frame.    I love shooting at 200mm and my 70-200 is my most-used lens.  But this means I'm often shooting subjects that could have been shot at a much loser distance... but I have to stand much farther away to get the same shot (and the background will be narrower).

 

So the "best" lens, really depends on what sort of subject you're shooting and what sort of results (including creative effects) you want.

 

Usually lighting is the more important issue when shooting product photography.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D II, 5D III, 60Da
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