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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-16-2017

Looking for a lens (new to photography)

So I am brand new to the photography world and i am trying to learn what I can. Well when i got this camera I did not know that it did not work unless you have a lens on it. While its a tad dissapointing it does make sense in the long run, however with how expensive lenses are and how many types there are its a bit overwelming with what i need. I do know i will eventually need a macro lens for miniatures, but im not sure what basic lens i need for my main goal which is taking pictures of model kits that range from 3-16 inches. 

 

Any help with what i can use for starting off will be great.

 

The camera I received was a EF mount type Canon eos 40D  the ef mount is all i was able to learn so far. Again thank you in advance.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,647
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Looking for a lens (new to photography)

Hi,

 

Your 40d is a crop sensor camera. It has a slightly smaller sensor than a "full frame" camera, which has a sensor the same size as an image shot on a strip of 35mm film. 

 

A Canon crop camera like yours has a mixed-use mount.  You can use EF-s lenses which are made for fit only crop cameras, and which are less expensive (usually).  You can also mount all the full frame EF lenses. Basically, then, you can use like 99% of all lenses Canon makes, except for the few mirror less "M" lenses. 

 

You have no lens at all.   Normally I'd suggest a macro like the affordable crop lens the EF-s 60mm f/2.8 macro. Or the 100mm f/2.8 macro (non-L) for your model shots but you probably need a walk around lens for general use.  

 

What is is your total budget?

Scott

Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,533
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Looking for a lens (new to photography)

The lens you will get the most out of in a single lens is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. It is expensive around $900.  Not wanting to invest that much right off the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens is a second choice at around $200.

Both of these will be more useful than a single focal length lens. Neither will be the best at macro photography but both can do a reasonable job. Especially if you post edit which is virtually a requirement no matter what camera/lens combo you select.

 

People that don't want to mess with cameras too much need to go the zoom route.  Prime (fixed focal length) lenses are pretty limited in their versatility.  But remember all lenses and cameras have their limits.  Each will have a best practice solution.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,560
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Looking for a lens (new to photography)


leakymilky wrote:

So I am brand new to the photography world and i am trying to learn what I can. Well when i got this camera I did not know that it did not work unless you have a lens on it. While its a tad dissapointing it does make sense in the long run, however with how expensive lenses are and how many types there are its a bit overwelming with what i need. I do know i will eventually need a macro lens for miniatures, but im not sure what basic lens i need for my main goal which is taking pictures of model kits that range from 3-16 inches. 

 

Any help with what i can use for starting off will be great.

 

The camera I received was a EF mount type Canon eos 40D  the ef mount is all i was able to learn so far. Again thank you in advance.


A "standard" range zoom lens is a good starter lens.  i would recommend the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM zoom lens.  Canon sells a couple of different lenses with the same range of focal lengths.  The differences are primarily when they were released.  The lenses with "STM" on the end of the model number are the latest and greatest.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,890
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Looking for a lens (new to photography)

You have two choices... 

 

If you are planning to use the camera only to take these close-up images of models, then you'd want a dedicated macro lens.  For your camera, the most afford true macro lens is the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM.

 

You can pickup a refurb from the Canon store for about $340 (which is cheap and this is probably the best EF-S lens I've ever used.)

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-s-60mm-f-28-macro-usm-refurbished

 

However... that limits you to the 60mm angle of view so it's not a versatle general-purpose lens.  For that, you'd want a kit lens like this:  

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-m-18-55mm-f-3-5-5-6-is-stm-lens-refurbished

 

The issue here, is that it's not a macro lens (it's not designed for close-up photography -- every lens has a minimum focus distance - a point at which it cannot focus if you are any closer.)  

 

But you can add a close-up diopter that threads onto the front of the lens:

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/52mm-close-up-lens-250d

 

Canon makes two different close-up lenses (but each is made in a variateter of diameters to fit various lens threads - this is the 52mm diameter thread version which is the correct diameter for the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM lens).  

 

The 250D close-up diopter is intended for focal lengths in the 30-135mm range.  The 500D close-up diopter is intended for lenses in the 70-300mm range.  So using the 250D diopter threaded onto the kit lens, you'd zoom in to the 55mm end to do close-up shooting with your models.

 

Depth of field (the range of distances at which things will appear to be in acceptable focus) will become very shallow when doing close-up photography... so you may want to use a tripod and a very high f-stop (e.g. f/22) to increase the depth of field.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,560
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Looking for a lens (new to photography)

Tim and I seem to be thinking alike.  We both recommended the same 18-55mm lens.  Get the lens with the model number that ends with "STM".  While Tim recommends using a diopter for "macro" shots, I think an inexpensive set of 3 three extension tubes will suffice.  

 

In fact, if your models are 3-16 inches in size, you might not even need a macro lens, diopter filters, or extension tubes.  Diopter filters can be costly compared to extension tubes.  You will want to invest in other accessories, like a camera bag or tripod.  

 

Using a sturdy and robust tripod will be so useful shooting your models, that I am going to tell you that it is a must have.  You can figure on spending $200, or slightly more, for a quality tripod and tripod head, with case. 

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