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Help with recommending the best lens for street portraits

Court41
Contributor

Hello:) I am new to the Canon community and just starting my photography journey. I have read so many different opinions on the best lens. Need help with what others truly recommend. I have been shooting a lot of street photography or outdoors with my subjects but want to get a good lens finally! I am looking for something for street portraits and indoors. I’m torn between the 3 most common . The “nifty fifty” , the 85mm or the 24-70mm. I have read so much I don’t know what would be best. I need a lens that would work for outside portraits for those beautiful shots and also inside for possibly natural or low light. Help please as I am a newbie:) thank you! 

20 REPLIES 20

Carrying case for sure and yes have a tri-pod. That baby is pretty heavy 🙂 thank you for all your help! 

If you're using a tripod. Attach the lens tripod collar to the tripod. Do Not attach the tripod to the camera body. If you're not using a tripod. your left hand to support the lens. NEVER rely on the lens mount to support the weight of a lens. As a general rule always support the lens with your left hand. Especially with telephoto and super telephoto lenses. Do you have thus tripod collar below. 

213591-1987663_02.jpg

-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM, EF 50 F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D & Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM


-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

Thankfully with this deal I got it came with a collar and hood and cap:) I hold onto the lens with my left hand like it’s a newborn 🙂 

rs-eos
Elite

A 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (be sure it's f/2.8 for better low-light performance) would be the single best lens amongst the three you listed.   On your crop sensor camera, this gives field-of-view equivalents of 38mm to 112mm.  The former being a very good focal length for street photography and the latter end being good for portraits.

In addition though, I would recommend the 50mm f/1.8 due to the very low cost and better low-light capabilities.  It would let in at least four times the amount of light as your current 18-55mm lens.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Thank you for the help. I truly appreciate you breaking down the differences. There is so much to learn! 🙂

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

Ok here is your answer from what you said so far the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is your "best" choice. I know you got a similar lens with the T7 but the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is a whole different animal. Much better built, much better IQ and it is a constant f2.8 aperture (<-- super important). Your kit lens is none of those. It will handle all of what you listed if a single lens can handle it. Of course all camera/lens have their limits and it is possible to reach them with any combo. If I were you I would avoid primes, single focal length, lenses altogether. They are way too specialized when compared to a zoom.

You can sell the kit lens you have to help pay for it.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

I appreciate the knowledge you helped me understand. I can not say thank you enough:) looking forward to hopefully someday being as educated and experienced with the Canon camera 🙂 

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"A 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (be sure it's f/2.8 for better low-light performance) would be the single best lens amongst the three you listed."

 

I, personally, would avoid that lens on a T7. Not that I wouldn't love to have it because it is a fantastic lens, but the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens has a more T7 friendly FL range.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

 For example if you were shooting at 200mm. When we do the math 1/200 x 1.6= 320. So your minimum shutter speed would need to be at least 1/320th of a sec or faster to avoid camera shake."

 

Keep in mind this is a guide not a law. Lots of people can shoot teles at very much slower SS with great success.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

This was just a guide for the OP. Since the OP is new to photography. So they may have not used a telephoto lens. When I was new to shooting with a telephoto lens I used to see camera shake. But I can shoot at a slower shutter speed now. 

-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM, EF 50 F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D & Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM


-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D
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