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Lens Choices

New here to the forum. I'm returning back into the photography world after 10 plus years with almost no portrait experience, besides my own kids and family (only in it for a short time for architect). I've recently purchases an entry level DSLR (Canon Rebel T6) to be sure that this is something I wanted to pursue before spending an abundant amount of money on better equipment. I figured if I sucked at it at least I'll put it to use with my 3 very active kids! I've completed several portrait sessions and sports games using the standard 18-55mm & 75-300mm kit lens just for the practice and to get my name out there. They turned out just fine but with more post editing time than I would have liked though. I researched for several weeks for lenses to step up my game, because let's face it even used "ugly" lenses are an investment and I want to make the best choices financially and not just jump to buy any old lens! I took the numerous recommendations of every photographer needs to have the "nifty fifty" and just purchased the 50mm lens. I used the lens the same day I received it and the images turned out fantastic, some of them absolutely breathtaking!! Very little to some of them not needing any post editing. Funny, it turns out I have an eye for it!!! I've looked to go beyond that with additional lenses that will push me even further but at the same time not sacrificing my mortgage even for a used lens. Looking for recommendations for a "go to" lens. I like the variable zoom ability but I know with that I'll have to sacrifice that wide aperture that is so desired. I've looked at purchasing an 85mm, 18-200mm, 18-125, and/or several others. Ideally I would love the 70-200mm Canon lens but right now at $2000 that isn't practical even finding it used or a third party used. There has been many different reviews and personal preferences for the lenses I've researched trying to decide. Looking for some guidance that will help choose the next lens that will be a step up!! Thanks in advance


I don't want to sound harsh because I truly want to see you succeed at the lowest possible cost.  So right off you are going at it wrong.  You are going to buy everything two or three times. That is not the way to keep costs down. I would say stop buying and start thinking.


If I found myself in your shoes today I would sell all the lenses you have and start a new.  My first choice for a goto lens is the outstanding Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. I doubt you will ever, to very little anyway, use the so-called nifty-fifty once you get this lens.  And certainly never even pick up the kit lens again so sell'em.


Now stop!  Again, think what is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens not doing for me?  Oh, I need a more tele lens or perhaps I need an ultra wide angle (UAW) lens. Then find the best high quality lens possible to fill that requirement.


An all purpose lens doesn't get any better than the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. The best part, it is a one time purchase because it will stick with you as up upgrade your T6 to a T7i or T8i or even a 90D.


You say you have checked out the 70-200mm zoom lens.  The Canon is the best lens made, period.  Expensive, yes, but there is always the used market.  It is a tough lens and one that can be repaired if need be so a good candidate used.

If you want to consider third party lenses check out the Tamron G2 version.


Whatever you do don't buy anymore until you think this out.


My thoughts about 50mm lenses. Any prime lens is a special purpose lens.  Zooms are far more useful. Most guys recommend 50mil for one reason, it is cheap.  Yes, it has a very open aperture of f1.8 but that is not a deal breaker or maker if you are comparing it to a fixed aperture f2.8 zoom. Compared to the kit lens, yeah, that's a big deal.

Check out the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.

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

Thanks for the advise

I actually did look into the 17-55mm lens as an option and thanks for the recommendation as this is why I asked the forum before I started dumping money into wasted lenses

I've looked into used lenses for the 70-200mm and even the Tamron version but even used right now that's simply not financially possible. This will have to be on my wish list to save for the next 6+ months



The good thing about the Canon ef 70-200mm f2.8L is, it is also a one time purchase and even better than the 17-55mm f2.8, it can be used on any new camera even a FF camera. It is built strong. Buy it once and forget it, you will have it forever,


If you go Tamron make sure it is a G2 version.  The G2 is better than the original. Keep in mind the Tammy is not as well built but it is half the price. Service is not as strong as Canon but it is getting better.

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

Mr. Biggs


Recently purchased the 70 200mm f2.8L ii which works great on my 7D Mark ii. Tryed it on my T5i and on TV mode(taking football pic) the auto focus did not function. I'm a hobby photographer and can't seem to find the solution. Please help.


Thank You

It should work just fine. What did the AF actually do? Did it try to AF, or did it just sit there?

I can hear the len focusing but no focusing can be seen when looking through the view finder.

also, when the mode is set to sport mode the lens works fine and is very fast to focus.

" great on my 7D Mark ii. Tryed it on my T5i and on TV mode..."


First off reset both cameras to defaults. Menus, tools clear all settings and all custom settings. Ok we are now back to square one.

"Recently purchased the 70 200mm f2.8L ii "

This was a brand new lens or a used one?


The test is to now put the T5i in "P" mode. ISO 400, auto WB. Select and choose just the center focus point with One shot.  Do not use Ai-servo.  Lens set to AF, 1.2m, stabilizer on, mode 1. On a nice sunny day go outside to a nice park or someplace with interesting subjects and try it.  Try something with good contrast and vertical lines.  It it works, there is nothing wrong with the lens and camera.  You had something set wrong.


If you don't know how to do these suggestions check your manual.


If you truly want to get top notch photos forget using 'Sport' mode or any of the other ones.  Use P, Av, or Tv.  There will be little times where M mode helps if you learn these. Even if you are a beginner, you can take some clues form the pros. Their cameras do not have sport mode or mountain mode or flower mode at all. So you shouldn't use them either.


Do the test and get back.

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

Thank You, will work on it this weekend and get back to you.