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Lens recommendations for nail art tutorials and unboxings - I’m lost!

Jdimlet
Contributor

Hi there!

 

Total novice here so apologies in advance for my lack of terminology 🤣

 

I’m looking for a recommendation for a lens for filming high quality nail art tutorials as well as product unboxings.  So it needs to be great close up but also at a distance.

Budget absolute max £400 (happy to get second hand lens).

I currently have a 18-55mm macro 0.25m/0.8ft but the autofocus is playing up which seems to be a common complaint so I’m not too keen on looking at a repair.  I’ve tried the suggested fixes and no luck.

On manual focus it’s great but it’s very inconvenient to have to keep adjusting the focus during a tutorial.

 

Would really appreciate some recommendations!

10 REPLIES 10

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings ,

I assume you have a rebel series camera? 

If the lens didn't have a focus issue, do you like the way the 18-55 works for you?  You can replace the lens for about $60. It's not worth repairing, as it's cost, brand new is relatively low.

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

It’s an eos 250d that I have.

 

I do like the lens absolutely, but I have no real comparison and it’s just what came with the camera, so I thought I could use this as a chance to upgrade to something even better (though maybe that’s not possible in that price range?)

I’ve recently started creating content for brands for their social media as well as uploading to my own educational site (which is a portrait and landscape formatting nightmare 😂), so I want to make sure it’s as high quality as possible you see!

I have the 18-55 which is almost worn out. I hope some of my experiences might be helpful.

I also have https://www.usa.canon.com/shop/p/ef-s-18-135mm-f-3-5-5-6-is-usm?color=Black&type=New the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM which has much better auto-focus than my 18-55, but is much more expensive. I still use this lens in crop mode on my more recent and expensive EOS R5 with an adapter. I used this lens for product photos before my wife retired and closed her business. This lens would continue to be useful if you upgraded your EOS 250D to an EOS R50, but a kit lens purchased with an EOS R50 might be even better. Closest focus distance is 1.28 feet.

I also have the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM https://www.usa.canon.com/shop/p/refurbished-ef-s-24mm-f-2-8-stm and used it for product photos before I got the 18-135 and since then when I needed a short focus distance. It will focus to about 6 inches and is low cost but good quality. It does not have image stabilization, so might be best on a tripod.

I have heard good things about EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, but I have not tried it myself. It still sells refurbished for an almost new price.

Good luck

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https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/

If this is within your budget, it seems to me designed for the work you do.

https://www.usa.canon.com/shop/p/eos-r50-content-creator-kit?color=Black&type=Kit

 

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https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings ,

Just want to give you something to think about. The ESOS R100 is on sale for $424 and the EOS R50 is $629.  

Why I'm even mentioning them.  Both are modern mirrorless body's.  APS-C sensor like your 250D and both have the same 24 megapixel capability.

They share a similar digic 8 chip, but they have a vastly improved image sensor which is capable of superior focus. Your 250D has 9 point AF.  The R's have over 4500 focus points. They also have increased dynamic range, ISO and low light performance, 

You would need an EOS. EF to R adapter in order to use your existing lens.  That's about $100 bucks. Many people don't think mirrorless is within their reach, but you might be surprised

I'm not suggesting that you run right out and buy a new camera, but at least be open to taking a look at one.  The performance mirrorless offers over DSLRs is pretty remarkable.

Your current situation.  I would probably replace my underperforming lens with something used or refurb.  Then continue saving for an upgrade.  I might recommend something different if you had more lenses.  Since you don't an R series body would be a better long-term investment.   

 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thank you, this is great.

I’m not opposed to upgrading my camera as I’m sure I can still get a few £ for this one, in perfect condition.

 

Would you recommend any (preferably lower cost) lenses to go with either of those two cameras?

 

I am currently using an older 18-55 0.25-0.8ft lens (which doesn’t say macro on it so I assume it is slightly different to my faulty one?).  It’s fine but could be better for sure!  It’s enough to get me by and honestly I’m still getting decent content which is miles ahead of a lot of what is on socials in my field!

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

John mentioned some good points.  I had considered some of them prior to my camera upgrade suggestions.  The reason I didn't mention those lenses was because of their minimum focus distance and because none of them were true macro.  The EF-S 35mm Macro and the EF-S 24mm (that John mentioned) would probably be best for your application if you were not going to simply replace your existing lens which does well for nail art (close ups).  As time goes on there are going to be fewer and fewer choices with EF and EF-S lenses.  The used market will continue to flourish for a while though.

You can replace the failed lens pretty easily.  The 24mm new is also very inexpensive.  The 35mm (macro) can be had used (from KEH) for example, well below your budget.

The body's I recommended are slightly more than your budget, but with the adapter, opens you up to both new RF and existing EF / EF-S lens options.  In addition you get a superior focusing system and a boost in ISO performance.  I feel from a investment perspective, the ROI on a mirrorless body is better that throwing more money at older lenses.  The initial investment is higher, but for that you get longevity.  If I had a choice, I'd buy the R50 over the R100.  It has an articulating screen, shoots 4k/30 without crop and also has higher FPS.  

Conversely, for a minimal outlay, you can replace your existing lens while continuing to save for the R series body and adapter.  Since replacing your existing lens (which you said works well) is very inexpensive.  Note you'll be also to use your existing lens or lenses if you acquire more with a new body, so the choice is really yours.    

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thank you.

I’m going to look at trading in my camera (I also have a rebel to get a few extra £) and upgrading to the R50.   

Just one final Q - if I’m to upgrade do you have a lens recommendation for the R50 considering my requirements? 

Massively appreciate everyone’s input!

It depends upon what you are able to spend. I hope some of this might help with decision making. I suggest going to the Canon web page for your geographic location and look at the specifications and prices. There are always tradeoffs between price and capability. The lowest cost would be to get the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM for the camera bodies you already have.

In the USA, the RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens is discounted if purchased in a kit with the camera body and I would expect it to be similar to what you are using so it might be worth checking if that is also true where you are. I do not know who are authorized Canon dealers where you are. The EOS R100 costs less than the EOS R50 and can also be purchased in a kit with that lens.

It costs more, but Canon says: "the RF-S18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM is an all-around lens that is ideal for creative photography and movies" and the minimum focus distance is 0.17 meter when zoomed to 18mm focal length.

It seems to me that the lens reviews at the-digital-picture offer useful purchasing advice.

A review of the EOS R50 is at: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-r50-review-compact-capable-but-lacking-for-lenses

Another review is at: https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-R50.aspx

Here is a lens review: https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-RF-S-18-150mm-F3-5-6-3-IS-STM-Lens.aspx

and https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-RF-S-18-45mm-F4-5-6-3-IS-STM-Lens.aspx

 

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https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/
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