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Need a beginner lens recommendation for R8!


I received an R8 as a gift, however I'm a complete beginner in photography. It came with the body only and I need a new lens to test it out with. My budgets around 500 USD (might go a bit higher if I really need to). I want to take a portraits, travel pics (pics of mountains, pics of people standing in front of mountains lol), and occassionally some photos at night as well of friends & family. I know that's a lot and maybe one lens might not be able to hande all that but any recommendations? Additionally, will it be wise to buy a flash as well? Thank you!



Hi and welcome to the forum:
Given your description, you need a lens with an RF designation (not RF-S they are not for your camera type) and the best for your situation and budget would be the RF 24-105 IS STM lens.  The range is a good all round unit that will cover much of what you describe.  You can get one of these from Canon via this link for $399.99

Initially, I would not recommend getting a flash - learn to use the camera in available light, but with the $100 you have left in your budget you should consider a couple of full-size SD card - around 64MP and choose Lexar or SanDisk are good, from a reputable camera store (stay away from Amazon and box stores for them), and a spare battery.

The best thing you can also do is to download the User Guide for your camera and make yourself familiar with the controls: You can get that guide here: c013.pdf (

Also, I would strongly suggest checking out the following on You Tube:

Feel free to come back to us with any questions you may have.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


A pretty tall request with a budget of $500 bucks. But one lens that fits the bill is the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens.


"... will it be wise to buy a flash as well?" 

No it is not "wise" to buy a flash. Flash is almost becoming an obsolete accessory just like filters have become. After you buy yourself a lens make sure you d/l DPP4 form Canon web site (it's free). A photo editor is the most important accessory you can have. You will need a way to transfer photos from camera to computer anyway and DPP4 does that automatically. Learn it and use it.


"Thank you!"   You are certainly welcome and have a great 2024 with your new hobby.

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

Since light is the most important thing when it comes to photography, having the ability to add light to a scene is sometimes a requirement.  Depending upon what scenarios the OP will be in, adding a flash/strobe would indeed be a wise choice.


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


I have six top of the line flashes. I made a career with my cameras. I have not used a flash in the last decade or two.

Yes, there are some rare circumstances where a flash may be helpful but not for a beginner just stating out who has a limited budget of $500 bucks. 100% of the time I would choose, in my case Photoshop, over the best flash made. In the OP's case, DPP4 makes a whole lot more sense and it is free.

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


“ Additionally, will it be wise to buy a flash as well? Thank you!

I am what you might call an advanced photo enthusiast.  Friends and family are always trying to hire me to do jobs, but I always decline.  I bought a flash once.  But I found that I rarely had a critical “must use it” need for it.  

I found a wide aperture prime to be a better investment.  And, ambient light looks better in most classes, IMHO.  

Photography is a form of physical therapy and exercise for me.  It gets me out of the house wand walking around, instead of sitting around like a couch potato.  It’s a LOT more fun than jogging.

"The right mouse button is your friend."
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