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R50 Lenses for Nature Photography Suggestions

Riskychristian
Apprentice

Hey all,

Im looking for camera lenses for my R50 and wanted to ask for some opinions. Im currently looking at getting the rf100 - 400 and the RF 35mm f1.8. would these be good beginner lenses for wildlife and nature photography?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

What lenses do you currently own for the R50?

I think owning a prime lens is highly beneficial for beginners.  A prime lens will typically have a wide aperture than most zoom lenses.  Having a wide aperture lens can and will teach a lot about DOF, depth of field, in ways that a smaller aperture zoom lens cannot.

If you are interested in photographing flowers and things, then a macro lens can be useful but not absolutely necessary.  This comparison chart compares the “magnification factor” of the lenses you cited, plus one more.

0DC99657-B699-4AA6-9F7D-F6A74E4D992A.jpeg

The magnification factors of these lenses are pretty close to one another.  You may notice that the two lenses actually labeled as “macro” have magnification factors of 50%, which is typically the minimum amount you will see for a true macro lens.  

These three lenses are capable capturing near identical images of a rose.  One lens is not capable of significantly zooming in on the rose compared to the others.  

The main difference between the lenses will the working distance between camera/lens and the subject.  The MFD, or Minimum Focusing Distance, is measured from the image sensor, not from the front of the lens.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

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6 REPLIES 6

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

Any lens is good for nature photography depending on what that means. I never recommend beginners buy a prime lens like the rf 35mm and instead favor zooms. Primes are more difficult to use. A more "normal" FL is where you want to start. Perhaps something like the Canon RF-S 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens.

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

My thinking for the 35 mm was to grab more macro shots of flowers and insects. Do you have a better recommendation for that? 

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

What lenses do you currently own for the R50?

I think owning a prime lens is highly beneficial for beginners.  A prime lens will typically have a wide aperture than most zoom lenses.  Having a wide aperture lens can and will teach a lot about DOF, depth of field, in ways that a smaller aperture zoom lens cannot.

If you are interested in photographing flowers and things, then a macro lens can be useful but not absolutely necessary.  This comparison chart compares the “magnification factor” of the lenses you cited, plus one more.

0DC99657-B699-4AA6-9F7D-F6A74E4D992A.jpeg

The magnification factors of these lenses are pretty close to one another.  You may notice that the two lenses actually labeled as “macro” have magnification factors of 50%, which is typically the minimum amount you will see for a true macro lens.  

These three lenses are capable capturing near identical images of a rose.  One lens is not capable of significantly zooming in on the rose compared to the others.  

The main difference between the lenses will the working distance between camera/lens and the subject.  The MFD, or Minimum Focusing Distance, is measured from the image sensor, not from the front of the lens.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

Hi and Welcome to the Forum:

Not having a clear budget, it's always challenging to provide solutions you can afford.  As my colleague Waddizzle asked, it would help to know what lenses you currently have.

That aside, and assuming you have the budget, I would suggest considering the following:
As a general walk-around and close work zoom:  RF-S 18-150mm.  It will be great for social and scenic images, and it is considered a good lens for close-up photography such as flowers and insects.
For longer wildlife work:  the RF100-400 would be a good choice 

I do not disagree with Waddizzle on the benefits of a fast prime lens, particularly for social occasions and portraits, but it is much less flexible and for macro work you don't necessarily want the shallow depth of field that is a benefit of a f/1.8 lens.
For example, these images were taken on similar focal length zooms to the 18-150 I suggest, and the apertures are in the moderate range because being so close to the subject one needs the higher f/stop values to compensate for the shallow depth of field.
 King Protea - 80D, EF-S 18-135 IS USM@135mm, f/6.3, 1/1000sec, ISO-100King Protea - 80D, EF-S 18-135 IS USM@135mm, f/6.3, 1/1000sec, ISO-100    Shrubby daisybush - 80D,EF-S 18-135 IS USM@ 95mm, f/6.3,  1/2000sec, ISO-100Shrubby daisybush - 80D,EF-S 18-135 IS USM@ 95mm, f/6.3, 1/2000sec, ISO-100    Canon EOS M5, EF-M 18-135mm@ 100mm, F/9,  1/50sec, ISO-200Canon EOS M5, EF-M 18-135mm@ 100mm, F/9, 1/50sec, ISO-200    Canon 80D, EF-S 18-135mm@135mm, f/8, 1/2000sec, ISO-200, hand-heldCanon 80D, EF-S 18-135mm@135mm, f/8, 1/2000sec, ISO-200, hand-held

Depth of Field is impacted by these factors:
* The closer the subject, the shallower the depth of field
* The longer the focal length, the shallower the depth of field
* The smaller the f/stop value, the shallower the depth of field
(obviously the opposite applies for deeper depth of field). 

Usually these factors don't all work in one direction - they counter each other.  So, for close-up work, one normally seeks to get closer to the subject, but that reduces the depth of field, so shooting with a higher (or at least moderate) f/stop value will counter that and give you more in focus. 
For example, all of these were taken at quite high f/stop values to get more of the flowers in focus.  The middle one was taken with an actual macro lens, with a min f/stop of 2.8, but I still needed to crank up that value to get more in focus.
80D, 71mm, f/8,  1/200sec, ISO-20080D, 71mm, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO-200   EOS 5DsR, 100mm, f/13, 1/2sec, ISO-200EOS 5DsR, 100mm, f/13, 1/2sec, ISO-200   Canon EOS 80D, EF-S 18-135@135mm, f/11, 1/1600sec, ISO-320Canon EOS 80D, EF-S 18-135@135mm, f/11, 1/1600sec, ISO-320

At the same time you can use that same lens for portraits (using a longer FL to reduce the DoF), some general scenic work etc., for example:
Canon EOS 60D, EF-S 60mm f/3.2, 1/13sec, ISO-200Canon EOS 60D, EF-S 60mm f/3.2, 1/13sec, ISO-200  60D, 55-250@105mm, f/7.1, 1/1000sec, ISO-20060D, 55-250@105mm, f/7.1, 1/1000sec, ISO-200  Canon 60D, EF-S 55-250@250mm, f/7.1, 1/800sec, ISO-200Canon 60D, EF-S 55-250@250mm, f/7.1, 1/800sec, ISO-200   EOS M5, 55-200@55mm, f/6.3, 1/60sec, ISO-200EOS M5, 55-200@55mm, f/6.3, 1/60sec, ISO-200    Canon EOS R6, RF 24-240@118mm, f/6.3, 1/125sec, ISO-250Canon EOS R6, RF 24-240@118mm, f/6.3, 1/125sec, ISO-250 Canon EOS R6, RF 24-240@24mm,Canon EOS R6, RF 24-240@24mm,  Canon EOS 5DMkIII, EF 24-105@55mm, f/5.6, 1/100sec, ISO-100Canon EOS 5DMkIII, EF 24-105@55mm, f/5.6, 1/100sec, ISO-100  


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

Thank you for taking the time to reply! I think for what im trying to do the RF-S 18-150 is what I'm looking for! 

Im relatively new to photography and I'm upgrading from just using my iPhone. The current lens I have is the RF-s 18 - 45. It came with my camera. 

currently I have a budget of 1500 dollars to spend on lenses. 

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"! I think for what im trying to do the RF-S 18-150 is what I'm looking for!"

A wise decision. There is nothing wrong with a prime lens. However, about the only thing one offers is a slightly, one to two stop advantage over the top zooms currently available. For that you give up the very important additional focal lengths that a zoom offers. Never forget in photography you give to get. There is no free lunch.

Your next move is to d/l form Canon their free editing software. DPP4 is free and will enhance your photos the most of any thing else you can do or add.

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