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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-05-2020

Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

Hi All!

I'm wanting to get another lens and have a few in mind but so confused and unsure as what to consider.  Everyone says something different but I'd like some advice as to which, and your whys, please.  
I currently have a Canon T3i.  I have the 18-55 kit lens and I have the Canon 50mm.  I like to shoot family, kids, portraits. Mostly people. I don't do big events or weddings (yet).  I hope to ONE DAY get a FF like the 5D Mark whatevers or 6D, (which is another whole decision and discussion in it's own) and would like any lens I get to be able to be used with a FF in the future.

The lenses I have been considering are:

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM  or

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM which I am now reading may not even be compatible.  

Canon EF 24mm f2.8 IS USM or EF-S 24 since it's so much less.

 

I'm confused about the EF and RF. Is RF only for mirrorless and not going to be compatible with FF later?

 

Also, is it better to get the 24 or the 35?  Or 24-70 or 35?
I am taking into consideration the cost but looking for an overall good lens for portraits and there's so many choices and the crop factor to consider at this time.

 

Thank you for any advice.  I really appreciate any info!

 

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,040
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

Welcome to the forum.

 

If your plan is to go full frame EOS DSLR in the future than yoiu ony want to purchase EF lenses.

 

RF lenses will not fit your Rebel or any EOS DSLR. They will only work with the mirrorless "R" series bodies.

 

EF-S lenses will fit your Rebel, but will not fit a full frame EOS DSLR.

 

What is your definition of portrait?

 

If you mean "head shots" then you want a lens of 50mm or longer. For now the 50mm lens is a good portrait lens on your Rebel.

 

You currently have a lens that covers all the focal lengths you are considering. Get some gaffer tape or another tape that won't leave a residue. Then zoom your lens to 24, or 35, tape the zoom ring so it won't move and shoot. 

 

What is the limitation you see with your current zoom lens?

 

The two EF prime lenses you mentioned are very good lenses; they are somewhat faster than your current zoom and will provide better results if you are doing large enlargements.

 

What are your shooting conditions and end uses? f/2 vs f/3.5 max aperture doesn't realy matter if you are shooting in daylight at f/8 or smaller. If you are shooting for Flickr or Instagram or emailing then an improved image quality won't be noticeable.

 

Don't get new gear because folks tell you you need it; identify a weakness (if any) in your current gear based on your use and then address that weakness.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
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VIP
Posts: 13,187
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

From what you stated the two most widely used lenses by the pros are the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens and the  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens. These are all you will really need.  If this is your goal I would not waste money on any of the lenses you listed.  Save up for those two which are very expensive.  They are for a very good reason. They are the best in the world and the most used lenses available. Whenever I do a professional shoot these two always go with me 100% of the time.

Now, that said, the trend is toward mirrorless.  The choice is whether to go with the R series or the EF series lenses.  EF cameras can not use R lenses but EF lenses can be adapted to R mirrorless cameras.

 

Zoom lenses are far more versatile than the prime lenses which you listed. In your position I would not buy any prime lenses.  They are just too specialized.

 

"...like any lens I get to be able to be used with a FF in the future"

 

This is your stated goal.  Decide on whether it is EF as your choice of a FF or is it an R camera? 

 

"I currently have a Canon T3i.  I have the 18-55 kit lens and I have the Canon 50mm."

 

Just use what you have until that decision is made or can become a reality. If you don't I can almost guarrentee you will be buying gear twice and that makes expensive gear all the more expensive.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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VIP
Posts: 13,187
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

BTW, the R equivalent to the EF lenses I suggested are the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens and the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,152
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

Ernie gave you great advice on getting the "f2.8 zoom twins."  I bought the then current set along with my 1D Mark II and they went with me everywhere.  I also own some primes but they are specialists like the 100mm f2.8 macro and the "great white" telephoto primes for sports but those zoom twins are excellent and extremely versatile and are the right tools for the job an overwhelming percentage of the time for most photography.

 

For pleasure travel, the 24-70 and 70-200 go with me always and sometimes also the 400 f5.6 and 100mm macro but even when I bring the latter two along they get used mostly because I force myself to use them to justify having brought them Smiley Happy  At sports events, the 70-200 f2.8 is on one body and the 24-70 is in the gear bag just in case.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-05-2020

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

Thank you Mr. Hoffman for taking the time to respond and your advice. I appreciate it.
When I say portraits, I mean I usually take photos of families and when I take a photo of a child, it can be anywhere from a headshot or closeup to a catching a child in action.  I don't necessarily always like posed photos.  But my main focus is people. Outdoors mostly.  Indoors rarely.  

Thank you again!!

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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-05-2020

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

Thank you.  The 24-70 and the 70-200 are both on my wish list for sure.  

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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-05-2020

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

I agree.  As I mentioned to him, the 24-70 and the 70-200 are definitely on my wish list!

 

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VIP
Posts: 13,187
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Help Choosing Which Lens and Clarification

BTW, the lenses you listed duplicate the FL of your kit lens.  You already did that with the 50mm.  It makes little sense to keep doing that. If on the other hand you are wanting better performance than the kit lens FL the best choice is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. It is an excellent lens and is very fast at a constant f2.8 aperture.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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