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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-21-2013

New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?

New to photography all together actually, but my wife and I are expecting our first baby and want to be able to take great photos.  We have decided on the T3i...but what lense/lenses?  1)Should we get the EF-S 18-135mm IS?  2)Or the EF-S 18-55mm IS II &  EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II(both)?  

 

Would the first lense be enough on its own for family photos, holidays, vacations, and little league games?  Or would we be better off going with the 2 lenses from the second option?

 

Thanks in advance.

Super Contributor
Posts: 222
Registered: ‎12-29-2012

Re: New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?

[ Edited ]

@Mdalot wrote:

New to photography all together actually, but my wife and I are expecting our first baby and want to be able to take great photos.  We have decided on the T3i...but what lense/lenses?  1)Should we get the EF-S 18-135mm IS?  2)Or the EF-S 18-55mm IS II &  EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II(both)?  

 

Would the first lense be enough on its own for family photos, holidays, vacations, and little league games?  Or would we be better off going with the 2 lenses from the second option?

 

Thanks in advance.


What is your budget? 

 

If you are willing and able to spend a little more I would recommend the EF-S 15-85 which would give you very sharp images from wide angle to short telephoto.  My second recommendation would be the EF-S 17-55 which has less zoom range but is about 1 stop faster which means it lets in more light making it a little more versatile in low lighting conditions.

 

I would buy one lens, an all-around zoom lens like the 15-85 and get experienced with it and your camera.  You might consider a flash as your second purchase for indoor/low light family photos.  Once spring and little league arrive you will have more experience with your camera and better know what telephoto zoom lens you need.  You are probably going to want at least a 200mm lens (I'm assuming for little league you will be along the base lines).

 

If you plan to get serious with photography as a hobby, do not skimp on lens.  The T3i can produce very sharp images as long as you have good glass attached to it.  Good lens can often cost more than the cost of a body.

 

If your budget is restricted...

 

I do not have any experience with the lens you listed above but I understand the 18-55 can produce sharp images, but the built quality is poor.  The 50 f/1.8 is also an inexpensive lens that is good for indoors and low light.    It too can produce sharp images.

 

Some lens links:

EF-S 15-85

EF-S 17-55

EF-S 18-55

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,331
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?

Some very good info already but if you're planning the lens purchase now for that baby's little league debut I think it wiser to concentrate on what you'll need in the next year or so, which may or may not require a travel lens. The 18-55 kit lens can be a very useful lens for the price (when bought as a kit) & since a lot of the first years photos will be up close it's a good start. That said the 15-85 is getting VERY GOOD reviews both for build & image quality (IQ). Many of us like superzooms for travel or even daily walking / shooting  & I've been more than happy with them on a price to IQ basis but they aren't as sharp as some of the better standard zooms like Canon's 70-200's. I gave my daughter my first 20D & the original Sigma 18-200 before she made me a grandfather & it's still her way of taking both family & travel photos & she's rather good at it. I don't know how well that particular lens would perform on an 18 Mpix sensor though, so take my opinion on it as old info. There are newer versions of the 18-200 with image stabilizers worth considering but take your time & do some homework.

 

This link is for a very useful site for lens samples & owner comments but as always there are a lot of people who haven't learned how to set a camera for action nor how to properly hold a camera steady so some blame their lenses for their lack of skill.

 

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=107

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Highlighted
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?

[ Edited ]

I will agree with both of the previous posts, to a point as well.

 

Where the kit lenses really fall over is indoor photography. If you're shooting inside on bright sunny days and have lots of windows, kit lenses are great. Now, add in a rainy day, early to late evening lighting, and you will struggle with what you are trying to capture.

 

This might sound silly to some, but if your budget doesn't include one of those really expensive f/2.8 L lenses, take a look at a really good prime lens (that is, no zoom). Sure, you have to sneaker zoom, but if you want to capture indoor images of your little guy or girl, wide apertures will be needed. I'd say go with the kit (or that 15-85, which is nice too!) and pair it with one of the least expensive, but in my mind, most fun, primes, the 50mm f/1.8. You can find refurbs for ~$100 and I've seen them sell new for $120 on sales.

 

If you're OK with flash photography, and don't mind the snapshot look from you DSLR, then everything I've said is a moot point and use the flash on your T3i. This is NOT A BAD THING. I'm just a "purist" and one who believes that natural lighting is best. If you go with a flash unit, remember to always bounce the light, never point it at your subject, as this is no different than the on camera flash.

 

As far as your choices for a single lens or two (or 3), in my experience it is better to go with two lenses. If you know you're going to little league, spend the extra money for a longer range zoom (70-200 f/4 is a darn fine lens, but NOT CHEAP) and slap that on the camera. You might miss portrait ops of say, the entire team, but you'll get better photos of the action.

 

And don't be afraid to look at third party lenses as well. Those other guys do make some fine lenses (and some real trash, so be careful).

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?


@Mdalot wrote:

New to photography all together actually, but my wife and I are expecting our first baby and want to be able to take great photos.  We have decided on the T3i...but what lense/lenses?  1)Should we get the EF-S 18-135mm IS?  2)Or the EF-S 18-55mm IS II &  EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II(both)?  

 

Would the first lense be enough on its own for family photos, holidays, vacations, and little league games?  Or would we be better off going with the 2 lenses from the second option?

 

Thanks in advance.


It really depends on what your budget is and how serious you are in photography. I would suggest you to invest in one lens, but with better image quality and rugged built. Because you have a baby you would want to consider a faster lens than the EF-S lenses you mentioned. Even though investing in L lens sounds like an investment to you, the resell price of the lens margin is very slim. HOWEVER EF-S lenses are not worth anything in the second hand market. The 24-105 is a great lens, for travel / family photography and for video for its versatile range. If you are going to consider this lens, I suggest you to buy a new one over used because the margin is too slim. Might as well get a new one.

 

Goodluck.

I like DSLRs and a Gear Whore.

Canon:
Canon EOS 1Dx, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II, EF 200mm f/2.0L IS USM

Nikon:
Nikon D4, Nikon D800, Carl Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed 50mm T/1.5, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II
New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-23-2013

Re: New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?

So you got yourself a digital camera and are really proud to be a new dad.   Now you want some great pictures of your newborn child.  When it comes to lenses, I use a standard lens such as a EF 50mm f/1.2L USM or a 85mm f/1.8 USM.  They are relatively inexpensive and can really give good portraits.  Getting a short zoom lens offers more bang for the buck but tend to lose definition when you want a facial.  Try ambient lighting rather than flash.  Try a filter or smear some vaseline around the edge so as to blur the backround.  Another technique is to set the photograph in Monochrome or Sepia features.  First, newborn babies tend to have reddish faces and can throw off a good portrait.  With Sepia tones you can give the photograph an archival quality which has great appeal.  Some backround,for you.  I started film photography in High School with a twenty ton Pentax K1000 with various films and no motor advance for the film.  I have used film for the last 12 years and miss my EOS Rebel 2000.  Now I have a 5D Mark II and those techniques still give award winning photographs.  Lot Of Luck to the happy parents. From Steve

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: New to DSLRs, what lense/lenses should I get?

I think Steven probably means to put a circular filter on the end of the lens, and then smear Vaseline on the FILTER, not on the front of the lens itself.  Or maybe he is better at cleaning lenses than I am.

 

The T3i is a "crop" sensor camera, meaning the sensor is just a little smaller than "full frame" 35mm equivalent.  This gives you a 1.6x multiplier effect on every lens  you mount. 

 

You will get your best image quality, and your best price, and your best low-light performance from a "Prime" lens, which is fixed-length (non zooming).  A 50mm is probably your ideal for baby portraits on a T3i, as it is equivalent to 80mm on a full frame camera.  I would get one of these for sure.  They are only $100 to $350.  An 85mm lens would be equivalent to 136mm, which will work on the baby if you are in a big enough room to move back, and as long as the baby cooperatively keeps his distance and does not charge the camera. (they do that).

 

Primes, with their wider maximum apertures, also make it easy to get a "professional" look by blurring the background and foreground while making your subject "pop".  Shoot with the widest aperture (lowest f/number) from as close to the subject as you can get, with the background as far behind as you can manage.  Much more practical than using a backdrop, or constantly looking for an attractive background scene.

 

In addition to getting a prime lens, any of the above-mentioned zooms are good starter lenses, and will give you the flexibility you need for all different shooting situations.

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: New to DSLRs, what lens/lenses should I get?

[ Edited ]

Go to this forum below and look at the pictures people are taking with the 2 kit lenses.  I'm not saying this is the way to go because I have the 2 kit lenses and eventually want to upgrade to 1 wide zoom and a 100-400 L class lens.  If you don't mind carrying 2 lenses go with the kit lenses.  The only reason I think about changing is having an all in 1.  For their price the kit lenses take amazing pictures.  You can find lots of reviews where the reviewer even states that the only reason to upgrade would be because of the quality of the build of the higher end lenses.  There's also a flickr page dedicated to T3i owners with even more pictures.  Look at the reviews for the lenses you are thinking about. 

 

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1020976&page=316

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