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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-04-2015

Prime lens help

I started photography just over a year ago and have spent alot of hours enhancing my skills. I am ready to upgrade to a higher quality full frame camera but I cannot afford it yet. As of now I have a Rebel T5. My question, or questions, are about pruchasing a prime lens.

 

My options are: EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, and the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM.

 

My shooting is very broad, I do alot of wildlife but I will be using this lens for general shooting, senior pictures and stars.

 

I want to know which of these will be by best option? I am worried that getting an EF lens for my cropped-sensor camera will give me too much zoom power and that (1) I will have to be too far from my subjects and (2) when taking star pictures, I dont get a wide FOV. Please give me your pros, cons and opinions. Also with the f-stop, 1.8 would be amazing when shooting stars by bringing in SO much light but if I had to go with a smaller "mm", will the f-stop impede on my light gathering ability enough to where I need to bump up ISO and risk having alot of noise in my photos?

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VIP
Posts: 9,198
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Prime lens help

"My options are: EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, and the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM."

 

I have had the pleasure of using all of those lenses before I passed them on to my sons.  You will never get everything you want in a single lens.  What is ideal for one scenario, isn't for another. 

 

Decide what is your top priorities: low f/stop; wide angle; build quality; future use on a full frame camera; etc.  The 50mm and the 40mm can work on either an APS-C body or a Full-Frame body.  The 24mm is limited to just APS-C bodies.  They are all STM, so they are quick and quiet, although my 24mm was a bit noisier than the others.  I took it back and got one that was even noisier.

 

The 24mm will give you the widest field of view without noticeable distortion.  Comparing the field of view specifications on the lenses is best.  The f/2.8 speed of the 40mm and the 24mm will not be noticeable in most outdoor scenarios, except for night shots, which is a different topic entirely. 

 

The 50mm may be the fastest, but it will give you an equivalent of 80mm, which is ideal for portraits.  Not so ideal for photographing the atmosphere at a picnic, unless you back up 50 feet.  The 24mm will shine best in that scenario.  The

 

40mm is a compromise between the two when it comes to field of view.  Out of three, it was my first purchase.  I have also given away the 50mm and the 24mm to my sons.  I still have it for some reason. 

 

Your camera is not the best low light performer, so the 50mm may be your best choice.  The 24mm would be better for taking pictures of the night sky, although something 16mm or less would be even better.  For a crop sensor camera, you may want something closer to 10mm for night sky shots, which would also require a GOOD tripod. 

 

Take a long exposure of the stars with your camera in "M" mode for the best results when shooting the night skies, which is why a tripod is required.  Look for a tripod that can handle several times the combined weight of your camera, lens, and the tripod head.  For your camera, I would recommend a tripod that can handle at least 20 lbs.  Some manufacturers tend to exaggerate their load capacities, too. 

 

I use a 14mm lens that is rated at about f/2.8 on a full frame camera to shoot the night sky.  I get great results when I'm miles and miles away from big city lights, and I use a long exposure.  The "Av" mode of your camera can automatically set the shutter speed for a long exposure for you.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-04-2015

Re: Prime lens help

I have a gorilla pod for my long exposures. I have had alot of success with it and it is super adaptable and portable and that is what I need on my long travels. I guess now I will narrow it down to 40mm and 50mm. I know one day I will be getting a fullframe camera so I want to plan for that. I also have a wide angle lens attatchment which helps alot when taking night pictures. Im sure I will probably be going with the 50mm because of the value and the functionality. Thanks for the input!

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VIP
Posts: 9,198
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Prime lens help

If you want to take quality pictures of the night sky, then I strongly suggest that you invest in a heavy duty tripod.  Lighter tripods have a tendency to shake in the breeze, just like a tuning fork.  They can also easily fall if bumped the wrong way, damaging your gear.

Like I said, I liked the 40mm better than the 50mm for use on a cropped body.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Prime lens help

For what you say you shoot the 40mm would be a good compromise between the 24 and the 50.  

 

50 is better for portraits, having a FOV equivalent to 80mm on full frame. Also its 1 1/3 stop wider aperture is nice to have in low light, especially on a crop where low light can get noisy if you have to raise ISO.  Also, the FOV is not the only consideration. There is also the look of a longer lens being flattering vs. a wider lens making noses and foreheads look bigger. The crop factor of the camera does NOT affect that, so a 24mm would not be flattering for a portrait on either camera, especially if you get too close.  The 50mm, being the longest of the 3 would be better in that regard but will not be quite as flattering to faces as a real 80mm lens would be.

 

On on the other hand a fixed 50mm on a crop is a little long for walk-around use.  

 

I love my 35mm on my FF camera, so the 24mm would be right about that equivalent, at like 38-39mm equivalent on the crop but beware the distortion if you get too close to the subject.  

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"?
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VIP
Posts: 12,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Prime lens help

"I am ready to upgrade to a higher quality full frame camera but I cannot afford it yet."

 

If this is true the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is not a choice. Right?  Even in the future, so why buy it now with that stated goal in mind?

 

"My options are: EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, and the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM."

 

I don't like the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM.  I never have, it is sorta of a joke lens so IMHO, it is out of the list, too.  At least I won't recommend it.  That leave the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, also not one of my most favorite lenses but it does and will serve you well.

 

Now for the problem.  None of the lenses you list will do a real good job of what you want to do.  Any will do a pretty good job of some or one thing.  This is the best reason for a DSLR.  The ability to use different lenses.

 

My  suggestion for you would be,

the Rokinon 14mm f2.8,

EF 50mm f/1.8 STM,

EF 85mm f/1.8 USM.

 

The Roko will shoot the stars with the best of them.  It is full manual but that is exactly what you want for stars.

You already know about the Nifty 50 Canon.  Great all around lens on a FF.  Excellent portrait on a cropper.

Now the 85, yes it will be somewhat tight on your T5 but will be an outstanding portrait on the FF.  On your T5 it will allow you to get closer without actually getting closer.  Could be a big plus until you get the FF.

 

You might want to buy them in this order.  The 50 first than the Rokinon and lastly the 85.  A very nice bag in anybodies book.

 

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Prime lens help

I think Ernie's answer is the best thought-out here. I agree. 

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"?
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