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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-02-2014

need help choosing lens

Hi, I have a Cannon EOS T5i with a 18-55 mm lens and a 55-250 lens. I'm a beginner with this type of camera and need help choosing what lenses to buy.

1. The most important lens I need is to take photos with the subjects closer to me like at birthday or Christmas so I don't have to stand as far away from my subject. What lens would you suggest?

2. I would also like a lens that takes photos of very close up like flowers. Any suggestions?

3. The last lens I need is one that takes photos of deer or landscape very far away.  

Thank you for your help!

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: need help choosing lens

There are a couple of things to bear in mind as you think about this:
a) the T5i has an APS-C (cropped) sensor, so the focal length of any lens will be multiplied by a factor of 1.6. In other words, your 18-55mm lens has full-frame focal lengths equivalent to (18X1.6 = 28.8mm to 55X1.6 = 88mm).
b) If you are going to be shooting in low-light conditions, a faster maximum aperture (i.e. a smaller f/stop number) will help. The 18-55mm lens you have has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at 18mm but gets smaller (f/5.6) at 55mm. This is not great for low-light situations.

To address your questions in order:

1. I assume you are doing portrait-type shots at birthdays and Christmas. Most photographers would say that a focal length of 85-100mm (full-frame (FF) equivalent) is the ideal focal length for portraiture, allowing you to get close enough without sticking your camera right in your subject's face. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (FF equivalent 80mm) will do a great job in this situation in low light. Both of the lenses you have can achieve a FF equivalent of 80mm but may struggle in low light due to their relatively smaller maximum apertures.

2. I really like the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (FF equivalent = 96mm) in this situation. It's a wonderfully sharp lens and relatively inexpensive.

3. Your 55-250mm lens should get you started in shooting this type of subject. If you are shooting at maximum range (FF equivalent = 400mm) you need to be aware that your most open f/stop is f/5.6, so you will need lots of light.
VIP
Posts: 11,097
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: need help choosing lens

From what you have said is your desired photo ops, what you have will work. You don't need anything else.

 

Now, that said, there are better lenses choices out there. The "kit" lenses are at the bottom end of Canon quality. Although outstanding for the majority of amateurs and enthusiasts.

 

The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is certainly better at macro than what you have.

 

The top of the line, it don't get any better than this, is the 24-70mm f2.8 along with it's big brother 70-200mm f2.8. Of course these two lenses have price tags to match there status.

 

More reasonable choice would be from 3rd party lens makers like SIgma (there are others). They make a 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8 which together will cost less than one of the above mentioned Canon's. As a general rule I don't touch off-brand lenses but I have both of these and can testify to their ability.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 11,097
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: need help choosing lens

"Hi, I have a Cannon EOS T5i with a 18-55 mm lens and a 55-250 lens. I'm a beginner with this type of camera ..."

 

Learn to use what you have before you go shopping. You can make amazing photos with what you have.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,807
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: need help choosing lens

MOST of what will improve your photography is getting out and shooting.  I wouldn't be too eager to add gear too soon.  As you shoot, you'll gain more first-hand experience on exactly what it is you need that your current gear isn't doing for you.

 

As for answers to your questions.

 

1.  The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens sould be great for most indoor shots (birthdays, Christmas, etc.).  You will certainly not have to be back far to get a shot with an 18mm focal length.  While there are wider lenses, that gets into the ultra-wide category -- probably not what you'd want (or like) for these sorts of shots.  A higher end version of the kit lens is the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.  The main advantage of that lens is that it can provide the low f/2.8 focal ratio at all focal lengths of it's zoom range.  The kit lens is a "variable" focal ratio lens... it's f/3.5 at the wide end, but f/5.6 at the long end (as it's lowest possible focal ratio.)

 

2.  If you want a lens capable of being very close to the subject and yet still be able to achieve tack-sharp focus, then the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM is probably your best bet.  This is a "macro" lens -- which allows very close working distances.  

 

3.  "landscape" shots are usually taken with wide-angle lenses.  The idea being that if you have to look around to take in the beauty of the scene then the camera needs to have a wide view as well.    Wildlife, on the other hand, usually do use long focal length lenses (to avoid scaring the wildlife away).   The 250mm focal length on your 55-250 is probably pretty good.  You could get the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (about $650) which is a bit better than your 55-250... but up from that the prices really climb.  For example... the EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS USM is about another $1000 more than the 70-300mm.   And above that it _really_ gets expensive.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-02-2014

Re: need help choosing lens

Thank you for your help and advice. I have been using my camera for six months and although I am happy with many of the photos I take (mainly photos of my two sons) I wanted to be able to do a little more and improve the quality. I usually take indoor photos and morning sport photos but I'd love to eventually get into nature and landscape photos. I'll try experimenting more with the lenses I have and also check into all of your suggestions.

VIP
Posts: 11,097
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: need help choosing lens

[ Edited ]

Remember as you consider some of the above suggestions, they become less useful as they become more specialized.

For instance the 60mm macro will find fewer uses than the kit lens you already have. Even the 100-400mm will have less versatility than your zooms do right now.

 

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎01-14-2014

Re: need help choosing lens

"Learn to use what you have before you go shopping. You can make amazing photos with what you have."

 

+1

 

If you must spend money, a 50f1.8 for portraiture will be great to experiment with.   You have lots of focal length options already, what you could do with is something to give you shallow depth of field for portraiture, the f1.8 is great.

 

Macro wise, extension tubes are one option, they space your lenses a little further out allowing them to focus much much closer.. and cheaper than another lens.

 

 

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