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what lens is best for canon 550d


I want and like to take photos of People, and Some little Macro and taking Landscape shots. What is the best lens that I can used on my Canon 550d as a amateur and as a beginner. I hope many Pro's and Veterans can answer my questions just so I can take better and learn more about capturing everything great. 😄 Thank you!!!



There is no best lens.  One of the main benefits of an SLR camera is that it allows you to change out lenses to use one that is designed for whatever type of photography you want to do.


If you truly want a macro lens then that will narrow down the list significantly.  In fact, the Canon 60mm macro would fit nicely.  It can also do portraits, and just about any lens can do landscape.  But if there’s enough light, which there often is, I think you’ll find the 18-55 gives you more flexibility in composing landscape shots.  Eventually if you get into portraiture you may find you want a fast prime, like the 50 mm 1.8 starter lens.  There are so many different types of lenses made because no one lens can do everything, and those that can only do a few specific things usually do them better than those with more flexibility.  Just in a general sense… there are no rules in photography.


Do you currently have any lenses?  For example, do you have the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (usually that's the "kit" lens that is included when you buy the camera body/lens combination)?


When shooting landscapes, you'll likely want wide-ish angles and usually a very broad depth of field.  That means you could use your kit lens in the wide-angle side, set an f-stop of something like f/11 (or perhaps even f/16) and that would work well for landscapes.  My guideline is that if you find that you need to "look around" to take in the view, then you probably want to think about using a wide-angle.  I'm cautious not to create the wrong impression though... because the OTHER thing that wide-angle focal lengths do is make objects appear to be much farther away (sometimes so much farther away that they look pretty tiny (they're great lenses when you want to create a increased sense of space and distance.)


For true macro (not just close up... usually fairly extreme close-ups), I'd recommend the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM.  That's a fantastic lens.  You could actually use the same lens for portraits, except you might feel it's a bit too good.  One of the characteristics of macro lenses is they usually have extremely high detail resolving capability.  Some photographers feel it's actually just a little "too good" for use on portraits as the detail can reveal too many flaws in your subjects skin and a little skin smoothing/softening might even need to be applied.


On an APS-C camera, the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM would work well for portraits.  You can go with longer focal lengths as well (e.g. 85mm, or higher) and usually the characteristics of the image are even better... but you have to walk back farther from your subject to get the framing you want.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Yes I have the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens but its now have malfunctions like it can't be auto for now. I just want and need a new lens to replace it while its being repair 🙂

Hope you're not spending too much to repair that 18-55. Under warranty? You can get them refurbished from Canon for reasonably cheap.


My recommendation would be the 60mm 2.8 macro if you're getting your 18-55 back.  It's great for macros, and you can use it for portraits and people as well.  It's a 2.8 so you can see what it's like to get that extra stop +/- and see if it's worth it to you.  You can also play around with a prime and see how you like that, and whether you can't wait to get your zoom back, or you find you like the challenge and thought of a prime.


If you’re looking to replace the 18-55, you have a lot of choices.

I like the Sigma 17-70, and Canon offers a 17-85 around the same price ($400 - $500).  Another notch up is the Canon 15-85, which has a bit of a cult following.  Great walk-around lens.  And finally, the Canon 17-55 2.8, which doesn’t have as large a range as any of the others, but has a constant 2.8 aperture and great IQ.  It’s also a grand, and personally I could think of better ways to distribute your money if you don’t have many lenses.  


Note that none of these are macro lenses.  The Sigma claims macro, and can shoot kinda close up, but in my mind nothing will replace a dedicate prime macro lens if you really want to do macro.


Not knowing anything about what you have except a Cannon 550D, it would be hard to beat this recommendation.

EF-s 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM and

EF-s 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS STM.

Yes it ain't "one lens" but it would be a pretty trick set-up in anybodies book.Smiley Wink

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

ebiggs1 says: 


Not knowing anything about what you have except a Cannon 550D, it would be hard to beat this recommendation.

EF-s 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM and

EF-s 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS STM.

Yes it ain't "one lens" but it would be a pretty trick set-up in anybodies book.:smileywink:




I agree.  After putting my "toe" in the water to test DSLRs and thinking about transition from film, I bought a Rebel with the non-STM versions of those lenses.  They were great in that I had versatile coverage of most focal lengths.


The only thing it lacks is the ability to get a particularly low focal ratio.  The 18-55 is only f/3.5 at the 18mm end.  


This is where I usually suggest adding a lens for those situations where you're either dealing with low light or you want to force a narrow depth of field to deliberately blur the background while still having a nice sharp subject.


On the budget end, there's the EF 50mm f/1.8 - it has good "optical" quality but image quality in the out-of-focus areas (the quality of the "bokeh") due to the 5-blade aperture.  The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is certainly the better lens but it does cost a bit more.  I hear good things about the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens.  It's only f/2.8 (1/4 of the light gather of the 50mm f/1.4) except that you'll rarely use a lens below f/2 (otherwise the depth of field is often just a little too narrow.)  So an f/2.8 lens is just 1 stop away.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I love that you guys are recommending a lens that was just announced two days ago, won't be released for at least a month, and hasn't had any peer reviews.

The MTF score on it are considerably better than the previous generation.


I was never thrilled with the previous generation -- I only ever recommended that lens when someone wanted a lens in that focal length range and in that price range.  It was "ok" and maybe I just had a bad copy.  I actually gave my copy away to a relative who needed something.  


The STM motors respond much faster (though usually not as fast as USM) and and given the fairly substantial upgrade in optical quality over the previous generation, it'd be hard to beat that lens in it's price range (it's $50 more than the previous generation -- and likely to be worth every penny.)


If you don't have to stay within that price range, there are certainly some fabulous choices out there (for those who don't wince when they look at the price tags.)


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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