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Canon L or IS lens?

XxPaulxX Plus
11 264 England
19 Jun 2007 1:01PM
I am very fortunate that at the moment I am unable to afford any new lenses for my 400d Smile When in the future I am able, what type of lens would give me the best results.

I always hear people asking "what type of photograpghy do you plan on doing?" The truth is, I don't have anything in particular in mind, I just want to be able to take pictures everywhere. Outside/inside from bright to dark conditions, both close up and at a distance. I would like a lens which is capable of producing decent low light pics, as with my current 17-55 and 55-200 Canon lenses, I really haven't been able to get anything approaching reasonable quality at music gigs I have attended, though that will largely be down to my lack of skill and knowledge!

In your opinion, for an amatuer pleasure photographer(that will never make money from pics):-
1. What's the best lens for close up pics?
2. What's the best general walk around lens?
3. What's the best telephoto lens?
4. What's the best macro lens?

When making your suggestions, please also consider price, as you would if it were for yourself. Unless I win the lottery, I will never spend thousands on a single lens, though I might be tempted to spend between 1-2K in time, for the right one!

Also, as I am struggling to manage to get a decent indoor low light photo, what type of lens would help me more?

Any suggestions, particularly with a brief(and simple) explanation, would be greatly appreciated.



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justin c Plus
14 4.9k 36 England
19 Jun 2007 1:08PM

Quote:I am very fortunate that at the moment I am unable to afford any new lenses for my 400d

You've lost me already.What's fortunate about that.

Surely you'd be better off asking for recomendation when you can afford a lens.
XxPaulxX Plus
11 264 England
19 Jun 2007 1:18PM
It means I don't have to worry about making a decision right now, and was just a little humour! Please don't let that put you off giving any advice though!
cameracat Plus
14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
19 Jun 2007 1:18PM

Quote:when you can afford a lens.

A reasonable point, As the range of what might be available may have changed entirely.
XxPaulxX Plus
11 264 England
19 Jun 2007 1:36PM
OK! Forget the bit about being unable to afford the lenses,as it seems to be causing a problem.

Any advice appreciated, thanks!
justin c Plus
14 4.9k 36 England
19 Jun 2007 1:48PM

Quote:Any advice appreciated, thanks!

Yea,start saving.Smile
EeeZeeLee Plus
11 197 1 England
19 Jun 2007 1:51PM
If money is no problem the f2.8 L lenses are fantastic quality and good in low light. For walk about the Canon 28-105mm and 100-300mm USM lenses cover most needs. The Sigma 50-300mm (I think it was 50 it might have been 28mm!)got good reviews in the current Photography Monthly.
Check out here and here .
strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2007 2:01PM

an open question I am afraid. The honest answer is if you work a bit longer with your current lenses you will start to see what you need and in what priority. But here goes.

close up get a real macro lens. Pick one about 100mm in focal length (zooms are not the best Macro lenses). Pick of the bunch Canon 100mm macro, but Sigma 105 and Tamron 90mm perform well also, so if you get a good deal on one of those be happy.

Low light suits expensive fast lenses, or simple primes. Canons 50mm f1.8 is a budget lens that looks and feels cheep but works well. Great for portraits or low light and only @65 new these days.

Canons 24-70 is opticaly fast and a decent walk around. I like a wider view on life so I use a 17-40 as a walk around/landscape lens. The 17-85Is is another contender as is Canons 24-105. The choice depends on style etc. Those lenses start at over 300. Sigmas 17-70 may suit. Or there is sigmas 18-50 EX fast at f2.8 and decent quality, if crop camera only.

Telephoto lenses, well 70-200 f4 L has fans in its standard and IS version, then there is an f2.8 version great for sports fans.

The 300 IS is popular for some wildlife togs, as is the 100-400L

And the list is longer................
XxPaulxX Plus
11 264 England
19 Jun 2007 2:33PM
Thanks guys!

Strawman, I realise I have posed a wide ranging question, but it's great to get some thoughts in all these areas, before as you suggest, I choose one or more to move on in.

I have purchased a Canon 50mm mk11 prime from Amazon for 60.31 delivered, but unfortunately it wouldn't work with my 400d or the camera store's 400d when I took it in for them to look at. I have since returned it and am getting a refund. Another 400d user on here has said he had the same problem with this particular lense and had heard others have too, so I feel there is a compatability issue. It's a shame as it was good value for money.

Think I might nip and see what prices the macro lenses are!
Carabosse Plus
14 41.0k 269 England
19 Jun 2007 2:38PM
Decide on your budget first and then get a lens to fit the budget. Photography can be a bottomless pit for money to fall into, otherwise! Wink

Also remember the law of diminishing returns, viz. at the upper end, for a tiny improvement in quality you have to spend a great deal of extra money. (The law can reverse at the bottom end of the price range).
Macro - Canon 100mm Macro
Low light - either Canon 50mm prime or Canon 35mm f1.4L - I use the 35mm for concert work - highly recommended.
Standard - Canon 17-55 IS or 24-70 L
Zoom - 70-200L F4
brianquinn Plus
10 243 1 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2007 9:03PM
just got the canon 100mm macro for 300 notes - absolute cracker - look no further for macro and very good for portraiture too
samfurlong Plus
11 2.5k United Kingdom
4 Jul 2007 8:12AM
If money is no problems then fast L lenses are the way to go.
My 3 basic lenses are as follows:

Canon 16-35 2.8L MKII 1100 (If te budget doesn't go this far then the 17-40 f4 L is a great lens too, at about half thee price.)
Canon 24-70 2.8L 900
Canon 70-200 2.8L IS 1250 (Again there is an f4 vesion forabout half the price is is a consideration here)

THese cover 80% of my day to day work just fine, the 70-200 being my fave gig lens ever.

As a walkabout lens I'd go for the 24 - 105 L, although it's slower it's got good glass and unless yo're going for a walk at night it should be fast enough.

As for maco lenses th canon 100mm is supposed to be very good, although I'm not really sure what else is out here.
steve_p Plus
12 1.2k England
4 Jul 2007 6:03PM
Just for the record, I have bought recently a 17-85 IS for general use,( they were 100 cashback till recenlty) I think about 429, it is better than the Sigma 17-70 I had previously although that was a good value for money lens.
I did get a 70-300 IS Canon which was excellent optically but build quality was not brilliant.
I have changed that for a 70-200F4L, this is a corker for 430.

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