Canon lenses - good for beginner

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Posted 11/12/2012 by robnjenb in General Photography


PeaNut 8,880
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Posted: 11/12/2012 12:49:09 PM
I am purchasing a used Canon XT or XTi for my DD. They mostly come body only so I want to add a lens or 2.

What is considered a 'kit lens' for that camera? Would that be the best to start with? She asked for a fisheye lens also...

Keep in mind she's 14 and a novice photographer (I'm tired of sharing MY camera with her, I have a Pentax)

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PeaNut 455,916
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Posted: 11/12/2012 12:55:06 PM
That's great! I have a Rebel XTi - she will love it. I'd recommend getting a 50mm 1.8 - they are fairly inexpensive and a great value for the price. [A 50mm lens is what I had when I got my first SLR (not digital) back in high school.]

The 18-55mm lens is what came with the camera, but I wouldn't invest in one. You can spend those dollars on a better lens.

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PeaNut 51,429
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Posted: 11/12/2012 2:48:29 PM
An actual fish eye lens is quite pricey. You can purchase inexpensive lenses that attach to a regular lens to give it more of a fish eye look, but the quality isn't very good.

I would probably get her the 18-55mm IS. These can be picked up second hand for under $100. At the 18mm end, if used close up to the subject, they will distort the perspective. If that is what she is looking for from a fish eye lens, that might satisfy her. And even though it's a kit lens, it's not a bad lens and much cheaper than a wide angle prime. It's best for outdoors shooting in bright light, or will require flash indoors in most places.

The 50mm 1.8 is a good choice too, for low light situations and to help get that blurred background that people are often seeking to differentiate their photos from 'snapshots'. And it retails new for around $100, cheaper second hand.

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PeaNut 300,444
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Posted: 11/12/2012 3:42:02 PM
I'm here to recommend the 50 mm 1.8 for the third time. Great inexpensive prime lens.

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PeaNut 8,880
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Posted: 11/12/2012 4:27:15 PM
Thank you for your suggestions!

She's currently using a Canon T3i in her photography class, I'm assuming they are using the lenses that came with it.

I think she will *love* the 50mm 1.8 - heck I would love one!

I'm excited she's persuing the hobby, she has a great eye for it.

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Posted: 11/14/2012 4:16:11 PM
I just bought a fisheye -- they are NOT out of everyone's budgets! I have the Nikon D5100 and bought the Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens with the auto-exposure chip for $260 on eBay about two weeks ago. They make a Canon version as well.

First thing you need to know about this lens is that is a MANUAL lens. But that's no biggie because it is super wide, that you can just set it to focus on 1.5 feet away or more and you're good to go. Everything is in focus.

Google it for more reviews -- but I HIGHLY HIGHLY rec'd this cheapy fisheye. I just shot my entire vacation with this lens (yeah, I shot my vacation in 100%

Don't let the off-brand scare you - this is a tack-sharp lens and is very well-built (it's all metal, as compared to my $1000+ Nikon lenses...).


PeaNut 93,695
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Posted: 11/15/2012 7:52:10 PM
My Dad got me the 50mm 1.8 for my birthday and I love it.

7 years to get here... So now what?

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Posted: 11/29/2012 6:47:38 PM
Sorry, but I can't jump on the 50mm 1.8 bandwagon that's being mentioned here. Yes, I agree it's an inexpensive lens but I bought mine to use with my XTi for low light indoor situations and I find that on my crop sensor camera, it's not wide enough so I never use it. In fact, I'm now thinking about selling it! Given your daughter's age, I think the kit lens is a good starter for her. You can probably buy an XT or an XTi WITH the kit lens for next to nothing and that, in my opinion, is a GREAT start for her.

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