Hi, I'm new and need camera lens help!

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 2/4/2013 by Melanie S in General Photography
 

Melanie S
BucketHead

PeaNut 291,980
January 2007
Posts: 894
Layouts: 230
Loc: Wisconsin

Posted: 2/4/2013 7:01:56 PM
Hello!

I have a Cannon EOS Rebel t3. It came with 2 lens: EF 18-55 mm and EF 75-300mm. To be honest, I have no idea what any of that means. I put them on my camera and shot. I keep my camera in auto.

However, I just signed up for Karen Russell's Photography class that starts in March (to get my camera out of auto). She is recommending: Canon 24mm f1.4, Canon 28mm f1.8, Canon 50mm f1.8II or Canon 50mm f1.4. Again, I don't know what the difference is or where to get these. I know some are cheaper and others. I don't want the most expensive and I don't want the cheapest, but I want one that takes nice pictures.

I mostly take pictures of the kids, indoor holidays with the family (Christmas, Easter, birthdays, etc), vacations, beach camping, every day stuff. The of pictures I scrapbook.

Would anyone be able to help me out, you can even link me to sites!


Melanie


voltagain
OklaPhoma

PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
Posts: 38,143
Layouts: 15
Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 2/4/2013 7:40:43 PM
The first number, or set of numbers, is the "focal range" as in 18-55, 75-300. Because there is a set of numbers we know this is a zoom lens with multiple focal lengths. The numbers represent the distance of the lens element from the film plane (or sensor) expressed in millimeters.

On a 35mm film a 50mm lens will give you an angle of view (side to side) that is close to the normal angle of view for human eye site. So an 18mm lens is a much wider angle of view than you would normally see and a 300mm is a much narrower angle. By narrowing the angle of view it brings distant objects "closer" Or by widening the view distant objects seem further away so the apparent depth of field seems greater... landscapes are going to have that "deep far way" look to them.

The second number or set of numbers is the largest available aperture. If the lens is a multiple focal length lens but there is only one aperture listed it means that aperture is available at all the focal lengths.

I have a 70-200 (focal range) with a 2.8 aperture. If I am at 70 I can set the aperture at 2.8. If I zoom out to 200 I can set the aperture at 2.8. Most zoom, or multi focal lenses, have a set of numbers showing the aperture.

I have a 75-300. If I set it to 75 my largest aperture is 4. If I zoom out to 300 my largest aperture is 5.6. I cannot zoom out to 300 and get an aperture of 4. The lens isn't able to do that.

On a single focal length lens it will only list the one largest aperture.

All lenses have smaller apertures available to use. We just don't feel the need to talk about them like we do big apertures.

Aperture is the "door" of the lens that lets light in. The bigger the aperture the more light that comes in at one time. Like in a house.. a pet door lets in very little light (an aperture of 32) While a triple wide garage door is going to let in a lot of light (an aperture of 1.4)

Personally, while learning I'd go with the cheapest. The 50mm 1.8 is a good quality lens and will let you learn a lot about what you are doing. Then you can make a more informed choice for the more expensive lenses.


What Your Kit Lens Can Do For You

Canon 60d, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, 50mm 1.8, 28-80, 75-300mm and Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro

Melanie S
BucketHead

PeaNut 291,980
January 2007
Posts: 894
Layouts: 230
Loc: Wisconsin

Posted: 2/4/2013 8:10:53 PM
Thank you so much!!! Your info is very helpful.

Does this look like an ok lens: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-USA/Canon_2514A002_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html


Melanie


voltagain
OklaPhoma

PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
Posts: 38,143
Layouts: 15
Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 2/4/2013 11:48:51 PM
Yes, it is a very nice little lens. It is the cheapest you will find but very sharp image quality. It is often referred to at the nifty fifty. B&H is also a highly recommended reputable company to buy from.


What Your Kit Lens Can Do For You

Canon 60d, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, 50mm 1.8, 28-80, 75-300mm and Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro

SueS312
PeaAddict

PeaNut 301,960
March 2007
Posts: 1,212
Layouts: 7

Posted: 2/5/2013 12:21:31 AM
Volt did a good god explaining the differences in the lens. The 50 1.8 is a good starting lens, but if you have a little more to spend I would go with the 50 1.4 because the quality is higher (one of the reasons it costs more).


Uploaded with iPhone client

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

PeaNut 495,307
January 2011
Posts: 2,345
Layouts: 172

Posted: 2/5/2013 8:13:07 AM
Just one thing to consider...I think your camera is not a full frame so that will make the 50mm more like an 85mm angle of view. that means it will bring things in closer and give you less in the frame. That may be fine for you but you might just want to do this.

Set the lens you have now (the one that goes from 18mm to 55mm) to around 50mm and walk around without moving the zoom, looking at what that gives you in the viewfinder...is that the type of picture you want to take or do you feel that it brings you in closer than you would like for a lot of shots.

Then set the zoom to around 28mm and do the same thing. Which focal length, 28 or 50 gives you the angle of view you think will work best, for the kind of pictures you want to take?

Personally, I'd rule out the 24mm right now because it is just too much to spend on a lens when you are just starting and don't really know what you will want once you get into it.

The nifty fifty that voltagain recommends is a great lens for the price and a good way to start I just think it would be a good idea to try looking at what kind of shots the different focal lengths ( 28mm or 50mm) will give you before you decide for sure.

One other thing, I've noticed lately that B&H has reduced prices on some of their Canon lenses that don't sow up in the first listing. It's not till you click on "see cart for product details" that you see the lower actual price...so you may want to do that to see what the lenses will actually cost.

memories5
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 272,462
August 2006
Posts: 2,004
Layouts: 348
Loc: Indiana

Posted: 2/5/2013 8:13:36 AM
Volt- In YOUR opinion ( I have gotten some off line) is there a difference in the 50 mm lens G and the 50 mm D lens is one better than the other? I have the D.. just curious.


Jennifer~
I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

voltagain
OklaPhoma

PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
Posts: 38,143
Layouts: 15
Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 2/5/2013 12:40:36 PM
Volt- In YOUR opinion ( I have gotten some off line) is there a difference in the 50 mm lens G and the 50 mm D lens is one better than the other? I have the D.. just curious. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I'm not familiar with the fine details of Nikon gear since I shoot Canon.
Focal lengths and aperture are common to all lenses so I can address those. Difference between branded models of G and D are specific to the brand. I hope you can find a Nikonian who has some knowlege on Nikon lenses.


What Your Kit Lens Can Do For You

Canon 60d, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, 50mm 1.8, 28-80, 75-300mm and Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro

peasacake
PeaNut

PeaNut 385,172
July 2008
Posts: 381
Layouts: 16
Loc: Kansas

Posted: 2/6/2013 11:21:13 AM
Love my 50mm 1.8. I rarely even take it off my camera. I shoot boudoir, family, close-ups, newborns, ect with it. Adding in the cost to the f 1.4 just doesn't seem worth it to me, especially if you are new to the scene.
Start with the 50 1.8 then save thousands of penny's and get the 70-200mm 2.8. You probably wouln't need any other lens unless you wanted to get into macro.


Kim
Book Blogger of Romance at www.chapterbreak.com
Goodreads reviewer; friend me over there: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2423360-chapter-break-by-kim-brown

yellow5
BucketHead

PeaNut 491,305
December 2010
Posts: 518
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/6/2013 12:14:29 PM
I'm going to give you different advice - my advice is: DO NOT buy another lens. Learn with what you have. Learn the basics of DSLR photography before rushing out and buying another lens. I'm shocked that an instructor for a basic photography class is recommending buying more equipment, especially pricey equipment such as the Canon 24mm f1.4. A $1600 lens? For a NEWBIE? Uhhh whut?

Focus on the basics for now -- learn and UNDERSTAND how aperture, shutter speed and ISO interact with each other. Learn how to get that camera off auto. Adding another lens to the mix isn't going to help -- in fact, it could actually confuse you more.

Rule of thumb: If you don't know WHY you need a new lens, then you don't need it. (Not being rude, but you said it yourself.)

I just hate to see those new to photography waste money. The kit lenses that you have will give you nice pictures.

Pix2day

PeaNut 163,207
August 2004
Posts: 6,497
Layouts: 46

Posted: 2/6/2013 2:21:35 PM
Jennifer, I can speak a bit to the Nikon lenses. The G is the newer of the two and is supposed to be a bit higher quality. The biggest difference, though, is that the G has the autofocus motor built into the lens for use with those cameras like the D40, D60, D3100, D5100, etc. that do not have an autofocus motor in the body.

For me personally, when I bought my 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 lenses, I purchased the D models to save some $$ and I've been extremely pleased with them.

Rhonda



coolbeans
PeaFixture

PeaNut 341,583
October 2007
Posts: 3,185
Layouts: 84
Loc: Erie, PA

Posted: 2/6/2013 2:57:46 PM
I totally agree with yellow. The lens you have are fine. You don't need the newest camera or best glass to get great images. Hopefully you will learn under what conditions your camera and lens handle well and how to compensate in conditions where it may fall short. You have a big range with the two lens you have. It may not be as fast as you need for some conditions but it will challenge you to be creative to make it work with what you have.


Canon 7D and XTi
Jackie S.
Uploaded with iPhone client

Brenda D
PeaNut

PeaNut 188,175
January 2005
Posts: 312
Layouts: 9
Loc: Alberta

Posted: 2/6/2013 3:28:40 PM
Another to agree with Yellow.

Those apertures would mean a bit of an expense when you have 2 lenses already that you don't understand. The 2 you have seem like a great combination for the types of shots you take and at this point your level of knowledge.

I have been learning a lot over the past couple years and just bought a 50mm 1.4 and am still learning to use it. I have the 70-200 2.8 and understand what the 1.4 means.

Just hate to see you add another lens to your bag that may not get used.


strbrygrmp
PeaNut

PeaNut 36,285
April 2002
Posts: 74
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/6/2013 4:58:07 PM
After having taken Karen Russell's class and re-taking as an auditor, I can assure you that you will quickly figure out that you will get the most bang for your buck in her class if you invest in ONE lens. Her class is very in depth and provides great lessons on utilizing your camera to it's full potential. There is a reason she recommends the lens she does. She DOES NOT use a FLASH at all! If you want to get wonderful natural pictures indoors with out a flash you will need those f-stops. I purchased the Nifty Fifty and have never regretted the purchase.
After you take her class or cover the lesson on equipment you will understand why it is important to have atleast one other lens in your camera bag. While the lens you have may be good enough if the f-stop is variable you will never beable to take quality pictures inside or with low light. They will be fine for outside type pictures.
You could wait to order any lens unitl after she has covered the equipment lessons, but what normally happens once you realize you do want or need that lens the other lessons are moving along and you are not getting the results you really want.
Enjoy your class it is one of the best available. She is one awesome instructor and really has a way of speaking in lay mans terms to explain all the technical photography lingo.

ETA BTW Volt you did a spectacular job of explaining that as well.

strbrygrmp
PeaNut

PeaNut 36,285
April 2002
Posts: 74
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/6/2013 6:06:48 PM
One other thing you might consider is renting one of those lenses for the class. Borrowlenses.com is a reputable business and well known. Check on Karen's site she also may have other places listed to borrow or try out equipment. Sometimes when I am considering a new expensive purchase or unsure if which Lens I really want/need I borrow two at the same time and play for a week. Good luck
Uploaded with iPhone client

Melanie S
BucketHead

PeaNut 291,980
January 2007
Posts: 894
Layouts: 230
Loc: Wisconsin

Posted: 2/6/2013 6:41:55 PM
Thank you, you all have great advice!!!



Melanie


gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

PeaNut 495,307
January 2011
Posts: 2,345
Layouts: 172

Posted: 2/7/2013 9:38:38 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but last I checked, I think the 50mm, 1.8 was on sale at B&H for something like $115.00 doesn't sound like that big an investment if you really want to get into photography.

If you cared enough to sign up for this course, then it makes sense, to me, to use the equipment that the instructor recommended. And I agree for available light photography (non-flash) I think the lenses you have now will be disappointing.

CristinaC
PeaNut

PeaNut 324,465
June 2007
Posts: 239
Layouts: 351

Posted: 2/7/2013 12:27:11 PM
I love my 28 mm f/1.8. The 50 mm is too close for my taste for indoor photos. Try putting your zoom lenses at these focal lengths (50 or 28) and see which you would use more.


Show/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
Hide
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}