I've got a Canon EOS 1100D on long term loan but don't have a lens for it. I'm planning on using is mostly for portraits of the kids when they are playing, but might mess around with some macro shots.
Would this be a reasonable lens to get?
If not, what would people recommend.
Priorities in order.
1) nice photos of my kids when they are playing/running
2) the ability to change depth of field
3) macro shots of interesting leaves/bugs/rocks
4) landscape shots of mountains
I'm happy to spend up to around £300 which I see is very much the bottom end of the market.
You'll hate this but as the camera is on long term loan and you have not invested in glass yet, my recommendation would be Sony every time.
And I own a Panasonic.
Do you frequent photography forums? They are awash with people who dismiss absolutely everything except what they themselves use, generally without any empirical knowledge of what they are dismissing.
OP: I'm a Canon EF user so am not familiar with EF-S lenses but a trawl of what's available from MPB, Ffordes etc and quick search for reviews of any lenses that pique your interest is a good place to start.
Avoiding the whole Canon vs Nikon vs Sony vs anyone else debate...
An 10-18mm is not a particularly general purpose lens - it very wide angle lens more suited to wide landscapes and making people look like they have very big noses. For an APS format camera you'ld be better off with an 18-55 (or there abouts) lens.
Having said that, I agree with the post above - it's does seem worth spending money (even small amounts) to buy a lens if the body is only on loan. If you do want to buy, then I would recommend MPB for used Canon lenses. Alternatively the world is littered with unwanted Canon 18-55 'kit' lenses - you could probably find someone who has one to lend/give you. I have, but I'm in Cheshire.
If you’ve got yourself £300 to spend you can pick up a Canon 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 on mpb.com. Zooms are great and all but if you want to do some portraits the primes will do you better. Doesn’t leave you anything ‘wide’ per se but just take a step back on the 50 and job done
Canon efs 24mm F2.8 lens will cover you for landscapes and portraits £140 new approx less 2nd hand,
Canon 50mm F1.8 prime lens good for portraits £80 2nd hand. Both lens good for basic astro, enjoy!
Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro
It's a portrait lens and macro in one.
That's a really fun lens. It's not a lens I'd use for photos of urchins or for macro work though. Great for forests, cities and the like.
A Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II will be great for family portraits (as long as you can step back a little bit) and excellent for macro work with a cheap set of macro rings. You can buy the lens used and then sell used when the camera body moves on. The 50 mm F/1.8 is an absolute optical classic. Only problem with it is that if you get proficient with it, you'll expect that optical quality of any other lenses you buy, and you can add a zero to the price for a zoom that comes close. It also doesn't stick out much which reduces the hazard when used around younger urchins.
> I'm happy to spend up to around £300 which I see is very much the bottom end of the market
You could get the 50 mm F/1.8, and 28 mm F/2.8 used for less than that, and a set of macro rings. Some of the classic primes are amazing lenses for the price; if you go to a zoom lens it's a lot more money and often for less optical quality - but you can use the zoom ring instead of your feet. What's right for you depends on the shooting experience your'e looking for really.
> Do you frequent photography forums?
In March I will have been on these forums for 20 years. I'd class that as a frequent follower of the forums.
I am a Panasonic Fanboy suggesting that a person who has not invested any money in glass and has a borrowed camera to invest in Sony.
Superior cameras to most including Canon. At the last Olympics the photogs were 50/50 canon Sony.
Not exactly selling Panasonic, am I?
I wouldn’t read in to what the split was at the Olympics. Manufacturers have onsite loan facilities so a lot of those visible photographers are likely to be used borrowed equipment.
Source: Been there, done that
I only dabble a bit with my camera, but my thoughts would probably echo others.
50mm 1.8 - great quality for portraits etc, and wide aperture gives you the ability to have quite a narrow depth of field. You would have to be positioned correctly to get good shots of your kids etc as it's a reasonably tight viewing angle from an APS-C camera, but probably still the one I'd go for.
Cheap macro rings - I got some generic cheap macro extension rings, which work fine. Need a little bit more fiddling than a proper macro lens, but for the price it's a great way to make the 50mm lens into a macro lens, and image quality doesn't suffer significantly imo.
10-18mm - good for wide landscapes, or maybe also just trying to fit a lot into a tight indoor shot. If you want to save a bit of money then you should be able to find the standard 18-55mm lenses for not very much money, will be reasonably versatile and at the widest angle will be fine for landscape shots.
I was going to comment that the 55-250mm STM lens is really nice for the money and could be worth considering if you're imagining taking pictures from a fair way away from your kids. However it seems the price has more than doubled since I got mine about 7 years ago, so not such a good deal any more even though it remains a good lens.
Just to reiterate what people are saying about the 50mm - I’ve got a canon 50mm 1.4 (and I used to have the 1.8), it’s great for portrait shots, I am shit at taking photos but I’ve got some really good ones with it. It’s no good for landscapes though.
> Just to reiterate what people are saying about the 50mm .... It’s no good for landscapes though.
Common misconception. Perhaps not 'chocolate box' landscapes, but a 50mm (or indeed any other focal length) is perfectly capable of delivering 'interesting' landscapes.
Sounds like you have experience. But I'm surprised to hear that photographers at the Olympics would borrow equipment from a system they are not 100% familiar with if they are taking pictures for a living.
In reply to
> 50mm 1.8 - great quality for portraits etc, and wide aperture gives you the ability to have quite a narrow depth of field.
With that lens could I control the depth of field? Or because it fixed to a wide aperture is it fixed to a narrow depth of field?
Why do you say ‘interesting’ landscapes? Like interesting = bad, or interesting = abstract, or interesting = reasonably good?
It isn't fixed to a wide aperture; that's as wide as it can go, which is pretty damn wide.
The aperture isn't fixed at 1.8.
It's only the focal length that's fixed.
Use 1.8 aperture for shallow depth of filed only, image quality and depth of field will increase at around f4 for most lenses.
Any lens can stop its aperture down, giving you more DoF. The quoted aperture on a lens tells you how far you can open it up. So a 50mm f/1.4 opens up wider than a 50mm f/1.8, and can therefore shoot a narrower DoF. It can also shoot in lower light at the same shutter speed, because it's gathering more light. But both can be stopped down to f/16 or similar if you want very deep DoF.
Zooms tend to have much smaller maximum apertures, so you're trading the really wide apertures (and the generally better optics) of a prime for the ability to zoom.
The 50mm f1.8 is the best affordable option to control depth of field due to the large aperture and the longer focal length.
To be fair most will stick with the brand they have and try the latest models, but with the newness of Sony many will have been trying it out for the first time and so will have boosted their represented numbers. There are some UK based football and news photographers who have made the change from Nikon or Canon to Sony but it is very few.. most notably PA staffers, who obviously aren’t responsible for financing such expenditure. Only 1 freelance I know of in the north of England who’s done it, despite Sony offering out complete loan kits on a fortnight trial for the last 12 months (3x body, wide angle, telephoto, long prime, flash etc). This won’t be down to the quality it’s worth saying, everyone raves about them.. more so the cost and current state of the editorial photography market.
A great lens for portrait with a macro capability is the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC C Macro OS HSM Lens - Canon Fit and costs about £350, but sure you can pick it up cheaper secondhand (MPB anf FFordes Photographic are worth a look).
I started off on a cropped sensor camera body that was equivalent to the 1100D, it came with a 17-55mm kit lens. After a year or so upgraded the lens to the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC C Macro OS HSM Lens - Canon Fit and instantly noticed the difference in image quality as well as the ability to take better macro shots.
I've since upgraded lenses again, but as I liked the lens that much have given it on a long term loan to my daughter.
I had one of those lenses and it wasn't very good. Certainly no good for portraits .
Try Amazon for the cheap 50 1.8 yongnuo . Or have a look on eBay for a sigma ex 50 1.4 . You can get them for about 150 ,I sold one not long ago and it was a good lens
Have a look at used Canon-fit lenses at MPB. Over 2000 in stock from £65 to £7700. 😉 https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-lenses/used-canon-fit-lenses/
> Why do you say ‘interesting’ landscapes? Like interesting = bad, or interesting = abstract, or interesting = reasonably good?
'Interesting' as in 'not-like-dozens-of-other-shots-I've-seen-of this-same-view'.
It takes a bit of effort and imagination. It's worth sometimes just going out with one seemingly inappropriate lens and seeing what you can do with it when it's all you've got. You might be pleasantly surprised.
> Canon 50mm F1.8 prime lens good for portraits £80 2nd hand. Both lens good for basic astro, enjoy!
Hmm, I found the Canon 50mm f1.8 great for day use, but rubbish for astro. There was just far too much aberration (mainly astigmatism) at anything wider than f4 to give usable results. The best similar lens for astro (IMHO) is the Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART - big print decent at f1.4, lab perfect at f2.8.
> A Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II will be great for ...
The other brilliant 'left-field' value of the 50mm f1.8 is reversed for macro stuff - either on its own or on the front of a telephoto lens. I've used mine on the front of a 100-400mm (M4/3) zoom lens which fills the frame with 8-2mm FoV. There's no other lens you can do that with!
> The other brilliant 'left-field' value of the 50mm f1.8 is reversed for macro stuff
I've been wondering if I should mention that or not... I got started doing macro stuff with the reversed 50 mm lens held against the mount on the camera, works surprisingly well with good light.
The procedure for getting the lens removed and unpowered with the aperture stopped down to f/8 or so has always worked reliably for me, but it's not one I'd recommend for a loaner camera! Obviously not an issue if you're using it with a second lens.
I have but I've just not got a good eye for landscape photography, or maybe I need to put in more effort than I am willing to or something. Good landscape photography seems really hard, I find it much easier to take good photos of people.
> ... but I've just not got a good eye for landscape photography...
It may be a bit of a truism, but it's worth remembering - as my music teacher used to say (optimistically I think) - "Good art is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration". Most good artists got to be good by studying intensively the art that came before them and then practice, self-criticism and more practice. Not because they claimed a 'good eye/ear/hand'.
Another route, especially if you want to get into macro, is to use old manual M42 thread lenses. You'll have full control over the aperture and focus, and with a simple adapter they mount well on Canon. You still get in camera metering.
You can pick up an adapter, a few extension rings, and something like the M42 135 f/3.5 for very little. That lens is also a lovely long portrait lens.
I have bought the EF 50mm f1.8 for £130 from mbp and a £20 extension ring as suggested. I’ll see how I get on.
Thanks for the suggestions
Came here to say this exactly. The 22mm (effective 35mm) ef-s lens is amazing bang for buck. And as for a nifty 50 - everyone should own one. I’d suggest using the cheaply cheap canon model slightly closed - it performs way better and f2.2 and up than fully open at 1.8.