Need a lense for under 500 dollars

hovjen

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Sep 22, 2014
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Hey!

I own a canon 600D and have had it for three years or maybe even four. However I am ready to upgrade my lenses. For the past years I've only used the standard kit-lense that came in the box: canon EF-S 18-55mm IS f/3.5-5.6 and the cheap plastic is starting to tear apart. I already know that I want the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 however, I want a all-around lense as well. Therefore I have been looking at the Sigma 24-105mm f/4, but I dont like the fact that the aperture can only go as low as 4. I want to be able to get a brighter shot and I think that a 2.8 would be much better. The range of the lense is also concerning, I shoot a lot of landscape when I'm on vacation and I'm worried 24mm wont be as wide as I need it to be. When using my 18-55mm I've run into the complication of 18 not even being wide enough...But then again I want it to zoom as far as 105. So my question is:
What lense for under 500 (500 max) should I get if I tend to shoot landscape, close-ups and portraits. There will be cases where I may shoot events such as graduations where I will need a good zoom, should I consider a telephoto lense as well? Note-budget.

And I know that I say my budget is 500 and that the Sigma 24-105mm costs nearly 1000, but with all the cons I doubt that it will be the lense for me. If so I wont be getting the samyang which I think is a good buy.

Other lenses I have been looking at are:
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8 C DC Macro
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DG HSM
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC DC
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

I would not mind at all a lense with IS.

Thanks beforehand!
 

giantbucket

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Nov 17, 2013
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how about:

* canon 10-22 for landscapes and wide interior shots
* canon 50/1.8 for portraits, low light, and close-ups
* cheap spacer rings from ebay to go between your 50/1.8 and the body, can't recall what they're called now. they're hollow, no glass, so NOT a teleconverter. could be fun for weird macro stuff
* tamron 70-300 VC for longer stuff


oh, you do not generally need a lens with IS / VR / VC / OS when you're looking at wide-angle stuff. it's only really an issue when you're in the normal-to-telephoto range. and even then, hello high-ISO!
 

hovjen

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Sep 22, 2014
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Looks like a good selection, however I might consider something like a 70-200. For me I think it's a better range. Maybe I'll one day own the canon 70-200mm f/2.8L II (sigh).
-Samyang 35mm for landscape and low-light
-Sigma 17-70mm for general use
-Canon 50mm for portraits and low-light, close-ups <- I will wait with this purchase, but hopefully I will buy it some day.
And if I see that I will need a telephoto lens for events I will buy one, but I think I will wait with that. If so it would maybe be a canon 70-200mm f/4...

Not quite sure what you mean by "cheap spacer rings" if it's not a teleconverter. I will be on a look though!

Yeah, higher ISO is possible, but my camera is not the best with low-light performance and if I bump the ISO up it could make the image worse and make it grainy.
Cheers!
 

basroil

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If you claim the kit lens is falling apart, you need to seriously reconsider how you are using and storing your equipment.

That said, your comments suggest you don't fully understand what it is that you want to shoot, and that's why you are torn between different options. The best solution is to think very carefully about what it is that you want to shoot, because once you understand your subject, the rest is just matching your need to specifications.
 

giantbucket

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Nov 17, 2013
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you only really need the three types of lenses i listed. personally i have those plus another 4-5, but i also have 2 bodies and 5 flashes, so....

the 50/1.8 is SO CHEAP you should buy it NOW. today. i don't care if it's 2am, go to a store and take it and come back the next day to pay for it. it'll be useful for low light, general shooting, portraits, and closeups once you get those [strike]spacers[/strike] EXTENSION TUBES!!! get them cheap on eBay, like $20 for a set of 3.

the 10-22 (or similar like 15-85 or 17-50 or whatever) covers your wide / travel / landscape / interiors needs. you can TOTALLY IGNORE the missing part from 22 to 50. don't be insane and try to cover every mm. the sigma 18-35/1.8 is quite nice from what i hear, but it's not cheap. i scored my 10-22 used for nearly half the price of a new one, and it was in mint condition with a bonus pouch. i still feel sorry for the guy who sold it to me that cheap.

the 70-200 / 70-300 is for your sports / wildlife / tight portraits / minor macro stuff, and will probably be the least used lens you own. doesn't matter if it's a 70-200/2.8 or 70-300/4-5.6, it's all bulky and needs a steady hand and fast reflexes to use. i have the tamron 70-300 VC and a Canon 300/4L IS. guess which one is more fun to USE, and which one is more fun to be SEEN USING.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm
 

basroil

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I don't know about that, I use my 70-200 f2.8 IS almost exclusively, even for landscape!

Very true about not bothering to cover everything though, I have 16-35, 50, 70-200 (and 85 for special purposes), and I've never said "I sure wish I had 36-49 or 51-69".
 

giantbucket

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Nov 17, 2013
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i've often wished for the 69 but only with an 18. :p

let's see... my stash is 10-22, 18-55 kit, Sig 17-70, 24-105L, 50/1.8, Tam SP90, Tam 70-300VC, 300/4L IS, T3i, 7D, 3 x 430EXii, 2 x SB28, and my fav Sony DSC-R1 which is awesome to use waist-level. and a Rode mic which i still haven't actually used.
 

hovjen

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Sep 22, 2014
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Oh dear no. I keep my equipment quite nicely stored. Always in its case and I never let anyone use my camera without me knowing they have full control. However, "falling apart" might be a drastic term of use. I believe the reason the plastic has cracked at the bottom is because my mother raised the camera out of its pouch by just grabbing the lense. No idea how she actually managed to do so, but after that happening it doesnt really make me want a lense with a plastic body. Hopefully this was only a one time-thing.

Now on to your other submission. I guess you are right, I might not be as sure of what im actually shooting and therefore I wish to suit all types of ranges. However I can tell you this: I do shoot a lot of landscape. And I have been at events where I would have wished I had a better zoom so thats why i'm talking about telephotos. And the reason I really want the 35mm is because I think it seems like a nice general purpose use. For sharp images, low-light performance, and landscape this seems perfect.
 

giantbucket

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sure, a 35/1.4 or 50/1.8 or something like that is great for many things. i mean, yes you could equip yourself with all-2.8 zooms and all-1.4 primes and be ready for anything, but are you really going to lug all that shit around with you just-in-case?

you cannot go wider in photoshop, but you can always crop tighter - so that's why i prefer lenses that start as wide as possible, and zoom to wherever they do. if you're shooting with a 10-22, for example, and you wish you could have used the 35, then shoot at 22 and crop it later. the result is the same, just with less total pixels.

if so far you've only had and used the kit 18-55, and you notice yourself always jamming it against the 18mm end, then that's where you buy your next lens. just one for now. and honestly i wouldn't bother spending any money if it's not a 10-22 or 10-24. something like a 15-85 is wider, but really not that much wider, and it ends up overlapping a 35/1.4 or 50/1.8 as well as the 70-XXX lens. no point. unless you plan on only having a 15-85 and the 100-400. then it does make sense.

"this lens would be perfect!" probably means you didn't take a shot with whatever lens you did have, or you just snapped without much thought because of it.

i always have two phrases running through my mind subconsciously - one in life in general and one during photos. "simplify" (from an electronics teacher in high school) and "watch your background" (Al Pacino in Heat)
 

hovjen

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Sep 22, 2014
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Hmm, maybe I have been to focused on covering everything...I just dont want to be standing in front of a perfect portrait without the right lense to capture its beauty. For that matter I think I will start to look at these 18-200 from either tamron or sigma, or 70-200 etc. But im scared that having a lense with a range this far it will cut down on sharpness and that the images wont turn out as good as a lense with a smalles range. And again, I worry about the aperture even though I know it's not the end of the world.

I also need to find a wide angled lense at a low price but with good performance. Can you ensure me that the canon 10-22 produce sharp and crispy images, if so I am on board.
 

giantbucket

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90% of the time ultimate sharpness doesn't really matter. the other 10% of the time you're a professional and people are paying you so you can afford to run medium format like Hasselblad or Mamiya or whatnot.

my opinion is this - if the person looking at your image is evaluating the sharpness, then the image sucks! if sharpness is the only interesting thing, it's not interesting.

look at paintings or drawings or sketches. are the nicer ones done with a super-fine brush or pencil that you could use to shave with, or are they done with broader strokes and fatter fuzzier lines? do the nicer ones use a ton of colours, or just a few? are the colours mostly bold and punchy, or subdued?

nearly all lenses are at their sharpest when you stop them down to f/8. so when you want or need the shot to be sharp as well as interesting (assuming it's actually interesting to begin with), you can then stop it down to f/8 and take the pic. ISO-400 or ISO-800 should be fine, or use a tripod since you want things SHARP.

i have too many lenses and too many guitars. it's a royal pain to carry all of them or select one to use, or to restring and retune all of them.
 

hovjen

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Sep 22, 2014
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I have never really thought of it like that. Thank you for smacking some sense into my brain. Makes me wonder if I really should get a new lense if all I care about is everything else than the portrait or lanscape I try to capture. I will have to reconsider all the options I have because your statements are just too good. Thank you and I will come back to you with what I end up with :)
 
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