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  1. #1
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    Advice on lenses

    Who wants to help me make sense of all the choices out there? I'm just not sure how to narrow it down to a kit that'll cover what I want to do. I'm getting Canon 80D and I'm looking at what lenses are good choices to go with it for general purpose shots (slightly better than a cell phone pic), landscapes, outdoor macro, and wildlife. I've only used kit lenses with my old Rebels which means an18-55mm and a 55-250mm zoom. Both the 18-55 and the 18-135 kit lenses currently paired with the 80D get very good reviews so I guess I could just keep it simple and safe. But....looking at various bundles, I sometimes see one paired with a 24mm or a 50mm fixed. From what I read, the 24mm can basically replace a 18-55mm and will take sharper pics. The 40mm and 50mm also take sharp pics but what do they replace?

    All of the lenses mentioned are highly rated but I feel overwhelmed by all the choices not knowing which lens for what application. I mean, when would I choose the 40 over the 50? Or even an 85 for that matter? If going on a hike in the mountains would you take just a fixed 50mm? A 10-18 wide angle? Both?

    Eventually I plan to get a serious zoom for wildlife but in the meantime I can make do with the basic 55-250 that I have now. First order of business is to make sense of stuff in the shorter focal lengths. If you can shed some light on it or know of a good resource, I'd appreciate the help. Thanks

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    #2
    Quality lenses get real expensive. The good news is hat Canon offers a wide range of lenses.

    For wildlife, I would look at 70-300 F 4- 5.6 lens. That is a fairly inexpensive zoom lens that is useful in wildlife zooming.

    In addition, I would look at getting a vey fast lens for low light conditions. I like Canon's 28mm F 1.8 lens. That is a great lens for shooting in low light without using a flash.

    Typically your 18-135 is a decent walk around lens. It can go wide at 18mm or zoom in at 135mm. Again your crop sensor will extend those lengths. I go wide (18) in most landscape photos.

    Those would be good compliments to your kit lens. Th 80D is a crop sensor lens so you get more "reach" out of lenses. Read up on that before you make any buying decisions. BH Photo has a good website for research. They have decent prices as well, although look around for pricing.

    So to sum it up. 18-135 for your general walk around lens for most landscape situations.
    A 70-300 for outdoor zoom shots of fa away landscapes or wildlife.
    28 1.4 for indoor or outdoor low light shots without a flash.

    You can spend thousands on quality lenses, but my above recommendations will cove most of you needs.
    '14 Triton 18XS 150 Optimax Pro XS Fortrex 80
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Chautauquanuy View Post

    So to sum it up. 18-135 for your general walk around lens for most landscape situations.
    A 70-300 for outdoor zoom shots of fa away landscapes or wildlife.
    28 1.4 for indoor or outdoor low light shots without a flash.

    You can spend thousands on quality lenses, but my above recommendations will cove most of you needs.
    Thanks for your advice and explanations. The 70-300 is exactly what I plan to get once I have the other stuff sorted out. The 50mm (aka nifty fifty) is really popular. Can you tell me why? What does it do that the 28mm doesn't?

    As I recently found out, you can also spend thousands when your truck fails inspection and your well pump fails in the very same week you just invested your life savings in TP. So what I'm saying is I won't be getting everything all at once

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BP in ME View Post
    Thanks for your advice and explanations. The 70-300 is exactly what I plan to get once I have the other stuff sorted out. The 50mm (aka nifty fifty) is really popular. Can you tell me why? What does it do that the 28mm doesn't?

    As I recently found out, you can also spend thousands when your truck fails inspection and your well pump fails in the very same week you just invested your life savings in TP
    The nifty fifty is popular because it is a very inexpensive lens but the photo quality is good. Many people have bought several over the years, buy, break, buy again.

    Now both the nifty 50 and the 28mm are fixed lenses so you can't zoom in or out and they both are fast lenses giving good low light capabilities. I believe having a wider 28mm lens provides more flexibilty. Of course you can walk forward or back to get more or less into a shot. But I like the wider lens.

    Take your kit lens and zoom into to 28mm then zoom in further to 50 mm to see the difference. That is the difference between the two lenses. The 28mm is a more rugged lens than the nifty 50 too. Note, Canon sells multiple 50mm fast lens with big differences in price. The nifty 50 is the cheapest of the options (plus very cheap compared to all Canon lenses).

    Good luck.
    '14 Triton 18XS 150 Optimax Pro XS Fortrex 80
    Kropf Park model on Chautauqua Lake
    Fish Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie
    Love bass and fly fishing for Trout and Steelhead

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    #5
    OK, thanks

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    #6
    I have the nifty 50 and the 24mm. They are both excellent considering the price point. I also have a 55-250 that I bought used for I think $130. It has very good quality for the price. I think there are multiple 55-250s so read some reviews. I just got a Tokina 11-16mm wide angle. It’s specifically made for crop sensors and has been very good. It’s by far my most expensive lens at around $500. If you’re trying to stay cheap, I’ve had very good luck buying used from Canon, Adorama, and B&H.

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    #7
    Thanks, Larrimore. I have a 55-250 already so I'll keep that until I can afford the 70-300. Do you shoot much macro? If so, do you use the 50?

    The 24mm seems to be a pretty popular choice among the fixed lens options (I assume you have the pancake?). Any particular reason you'd choose it over the 28mm mentioned above? I noticed there looks to be a pretty substantial price difference but these types of decisions are what's driving me nuts. Do I need the 1.8 or is 2.8 good enough?

    What are you using the Tokina for? Mostly scenery or something else.

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    #8
    Tokina (also a 2.8)I use for landscape only. Wanted something wider for a crop sensor. Got the 24mm at the same time I got the camera. It’s a solid landscape lens for cheap. For landscape, the 2.8 is enough for me because I usually have it on a tripod. As I’m sure you’re learning, those low fstops get expensive fast. The nifty fifty is a great portrait lens and 1.8 gets you some nice bokeh. The only thing I’m jonesing for now is something like a 150-600.

  9. Member smp005's Avatar
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    #9
    I have, for the most part settled on Tamron. Their new G2 series lenses are really excellent glass, reasonably priced and at the point in my amateur photography career - capable of better images than I am LOL!

    But.. I also have other lenses for specific applications. I have a Rokinon f2.8/14mm which is excellent for night sky photography and a Tokina 100mm for macro work - because they are good manual focus lenses at a great price..

    I am planning on buying a used Canon 400mm f5.6 USM L lens used when I find a good deal on one. They are excellent wildlife photography lenses - very sharp images and perfect for close up bird photography from a tripod. The are all over the used market for $650 - $750. I'd already have one by like the rest of you all, lives other expenses and challenges seem to get in the way...

    BP - you are so fortunate where you live.. The Maine seacoast offers incredible opportunities for wildlife and landscape photography! My wife and I hope to get back up you way this summer for a week or so and my sole purpose is photography. This year we will probably go all the way to Limestone as she would like to see our old house there..
    Scott

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  10. Member smp005's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Larrimore View Post
    Tokina (also a 2.8)I use for landscape only. Wanted something wider for a crop sensor. Got the 24mm at the same time I got the camera. Itís a solid landscape lens for cheap. For landscape, the 2.8 is enough for me because I usually have it on a tripod. As Iím sure youíre learning, those low fstops get expensive fast. The nifty fifty is a great portrait lens and 1.8 gets you some nice bokeh. The only thing Iím jonesing for now is something like a 150-600.
    Larrimore - I have the Tamron 150-600 and it is an excellent lens. I struggled between the Sigma and the Tamron, read and watched a million reviews, surmised they basically equal in quality and capability and went Tamron. I am very happy with the lens and have taken some great images with it. Just make sure you get a G2.. They are a bit heavy though! LOL!!
    Scott

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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by smp005 View Post
    BP - you are so fortunate where you live.. The Maine seacoast offers incredible opportunities for wildlife and landscape photography! My wife and I hope to get back up you way this summer for a week or so and my sole purpose is photography. This year we will probably go all the way to Limestone as she would like to see our old house there..
    Having grown up there, I suppose I take the coastal scenery for granted. I do like the wildlife though. Lots of birds and sometimes seals, porpoise, etc. I think my favorite area is at the eastern tip: Eastport, Lubec, Quoddy Head, etc. Lot's of photo ops around there and normally a ton of harbor seals around Eastport. But that said, my eye is now drawn west. I just can't get enough of the scenery and wildlife out in UT, AZ, ID, WY.

    I was wondering why the heck you'd want to go to Limestone! But OK, if you wanna go back and see your old house.....personally, I think I'd just go to google earth street view and call it good enough. If headed north, I'd go to Baxter Park, West Branch, or even the new Woods and Waters Monument (East Branch) donated by Roxanne Quimby

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BP in ME View Post
    Having grown up there, I suppose I take the coastal scenery for granted. I do like the wildlife though. Lots of birds and sometimes seals, porpoise, etc. I think my favorite area is at the eastern tip: Eastport, Lubec, Quoddy Head, etc. Lot's of photo ops around there and normally a ton of harbor seals around Eastport. But that said, my eye is now drawn west. I just can't get enough of the scenery and wildlife out in UT, AZ, ID, WY.

    I was wondering why the heck you'd want to go to Limestone! But OK, if you wanna go back and see your old house.....personally, I think I'd just go to google earth street view and call it good enough. If headed north, I'd go to Baxter Park, West Branch, or even the new Woods and Waters Monument (East Branch) donated by Roxanne Quimby

    LOL!! I'll admit it isn't a very exciting place :-)... But it is quiet.. One of those few places left where you don't have to lock your doors at night. I remember when I was sent here in 1982 as a single airman - I was one of the few young guys that was happy about it.. Most guys never left the base - if I wasn't on duty I was hunting or fishing or camping or snowmobiling.. The North Maine Woods was my home!

    Spent 6 years there - Hunted, fished, camped, got married, had our first child... Lot's of memories and short of some occasional lousy weather, can't remember a bad day :-)
    Scott

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  13. Member smp005's Avatar
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    #13
    Hampden is a nice area... used spend lots of time in Bangor with the Air Guard unit, fished the Penobscot and hunted deer out of a camp near Millinocket - on Mattaseunk Lake if I remember correctly. Bar Harbor was much quieter back then.. no cruise ships...
    Scott

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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by BP in ME View Post
    Thanks for your advice and explanations. The 70-300 is exactly what I plan to get once I have the other stuff sorted out. The 50mm (aka nifty fifty) is really popular. Can you tell me why? What does it do that the 28mm doesn't?

    As I recently found out, you can also spend thousands when your truck fails inspection and your well pump fails in the very same week you just invested your life savings in TP. So what I'm saying is I won't be getting everything all at once
    My first post on this site. Here goes. I have the Canon 80d. Fantastic camera for the amateur who wants to get into a bit more serious photography. I use a nifty fifty all the time. Great lense . And inexpensive. And light to carry for hiking or being a tourist. My go to lense is the Canon L series 28 to 300 zoom. Pretty expensive. I think I paid around $1500 for it a few years ago. But worth every penny. I am on my boat most every week and use my camera with this lense. I live on the west coast of Florida and see great wildlife from birds to dolphins to manatees and more. Having a good camera with a great lense is hard to beat.

    I still use the kit lense on occasion and have gotten some really fantastic shots with it also. I bought the kit with the 28-135 You can also get the 18-55 I believe.

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Puglover View Post
    My first post on this site. Here goes. .
    Welcome to the nuthouse, Puglover, and thanks for your post.

    I'm still using my old lenses cause I keep failing to win Ebay bids on the lenses I want. Plus my neighbor keeps loaning me stuff to play with and the weather has been generally sucky

    The alewives will be running soon in the stream behind the house. That'll bring eagles and osprey in to feed and pose for pics