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THE lens for still life, outdoor & street photography..?
I'm finally deciding to get a DSLR, and after some time deliberating (the classic: Nikon vs. Canon debate) I've decided on a Canon 40D. I'm not tied by budget so I decided to get a body that I can use for a lifetime..

Now I'm trying to decide on which lens to get. I will use it mainly for still life (outdoor), and people (candids and family pictures). I also take quite a lot of architecture and landscape photos..

The question is, is there a single lens that I can use as a general walkaround lens? Or would it take two (or more) to cover the main uses?.

Pro-am friends of mine all voted for L-series lens; I looked around and thought that the perfect combination would be 17-40 2.8L and 70-200 4.0L IS... but the price tag is quite heavy (as are the lenses... I'm a petite female so equipment weight is an issue, especially if I walk around).

So then I thought of buying the 24-105 4.0L IS..... only concern is, is it wide enough to cover landscape? I've found myself sometimes wishing for a wider coverage when using 28mm pocket camera, and 24 times 1.6 factor = 38. Not VERY often, true..

I've read rave reviews for the EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS but am concerned that it's tele end is not far enough (and there's dust problem?).

Should I consider Tamron or Sigma lenses as an alternative?.

Please help me out with some advice. If there's any lens other than the above two that you'd recommend, please do tell me. My budget for lens is $1000 for one lens, and $1500 for two..

Thanks a bunch!..

Comments (12)

Depends on what you define as "street" photography, if you mean trying to capture the whole street, 28mm is not enough..

I have a 21 prime on my pentax and even that is not enough sometimes. the 1.5 ~ 1.6 crop factor really hurts with DSLRS..

However some people consider street photography as being able to nab particular parts of a scene from a long distance... in which case the longer focal lengths can be used..

If you want a cheap way to shoot large angles, pick up a Zenitar 16mm fisheye.. it will only set you back 150 bux, you'll be able to take some crazy shots with it, only it would require manual focus :S.

As for longer focal lengths, that F4.0 will show it's ugly face when the sun goes down,.

You'll find yourself in bars or out with friends later in the evening and lacking light, in which case you would need to turn over to a flash..

Consider going the way of the prime vs zooms...

Your feet make for an excelent zoom mechanism  plus you can get away with light lenses that wont hurt your mobility..

My 0.02..

Comment #1

I know this is off topic but have you looked at the Olympus 410 coupled with a 12-60 lens?.

Olympus is a lighter alternative that may be better for you than Nikon/Canon..

REd..

Comment #2

Do you want or need image stabilization? Two months ago I was in the same position you're in now and I made the choice to stick with lenses that were a minimum of f/2.8 and had IS. These specs meant I could hand hold most indoor and outdoor low light shots, but it also meant I had to stick with Canon lenses.My final lens choices were.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens and theCanon EF 1.4X II Extender.

If you do not need IS, my recommendation would be the.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens and theTamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens.

By the way, the Canon 17-55 is probably the best every day lens I have ever owned..

Keith..

Comment #3

Ogipung wrote:.

I'm finally deciding to get a DSLR, and after some time deliberating(the classic: Nikon vs. Canon debate) I've decided on a Canon 40D.I'm not tied by budget so I decided to get a body that I can use fora lifetime..

The 40D is an excellent camera, but no camera body will last as long as good a lens..

Pro-am friends of mine all voted for L-series lens; I looked aroundand thought that the perfect combination would be 17-40 2.8L.

The 17-40 mm is f/4, not f/2.8.

So then I thought of buying the 24-105 4.0L IS..... only concern is,is it wide enough to cover landscape? I've found myself sometimeswishing for a wider coverage when using 28mm pocket camera, and 24times 1.6 factor = 38. Not VERY often, true..

The 24-105 mm f/4L is an excellent lens, but as a general purpose lens on a 1.6 crop body, it isnt going to be wide enough..

Brian A...

Comment #4

Ogipung wrote:.

I'm finally deciding to get a DSLR, and after some time deliberating(the classic: Nikon vs. Canon debate) I've decided on a Canon 40D.I'm not tied by budget so I decided to get a body that I can use fora lifetime..

Now I'm trying to decide on which lens to get. I will use it mainlyfor still life (outdoor), and people (candids and family pictures). Ialso take quite a lot of architecture and landscape photos.The question is, is there a single lens that I can use as a generalwalkaround lens? Or would it take two (or more) to cover the mainuses?.

Pro-am friends of mine all voted for L-series lens; I looked aroundand thought that the perfect combination would be 17-40 2.8L and70-200 4.0L IS... but the price tag is quite heavy (as are thelenses... I'm a petite female so equipment weight is an issue,especially if I walk around).

So then I thought of buying the 24-105 4.0L IS..... only concern is,is it wide enough to cover landscape? I've found myself sometimeswishing for a wider coverage when using 28mm pocket camera, and 24times 1.6 factor = 38. Not VERY often, true..

I've read rave reviews for the EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS but am concernedthat it's tele end is not far enough (and there's dust problem?).

Should I consider Tamron or Sigma lenses as an alternative?.

Please help me out with some advice. If there's any lens other thanthe above two that you'd recommend, please do tell me. My budget forlens is $1000 for one lens, and $1500 for two..

Thanks a bunch!.

How about 3 lenses.

Tamron 17-35 2.8-4, Tamron 28-75 2.8 both of which are used as walk arounds/street lenses by many people and if you need longer add a 70-200 of your choice (without IS and you are still in budget...if your lucky you may still be with IS at f4)..

Neil..

Comment #5

Ogipung wrote:.

I'm finally deciding to get a DSLR, and after some time deliberating(the classic: Nikon vs. Canon debate) I've decided on a Canon 40D.I'm not tied by budget so I decided to get a body that I can use fora lifetime..

In 5 years the 40D will be very outdated - just as my 5 year old D60 is today. Both are great cameras, but my D60 doesn't compare to my 40D..

Now I'm trying to decide on which lens to get. I will use it mainlyfor still life (outdoor), and people (candids and family pictures). Ialso take quite a lot of architecture and landscape photos.The question is, is there a single lens that I can use as a generalwalkaround lens? Or would it take two (or more) to cover the mainuses?.

Pro-am friends of mine all voted for L-series lens; I looked aroundand thought that the perfect combination would be 17-40 2.8L and70-200 4.0L IS... but the price tag is quite heavy (as are thelenses... I'm a petite female so equipment weight is an issue,especially if I walk around).

So then I thought of buying the 24-105 4.0L IS..... only concern is,is it wide enough to cover landscape? I've found myself sometimeswishing for a wider coverage when using 28mm pocket camera, and 24times 1.6 factor = 38. Not VERY often, true..

I've read rave reviews for the EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS but am concernedthat it's tele end is not far enough (and there's dust problem?).

Should I consider Tamron or Sigma lenses as an alternative?.

Please help me out with some advice. If there's any lens other thanthe above two that you'd recommend, please do tell me. My budget forlens is $1000 for one lens, and $1500 for two..

You don't have to buy everything at once. Buy the best lens you can afford that meets most of your needs. The 24-105 is an excellent lens and I use it for 'most' of my landscapes... but it is even better when paired with the Canon 10-22. If you don't plan on doing wildlife or sports, you can probably cover most of your shooting with the 10-105 range, wheras going 17-40 and 70-200 leaves a rather awkward gap in your lineup..

My main recommendation for new DSLR users: Figure out your budget. Then double it. As you start shooting you'll realize other things you need (Tripod, flash, remot release, bag, etc) and maybe even sell off lenses to get new lenses that suit your needs better...

Comment #6

I agree that the L series lenses are wonderful. I have a real Christmas theme going here being green over the white and red lenses .

However, whether or not you're well served by going to this extreem with your gear depends on your use of the resulting images. If these are for your own use and enjoyment, then the L series may well be overkill..

I'll offer (as an example more than a suggestion) the numerous great shots that folks are posting using the Nikon D40 and 18-200 VR lens. There are 1047 reasons why this combo doesn't measure up against a 40D and an L series lens - that's not the comparison I'm trying to make. The point is that it is possible to take *great* pictures without absolutely top of the line gear. Heck, the overwhelming majority of the award winning photographs in the world were taken with equipment that would be considered junk by todays standards..

If you have a money tree - you wouldn't happen to be single, would you  Seriously, if so congratulations and enjoy your L-series glass. It is beautiful stuff. Otherwise, leave yourself enough cash to go places and spend time shooting...

Comment #7

If she's looking for two of the best versatile lenses, a fisheye lens is NOT good advice. While the do take fun and interesting wide shots, they do get pretty uninteresting and tedious after you've looked at a few shots..

There's many more multi-purpose lenses to suggest for somone limited to just two to choose from...

Comment #8

What about a versatile lens like Sigma 18-200 OS when you only want to take 1 lens, then a 50mm 1.8 for critical sharpness, short DOF, etc. That would only set you back around $550 and save room for adding a 2.8 zoom later once you get a hang of the camera and know more about which focal lengths you are using the most that would benefit from faster glass. This is the approach I took with my Fuji S5 Pro. Have 18-200 VR Nikkor, 50 1.8, 80-200 2.8 and 28-70 2.8 (leftover from film days). The 18-200 is on 80% of the time...

Comment #9

L types lenses may be the best but yes they are heavy..

Other good lenses are the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens = 16-35mm on a 1.6 aps-c sensor, which will give you your nice wide angle and will also take care of your regular everyday pictures as long as you use your legs for zooming..

Another lens to add to you collection without breaking the bank would be the Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens = 44-200mm on 1.6x. This lens is going to be a bit heavy due to it's image stabilization but will cover a nice zoom range and has the added benefit of IS to allow a little bit of hand holding in lower light. Everyone and their dog always recommends a tri-pod for anything low light/night anyways no matter if your lens opens to 1.4 or not..

I also like the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens.

Go for a prime lens if you want small light and sharp... you just need a few of them to cover your ranges and you may have a little problem with dust when you keep swapping lenses. but cleaning your camera, lenses and sensor is all part of owning a DSLR. .

A good site to check out for canon lens reviews ishttp://www.the-digital-picture.com.

Check it out and you may find what you need. L type lenses are wonderful if you have the money..

Hope someone here has helped...

Comment #10

You can always defish an image with quality results.

But fishing an image is more difficult.

Plus it's just cheap! lol, I just got mine in the mail as i'm writing this...

Comment #11

I'll second the 17-85 IS. Great focal length range, IQ, and IS for versatility..

I've seen it and the 40D for $1499. Sounds like a great deal, too...

Comment #12

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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