What lenses are recomended if I can only have 3

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by gravyt, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. As a beginner, What would be the recommended top 3 lenses to start with for a DSLR camera. I am looking at a Canon 70D that comes with a 28mm-135mm lens. If I were to get two more, what would be recommended? I have looked at Tamron 28mm-300mm, Tamron 150mm-600mm, and a Tamron 70mm-200mm. These lenses have been suggested to me thus far. I am open minded to looking at other lenses s well. Thank you for the support. I look forward to getting started, frustrated, and experiencing the satisfaction of learning to take good pictures.
  2. I would recommend shooting with the 28-135mm for a while before purchasing any additional lenses. That will help you figure out your further needs.
  3. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I agree with Mike. Till you've done that you don't have a clear idea of whether your needs are for something longer, something shorter or something better. And when the time comes I'd look at Canon lenses as well as listen to people who have convinced themselves that Tamron is the way to go.
  4. I agree with Mike.
    You can rule out the 28-300 right away. It covers much of the same range as your kit lens. The 150-600 lens is a specialty lens which you might like if you are going to shoot wildlife or some sports from the stands. It is a handful.
    The 70-200 F2.8? is a nice lens and could be a good choice as long as you understand what to expect from it.
    Let me ask you why you are mentioning Tamron lenses? They are less expensive than Canon lenses by and large. There are other choices.
  5. SCL


    Like others suggested, learn to use your first lens and master it before getting more. There are too many disappointed photography dilettantes out there because they never bothered to learn what their basic equipment could do before they splurged on more gear.
  6. In fact, although the 28-135 lens is better than its reputation, it is not the best 'kit' lens for an "crop" (APS-C) format camera like the 70D, since it gives you only a 'normal' to 'telephoto' range (no real wide angle on this format). It's a fairly old design in both optical and IS terms as well.
    The best one-lens solution would be a EF-S 15-85mm IS lens, since it would continue to be useful even as you upgrade yourself in time. It is more expensive, for sure. The older version (17-85mm IS) is a bargain used, when you can find it, but not so good as the newer version. I still use mine all the time, however, since its flaws can easily be fixed in post-processing on the occasions on which they are seen.
    If the 28mm-135mm is a necessity/given, then I'd suggest hunting up a 10-20mm or so ultrawide, and stopping there before getting any other lenses. The older Sigma 10-20mm is excellent and a good bargain, especially used. You might want to ask at B&H, Adorama, or KEH about guaranteed, used copies.
  7. After using your 28-135mm lens you'll figure out your next lens. I like
    shallow depth of field and indoor sports, so my first lenses were 50mm
    f1.4 and 100mm f2.0 they allowed fast shutter speeds indoors and
    wonderful available light portraits. Remember cameras focus "wide
    open", so even if stopping down to f4 or f5,6 they will autofocus at f1.4
    or whatever the Max aperture is. That's a big help in low light. I think
    everyone should have a 50mm f1.4 lens. You have that focal length
    covered, but not that ability for shallow DOF and low light action at
    dances or indoor sports. Look up the word bokeh. Just some more
    things to consider. For indoor sports, even with with your 1.6 crop
    factor camera you'll need to be very close to use a 50mm.
  8. The 28-135 comes with it so use that for a while and get comfortable with the process. I'd get the 70-200, something on the wider end like a 16-85-ish lens and if you need longer go for the 150-600. I wouldn't bother with the 28-300.
    Rick H.
  9. Isn't the normal kitlens for the 70D a 18-135, rather than a 28-135? Makes a world of difference in usability, in my view - but I am no Canon expert, so maybe there are different kits.
    With a 18-135, no need to think for now what additional lens to get. With a 28-135, you may very well miss the wider end a lot - so, what JDM basically said.
  10. what JDM said
  11. The 28-135mm is a great walk around/all purpose lens, but it is limited by its longish focal length and its kind of slow at f3.5/5.6 minimum aperture. Not sure what you plan to shoot, but unless you are shooting birds or sports, that long-focal lens will probably be collecting dust in the closet.
    I would seriously think about getting a wide angle lens and a normal fast lens like the 50mm f1.8($99). With the 70D the 50mm f1.8 would be the equivalent of a 85mm lens on full frame and you are getting 2 extra stops of light. The 28-135mm when set at 28mm is equivalent to a 45mm on a full frame camera. This can become very inconvenient when taking group shots at dusk, or any shot indoors. So you might think about purchasing something a little wider than the 28mm something that would give you about a 35mm point of view on the 70D.
  12. I would also second getting a "plastic fantastic" EF 50mm f/1.8 for its speed. It would be a good short telephoto equivalent on your camera. That's a lens that will remain useful however you go in the future, and it's so cheap for its optical quality.
    Other primes are nice, but more costly, and I'd hold off for now until you learn the camera.
  13. I'm no Canon guy. The 70D has an APS-C crop sensor right? So 28-135 is an unusual first lens for it, since it has a far from really "wide" lower end. It will fit and take decent pictures, but its a specialty choice and no universal zoom marketed to average beginners unless those would pick a FF camera (more expensive). - I believe those days 18 - 135mms are sold to the wealthier amateurs as single lens solutions. 2 lens solutions offer roughly at least the same image quality and can be had cheaper since they are less convenient. - It's easy to live with a gap between a 18 - 50mm kit lens and a 70 - whatever.
    What's your reason to skip the wide angle range G T?
    IDK what to recommend besides: Get one lens first, take pictures feel what you'll need or want next. Do your homewiork and buy something "right".
    Given a 28-135, I'd grab a 2nd body with a 12-24mm. In another system than Canon I'd use image stabilization in the camera body and add a moderately fast sharp 50mm prime to the kit, but that's me. You might fancy a 35mm or even an 85mm more, that's why I told you to use your first lens before you buy a 3rd
    Usually I shoot a 135mm f2.8 as my long end and a 50mm below either a prime or a 18-50mm kit zoom. Depending on light and mood, I might bring a 12 - 24 or a 24mm f1.8.
    If you are lusting after a 70 -200mm f2. 8 and feel strong enough to carry it, I would recommend a 18 - 50 kit zoom or the f2.8 "pro" version as a counterweight to it instead of the 28 -135mm.
    I'm no telephoto expert. I own some inexpensive 70 -300 and am not really pleased by the results. I also have old manual focus cheapo 300 & 400mm primes and even a 1000mm mirror lens, but I don't get them out. The image quality I could get doesn't compensate for the handling hassle and weight. I am no birder and not into sports. If things go distant I might use a 2x converter with my 135mm but even that one isn't part of my standard kit for tourism journalism or whatever you call walking around with cameras.
    I fear the Tamron 150 - 600 will shout for really bright daylight and at least a monopod, preferably a decent tripod and those get heavy. If you have the motivation and determination to carry such: go for it. There seem no alternatives in that price range. But if you are the generic average beginner, I'd suggest to skip that lens.
  14. The best one-lens solution would be a EF-S 15-85mm IS lens, since it would continue to be useful even as you upgrade yourself in time. It is more expensive, for sure.​
    I'm with JDM here. Skip the 28-135 and get the 15-85. And, later, pick up a 70-200/4 L IS. The only other lens you might need for "general photography" on an APS-C body is a faster prime, such as the 50/1.4, the 50/1.8, or, perhaps best of all, the 40/2.8 STM.
  15. I normally carry just three lenses -- 14-24 4.0, 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. I shoot everything from news events to conference to weddings to portraits to indoor sports and find that this covers 90 percent of what I ever need. I'm using Nikon D200 and D7000 DX bodies.
  16. I'm going to give you the rank amateur perspective. I think most people who enjoy photography get the most out of it when they can slap one lens on the camera and get nearly any shot they want. When they travel, they don't want to carry around a bag full of lenses or bother having to change them when the one on the camera won't do. For this reason, in your position, I'd take a nice long look at the Tamron 16-300. Yes, it's 'slow' at the long end and not particularly fast at the short end, but with the high ISO performance of today's cameras, that's not much of an issue. I can almost guarantee you this will be your most-used lens.
    Other than that, you might want a prime dedicated macro in the 80 to 105mm range. This would be a nice portrait lens and also give you the ability to shoot close-ups, which is always fun.
    And the aforementioned 10-20 wide angle would be a nice landscape lens when the 18mm of the other lens isn't quite wide enough, though that might not be very often.
    And as others have said, you might need something specialized if you find you like shooting a particular subject (like indoor sports), but you'll find that out as you go. Fortunately with Canon, there are a ton of used lenses available, so you don't have to break the bank necessarily. Enjoy.
  17. The first thing to do is: Save Your Money!
    Without any kind of idea of what you are shooting, any lens recommendation by us is a stab in the dark.
    I can tell you that the best lens I ever mounted to my 7D and took photos with is the $10,500 EF 500mm f/4L IS II, but if you are interested in wide landscapes, architecture or insects and other very tiny things, it is completely the wrong lens for you!
    Figure out what it is you like to photograph first, then a decent lens recommendation can be made. With the very good to excellent optics of today's zoom lenses, you don't necessarily need a 3-lens kit (typically a 50mm, 28/35mm and a 135mm), as one would back in the days when "zoom" was a 4-letter word. Take your time, and get to know the camera, the lens you have, and where you want your photography to take you.
    I bought a 7D with the EF-S 18-135mm f/4.5-5.6 IS. Knowing I wanted to take photos of birds (which often requires a lot of focal length), I purchased a Tamron SP 70-300mm shortly thereafter, as it was (and still is) a lot of lens for the price. After a bit, I found that 300mm was, quite often, too short, and bought a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. A few months later, knowing I was taking a trip to Europe, and wanted to take pictures in possibly dimly lit spaces without flash, I bought the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM (one of the best EF-S lenses) for the constant f/2.8 aperture. So, by this point, my 18-135 and 70-300 have pretty much been retired.
    My point, though, is to illustrate that I had an idea of where I wanted to be before spending money on lenses.
    By the way, I'd recommend trying to get the 70D with the EF-S 18-135. 28mm on a crop sensor is not terribly "wide"...
  18. [[I am looking at a Canon 70D that comes with a 28mm-135mm lens.]]
    28-135mm is not a great focal length for a new DSLR owner. The 18-135 or even just the 18-55 would be better choices. If you're intent on buying three lenses:
    10-18mm STM ($300)
    18-55mm STM (should come with the camera)
    55-250mm STM (might find as a part of a double-lens kit with the camera, otherwise, ~$300)
  19. I agree with the other posters, get the 18-135IS (or STM version)
    or the twin kit lens (18-55IS and 55-250IS or STM version)
  20. What would be the recommended top 3 lenses to start with for a DSLR camera?​
    Frequently used, daily needed and thankfully carried.

    Frequently used: Ye Olde Normal 50mm, reincarnated for your newer system. Used all the time by everyone, it's really the only lens you'll ever need. The magic of this lens: its horizontal span of view was real close to normal, unaided vision.

    Daily needed: Ye Olde Wide Angle 35mm, reincarnated for your newer system. Cram that lens into someone's face, and you can still get the whole world in.

    Thankfully carried: Ye Olde Telephoto 135mm or similar, reincarnated for your newer system. With a span of view a few fingers wide, it was there for when you wanted to reach out and touch something. When you got as close as you could, and it still wasn't at the right distance to cut out those unnecessary things, when you needed that narrower field of view: telephoto was there.

    I still use that old 50mm most of the time.

    I think just about everybody already recommended each of these three lenses for you in their posts above. That 28-135 might have them covered already. Good luck.
  21. Stick with the kit lens until you understand what you are missing, i.e. what you cannot do with your first lens. Your next lens should fill that void.
    No one can determine where you want to go next. You have to gain the knowledge necessary to make that decision.
  22. I agree with most of what's been written here, and add my own thought on the matter.
    If you need to ask what what kind of lens is missing from your kit, you don't need a new lens yet.
    I'm referring to general types of lenses here. Once you know that your lacking, a macro, wide-angle, etc., then getting input from others on which specific model is a good idea.
  23. Yeah, everyone will grow to be different
    photographers, and thus will require
    different gear to get the shot.

    For me, I shoot landscapes,
    architecture and portraits. As a result, I
    currently have a 135mm L for portraits ,
    24mm tse for the landscapes and
    architecture, and a 50mm 1.4 just
    because it's versatile. I'll soon be
    getting a 100-400mm L to expand on
    my landscape photography.

    Decide what you like to shoot, then
    you'll know what's you'll consider the
    "best" lenses to own.

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