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What's a good 'Beginner's Lens'
Hi Group,.

I'm planning to go dSLR and was wondering what lens to get. (Other than the standard kit lens [18-55mm] of course.) I was thinking of a versatile lens that could go macro, wide & zoom all-in-one. Is there such an ideal lens like that? Can the Tokina 18-200mm do that?.

Thanks..

Comments (13)

All purposes lenses are a compromise. A lens with a wide range like 18-200mm will generally not give you the quality as two lenses that fill that range would. And then there's the prime lenses that will give you the sharpest performance compared to a zoom. It all depends on what you plan on shooting and how much money you're willing to spend. I have a couple of DSLRs, on both of them the lenses I use the most are the Tokina 28-70mm AT-X (Nikon D50) and the Sigma 24-70mm EX (Sigma SD9). That's a good range for me, maybe not for you.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

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Comment #1

I say stick with the kit lens at first. Once you kind of established a shooting style for yourself you'll have a better idea of what you'll want in a lens..

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savage..

Comment #2

All purposes lenses are a compromise. A lens with a wide range like18-200mm will generally not give you the quality as two lenses thatfill that range would. And then there's the prime lenses that willgive you the sharpest performance compared to a zoom. It all dependson what you plan on shooting and how much money you're willing tospend. I have a couple of DSLRs, on both of them the lenses I usethe most are the Tokina 28-70mm AT-X (Nikon D50) and the Sigma24-70mm EX (Sigma SD9). That's a good range for me, maybe not foryou.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

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Nice, that confirmed my assumptions. but in terms of sharpness, are the results between all purpose lenses and prime lenses that obvious? let's say my budget's not that good and my interests range from bits and pieces of everything I see like landscapes, sculptures, foliage, bugs, sunsets, cute girls from faraway. ..

Comment #3

A good compact normal lens or short normal like a DA21 or FA35 would be a place to start...

Comment #4

Are you leaning toward a particular brand of camera? I'd say invest in the best lenses you can afford. I have a bunch of consumer zooms laying around that never get used anymore. primes can be a relatively good value (50s are often a steal) and they tend to be sharp and free from barrel/pincushion distortion. macro lenses are fun for close-ups. big zooms are great for standing back and blurring out the background..

Partly it depends on what you like to shoot. for instance I get a lot of use out of a 300f4IS for shooting outdoor sports...

Comment #5

Nice, that confirmed my assumptions. but in terms of sharpness, arethe results between all purpose lenses and prime lenses that obvious?let's say my budget's not that good and my interests range from bitsand pieces of everything I see like landscapes, sculptures, foliage,bugs, sunsets, cute girls from faraway. .

That depends. There are some good inexpensive zooms (such as the Sigma 70-300mm APO) and there are some bad ones. "You get what you pay for" has some relevance. OEM lenses (Nikon, Canon, etc.) can cost a lot more than a 3rd party lens from Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina. Some of the 3rd party lenses hold up very well against the OEMs, at one third the price sometimes..

I can see differences between shots with my 50mm and 105mm prime vs. some of my zooms, at times it's not so apparent. If I were to match the prime against a cheap zoom, there would be no contest..

As another post indicated, get the DSLR with the kit lens and take it from there. Your biggest expense down the road will be lenses.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

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Comment #6

RE>but in terms of sharpness, are the results between all purpose lenses and prime lenses that obvious? <.

If you make lots of 4x6 prints, and a few 5x7 prints, and only make 8x10 prints from shots that are really good, you won't find any differences that matter between inexpensive and expensive lenses you buy new for a camera in 2007..

If you make big enlrgements of highly detailed subjects, paying more for higher quality lenses makes a difference..

Thnk about tires; if you stick to the speed limites on paved highways, event he cheapest tires from name-brand tire companies are just fine. Want to speed across the desert for hours at a time, or make 16 x 20 prints it costs more to be safe..

BAK..

Comment #7

Oh okay, i'm planning to get a canon rebel xti coz of good reviews and it's price. it comes with the lens kit so, i'll probably play with that for a bit. but for those of you experienced enough, what lens do you consider as an all around, versatile lens that gives good to excellent quality results?..

Comment #8

There are some lenses specifically matched to the crop body:.

* canon 17-55f.28IS* tamron 17-50* canon 10-22* canon 60 macro.

The 50f1.8 and 85f1.8 are popular..

Maybe get one of the 70-200s (like the f4IS version). you can add a 1.4xTC to get more reach..

For big zoom maybe a 300f4IS or 400f5.6..

Tamron just came out with an 18-250 that is getting good reviews..

The 24-105IS is a popular lens, I just find it a bit long on the crop body (like it even better on the 5D)..

A bounce flash can be helpful along with a sturdy tripod and one of those 5-in-1 reflector gizmos...

Comment #9

Many people prefer zoom lenses for their convenience. An alternative is to start with one good prime (single focal length, not a zoom) lens and expand from there, wider or longer as you see fit..

The prime will be optimized to it's job very well. The zoom will be more of a one size fits all unless you can afford to spend big bucks..

I personally feel learning with a prime helps hone your abilities to see images and compose. If you decide to start with a prime consider something in the 28mm to 50mm range. They tend to be more common and hence less expensive. At the same time they tend to be faster (better in lower light) and less expensive than zooms of similar focal length...

Comment #10

It all depends on your photography needs and style.If you want to go light - get a big zoom (like a 18-200)..

If you mostly shoot hand-held, you will not see much difference between a prime and an all-purpose zoom..

You can improve image quality more by using a good tripod than by using primes and shooting handheld..

Invest in a good tripod - you probably don't need the best (hundreds of $) but don't buy the cheapest either...

Comment #11

Do not wanted to disapoint you however lens you need simply does not exist. You can buy some Sigma 18-200 lens which allow you to shot a bit more macro than nikkor (not real macro). However than you realise than real photos need real lenses. Cant skip this..

For macro you can buy rings instead..

My fotoblog: http://www.howtoshot.com/My fotoblog (czech): http://fotaky.xf.cz/My photos (leazy to update anyway): http://gady.idomena.cz/..

Comment #12

The latest Sigma 18-50mm EX is a very good lens. The Sigma 17-70mm DC is also a good choice for a very good walk-around lens.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

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Comment #13

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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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