lens help for a new dslr buyer

Started Sep 8, 2012 | Discussions
Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
lens help for a new dslr buyer

First, I apologize for what is prob the 100th thread over the years like this (and I did have a post and discussion in beginners forum to decide on a camera). But I have read many of them and am just looking for some current, personal advice as I get ready to make a HUGE investment in a camera (at least for me).

I have only owned point and shoot cameras in the past. I have a 4 year old daughter and want a camera that will focus faster and take sharper images (at normal and longer focal lengths). Will use for daughter at soccer, family trips to the zoo, park, different cities as well as indoors for holidays and special events. I mostly view images on my 27" monitor and occasionally would like to make large prints.

I do take videos and currently own and love the videos on my HX9V (will keep that), but will take casual family video on the dslr as well.

I am considering these two options:

t4i w/18-135mm STM
Tamron 70-300mm SP Di VC
Canon 430EX II Flash
Total: $1,824

t4i body only
Canon 15-85mm
Tamron 70-300mm SP Di VC
Canon 430EX II Flash
Total: $2,190

Still kinda thinking about Pentax k-30 body, Pentax DA 55-300mm, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, and flash. $1,526 w/o flash.... $1.795 w/ comparable flash added.

... even kind of considering an 18-250ish superzoom and a 35mm fast prime, but think that is prob not a good idea.

Due to my financial situation (and wife), this will be a one time purchase and the next time I will be able to round up 400ish bucks for a lens will be in 2+ years. My budget is actually about $1500, but will stretch it to get something I am happy with.

What do you guys think about these options? Would you recommend a different lens? Is a flash needed/worth that kind of money over the on camera flash?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
--
Scott Blackburn

Canon EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D / EOS Kiss X6i) Pentax K-30 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
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brian1366 Contributing Member • Posts: 514
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

To save a few bucks, drop the Tamron 70-300 and get a Canon 55-250mm instead. I've compared 2 copies against my 55-250mm and noticed very little difference although the Tamron was marginally better. However, I had focus problems and couldn't keep the Tamron. Even if it focused correctly, I'd have trouble justifying the extra cost and size/weight over the 55-250 for very minimal IQ improvement.

Many people love the 15-85mm and it has USM focusing which should meet your fast focus requirement. You might want to look into the advantages of STM focusing on the 18-135mm for video though. I know you already have video, but once you see the quality of what the T4i can put out, you may decide to use it for that.

 brian1366's gear list:brian1366's gear list
Canon PowerShot S110 Canon EOS 600D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM +5 more
OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

Yes, the trade-off is the 15mm focal length and sharpness of the 15-85 compared to the video capabilities, longer length, and money saved for the STM kit lens.

I read a couple places that the 70-300 was sharper that the 55-250. But if my budget is tight, perhaps it's not worth it.

-- hide signature --

Scott Blackburn

davidgp
davidgp Contributing Member • Posts: 516
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

I'd go with a Yongnuo flash instead of the Canon. They have a good reputation and are less expensive.

I agree on getting the 55-250; it's excellent for the price.

 davidgp's gear list:davidgp's gear list
Canon EOS 550D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art
tonyjr
tonyjr Veteran Member • Posts: 5,280
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

I would look at the 18-55 / 55-250 combo .

As for the flash , I would wait and see if the pop up works for you . You are going to be too busy learning a new camera to learn to use flash also . Give the flash at least till Xmas [ they might be on sale ] and see how it goes .
I would get an extra battery and memory card thou .

There are a lot of us that have the 17-55 and it is the 85% of time lens . The 18-55 with IS is a good lens . I thought enough of it to buy the 18-55 with IS when it came out .

My 3 main lenses are the 17-55 for almost everything , the 10-22 for wide shots and the 70-200[ mostly candid shots ]

 tonyjr's gear list:tonyjr's gear list
Canon EOS 400D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 35mm F2.0 Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +14 more
OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

So perhaps a YongNuo YN-468 E-TTL Speedlite for about 100 bucks? I like that price a lot!

Or perhaps a YongNuo YN-468 E-TTL Speedlite for $70. That would prob be good enough for me.... since I dont even really understand the difference anyway.

Thank you for the recommendation.

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Scott Blackburn

yellodog Senior Member • Posts: 2,050
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

Wait with the flash, I have 5 kids and have never once had to use the flash on them.

Since your daughter is only 4 it will be several years till you need the reach of the 300 mm so if the 55.250 is cheaper it might be a better buy for you. Having said that the Tamron is excellent value for money, great for portraits at 70 and brilliant IS for low light.

OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

Thanks for your input. I thought this thread was going to be forgotten. Was checking it constantly cause I am ready to buy and am really torn about what to get. (even posted a thread in the rebel forum, hope that doesn't upset anyone).

I think I will wait on the flash and get one when and if I need.

I am even considering waiting on the telephoto zoom. I don't know what I am really going to need and want til I actually get it and start using,

So what primary lens is the most pressing question.

-- hide signature --

Scott Blackburn

photonius Veteran Member • Posts: 6,822
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

Blackburn11 wrote:

Thanks for your input. I thought this thread was going to be forgotten. Was checking it constantly cause I am ready to buy and am really torn about what to get. (even posted a thread in the rebel forum, hope that doesn't upset anyone).

I think I will wait on the flash and get one when and if I need.

I am even considering waiting on the telephoto zoom. I don't know what I am really going to need and want til I actually get it and start using,

So what primary lens is the most pressing question.

Since you have the Sony HX9V, which starts at 24mm FF equivalent, how often do you use the widest angle on your Sony ?? (ps, love those sony cameras, have hx5, now hx20). If you use it a lot, perhaps go with the 15 (24mm equiv) -85.

If you go with an 18mm lens, it will not be as wide as the Sony. I definitively missed that wider view with 18 - xx lenses, so I got myself a canon 10-22, which I love as well.

So, if think you'd ever consider a ultra wide angle lens (there is something called lens-lust), having a lens starting at 18mm may not be a big issue. If a UWA is out of the question, and you do video with the HX9, I'd go with the 15-85.

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Scott Blackburn

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Life is short, time to zoom in ©

 photonius's gear list:photonius's gear list
Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II
OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

My thinking exactly. I use the Sony at 24mm often and don't use the long zoom much.

Just wish the 15-85 wasn't so darn expensive. Or the STM went wider. Ugh

My desire to take good easy video makes the decision that much harder.
--
Scott Blackburn

OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

Oh jeez, never really thought the 18-55 would be viable on the longer end. Was thinking the long fl of 55 would lead to more lens swaps than is reasonable. But I suppose for inexpensive zooms, smaller focal ranges would lead to sharper images.

Ugh, more options to choose from.

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Scott Blackburn

OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: lens help for a new dslr buyer

Thank you for a diff perspective to consider!

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Scott Blackburn

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