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Beginner Lens Advice

Natalie Mills

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum and the world of photography!

I am looking for some advice on buying the most appropriate lens (I am very much a beginner!)

I have been asked to photograph a family naming ceremony in September (I have a few months to get some more experience!) and I am wondering if anyone has any lens suggestions for this type of event?

I have recently purchased my first dslr camera, a Canon Eos 30d, I understand its quite an old model but I have read the lens is more important than the camera body! I have managed to get some decent images (well.. I like them..) so far but hoping to purchase another lens to practice with before the event in September.

Any advice would be much appreciated! Looking for a lens under £500 (that I can hopefully get pre-loved!)

Thanks

Natalie

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DonS

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Welcome to the forum. What lens did you use for these? Yes, the lens can be more important but the 30D is an 11 year old camera so you may run into limitations there. I do not do this sort of thing myself, but I am going to assume it is inside and you may not be able to use flash (especially with a baby, you may disturb the baby). You will want something that allows a lot of light in with a wide aperture, ideally f2.8 but you may have a hard time finding that, even used, in your price range.

Others will have more advice on this and probably better experience on used prices.
 

Natalie Mills

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Welcome to the forum. What lens did you use for these? Yes, the lens can be more important but the 30D is an 11 year old camera so you may run into limitations there. I do not do this sort of thing myself, but I am going to assume it is inside and you may not be able to use flash (especially with a baby, you may disturb the baby). You will want something that allows a lot of light in with a wide aperture, ideally f2.8 but you may have a hard time finding that, even used, in your price range.

Others will have more advice on this and probably better experience on used prices.
Hi Don,

Thanks for replying, very much appreciated! I used the lens that came with the camera, its EF-S 18-55mm lens.

I have seen other recommendations for that lens online but it is slighty over budget, I would like to try find a cheaper alternative because of the level I am at.. however if I cant I may need to treat myself!

The event will be indoors however the venue for the babies sibling (Im hoping will be the same venue) had loads of natural light (nearly two full walls of windows - its a golf club that looks out onto the course). I was actually thinking the amount of light may be an issue... if that's possible! (Again, I am new to this... but love it already!).

Thanks

Natalie
 

RyanB

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Have a look at the Sigma 17-50 2.8 EX DC OS HSM which can be had new for around £300 or used for much cheaper. I have had some good results in low light with it although as Don says the 300D body is not gonna be great with low light due to its relatively low ISO range so expect to deal with noise. You could probably pick up the 17-50 2.8 and a newerish body second hand and still be within your budget.
 

Natalie Mills

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Hi, thank you for the reply and advice! I see this lens is available on mpb for £214 so I may buy that! I was considering upgrading the camera, I seen a number of Nikon cameras D3100, D3200 going on ebay for under £200, would these be a better body and would they be compatible with this lens? Thanks, Natalie
 

RyanB

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Hi, thank you for the reply and advice! I see this lens is available on mpb for £214 so I may buy that! I was considering upgrading the camera, I seen a number of Nikon cameras D3100, D3200 going on ebay for under £200, would these be a better body and would they be compatible with this lens? Thanks, Natalie
You can get the Nikon fit of that lens, although I have no experience of Nikon many around here swear by them.

If you stayed with Canon I would say for your price range a 600D(Rebel T3i) or a 60D second hand would give better low light performance than what you are currently using but noise will still be an issue on most if not all cameras at high ISOs so figuring out the sweet spot will require trial and error for any lens/ body combo.

At the end of the day I would say get a faster lens and see how it works with the 300d you currently own, if you are happy with the results job done if not look at a higher end body. If your event isn't till September you have time to get it right as you say.
 

RyanB

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Just to be clear though Nikon fit lenses will not fit Canon bodies and vice versa.
 

Natalie Mills

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Just to be clear though Nikon fit lenses will not fit Canon bodies and vice versa.
Thanks, the camera I have is Canon 30d, not 300d, will that lens still be ok?
 

RyanB

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Sorry, could have sworn I read 300d but its just me going a bit dotty. Yes the canon fit of that lens will fit the 30d as well. Any EF lens will fit although some are made for cropped sensors and others for full frame sensors so magnifications and FOV will be affected on a cropped sensor body if using a full frame lens. Example being a 100mm full frame lens will give the same FOV as a 140mm cropped lens on a cropped body.
 

Banjo Ryan

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Have a look at the Sigma 17-50 2.8 EX DC OS HSM which can be had new for around £300 or used for much cheaper. I have had some good results in low light with it although as Don says the 300D body is not gonna be great with low light due to its relatively low ISO range so expect to deal with noise. You could probably pick up the 17-50 2.8 and a newerish body second hand and still be within your budget.
I use this lens on my 50d. I did quite a bit of research at the time and I'd certainly reccomend it. It's a good step up from a kit lens.
 

RyanB

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I use this lens on my 50d. I did quite a bit of research at the time and I'd certainly reccomend it. It's a good step up from a kit lens.
Ditto, nearly took me a month of research to finally settle on this lens and glad I did.
 

Natalie Mills

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Sorry, could have sworn I read 300d but its just me going a bit dotty. Yes the canon fit of that lens will fit the 30d as well. Any EF lens will fit although some are made for cropped sensors and others for full frame sensors so magnifications and FOV will be affected on a cropped sensor body if using a full frame lens. Example being a 100mm full frame lens will give the same FOV as a 140mm cropped lens on a cropped body.
Haha, no problem! Thanks again for the advice!
 

Natalie Mills

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I use this lens on my 50d. I did quite a bit of research at the time and I'd certainly reccomend it. It's a good step up from a kit lens.
Thats great, thank you!
 

Petrochemist

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Welcome to the forum. What lens did you use for these? Yes, the lens can be more important but the 30D is an 11 year old camera so you may run into limitations there. I do not do this sort of thing myself, but I am going to assume it is inside and you may not be able to use flash (especially with a baby, you may disturb the baby). You will want something that allows a lot of light in with a wide aperture, ideally f2.8 but you may have a hard time finding that, even used, in your price range.

Others will have more advice on this and probably better experience on used prices.
Newer cameras are easier to use in low light situations, but the old ones can still give great results, especially where getting enough light is not a problem.

If your on a tight budget forget f2.8 zooms they're going to be expensive. Primes (fixed focal length lenses) are the only affordable way to get faster lenses.
One strong contender would be a 'nifty fifty' in other words a 50mm f1.8 prime (or similar) in EF mount.This will give you the best affordable light gathering power and is a good focal length for portraits on APSC bodies. It's also one of the most affordable lenses as there are so many of them around.

I'm told flash does not disturb babies (or wildlife) due to it's very brief timing but it may not be allowed (or wanted) so check first!
If flash is permitted, (an external flash unit would be a great advantage - especially if it can bounce off the ceiling) then a longer focal length zoom would probably be useful, to allow you to get close in pictures without physically being in the way. There are a huge range of options in EF mount, I'd recommend you pick one that covers at least the 70-200mm focal lengths.

IMO the kit zoom you have whilst nothing special quality wise will be adequate for the wider views provided there's enough light...
 

Natalie Mills

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Newer cameras are easier to use in low light situations, but the old ones can still give great results, especially where getting enough light is not a problem.

If your on a tight budget forget f2.8 zooms they're going to be expensive. Primes (fixed focal length lenses) are the only affordable way to get faster lenses.
One strong contender would be a 'nifty fifty' in other words a 50mm f1.8 prime (or similar) in EF mount.This will give you the best affordable light gathering power and is a good focal length for portraits on APSC bodies. It's also one of the most affordable lenses as there are so many of them around.

I'm told flash does not disturb babies (or wildlife) due to it's very brief timing but it may not be allowed (or wanted) so check first!
If flash is permitted, (an external flash unit would be a great advantage - especially if it can bounce off the ceiling) then a longer focal length zoom would probably be useful, to allow you to get close in pictures without physically being in the way. There are a huge range of options in EF mount, I'd recommend you pick one that covers at least the 70-200mm focal lengths.

IMO the kit zoom you have whilst nothing special quality wise will be adequate for the wider views provided there's enough light...
Hi, thank you so much for the advice. Very much appreciated! I will have a look at the lens you mentioned!
 
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