Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Selecting a lens for a APS-C format Canon body

I've been reading a lot of reviews and forum posts and these are the list of recomended lenses for APS-C format cameras (40D, 50D, 400D, 450D, 1000D, etc...):
  1. Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for ~$400 [eqv. 27-80mm]
  2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM for ~$325 [eqv. 80mm]
  3. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for ~$85 [eqv. 80mm]
  4. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM for ~$400 [eqv. 96mm]
  5. Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II USM for ~$170 [eqv. 29-88mm]
  6. Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for ~$465 [eqv. 27-136mm]
  7. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM for ~$1000 [eqv. 27-88mm]
  8. Canon EF-S 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 ~$590 [eqv. 29-320mm]
  9. Canon EF-S 50-250mm f/4-5.6 IS ~$250 [eqv. 80-400mm]
  10. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III ~$160 [eqv. 120-480mm]
  11. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ~$550 [eqv. 112-480mm]
  12. Canon EF 70-200 f/4L USM ~$600 [eqv. 112-320mm]
About the focal length ranges:
  • 27mm or 28mm eqv. is a nice to have wide range, sometimes you can't do without it for large group photos or landscapes with wide angle of view.
  • 80mm eqv. is very suitable for portraits specially head only ones.
  • 320mm eqv. only provided by the new introduced Canon lens, is a 10x zoom in that can be used in sports photography.
About maximum aperture:
  • Constant maximum aperture is a very nice to have feature that can only be found here on the compact package lens the Tamron and the luxury package lens the Canon 17-55. Of course primes (i.e. not zoom lenses with fixed focal length like the Canon 50mm here) have constant maximum aperture openning.
  • f/2.8 (or even better the f/1.4) is a minimum aperture that you cannot do without for portraits, in order to 3Dize the person of your interest (i.e. make the backgroud blur or not in focus). Otherwize f/3.5 or more will result in deep DOF (depth-of-field) that you will find your person head and the background both in focus which is an effect not welcomed in portraits.
  • The wider the aperture also, the better results of photographing in these two fields; the low light conditions, and freezing the actions in like sports photography.
Lenses Optics:
  • As the prices may already suggest, the 17-55 Canon is the most sharp and good quality lens, but this means that it is also the most big and heavy one.
  • Primes though (the Canon 50mm here) compromises the zoom for the quality, size, and price. So the Canon 50mm (people used to call it the nifty fifty) while not very high priced, is of good sharpness and quality and provides a very needed minimum aperture of f/1.4. The lower price version of the nifty fifty is known to be of good optics too, never overlook this low price length.
  • The Tamron also is said to be of good quality though it is of compact price, size, and weight. And hence, it is one of the most recomended lens for the APS-C format cameras as a one lens for all uses specially for beginners. Although other teams goes for starting with the nifty fifty. Very few people recomended the kit lenses for beginning (like the Canon 18-55 here).

No comments: