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What to add to the Rebel t3 kit lens?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by apicius9, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Hi, i am clueless reg. the Canon systems. Now my 14 year old niece bought herself a Rebel t3 with the kit lens, I think 18-55/5.6 (?). She and her friends have a lot of fun and surprising talent and creativity taking pictures of each other. I was thinking about giving her another lens, but I will get in trouble with her parents if I spend too much. My first thought was that the simple 50/1.8 should be a nice and easy lens for people shots. Any other thoughts? Alternatives under $200 that make sense for a photography beginner?

    Thanks for any input before Christmas ;)

    Stefan
     
  2. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Nifty fifty is a great value. I've enjoyed shooting with it, it's also the smallest and lightest Canon lens, I believe. I've tested it on T1i and I suggest using f2.8 (very sharp) for portraits (f2.2 in low light is ok but never wide open). In my experience nifty fifty coupled with rebel produced considerably better portraits compared to Pen + Oly 45 in both indoors and outdoors. Clean images, great skin tonality and gradations (m43 has sonewhat limited tonal range which gets much worse in the dark). Need to watch background though cause the bokeh can be busy.
     
  3. dfigueroa84

    dfigueroa84 Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Nov 10, 2011
    Oakland, CA
    I think a Canon 50mm 1.8 is more than adequate here as it would give her distinct options when shooting. Should she use a portrait lens or go for the zoom. Having the 50mm be so distinct in fov and dof capabilities, she may still turn to the zoom from time to time. And not let it go neglected. Good luck!!!
     
  4. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    The speed of the 50mm really lends itself to learning about photography. When I passed down my digital Rebel and 50mm lens to my daughter, she became infatuated with the short DOF achievable with that lens, and taught her the effect of aperture control. It's good value for the money.

    An alternative "fun" lens would be the EF-S 55-250 telezoom. It's the "matching" lens to the 18-55, with similar build and image quality, and has a 4 stop image stabilizer to really reduce camera shake. I think the ability to zoom in on distant objects will keep any young person entertained. A second nice feature of this lens is it's ability to close focus. It's not quite macro, but it can capture images that nicely fill the frame with small subject matters such as a flower. Internet retail price is just under $200.
     
  5. For $200 you might be able to get a second-hand EF 35/2 which for a Rebel body is much closer to a standard lens than the lens that Canon continue to push as a standard lens (EF 50/1.8 II). The 50mm will give her a lens that is most different to the kit lens but by itself is not particularly flexible. The 35mm is the better all-rounder but maybe not different enough to swap between it and the kit lens. THE 55-250mm mentioned above is also a very good suggestion for a lens that will work very well alongside the 18-55mm. Still looking at second-hand prices you may be able to purchase a 50mm macro for around $200. The EF 50/2.5 is one option but I would personally choose the Sigma 50/2.8 instead.
     
  6. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I think I would prefer to give here a prime, just to open that door for her and show her that there is more than zoom lenses. So, I guess it will be between the 50 and the 35mm. Personally, I am leaning toward longer lengths for portraits and people shots, so the 50 still seems more appealing right now. It also doesn't hurt that it's only around $100, I can always get her more once I see that she has fun using it. But I will also check what is out there in 35mm.

    Thanks again,

    Stefan
     
  7. robertmwilliams

    robertmwilliams Mu-43 Regular

    2 of my favorite lenses for the Canon system are the 50mm f/1.8 and the 28-135mm.
    I have taken tons of photos using those 2 lenses on everything from a T3i to a 1D Mark II and loved them.
    For the price of a used one around $150 US the 28-135mm is a great deal as an all around lens.
     
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Can't go wrong with the 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2, or 50/1.8. All are great values.

    I would start with the 50/1.8 for all the reasons mentioned above.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Without going used, the 50mm f/1.8 is the only worthwhile lens I know of (keep in mind that I'm not a real Canon shooter) for under $200 retail (of course there's other good lenses you could buy used for that). If you can splurge a bit more though, the 50mm f/1.4 is a better lens - I just saw an open-box one selling for $350 or so. I'm impressed though, that you so easily managed to pick out the one under $200 retail lens that would be a real upgrade to the kit lens. Your niece will love the lens, and it will expand her capabilities. It'll help her to learn the basics of photography easier, having the capabilities to do what she needs (ie, wide aperture control) with a little more effort (ie, walk to zoom).
     
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Definitely the 50/1.8 if you want to go prime (which I agree with). I also like the 55-250IS zoom for maybe the next purchase.

    Beyond that, I would almost never buy used for a gift, unless you are certain your niece would be cool with that.
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That's what I was thinking too. ;) If I were on a budget I would buy something nicer used, but for a gift I would buy the best new I could afford (or in this case, without being too spendy).
     
  12. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I feel the same way about used vs. new products. My niece is in Germany, and I just checked Amazon Germany - buying the 50/1.8 there costs about the same as buying it here and adding the shipping, so to avoid customs and warranty hassles, I will order it there and have it delivered.

    My friends and I have an agreement not to go too crazy with kids' presents, so that is already stretching it but it seems like a great value as many of you confirmed, so thanks again for your comments. Now to find something for my nephew who's interests seems to narrow down to spending every available minute on the PC... Not that I can really blame him, considering how much time I hang around in forums ;)

    Stefan
     
  13. I just think that it is a shame that Canon (and other DSLR manufacturers) continue to design (or not design as the case may be) and price their consumer grade prime lenses around focal lengths appropriate for a full-frame sensor rather than an APS-C sensor. Didn't the average SLR consumer stop using full-frame (i.e. film) about five years ago, if not longer? So my "standard" lenses (35/2 or 28/1.8) costs about two to four times as much as my "portrait" lens (50/1.8). A bit odd when a 5D is hardly a consumer grade camera.
     
  14. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Canon 50mm f1.4 is very soft wide open (I would not use it at f1.4 for any purpose) yet it's far heavier and costs a lot more. It does have better bokeh but it's poor value, overall, IMO. You'd be much better off getting 85mm f1.8 which is sharp wide open and better bokeh yet the weight and cost is similar.
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Good insight, Art! :thumbup:
     
  16. ronbot

    ronbot Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Apr 27, 2010
    Canon seems to be behind indeed. Sony and nikon at least have 35/1.8 for apsc at half the price price of canon's slower 35/2.

    Anyway, if the system was nikon/sony, i would've suggested 35/1.8, but since it's a canon, i agree with 50/1.8. In fact, I use the 50/1.8 with a t2i and always recommend the lens to friends who are just starting out w/ a canon dslr kit.
     
  17. eno789

    eno789 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jul 5, 2010
    Bay Area, California
    Brian
    A somewhat different suggestion

    Get a m42-Canon adapter, and a used Pentax SMC Takumar (either 55mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4). That would open a different world.