Which are must have lenses for Canon?

  • Which lenses are must have for a Canon user having photography as hobby.

    Please consider the following:

    • Praiseworthy
    • Hobby use. All kind of photography: landscape, macro, portrait etc.
    • Answer one lens at a time!

    Yeah not *really* sure what you're asking... Are you talking about what you should achieve as a hobbyist or what lenses you should get as a hobbyist? Because hobby just means shooting for yourself. It has no relation to where and when and what.

    This feels rather subjective, and at best needs to be a wiki thread. If you are actually looking for something very specific, I would remove the "Answer one lens at a time". If you are just looking for some general information, I'll need to convert this to community wiki.

    Objective first, lens second.

    I think the fact that there are _eighteen_ answers to this question demonstrates that there's _not_ really "must have" answers for all users!

  • 50mm f1.8

    Or faster if you're rich!
    OK - so it's not literally a "must have", but I don't know anyone who has one and doesn't rave about it.
    In terms of bang for your buck, you can't beat it.
    I love mine, and it is always attached to one of my bodies.

    I use this for everything, but especially for portraits with a blurred background.

    This lens, my cheapest, is also my favorite

    +1, although I would recommend the f/1.4 first, and suggest the f/1.8 if and only if you don't have the money for the wider lens.

    +1 - This lens is just about the only lens that you can recommend to a beginner without asking "what are you going to use it for" first, and anyone who knows why they'd rather have the 50mm 1.4, or 85mm 1.2, or whatever, won't be asking this question, anyway. ;-)

    It should be noted though that this is less-than-useful for general photography on a crop camera, since the 35mm focal length equivalent makes it more of a short tele than a normal lens. Still a great lens for its price though.

    @You, quite right that the focal length changes, but since it changes to around 75mm-80mm, it becomes a classic portrait focal length. :-) I will stop before I'm all gushing!

    @AJ: Agreed, excellent portrait lens, but it doesn't serve the same "nifty-fifty" purpose on crop. People keep forgetting this :)

    I vote for Nifty Fifty as well, I have this lens and I love this lens! It won't allow you to take macro shots and for landscapes you need something wider, but for the rest it's a real treasure! You can shoot portraits, street photography, close ups. It's sharp and light, great for shots hand held and can be used with only natural/ambient light if you don't own a flash. Read my review and see the kind of photos you can take with it - http://dinablaszczak.hubpages.com/_1hcbziezp1u14/hub/Canon50mm18RevieworFactsaboutNiftyFifty

  • None of them are must have. You can always swap every lens for something a bit different that will do the job as well.

    I'll update the question.

  • For sports and general use a 70-200L f2.8 USM is a standard lens. Add a teleconverter, such as the 1.4x, and it'll still be sharp.

    I don't particularly like the IS version unless you need it for slow-shutter non-moving targets, because IS adds weight and cost and complexity.

    They're pro-glass, but well worth the money.

    This seems to be the go-to lens for wedding and portrait photogs. The IS version especially for indoor / low light shooting.

    Yes, for candids in a crowd situation they are awesome. Some of my favorite individual candids were shot with mine.

    The f/4 L non-IS is no slouch either. And a whole lot cheaper and lighter besides.

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

    This lens is capable of crisp and sharp images, with low light also.
    Its quality is better than 50mm 1.8 and you can have it for a really low price.

    I took many photos with this lovely lens, before thieves stole it. Yeah, it's definitely a must have.

    (just my final personal thought on the subject: it's the photographer that makes the photo, not the lens)

    You can get the EF 50mm f/1.8 for $80-$100 -- is the f/1.4 really worth 3-4x that?

    I've had both, and voted with my feet: No, the 1.4 isn't worth it. Neither build nor optical quality is better than medium, wide open it is rather soft and the autofocus motor is notoriously vulnerable to impacts on the front tube of the lens and is easy to break. I sold mine and got a 1.8 instead. I'd take a long hard look at the Sigma 50/1.4 if you need something beefier than the 1.8 instead.

    Staale, I would cite a review that says exactly the opposite: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/reviews/canon-ef-50mm-f-1.4-usm-lens-review.aspx In this review, f1.8 is presented as the poorest one of the family (f1.8,f1.4,f1.2L) for build quality, MF ring ("barely usable"), distance window (absent) and background blur (or "bokeh") quality.

    And another comparison where the f1.4 wins: http://photo.net/equipment/canon/ef50/

    Reviews, schmeviews :) All I can say is that I was massively underwhelmed by it. I'm not saying that the 50/1.8 is _better_, you understand, but that the 50/1.4 is nowhere near enough on an improvement upon it to justify the price. Besides, there are better fifties out there these days, the Canon 1.4 is a very old design optically.

  • EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 USM

    This is the lens I use for 90% of the shots with my 40D. Despite its designation this is equal to an 'L' lens in terms of image quality.

    Useful zoom range, wide aperture, image stabilization. Much better than the kit lens, this is definitely in the 'you get what you pay for' category.

    Also, because it's fixed aperture, there is one less thing to think about when shooting.

    The main downside vs the kit lens is size and weight. This is a big, heavy lens but not any worse than other L grade zooms; depends on what you are used to. 77mm filter size too, so you know when it's pointed at you. It is not a discreet lens.

    I've been drooling over this one for a few months. I've read one reviewer (Ken Rockwell) who doesn't think it's any better than the kit 18-55 mm, but absolutely everyone else seems to swear by it. Some day, I will probably get this one used from lensrentals.com -- and even still, it will be $800. But it's worth it?

    @khedron There is no question this lens is better than the kit lens. If you want good shots at f/2.8 - f/5 or so or if you find yourself often making severe crops of your photos, it's worth the cost. If you want something light to carry around for one-off pictures or photos in good light and won't be looking hard at details or depth of field, the kit lens is great because it sharpens up when stopped down.

  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    This lens fills the essential ultra wide angle focal range for APS-C cameras (not compatible with full frame cameras.) Effectively 16-35mm due to the crop factor, this lens can help you capture those expansive landscape scenes with great breadth and depth to them. The aperture is non-fixed and rather narrow for a maximum aperture, however with landscape photography, this will usually not be a problem.

    Not recommended unless you only use APS-C cameras, and never intend to use a full frame camera. Useful focal range, but limited range of use due to aperture.

  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro

    For macro photography, the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens provides the optimal blend of value and functionality. An ideal mid-range focal length for macro work, it offers a very useful moderate working distance from subject such that you are not too close that you scare off your subjects (like insects), and not too far that you can't frame properly. Its size is perfect for hand-held work. It has a very nice, well-damped, and VERY LARGE focus ring that makes manual focusing a breeze. Focus throw is a little short for some, however it is not too short that it is not useful. The bokeh from this lens is fantastic, and will really enhance your macro subjects.

    Useful on both APS-C and Full Frame cameras, this lens is hard to beat at $400 or so. It is effectively a 160mm lens on cropped sensors, which is similar to the Canon EF 180mm L Macro lens for full frame cameras.

    How does this lens compare to the Sigma 105mm macro lens?

    Faster focusing and constant length. More pleasant to use as a general-purpose lens as a result; for macro neither feature is particularly important. The USM focus motor allows full-time manual focusing, this may or may not be imporant to you in macro applications (but to be useful this needs you to decouple AF from the shutter button).

  • 24-105 f4 L

    This is my second favourite lens.
    It almost always lives on one of my bodies. It has a lovely range, and is beautifully clear and sharp.
    It's a good all-rounder. A truly excellent walk-around lens. I also use it for portraits.

    It is a bit on the pricy side (GBP 900 ish), but that's photography - the expensive glass is usually the good glass!

  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

    This is an excellent wide-angle landscape lens. It fills two essential focal ranges, depending on the size of sensor you use. For APS-C cameras, it fills the critical 24-70mm range, as it is effectively 26-57mm on a cropped sensor. For Full Frame cameras, it fills the true ultrawide to wide angle range for those expansive landscape shots. Quality of this lens is superb, with very sharp pictures throughout the focal range. It gets a tiny tad soft at the 35mm end, but for landscapes, the loss of detail is rarely noticeable.

    Highly recommended for either APS-C or Full Frame users. The 24mm focal length is a key focal length for landscape photography, and this lens serves that position well at the 16mm end. The 16mm wide angle focal length really brings in breadth and depth on full frame.

  • Canon 17-40mm f/4L EF

    This is a great lens for the following reasons:

    1. Light, you don't really feel the weight of it.
    2. Sharp
    3. Minimal distortion (yeah ok you do need to correct at 17 but it's quite fixable)
    4. Relatively cheap for its class (remember it's an 'L')
    5. Useful focal length, on a crop it's a bit closer to 26-65?
    6. Rather nice auto focus.

    I own one and would recommend it to anyone as an all in one for landscapes, street photography etc. Bang for buck if you don't intend on getting too much equipment or have no interest in primes or the 16-35 f/2.8 is not within budget.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM