Friday, December 4, 2009

Lens for EOS 500D

Based on an extensive and protracted research, I purchased Canon EOS 500D a couple of months ago. Now the quest has shifted to which lens solution will best suit my needs.

There are hundreds of web pages dedicated to the subject and some are incredibly detailed explanations and in some cases opinions and judgment of very experienced pros!

I found the following sites useful:

After all my research laced with my subjective judgment, I have decided that:

1.      Lens will be considered important investments and compromise lens will not be purchased.

2.      Will analyse my photography to identify the lens solution that best suits my style.

Considering lens as investment is important as DSLR Lens are not exactly cheap products and more than that I learnt that more than the camera, it is the lens that determines the quality of an image. Of course the creativity and the “eye” of the photographer is always a determining factor but as far as equipment is concerned, the lens will make or break quality.

An analysis of hundreds of pics clicked over the past decade with point and shoot cameras revealed that, I like taking the following kinds of pictures:

1.      Landscapes. 90% of all photos clicked by me have been and probably will remain landscapes.

2.      Portraits. I am expecting my portrait work to increase as after buying the 500D, portrait work has been on the increase. It may also be because after buying the 500D, I have not been able to afford a trip anywhere!!

3.      Some Macro. I guess the moment one lays hands on a DSLR, you suddenly feel the irresistible urge to close in on flowers and insects!!


So based on the above analysis, I decided I would need the following:

1.      A good general purpose walk around lens that would remain on the 500D till a specialized need arises.

2.      A good prime for Portraits.

3.      A wide angle

4.      A telephoto

5.      A macro


Now this solution did not factor in the budget. So for people like me who are perpetually cash starved the following two and three lens solutions can work too.

1.      AN ECONOMY CLASS TWO LENS SOLUTION: A general walk around with some wide angle and mow end telephoto capabilities, like the  Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS or EF-S 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 IS and a probably the most value for money lens on the market the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II.

2.      AN ECONOMY CLASS THREE LENS SOLUTION: A good walk around like the EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 USM IS with a EF 50mm f/1.8 for macro work and the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM for the telephoto work.


If you do not want to mess around with lens changes and would prefer a single lens solution, my recommendations would be:

1.      Economy Class Single Lens Solution: Go for the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. Avoid the temptation of going in for longer zoom ranges like the 18-200. My research indicates that longer zoom ranges coupled with economy produces rather unacceptable aberrations and issues. Moreover, the non L class build with such long ranges will start giving problems after some wear and tear takes place. Moreover the 17-85 is optically superior to the 18-200.

2.      Best Single Lens Solution: For Canon, unquestionably the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. The lens is considered to be the most widely used always stay on lens by professionals.



As mentioned earlier, I had decided that all things considered, I will need a five lens solution and the following are my choices.

1.   EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

This would be the all purpose, stay on lens that would remain on my camera.

2.   Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM


For all telephoto and maybe some portrait work.

3.   Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens


For all the insects, flowers and any other macro work, I may fancy!

4.   Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM

This lens has been called by many as the best lens for portrait work by Canon!

5.   Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM


Even though not an L category lens, it is still supposed to be great for landscapes. I am assuming that most of landscape needs will be taken care of by the 24-70 but just in case I need a really wide perspective, this will come in handy.



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