I am new to all this and this website, I have just bought a Canon EOS 4000D plus five lenses, plus a load of filtery bits and cards, plus hoods and a Vanguard stand.

  • Samyang 8mm Fish-eye
  • Canon 18-55mm
  • Canon 55-250mm Telephoto
  • Canon 10-18mm Wide angled
  • Tamron 90mm Macro

Did I buy the right group of lenses to cover most situations?
Could I extended to a 400mm or such zoom? Are extenders worth it?
Would I need anything else? I am so far concentrating on Butterflies and Landscapes. Painted Lady photo here.

  • 1
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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What is the f/ stop range for each lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Aug 21, 2019 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ How did you decide on these particular lenses? It seems like some thought went into their selection because the overlap is minimal. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Aug 21, 2019 at 23:47

3 Answers 3


You bought a lot ... and it depends what you need.

For butterflies you need mostly a fast (zoom) lens, for landscape you can use most normal lenses. First try without extensions, and if you buy them and you want to get more serious, buy extensions which forward the camera (focus) commands to the attached lens, otherwise it's quite a poor man's solution. Even then, I wonder if they are useful for butterflies, since they tend to fly away and you have to get very close normally with extensions.

First try them all out, that should keep you busy for some time, afterwards you get a better feeling what you need more (or what lens should be replaced).


Congratulations for having bought a more-than-complete set of equipment to get started. Your most common lenses would be:

  • Canon 18-55mm
  • Canon 55-250mm Telephoto

They already cover most use cases.

For landscapes you should use the Canon 18-55mm and the ultra wide, Canon 10-18mm. For macros (insects, flowers, etc.), the Tamron 90mm is a good choice.

In my opinion, you have already more than enough equipment for a year or two. A lens with a focal length over 250mm would be used to shot the moon or birding. My advice would be: use and learn first before you buy more stuff. (An external flash might be helpful.)

If you're not sure which lens you should use for a specific shot, you could search platforms like flickr for your lens type and compare the results.

  • 8 mm
    I have a hard time seeing a 8 mm being used to take photos of (living) butterflies.
    8 mm is usually known as a fisheye lens and the use cases are generally limited.
    I would even go as far as saying it's a gimmik focal lenght. Very rarely do I see images at 8 mm that is appealing.

  • 18-55
    It's the kit lens. It's a good start. You get good images at a cheap price.
    But the aperture is hindering this lens.

  • 55-250
    A good zoom range but with a poor aperture.
    You will get good images as long as it's sunny, in low light it will probably be hard to use the lens.

  • 10-18
    It's a f4.5-5.6. Again, outside in daylight will be fine but indoors or at evening/night it will be hard.

  • 90mm
    It's a 2.8! Here we go!
    With a canon crop camera you get about 150 mm, that is probably a good lens to take photos of butterflies.
    You can be at a distance and set the aperture to 2.8 and you will get nice smooth background (if the composition is correct).
    This can also be used for portraits, you will have to stand at a distance but you can get a nice separation from the background with this lens.

What to look for in the future?
The aperture value. You have lenses for everyday use, but you need something faster.
The lower the value the better.
You can use a flash and still get good images, but the one on the camera generally give verya harsh shadows and make things look flat.
An external flash make the light softer and nicer. You can still use the built in flash, but you need to deflect the flash from going straight on the subject.
Either deflect it upwards to a roof, or hold a napkin infront of the flash.
This will defuse the flash and even a portrait will look good. Just remember to close your eyes when you take the image because a lot of light will bounce back at you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Although a lot of folks do it, using a mild telephoto Macro lens for portrait work is not as optimal as many think. Macro lenses are optimized to perform best at short focus distances and typically have a lot of flat field correction. This makes them score fairly well shooting flat test charts at relatively close distances. Flat field correction also tends to make the out of focus highlights rougher or less smooth, a quality not particularly welcome in portrait work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 23, 2019 at 7:03

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