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Canon Starter Level Lenses

I have a huge interest in photography, and my dad plans on buying me a Canon 550D. Which lens is suitable for wildlife, portrait, macro and landscape photography, but is available cheaply.

  • How much is your total budget? – Omne Sep 21 '12 at 9:54

For beginners, I always advice to pick the kit lens (18-55mm/18-135mm). This will help you learn the limitations and make your next lens purchase decision easier. There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to lens and sooner or later, if you're serious enough, you'll end up getting several lenses, each for a specific use. Those who are nosy about getting a kit lens with their first DSLR, I suggest a 50mm f/1.8 instead, for the same reason I suggest a kit lens. For your convenience, I'll tell you what type of lenses are used for what.

For wildlife, you'll need a telephoto lens, preferably 300mm+ and at-least f/4.0 or bigger. For portrait, 50mm/85mm prime lenses are most popular, they have big fixed aperture i.e f/1.8 or bigger. Macro lenses are special lenses which typically have the ability to focus very close. Macro lenses are within 60mm to 180mm range, preferably f/2.8 and bigger. Landscapes need wide angle lenses, typically between 10mm to 18mm.

If you go through the specs of the kit lenses carefully, you'll see that they are designed to be as versatile as possible. You can do landscapes, portraits, flower-sized macro and (if you're lucky) some wild life as well.

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Define "cheaper rate", what's your budget? That really matters. Special lens for wildlife are expensive. The same for macro, landscapes and portrait. Looking at your question, you want lens for almost all basic types of photography. We can't tell anything, without knowing your budget.

For example, a single 18-200 would do anything, but not as good as separate lens for each type of photography.

You just can't compare this lens with 50/1.4 or 85/1.4 for portraits, which are expensive.
The same with 300+ lems for wildlife, with f/4 or brighter (faster).
Macro - 105/2.8 - very good lens, but more expensive than the 550D.
Landscapes - fisheye? No? Vario? And you can't compare 18-200 on the 18mm end, with a 8mm fisheye or something wider. Basically, landscape lens are between 8-16mm.

For e beginner, I'd advise you to start with kit lens. For example, just with 18-55. Or, if you can afford it: 18-55 + 75-300 or 55-250. Or the Canon's 18-200.

If you keep shooting, you will, by yourself, understand the limitations of these lens. Then you'll know what lens you need, what's your favorite: portraits, landscapes, wildlife, etc.

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