I just purchased a Canon T4i (body only) and I'm looking for good info on which lens to purchase for it. I purchased the camera to take pictures of my newborn & for my dogs inside and outside of the house. I'm mainly going to want to take portrait pictures but would like a lens that offers flexibility in case I need to zoom in some - like a 18-135 or 18-200 range. Image quality is important to me as well. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

My budget is $200-500.

  • Sorry about that. Only want to buy one lens. Price range between $200-$500 – Jason Feb 25 '13 at 16:41
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    I agree with @dpollitt that this is a duplicate, but the answers to the other question is quite outdated (heaps of new lenses in the recommended segment the last two years). – Håkon K. Olafsen Feb 25 '13 at 16:52
  • @HåkonK.Olafsen - I would recommend either adding a new answer yourself with the updates you feel are needed, or offering a bounty on the question to attract new answers. Important to note that typically leaving newer questions open because other questions are now outdated is typically not recommended. We can always revise old questions! I'm curious what new lenses you would recommend in that range as I'm not familiar with them. I believe it is a gap in Canon's current lineup(a <$500 wide aperture 28 or 35mm lens). – dpollitt Feb 25 '13 at 16:58
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    Image quality and that range and your budget are incompatible. You can get one good IQ lens and another cheap one to cover your range, but this is an overly constrained problem. I use my 17-55 F2.8 on my grandkid, but that is a $1200 lens itself. – Pat Farrell Feb 25 '13 at 17:25

A general purpose zoom lens like you noted in the 18-135mm or 18-200mm range is going to be just that, general purpose. If you want better image quality as you suggested, I would follow the advice given in the existing answer here:

What is the best Canon lens (around $500) for taking pictures of my newborn?

The advice recommends prime lenses that will excel in low light portrait photography, which is very common for newborn photography.

You may still want a general purpose zoom lens in the 18-135mm, 18-55mm, or 18-200mm range - but they certainly won't excel at capturing newborn's due to the relative narrow maximum aperture available on these lenses.

You may also want to consider the addition of a dedicated external flash unit. When the baby starts to move around, this is very handy and can be very cost effective to get good indoor shots of moving toddlers.


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I strongly recommend the 40mm F2.8 STM, its only $150. I got one for my daughter when she had her baby and she loves it. She also had the standard 18-55 kit lens and a 50mm F1.4.

The 40 mm is shorter and that is handy indoors, on a crop body, the 50mm can be long. It focuses quickly and at 2.8, its fast enough for available light.

I would stay away from the superzooms, (18-200, etc.) as they tend to be convenient, but not all that high in IQ. Get a quality short lens, and you can go cheap on the long lens, say the 70-250 which sells for about $150.

Of course, after you have used the inexpensive long lens, you may decide that you like that length, and get a better lens when you know you need it.

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