Which lenses are must have for a Canon user having photography as hobby.
Please consider the following:
- Hobby use. All kind of photography: landscape, macro, portrait etc.
- Answer one lens at a time!
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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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Depends on what you like to shoot. If you're into landscape, some sort of (ultra) wide-angle is a must have, but you also must know how to use it to its full effect.
For a hobby photographer, I can highly recommend the 50mm/1.8, because it is ultra-cheap yet gives you some amazing pictures. You can, of course, spend more money and get the 50mm/1.4.
For hobby use, you dont need L series lenses. I suppose you already have a kit lens (18-55mm). A few nice to have lenses within budget are:
There you go, already too much for a hobby photographer :)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM
Probably the most ideal portrait lens Canon has ever made. The focal range is perfect for up close head shots, or at a distance full body portraits. The bokeh produced by this lens is beyond perfect, blurring into that perfectly smooth, creamy softness that many portrait photographers chase. While costly, the cost is well spent, with top of the line optics, sharp from its widest aperture down. Effectively a 138mm lens on APS-C, this lens can fill the role of a head shot portrait lens on cropped sensors.
Best used on a full frame for best effect and thinnest DOF, this lens is pretty much unbeatable for portrait work. (It has a cult following on many photography sites, with several dedicated groups on Flickr.)
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
I have found this zoom lens to be absolutely amazing. Obviously not as fast as a prime, but for general use (hobbyist or otherwise), I believe this lens gives you excellent bang for the buck. For the things that I like to shoot (architecture, cars, people) I find this lens to give me a great range of shots with an unbeatable depth-of-field.
I'm actually surprised that someone else hasn't mentioned this one yet, but this is the second lens that I picked up (the first being the Cannon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM) and found the lens to be quite good for the following reasons:
The setup that works well for me as a non pro enthusiast are the 24-105mm L in combination with 100-400mm L. That way I am covered from 24-400 in beautiful L glass. I just added me a 35mm 1.4 L to speed up my kit since it is a "slow" kit setup. But works great for my needs since I shoot alot of outdoor portraits and nature.
Canon 17-40mm f/4L EF
This is a great lens for the following reasons:
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.
I would suggest, if you are using a non-full-frame sensor (for example the 60D/7D's) thinking about a 35mm f/1.4 as I previously found that a 50mm lens was a bit too much for portraits, especially in tight spaces. If that's a bit pricey, the 28mm f/1.8 is also a great and relatively cheap lens for cropped sensors.
And of course, both of these lenses will still work if your using a full-frame like the 1D/5D.
The Prime lenses that have been mentioned are all good, but for a Zoom lens my favourite is my Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
I got mine because my kit lens broke and it covers the range of the kit lens and has replaced my 70-300 as my zoom lens. Great walkabout lens and it's the only one I really use any more aside from my 50mm f/1.8
If you want to specialize I'd suggest investing in primes that meet your specialization, landscapes = wide angle lenses and portraits = 50mm 85mm or 100mm prime with as wide an aperture as you can afford.
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
This is a superb lens for all kinds of wildlife and bird photography. It has great reach, especially on an APS-C camera (effectively 162-648mm field of view range.) It is clear, sharp (although a tad soft at the extremes), and not too terribly heavy for hand held use. It includes 2-3 stop IS (image stabilization), allowing you to capture quality hand-held shots as low as 1/25-1/30s at 100mm, or as low as 1/100s at 400mm. (If you have very steady hands, 1/15s@100mm or 1/50s@400mm is not impossible.)
Highly recommended if you do any kind of wildlife photography. Also useful for birds that are not in flight. For birds in flight, good hand-held technique will help you capture even those shots...however a 400mm f/2.8 lens is recommended for better birds in flight.
My other suggestion, for a beautiful lens, is the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. This lens is stunning, it's a piece of art in itself and the shots it takes are always, without fail, technically perfect, and problems are always due to the person taking the shots in my experience. It's pricey at around $2500, but it pays for itself if you're a pro. You'd be hard-pressed to find a pro-photographer who doesn't have one in their kit either. I use mine in any number of situations, for portrait shots from a distance. It works great for sports photography. It works excellent in low light conditions as well!
17-50, 18-50, 18-55mm F/2.8 (-4.5)
Assuming a hobbyist have an aps-c body this is the go to lens for carrying around as a tourist, snapping social events, kids or pets indoors, etc.
Depending on the budget you have some options. Canon, Sigma, Tamron. Sigma and Canon are close (Sigma 2.8 is actually better on close focus and narrow aperture than the Canon), while the Sigma is cheaper. Tamron is even cheaper, but significantly inferior in terms of build and AF quality. i know more than one person with the Tamron whose zoom ring says crunch crunch. I don't know anyone with Canon or Sigma lenses that does that.
Second choice is to get fixed 2.8 or 2.8-4.5 (tight budget). The fixed aperture has three advantages: more light when zoomed in, constant metering makes it easier on full manual, and the flash balance when using fill flash (e.g. on Av mode) is constant. However, Sigma's 2.8-4.5 costs $200 while fixed 2.8 costs $600.
I have the $200 version and I'm very happy with it.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM
The 50mm focal length is easy to work with and understand. Its remarkable speed means you can shoot in low-light situations and still get great results. The lens is reasonably lightweight and works anywhere you can zoom with your feet. For social events it shines. You can shoot into the night without having to change lens.
Sometimes I miss IS and macro features, and consider pairing it with the 24-70mm f/4.0 L as that is strong in the areas where the 50mm is weak.
Canon EF 20/2.8, particularly on APS-C
On an APS-C crop body, I have found this to be a great lens for those times when you want something that will work reasonably well all of the time.
It's probably a bit wide for regular use on a FF body, but becomes a moderate wide-angle on a crop body, which means that you will rarely have to move away from your subject in order to frame it but may sometimes need to move closer.
The absence of a zoom control means there's one less thing to worry about.
It's a prime, which partly leads to it having quite good optical properties in a reasonably small package. The maximum aperture is not outstanding, but certainly decent.
If you have a camera which gives decent image resolution (which is just about any DSLR these days), there will be enough image data in the output that you can crop to "zoom in" and still have plenty enough image to make prints at decent sizes.
All in all, on APS-C, the 20/2.8 is my go-to lens for when I want a reasonably small package for all-around use and not have to worry about changing lenses. Whether it is a must have depends on your usage, as with any other lens.
any lens that rate over 9.0, that's my rule... i have most of them !