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I have a Canon Rebel T3i. It came with an EF 75-300 and EF-S 18-55. I like to take pictures of wilderness, especially at a distance, and some photos at night of stars and building clouds. What lens would complement those that I already have? I received a 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM for Christmas. I'm trying to decide whether to keep that. What would it be best to use for? Or should I return it for something totally different?

marked as duplicate by Philip Kendall, chuqui, Hugo, mattdm, TFuto Dec 28 '14 at 19:14

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  • This is about to be closed as a duplicate, and also, very broad equipment recommendation questions are off topic. However, there is an interesting specific question in here — how to best use the lens you just got for Christmas. I suggest removing the line about "What lens would best complement...." and focusing on that last part... – mattdm Dec 28 '14 at 16:43

Nighttime shots call for a wide aperture to capture more of the available light and for fast focusing. Sigma makes a great 17-50mm f2.7 lens. They also have a spectacular 30mm f1.4 lens that will allow you to shoot night shots at a lower ISO. The T3i has a grain and noise problem when shooting above 1600 ISO. ISO 800 or lower yeilds the best results on the T3i.

A 30mm lens approximates a 50mm lens on the T3i and is a good general purpose lens. Also a "standard" 50mm (30mm on the T3i) will help develop better composition skills by forcing you to be a human zoom.

I'd recommend renting lenses you are interested in buying. Better to waste $60 for a week's rental than $800 for a lens you don't like.

  • Sigma have 18-35/1.8 lens which is better for low light situations. Difference from 1.4 to 1.8 is not so big, but you get zoom lens. And for astrophotography is used tripod, ISO 100 and long exposure so no ISO noise but long exposure noise is the concern – Romeo Ninov Dec 27 '14 at 14:07

Personally, it would be more relative to your style. A wide angle is generally great for landscapes, however, you might want to look into how wide you like it. I have known people who use a fisheye for landscapes (usually around 6mm) but there is also the crop factor to worry about. On the T3i there is a 1.6x crop factor, so everything you put on it is multiplied by that. Most likely your wide angle lens would be good for capturing the entire sky or a large portion as well as basic landscapes, like sunrises/sets. So, basically your best bet is to go out and see if it's wide enough for you or if it's too wide.

That lens could be a nice addition to you kit and help offset the crop factor of that camera, and lots of photogs would keep it. What matters is whether it solves a problem for you and whether you'll use it, which you can only figure out by going out and shooting with it. Experiment. We can't tell you what will or won't work in your shooting style.

It's a lens I'd experiment with in your situation, though.

It would be helpful for you to think about what your current kit doesn't do that you want, and understanding that will help you decide if that lens helps solve that problem. Without you knowing that, it's all guessing.

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