I have recently purchased a Canon 800D / T7i along with the bundled 18-55mm f/4-5.6 lens, plus the 50mm f/1.8 and the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 for myself and my 12-year-old daughter.

She has been using a Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone for shooting her dog and this is going to be (at least initially) her main use of the 800D. You can get an idea of the types of photo she takes from here.

I don't want to let her use all 3 lenses initially because I don't want to overwhelm her. Since it is her first DSLR I would like her to get used to using just one lens before moving on to one of the others. My gut feeling is to give her only the 50mm f/1.8, but I would like to hear recommendations from experts.

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    [random advice] Sit down and spend time playing with her and all three lenses. Let her choose. My money would be on the long zoom if I had to bet because it is far and away the most interesting and will create the most interesting pictures of her dog. There are decades over which your child can discover the merits of a fast fifty. Even if it takes five years, she will still be a child. Artistic vision evolves naturally. Good luck.
    – user50888
    Sep 10 '17 at 3:02

Give her the 18mm thru 55mm.

Lenses are fitted based on the task at hand. As a rule of thumb, a beginner with a moderate wide-angle, “normal”, and moderate telephoto fare well.

As to what establishes these labels: First the “normal” a lens that duplicates approximately the “human experience as to perspective. Such a lens has a focal length approximately equal the corner to corner measure (diagonal) of the imaging chip. Your camera is a crop-senor size, approximately 66% of the full frame original 35mm camera. This format measures 16mm by 24mm and the diagonal measure of this rectangle is about 30mm

If we mount a 30mm on a compact digital, with the camera held horizontal (landscape), the angle of view is 45°. This is considered “normal”. A wide-angle lens is about 70% of this focal length or shorter. Thus a wide angle of this camera is 20mm or shorter. A telephoto is 2X “normal” or longer. That’s 60mm or longer. The entry level zoom 18mm thru 55mm was not randomly selected. It was selected because it encompasses the beginnings of wide-angle and the beginnings of telephoto, centered on “normal”.

Hands down, this should be her first lens.


She is 12 - that is old enough to understand how lenses work and also change them as needed. I would suggest that you teach her how you want her to handle lenses properly and then just let her play with the camera as she wants.

You can suggest to her, that the easiest is the 18-55 which is what the camera was born with and when she finds there are things she cannot do with that lens, then advise her on what to do then. You will most likely find she is a faster learner - if interested - than you are. I did!

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