Good lenses can be pricey. Especially if you want to make sure you’re capturing the best picture with your HDSLR.  It’s a good idea though to have some lenses in your stand-by arsenal. (or have at least one good stand-by and rent others which I’ll cover later.)  I did some research and came up with three that I needed to have at all times for my T2i.  Now these weren’t hella cheap, but they weren’t wicked expensive either (for lenses that is.)  The great thing is that with the price of the camera not being something in the multiple thousands compared to some high-end camcorders, you have more money to spend on lenses and essential accessories to outfit it.

I highly recommend getting lenses that have a 2.8 f-stop or faster (with some exceptions) especially if you know you’ll be shooting a lot of low-light work. Plus more shallow Depth of Field is achievable with a faster lens if that’s the look you’re going for. Slower F-stops mean deep focus and less light going through the lens to the sensor. (This is from what I understand; please feel free to correct me on this.)

Also keep in mind that lenses made for full-frame cameras will be changed for the aps-c sensor the camera has unless the lenses are made specially for the sensor. It’s a 1.6x crop-format meaning a 50mm lens becomes an 80mm on the camera (50 x 1.6)

Sigma 30mm 1.4 EX DC

For a prime:

I have s Sigma 30mm 1.4  EX DC HSM Lens which becomes a 48mm (very close to 50mm which is good enough for me)  1.4 means I’m going to get some nice, clean pictures in low light without having to pump the iso up (adding noise to the picture) if a decent light source is not available. Wide open it can become so shallow that your subjects moving off their points can be become immediately out of focus. Play around with it. Prices are pretty much around $430 even on ebay.

Taken with the Sigma 30mm 1.4

Tamron 17-50mm

For a zoom:

A Tamron 17mm-50mm 2.8 SP XR lens  (aps-c sized)  Great lens! This is my walk around lens when I’m taking stills and I love the quality that I’ve gotten from it. I found a used one in excellent condition on e-bay. Around $335 plus shipping. People are recommending to get it with Vibration Compensation (VC) to minimize hand-held shake. Those are usually more expensive (an additional $250 depending new or used) I didn’t get it because: A) Obviously I wanted to save some money B.) Some research I’ve seen shows that the lens is not as sharp as the non-VC for some reason. C.) my other lenses don’t have it so what’s the big deal if this one doesn’t?  The camera is going to be on a stabilizer anyway.
UPDATE: Brand new 17mm-50mm lenses with VC for sale on ebay for $485. Seller rating pretty decent. Link.

Taken with Tamron 17-50mm

Update: Here’s video of the VC in action for the curious. Hmm, not bad.

Tokina 11-16mm 2.8

Wide Angle:

Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 AT-X Pro DX also for aps-c sensors. This sucker is wide and at 2.8 it’s going to be great for low-light.  It’s pretty popular and apparently hard to get for a decent price. If you can find one for or below $600, I’d snatch it. Otherwise you may ending spending more, quite possibly over $700.

Taken with the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8

Can’t afford all of these? No problemo.  Check out BorrowLenses.com and rent what you need for your projects.  Make sure you plan ahead though as some lenses could be rented out if you wait too long.  I’d say at least have one stand-by lens in your arsenal like the Tamron so you can shoot whenever.  The kit lens has about the same zoom range, but much slower than the Tamron’s 2.8.

That’s it for now. Sorry the spacing sucks between paragraphs and pics. Still learning my way around wordpress and haven’t nailed that aspect yet.

Addendum: Here’s video of both the Sigma and Tokina in action. Check this post to see more of the Sigma, Kit Lens, Tamron, and other lenses in use for video. Props go to Robin Schmidt for shooting this.


~ by Sean on August 6, 2010.

2 Responses to “Lenses”

  1. what song is this

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