Feb 18, 2017

Best beginner lens after kit lens

Hello, I have had the Canon EOS Rebel T5 for a full year with the kit lens and I am finally starting to think about getting another one, possibly a prime lens or wide angle. I have a budget of around $100-$150 and I am totally fine getting a refurbished lens. any recommendations?
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I suggest you do a survey of your favorite photos shot with your kit lens and see which focal lengths are used. Then, think about what photos you would like to shoot but cannot with this lens (low-light, wildlife, macro, or those shallow depth-of-field portraits that prompted the Portrait Mode feature on the iPhone) Use that as your primary guide towards your next lens.

At the budget you quoted, the choices are slim, and I suggest looking at used gear. The Canon 55-200 is a kit lens zoom, and you should be able to find them cheap in great condition. A prime lens is a great choice too, in addition to the Canon 50mm you can check out the YongNuo 35mm f/2. The 35mm focal length gives you a similar field of view as in 50mm lens used in full frame. It is an ideal all-round field of view, but it may not be ideal for you.

I will also suggest the 35mm 2.8 Macro used. Don't know if you can get it for $150. You get the versatility of capturing close-ups. Don't bother with close -up filters or extension tubes unless you can get them for dirt cheap.
MrSharkbait
Thanks! I really like the idea of finding the focal length I use often in my photos and getting something around there.
HellOo,
The Canon 50mm 1.8 or the Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6. The two are good to try. I personally recommend the prime 50mm 1.8, but if you've been itching to try a zoom lens, go for the 70-300.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro is something you could perhaps look into if you come across it and find it of interest. Though its a tad more costly. It's a manual focus SFX lens which is good for getting creative.
Vira
I agree with Vira, the "nifty fifty" as it's called is a handy little lens that's capable of a lot. Going off the fact that you said you've been using a kit lens, I'd recommend purchasing a prime lens. You're not getting any focal length leeway, although most primes are pretty fast and challenge you creatively. They offer a different experience when it comes to photography. Of course it depends on what you're taking pictures of, but with my camera I use a 28mm full frame equivalent lens (you'd need roughly a 18mm for your camera) and it is very versatile and I find myself using it more than my 90-300mm equivalent lens.
Vira
The 50mm f/1.8 is a great portrait lens on a crop sensor camera like the T5. Even though it covers a focal length you already have, it gives you a much shallower depth of field (great for portraits) and lets in a ton more light so you can use a faster shutter speed or lower ISO. At around $125 new, it fits your budget too.
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