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SLR Novice - Which lens kit for Canon EOS600D?

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Showing 1-12 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2012 20:35:05 BDT
A Smith says:
I am looking to invest in my first digital SLR camera and †after much deliberating I have decided on the Canon EOS 600D over Nikons 5100. As a photography novice, I am undecided about which lens to go for as there is a £200 difference between the two I have been looking at.

The reason I want to get a Digital SLR is because I have always bought reasonably cheap digital cameras and last Christmas my brother-in-law got a Canon 550D. I was blown away by the picture quality and instantly understood why people invest a little bit more to get a better camera than a bog standard £100 Samsung or Fujifilm camera (which I usually settle for).†

Now, I am looking at getting into photography a lot more as it has always been a hobby of mine and I wanted to get off to a good start and get good kit. I want to be able to take good quality pictures and videos at events and be able to take scenic photos on holidays and when hiking etc.†

I have been looking at the 18-55 lens model for the 600D and 18-135 lens and I just wanted to know if the latter is worth investing in and also whether it is worth the extra £200.†

On its own the 18-135 lens retails at £300 (reduced from £500 supposedly) whereas the 18-55 is around £120. What I want to know is, will it be beneficial to invest in the more flexible lens (giving me more variety in terms of shooting) or save some cash and stick with the 18-55 lens until I learn more about what the different lenses do?

Any help or advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.



Posted on 15 Apr 2012 20:32:27 BDT
A Mazon says:
What about the 18-200mm IS? It is only about £50 more than the 18-135mm with the Canon cash back if bought from (not market place sellers) plus if you have not got the 600D yet there is the £50 back on that as well. (up to the 5th June 2012)

Posted on 16 Apr 2012 15:13:32 BDT
M. G. Ashton says:
Hi Adam

My story is very similar to yours. I was a point & shoot user but loved photography. When I bought a Sony Cybershot last year I really got the bug and decided to get a DSLR. After much wrangling I opted for a Canon 600D, and I love it! I'm even in the process of getting a film SLR as well to fine-tune my currently limited skills.

I've had my 600D for about a month now and mine came with the 18-55mm lens. Although this does fine for most things, like landscape shooting or portraits, it's not much cop for when you need the real close-ups like wildlife photography or sports events. I knew the limitations of the 18-55mm prior to buying, and as far as lenses go it's excellent for general use. Now, however, I'm saving to buy a 50-200 or 70-250 or similar,depending on the cost. If you've got the disposable cash and those distance close-ups are going to be a feature of your shooting in the near future - or at all - I'd go with A Mazon, and purchase the 18-200mm. That way you won't be limited scope-wise, as I find I am.

You won't be dissapointed with the camera either way though. It's a brilliant entry-mid level camera and the swivel screen is an absolute blessing; and one the 550D doesn't have. Everything else i.e. resolution/sensor wise is the same though, I think. I've also bought the Canon EOS "From Snapshots to Great Shots" book by Jeff Revell too. I'd advise getting this early on if you can spare the £10 or so quid. There's a lot in there about using the camera that the manual doesn't really elaborate on. A very useful read that's also full of exercises to get you using all the features: some hidden, i.e. depth of view button I didn't know existed!

Posted on 16 Apr 2012 21:51:29 BDT
A Smith says:
Thanks for the feedback. I will make the most of the 18-55 lens for the time being and then look into more versatile lenses when I get the hang of the 600D and what it can do.

Great help! Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 09:07:05 BDT
I think that is sensible but make sure you have anti shake in the lens. Lenses with a big range (18-250, say) often have quite a bit of distortion at the extremes and the apertures are usually f6.9 at the long end. Also thay are a bit slow to use due to the triple extension. Anti shake is essential, in my opinion, with any longish lens. Remember the minimum speed you can get away with hand held (with care) is the reciprocal of the focal length, without anti shake on.
I do most of my photography with a 17-50mm f2.8 lens despite having several lenses to choose from. When you have used the camera for a while you will get to know what things you feel you can't take due to the restrictions of your kit. Then you can think about extra lenses - but remember you have to lug them about and they aren't that small.
Another good book is Understanding Exposure by Petersen.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2012 15:30:26 BDT
I had a similar problem when buying my Nikon, there are two 'kit' lenses, the 18-55mm and the 18-105mm.

At the time I bought the 18-105 and loved it, it lives on the camera most of the time. Used around f8 and using RAW files, with Adobe CS5 (ACR) mostly, the landscapes are amazing (on my D5100 which is 16.something megapixels).

Not sure why the Canon 18-135 is so expensive, do they make the equal of my Nikon?

Anyway, the focal lengths are very useful for walking around shooting, and you are going to kick yourself if you plump for the 18-55, so don't come in here in six months moaning about it, or I will get my 'I told you so' hat on!

Enjoy the new camera, hope you can fund that longer reach lens, in the long term you'll be happier.

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Posted on 15 Dec 2012 03:12:15 GMT
Steve B says:

When it comes to choosing lenses I think that you should make a list of what things you want to take pictures of. For instance, when I went to Bath and wanted to take pictures of Bath Abbey I needed an ultra-wide angle lens, for which I used a Canon EF-S 10-22mm zoom on the APS-C body that I was using at the time. When I was using my Canon 20D camera I favoured the Sigma 17-70mm lens for general use because it was fairly fast and had very little distortion. I bought another zoom lens to cover greater ranges and have since bought other lenses and bodies, including a Sigma 150-500mm lens that I use with my Canon 7D at airshows.

As Dr G indicated the greater the focal range of a lens will increase the likelihood of barrel and pincushion distortion at the short and long ends of its ranges and, unless you are paying a lot of money for the lens it is likely to have a small aperture at its longest length which may make it harder to focus.

I mainly use full frame bodies for portrait photography now and if you want to throw the background out of focus for portrait photography you may not be able to do it with a cheap zoom lens because it is not fast enough.

I do not think you should put yourself off of eventually buying a number of lenses because like me you can pick the lenses that you are likely to use on a long trip and have some in a camera bag and carry the others in suitcase of general luggage until you want to use them.

For reviews on the Canon lenses that you might be thinking of purchasing have a look at

Steve B
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Discussion in:  camera discussion forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  12
Initial post:  12 Apr 2012
Latest post:  15 Dec 2012

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