Though I initially had a hard time picking a new camera, I am now a Canon girl through and through. Here’s what I am currently using:
When I got my camera, I bought the body only. Buying a camera with a kit lens is a great way to get a lens for cheap, but a lot of times that’s just what a kit lens is: cheap. Since I was just out of school, I wanted to be able to pick out a high-quality lens and buying just a body saved me enough money that I could do that.
This is a great all-purpose lens. It’s the one that’s mounted to my camera 95% of the time. I had a really hard time choosing between this one and Canon’s 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens. In the end, I picked the 24-105 because of its slightly longer focal length and the fact that it’s Image Stabilized. If I had to pick again, I might actually go with the 24-70 simply for the 2.8 aperture. While I love my lens, it doesn’t always do so well in low-light conditions (which is why it has IS), but sometimes having that 2.8 aperture makes all the difference.
This is just a fun lens! It’s fairly cheap (as far as lenses go), but you get a lot of bang for your buck!. Just think of all the things you can take close-ups of with this lens- flowers, raindrops, snowflakes, eyes, bugs (er, maybe not that last one- EEK!). Or use it for a new take every-day photography.
Canon EF 80-200mm f/2.8L AFD
I bought this lens because my dream lens (the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, which has since been replaced with the even cooler Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II <- creative, huh?) was a bit out of my price range, but I really wanted a telephoto lens. When I heard about this lens, I knew I had to have it. Popular in the early 90s, this lens was, and still is, a very sharp lens used by all the pros and while it has been replaced by the new 70-200 series, if you hunt around, you can get a good copy of this lens for a good price.
I bought this lens for a trip I was taking to try out at an aquarium we were planning to visit. With a maximum aperture of 1.4, this lens is FAST! While it’s a bit soft wide-open, stopping down to about 2.0 yields some stunning photos! There are 3 “versions” of this lens: an f/1.2, f/1.4 and f/1.8. The 1.2 is part of Canon’s L series, and it’s price reflects that, though I personally haven’t tried it out so I can’t speak to the quality of the pictures it takes. The 1.8 is cheap, both in price and make, though the pictures I’ve seen it produce are very sharp. If you’re on a super-budget, but want a 50 prime, the 1.8 could work for you. Personally, I picked the 1.4 because of its more solid construction, wider aperture and the fact that it produced the nicest looking bokah of the sample pictures I looked at.