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(Canon) Lens comparisons and reviews

The body of a camera is more the user interface to the equipment, rather than the quality of the picture taken. The lens is what really makes the difference. This is the main difference between bodies with fixed lenses and bodies where you can attach other lenses.

Recommendations for lenses are hard to make; they depend on budget and intent. I would recommend the following:

Type Lenses
Portraits - low budget 50mm, f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8
Portraits - high budget
  • 50mm f/1.4
  • 85mm f/1.2
  • 100mm f/2 (probably zooms a lot with any body having a crop factor around 1.6, like the Canon EOS 350D).
  • 70-200mm L IS USM f/2.8 - an expensive (around $1800) lens but this professional lens has excellent sharpness. It weighs a lot though.
Landscapes - low budget -
Landscapes - high budget -
Macro -


canon ef 50mm f/1.8 EF 50mm f/1.8 mk II (click to see Canon website details)

A great low-cost lens with wide aperture. You may also consider the f/1.4 version, which is more robust, can do full-time manual focus and delivers better color. Check this page for an excellent in-depth comparison between the 50mm/f1.8 and 50mm/f/1.4 lenses (the first costing around $99, the latter around $350).

The old (mark I) version of this lens was made from metal; the mk II is made out of plastic and therefore more sensitive (especially sideway bumping can make it break more easily).

Pros of f/1.8 vs f/1.4:

  • Price; $99 vs $350

Pros of f/1.4 vs f/1.8:

  • More robust
  • Full-time manual focus (FTM)
  • About 2/3 of an f-stop more light (faster shutter times in dark circumstances)
  • Better color saturation

There is also an f/2.5 macro version of this 50mm lens; you're better off with that one if you're doing macro work (giving sharper images close-up). For more information and comparisons check this page.

EF 85mm f/1.8 (click to see Canon website details) A terrific portrait lens for the EOS 350D/400D (any body really). Very nice bokeh.



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