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Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?

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Ben McCarthy
Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?
on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:48:05 am

Hi all,

I'm looking at buying a body only Canon 60D and was hoping people can recommend some lenses.

I'm thinking about getting a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 to start off.

I'm heading off to the states for a holiday and will be mainly shooting photos, but was hoping this would be a good lens to start with video as well.

Can anybody point me to some good sites for lens breakdowns.

I normally opt for a good price/performance ratio and normally opt for the slightly better performance over price, if you know what I mean.

Also after the first couple of lenses (I'm guessing non Prime to start off with). What are some good multi-purpose lenses and then moving on what would be a good range of prime lenses down the track?

also I guess as I improve or get more work shooting (currently editing), how do the non-full frame lenses work with full frame and I guess future models such as the Canon 5D MK3 etc.


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Ken Eakins
Re: Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?
on Aug 17, 2011 at 8:23:22 pm

I would highly recommend getting the 'nifty fifty' (50mm f1.8) lens as a prime starter.

although it's one of Canon's cheaper lenses, it's very fast, and a great introduction to shooting with primes.


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Zakaman Wu
Re: Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?
on Aug 17, 2011 at 10:01:21 pm

I have a 60d that I use regularly for event photography and videography. Did you purchase body only or did it come with a kit lens? I wouldn't start off with a 3rd party lens if you've never used your canon with canon optics! Especially since you say that you would rather pay the extra for better quality, in the overwhelming majority of cases, canon's lenses are going to be superior (often why people buy 3rd party lenses for a cheaper, but still effective alternative). Many sites and reviewers claim that Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina are the only 3rd party lenses a serious photographer should even consider. I like http://www.dpreview.com for info/reviews, but the BEST way to learn about lenses are to try them out! Visit your local camera store and play around! Good camera shops will have helpful and enthusiastic employees who will pbb be more than happy to assist you. Here are my thoughts anyways.

Lens selection all comes down to what/how you primarily shoot. You probably want diverse lenses as u start your collection. I'd recommend 1 of each a wide-angle, long (telephoto), and a standard zoom with wide to telephoto capabilities.

DIVERSE/GO-TO LENS: 17-50mm Tamron is a moderately wide and versatile lens, though canon's 17-40mm has superior picture quality. If you're taking mostly portraits and/or your land/cityscapes will more often feature subjects than not, canon's L series 16-35mm is the way to go. In fact, if you want the best quality with price no object, canon's L series is the way to go period. All three though are more than capable. Unless you want your standard zoom to be extremely wide, you should consider the 24-70mm canon l series lens--it has some of the most highly regarded optics to date and is an excellent lens for a diverse array of situations (awesome in low light scenarios!). On the cheaper side, if you don't need something wider but want something with better telephoto capabilties, you can go with a paparazzi lens, the 24-105mm. A cheaper option would be the 18-135mm, IMO the best cheapo lens (sub $500) canon makes.

WIDE: 17-40mm and the 16-35mm also work fine for this application, but If you're doing landscapes/cityscapes/wide int/exts you might want something a bit wider. Though I don't own one, I've heard great things about canon's 14mm prime. Can't go wrong with the 35mm prime either, but if you prefer a zoom canon makes a 10-22mm. I've tried both Tokina and Sigma's equivalents and I prefer the Sigma's 10-20mm, though both have their strengths. The Sigma was largely believed to create barreling between 14-17mm focal lengths (though 10mm is fine) and some owners complained of softened edges at 20mm. This, however, only applies to a minority portion of outliers that are 'defective'. Sigma is more than happy to replace lenses that have these issues (provided it's under warranty of course)

LONG: I have less experience with canon's long lens lineup than with the others, but from past experience, any of their 70mm zooms are fantastic. Best value I'd go with the 55-250mm. You can browse and read more for yourself on their site: http://usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup

- Zak Wu
Event Photo/Videographer
Freelance Filmmaker/Photog
Event Promoter


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Ben McCarthy
Re: Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 12:43:47 am

Thank you guys this is valuable information. Zakaman does your information mainly relate to photography or video or both


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Zakaman Wu
Re: Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:39:36 am

Also depends what type of video you want to shoot or how high you want to take it. I do mostly video work, but most of my experience is with video cameras and not DSLRs, but ever since my Canon XLR got stolen, I have been shooting with my 60D and I am impressed with the results.

The portability is such a huge pro, but can work against it if you're super into handheld especially since it's so lightweight from the plastic body. They make special steadicam-esque accessories that operate on a balance system for DSLRs. Here's a music video



I did for as a favor for a friend last year. It's shot on a 60D and a 5D. You can watch in 1080p, but it is not true 1080 because back then, I edited on an older editing suite, when sequence settings did not have an easy, preset setting for DSLRs (fortunately now I know at least CS5 and FCP have; though I am unsure about avid and vegas, I'd imagine they'd have incorporated it as well). We only had a two-man crew, just me and my cameraman, so naturally we both pretty much shared all the departmental responsibilities. It has a pretty clean effect, but can be tricky to get used to at first. It's strange if you have been working with steadicams to try to manuver a camera with that little weight.

To answer your question though I was referring to both. Like with any camera, the quality has more to do with the lens than anything else. You can't expect to get RED quality, but you can come close enough that your casual viewer wouldn't probably notice the difference. For the most part, lens quality does not vary depending on whether you use it for video or photo; the better the lens for photo, the better for video as well. Some kit lenses that have very loose focus wheels like the 18-55mm could possibly hinder you more with video than photo since ur focus needs to be consistent throughout and not set up for just a single shot. Wide aperture lenses do have an advantage because the slowest shutter speed is limited to 1/30 on the 60D's video. So if you plan to shoot a lot of home videos or on the fly situations where it's not uncommon for insufficient lighting that is also something to consider. That being said, if you're serious about video, L series is the way to go.

As with all camerawork though, regardless of your equipment, the quality is going to be more reflective of the operator. Just because you have a $10,000 lens doesn't make you a good filmmaker or photographer. If you are on the fence, I would say run some tests and practice with a cheaper lens. If you decide you are comfortable with its differences, then by all means make the jump.

Some advice from my experiences is to buy a magnifier for your viewfinder. The biggest annoyance about shooting on dslr's is that the viewfinder (even the enlarged one on the 60d) is too small to see where the focus drops off, especially in a low light scenario or if you're using deep focus over a large plane. You can set autofocus initially but cannot rack/adjust it while camera is rolling. So unless you're doing all static shots make sure u have the DoF and the actors hit their marks, you have no choice but to rack manually. To me, that defeats the advantage of its portability. Even for the skillfully trained eye, I would bet it is more than a hassle. Lucky for us, Zacuto Z-finder is an excellent one--they make a jnr and a senior model w the option for zoom ability 2.5x or 3x on the senior.

Keep in mind too, this will also vastly improve your capabilities in gauging shots, like a cam monitor on set. It also helps with very low light situations. Always shoot on as low of an ISO as possible--it may look good at on ur built in lcd, but you can definitely notice the noise past 400 ISO. If you must shoot above, make sure to turn digital sharpness down. Video and Live mode in general eats through your battery so a battery grip is also useful not to mention some high capacity SD cards. You might be able to get away with one sd card if you're photographing only, but especially because you always want to shoot RAW for video on the 60D, one card may not cut it.

Did you want to know something specific? Sorry again for the essaylike answer, but I tried to be as broad as I could.

- Zak Wu
Event Photo/Videographer
Freelance Filmmaker/Photog
Event Promoter


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Ben McCarthy
Re: Canon EOS 60D, Recommend some Glass?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 1:43:01 pm

thanks a lot Zak, I really appreciate it.

I'm thinking about going for a Canon EF-S 17-55MM f2.8 IS USM Lenses to start off with as I'm think (aloud) that I might try and do some nightclub photography/Video, therefore I was reading that the extra stops would help in the low light.


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