edited April 2015 Posted in » Canon T3i Forum
Hello. I am shopping for a 18-55mm lens for my Rebel T3i. It seems as if there is a huge price difference between the same lenses. Is there something I'm missing like one has auto focus and some don't, or do some have image stabilization while others don't? Any suggestions?


  • edited April 2015
    There shouldn't be a big price difference between the two current Canon lenses ie. the EF-s 18-55mm IS II and the EF-s 18-55mm IS STM. The original EF-s 18-55mm which is now discontinued can be bought for about 1/2 the price of the other two.
    All are autofocus or manual, all have IS and none are USM. Two have micro motors and the third has the new STM (stepping motor) which is said to focus more smoothly (for video use) and more quickly, but you would be hard pushed to see this compared to the other two.
    Optically and aperture wise they are all comparable. Although the performance of each is not outstanding, they are not bad little lenses for the price and are still sold as the basic kit lens when bought with the camera. Most photographers' beefs with these lenses is the relatively slow aperture of f/3.5 which is why many opt for something like a 17-55mm f/2.8 or the 'nifty fifty' 50mm f/1.8.
    Hope this has been of help,
  • edited December 2015
    I am an amateur. and looking into purchasing a 50mm. Is it worth the huge price difference between the f/1.4 and the f/1.8? I just want something that is easy to use and is good in low light and for portraits.
  • edited December 2015
    Hi @TAXMAN,
    They say you should always buy the best glass you can afford. However, let me confirm that there are many thousands of photographers who carry the 'nifty 50' in their bag. The f/1.4 has certain advantages, but also several disadvantages, like very shallow depth of field for example.
    I think you would be more than happy with the f/1.8, but if you are still considering f/1.4, take a look at Sigma's offering. It is still expensive, but not as much as the Canon version.
  • edited May 2016
    Has anyone used an eye-fi card with the Rebel T3i? If so, please make a recommendation on the brand and capacity. There seems to be some confusion about the T3i's compatability with eye-fi cards.
  • edited May 2016
    Hello all, I am new to the DSLR community. I have been learning my T3i for a while now, and boy do I have a bunch to learn still. Hope I don't offend anyone if my questions seem silly. I got the basic T3i kit with the standard and telephoto lens, you know, the basic one everyone sells and most purchase. I have been wanting to take close up macro photos of my fiances flowers for her along with some shots of the occasional bumble bee, but I can't get closer than about 6 to 12 inches from the subject before the insects fly away. I've seen macro lenses that are nearly as thin as a few filters stacked on each other to a rather large lens with an even bigger price tag. What would be a decent lens I can pick up to accomplish this task of capturing these tiny details from about a foot away from my subject? Again, I realize thus is a totally noob question, but that's me, and I really cant afford to sink several hundred bucks into a particular lens if one of the less expensive ones will do the job nicely. These photos are only for my fiance and myself, as it's just a hobby, but I want my shots to look nice enough for framing up to 8x10. Thanks for any suggestions or help.
  • If you want to do macros and want the easiest and by far the cheapest solution with existing lenses, consider a diopter lens that attaches to the front of a regular lens. Various makers make such lenses, which attach as filters to to the front thread of a lens, and there is also a lens made by Raynox, which snaps on to a variety of sizes. These lenses come in different grades, from pretty marginal to quite good. I think Canon makes, or used to make, a set. The Raynox, which clips to a lens, has the advantage that it will fit lenses with different thread sizes.

    Basically, these lenses magnify an image, and you will not get infinity focus when mounted, but you will get macro in varying degrees depending on how powerful the lenses are. They tend to get a little soft around the outside edges, and may not render straight lines terribly well, but can be quite sharp in the center, and good for things like bugs, which do not require persnickety linearity.

    One advantage of diopters is that the camera's exposure meter and AF will work normally. The ones that thread on like filters can even be stacked for greater magnification, though there is likely to be some loss of quality when you do so.

    @Moose here used to have a review of one of the Raynox lenses, and some examples that were pretty impressive. I don't see it here now, but it's worth looking around the web for samples.
  • Hey @rongi - Here's the Raynox macro adapter @bruto mentioned: https://www.cameratips.com/recommendations/raynox-dcr-250

    It simply clicks on to the front of your lens and allows you to get very close (a couple inches) from the intended subject. All the best!
  • edited May 2016
    Thanks a bunch for the suggestions. I will look into it deeper this weekend now that I have a good starting point. Thank you very much! Have a great day!
  • edited May 2016
    I generally use other macro lenses, which I can't readily recommend. My favorite setup is a set of Compugraphic typesetting lenses which fit into a microscope adapter, hardly easy to find. My second favorite is a Nikkor tilt and shift 85mm f/2.8 lens which is worth about four times what the camera cost. I've experimented with various other things including bellows, extension tubes, and reversed lenses. All these things have their good points, but none except for the 85 meter with my camera, and none autofocus, so they are hard to recommend.

    So anyway, I have some medium quality Hoya diopter lenses found at a yard sale some time ago, that fit a few things, so I tried them to compare the sizes and distances. This is a pretty rough and coarse comparison here, done without the most careful focus in poor ambient light. I used a tripod, and moved the target as needed.

    It's a three-shot image. The center shot is with the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens, set at maximum aperture, 55 millimeters, and closest focusing distance, focused on the inch scale of the ruler. The milimeter scale of this triangular ruler is closer to the camera than the focal distance. This adds up to about 5 inches from the tip of lens to subject. This is approximately the maximum this lens will do by itself.

    To the left of that is the same lens, with a +4 diopter on it. As you can see, the depth of field has diminished a great deal, and the milimeter scale is blurred, but our macro ratio has improved considerably, from 1:3.2 to something not too far from 1:2. Distance from lens tip to subject has decreased a bit to about 4 inches.

    To the right of that is an old manual focus zoom lens set to 150mm focal length and its closest focusing distance, which is nominally about a meter. This is not the best lens for macro use, though decently sharp by itself, you can see that it does not get along terribly well with the diopter, it's hard to focus cleanly, and it does not natively focus very close. Nonetheless, you can see that it is getting close to 1:1 macro ratio (Nikon's DX frame width is just shy of an inch). The distance between lens tip and subject is about 7 inches. In good light, with care, such a lens could manage a fairly decent image. A closer focusing zoom would give more magnification, and a longer zoom better subject distance.

    Note that though this is not the best quality macro lens around, it's not bad as far as edge sharpness is concerned, and the camera's meter functions correctly through it. Not shown here, I also tried stacking several for higher magnifications, and the images remained fairly decent, though the ones I have are not fully achromatic and start showing color fringes.

Sign In or Register to comment.