Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 55 of 58

Best Lenses for You


Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 55 of 58

Best Lenses for You


Lesson Info

Best Lenses for You

So next up is some recommended systems now to be honest with you I doubt that anyone is going to follow this advice and that's perfectly fine with me out there it's not the specific advice on by this lindsay by that lands it's the reasons for it if you can understand okay that makes sense for a person in that position to buy that lands and that lens in that last so with that in mind the beginner they start with their eighteen to fifty five kit lands okay it's not very exciting what do I do next probably get a telephoto so that you can work the details makes sense the problem with that set up is that you don't have a shallow depth of field you don't have a low light lands four hundred twenty five bucks or so you can get a fifty millimeter one point eight lands you have not spent too much money and so with a little set up like this it's not a lot of money under a thousand dollars for all three lenses it's fairly lightweight compact package and you're getting decent image quality from thi...

s these are not the highest in constructed lenses they're not weather eyes they don't have a lot of those other fools and features but its basic enough that you could get through a couple of years of photography learning along as you go before you need to graduate to the next level of lenses 00:01:20.58 --> 00:01:22. the family photographer might have a little bit wider 00:01:22.95 --> 00:01:25. needs on hand I think you know you get big family 00:01:25.58 --> 00:01:27. together in the living room you trying to get a group 00:01:27.3 --> 00:01:29. shot you want something a little bit wider? This is 00:01:29.4 --> 00:01:31. where having a lens that goes down to fifteen rather 00:01:31.43 --> 00:01:34. than eighteen becomes much handier and that fifteen, 00:01:34.3 --> 00:01:36. eighty five is a nice little walk around lens when 00:01:36.39 --> 00:01:38. you just want to walk down to the park with one lens 00:01:38.8 --> 00:01:41. on your camera but if your kids are getting involved 00:01:41.43 --> 00:01:43. in sports you're going to need something longer while 00:01:43.47 --> 00:01:45. they're out on the soccer field running around and 00:01:45.83 --> 00:01:47. then something like a seventy two three hundred is 00:01:47.64 --> 00:01:49. going to be a nice match when you need it for those 00:01:49.98 --> 00:01:52. longer times but I'm going to throw in another one 00:01:52.33 --> 00:01:55. of those fifty millimeter lenses when you need that 00:01:55.2 --> 00:01:58. faster aperture linds and so something like this is 00:01:58.1 --> 00:02:00. going to cost you a little bit more money but it's 00:02:00.09 --> 00:02:02. going to give you much wider focal range and that 00:02:02.8 --> 00:02:06. fifty millimeter if you are using an e f s crop frame 00:02:06.54 --> 00:02:09. body is going to be a very nice portrait lance and 00:02:09.43 --> 00:02:11. so if you're trying to do portrait of your kids that 00:02:11.82 --> 00:02:14. would be fantastic you also get two lenses that have 00:02:14.7 --> 00:02:17. image stabilization so you can shoot in low light 00:02:17.75 --> 00:02:21. environments and so I think that would be a nice set 00:02:21.62 --> 00:02:22. up for that situation 00:02:25.17 --> 00:02:27. all right, what about the minimalist who just doesn't 00:02:27.37 --> 00:02:30. want to have a lot of gear? Okay, I'm not a big fan 00:02:30.91 --> 00:02:33. of the eighteen to two hundreds, but I can understand 00:02:33.57 --> 00:02:36. that they do have their place and their fans and they 00:02:36.27 --> 00:02:38. work out quite well, but if you have this, I would 00:02:38.67 --> 00:02:42. also recommend maybe like twenty for two point eight 00:02:42.8 --> 00:02:46. because you're walking around. This is a big chunk 00:02:46.85 --> 00:02:50. of glass to hanging off your camera all the time. 00:02:50.27 --> 00:02:53. Sometimes you want just a simple little lands, and 00:02:53.19 --> 00:02:55. for not much money, you could get the twenty four 00:02:55.1 --> 00:02:57. millimeter lands and it's super low profile on the 00:02:57.89 --> 00:03:00. camera makes it very lightweight and it's just easier 00:03:00.42 --> 00:03:02. to carry around and it's. Not that you're going to 00:03:02.76 --> 00:03:05. be switching back and forth between them as you're 00:03:05.66 --> 00:03:07. out in the field, because it's not gonna be too much 00:03:07.76 --> 00:03:10. of advantage, but choosing one or the other, depending 00:03:10.36 --> 00:03:13. on the situation that you need with the angles of 00:03:13.45 --> 00:03:16. you that they offer. And so, in this case, you're going to generally trim the weight down of the entire package and give you a little bit more discreet look and so about a thousand bucks in this case. What about the minimalist? But who is shooting full frame? What would I think they're well, it's going to limit your range a little bit? You're only get upto one or five, but I think a twenty four to one or five is a good general purpose range, but I would throw in maybe the forty millimeter lands, because maybe that's, a bit of a big chunk, and if you're a minimalist, you can deal with maybe just a single focal inc. When you're going out with friends for the evening, but you want to bring your camera with you. So I put myself to the test what if I had a thousand dollars to spend on cannon lenses and this was going to be my camera set up my lens set up for the next year what would I be shooting with? And it depends a little bit if I had anything particular plan but I think this twenty eight to one thirty five which is a little bit older lands is a really good value and if I get this lands I'll have just enough in the budget to get myself an l lens okay it's non image stabilized but it's a seventy two, two hundred f four very sharp very well built lands and in this case I'm spending less than a thousand dollars on lenses I get a twenty eight millimeter I would prefer to be twenty four but hey, if my budgets of thousand dollars I'm gonna have to compromise someplace I get one l really high quality lands and one you know, decent, normal twenty eight tow one or five wins it does have image stabilization on it and so that's a nice little set up four thousand bucks that's the best two lands combo that I would I like to work with at that price. Now I would really like to have just a little bit more budget so let's see what I would do with twenty five hundred dollars in this case, I'd probably go with the twenty four to seventy f for l seventy two, two hundred f for el, which is the non stabilized, cheaper version of it. And then get myself the seventeen to forty. And so, in this particular situation, twenty five hundred bucks. I have got three l lenses ranging from seventeen to two hundred, which is a great range. They're all f four constant lenses, so they're very easy to work with. And they are just a smidgen under twenty five hundred dollars. All right, this is a different one. How about the prime lover? Somebody who likes individual focal length lenses? And so I've mentioned before, if you want a lens that's notably different than the one you have on the camera, double the number or cut the number in half and so twenty four, fifty, one hundred, if these are the lenses that are in your bag, you're going to know in an instant which lends you want for any particular situation, and when you put it on your camera, it's a relatively lightweight small lands and the three of them combined together is a very small pack. And so something like this is not terribly expensive, and you're getting really fast lenses, so if you want shallow depth of field, if you want to work under low light conditions and you're willing to not do the zoom thing, these can give you a really neat setup for me. When I look at this, I kind of think I like that challenge that looks like a neat challenge as faras, what choices of lenses to have when going out had I could see shooting with that and be very, very happy. World traveler. Now, this all depends on how important photography is versus lightweight. And so I'm assuming you're kind of a serious photographer. So you're taking this pretty seriously. That twenty four to one in five is a great walk around lands. But for those subjects that are a little bit further away, having that seventy two, two hundred and four with image stabilization would certainly be nice. Adding on top of that, a nice little fifty when you just need a faster lands of a normal focal length for street photography, that would be a nice, simple three lens set up. You get to el lenses. You get one fast street lands and there's. Really not too much lens changing in this situation and that's going to cost you around twenty, five hundred bucks. All right, for the sports shooter twenty four to seventy two point eight that's. Not exactly what you're going to be shooting a lot of your sports with, but it's going to be valuable for a lot of the other things. Maybe you're shooting everyone, getting ready and stretching for the big event or the big group tim group shots afterwards. So a lot of the extra curricular activity happens around sports. For the sports itself, pretty much every sports photographer is going to end up with seventy two, two hundred because it's, just so valuable for subjects that are a short distance away. Yes, you could choose a lot of those bigger lenses, but the extender you can add on to the seventy two, two hundred and maintain a pretty good quality lens in that case. And so after this, yeah, you might have one of those bigger lenses if you can afford it. But you get very called good quality lenses. You're going to need that two point eight aperture. The sports photographers really want that f two point eight aperture. You are spending more money. Like I said, sports are expensive to shoot with these lenses. All right, think this my last one. So if you're the pro, you're probably going to go with the holy trinity of lenses, the zoom lenses that goto f two point eight, twenty four, seventy, seventy, two hundred sixteen to thirty five. And these. They're going to get you top of the line lenses. Fast apertures, all l glass. And in reality, you're probably going to add two to three primes that'll be named later. Issue could afford them.

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon® EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon® zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system
John will cover the full range of Canon® lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Canon® Lens Basics

    John Greengo gets you up-to-speed on the basics of working with interchangeable Canon® lenses.

  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses
  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Aperture: Maximum Aperture
  11. Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length
  12. Aperture: Depth of Field
  13. Aperture: Maximum Sharpness
  14. Aperture: Starburst Effect
  15. Aperture: Flare
  16. Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance
  17. Camera Mount System
  18. Canon® Lens Compatibility
  19. Canon® Lens Design
  20. Canon® Lens Composition
  21. Canon® Lens Shape
  22. Canon® Lens Coating
  23. Canon® Lens Focusing
  24. Lens Autofocus
  25. Canon® Lens Image Stabilization
  26. Canon® L Lenses
  27. Image Quality
  28. Canon® Zoom Lenses: Standard
  29. Canon® Super Zooms
  30. Canon® Wide Zooms
  31. Canon® Telephoto Zooms
  32. Prime Lens: Normal Lenses
  33. Prime Lens: Moderate Wide
  34. Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  35. Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  36. Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  37. Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  38. Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  39. 3rd Party Lenses Overview
  40. 3rd Party Prime Lenses
  41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses
  42. Lens Accessories: Filters
  43. Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods
  44. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  45. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  46. Lens Accessories: Extenders
  47. Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio
  48. Macro Lens: Technique and Choices
  49. Fisheye: Technique and Choices
  50. Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices
  51. Make a Lens System Choice
  52. Choosing A Portrait Lens
  53. Choosing A Sports Lens
  54. Choosing A Landscape Lens
  55. Best Lenses for You
  56. Lens Maintenance
  57. Buying and Selling Lens
  58. What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?



I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!

a Creativelive Student

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!