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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 gonna follow this advice, and that's perfectly fine with me out here. It's not this specific advice on by this lens or by that lens. It's the reasons for it. If you can understand. Okay, that makes sense for a person in that position to buy that lens and that lens in that last. So with that in mind, the beginner they start with their to 55 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 425 bucks or so you can get a 50 millimeter 1.8 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 $ for all three lenses. It's fairly lightweight, compact package, and you're getting decent image quality from this. These are not the highest in constructed lense...

s. They're not weatherize. 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. The family photographer might have a little bit wider needs on hand. I think you know, you get big family together in the living room. You're trying to get a group shot. You want something a little bit wider. This is where having a lens that goes down to 15 rather than 18 becomes much handier. And that 15 85 is a nice little walk around lens when you just wanna walk down to the park with one lens on your camera. But if your kids are getting involved in sports, you're gonna need something longer while they're out on the soccer field running around. And then something like a 72 300 is going to be a nice match when you need it for those longer times. But I'm gonna throw in another one of those 50 millimeter lenses when you need that faster aperture lens, and so something like this is gonna cost you a little bit more money, but it's gonna give you a much wider focal range. And that 50 millimeter, if you are using an e f s crop frame body, is going to be a very nice portrait, Lance. And so if you're trying to do portrait of your kids, that would be fantastic. You also get to lenses that have image stabilization so you can shoot in low light environments. And so I think that would be a nice set up for that situation. All right, what about the minimalist who just doesn't want to have a lot of gear? Okay, I'm not a big fan of the 18 to 2 hundreds, but I can understand that they do have their place and their fans, and they work out quite well. But if you have this, I would also recommend maybe like 24 2.8 because you're walking around. This is a big chunk of glass to hanging off your camera all the time. Sometimes you want just a simple little lands, and for not much money, you could get the 24 millimeter lands, and it's super low. Profile on the camera makes it very lightweight, and it's just easier to carry around. And it's not that you're gonna be switching back and forth between them as you're out in the field, because it's not gonna be too much of advantage but choosing one or the other, depending on the situation that you need with the angles of view that they offer. And so, in this case, you're gonna generally trim the weight down of the entire package and give you a little bit more discreet. Look, And so about 1000 bucks in this case, what about the minimalist? But who is shooting full frame? What would I think? There. Well, it's gonna limit your range a little bit. You only get up to 105 But I think a 24 to 105 is a good general purpose range. But I would throw in. Maybe the 40 millimeter lands, because maybe that's a bit of a big chunk. And if you were a minimalist, you can deal with maybe just a single focal ing 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 $1000 to spend on canon lenses and this was gonna 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 to 1 35 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 and l lens. OK, it's non image stabilized, but it's a 72 200 F four very sharp, very well built lands. And in this case, I'm spending less than $1000 on lenses. I get a millimeter. I would prefer to be 24 But hey, if my budgets $1000 I'm gonna have to compromise someplace. I get one l really high quality lands and one, you know, decent normal 28 to 1 or five wins. It does have image stabilization on it, and so that's a nice little set up 4000 bucks. That's the best to lens combo that I would 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 $2500. In this case, I'd probably go with the 24 to 70 f for l 72 200 F four l, which is the non stabilized, cheaper version of it, and then get myself the 17 to 40. And so, in this particular situation, 2500 bucks. I have got three l lenses ranging from 17 to 200 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 $2500. 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 24 5100. If these air the lenses that are in your bag, you're going to know in an instant which leads 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 package. 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 set up for me. When I look at this, I kind of think I like that challenge. That looks like a neat challenge as far as what choices of lenses to have when going out. And 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 24 to 105 is a great walk around lands. But for those subjects that a little bit further away, having that 72 200 F four with image stabilization would certainly be nice. Adding, on top of that, a nice little 50 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 l lenses. You get one fast street lands, and there's really not too much lens changing in this situation, and that's gonna cost you around 2500 bucks. All right for the sports shooter, 24 to 72.8. That's not exactly what you're gonna be shooting a lot of your sports with, but it's gonna 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 gonna end up with 72 200 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 72 200 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 call. Good quality lenses. You're gonna need that 2.8 aperture. The sports photographers really want that F 2.8 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 gonna go with the holy Trinity of lenses. The zoom lenses that goto F 2.8 24 70 to 16 to 35. And these We're gonna get you top of the line lenses fast apertures all l a glass. And in reality, you're probably gonna add 2 to 3 primes that'll be named later as you can 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!

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!


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!