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Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 51 of 58

Make a Lens System Choice


Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 51 of 58

Make a Lens System Choice


Lesson Info

Make a Lens System Choice

a system of lenses. And just in case you're wondering, this is all 100% new material here had to kind of design this originally for this class. And so let's go through the process of what we're gonna be doing. So we need to be some choices about what lenses we want to buy and put into our system. We always were trying to figure out the best lands we always get. This question can write. What's the best lens for this? And so this is where I get to answer that question for a few different types of lenses. And then I'm gonna talk about some recommended lens systems. We're gonna look at some setups that I think are really nice little setups for a photography for different purposes. Talk a little bit about lens maintenance and buying and selling your lenses. So let's go ahead and get started with making a choice, and this is kind of obvious stuff. Here you often end up with the most basic 18 to 55 kit standard zoom lens, and once you have that, you have really four directions that you can go...

. You can go more telephoto, which is generally what most people want to do. They want to be able to shoot with a narrow Rangel of you. As I mentioned back in the focal length section, most people are gonna want something the equivalent of 24 to 200 which on the crop frame cameras is gonna be somewhere in the range of 16 to maybe about 150. And this definitely gets you in that range. The next place that you might want to go is a lens that is faster. That lets in more light, depending on where you were shooting and what type of stuff you are shooting. Some people get into the white angle aspect, and so that's kind of a different direction. And then another direction. It is mom. There we go closer up for the macro that we just talked about, and so these are kind of the four different directions. But even if you get the top of the line 24 to 72.8 zoom, you're going to be faced with the same options. Telephoto lens is going to be a nice matching lens for this. This is a nice little to lens combo, but sometimes you need something faster. They don't make zooms faster, so then you start looking at their prime lenses that fit your particular needs. And, of course, if you need wider than 24 for a variety of reasons, they make a lot of great wide angle lenses. And then, if you need closer up to 24 70 does okay on its own. But macro lenses are definitely going to be doing much better in that regard. I don't know who said it features quality price. Choose to you only get two of these when you are choosing lenses. Now, if you wanted a lens that was built just quality wise top of the line, that's the only thing you were concerned about. You're going to probably end up with something like a 302.8. If you said you know what most important to me is, I want the most features and lens possible. You're going to end up with something like their 28 to 300 l. Siri's image stabilized top of the line quality but huge zoom rangelands. If you said I wanna lends, that's a really low price. You're gonna end up with 50 millimeter, 1.8 lands. But we all kind of want a little bit of everything, and you can have a little bit. You just got to make some compromises. If you want quality and features, you might end up with something like 11 to 24. But that is most definitely not a cheap lens. But say you want a low price lens. It's got a lot of features. Theeighties toe 1 35 is a really practical zoom range, which I could work with in a lot of situations for a long period of time. But when it comes to overall quality of construction, the image quality, it's not at the top of the line. If you said, well, I want a low price lens that's very good quality. You can still do that, but it's gonna be a very focused device like the 85 18 It's good for Portrait. It's not good for close up. It's not good for white angle. It's not good for super telephoto, but it is a low cost, very good quality item, and so the lenses are all gonna fall around this spectrum someplace, and so You have to kind of figure out what is important to you, what you can afford and what the correct balance is for you. One of the things that I think is fascinating is that there's there's like 50 60 choices with cannon. If we add in the after market, there's probably 100. And if we go back maybe 15 or 20 years, there's probably 200 different lenses we could choose. And once you have about three lenses, it's likely that you will never run into anybody who has your same three lenses. You have an individual choice, and, you know, I know quite certainly that nobody else in the world has the exact same collection of lenses idea because they're my personal needs and nobody else has my same personal needs. And so you are gonna end up with if you have a two lens system. There's probably a lot of people that have similar tool in systems, but once you get that third lens in there, the numbers her really interesting because you're just never gonna find anybody with the same system because everybody has their own particular needs, desires and budgets. So what I want to dive into is the best lands. What is the best lands? And that really depends on what you're doing. And so I'm gonna look at three areas in detail. The first is one of the most popular areas that people want to take part pictures. And that is portrait lenses. What is the best portrait lands and I'm gonna make some recommendations. I'm sorry to say this. I'll tell you right now I'm gonna recommend about 16 different lenses, and it depends on the exact particulars of what you think is important to you.

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!