HouseCredit: javrsmith

Many people get a new Canon EOS Rebel T5i and find the images lacking something. Since the T5i can accept different lenses, the owner wonders what is the best lens to buy. Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as the question. You must consider the types of photos you intend to take.

Walk Around Shooting With the T5i
Many people want a to take photos in all conditions. The standard lens that is provided with the T5i serves this purpose. Unfortunately, the quality of the supplied unit is usually lacking. Walk around units should be lightweight with good optics. The standard device is a zoom model. Owners can choose a better zoom, or opt for a fixed focal unit. The zoom choices should cover a range from 10mm, 15mm, 17mm, or 18mm, and up. A fixed focal length should be in the 30mm to 50mm range.

Zoom Advantages for Canon T5i
Allows the photographer to magnify the image during shooting
Minimizes the need to switch lenses during shooting
Many are available used at lower prices

Zoom Disadvantages for Canon T5i
May be heavier than fixed length devices
Aperture may be less at different focal lengths
Good quality units can be expensive, possibly higher than the cost of the camera

Fixed Focal Length Advantages for Canon T5i
Optics exhibit less distortion
Lighter weight construction
Inexpensive units available

Fixed Focal Length Disadvantages for Canon T5i
Cannot magnify images in the field to highlight details
Photographer may need to move the camera to compose images

Upgrade to the Standard Lens

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras
Amazon Price: $879.00 $829.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 10, 2016)
This is a general purpose unit that is much better than the standard model. Faster optics. Better performance.

Macro Photography With the Canon T5i

If you photograph small items such as insects, or detail shots of things like jewelry, you should purchase a macro lens. These specialized units let you get a close focus on an object. The entire field of view can be well focused. Various focal length sizes are available for particular zoom levels. Zoom macro lenses are also produced. Some units, like the  100mm Canon macro, are able to shoot portraits as well. This increases the usability of this model

Highly Capable Macro

Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens
Amazon Price: $299.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 10, 2016)

Landscape Photography With the Canon T5i

LandscapeCredit: javrsmith

For landscape shots, the choice is between wide angle fixed focal lenses, and zooms that provide a wide angle at the lower end. If landscapes are your primary target, you can buy a device that provides a lower focal length, 10mm to 20mm. Zoom and fixed lenses offer distinct advantages and disadvantages

Landscape Zoom Advantages For Canon T5i
Photographer can magnify the image during shooting to capture specific details
Various focal lengths are popular
Fairly common in the used market with lower prices

Landscape Zoom Disadvantages For Canon T5i
Heavy units, typically
Fast optics increase prices
Slow optics limit use in low light, such as inside buildings

Landscape Fixed Focal Length Advantages For Canon T5i
Lighter units
Better optics, typically
Cost can be less

Landscape Fixed Focal Length Disadvantages For Canon T5i
Cannot to magnify images during shooting
Photographer needs to move the shooting position to get better images
Scarcer in the used market

Ultra Wide Angle Zoom

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Amazon Price: $299.00 $279.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 10, 2016)
Very good at capturing wide images on the cropped sensor Canon T5i.

Portrait Photography With the Canon T5i

If portraits are the main use, fast optics are the better choice. This can add to the price, in some cases. Choose a unit with a focal ratio as fast as possible, perhaps f2.8 or lower. Some units with these parameters can be expensive. Luckily, for faster focal ratios, there are cheaper choices as well. The popular Canon Nifty Fifty is a 50mm unit with focal ratio of f1.8. It allows the photographer to create nice effects in portraits. Of particular note, this lens produces good brokeh. The term refers to portraits that show the subject with good focus while blurring the background. The effect then is to draw attention to the person, minimizing the background.

Portrait Zoom Advantages For the Canon T5i
Zoom models can be used for landscapes or portraits
Some macro features allowing closer focusing on small items
Commonly available units
Common in the used market

Portrait Zoom Disadvantages For the Canon T5i
Fast optics can be pricy
Heavier construction
Some are better at some focal lengths, worse at others

Portrait Fixed Focal Length Advantages for Canon T5i
Lighter weight units
Fast optics can be less pricy
Some models may have macro focus capability

Portrait Fixed Focal Length Disadvantages for Canon T5i
May be scarce, and more expensive. in the used market
Less image composition choices due to lack of magnification

Practically A Must Buy

Cropped Sensors in the Canon T5i

The Canon EOS Rebel T5i, is built with a smaller photographic sensor. Full frame cameras, like the Canon 6D, feature a larger sensor which is about the same size as the traditional 35mm film. The Canon T5i effectively of magnifies the focal length of all lenses by a factor of 1.6. This means that 20mm lenses are actually 32mm on a Canon T5i. Similarly, a 100mm unit acts like a 160mm unit. This is a feature that cannot be changed. All lenses produce a narrower field of view, or more magnification. Because of this, images are not as wide as they would be if taken with a full frame camera.

Adjusting to Cropped Sensors in the Canon T5i
Great photos are taken with Canon T5i cameras all of the time. The photographer must shoot images with the proper balance of conditions and gear. When buying a lens, keep the smaller sensor in mind. If a wide angle is needed for landscape photos, buy a wider unit. The 10mm focal lengths produce a very wide image, even with a cropped sensor. Distortion is usually minimized at this focal length.

Notice that many ultra wide angle lenses are sold as "fisheye" units. This provides the widest shots but with a lot of distortion at the edges of the image frame. Canon T5i owners have to choose to accept this, crop out the center of the photo, or use image manipulation to lessen the distortion.

Nighttime Photography With The Canon T5i
Shooting at night is possible with the T5i. Obviously the available light is much less. Faster optical focal ratios may be needed. Alternatively, use a tripod for longer exposures to capture more detail. A remote shutter is very useful for all tripod photos. This allows the camera to take a shot without being disturbed in the process. The image will be in better focus.