Should I get a second lens and tripod?

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Jeepmedic46

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I just got a Canon EOS XS. It came with a 18-55mm lens. I’m just learning and would like to photograph wildlife. Should I get a zoom lens if so what size would be good as i’m Starting out? 2nd question should I get a tripod and recommendations on what kind.
 

old_man

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For wildlife you will want a longer lense. For landscapes, the 18mm is not wide quite enough for here in Colorado and Utah.

A first telephoto zoom might be best to get a roughly 55-200mm plus a 2x extender to keep the price tag down.

A decent tripod (heavy) will be required for the telephoto.
 

Merk

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Agree w/ old man ^

I went a year or two just shooting with 18-55mm, but earlier this year got a 55-200mm.
Best investment ever. Super handy when you stumble upon wildlife, and serves well as a portrait lens.

If your not looking to drop a big chunk of change, i recommend checking out keh.com . They have quality used gear for good prices. (They grade gear based on condition)
Found my lens on there for half the price, and it has flawless glass, just minor scratches and wear on the exterior.
 
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Jeepmedic46

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For wildlife you will want a longer lense. For landscapes, the 18mm is not wide quite enough for here in Colorado and Utah.

A first telephoto zoom might be best to get a roughly 55-200mm plus a 2x extender to keep the price tag down.

A decent tripod (heavy) will be required for the telephoto.
Thank you, Where is a good place to look for a tripod? Not sure if the ones on Amazon will work.
 

Jeepmedic46

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Agree w/ old man ^

I went a year or two just shooting with 18-55mm, but earlier this year got a 55-200mm.
Best investment ever. Super handy when you stumble upon wildlife, and serves well as a portrait lens.

If your not looking to drop a big chunk of change, i recommend checking out keh.com . They have quality used gear for good prices. (They grade gear based on condition)
Found my lens on there for half the price, and it has flawless glass, just minor scratches and wear on the exterior.
Thank you will check out that site.
 
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Billiebob

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I just got a Canon EOS XS. It came with a 18-55mm lens. I’m just learning and would like to photograph wildlife. Should I get a zoom lens if so what size would be good as i’m Starting out? 2nd question should I get a tripod and recommendations on what kind.
My favorite is 70-300.
Tripod..... think $$$$ cheap expensive, whatever you can afford. Hanging your camera bag from it adds to the stability.

I have an 18-55 too, plus a 35-100, plus a macro lense, the macro is great fun catching bees busy collecting pollen.
 

Road

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I teach photography and off-camera lighting and used to run group workshops.

My advice to new students has always been "Get the best and fastest glass you can afford and whatever tripod you can find that feels right, solid, and stable."

I used an inexpensive tripod from a big box store for a few years over my better tripods because it had longer legs than any other I'd seen and I was working a lot of shoots where I wanted exaggerated angles and longer exposures. Tripods are easier to come across and afford than is good glass. Get a good lens and you'll have it forever. You can work your way up in tripod quality much less expensively.

I shoot Nikon, so my specific zoom lens suggestions won't work, though here's a page of Canon zooms.

The lower the f/stop number, the faster the lens will be, meaning it will gather more light, resulting in a wider range of images you can make in lower light situations. Many zooms have one lowest f/stop at one end of the zoom and another at the other end of the zoom. You'll see it listed like this: 75-300mm f/4-5.6. Higher end, more expensive, zooms usually have a consistent f/stop across the range.

My favorite zoom for landscape and night sky work is my 14-24mm f/2.8 . My fave for general work whether human, animal, or not, is my 24-70mm f/2.8, which I've had for about ten years. Favorite zoom for just animals would be my 70-200mm f/2.8 . My least fave zoom is my 200-500mm f/5.6 because it is a big, heavy, long mother and wears me out if away from camp, though helps make some incredible images.

I would not discount prime lenses, @Jeepmedic46 , those that have one focal length and don't zoom. You will learn more about composition, angle, framing, and relation of all the variables in your settings working with a prime lens like a Canon 50mm f/1.8, which is a highly regarded, and quite inexpensive lens. Also a well-thought of Canon lens is the medium telephoto 85mm f/1.8. Amazing for portraits and having greater control over depth of field and bokeh.

A great exercise for both learning your camera better and creating solid, appealing, images is to go on a photo walk around town with a 35mm or 50mm lens, just one, don't even bring another lens, and work it hard, making yourself move back and forth to frame and compose your image instead of zooming in and out with a zoom lens.

I guarantee you will start to see things differently and that it will improve your images and how you later work with a zoom.

Good luck man, hope you find good gear and enjoy the hell out of it.



Here's a recent single-frame (meaning not two images stacked and not a double exposure) night sky image done with the 14-24mm f/2.8 mentioned above, and a rock-solid Manfrotto tripod with a Manfrotto Ball Head:

roaddude_nightsky-altudapicnic-7731-6x9.jpg
 
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Billiebob

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and would like to photograph wildlife.
Road gives great advice. f-stop is important for low light & action speed.
You don't tell us enough with "wildlife". Are you after deer grazing or a cheetah chasing an antelope? daytime, or nightlife?

Wide open f-stops will capture those fabulous night sky photos. But closed down f-stops will give a greater depth of field and be quicker to focus for action shots. Wide open f-stops can double the price of otherwise identical focal length lenses. For daylight I prefer the cheaper more restricting f-stop with deeper depth of field, yes, the expensive wide open lense can be stopped down to be equal to the less expensive lense, but if you don't need the wide open f-stop, why pay for it?

And I agree, an expensive solid heavy tripod is like gold, but even the cheapest tripod if it is tall enough works great and is incredibly stable if you hang 5 pounds from it. It might out perform that expensive tripod until you hang 5 pounds from it too.
 
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Jeepmedic46

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Thank you for the great advice. Right now only wildlife pictures I can take is birds at our bird feeder and Canadian geese. Hoping after my surgery to go and take pictures of deer, foxes, rabbits locally to become proficient with the camera and then try and take pictures of bears and Moose.
 
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pnwcruiser

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Tamron is on par with the Canon lens and glass quality, sometimes better, and the cost is lower. I won't knock Canon quality, but for the price Tamron is great
 

Scrambler84

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I just got a Canon EOS XS. It came with a 18-55mm lens. I’m just learning and would like to photograph wildlife. Should I get a zoom lens if so what size would be good as i’m Starting out? 2nd question should I get a tripod and recommendations on what kind.
Go for the tripod and then the lens you can buy used just be careful on what you get IE: Condition .
I have bought a few used ones with no issues .
I was lucky I bought most of my Camera equipment when I retired . One of my camera bodies I bought D7100 Nikon but got it used at B&H on line good luck in your photography journey....
 

Scrambler84

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I just got a Canon EOS XS. It came with a 18-55mm lens. I’m just learning and would like to photograph wildlife. Should I get a zoom lens if so what size would be good as i’m Starting out? 2nd question should I get a tripod and recommendations on what kind.
As far as Zoom lens a 80 - 300mm
If you want more reach go for the 300 to 500mm
If ya get lucky enough to find a used one !
 

Trail Runner Bowser

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I just got a Canon EOS XS. It came with a 18-55mm lens. I’m just learning and would like to photograph wildlife. Should I get a zoom lens if so what size would be good as i’m Starting out? 2nd question should I get a tripod and recommendations on what kind.
I normally run the same lens, but for certain shots my wife and I use the 75-300mm a lot.