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Really struggling to choose lenses, M50

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by SAW, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. SAW

    SAW Member


    Recently got a Canon M50 mainly for a trip to Australia very soon although I will use here and for my astrophotography hobby, l also use a modded 600D for astrophotography .I didn't get any lenses with the M50 but I do own the nifty fifty, 300 f4 and the 24mm pancake plus the adaptor to use on the M50 .

    I was going to get Canon 70-200 f4 IS and a sigma 17-50 f2.8, I tried both of these lenses in a shop and they felt a bit big on the M50 I was surprised how heavy the Sigma felt. Although I'm not ruling out these lenses as I can use the 70-200 for astrophotography.

    Basically I want a good selection of of lenses to take on holiday that will cover all my needs as we have got a lot planned and places to go. I don't want to buy twice. I've been looking at the following lenses,

    70-200 f4 IS Canon
    17-50 f2.8 Sigma
    11-22 Canon ef-m
    22 f2 ef-m although I have the 24mm already.
    32 ef-m
    38 ef-m macro or 35 ef-s macro would like to try some macro but maybe not needed for holiday ?
    28-150 ef-m or 55-200 ef-m not sure on either of these ?

    Would love some advice on what to get really .

  2. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    The principal point of the EOS -M series cameras is that they can be smaller and lighter than their SLR equivalents. To then deliberately buy larger lenses intended for SLR cameras (APS or full frame) rather defeats the point...:confused:

    One thing I'm not clear about is whether your 600D is modified purely for astronomical work or whether it is still used for general photography as well. If you can use it for general wok then I can see some logic in buying EF/EF-s lenses rather than EF-m. If it never gets used for anything other than astronomical work then buying the samller EF-m lenses might be a better option.

    For the trip to Australia I would look at the EF-m 11-22mm, either the 15-45 or 18-55mm EF-m and the 55-200 which should cover most of your requirements. If weight considerations allow you could maybe take along the 300mm and adapter in case you need extra reach.
  3. SAW

    SAW Member


    Thanks for the reply and advise. The 600D doesn't get used for normal photography so I do see your point of buying the ef-m lenses. I was going to get a 7d mark ii for wildlife but now got the M50 so probably won't get the 7d although not sure how the M50 works for wildlife ?

    I like the lower f stops of the sigma and canon 70-200 compared to the ef-m range I think that's why I'm unsure about the ef-m range especially on the zoom ones.

    The 32mm f1.4 ef-m would be great for street but it's very expensive !

    I think I'll mainly be shooting street, architecture/landscape and some wildlife so it's a bit of everything really !

    I'll be buying used as well to save some money. I've got bag, batteries and memory cards etc it's just the lenses ☹️
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I use the M system for two basic things: firstly, as a backup camera to my DSLRs. That means primarily using L lenses on an adaptor. It feels pretty weird, but works quite well.
    The primary use, though, is as a travel system. And for that, I only use native EF-M lenses, for size and weight reasons. I have the entire range of lenses, plus a couple of third-party manual focus ones to fill the gaps... a 50mm f1.1 and an 8mm f2.8 fisheye. I generally use the 15-45 as my standard lens, my wife uses the 18-150 - my choice is because 24mm full frame equivalent (15mm here on crop) is my favourite and most-used focal length, so I actually change lenses less than I would with the 18-150.
    Anyway, the 11-22 is a great little lens and is an absolute no-brainer. Get it, or I will shout at you. ;) Beyond that, the 18-150 would give you pretty much most focal lengths you might need in a package that's not too huge and balances nicely on the camera. It's very versatile.
    The macro is a very nice lens, but my least-used most of the time, and is the one that generally stays at home. 22 and 32 are excellent optically and pretty fast - the 22 is a stop faster than your pancake, and even smaller, and I like it a lot. Personally, that's the lens I would go for for street photography, but if you want to save a bit, stick with the 24. The 32 is optically the best, but is relatively big, expensive, and personally I'm not so keen on its field of view - but it really is optically exceptional.
    I've not really shot wildlife with the Ms, but I was shooting sport on my wife's M5 with the 18-150 and 55-200 last weekend, and it did a great job. The M50 has better AF if anything, so it should cope really well - touch and drag AF is ideal for moving subjects.
    If you really need longer than 150mm, then you have 4 choices IMHO: the native 55-200, which is compact and reasonable; the 70-200 f4 IS which is excellent and fairly light for what it is, but far from compact; the 55-250 IS STM EF-S lens, which is very decent, fairly compact and would also work on your 600D; and finally the 70-300 IS II, which would give the most reach, still be more compact than the 70-200, and is very respectable.

    So for me:
    22 or 24
    Plus one of the teles if you think you definitely need one.
  5. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    While large apertures are desirable they are perhaps less essential than they were. Modern cameras can handle far higher ISO settings than film and early digital cameras could and with mirrorless cameras the viewfinder can generally compensate for low light levels so a large aperture is not essential for a bright finder image. That said large apertures are still be best practical way to minimise depth of field so if shallow DoF is required a large aperture is the way to go.

    I would recommend if possible trying out lenses like the 70-200 f4 and the 18-50 f2.8 on the camera to see how they handle. Something like the 70-200 is fine on a decent size SLR (I have one which I use on my xxD Canons) but it's likely to be rather unbalanced when mated to a small body such as the M50 and could become very awkward to handle over a prolonged period. Even the 18-50 is likely to be very front heavy and uncomfortable when mated to such a small camera.
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I can recommend the Tamron 16-300mm. It's compact and gives what I consider adequate performance throughout the zoom range. Here are samples from the wide, medium and long parts of the range.

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    Sony A65 8GB UnNumbered DSC00682.JPG
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I definitely wouldn't. Tamrons are notorious for not working on the M50, and the 16-300 is one known not to work.
  8. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I didn't know that and I think it's a shame. It works really well on my Sony A65.
  9. SAW

    SAW Member

    Thanks all for your help and suggestions.

    I think it would be wise if I stuck with the EF-M lenses unless they will be used on my 600D for astrophotography so I'm thinking of getting the Canon 70-200 f4 as this is on my wish list for astro work with the 600D and I can use it with the M50 for normal stuff yes it's going to be a little big but at least it's usable on both cameras.

    So definitely going to get the 11-22mm EF-M that covers my wide angle.

    Not sure if I'll get the 22mm EF-M as I have the 24mm EF-S ?

    Do I go for the 15-45mm EF-M or the 18-55mm EF-M ? I've read the 18-55 is a little sharper ?

    I'd rather put my money towards the 70-200 f4 instead of the 55-200 or 18-150 which basically covers these if I get the standard 15-45 or 18-55.

    That's where I'm at currently.
  10. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I'd be inclined to stick with the 24mm as I feel the 22 is not sufficiently wider as to justify the extra expense - a step or two closer or away is likely to take care of the view difference...

    I suspect the real world difference in sharpness is not that significant. It probably more boils down to how much you like wider angles and changing lenses... If your fond of wider angles but want to avoid too many lens changes then the 15-45 is the better option even though the 11-22 covers a lot of the wider end of the kit lens.
  11. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I’ve no experience of interchangeable lenses for Canon cameras, but if you decide at some stage to buy a macro lens, you’ll probably find 35mm or 38mm woefully short. You’d need to push the front of the lens so close to the subject at high magnification. My first “macro” lens was a 50mm for my Pentax SLR (only 1:2, but I had a set of extension tubes that gave a lot of additional magnification). When I bought my APS-C Nikon D90 DSLR, I got the Nikkor 85mm macro lens for it, and found its longer focal length a huge improvement, and now I mainly use a 105mm on my full frame D800.

  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I've had 3 of the 18-55s and 2 15-45s. The internet will tell you that the 15-45 is inferior and more subject to sample variation. That's not been my experience at all. Both my 15-45s have been really good; no decentering, which is the main complaint (sharper on one side than the other) and really a pretty decent lens. One of my 18-55s had obvious decentering, a second was OK but not great. The third (well, actually my first) is a nice lens, and I can't really tell any difference in quality between that and the 15-45s. Except the 15-45 is more useful to me because it has that key 15mm focal length, and is smaller and lighter, so it's the 15-45 that I choose to use.
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    There's certainly little point getting the 22 for the difference in focal length. There are still 2 solid reasons to get the 22, though: firstly, it's a stop faster at f2.0 - that can be a big advantage, especially with a crop camera for keeping ISO down a little. Secondly, it's a lot smaller than even the 24mm pancake and adapter. And a third reason is that it's just a very good lens with a lovely look, but that's more subjective. But it's perfectly possible to stick with the 24.
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The EF-M macro is actually a 28mm - 38mm was a typo.
    And it's certainly true that the short working distance doesn't make it very useful for some subjects, but it's actually why I bought the lens. The 28mm f3.5 is a unique lens. It actually goes up to 1.2x magnification, and it has a built-in LED ringlight. A couple of years ago, I had a client who wanted product shots of a piece of industrial machinery, and he was particularly keen that I got a shot of a particular detail. Problem was it was more or less inaccessible - I couldn't get my 6D and lens in, the best we could manage was with a smartphone, and that really wasn't a great shot. I coould get my EOS M and 22mm lens in there, but there was no light, and I couldn't focus close enough. I was trying to find ways of gettiing more light in to improve the smartphone pic. As luck would have it, I got an email from Jessops that evening with a special offer on this lens, which led to a lightbuln moment. Quick trip to Birmingham later, and I had the tool I needed to do the job.
    So I don't use it to chase butterflies or any other moving insects, but it's actually huge fun to stick the lens on and go looking for shots. And it's a rather good, though rather slow, 28mm prime, too.
    (The EF-S 35mm lens is a similar type of lens, but "only" goes to 1:1.)
    ChrisNewman likes this.

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