Zoom out lens (newbie question)

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I’m very new to photography, I’ve got a Canon DSLR 1200D, which I got because it’s got the phone app which means I can use it as a remote and viewer.

I’m mostly taking photos inside, in smaller rooms like hotel rooms and bed rooms (onlyfans content etc)

I was recommended the nifty 50 lens over the standard one that comes with it, and it does make much better quality photos, but you can’t zoom out enough. Is there a cheap lens that looks as good as it but allows me to be closer to a subjects whilst still getting them fully in frame from head to toe?
 
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The lower the focal length number, the wider the field of view will be. The lower the aperture number the shallower you can make the depth of field (and the more light it can let in).

Fixed length lenses like that 50mm are good for getting cheapish but good quality lenses, whereas if you want the flexibility of a zoom lens you'll need to spend more for the same quality.

The so called nifty fifty lenses get their name precisely because they're such a good blend of value vs quality and not much else comes close.

You probably want to be looking at some 24 to 35mm primes but I'm not up to date enough these days to suggest specific lenses. (edit - quick Google suggests the Canon 24mm 2.8 is fairly well thought of for a cheapish prime too) If you wanted to go with a zoom I think sigmas 17-50 f2.8 is meant to be a half decent lens for the money.
 
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It depends what your budget is really. What do you class as cheap?

The 10-22 lens is a great quality (very) wide angle lens for the Canon EF-S mount. Should be able to pick a used one up for a couple of hundred quid if you don’t want to stretch to a new one.
 
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There is a canon 10-18 mm f4.5-5.6 I think lense that's about a couple of hundred for DX cameras?
 
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I think 10-20 is much wider than the OP wants from his description. These are ultrawides really, great for capturing the entire room maybe rather than a subject in it, and it sounds to me like he's after a standard range lens but a bit wider than 50mm, as 50mm will feel quite 'zoomed in' on a crop frame camera. I also get the feeling the 'quality' he likes is due to the 1.8 aperture giving lots of light and shallow depth of field.

@hurfdurf did the camera come with an 18-55 lens? It may be useful to experiment with that, zooming in and out and see what focal length you're at when the framing is as you want it. That'll help to establish what you're really after.
 
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I think 10-20 is much wider than the OP wants from his description. These are ultrawides really, great for capturing the entire room maybe rather than a subject in it, and it sounds to me like he's after a standard range lens but a bit wider than 50mm, as 50mm will feel quite 'zoomed in' on a crop frame camera. I also get the feeling the 'quality' he likes is due to the 1.8 aperture giving lots of light and shallow depth of field.

@hurfdurf did the camera come with an 18-55 lens? It may be useful to experiment with that, zooming in and out and see what focal length you're at when the framing is as you want it. That'll help to establish what you're really after.

I think you are right and that’s a good idea. I’ve used the 18-55 lens so far and the 50mm looks so much better, but it’s too zoomed in and the rooms too small to move back enough, so I end up using the 18-55, zooming out, then cropping the photo which means it zooms in digitally and I lose a lot of quality. (Sorry if I’m not using the right terms here)

When we’ve been able to use the 50mm the photos look way sharper and better, but that’s been rare. I’ll have a fiddle and see what mm I set the 18-55 one at ideally and report back. Thanks guys!
 
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Why are you zooming out then cropping in ?

Because the photos on a timer or remote shutter and the subjects are moving closer and further away from the camera. I’d rather have too much in the frame then have someone’s limb out of shot, particularly feet (feet being in frame are a big thing for some people)
 
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Every time you crop in you're loosing pixels/quality, another (more expensive) lens won't really help.

The only way to keep frame filling quality would be to have the camera tracking the movement & the lens zooming in/out to keep the subjects fully in shot.

You could improve the quality by using a full frame camera with high pixel count but that wouldn't be cheap
 
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The only way to keep frame filling quality would be to have the camera tracking the movement & the lens zooming in/out to keep the subjects fully in shot.

I’m guessing that isn’t a cheap feature on a lens, ones that zooms in and out via remote or does it automatically like the auto focus, but auto zoom.
 
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I’m guessing that isn’t a cheap feature on a lens, ones that zooms in and out via remote or does it automatically like the auto focus, but auto zoom.

I’ve heard of CCTV camera lenses for that, but not heard of it on a DSLR lens.
 
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Every time you crop in you're loosing pixels/quality, another (more expensive) lens won't really help.

Yea, I think I’ve got a long long way to go to learn all this. What I’ve been doing is leaving it as zoomed out as I think I’ll need then cropping in, I think next time I’ll leave it a bit more zoomed in because I’ve cropped way way too much. Ive been too cautious with the zoom out
 
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A possible reason of why the 50mm will look like its taking better pictures is likely because its a much wider aperture than the 18-55mm. (f1.8 versus f3.5 (or whatever)) As a result, its able to allow a lot more light to come through the lens and hit the sensor. In turn, because it has more light coming in, the camera can use a lower sensitivity setting (ISO) whilst still being able to record a good quality picture. A benefit as mentioned already is that you get a better depth of field look to the pictures as well.

In general terms, the lower the ISO value, the smoother the noise of the image will be. This is particularly noticeable when shooting in low light situations, such as bedrooms and hotel rooms. If your pictures looking grainy and noisy, then the camera is likely having to turn up the ISO sensitivity as its wanting more light.

There are 2 ways to try and counter the low light.

1: Have lenses which have wide apertures ( or low value f-numbers like f1.4, f.2 etc ). Whilst the nifty 50mm lens has this and is cheap, its just about the only one that is that cheap. Wider apertures = more glass = more cost. Lenses which have a zoom feature have more parts to the lenses so are even more expensive. This is why the low f-number lens tend to be primes (fixed focal length) to save cost.

2: Add more light. You'll no doubt have seen that many photoshoots, bloggers, only fan creators etc will have lights all about the place ... the reason being that by adding more light to the scene, you're letting more into the camera and so the picture quality may improve. Just like lenses, lighting is a huge subject.

I wouldn't recommend the 10-22 type lenses ... they are so wide that you start to get distortion of the subject. You're subject will look odd. Kenai is right with his recommendation of trying the 18-55 more and seeing what focal length suits and then take it from there.

The closest thing to matching your nifty 50 in your price range would be the EF-S 24mm prime lens. (~£150). Its fairly wide angle compared to the 50. Its f2.8 so will let more light in that the 18-55 lens you have ( but not as much as the 50 ), so should give better results.

Before you commit to that though, set the 18-55 to 24mm and leave it there, then only take shots at that focal length and see what you think. If that suits in terms of getting what you want as an overall picture, then maybe worth buying that lens for its better low light performance.

Also the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 is a good shout ... same aperture as the 24, but has zoom ability. On ebay there area couple of Canon fit lens for sale at the moment with Buy it Now of ~£220, which I would say looks a good deal. (search for "Sigma EX HSM OS DC 17 50mm F/2.8 Lens for Canon" and they should appear)

At the same time, experiment with lighting. Add more lights to the room. A single angle-poise light with a bright bulb in it shone up at the ceiling or against a wall behind the camera will add a ton more diffuse light to a room and may improve the pictures more as well.

Lastly, take your time ... compose the shots, if the subject goes out of frame, tell them ... nicely.
 
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Thanks Donnie and everyone else, very good explanations on how to improve to a layman like myself!
 
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Ok, found out why I’m having problems and you guys were all spot on.

All the Boudoir photography guides say that the nifty fifty is great, etc etc. Watched one video where someone said try a 35mm prime lens for small small rooms, which when I put the zoom to 35mm on my lens it came with, was way too zoomed in.

Turns out Kinae was correct, I have a cropped frame camera and 50mm gets x 1.6 on it, meaning it’s more like an 80mm lens.

I’m going to go for the 24mm Canon lens and hope this is more suitable, second hand it’s £80 and they sell for this online if it turns out we look distorted because of the wide angle.
 
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A follow up, does the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 do everything the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 prime lens does as equally well, but also more?

(Other than be 3 x the price and heavier/bigger)

I’m a little bit concerned because there’s mention of faces being made to look warped at such a wide angle. But to change this I’d need to spend a fortune on a full frame camera.
 
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I’m a little bit concerned because there’s mention of faces being made to look warped at such a wide angle. But to change this I’d need to spend a fortune on a full frame camera.

The closer you and the wider the lens, the more distortion will be present ... typically in the form of the centre area bulging and things like nose looking bigger. There will be videos on youtube showing examples.

Now, with your camera, remember its a crop sensor ... so whatever your lens is, multiply it by 1.6 ... so your wide angle lens is brought much more into the normal 50mm range. So worry less about your distortions.

A follow up, does the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 do everything the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 prime lens does as equally well, but also more?
(Other than be 3 x the price and heavier/bigger)

On paper, probably. If you are pixel peeping, then its likely that the more complex lens elements arrangement in the 17-55 will lead to slightly less sharp image ( maybe ). The zoom lens will offer a lot more flexibility over the 24mm alone.
 
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A follow up, does the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 do everything the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 prime lens does as equally well, but also more?

(Other than be 3 x the price and heavier/bigger)

I’m a little bit concerned because there’s mention of faces being made to look warped at such a wide angle. But to change this I’d need to spend a fortune on a full frame camera.

I have both of these lenses and I don't ever mount the 24mm prime as the 17-55 is very very good and covers that focal length and I don't need to swap lenses. It's a big beast, but if you're using a tripod or not having to cart it around all day it shouldn't make a difference. The 24mm is good if you need to be very mobile with the camera as it's so light.
 
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