Which lens for Canon EOS Rebel T3
I got some gift cards for Christmas. I do mostly travel photography (often from a moving vehicle) and for that I usually use the 18-55 mm lens that came with the camera which says 0.8 feet or a quarter of a meter (0.25m) If I am on a boat and taking photos of the shore from a distance (or for any other time when I can't physically get close to my subject - wildlife etc.), I have 75-300 zoom lens which works well for me. I'm not really interested in taking videos - I can never remember how to do that so I will default to my iPhone if I want a video.
I have always sort of wanted a macro lens although I do not know how much I would use it. Ditto the kind of lens which lets you take photos of buildings without them looking like they are falling on you. (Wide angle???).
When I look on the internet for a macro lens I can't tell from the description how close I can get (or how much I can magnify) the subject. It doesn't seem to be the millimeter number. What does that number tell you - just how physically long the lens is? Is a lens with only one mm number one that does not zoom? I assume the f-stop number indicates the amount of light setting.
So assuming that I have determined that the lens will fit my camera, what should I look for?
You may find this article helpful - https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/photography-gear/lenses/macro-lens-guide/.
The minimum focus distance should be available if you look at the specifications for the lens. For example, when I look at the Canon EF-S 60mm macro on the B&H Photo site - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/371176-USA/Canon_0284B002_EF_S_60mm_f_2_8_Macro.html - the minimum focus distance shows both in the lens description and in the specs.
Musings & ramblings at https://denisegoldberg.blogspot.com
Considering the situation / circumstances, I'd also suggest that investigating a set of extension tubes might be a idea.
yes I have started there - thank you
For that you need a perspective correction lens, also known as a tilt-shift lens. These are widely used by architectural photographers to solve exactly the problem you mentioned. They are more complex than a typical lens because of the tilt-shift mechanism, and that also makes tilt-shift lenses expensive. And you also have to learn how to work the mechanism. (I've never used one.) You can read an explanation with some Canon lenses mentioned, at Wikipedia:
The other way to correct perspective is to use a lens you already have, and then correct it in software. Lightroom and Photoshop can both do this. But it works better with a higher-megapixel camera since doing it in software means stretching or squeezing the available pixels, resulting in some loss of detail.
Using a tilt-shift lens is the best way that produces the most professional results, but it's obviously the complex and expensive way.
I dunno about the tilt-shift thing, but I use a couple of ultra-wide lenses to shoot architecture professionally. They are NOT tilt-shift lenses, but they are anti-fisheye lenses. One is a Canon 10-22mm and the other a Tokina 11-16.
For a general walk-around lens that will shoot decently wide landscapes while giving plenty of zoom power for tighter shots, I totally recommend the Canon EF-S 18-135mm. It's designed for crop cameras and serves as a kit lens for the Canon 7D. I put this on my T3 and it suddenly became an entirely different camera, with a helluva boost in image quality.