Originally Posted by nathancarter
the Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens - colloquially called the "nifty fifty" - is one of the best budget lenses you can get, and is great for portraiture.
This. I have a T2i and I use the bejeezus out of my 50mm f/1.8. Was extremely cheap compared to some of the other Canon lenses, its fast, and takes great clean shots even in reasonably low light. Most of my studio work is done indoors in cramped quarters and this lens shines in that dept, however, ive done many shoots outdoors with the 50 and it works great there too. As said, its a fantastic portrait lens and youd be hard pressed to compete with its price.
If you find that some of the Canon lenses are too pricey, take a look at some of the Tamron lenses. They have some really decent, affordable lenses, especially in the telephoto department.