I'm a beginner with a broad range of interests. I purchased the Canon 5D MkII along with a few L series lenses. So far, I have the following lenses:
EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.28 USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM
EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM
EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
I am thinking of purchasing either 14mm f/2.8 II USM, the 24mm f/1.4 II USM or the 50mm f/1.2mm. Does anybody have any suggestions on which one to purchase first?
Thanks for your help!
Holy Moly, Batman! For a beginner, you've got quite a collection of lenses! But it sounds as if you picked them by looking at the focal length ranges available and deciding to fill all of the gaps. What I tell my friends who are beginning is to go with a relatively inexpensive zoom lens that goes from moderately wide to moderate telephoto and shoot with it for a month or two until they really learn it as well as their new camera. (Unless they already have a desire to shoot certain types of scene more than others, in which case the advice would be dependent on the kind of shooting they want to do.)
If you don't have a preferred type of shooting, buying more lenses just becomes an exercise in acquisition. Go out and shoot, shoot, shoot! I suggest taking the 24-70 and 70-200 out, and leave the others home. Shoot everything that catches your eye, especialy in the areas that your interests (which you have not specified) lie. When you get home, look through your pictures and note the focal lengths you used. You may discover that 90-95% of your shots lie well within this range. You may also become frustrated if you find that you now "need" something wider or longer, and that should guide you.
If you like shooting buildings and find that 24mm, which on the 5D is quite wide, doesn't get what you want into the frame, you already have the 16-35. If, on the other hand, you like to shoot birds in the treetops, your 70-200 is not long enough. Then, you would have the choice of a 1.4X or 2X extender, or a lens like the 100-400 (which I love despite some negative criticism it has received), or a more specialized lens such as the 500 f/4 or 600 f/4, or something like a Sigma 50-500, etc. The point is, you will learn as you get used to shooting what you like, what lenses you really would use most.
If you buy equipment based on some theory of having to have "all the right stuff" before you start shooting, you begin to see equipment as what determines the quality of your pictures, rather than your photographic eye.
Another good approach would be to take one lens at a time and use it for a week or two so that you learn how it fits in with your budding photographic interests and style. You will also learn the capabilities and limitations of that lens, and begin to see in the environment those scenes that call to you for that lens. Then move on to the next lens for a couple of weeks.
I surmise that many of the people reading this will remember going out with nothing more than 1 body and a 50mm lens until it became second nature. And then, deciding that it was all they needed for their average shooting. Springing for the 90mm or 24mm would come only after realizing they had a need for it.
For other beginners considering their first serious camera, there are relatively inexpensive lenses with a large range, such as the 28-200, 28-300, 18-200, etc. that can teach you some of what I've mentioned here before you sink big dollars into glass. And these fairly inexpensive zooms will always be good to have as walk-around or travel lenses when you decide to leave the 3-pound monsters at home.