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Author Topic: What lens should I buy?  (Read 6897 times)
dante
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« on: April 14, 2009, 12:12:12 AM »
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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!




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geotzo
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 01:56:30 AM »
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Quote from: dante
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!

It really depends what you want it for. Though you have already covered 24mm and 50mm ranges through your zooms, I d say 50mm 1.2 L is a fine lens to use. Can't say the same for 24mm, which is nowhere near as good as the 35mm L. 14mm L is very nice to have if you really need to go that wide.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 05:05:49 AM »
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I know a fair few pros who get buy with less than you have....invest in your technique, you have a camera bag to drool over.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2009, 08:17:42 AM »
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Quote from: dante
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
Jesus tap dancing christ.

Quote
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!
Buy the one that fits your need.  Not seeing much need, however.  

Anyway.  As the lenses you are looking at are pretty much covered by the ones you already have it should be easy to figure out which one of the three you should buy.  Just look at what you shoot.
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Plekto
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2009, 04:17:47 PM »
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Quote from: dante
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?

Huge list there already.  If you really really need one more lens, consider something special like a tilt/shift lens.  The 14mm is just a big thing that's not terribly useful to be honest, and the 24mm vs the 24-70mm... a couple of stops isn't going to make a difference unless you really do nothing but landscapes at dawn/sunset.  The 50mm 1.2 is a whole other thing, though.  It's good.  But the 50mm f/1.4 is sharper and loads less money - get that instead.  

http://www.lens-scape.com/article/50mm-12vs14/50mm12vs14.htm
http://photo.net/equipment/canon/ef50/
It's clear that the 1.4 is a better lens for the money than the 1.2 and has a noticeable edge over the 1.8.

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/index.htm
This is the 1.2 vs the 1.8.     The 85mm f/1.2 that you have isn't generally as sharp as the 1.8 version.  You might consider selling the 1.2 and pocketing a large chunk of money.  to me, both look very close to each other.  But the price difference is, well, steep.

Extremely fast primes are good to a point, but they tend to have problems with reflections, glare, and extremely short focal ranges that make those last stop or two essentially useless 99% of the time(unless you do weddings or similar events where a 5-6 inch focal depth is a good thing at times).  And if you're always pulling the 1.2 back to 1.8 to get a good shot...
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 04:24:05 PM by Plekto » Logged
AdrianT
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2009, 04:48:12 PM »
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That's a great line-up you have there. Maybe a set of landscape filters would be a good next investment. The Singh-Ray site will keep you busy shopping for some amazing filters
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Melodi
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 05:36:31 PM »
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Wow.  I'd definitely play with all of your lenses first before making a decision.  I always thought I'd use my telephoto lens the most, but instead, after a few months experience, I love my wide angle and fixed 50mm and could almost live without the telephoto and super wide angle. You may find that you would like to invest in other things like printers and ink or workshops or mentoring or photography trips.
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ChrisS
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 12:35:14 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
Jesus tap dancing christ.

What a brilliant comment! I thought the same but couldn't possibly have found the words.


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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 02:21:09 PM »
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Quote from: dante
I'm a beginner with a broad range of interests. I purchased the Canon 5D MkII along with a few L series lenses.

Unless you're doing a lot of architecture, wildlife or sports photography you've got a pretty comprehensive kit.  The best thing you can do now is to get out and USE your gear for a while.  If there are any lens holes that need to be filled, you'll find out.

Paul
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:23:21 PM by PaulS » Logged

Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2009, 11:49:41 AM »
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Quote from: dante
I'm a beginner with a broad range of interests.

I have been accumulating equipment with the idea of coming out of retirement and doing some professional photography.

I have a similar dilemma, but I expect little sympathy.

I came across a full time professional photographer the other day - he had a Pentax RB67 and 2 lenses!

I have a Nikon system, including a Novoflex with 400 and 640mm lens heads - I thought about a D3X.

I have a three-body 4 lens Hasselblad roll film system.

I can use the Hasselblad CF lenses with my H3D11-50, but I have the 50-110mm zoom, so I could manage without the 80 and 120, and the 40 is not much wider than the 50-110.

I have a Sinar P, and two P2s, and 10 lenses from 120 degrees to 900mm.

I am converting one of the P2s to P3.

I have 90, 120, 120 Macro and 150mm Schneider Apo-digitars.

I have a full set of  5 Zeiss Luminar Macro lenses, giving me from 1:1 to 25:1.

I have a shutter for the Luminars, and I am thinking of using it on the back of the Novoflex lens (this lens has no elements behind the diaphragm).

I hope to (initially) do without a digital specialist wide-angle by using my Schneider Super-Angulon 47XL on a stitching board.

So I am thinking about getting a Schneider Apo-Digitar 210mm... I have a Hasselblad cf 250mm, but I want movements - I wonder if I could mount the H3D on my Hasselblad Flexbody and focus to infinity?

My Great-Nephew is doing A-level photography, and I might be able to persuade him to become a photographer... the theory being that the availability of my advice and kit would give him a good start.

And if Jesus wants tap dancing lessons, my wife teaches tap-dancing, gym and ballet (and her school should be a very useful asset to a photographer).
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Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
Tyler Mallory
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 02:55:58 PM »
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Quote from: dante
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!


You've got everything you need. Go out and enjoy yourself. New needs will come to you over time as you get used to how you work. You may find things other than lenses to be of more value in your kit.
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2009, 07:39:53 AM »
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Hello everyone. This is my first post on this forum.

I also have a 5D Mark II, and I bought the 24mm F1.4 II back in January. At F8 it is noticably sharper than the 24-70 F2.8 @ 24mm, especially in the corners, but the difference isn't that dramatic, since the 24-70 is also pretty good. Both lenses have some noticable chromatic aberration, although it can be almost entirely removed in Adobe Camera Raw. Unless you have a lot of money to spare, or need the absolute best possible image quality, I wouldn't recommend buying the 24mm F1.4 II for landscape work if you already have the 24-70 F2.8.

On the other hand, if you want to do nocturnal photography of moving subjects the 24mm F1.4 II might be worth buying. Even wide open the central part of the frame is quite sharp, although the corners are soft. I've found it to be useful for night street photography.

You already have an impressive selection of gear for a beginner, so my advice would be to work with what you have, refine your technique, and buy new lenses if and when they become necessary to take the sort of photos that interest you.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2009, 08:15:27 AM »
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Quote from: dante
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.
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2009, 06:34:04 AM »
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Quote from: walter.sk
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 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.

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.

Amateur and freelances can choose subjects according to the limitations their equipment, but, if you want to hit the ground running as a professional, you may want to be able to tackle a wide range of subjects.

Maybe I take this to extremes, wanting lenses giving me 1 degree to 100 degrees for landscapes/wildlife, and magnifications up to 25:1, all with a full range of movement on a view camera, plus a zoom for hand-held fashion, dance, gym etc.

But I decide what I want, and build up my collection as and when I can get it a reasonable price... I bought very few of my lenses new.

(I think I only have about two lenses in excess of 10 pounds.)
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