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Thread: Wallet full of $100 bills

  1. #1
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Wallet full of $100 bills



    ...around 33 of them, to be exact. []


    Hi All,


    That $3300 cash is
    just itching to be converted into lenses...


    Initially, I was planning on the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM and a carbon fiber monopod, and
    putting the remainder toward the future purchase of a fast prime - 35L, 50 or
    50L, 85L or 135L). However, some recent discussions (thanks, Brendan and Denise!) and
    looking over my photo library, have me leaning toward getting the EF 24-105mm
    f/4L, and wondering if I really need a 70-200mm zoom and if so, if it must be
    f/2.8.


    My current gear list includes:


    EOS 7D with BG-E7 battery grip
    EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
    EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
    EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
    EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6<span style="color: red;"]LIS USM
    EF 100mm f/2.8<span style="color: red;"]LMacro IS USM
    EF 200mm f/2.8<span style="color: red;"]LII USM
    EF 1.4x II Extender


    I don&rsquo;t shoot any one type of subject in particular. The majority of my shooting is around the house and on family outings, pics of my 2 year old daughter primarily &ndash;
    candids and portraits, a mix of indoor and now that the weather is nicer,
    outdoor shots. I also enjoy hiking around for nature shots, landscapes, flowers, wildlife, birds, etc., although I don&rsquo;t have as much free time for that as I&rsquo;d
    like. Also, we&rsquo;ll be travelling to China in 2011, our first international
    trip with a child along - meaning less space in the bags so I&rsquo;ll only be able
    to take 2-3 'essential' lenses.


    I love the 17-55mm focal length for most indoor shots, but in dim lighting f/2.8 isn&rsquo;t quite fast enough for ambient shots of a moving toddler. Outdoors, something longer
    than 55mm would be nice, but the 200mm prime is a bit long for &lsquo;everyday&rsquo;
    use.<span>


    <span> Also, with the weather-sealed
    7D body, I wouldn&rsquo;t mind doing some shooting in the rain &ndash; but currently, the
    only weather-sealed lens in my kit is the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS.<span>I don&rsquo;t feel the need to spend the
    entire amount on lenses right now &ndash; I&rsquo;m still wanting a CF monopod (~$250) for
    use with the 100-400mm, and I rather like having a bit of ready cash on hand in
    case something interesting pops up on Craigslist (like the EF-S 18-200mm that just came up for $425 including hood, which although not an ideal lens would certainly solve the trip to China space issues!).<span>


    <span>So, with all of that in mind, here are some possible
    combinations I&rsquo;m considering for purchase, along with the costs (I&rsquo;m including
    the appropriately-sized B+W MRC UV filters in the totals):


    1) EF 24-105mm f/4L
    + EF 35mm f/1.4L &ndash; a great outdoor walkaround lens plus a 'normal' (on a 1.6x
    crop) fast prime for indoor ambient shots. Total cost = $2550.<span>


    <span>2) EF 24-105mm f/4L + EF 70-200mm f/4L
    IS + EF 50mm f1.4 (incl. hood) &ndash; gives me f/4 from 24-200mm (and sits just
    above my 10-22mm), plus a fast (but non-L) prime, but which is also somewhat
    close in focal length to my 85mm f/1.8. Total cost = $2800.<span>


    <span>3) EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II + EF 50mm
    f1.4 (incl. hood) &ndash; throw caution to the wind and "Get the II", along
    with a fast prime. Total cost = $3,050.<span>


    <span>4) EF 24-105mm f/4L + EF 50mm f1.4 (incl. hood) + EF 135mm
    f/2L - great outdoor walkaround lens, fast indoor prime, and I just really want
    the EF 135mm f/2L! Total cost = $2600.<span>


    <span>5) EF 24-105mm f/4L as kit lens with 5DII [] &ndash; not looking
    for a second body as I still have more to learn with the 7D, but I figure
    someone will suggest this so I&rsquo;ll include it preemptively. Total cost = $3300.


    I&rsquo;m open to any and
    all suggestions and advice, from anyone with experience with one or more of the
    above lenses, or anyone who just wants to do a little vicarious shopping!<span>


    <span>Feel free to vote for one of the above
    combinations, or suggest a modification, or something completely different (but
    not radically different, please! - Brendan, did I just hear you say to sell all
    my lenses 100mm or longer, add the proceeds to the cash and get the EF 500mm
    f/4L IS?!?
    <span>).


    Thanks in advance!


    --John

  2. #2
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    I vote for 3)


    The 50 1.4 would be useful for the indoor ambient moving toddler pics. I use the lens for two running puppies at my parents place and have a pretty good hit rate on my 40D. 7D should make short work of it I'd have thought.


    The 70-200 would fill the 55mm to 200mm gap you mention which I am sure you already know [] and I doubt the 2.8 II would ever disappoint.


    Option 2 is tempting also as 24-105 plus 70-200 F4 IS is a nice light weight setup for your trip (I use the 24-105 as my single lens for travelling) but it is just for trips whereas you will likely appreciate the 70-200 2.8 II more (arguable the size of the margin) on an ongoing basis. I think my problem is I find it hard to recommend the 24-105 when you already have the 17-55 and would get a 70-200.


    I will say as well though that the 70-200 F4 IS is very sweet. My father has it (I have the non IS 2.8L) and I often contemplate if I made the right decision. Each time I go back to Australia I give it a run and am always impressed. I generally find I need to go out with the 2.8L when I get back to London to remind myself that it can do wonderful things also [:S]!!!


    This will be an interesting vote for sure I think

  3. #3
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    Personally, I would prefer the lens you already have (17-55 f/2.8 IS) as a general purpose lens to the 24-105 f/4 IS. Okay, the 24-105 has more reach. But I would think the wider angle and smaller f/number of the 17-55 would make it a better walk around lens. Can you remind me why you want the 24-105.


    For photos of toddlers, I like the 70-200 range. I think f/4 would be good enough most of the time for this purpose if you like tight protraits, because children are small (so you need to stop down more to get them all in focus than you would for a similar shot of an adult... most people don't take this into account. On the other hand, if you want to do full body shots, though, f/2.8 will be handy at least some of the time. Also, since you mentioned that you don't shoot one type of subject in particular, I think you might want to err on the side of versatility and go for the f/2.8.


    Some will say the fast prime is ideal for indoor pics of kids, and sometimes I do use them. But lately I've been leaning toward pics in the f/4 (which would be sort of like f/2.8 on a crop) range with IS (which would favor the 70-200 over the 35mm f/1.4). Your subject must be still for this to work, but at least you have enough DOF to get more than one eye in focus. All depends on what style picture you want to take, I guess.


    I think I just babbled instead of giving you an answer.



  4. #4
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Ruyle


    Personally, I would prefer the lens you already have (17-55 f/2.8 IS) as a general purpose lens to the 24-105 f/4 IS...Can you remind me why you want the 24-105.


    My (tentative) thinking was that the 17-55mm is the indoor general purpose lens, and the 24-105mm is the outdoor general purpose lens (focal length, but also weather sealing). One of my concerns about the 70-200 2.8 II is the size/weight - not for going on a hike, but say, for pics at the playground, where I often need to let the camera/lens dangle from my neck with both hands free to lift the little one onto a slide, etc.


    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    John, could you first tell us why you're looking at each lens (i.e why you're getting it, what each lens does that your current one don't).



  6. #6
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist


    ...around 33 of them, to be exact. [img]/emoticons/emotion-2.gif[/img]


    Hi All,


    That $3300 cash is
    just itching to be converted into lenses...


    Initially, I was planning on the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM and a carbon fiber monopod, and
    putting the remainder toward the future purchase of a fast prime - 35L, 50 or
    50L, 85L or 135L).


    I say don't second guess and get the 70-200 2.8 ISII and save for the 35L.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    The EF 24-105/4L IS is not going to give you anything significantly better than what you already have. While it is "weather-sealed," it is really nowhere as robust as you may be led to believe, due to the extending zoom design. It is not impervious to dust. It is also a relatively slow f/4, which in my experience has been its greatest limitation in terms of being able to control DOF.


    I think it is a very common fallacy to assume one needs to have a continuous focal length range from ultrawide to super-telephoto. That's not a very good criterion by which one should select lenses.


    I belong to the school of thought that the choice of lens mainly comes down to type of photography, but optical quality cannot be ignored. Yes, you have a gap from 55mm to 85mm. But honestly, is that range so important to cover? What kind of photography are you doing such that those focal lengths are absolutely required?


    If you buy the EF 70-200/2.8L IS II, sell the EF 200/2.8L. You won't have any use for it. In fact, you could also sell off the EF 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS. In its place you could get the 300/4L IS, which is much lighter and a full stop faster. Normally I'd recommend the 300/2.8L IS but I don't think you're going to carry that around much.


    Do you own any Speedlites? If you don't, get one. Indoor family photography can be incredibly good if you simply learn how to diffuse your flash. Bounce it and you can get wonderful results. With the 7D, you can even make it an optical slave thanks to the pop-up flash. Don't rely on fast glass--it's not like you're taking indoor concert/event shots, or gymnastics, where flash is not an option and the 85/1.2L, 135/2L, 200/2L are the lenses of choice. You could get the 35/1.4L, which will be a lovely lens, but the problem is that it's not cost-effective--by using it on a 7D, you are not taking advantage of the primary reason why the lens exists (and costs as much as it does). The fast wide-to-normal lenses are really all meant for 35mm sensors.

  8. #8
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    My (tentative) thinking was that the 17-55mm is the indoor general purpose lens, and the 24-105mm is the outdoor general purpose lens (focal length, but also weather sealing).
    I took some great shots yesterday with my macro lens of the dogs running around the yard, it gives you the length and weather sealing. The 100mm F/2.8 L IS macro is more versatile than it gets credit for. Also, I really love my 50mm f/1.4 and I know you would enjoy it but you already have the 85mm. [^o)] I am thinking of selling my 300mm for the 24-105mm but I'm not even convinced that I need it ...but I'm working on it!

    I'm on a monopod kick right now since I was at the park this weekend watching everyone with theirmonopods and the ease of use as I setup my tripod! So considering the frame of mind I'm in at the moment and all the lenses you already have, I'd go with a monopod and save the rest ..maybe snag a good deal or two on craigslist. I know ...BORING! [:P]


    Denise



  9. #9
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    Keep saving, you are 1/3 of the way to getting a 800mm L.

  10. #10
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    Re: Wallet full of $100 bills



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    One of my concerns about the 70-200 2.8 II is the size/weight - not for going on a hike, but say, for pics at the playground, where I often need to let the camera/lens dangle from my neck with both
    hands free to lift the little one onto a slide, etc.

    A legit concern. Also, I don't like to draw attention to myself when taking the kids to the park (after all, it's a trip to the park, not a photo session). I take my 24-105 on my 5DII. That's not so different from the 17-55 f/2.8 on a 7D. Not sure I would want something longer and slower, but obviously it's a very personal choice.


    Usually, though, I think the 70-200 2.8 is a great outdoor zoom. I used mine (version I) on a rebel for a long time and it was my favorite lens (and remained so through two more cameras until the II came along)


    I recommend going for a 70-200 zoom. On full frame, f/4 might be fine but for general purpose (and for many specific uses on a crop body), but for general purpose on a crop body, I would lean toward the more versatile f/2.8.


    Quote Originally Posted by scalesusa
    Keep saving, you are 1/3 of the way to getting a
    800mm L.

    Imagine dangling that from your neck while lifting the kids onto a slide












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