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Thread: Going FF - need to settle on a lens-logic!

  1. #11
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    HD summed it up well.

    If I could at one thing is a complete prime lineup is heavier in your bag than a fast zoom setup but lighter in your hand, the reverse is true with zooms.

    Everyones needs are different and has different opinions, in the end you need to select your own gear based on what you think you need and want to shoot.

    Cheers,
    John.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  2. #12
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    panopticon,
    Welcome to the forum. I have a 5D mkI and a 24-105. I shoot portraits with it at 105 quite a bit. At f4.5 it is sharp and had good bokeh. I would like more but it is nice.

    - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 mk2 - decent low-light capabilities and covers a wide span of focal lengths - not quite the same play with DOF as the below contestants though. I have not used this one. I have the 17- 40 f4.0. It is nice when I need the 17 but I do not use this lens much.

    - Canon 24mm f/1.4 II - good low-light capabilities, but can 24mm double for landscape and street photography? Compared to the 35mm, this one has weathersealing from what I can tell. I think the 24 here is a good choice.
    - Canon 35mm f/1.4 - again, good low-light capabilities, but can 35mm double for street photography and landscapes? Not quite wide enough for me.

    - Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS - good bokeh, decent low-light, IS, and has macro-capabilities, but supposedly a slowish AF. I have thought about this myself but I love the 135.

    - Canon 135mm f/2.0 - excellent bokeh, good low-light, and with an extender it can double as a proper tele-lens! I'm quite hooked on its bokeh... I played with one of thes on my 5D. I loved it. It is on my list. I was surprised at how heavy it was. Felt much heavier than my 24-105.

    - Canon 24-105 f/4.0 IS - the swiss-knife spanning from 24mm landscapes to 105mm portraits, but never really shining at either function. Great walk around lens

    - Canon 70-200 f/4.0 IS - lightweight, good sharpness, but only f/4.0 - perhaps a 135mm with an extender would work just as well. No IS on the 135 could be an issue. I have the Tamron 70-300 VC(IS). It is black so it is less conspicuous than the white canon lenses. It is sharp to 200, a bit soft to 300 but acceptable. I use it in street photography and find the IS is a must but it works great. I get quite a few shots of people without them knowing it. Here is an example of a street shot with my Tamron @300 usint my 1DmkIIn

    IMG_0387 by clemmb60, on Flickr

    With a FF I also feel you also need a 50mm.
    Here is my suggestion:
    5DmkII
    24L
    50f1.4
    135L f2.0
    Tamron 70-300VC
    Mark

  3. #13
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    I'm getting more and more keen on a 135/24mm combo. I just checked up on the 1.4/2x-extenders on B&H, and according to them the latest version of those extenders fit the 135, but not the 100mm L macro. The 135mm f/2.0 with a 1.4x extender would then make me a 189mm f/2.8 lens, while the 2x extender would make a 270mm f/4.0 lens. The lack of IS may be critical at these focal lengths, but if the alternative is another lens to carry around, then I could probably live with a little higher ISO. Besides, an extender could even fit in the pockets of my jacket!

    Nice shot clemmb, thanks for sharing!
    I'll think about something to fill in the midrange (35-50mm range). A 50mm isn't all that expensive anyway. Alternatively I could add the 24-105mm, but not untill I've accustomed myself with the primes.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by panopticon View Post

    Edit: Out of curiosity, what do you (HDNitehawk) use to cover the remaining focal lengths in the spectrum?
    I owned the 24-70mm F/2.8L up until November of last year. I sold it right before the release of the II version. So right now I have nothing between 35mm and 70mm. I seldom used it. I am hoping the new II version will be as good as promised. If it is I may rethink what I carry as a walk around.

    I am not sure what your budget is, but with a few of the lenses we have talked about, an extender and a 5D II you would be getting close to 4 grand. I know the old saying glass before body, but if I were starting over I wouldn't take the 5D III with the 24-105mm kit lens off the table. The 1D type autofocus could very well do more for your photography than having three primes on one of the other bodies.

  5. #15
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    There are two problems with the 135mm and extenders, you lose AF speed and image quality significantly with the extenders on the 135mm. You cut the AF by half with the 1.4x and twice with the 2x, most likely slower than any of the 70-200's. The IQ with extenders and 135mm noticebly worst with the 1.4x than the 70-200's and significantly worst with the 2x. Another thing is you aren't saving but a few ounces by going that route and would cost more than a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and nearly as much as the II version. I would concur with HD and strongly recomend the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (II if possible) over the 135mm and extenders. If you are really bent on primes the 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.4 (for cost reasons) in combination with the 70-200mm is a excelent combination.

    Later on add the 135mm f/2.0 and 14mm f/2.8 and you got a killer combo!

    John.
    Last edited by FastGass; 04-08-2012 at 10:36 PM.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    I owned the 24-70mm F/2.8L up until November of last year. I sold it right before the release of the II version. So right now I have nothing between 35mm and 70mm. I seldom used it. I am hoping the new II version will be as good as promised. If it is I may rethink what I carry as a walk around.

    I am not sure what your budget is, but with a few of the lenses we have talked about, an extender and a 5D II you would be getting close to 4 grand. I know the old saying glass before body, but if I were starting over I wouldn't take the 5D III with the 24-105mm kit lens off the table. The 1D type autofocus could very well do more for your photography than having three primes on one of the other bodies.
    Yes, you're right about the prices sneaking up on 5D III-levels, but I'm not really sold on the new 5D features and the added costs. Besides, there should be some decent chances of making a good second-hand purchase now that people are upgrading. With that said, I probably won't make the final decision before the more thorough reviews of all the new gear have landed and the second-hand market has stabilized its prices a bit. So I'll definitely keep an eye on it, while waiting for a good offer...



    Edit: Another post snuck in just before me

    Quote Originally Posted by FastGass View Post
    There are two problems with the 135mm and extenders, you lose AF speed and image quality significantly with the extenders on the 135mm. You cut the AF by half with the 1.4x and twice with the 2x, most likely slower than any of the 70-200's. The IQ with extenders and 135mm noticebly worst with the 1.4x than the 70-200's and significantly worst with the 2x. Another thing is you aren't saving but a few ounces by going that route and would cost more than a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and nearly as much as the II version. I would concur with HD and strongly recomend the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (II if possible) over the 135mm and extenders. If you are really bent on primes the 24mm and 35mm and 50mm f/1.4 (for cost reasons) in combination with the 70-200mm is a excelent combination.

    Later on add the 135mm f/2.0 and 14mm f/2.8 and you got a killer combo!

    John.
    I understand what you're saying, but the way I see it the extender is just an added bonus, that saves me from carrying around another dedicated tele-lens. I see your point with using the 70-200 f/2.8 IS as both a portrait and tele-lens, though. That would give me everything in one package, but the package would be a bit heavier. I'd save around half a kg by using the 135mm + 2x extender (lets just assume, I'll go with the heaviest/priciest extender for now), and around 750 dollars total. I could always cover up that white color of the lens, but it is still quite remarkable from its size alone - although a 135mm+extender would probably look just as remarkable anyway. But that would give me zoom and that's worth considering, though.

    As to the autofocus/image-quality thing with the extenders: I did some reading on the autofocus, but my impression is that it isn't 'that bad'. I don't have any first-hand experience myself though, so that would be appreciated. As to the actual image-quality, I compared it on this same site's excellent comparison-tool, and didn't find the decrease in IQ that alarming (the tele-capability is still just an added bonus in my perspective). When stopped down to around f/8 it actually seemed just fine to me, but I'm aware that it puts a drag on the shutter-speed and/or ISO. It doesn't give me much bokeh to play with either, but I imagine using the tele-range mainly in the wilds for compressing the background. But first-hand knowledge with the extenders (especially series 3, since there seems to be a jump between v2 and v3) is definitely welcome.

    - I'm off for now, but will check back tomorrow. Thanks for all the help thus far.
    Last edited by panopticon; 04-08-2012 at 10:57 PM.

  7. #17
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    That puts it in perscective, if you are mainly useing the 135mm f/2.0 bare and using the extender for mainly for added reach stopped down in landscapes then I can see your point. Also by your second last post I was under the impresion that you wanted both extenders which added weight and cost instead of just one.

    I think you should definetely try out the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and the 135mm with a extender before you make up your mind, it seems you are a little overly cautions about adding weight., It's really easy to get caught up in the specs vs real world. I carry in my hands the 600mm f/6.3 (5.6 lbs) with 2x extender, flash, better beamer and 60D and about 5lbs of other gear in a bag slung on my shoulder, if you added up all the specs you would think that would be FAR to heavy to carry around for hours hiking but in reality it's not that bad.

    John.
    Last edited by FastGass; 04-08-2012 at 11:22 PM.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  8. #18
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    Unless you are going with the 70-200mm F/2.8L II or one of the new SuperTele II's, stick with the II version of the extenders. I bought the III version when it came out and returned it. There is no benefit in buying the III version for the 135mm.

    Every time I take my 70-200mm F/2.8 II on an outing I think "dang this thing is heavy"....when I get home and put my pic's on the computer I think "dang this lens takes good pictures".

    My reasoning on the the 5D III is because I own the 1D IV and now how well the 1D's AF is supposed to be. Like you I want to see more reviews, specifically on the AF system, preferably by someone who has experience with a 1D AF system so that I can hear a fair comparison. I know how much my keeper rate improved with the 1D IV over the 5D II, and it is significant.

  9. #19
    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    @Rick, I've never owned but have used the 1D IV and to my eye the 5Dmk3 beats the mk4, the AF is just sensational.
    @Panoption, it gets down to dollars like a lot of things in life, if you can afford good primes and enough of them they will beat good zooms every time. But good zooms work very, very well. Depending on your skill as a photographer, a good zoom can be the best tool to invest in. For my skill level I have blessed the convenience and results of good zooms many times. I have been able to get "the shot" and no one knows if it is a zoom or a prime.
    I have some nice primes and if I am shooting for me I will generally use a prime. If I am shooting for someone else and the environment is dynamic and changing all the time, I need a good zoom.
    My advice would be the 70-200 or 300 zooms the best that you can afford and then 24, 35, 50 and 85 mm primes. If you thought you were going to shoot some weddings and events I would say to go for the 24-70 or 105 before the primes. But if it is mainly personal travel definitely the 70-200 or 300 and then as many primes as you can afford.
    Good luck with it, money spent on good glass is not a waste to someone that uses that glass.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by panopticon View Post
    Canon's 17-55mm IS f/2.8 and Tokina's 11-16mm lenses [...] I find myself using my zoom lenses in their fully extended or retracted positions the most (~90% of the time). I interpret this as a possible indicator that perhaps I should try my luck with primes instead on my next setup.
    Well, your three focal lengths are approximately 11mm, 17mm, and 55mm. In full frame that's approximately 18mm, 28mm, and 90mm. Having one prime at each of those focal lengths seems like an excellent setup to me!

    How about this?
    Zeiss 18mm f/3.5 (manual focus, slow, 1 pound).
    EF 28mm f/2.8 IS (not out yet, but only half a pound).
    EF 100mm f/2.8 IS (1 and a half pounds).

    Here's another possibility that's based on wider angles of view than what you had with the 50D:
    Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (manual focus, but cheap and 1 pound)
    24mm f/1.4 II (1 and a half pounds)
    85mm f/1.8 (1 pound)

    The very lightest kit I can think of (2 pounds for all three):
    EF 20mm f/2.8
    EF 50mm f/1.8
    Tamron 90mm f/2.8

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