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Thread: My upgrade path...looking for outside thoughts

  1. #1
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    My upgrade path...looking for outside thoughts

    If you had the following:

    1Dx, 1Dx, 1D3
    16-35/2.8II, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8IS, 85/1.2II, 300/4IS

    And you were considering the following lenses:

    Zeiss 15/2.8, 100/2 Makro, 135/2
    Canon 35/1.4, 135/2, 70-200/4 (non-IS), 200-400/4&1.4x

    What order would you buy them? What other lenses would you squeeze into the sequence?
    How would the $80 mail-in rebate on the 70-200 and/or $100 rebate on the 35/1.4 and (Canon) 135/2 influence your sequence, assuming the rebates end on 3/31/14?

    Figure you deposit $500 to $1500 into the lens fund twice a month, there's $2500 in the pot currently, but the pot needs to be emptied by the end of the calendar year.
    Factor in a July cruise in Alaska (though rentals are already reserved for the relevant items listed above), and an October "Peter Read Miller Sports Photography Workshop".

    As much as I want the 200-400, I don't know that I can get it in time for the July cruise. The rumor mill somewhat suggests the 35/1.4 is getting "mark twoed" soon. I think buying the Canon 135/2 and the Zeiss 135/2 is redundant, though my wife may enjoy the Canon if I get the Zeiss (she has a bag of gear totally separate from the list above). That said, I think buying the Zeiss 100/2 and the Zeiss 135/2 may end up redundant as well. The 70-200/4 (non-IS) is intended to give me an inexpensive (and much lighter) outdoor sports option.

    Thoughts? Comments?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Peety,

    Sorry, I don't intend to hijack your thread, but I'm planning to post my 135mm f/2 L for sale in the short future. I bought it retail February 2012 and have kept it in good shape. If you're interested and in the USA let me know. I'd be looking for $825 and would include covering Paypal fees and Fedex shipping (signature required).

    I haven't taken photos of it yet, but plan to over the next several days.

    Dave

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Peety3,

    My turn to help you spend your money

    My first disclaimer, but I don't own the Canon EF 135 f/2. But it is on my list. You have mentioned magic, the way I hear people talk about the 135 f/2 being in a different class from the 70-200 f/2.8 II makes me think it has some magic. I can understand being tempted by the Zeiss 135 f/2, it may be one of the sharpest lenses out there, but it lacks AF and comes with a price tag ($2,100) that is more than double the Canon. You didn't mention what you may be using the lens for, but I don't think I could live without AF at 135 mm f/2. If you can, then it is at least worth discussing.

    Regarding the 35 mm focal length, you didn't mention the Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art. I just picked one up. The test charts look great, and I will spend the next little bit testing it out in real world shots. I'll let you know what I think. I rationalized the choice because of sharpness at f/1.4. A few shots around the house have not disappointed.

    A couple general thoughts:
    1. You didn't mention if your 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 are mk i or mk ii. It may be worth upgrading if they are the mk i versions. I am biased, but right now I am giving Canon time to fix production issues with the 24-70 ii. But the 70-200 ii I received is quickly becoming my go to lens.
    2. You mention the 70-200 f/4 non-IS as a sport lens. Just a thought, but I know of a person that has the 70-300 L for travel purposes because it packs so well, that may add something to your kit.
    3. You may already have this, but with 300 f/4 your longest lens, I'd at least want a 1.4 tc if not the 100-400L.


    Withe that said, if I had your kit and already had the 70-200 ii, I'd work off your list this order:
    1. Canon 135 f/2 by March 29 (according to BH website)
    2. Canon 35 f/1.4
    3. Zeiss 15 f/2.8 (Bryan seemed to have loved this lens in his review)


    Good luck,
    Brant

  4. #4
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    You have really good glass from 16mm to 300mm and maybe a little higher with converters. I don't know if adding primes in those ranges will really mean that much to you. So I would rate the 200-400mm f/4 as your first priority then maybe the Macro since you don't have one at all.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    So I would rate the 200-400mm f/4 as your first priority then maybe the Macro since you don't have one at all.
    I was also wondering about a tilt/shift.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    I was also wondering about a tilt/shift.....
    +1

    played w/ the 24 and 90 this summer. Had a lot of fun w/ them but didn't really get to understand them, clearly landscape stuff, hard to do anything fast with them. I would argue that the 90 makes for an interesting macro lens/ an extension tube.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    You didn't mention what you may be using the lens for, but I don't think I could live without AF at 135 mm f/2.
    Good point. The 135/2 would mostly be for portrait work, though I'd probably spend some time with it on the camera and no other lens handy, just to shake off some compositional cobwebs. The "AF assist" of the Zeiss lenses is rather useful though. Worthwhile "internal debates" on AF to follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Regarding the 35 mm focal length, you didn't mention the Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art. I just picked one up. The test charts look great, and I will spend the next little bit testing it out in real world shots. I'll let you know what I think. I rationalized the choice because of sharpness at f/1.4. A few shots around the house have not disappointed.
    I'm a brand snob, for better and worse. Something to think about, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    A couple general thoughts:
    1. You didn't mention if your 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 are mk i or mk ii. It may be worth upgrading if they are the mk i versions. I am biased, but right now I am giving Canon time to fix production issues with the 24-70 ii. But the 70-200 ii I received is quickly becoming my go to lens.
    Both of these lenses are mk I. I'm sure the newer models are better, but I'm emotionally not ready to drop good bucks on new versions of lenses I already own. I do see both of these working their way up the wish list, but almost definitely after the 200-400.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post


    1. You mention the 70-200 f/4 non-IS as a sport lens. Just a thought, but I know of a person that has the 70-300 L for travel purposes because it packs so well, that may add something to your kit.
    2. You may already have this, but with 300 f/4 your longest lens, I'd at least want a 1.4 tc if not the 100-400L.
    70-200/4 is $709 - $80. 70-300L is $1599 - $200. I'm definitely not seeing value in the 70-300L, even if it has IS. I'm OK with f/4 on the long end, not really OK with f/5.6. And the 100-400 is not going into my bag unless/until it's updated. I just don't like it; it ranks very low on the "magic contained inside" scale for me, it's hard to balance on a monopod/gimbal head, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Withe that said, if I had your kit and already had the 70-200 ii, I'd work off your list this order:
    1. Canon 135 f/2 by March 29 (according to BH website)
    2. Canon 35 f/1.4
    3. Zeiss 15 f/2.8 (Bryan seemed to have loved this lens in his review)
    Appreciate the input. Lots to think about.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    I don't know if adding primes in those ranges will really mean that much to you. So I would rate the 200-400mm f/4 as your first priority then maybe the Macro since you don't have one at all.
    The primes buy me some faster fastness. My wife loved the 300/4 on a whale watch, so getting the 200-400 doesn't make the 300/4 obsolete (also good for me to have around when the 200-400 is just too big and/or heavy). Macro-wise, my wife has the Canon 100/2.8L Macro, so I can raid that when desired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    I was also wondering about a tilt/shift.....
    I've rented the 17TS (won $200 in photo contests with it, and did a great pano of my parents' kitchen), and I've rented the 24TS (got a few neat shots with it at a hockey game and a few other places). I enjoyed them, but really don't feel much urge to even rent them much. I suspect they're on the list after the "odd hundreds" (300/2.8, 500/4) get bought (which is before the even hundreds: 200/2, 400/2.8, 600/4).

  10. #10
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    Short-term update for the -3 people who are curious: I bought the 70-200/4L (non-IS) to get the $80 mail-in rebate. As I feared, Canon has rejected my rebate claim, saying the UPC was invalid. I'm awaiting an "investigation". Thankfully the rep said there's an alternate way to qualify by sending in a photo of the lens/serial number.

    I "took a loan" from the lens fund to pay for our upcoming cruise. Now I'm in a very dynamic planning mode to decide what to buy before the cruise, mostly "little" things like a LensAlign, memory cards, an SSD and two HDDs for image storage, perhaps 1-2 spare camera batteries. Meanwhile, I've got to save up for my rental, and I'm debating whether to rent the 600 (alongside the 200-400).
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

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