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Thread: 3 Lenses - Suggestions?

  1. #1

    3 Lenses - Suggestions?

    Hello,

    My first post here =), I'll keep it short and to the point.

    I'm a semi-amature photographer just getting some more advanced gear and knowledge via courses. Over the next little while I'm looking to save up for three lenses.

    1) Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM (Telephoto / range)
    2) Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM Macro Lens
    3) Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM (Walk around)

    I've done a bit of research on all lenses, and they seem to be the best options for what I'm doing.

    I do a lot of portrait shots for friends/family. When I go on vacation I like to go to places that have lots of wildlife and flora. The only other main subject I work with would be structures.

    If anyone has some opinions on different lenses they would like to share it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: 3 Lenses - Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelyDan View Post
    Hello,

    My first post here =), I'll keep it short and to the point.

    I'm a semi-amature photographer just getting some more advanced gear and knowledge via courses. Over the next little while I'm looking to save up for three lenses.

    1) Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM (Telephoto / range)
    2) Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM Macro Lens
    3) Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM (Walk around)

    I've done a bit of research on all lenses, and they seem to be the best options for what I'm doing.

    I do a lot of portrait shots for friends/family. When I go on vacation I like to go to places that have lots of wildlife and flora. The only other main subject I work with would be structures.

    If anyone has some opinions on different lenses they would like to share it would be greatly appreciated.
    The "usual" high-end Trilogy of lenses that I recommend are:

    EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM II,

    EF 24-70mm F2.8L USM, and the

    EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM ...

    ... but having said that, it really comes down to what your shooting.

    The 16-35/2.8L is fairly ("compulsory") for high-end landscape - the 24-70/2.8L is the industry-standard "workhorse zoom" for walk-around/portraiture, and the 70-200/2.8L IS picks up where the 24-70/2.8L leaves off.

    You didn't say whether your shooting full frame or crop - for FF the 85/1.2L is nothing short of "venerable" for portraiture, but fairly limited (compared to a zoom) for other things.

    The 100-400 is a great lens, but if you whack on a 2x Teleconverter and stop it down a couple of stops then the 70-200's performance is indistinguishable (this possibly making it more versatile?) (I wouldn't part with mine)

    The 180/3.5L Macro is a darn fine lens - if you need macro (you didn't mention it) (if you don't then I'd probably look in other directions as it's too long for most portraiture) (unless you want to shoot full-length portraits from 1/2 a city block away).

    The 24 to 105 is a great performer - on the down-side it's a tad slow for my liking, but it does negate the need for lens swaps if your using a 24-70 / 70-200 option.

    I'm not trying to suggest that any of these are more suitable than what you've chosen - just a bit more food for thought.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 6th July 2009 at 06:02 AM.

  3. #3
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Lenses - Suggestions?

    What Camera(s)?

    The 180Macro is a bit long and a bit cumbersome on an APS-C (usually) and it requires a Tripod for most macro work (almost always), is too long for portraiture (usually) and whilst incredibly sharp is a bit slow (Aperture) for shallow DoF Portraiture.

    For Structures (Buildings?) the 24 to 105 would be suitable for some if on a 135 format camera, but less so on an APS-H and likely not that useful at all on an APS-C.

    What lens(es) do you now have?

    WW

  4. #4

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    Re: 3 Lenses - Suggestions?

    Your list seems very similar to the one I had recently.

    My eventual choices were Sigma 150-500 lens for wildlife. Colin's suggestion about the 70-200 makes a lot of sense and gives you an excellent general zoom with wildlife options. But my experience is that whatever lens you get for wildlife won't be big enough. You will soon be putting a 1.4x converter on that 100-400. Which is why I went straight for 500. But I would suggest that the 70-200 is better for general purpose work. I already had a Canon 70-300.

    The Canon 180 macro is an excellent lens but I finally went for the Sigma version which was rated almost as good but cheaper. But as William said, it is a heavy cumbersome lens which requires a good tripod; so you may find a 150 macro lens more to your liking. Having said that, I like having the extra reach for nervous insects so I am willing to accept the extra cost and inconvience, but that does mean having to carry it plus a tripod, so I mostly use it for 'dedicated bug shoots'.

    The 24-105 will probably be my next purchase. I already have the much cheaper 28-135 which is a reasonable general purpose budget lens which covers a handy size range but I would like a bit better quality sometimes. Although, as Colin pointed out, F4 may be a bit on the 'slow' side; but I can't find anything else which gives me the size range that I use most.

    The alternative option is to get the 24-105 as a general purpose lens plus a faster prime for formal portraits; say something around 50mm.

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