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Thread: Which Canon Lens?

  1. #1

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    Which Canon Lens?

    Hi!

    I just had two lenses stolen (but that's another thread).
    Canon 18-55 kit lens
    Canon 55-250 zoom

    I still have my Tamron 60mm f/2.8 macro. Should I get a prime, or zoom? I have been reading and leaning towards the following lenses:
    Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
    Canon 24-105mm f/4L
    Canon 17-40 f/4L

    I liked the sharpness of my Tamron lens better than the two Canon which were stolen (but it was also more expensive and better glass). I hardly ever used the 55-250 because I felt that all the pictures were grainy or always out of focus, too dark, too close etc. Recently I was starting to like the kit lens again because I wanted to take wide angle shots.

    Basically I need a good walk around lens.

    Any suggestions or feedback (especially if anyone has experience with the above lenses?

  2. #2
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Kimberly:

    I'm assuming by the lenses you list that you have a APS-C body (1.6 crop factor).

    I have experience with the 24-105 - I bought it with my 30D body over five years ago. Although it's often paired with the 5 series bodies as a "kit" lens, it works well with the smaller sensor too (in effect becoming a 38 to 169 mm zoom). It has been a very reliable and durable lens for me. Some people would like it to be faster (f/2.8), but then it would cost far more and be heavier.

    http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/18...report--review

    For my 30D body, I often use the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 lens. This lens has excellent optical qualities but is not built to the same level as the 24-105. The effective focal range of this lens on the APS-C body is 27-88, so the wide end is similar to the 24-105 on the FF body.

    http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/17...report--review

    When I've had images from both lenses on the same shoot, I can't tell which lens was used unless I check the EXIF data.

    From my experience, I would say that the Photozone ratings are quite accurate.

    As for the prime/zoom argument, this has probably been put to rest - the new zooms are very good to excellent. As Photozone says, "the centre resolution of the lens (17-55) is among the very best tested to date - including fixed focals (primes)".

    Glenn

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvedten View Post
    I have been reading and leaning towards the following lenses:
    Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
    Canon 24-105mm f/4L
    Canon 17-40 f/4L
    Kimberly

    The 24-70 has now been replaced by the new version 24-70 f2.8 L II, which is VERY much more expensive. It is not yet available, but the big retailers are accepting pre-orders. You may still be able to pick up a copy of the original but they are becoming very rare.

    So, unless you have very deep pockets then choice is down to the other two and you need decide what it is that you want/need. I think most folks would see the 24-105 as a more walkabout type lens, given that it does give a wider zoom range.

    I agree with Glenn re the prime v zoom issue. Unless you are going into very high end, specialist image-making, then a zoom is the thing to have.

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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    Glenn, yes it is an APS-C body. Dreaming of the Mark V III but that is probably a lifetime away.... I read both the articles that you posted, and I am still confused.

    I am a hobby photographer who sometimes sells pictures (portraits), and I don't know if I should invest in a FF lens and hope that one day I get there...or buy the lens that fits the camera I have now best. PS - I've been using my current camera for the past 6 years!

    Donald, my pockets aren't deep and that is why I didn't list til 24-70 II. I was sort of hoping I could get the versjon I cheaper and ultimately just as good? I don't really know if my photographic abilities would notice the difference between I and II, but my wallet would!

    The main reason I think I would like the 24-70 is because it is a 2.8. I don't really care about the weight as much as low light capabilities (as I have yet to invest in a proper flash).
    Last edited by Tvedten; 17th May 2012 at 10:14 PM. Reason: thankful and confused!

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvedten View Post
    The main reason I think I would like the 24-70 is because it is a 2.8. I don't really care about the weight as much as low light capabilities (as I have yet to invest in a proper flash).
    I've just got one and it was for the same reason as you cite as being why you'd like it. I've just had it for two weeks and already I'm in love with it. But, certainly in the UK, they are getting hard to find.

    Where are you? If you wish, you can go to Edit Profile and enter your location so that it shows up alongside all your posts, just as in my details alongside this message. Then we all know where everyone is in the world.

  6. #6
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    You mention that you want wide, yet 24mm is not that wide on an APS-C camera: 17mm is however “wide”. But the 17 to 40F/4L is only F/4 and you also mention that you like F/2.8: so therefore none of the lenses listed really address your criteria.

    Consider the EF-S 17 to 55F/2.8 IS USM. Or there are third party similar lenses, Tamron amongst them.

    On some other points:
    You mention “Low Light Capacity” and whilst there is a difference between an F/4 lens and an F/2.8, for “low light capacity” often the (older) Camera’s ISO is the sticking point and not the lens: therefore:
    What camera do you have?
    What subjects and in what conditions do you take photos?

    Also – lenses don’t make pictures “grainy or always out of focus, too dark, too close etc” – which makes me think more about the camera’s ISO capacity, (combined with a slow aperture lens) is something that you might need to address.

    AND it would be a shame to invest a lot of money into one of the three lenses you listed on your consideration list, (albeit they are all very nice glass) expecting that your problems will be solved, when those problems actually might require a different remedy.

    I have used all the five lenses which you mentioned and also the EF-S17 to 55, which I mentioned: I have not used the 24 to 70F/2.8L MkII, so I cannot provide a comparison between it and the original model.

    WW

  7. #7
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Kimberly,

    Since your pockets aren't deep, I would suggest forgetting about the L lenses. There are lots of much less expensive lenses that are very good.

    One very good an inexpensive walk-around lens for a crop is the Tamron 17-50 non-VC. If you want a wider range but a slower lens, the Canon EF-S 15-85 is an excellent walk-around lens, but somewhat more expensive. If you want a range comparable to the 24-70--which is to say, not wide on your camera--an excellent alternative is the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. There are lots of others.

    For full disclosure: I have two of these. I use the 15-85 as my walk around outdoors, because I rarely shoot landscape faster than f/8. The 28-75, usually with flash, is my go-to lens for candids of people indoors.

    I own a couple of L lenses, and yes, they are in various ways better than the cheaper ones. However, unless you are very good at this, you are not likely to see much if any practical difference in your images. For example, I do lots of macro, using both an EF-S 60mm and an EF 100mm L that cost almost twice as much. They serve different purposes, but in an 8 x 10 print, I doubt I could see the difference. (Check out my site at dkoretz.smugmug.com and see if you can.) If I were in your shoes, I would buy a couple of less expensive lenses and save the cash for other things.

    As William said, things like graininess and incorrect exposure are not a result of the lens. To solve them, you need to learn about things like ISO and proper exposure, and then practice a lot.

    Dan

  8. #8
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Kimberly,

    The first 2 questions will help answer your questions better…

    1. What kind of photography do you plan to use it for? Travel & Landscapes, Wildlife, or Weddings/Portraits/Events?
    2. Are you planning to move towards a FF camera sooner rather than later or stay with a crop?

    If you think you want to eventually move to a FF camera, many people in that situation decide to purchase EF lenses that fit FF bodies instead of EF-S for crops. Cheaper in the long run.

  9. #9
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    It is a hobby for me to .
    My main lenses are 10-22 for wide angle
    17-55 general walk about has IS
    70-200 mk II you really need a good reason to this lens - does cost .
    If I was replacing lenses - I would go for the 10-22 and the newer 28-300 .
    Or you could just replace the 18-55 , get the 10-22 and watch for a good buy on the 70-200 f-4 .
    For me , out of 20 shots 17 would be with the 17-55 , 2 with the 10-22 and one with the 70-200 .

  10. #10
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Sorry, I duplicated the post unintentionally.

  11. #11
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    Selection of lenses totally depends on your shooting style (although often shooting style is predicated by the lenses you have available)...

    I started with the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens which is actually a fairly decent glass. It was not wide enough so I purchased a 20mm f/2.8 Canon and used those two lenses for a while. I liked the combination because I could fit my camera + 28-135mm lens in a Tamrac Zoom 90 holster case and still have room for the 20mm at the bottom. However, I was not keen on the image quality which, while decent, was not what I wanted. The combination was still not quite wide enough for me.

    My next idea was a combination of 17-40mm f/2.8L and 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS). This combination was totally unsuited for my style of photography. The f/4 on the mid-range zoom was too slow without IS and the 40mm end was not long enough. The non-IS 70-200mm f/4L was a very sharp lens but, one that required a lot of light in order to hand-hold effectively. The 40-70mm gap between these lenses was frustratiing to say the least.

    Sellng those two lenses, I bought a 24-70mm f/2.8L lens which, at that time was the flagship of the Canon line. I loved this lens and when I combined it with a 12-24mm f/4 Tokina, I had a rather decent focal range. Inage quality was great with both lenses.

    However, when the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens was introduced, I was cajolled by my wife to taks a trip to Branson, MO with her sister and brother in law. My wife asked me not to make it a photo oriented trip. I took that opportunity to buy a 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens and fell in love with it. It was wide enough for most of my shooting, fairly fast at f/2.8 and I could shoot in some relatively dim areas because of its great IS capability. However, it was not quite long enough for me. I really like a lens of a longer focal length for portraits, to crop in the camera, to shoot people unawares when traveling and to take advantage of a narrow DOF for selective focus.

    I wanted a longer focal length lens to carry with me everywhere and to hand hold. The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens was introduced and I ALMOST purchased one. However, the lens had some problems when it was first issued and that caused me to wait. While waiting for Canon to resolve the 70-300mm IS lens problems, they introduced the 70-200mm f/4L IS and I hopped on that one. I have never regretted waiting for that lens to appear or never regretted buying one. It is my all-time favorite lens and along with my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is half of my go to travel and general photography sombination.

    OTOH, as much as I love that combination, I would not be happy with the combo if I used a single camera. That would mean changing lenses in the field more often than I desire. However, on a pair of 1.6x cameras, the combination is the best I have ever shot with in over 50+ years of photography. Note: I don't miss the 55-70mm gap like I mised the 40-70mm gap earlier.

    If I were shooting with a single camera, I would probably select the 15-85mm Canon because it would cover a decent focal range.

    If I were shooting with a pair of cameras and wanted a less expensive setup, I would very likely choose the 17-50mm f/2.8 (non-VC) Tamron and the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VC Tamron. These two lenses would provide me with a workable focal range with very good to excellent IQ.

    I still keep the 12-24mm Tokina but, the 17mm of my 17-55mm lens is wide enough for most of my shooting.

    I will shoot about 2/3 to 1/2 of my imagery with the 17-55mm focal length and 1/3 to 1/2 with the telephoto,

  12. #12

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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    I have the 24-105 and that is my most used lens. I've used it on my old Xti, and for the last year my 7D and now on my 5D III. It's been wonderful on all of them. I also have the 10-22 for the 7D which came in handy, the 100-400, and purchased with the 5D, the 16-35L lens and yes the L lens are expensive. The 10-22 on the 7D will give you pretty much the equivalent of the 16-35 on the 5D. I generally do landscapes myself, as was stated before, it really depends on what you use it for most.

  13. #13
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    Re: Which Canon Lens?

    I have the 24-105 f/4L IS USM. A little slow, but compact and a great travel/walkaround lens. But. Substantially different between my XT and my 5D2. It's a much better "fit" on full frame, so if I had to do it over again with an ASP-C camera, I'd probably opt for the EF-S 15-85 or (if the budget is low), a used EF-S 17-85 IS USM. If you need faster, then the L-priced EF-S 17-55/2.8 or Tamron 17-50/2.8 is probably the one.

    24mm and 28mm on a crop body aren't so much wide angle as "wideish". I'd only go for a 24-something L if you already have a 10-22 or other ultrawide zoom to make up for it, or you know you're going full-frame in the near future and want to avoid getting EF-S lenses. If full-frame is a long long way off, though, why handicap yourself and pay more for sensor coverage you aren't going to use? Good lenses tend to hold value for resale.

    If you want twin-lens kit type coverage/quality/cost in a single lens, there's also the EF-S 18-135 IS, which is the kit lens on the 60D and 7D, iirc.

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