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Thread: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

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    Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    I'm new to the community and to this hobby. As I mentioned in the title I am buying a 5D Mark II and need help deciding on which lens to purchase.

    Obviously this will not be my only lens, however I would like a lens that can do a variety of things until I can afford to purchase more later on.

    I'd like to shoot photos of landscape, nightlife and at social events for now.
    I plan on buying more lenses for specific things, however I'm all new to this.

    I've managed to narrow it down to a couple of lenses.

    Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
    Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

    Any tips or suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    Btw a friend of mine suggested the 24-70mm because "it's pretty wide on a full frame", however doing some research i found that the 16-35mm "Canonís EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM is the latest version of its professional ultra-wide lens. It delivers huge views on a full-frame body and is so wide itís also usable as a standard zoom on a cropped body".

    like i mentioned earlier, i have no idea what i am doing here.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Hi Boogeyman - welcome to CiC. Re lenses - There's a lot of discussion in various threads about lenses. You can access that by using the search facility. The first general point to make is one that you have answered already, namely what are you going to photograph? The second point is how much can you afford? I guess that if you're looking at L series then you have some cash available. Third, is the question of versatility: general versus specialist. Given the nature and power of the 5D Mk 2 (I have just bought one) I would have thought the Canon EF 24-70 mm the better choice over the 16-35 mm lens at this point. However, I would also suggest looking at the EF 24-105 mm 1:4 L IS USM lens, one that I use as my "base" lens. It has all the wide that you generally need for good landscapes and some good zoom for close-ups. A fourth point is to try to get to use the different lenses before purchase. Holding and using are good guides to what you want to do.

    At the end of the day, it's going to be your choice. Check out the other threads and see if there is more useful advice therein.

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Ahh sorry. Also which is a better buy/bang for the buck?

    $100 Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens
    $375 Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    I'm new to the community and to this hobby. As I mentioned in the title I am buying a 5D Mark II and need help deciding on which lens to purchase.

    Obviously this will not be my only lens, however I would like a lens that can do a variety of things until I can afford to purchase more later on.

    I'd like to shoot photos of landscape, nightlife and at social events for now.
    I plan on buying more lenses for specific things, however I'm all new to this.

    I've managed to narrow it down to a couple of lenses.

    Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
    Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

    Any tips or suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    Btw a friend of mine suggested the 24-70mm because "it's pretty wide on a full frame", however doing some research i found that the 16-35mm "Canonís EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM is the latest version of its professional ultra-wide lens. It delivers huge views on a full-frame body and is so wide itís also usable as a standard zoom on a cropped body".

    like i mentioned earlier, i have no idea what i am doing here.
    Hi "Boogyman" (do you have a first name we can use?).

    Welcome to CiC - it's great to have you with us.

    I have both of the lenses you mention - and they're both great lenses, but on a full frame camera you're probably going to need a longer focal length than 70mm for social events, so my suggestion would be to look at the EF24-105mm.

    Some food for thought ...

    - The EF24-105mm is an F4 lens which means it's 1 stop slower (doesn't let in as much light) at either of the other two - but - the 5D2 has more than enough high ISO performance for you to simply be able to increase the camera's ISO.

    - The EF25-105mm won't quite be able to achieve the same narrow depth of field as the other two you mention - but - for the type of shooting you've indicated you're probably going to be wanting a more depth of field rather than less, so again, not a serious drawback.

    - Many get carried away with the mantra that "the wider the lens, the better it is for landscape", but that's really not the case. 24mm on a full frame camera is plenty wide enough. I wrote an article for leading filter manufacturers Singh-Ray on just this topic - have a read of it here if you're interested.

    I shot this last week using a 24mm lens ... Wide enough?

    Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th September 2010 at 08:05 AM.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Hi Boogeyman - welcome to CiC. Re lenses - There's a lot of discussion in various threads about lenses. You can access that by using the search facility. The first general point to make is one that you have answered already, namely what are you going to photograph? The second point is how much can you afford? I guess that if you're looking at L series then you have some cash available. Third, is the question of versatility: general versus specialist. Given the nature and power of the 5D Mk 2 (I have just bought one) I would have thought the Canon EF 24-70 mm the better choice over the 16-35 mm lens at this point. However, I would also suggest looking at the EF 24-105 mm 1:4 L IS USM lens, one that I use as my "base" lens. It has all the wide that you generally need for good landscapes and some good zoom for close-ups. A fourth point is to try to get to use the different lenses before purchase. Holding and using are good guides to what you want to do.

    At the end of the day, it's going to be your choice. Check out the other threads and see if there is more useful advice therein.

    Cheers

    David
    Good info. Thanks. Is there any reason why you would choose the 24-70 over the 16-35?

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    Ahh sorry. Also which is a better buy/bang for the buck?

    $100 Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens
    $375 Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM
    Personally, I'd ask the question, "do you need either?" ... both of those focal lengths will be covered by the EF24-105 if you get it.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Personally, I'd ask the question, "do you need either?" ... both of those focal lengths will be covered by the EF24-105 if you get it.

    Thanks for the fast responses. The EF24-105 seems pretty popular and i will look into it. If it can take nice pictures in low light environments by increasing the cameras ISO. I will def buy it. I will read your thread in the morning (i live in california, it's late) and will check back for more tips.

    Btw, my name's Pat. Thanks again.

  8. #8

    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    Thanks for the fast responses. The EF24-105 seems pretty popular and i will look into it. If it can take nice pictures in low light environments by increasing the cameras ISO. I will def buy it. I will read your thread in the morning (i live in california, it's late) and will check back for more tips.

    Btw, my name's Pat. Thanks again.
    I have the 24-105L and use it on a 5D and 50D. It's a very good lens for both landscape and social (which is one of your requirements).

    Welcome to CiC.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Boogeyman - Of the two 24-70 vs 16-35, the point I was making is that the latter gives more versatility because of its range. The 16-35 mm lens is more specialist for very wide angle shots. Looks like Colin has backed this point up.

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    Thanks for the fast responses. The EF24-105 seems pretty popular and i will look into it. If it can take nice pictures in low light environments by increasing the cameras ISO. I will def buy it. I will read your thread in the morning (i live in california, it's late) and will check back for more tips.

    Btw, my name's Pat. Thanks again.
    Hi Pat,

    No worries.

    It all come down to how much money you want to throw at the problem - if you want the 16-35/2.8 & 24-70/2.8 then at some point fairly soon you'll also need one of the 70-200mm family. And keep in mind also, that if you want to shoot high quality landscape then you'll also need a sturdy tripod, GND and ND filters, remote release ... and for social photography you'll end up with a minimum of 1 or 2 flashes ... and it just goes up and up and up from there.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Boogeyman - Of the two 24-70 vs 16-35, the point I was making is that the latter gives more versatility because of its range. The 16-35 mm lens is more specialist for very wide angle shots. Looks like Colin has backed this point up.

    Cheers

    David
    Absolutely. Out of the two, the 24-70/2.8 can be used for landscape and social; the 16-35 is waaaaay too wide for social, and should even be called somewhat of a specialist lens for certain types of landscape shots (ie "agressive perspective" shots). 24-105/4 would be a far better match for Pat's requirements in my humble opinion, unless he's very rich

  12. #12

    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Absolutely. Out of the two, the 24-70/2.8 can be used for landscape and social; the 16-35 is waaaaay too wide for social, and should even be called somewhat of a specialist lens for certain types of landscape shots (ie "agressive perspective" shots). 24-105/4 would be a far better match for Pat's requirements in my humble opinion, unless he's very rich
    I agree. I find the 24-105 very versatile. It produces great sharp clean shots. It isn't cheap, but when you need it you buy it.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    I agree. I find the 24-105 very versatile. It produces great sharp clean shots. It isn't cheap, but when you need it you buy it.
    AND it has IS, which neither of the other 2 choices have (yet).

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    It delivers huge views on a full-frame body and is so wide itís also usable as a standard zoom on a cropped body".
    ... keeping in mind that you won't have a crop body though, so no advantage there for you ... sounds like your friend might have one though

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    My experience:

    I first bought the 30D and the 24 - 104 f/4 IS L and it served me well. It's a very good lens with excellent focusing.

    Recently I acquired a 5DII - this lens really came to life on the 5DII. The only thing I take it off for is to do macro with my 100 f/2.8.

    Apparently there is a reason that Canon combines the 5D and the 24/105 in a kit. They got it right.

    High ISO? Don't worry about that with the 5DII - just use the RGB histogram and expose to the right.


    Glenn

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    My experience:

    I first bought the 30D and the 24 - 104 f/4 IS L and it served me well. It's a very good lens with excellent focusing.

    Recently I acquired a 5DII - this lens really came to life on the 5DII. The only thing I take it off for is to do macro with my 100 f/2.8.

    Apparently there is a reason that Canon combines the 5D and the 24/105 in a kit. They got it right.

    High ISO? Don't worry about that with the 5DII - just use the RGB histogram and expose to the right.


    Glenn
    And this will help create nice photos in low light situations? I really need some more convincing. I'm just worried the f/4 will not create the pictures I am looking for. I feel safer buying a 2.8, but then again I don't know squat. I shall research some more!

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    To Colin,
    You have an amazing portfolio. You mentioned earlier that you used a 24mm lens for the horizontal picture above. Did you use a 24-105mm f/4? Also what lens do you use the most when taking your sunset/sunrise (low light) landscape photos? Thanks in advance.

    Also forget I mentioned taking pictures of social events. I want to strictly create landscape & architectural photos in low light.
    Last edited by b00gym4n; 30th September 2010 at 06:11 PM.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    I want to strictly create landscape & architectural photos in low light.
    Both of which you are unlikely to shoot at f2.8, or even f4, (at least not after you've done it a couple of times and see what we mean) so go with the advice

    Colin will no doubt say he uses a 70-200mm a lot of the time, so you can see why we are trying to steer you away from an expensive ultra-wide lens.

    The money saved will be needed for a tripod, so you can stop down even more

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00gym4n View Post
    To Colin,
    You have an amazing portfolio. You mentioned earlier that you used a 24mm lens for the horizontal picture above. Did you use a 24-105mm f/4? Also what lens do you use the most when taking your sunset/sunrise (low light) landscape photos? Thanks in advance.

    Also forget I mentioned taking pictures of social events. I want to strictly create landscape & architectural photos in low light.
    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for the kind words

    No. I used the EF24-70/2.8L for that shot; it was wide enough, and was already on the camera.

    With landscape photography the focal length per sec is irrelivant ... what's important is the Field of View (ie the "viewing angle"). In practice you zoom in or out to to get everything in the scene that you want - FoV is inversely proportional to focal length and it's easier to talk in focal lengths than it to talk in angular degrees. So a 16mm lens buys you a wider angle than a 24mm lens - but it's all a case of "what angle do you need". If ALL you want to shoot is landscape (which will be pretty restrictive) then by all means get the 16-35/2.8L, but you'll often find that you're having to zoom in - probably past 24mm - to get the FoV that you want. You'll also find that when you start attaching ND and GND filters (which you're going to need very quickly) then at 16mm you'll get outright obstruction.

    The thing that people don't realise is that UWA (Ultra Wide Angle) lenses like the EF14mm and EF16-35/2.8L pull the light in from extremely wide angles ... and that means things start looking REALLY small as soon as you get a few feet away from the edges; If you point them at the horizon you get a boring shot because there's no detail in the background ... a single capture may include thousands of miles of mountain range. So the best way to use UWA lenses is to have something of interest in the foreground - and - something in the mid-ground and/or background.

    So don't get me wrong, the 16-35/2.8L is a great lens, but it's very much a specialty lens. If you get sick of landscape and want to take photos of people with it then you'd better make sure your deodourant and breath freshener are working well because you'll be shooting well inside their "space"! (and they'll have a significant degree of distortion due to foreshortening).

    The other concept I'd like to comment on is the "F2.8 -v- F4.0" thing. Basically it's a measure of how much light the lens lets in - but - the more light you let in, the less depth of field you have - and with landscape you'll be wanting more depth of field, not less - so in reality you'll be shooting at the likes of F16 and F22, not F2.8 or F4.0. Off the top of my head, I can't think of much landscape I've shot at F2.8 or F4.

    So what am I really saying here ...

    - the 16-35/2.8L will do landscape and will do it well, although a lot of the time you'll probably be shooting at or above 24mm anyway.

    - the 24-70/2.8L will also do most landscape well, but will also be long enough to be versatile enough for a lot of everyday "out and about" type shooting.

    - the 24-105/4IS will do landscape just as well at the 24-70/2.8L, but will also do out and about shooting and a lot of other general purpose photography. The slightly smaller aperture is very much a non-issue as the camera is more than capable if compensating with a higher ISO.

    For what it's worth, I have my own fully equipped studio - shooting portraiture both in studio and out in the field is one of the things I do for a living, but when push comes to shove I'm primarily a landscape shooter ... and the first quality zoom lens I bought was the 24-70 (24 to 105 hadn't been invented then) - the 2nd was the 70-200 - and the last was the 16-35 ... and that was for use on a crop camera! You'll be able to shoot wider because you'll have a FF camera.

    To answer the question of which lens do I use the most for sunrise / sunset shots ... hard to say. Probably the 16-35/2.8L, but it's more a case of just using whatever I need - and often although I'm using the 16-35/2.8L, I could have used the 24-70/2.8L for the same shot.

    @ 16mm

    Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    @ approx 24mm

    Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    @70mm

    Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    @ 200mm

    Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    Are any of these really better or worse, or just different?

    PS: Don't get caught in the trap of thinking "because it's low light, I need a faster lens like the 2.8" - for landscape you need depth of field and you'll generally want long exposures if water or clouds are involved - and that means narrow apertures and LONG exposures (several seconds to MANY minutes) (often in the 15 to 45 minute range for me). A sturdy tripod and timer is a must, as are ND and GND filters.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th September 2010 at 08:41 PM.

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    Re: Buying the 5D Mark II. Need some suggestions on a lens.

    I swear the water in your picture just moved! Lol. Seriously though, I really appreciate the effort and time you put in your response and everyone else who replied.

    I think I will buy the 24-105 f/4 IS. Thanks!

    Now it's time to shop! A friend of mine recommended buying a used body and a used lens, however I found a 5D MKII package that comes with the 24-105 f/4 IS as well as the body for $3000 shipped. Is this a good deal? Or should I keep searching for cheaper used parts?

    As far as the accessories.
    "A sturdy tripod and timer is a must, as are ND and GND filters."
    I will have to do some research on here to find out what the best options are available for me. Before I do, can someone tell me what ND and GND stands for? Thanks. You guys are awesome!

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