First investment lenses for Canon DSLR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ijohn.8.80, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #1
    Howdy All,

    I have an 1100D/T3 that I'll be keeping a while longer yet and I'm looking at buying my first serious investment lenses soon. Around the middle of next year I plan on getting a 7D or its MkII. Much later I may move up to full frame for larger print capabilities.

    My query is whether to be buying full frame glass now with the cropped body and what type of lenses would you folks suggest?

    I'm looking at using my lenses for architectural, landscape, panoramas, the occasional building interior, lane-ways, night and low-light shots too. I almost always use a tripod now, so fast aperture speeds are not really that necessary. I'm not interested in portraiture.

    I've got the 50mm f/1.8 already and am very happy with its picture quality for the price.

    My initial thought was the EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM to get the ball rolling. Will this be wide enough on the crop body for architecture and landscapes though? Should I look at getting either the EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM or the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 as well, so as to cover the really wide end of the spectrum well?

    Thanks for your assistance.
    John
     
  2. macrumors regular

    crawler1975

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #2
    Since you are planning on going full frame in the near future (since you mentioned you plan on getting the MKII) I would suggest getting the 16-35mm f/2.8 L or the 17-40mm F/4.0 L instead of just getting an EF-S lens - this way you can use the lens (EF) on either a fullframe or cropped sensor camera in the future unlike the EF-S mount.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #3
    I would recommend purchasing full frame lenses in anticipation of moving to full frame, but don't let that stop you from getting highly useful EF-s lenses like the 10-22 along the way. I took this approach and recently moved to full frame, and shortly afterward a friend asked about whether I'd be interested in selling my 10-22. I did have to get the 17-40 after moving up to full frame to replace the 10-22, but otherwise everything has worked out nicely. Getting the 17-40 in advance of moving to full frame would have been limiting on a crop sensor, as there is a huge difference between 10mm and 17mm in that format. As for the 24-105, I found the 24 end to be fine for landscapes on a crop sensor, it's just not enough for massively wide landscapes (that's where the 10-22 would come in). One expensive alternative for going wide would be to get the 14mm f/2.8L which would be amazing on both a crop sensor and full frame sensor camera... it's a pricy investment though that may not resell as quickly because it's more of a niche lens.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #4
    I don't think that Canon would make the 7D MkII go full frame. The rumour mills seem to be hinting at a budget conscious full frame release, but not as the 7D MkII.

    Spec's like the following abound...
    • 24.2mp APS-C Sensor
    • 10.2 fps
    • Dual DIGIC V
    • Dual Card Slot (No mention of card types)
    • New Ergonomic Design
    • New Battery
    • February 2013 Announcement
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #5
    I'm glad to see there is some logic to my initial thoughts. No EF-S lenses will be wasted along the way, I'm giving the 1100D/T3 and its lenses to the kids (13 year old twin boys) to learn with. The 10-22 is really the only EF-S I'm looking at, the rest would be full frame lenses I'd purchase.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Don't invest another dime in EF-S glass...even if the 10-22 lens is a good one.

    Consider:
    17-40
    24-105 or 24-70
    100-400

    those 3 lenses will do most anything. If you want to add a 4th lens, go for the 100L macro (which does excellent portrait work). For a nice cost reduction, get refurbished lenses from Canon USA.

    Those L lenses will of course work on a FF or cropped sensor body.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #7
    Used 24-70 or 17-55 f/2.8.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #8
    12-16mp is already sufficient for large prints. Unless you want to fill billboards 30'x20' wide I don't really care for enormous high mp count. Rather have good sensor qualities like DR, ISO, etc.

    Since you want to go FullFrame I'd suggest you invest in EF glass. landscape and architecture doesn't require a f2.8 lens so a slower lens will do. IS might be useful at times though.

    I'm not quite at home with Canon lenses since I'm a Nikon user but you might want to take a look at the Sigma 12-24 mkII or the Tokina 16-28. Both have good reviews going around the net.
     
  9. macrumors demi-god

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    Hi John,

    I can't comment on the specific Canon lens selection but, IMO, go for the full frame lenses. I know from your posts here at MR that you have a genuine passion for photography. That passion will wax and wane over the years but overall, will last a lifetime.

    Based on your shooting needs, you don't need the extra zoom boost from an APS-C sensor but the FF will give you unbelievable results in low-light.

    As already mentioned, don't make a decision based on print size as any of the current line-up will produce huge prints. Base it on overall performance.

    If it was me, I would be looking at FF lenses, thinking about holding on to that 1100D a bit longer and saving my pennies as I can see that the price gap between APS-C and FF is narrowing significantly.

    Peter
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #10
    I'll throw my 2c in. I agree that going for FF lenses now makes sense, even if you may be staying with a cropped body for several years. The above recommendations look like a good line up. And as some have said, you may not necessarily need to go with the faster (more expensive) lenses. After all, Phrasikleia's main lens is the 17-40 f/4L. With the crop you definitely would lose some of the wide angle capabilities, so I guess you need to decide how often you need to get below 20mm in the photos you shoot. My 17-40 was a refurb from the Canon store so that is also a good place to look as has already been suggested. Good luck and good hunting. It is both an exciting and scary proposition when wondering how best to spend the precious dollars we earn!
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #11
    The Lenses you listed are all ones I've been researching. I think I'll leave the 100-400 for last. Just have to make a decision as to which two to get first. :confused:

    I've been having a poke around B&H's site in the used section and they are a little cheaper. I'm waiting on a response from CanonUSA as to whether I can buy from them here in Oz, there's some bargains to be had there too.

    I haven't looked at printing yet, but I know that in the future I'd like to be able to get some decent sized prints made. In the dining room we'd like something that is about 5 foot by 5 foot for example. That would be the largest we'd want printed.

    I am hoping that the next version of the 7D is a drastic lift in dynamic range for Canon, if not, there's still the ability to use bracketed shots with Phras's masking techniques for even greater DR! ;)

    I do think this is going to be an interesting year for DSLR releases, both major camps rumoured to have full frame bodies coming that are aimed at the more frugal end of the spectrum! :eek: We'll have to wait and see what features are limited to meet this target...

    I was most impressed by your lowlight shots a few weeks ago. I took some shots yesterday in the lounge without lights during an overcast afternoon of our dogs playing together. The camera was at ISO 1600, with a shutter speed of 1/500, using my 50mm f/1.8 lens and there was so much noise it really was unacceptable for me to have the pictures anywhere above 500 pixels wide! I did get some great candid shots of them looking all psychotic though! I'll come back to this later with the flash used remotely and compare the difference, I couldn't be bothered getting it out yesterday.

    I believe this to be true for what I'm taking pictures of, the majority of my targets are not moving, so it makes no sense to buy lenses at twice the price for a couple of stops more light when my DSLR is perched on a tripod for the great majority of the time. The 100-400 IS will do me later on for animals and birds, or maybe even a Sigma 500mm, they get pretty good reviews!

    I guess I can wait a while till I have the full frame body for the really wide architectural and landscape single shots. In the mean time I can always stitch together a panorama with the panoramic head that's coming... I did spot a couple of tilt shift lenses for about $1k yesterday in Canons refurbished section, that's very tempting for later on! :rolleyes:

    Thanks to you all for your input it really is appreciated. Now to work out which two first. I'm leaning to the 17-40 and the 24-105 to get the ball rolling.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    7enderbender

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East US
    #12
    It all depends on what you want to do. What focal length do you want or need? Do you need fast primes or are f/4 zooms OK - and related to that: are you thinking about going to full frame later because of image quality concerns (negligible in my opinion) or because of depth-of-field consideration (really the most important aspect about full frame)?

    If these questions make sense to you then you're probably close to your answers. If not so much then I would do more research and try things out before investing in anything else.

    But I'll say this: having a fast 50 or 35mm lens can be a life altering experience - and may become costly down the road.

    ----------

    Honestly, I wouldn't. I have the 24-105 on full frame. In fact I just used it today for a studio-type portrait session. It's good for that. It's sharp yet versatile and when I'm shooting at f/8 into a white background it's all good. For everything else I always take a pass on that one. f/4 even on full frame is not flexible enough with respect to DOF and the background blur from those lenses is "meh" at best. The 17-40 is probably a very good landscape lens if that's what you're looking to get.

    If you don't care about any of this you'll certainly get pretty decent build and optical quality there. But honestly, f/4 on a crop camera for that kind of money will not get you the results for which people still drag around big expensive SLRs. You might as well get one of the nice little Sonys or other APS-C mirrorless cameras with a good quality zoom.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #13
    Like everybody has mentioned! Go invest in lenses that will work with full frame. I had a T3 for about almost 2 years but I just recently purchased a Mark 2 thanks to Black Friday deals and Im glad that the three out of my four lenses work with it (18-55mm that came with my T3 is the only exception). Good thing I thought about the future rather than the present when I bought my lenses for the T3.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #14
    Really? From my research, I just need to make sure the principle subject is a little closer to achieve the same bokeh whilst using full frame lenses on a crop body. :confused:

    Check out this cool tool which allows you to play with crop sensor and full frame, f stop, focal length, subject placements, background distances to actually see the results in action.

    Subject 1 at 1 metre, subject 2 at 4 metres, focal length at 50mm, f/4, background at 10m seems ok to me using the 7D as a body. When you change to the 5DII the background does get creamier, but I have no problem with the 7D's results.

    If you read my initial post, you will ascertain what I enjoy shooting.
     
  15. whg
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #15
    The 24-105L is a very good all purpose lens to start with. I also planned to go full frame but the 5DII was not good enough for action fast AF (or only with the center AF field). In anticipation of an improved version I started with the 7D. The 24-105 served me well. When I finally upgraded to the 5DIII I found that the 24-105 became much better (sharper), even in the corners. It is no contest to the 70-200L II f/2.8 that I also have now, but this thing is too heavy to have with me all the time. With full frame I also found that for me 24mm is wide enough that I didn't yet realize my old plan to get the 17-40 or 16-35.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    I really don't understand why people are so keen to use the word 'investment' with camera gear. It is a really inaccurate use of the word and feels like people are kidding themselves that blowing lots of cash is somehow a wise move rather than just fun.

    Rant over. I'd go for the 17-40 L. A great lens at a good price that is wide enough for the uses you mention, full-frame future proof and should hold some value if you ever want to sell it.
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    Thanks very much John, just to clarify so I'm not misleading you about FF low-light capability...

    The shots I believe you're referring to were tripod mount timed exposures of static subjects at ISO 100 (or close to it). This is something you can do with any body and lens set-up.

    The combination of the huge FF sensor, lens stabilization and a sufficiently large aperture does provide the opportunity for awesome low-light capture without flash...just not like the shots you're referring to.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Colleyville, TX
    #18
    Before you buy the Canon lenses take a look at the latest Sigma 24 - 70 and 70 - 200 F2.8. Their quality is almost indistinguishable from the equivalent Canon's at half the price. And yes don't bother with the EF-S lenses ...
     
  19. 7enderbender, Dec 16, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    7enderbender

    Joined:
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    Location:
    North East US
    #19

    Glad to see you're doing the research. You're first statement is correct but you have to take into account what that means in real life. Basically that statement means: yeah, it's kind of the same as long as you change all other parameters.

    And then there is the (overused) term "bokeh" referring to blur quality vs just the amount of blur. It gets a little esoteric at times so I'd be careful with some of the "bokeh" talk. And it may simply be not important to what you do.

    For me it's about isolation and I find the 24-105 f/4 to be borderline even at 105 and on full frame. On crop it would look worse because you have to move back for the same framing - more like 5.6 or worse. Still better than a point and shoot but no advantage over any of the mirrorless APS-C cameras that are cheaper.

    If you're looking still for a recommendation: I'd go with a 24-70 2.8 version 1 and/or a the "best" 35mm or 50mm lens you can afford without going crazy. But that's also my bias. I prefer not leaving the house without my 50 1.2 and 135 2.0 and often that's all I bring. Or even just the 50L on my 5DII.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    Canada, Eh?
    #20
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #21
    C

    You can do an awful lot with the 24-105. Stick it on a Mark II/III, and you can print 5'x5' from just a crop of your file. Take a look at my website (below) if you want-- virtually everything was shot with that lens.

    Also, I second the suggestion for checking out the POTN forums. It's Canon-focused (though not exclusively, of course) and is a treasure-trove of helpful info and advice, with a great buying/selling forum.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #22
    With most modern camera sensors able to out perform lenses putting the very best lens on the front is more important than ever.
    I have the 24-105 and it's such a useful lens, i got rid of my 24-70 2.8 v1 because of weight and and the reach stopping at 70mm was frustrating to me but looking back at the quality of those photos now i think it was a bad decision.
    If you are going full fame for sure then get the new 24-70 it has got some rave reviews. If you do not need f2.8 get the f4 IS it has good close up ability and 4 stop IS this in my opinion makes it a great travel lens if the optical quality matches the 2.8 then that would be my favoured option.
    If it will be a long time till you go FF the 24-105 could make sense as you are are only using the sweet spot in the middle of the lens (i find the corners soft on FF)
    Others have mentioned Sigma and they do have some great lenses but not to sure on the weather proofing, the L lenses have the gasket on them that stops water ingress, so if you are into "all weather" photography i would stick to Canon.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #23
    I really only have the funds to get two lenses to start me off, so will have to compromise a little here. As tempting as the 24-70 MkII is, I can't warrant it just yet.

    Thanks for letting me know about the ability to print that large, good to know.

    Yeah I do keep an eye out there, but most ad's have that they will only sell to the continental US. Maybe I need to place a wanted ad there? I also somehow feel safer looking at B&H's refurbished section as you would have some comeback if there were problems with the lens when received versus a private seller. I can't even buy from Canon US site refurbished as they won't deliver outside of the US. Canon Australia has only very recently got a store online and it's at full market prices!

    Would you not be better off with the 70-200 then and stepping back a little to then pull them in with focal length? I know it would be significantly heavier though. This has worked for me using my 55-250 kit lens to get nice soft backgrounds in the past.

    Yeah, the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 with OS is the same price as the Canon L f/4 with IS. I'll keep this in mind for when I get that lens, thanks. It does get glowing reviews too!

    I have tried night shots with my little old T3/1100D and there's always noise there. Using a tripod and the nifty fifty f1.8. I have to keep the images below 1500-1200 pixels wide at export to avoid it being noticeable. I have resolved myself to it being a part and parcel of the bottom of the line DSLR.

    For me personally, I see these as "investments" in my art form. Just like I have investments in my radio control nitro powered buggies and trucks I race and then I have the throwaway ones the kids have. My 27" iMac I also see as an investment. To me anything that is of major expense and is going to be with me for many years is an investment. Even if it doesn't make me a profit as in the theoretical definition.

    Thanks for the vote on the 17-40.

    That's good to hear about the 24-105!
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    7enderbender

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East US
    #24
    Well, of course the 70-200 2.8 would be more beneficial in that regard. One reason is the focal length - the other is the aperture of 2.8 if need be. But other things change as well. Not saying that's good or bad but it simply a different focal length range (with the overlap in this case of course).
     

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