Used Canon 5D Mark II

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tjgonzo, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2013
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    California
    #1
    Hey guys. First time starting a thread but, long time follower.
    I'm currently in the market to buy a used or possibly refurbished 5D mk II and need to know what type of these to pay attention to when buying a used body.

    I'm no professional photography/ cinematographer but, at the same time I have been using high end prosumer cameras (Canon GL2, Sony HDR cameras) for various work over the last couple of years so I am familiar with how cameras work. I.E. f-stop, ISO, & iris. My main use of this camera would be to have a personal camera to shot pictures of family trips, hikes and other outdoor activities and also to film shorts & adverts for my church. Possibly short films with friends (for rec purposes only).

    So I just need to know what to look for when looking at eBay/ Craigslist.
    Also, in your guys' opinions: what lenses should look at for my uses?
    (BTW, I would be recording all audio externally when using the camera for video)
    Thanks,
    Taylor
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Kebabselector

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    #2
    Research the average selling price (on Ebay) and anything much less than might not be such a bargain (scam etc)

    As for lenses, really depends on your budget. The 5D Mark II was often sold in a kit with the 24-105 IS f/4 L - so you may find this is a good one to start with.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #3
    I would recommend a Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC.

    It's cheaper than the Sigma and Canon counterparts, has a variation of IS and is f2.8 throughout the zoom.

    Shot an entire event on it at weekend along with a Tokina 11-16mm and really can't fault it.

    Coming from GL2 style cameras you will go nuts over the low light capabilities.

    I recently upgraded from a 600D to a 6D and the difference is night and day. For youtube upload I can get away at shooting ISO3200 (for a party event) and the noise is barely noticeable!
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

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    #4
    A 6D may be a better option -- better AF and high-ISO, for not much more than the cost of a factory refurb 5D Mark II.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Just keep an eye on the Canon "refurbished" official page. A refurbished 5D II should cost around $1,500.

    I will buy a refurbished 5DII from Canon in the near future. While the 6D is newer, faster-focusing, better low light capabilities, the 5DII is more rugged.

    Since I have a 7D that I use for just about everything, including fast-moving subjects and wildlife, I will be using the slower 5DII for landscapes, portraiture, taking photos of pets, etc.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Honestly, I'm not sure whether the 5D Mark II is such a good fit for you. According to your post, you have a good idea which body to get, but no idea which lenses are suitable. I don't mean to be rude, but this is a typical beginner's mistake, if you invest in a dslr, you should invest in lenses first and a body second. Lenses will typically outlast many bodies, even cheap ones. If it weren't for sand from the beach of Tel Aviv, my 50 mm f/1.8 Nikkor would still work perfectly. (I used the wrong lubrication agent when trying to fix it myself and the aperture no longer works.)

    What's your total budget? And what do you shoot/film? Do you want to invest in primes or zooms?
     
  7. AlaskaMoose, Apr 7, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

    macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Well, he didn't mention lenses, so we have to assume that he has taken such into consideration. The thing about the 5DII is that Canon will soon stop making it, so at least to me it makes a lot of sense to buy it now. I refurbished one costs around $1,500. A EF 17-40 f/4L lens costs around $700, and this he can use as an all around lens. For film I would buy a fast lens, perhaps Canon brand, or Tokina, Sigma, or even a Zeiss manual EOS lens.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

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    Fukuoka, Japan
    #8
    He could buy even more/better lenses by diverting more of his budget towards glass rather a body. I am just objecting to the full frame frenzy here.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I don't disagree with your idea; it makes sense. The problem is that he would still need a camera to use with such lenses. Now, if he had a Canon DSLR camera already, then he could very well invest the money on some good lenses first.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

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    #10
    … and hence my question on total budget and utility. Once the OP provides that, we can make more specific recommendations. Also, if video is of paramount importance, a Panasonic GH3 may be a better choice.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    I realize I sound like an amateur, but I am. Thats why I am asking. The DSLR realm is new to me. With camcorders (even high end prosumer ones like the ones I use, the lenses are removable in some cases but, rarely changed) I'm used to having a Ziess lens (35-480mm w/ f1.6-2.8) so
    the idea of having a multitude of different lenses that serve one purpose is quite overwhelming.

    The reason I chose to research the 5D mk II is because its sort of become an icon over the years, especially in the cinematography world. So that's how I was exposed to it, also with the mk III out now, mk II prices have dropped. So I felt that right now would be a good time to get on board and learn. From a cinematography standpoint, it produces stunning video.

    From what I know so far I would be considering either a 35-50mm fixed lens
    I would like a little zoom but, I'm afraid I will end up spending more money than I should at this point.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Also I know that having a good camera, doesn't make you a good photographer.
    Just the same as having a good body (5D Mark II) and a lackluster lens isn't going to yield very good results.
    That is why I'm at the older but, very relevant 5D MK II.

    At my skill level at the moment I am interested in, more or less, a good all around lens. Also I would want this lens to compliment the hardware, I'm not saying I want to spend $1,000+ but, I wouldn't want to put all my eggs into one basket so to speak.

    Also it may seem like I only am interested in the video abilities of the camera, but I would be using the camera for still shots 50% of the time.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

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    #13
    Probably the best 35 mm lens on the market is Sigma's new 35 mm f/1.4 DC. It seems to be the best full frame 35 mm prime on the market right now, but being significantly cheaper than Canon's 35 mm ($900 vs. $1500). And the AF is supposedly silent. Personally, I prefer this focal length to 50 mm, but I know this is just a matter of taste.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Although a Canon refurb. is probably the best first choice , in addition to Craigslist and eBay , take a look at KEH.com . For a general purpose zoom lens seriously consider the 24-105L . There's lots around used and , if my copy is any at all typical , will take a lot of abuse .
     
  15. macrumors 68020

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    #15
    Used 5DII's are going for around $1,500 and cheaper depending on the condition of the body. Although I just sold my 5DII on eBay for $1,700, however, it was in pristine condition.

    Any EF lens will work on the 5DII. EF-S lenses will not be compatible since they are for APS-C sensors are the 5D series are FF.

    The 24-105mm lens is a great kit lens to start out with. It's quite versatile for whatever use you have for it.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

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    #16
    If you pay around 1500 buck for a used 5dmkII, consider a new D600. It is a total different league of IQ and as a bonus, it is super light, ideal for your trips.
     
  17. AlaskaMoose, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Hmmmm.... How so?

    The 5D II is an older camera now, but was the first digital FF DSLR camera used for filming a couple of episodes of "House" TV shows. Even the old classic full frame 5Dc, which is used for still photographs (no video) still fetches over $1,000 because of the stunning IQ its sensor is capable of producing. The 5DII is very new compared to the original 5D :)

    Want to know what can be done with the very old, the classic FF 5D? Click on any of the six links (5d admirers) at this forum. I would suggest to start on link #1:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1159990

    Or here:
    http://lifehacker.com/5983612/most-popular-dslr-canon-eos-5d
     
  18. macrumors 68020

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    #18
    I think this goes to show that no matter how »old« your equipment is, if it is in the right hands, it can produce stunning results.
     
  19. AlaskaMoose, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Agree. A whole bunch of photographers, pro and not, are still using a very old full-frame camera, the 5Dc. This camera does not even have an electronic sensor cleaner, and the sensor is old technology compared to newer 5D models. But those who still have this camera don't want to get rid of it, and used ones at Adorama and other stores are still expensive.

    So, a 5DII as asked about by the OP makes a lot of sense to me. It's a little old but a lot newer than a 5Dc, and is quite a solid camera that should last for a few years. But I would buy it directly from Canon. A refurbished one goes for around $1,500.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    sarge

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    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #20
    When buying used equipment you're going to want to know- well, just how used is it?. If the camera was owned by a professional then it has probably seen a lot of miles and will wear out faster than a camera belonging to a hobbyist. Chances are, the pro body is being upgraded because it's at the end of it's life cycle vs the hobbyist who just has a passion for the technology and wants the latest greatest.

    The cosmetic condition of the camera will tell some of the story, and the shutter count or 'actuations' will tell another. You can get a great deal if you're smart about it. If the seller can't tell you the number of actuations at least they should be able to tell you how many pictures they have in their library that were made with the body.

    http://photographylife.com/how-to-find-total-shutter-actuations-on-nikon-and-canon-dslrs
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    #21
    The Tamron 24-70 is notorious for poor bokeh (bull's-eye bokeh) and corner/border performance, but it excels at center sharpness.
    I'd get the old Canon 24-70 f/2.8. Sure it's not the sharpest lens, but it's one of the best for the money. Used, they go for $1200-1400; they don't make this anymore so the newest copies are the refurbished ones.

    Not sure about this but I personally think the old 24-70 has better bokeh than the new one; the way highlights are rendered into bigger, more translucent balls give the old version a unique look. Like the pre-ASPH Summiluxes, I think this lens has that kind of look that new lenses can't get.

    If you want the very best optical performance, then the new 24-70 is the sharpest lens out there.

    5D Mark II has better AF, since it's all cross type with invisible assist points whereas 6D has only one cross type and only 11 points. I'd still get the 5D Mark II over the 6D.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Because it has a ridiculous good sensor:
    It is the best in low light after the Nikon 3Ds
    It is the best in D-range just after the D800(E)/Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1
    24 mpixel is a nice resolution at Fullframe. Not too much like with the D800, but still a lot of detail.
    It has the 3rd best sensor over all after the D800E and the D800, outperforming mid-formats like the Phase One IQ180. At 1500 bucks it is a steal for such a stellar IQ. I would not worry much about its AF then, especially when you want it for travel (where MF is perfect as well).

    * Note, I talk about the D600, not the 600D!
     
  23. macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Your absolutely correct.

    I've seen amateur photographers produce stunning images with the proper lighting just using an iPhone.
     
  24. AlaskaMoose, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    macrumors 65816

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    #24
    It does not matter what sensor or bells and whistles any camera has if the person using it can't take good photos with it. If you look at the photos posted in this forum, can you tell if the camera used was made by Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc., just by the way any of these photos look like? I have news for you, not even the most interesting photo posted can tell the camera and lens used.

    See...something that all of us know is that technological advances are being made each day by camera, sensor, and electronic-component manufacturers involved in the business. But there is no way for one to keep-up with this technology by purchasing the latest and most advanced product. You can buy a brand new camera body today, and a few months later another camera body incorporates even newer or improved technology.

    And that's the point I have been trying to make. As such I mentioned to you the Canon 5D, which was the first FF Canon camera. It's a very old camera, but it became so popular with photographers that even today it remains a highly sought product in the used market. To understand what I am trying to tell you, compare the specs of a Canon 5Dc to any of the modern FF Nikon and Canon cameras.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

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    #25
    I can get the Nikon's out yes with their clearer highlights with less colour-shift, and nicer grain in the shadows, assuming the JPEG slider was not on 50 out of 100.

    In 1990 a camera defined the set of lenses and add-ons that you could work with. The film could be chosen independently, and it levelled image quality from a 35$ trowaway to a F5 powerhouse.

    Today with the camera you buy the film. You won't be able to change it until you buy a new camera. So IMO you better buy the best film possible, and you can say a D600 to a 5DmkII is like a Velvia 100 to a no-brand generic 100 iso slide film.
     

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