Canon lens advise please!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by grooveattack, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. grooveattack macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    Hey guys.
    Just wanted your opinion on what lens to buy. i am looking for a good all rounder, one that will be the main go to lens.
    So far i have two in mind and i cannot decided.

    First up in the Canon EF - 28 mm - 135 mm - f/3.5-5.6 IS USM £275
    Reviews of this lens are positive and its one i have been looking at for awhile now. has anyone got any experience with it? recommended?

    second is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM £700
    i have always wanted an L lens but budget has alway restricted me. is it worth the investment? F/4 seems a bit slow to me, does the IS make up for that well?

    So what one would you jump for? any other ideas?
    Thanks guys. have a good evening/mourning/day/night
  2. firestarter, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011

    firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    OK - two questions...

    - What camera are you shooting... cropped or full frame?
    - What lens(es) do you have at the moment?

    The best lens for you to buy really has to sit in the context of what you have at the moment and what you 'need'.

    Personally, I'd hate to spend £700+ on an F4 lens, since I like doing low depth of field photography. If you're shooting cropped frame, I'd take a look at the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, which is around the same price.
  3. anewman143 macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    Boy - a loaded question for sure! Of course, the obvious answer is it depends on your sensor and intended use...

    For what it's worth, my first "L" lens was the one you are asking about. I initially used it with an XSi and although I was nervous about the cost, it really was strikingly superior to the "non L" glass that I had.

    I've since bought the 70-200 f/4 L and love it too...wish I had the $$$ to get the 2.8, but so be it. Recently moved up to the full-frame 5dmkII and have seen similar improvements in image quality.

    The above point is a good one - if you do lots of shallow DOF work, the f/4 isn't quite enough...the 2.8 (or faster) would be preferable.

    So - for me, the L glass was a great move...your mileage may vary

  4. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    What body do you have?

    If you have a 5D or 5D markii, the 24-105 is the logical thing.

    If you have any other Canon camera, the 24-105 is a bad decision. Counting in the crop factor, you'd end up with a lens that has a range of (in 35mm terms) of 36-160. By far not enough wide angle.

    the 28-135mm is even worse, and it's not a good lens.

    An excellent lens for you would be the 2.8/18-55. It's not an L lens, but only because L lenses are only those with an image circle that covers a full frame (35mm) sensor.

    the 2.8/18-55 is a cropped sensor-only lens, but its optical performance is L quality. You will get, in full frame terms, a 24-80mm lens, which is an excellent all around range.

    One thing this lens doesn't have is extended dust sealing. Also, there are openings in the front element that let in dust. You need to cover the front element with a UV filter. Only use an excellent filter for this good lens, like a B+W for about $70. It will keep this lens dust free. If you buy a cheap Tiffen UV filter, you will not only get a hit on image quality, you also deserve two dozen on the soles of your feet for putting such a junk filter on such a good lens.

    I currently own L lenses exclusively for my 5Dii, but when I still had a cropped sensor camera (e.g. the 7D), I had the 18-55/2.8, and it's an excellent lens, and very, very fast.

    Buy this lens, and you won't regret it.
  5. grooveattack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    It's going on my 60D
    Nostromo, I could only find the 17-55/2.8? It is one that I have looked at, the only thing that holds me back is it's ef-s so if I was to upgrade to a full frame it would be useless to me.

    As said, that L f/4 is not as fast as I would like but all the reviews I have read says it is made up in image quality. True?
  6. firestarter, Sep 17, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011

    firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    You could sell it. Canon lenses hold their value well on eBay, and there are millions of cropped sensor Canon owners out there.

    It depends what you want. If you want low depth of field then nothing the lens does will ever make up for it being f4.

    You didn't say what you have at the moment. You might find that something like a 35f2 and an 85f1.8 combination gives you the best results - albeit at the loss of some convenience. The 85f1.8 will blow the 24-105 out of the water.
  7. grooveattack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    so looks like its now between the 24-1205 F/4L or 17-55 F/2.8 EF-s

    from looking around people are saying they are both very good and closely priced.
    its a tough shout!
  8. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
    I've got the 24 105 its a great lens..I use on the 5d mk2 however on a crop frame it might not be wide enough..but I suppose that can depend on how you shoot.
  9. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    I sold my 17-55/2.8. It has a good resale value.

    In regards to the 24-105/f4 L - I have the lens, and it's a great all-around lens on a full frame.

    Google crop ratio to see that this lens goes from only a very light wide angle to a rather long focal length.

    If you don't need a lot of wide-angle, then it might be a lens for you. But, on a cropped sensor you can't call it an all-around lens any more.
  10. Funkatronic macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2010
    Pune, India
    POTN Forums have good "Lens Sample shot" threads in their forums, maybe you should give them a look see so you can better decide which lens to choose.

    Of course, looking through those threads might just make it even more difficult for you to decide as well, heh.

    EF-S 17-55

    EF 24-105
  11. grooveattack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    I managed to find a 24-105 for a good price so i went for that one. after some testing in the store the 'wide' end was perfect for me.
    and after a play around at home the F/4 is fine

    happy with that. i think the 17-55 F/2.8 may well have been a bit to wide for how i shoot.

    Thanks for the help guys!
  12. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    Personally I like my Tamron 28-75 F2.8 lens I've had forever.

    The EF lenses only work with cropped sensors, or that is how it was when the EF line was released.

    Given the DOF of cropped sensors, I strongly encourage you to consider a F2.8 lens for controller DOF as needed.
  13. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Correction: the EF-S lenses only work with cropped sensors. EF-mount lenses work on all Canon EOS cameras, film or digital.
  14. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
  15. RickG1984 macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2011
    Good call!

    That's a great lens! I've rented it for events and the optics are really good. It's also built like a tank which makes it great for rugged traveling. I have the 28-135mm that came with the camera and feel it's fine for most of my smaller group/event needs. A great alternative for non-pros. The image quality isn't THAT different.

    I use a 35mm on my 50D for everything except events and groups. The only time it doesn't suffice is if I'm shooting a model while she's on the floor and I'm standing above her. Thats it.

    Have fun!

  16. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space

    Trying it out yourself is always your best bet (after getting some advice).

    Only you can know what focal lengths are ideal for you.

    the 24-105/f4 is a very good lens. Have fun!
  17. gnd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    At my cat's house
    Zooming with your feet changes perspective and composition. If I see an interesting alignment from where I am standing it might not be there a few meters further ahead or back ...
    I bet the number of photographers that fell off cliffs and were using prime lenses is greater than the number of photographers that fell off cliffs and were using zoom lenses ;) :p
  18. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006

    maybe that's why my wife never likes my portraits of her when I use my 21mm lens! She's always complaining about her nose being big...
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    "zooming" with feet is dumb. It doesn't replace a zoom lens. A wide angle lens is always going to give a wide POV.
  20. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Absolutely correct re: perspective.

    This is why one needs multiple primes, not zooms. ;)
  21. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Zoom lenses are great for snap shots of the family pet and 3 year old birthday parties.

    For real photography, get a set of primes.

    That is, unless you like to shoot with slow lenses. Yes, f/2.8 is slow, and your f/4.5 zoom is really slow. No, cranking up your ISO doesn't make up for the slowness.

    Once you ditch the zoom, you will smile again. Trust me.
  22. stevendphoto macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2011
    First off there is no magic "One best Lens". It depends on what you are going to shoot, I would save your money and buy a used Canon 24-70 f2.8.

    That will be the best lens for a All purpose Lens.
  23. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    I personally love my 17-55mm/2.8. I use it with a 50D and have had great results. However, when I upgrade to the 5d mark 3 (when it gets released), I will need a new lens. The only complaint I have with the lens is that images tend to come out a bit on the soft side, but I fix this in aperture with some edge sharpening.

    I recently spent a day in NYC and took all of these pics with the 17-55 if you want some examples:
  24. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    LOVED my 50D + 17-55 combo. LOVED!!!

    In fact, if not for the impending 5DIII (ha) I would have repurchased a 17-55 for my backup 50D, yet I plan on upgrading that to an additional FF ASAP.

    My 17-55 rarely left the 50D, now that I upgraded to FF I have a similar feeling towards sigma 50 f/1.4. Ok, scratch that. I love it even more!
  25. Xeperu macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2010
    The 17-40 f4 is by far my favorite lens ever.

    I tried the 24-105 f4 and the 24-70 f2.8 but I just can stay away from my 17-40.

    It's the perfect walk around lens on both full frame as well as crop.

    Get it and you will not regret it.

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