Need Canon lens choice help please!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by fenno, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. fenno macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009

    I currently have a decent selection of Canon lenses, which I use with my Canon EOS 30D, but I am looking to upgrade to a lineup of L lenses in preparation for making the switch to full-frame, and am having a decision-making dilemma; any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I am looking to buy EITHER:

    - 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
    - 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
    - 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


    - 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
    - 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
    - 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

    in my mind:

    pros of A: longer mid- and long-range lenses, IS on the 24-105 (the middle of each set will "live" on my camera)

    cons of A: 2nd and 3rd lenses are not very fast

    pros of B: all lenses are fast at f/2.8, which is also uniform throughout as the max aperture

    cons of B: longest lens is much shorter (which may not be a problem as i am saving up for the 5D MkII), no IS on the lens that will "live" on my camera

    any help you all could give me weighing these pros and cons (or enlightening me to pros and/or cons i did not see) would be great, especially if you have experience with any of these lenses. i shoot a variety of subject matter, from nature to sports to portraits, whatever strikes my fancy really, so i am looking for an all-around set of super nice lenses. my big questions are: does anyone experience (or foresee for me) problems with either lacking IS in my main lens or lacking reach in my longest lens?

  2. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    The first question I have is what is the ultimate use for the kit?

    On one hand option A gives you a broader range, but Option B gives you speed and that can be crucial in making sure you get the shot you must have.

    Option B looks to run you around $4300 on Amazon (using Amazon itself).

    If most of your work will be in the <200mm range would an extender be a viable option? And then spend the extra $1500 on the 100-400 later? Or even maybe have the 100-400 as a rental when required?

    Option B is probably uber desirable, but if it doesn't meet your requirements then it isnt worth getting.
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I vote for option B, as those are all the lenses that I own! :D

    The quality of each of those is stunning, and you really don't need IS on a lens of that focal length.
  4. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008

    Grimace sums it up nicely..

    24-70 at 2.8 doesnt require IS... superb Lens
    70-200 gives you a constant 2.8 which you'll find really useful a lot of times....
    But mark my words.. what you'll find even more useful is the extra 30mm towards the WA side.... this alone imo is worth more over the 100-400

    But then.. really depends on what you want to do with your kit..
  5. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    I say go for B (envy that you got soo many cash to blow for those SWEET n AWESOME lenses)

    All those lenses in B will suit I think most photographer range. 16-35 would be a great walk around lens and with you getting a 21mp DSLR, cropping it wouldn't be a problem, but if that day you feel that 16 is to wide for you, get the 24-70 instead. Now the 70-200.....Im not sure how true is this, but it seems each time I read the owner of a 70-200, I will always here this sentence (or something similar) "This is my most use lens/I use it almost everyday/I use this as my walk around lens, eventhough its heavy but the image quality is just stunning/I wont leave home without this lens".

    So Option B ;)
  6. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Option B by far.

    You don't really need IS on the 24-70, although there is a rumored update coming soon to this lens that will add it.

    If you really need the extra length some day you can always drop a 2x teleconverter on the 70-200 f/2.8 and end up with a 140-400 f/5.6.

    It will be a step down in IQ with the teleconverter, but the rest of the time the 70-200 will destroy the 100-400 in terms of sharpness, contrast, and color.

    Also keep in mind that there are several rumored updates to Canons range that will be coming soon (the next 6 months), two of those rumored lenses are a new 24-70 f/2.8L IS and a new 12-24 f/2.8L. I would definitley consider holding out for the 12-24 f/2.8L over the 16-35 f/2.8L which IMO is only an "OK" wide angle zoom and is not all that great compared to say the Nikkor 12-24. You might want to consider delaying your purchase of those two lenses till later this year.
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    First, there's apparently been a rumor of a 24-70 IS for years...

    Second, and more importantly, what do you shoot?
  8. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    ^^^^ good question indeed.

    ...and we also don't know what you have already.

    The 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a fantastic all around lens, much lighter than the 24-70.

    Perfect for travel and studio !

    And it comes at a very good price when purchased as a kit with the 5DII !!
  9. ghoztman macrumors regular

    May 23, 2008
    I have the 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and I could not be happier with it. It is an amazing lens, and light enough to schlep about.
  10. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    Option B if you need low light equipment for weddings and such like.

    I'd be careful on the 16-35. Wide open it isn't THAT sharp - you need to stop it down to f/4 for decent results. So you may be better off with the 17-40/f4 as you get another 5mm on the long end and it's half the price.

    But - if you need that wide aperture then 16-35 is worth considering.
  11. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2004
    Go for option B. It covers a wider range of photography, and when you make the move to say, a 5D Mark II, you can get the 24-105mm kit version that can save you more than 300 bucks than buying the lens kit separately.

    So you'll have option b + the 24-105mm kit. Doesn't get any better than that! :D
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Oh, so the 70-200 + 2x teleconverter still produce better images (sharpness, contract and color) compared to 100-400? If its a yes, swheet!

    Well you are right, but having IS means it will gain some extra stop which is better ^^.

    To me, a 24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM would be awesome!, Canon could drop the 24-70 and 24-105 altogether :D.

    There is also rumor that Canon might be updating the 70-200 with a newer IS!!! (It seems the current 70-200 has been introduced for a very long time)
  13. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    First and foremost we need to know what you're shooting primarily. If you're a portrait/landscape, I'd opt for some fast Primes (but I'm already partial to primes).

    17-40 F4L is half the price of the 16-35 2.8L. You do lose 1 stop, but at that wide you can afford to have a slower shutter if you can be steady enough. A 12-24 would almost be too wide on a FF, I'd imagine that is going to finally give the x0D/Rebel series an ultra wide L. (although the 10-22 EF-S is a very solid lens, but some shooters won't settle for anything less than L).

    I myself am really eyeing the 35 1.4L, especially on a FF body.

    If you're going for indoor sports, then the 70-200 2.8L IS is a VERY solid, but pricey, choice. If you need to cut back on the budget, either the F4 IS (about $600), or (my favorite) 135 F2L Prime ($900) does awesome.

    I only have the nifty 50 1.8 for my 'mid-range' lens, so I don't have much I could say on that matter. I have the wide end covered, and a decent long end covered. I need to get the 1.4x teleconverter to give me a little more reach...

    (I'm sorry if my post was confusing. I think it was)

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