New lens advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by miloblithe, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    So, my brother's wedding is coming up in a week. I'm going to take some "gravy" shots, and the event justifies to some degree entertaining the thought of getting another lens. My dilemma:

    I have a Canon 400D (APS-C sensor), and my current lenses are a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 and Canon 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS. I also have a 430 EX II flash. I'd be fine with these two lenses, but currently my 24-70 is being repaired, and I'm not sure if I will get it back in time for the wedding (it'll be close). If I get the lens back in time, I think the easy answer is just to buy nothing and go with what I have.

    To be sensible, any new lens I'd buy should have another function beyond just using it at this wedding.

    If not, here are my thoughts:

    Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS ~$120
    This lens isn't too exciting, but it's a good cheap option. In the future, I might use it when I want to just take one light lens when I'm going to be carrying my camera for a long period of time and am feeling lazy. Obviously 18mm is also wider than 24mm, but I doubt I'd really use it for that purpose all that often. When I want good pictures, I'd use the Sigma.

    Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 OS ~$200
    This seems like a much nicer lens than the Canon above. It has a useable focus ring and better build quality (metal mount, etc.). It's also 2/3 of a stop faster. On the other hand, it's also heavier which means it's less useful for the one main use I'd have in the long run for this third lens.

    Canon 35mm f/2 ~$330
    I like the idea of getting a small prime in the 28-35mm range to use as a walk-around lens when I don't feel like carrying the Sigma 24-70. This would obviously have better IQ than the cheap zooms above, but perhaps not that much better? It's also a little faster for low light or shallow depth of field, but reviews say this lens's old-fashioned 5-bladed design doesn't produce particularly nice bokeh. 35mm seems a little less wide than would be ideal.

    Canon 28mm f/2.8 $260
    Similar to the 35/2, although wider and less expensive. f/2.8 is less exciting than f/2.0.

    Sigma 30mm f/1.4 ~$440
    Getting into a different price category here. Very attractive spec. 30mm seems ideal on Canon's 1.6x crop as a walk-around prime, and obviously f/1.4 is exciting. But reviews for this lens don't seem awesome considering how much more it is. It's also heavier than the lenses above so less ideal as a lens to put on the camera to make it light (still a lot lighter and smaller than a 24-70 f/2.8 though).

    Canon 28mm f/1.8 ~$460
    Even more expensive. Nice that it's full frame and Canon manufactured (no worries about future compatibility). But similarly the reviews don't seem to be awesome. For that money (it's a lot to me), I'd want to be a little more convinced that one of these two lenses would really be great.

    Sigma 28mm f/1.8 ~$350
    Less money, but also looks very big and heavy compared to the Canon. Can't find any reviews online. Does this lens suck?

    Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 $450
    I don't know how interested I really am in wide angle. The reviews also don't seem entirely convincing.

    Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 $480
    Reviewed as sharper than the Tamron? Spec isn't as sexy, but wide aperture at ultra-wide angles doesn't seem as important as IQ. This is a lot of money for a type of photography I'm not that sure I'm into.

    Another thought is, get something awesome (Canon 15-85 f/3.5-5.6, Canon 17-40 f/4, or something like that in the $700 range and sell my 24-70 to be able to afford it. I have a feeling I might end up regretting that. Whenever I start thinking about getting new lenses I start to realize how nice a lens my Sigma 24-70 is. It's not ideal in some ways--it's not wide enough and it's big and heavy--but it's a nice lens.

    Any advice? Any options I've overlooked?
  2. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Is the wedding outside?

    I would rent lenses, to be honest; unless ofcourse you want a new lens.

    The 55-250 is going to be too slow to use w/o flash.

    If you can rent some lenses, i would rent:
    24-70L, 70-200 2.8 (or the 70-200 f/4IS) and maybe a prime, like an 85 1.2L or 135L. Those are what I would have. Then you can use flash when needed. I wouldn't use it primarily.
  3. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Renting lenses doesn't seem economical to me. I'm not being paid for this. It's just for fun. And the wedding is just the excuse/impetus. In the long run, I want a lens that serves a function beyond the two lenses I already have.
  4. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    How about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 instead of the Sigma? I have this lens, plus a Tokina 12-24mm f/4 I use for landscapes. The Tamron is quite fast focusing, and sharp. While the Tokina is an excellent lens for landscapes.
  5. MacRodster macrumors member

    May 31, 2010

    What about the Canon 50mm F1.8 II, it's a great low-light portrait lens and you'll get a LOT of use with it after the wedding PLUS it only costs around $100. Very sharp pictures! Great reviews! You cannot go wrong with this lens! No money wasted there ;)

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