Please help me choose.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sud, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. sud macrumors regular

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    #1
    Problem I'm having at the moment is choosing the correct lenses for what I want to shoot, while trying to keep with in my budget.

    I currently have the 50D with a Canon 17-40 f4 L lens. I would eventually like to purchase the 5D Mk2 some time towards the end of next year therefore my lens choices need to work on the FF as well.

    Scenario 1
    Should I get the 70-200 f2.8 IS and perhaps the 50mm F1.4 which would amount to about $3100 in Australian dollars. which would cover what I intend shooting, Although I dont think I need 200mm for weddings.

    Scenario 2
    Get the 24-70 f2.8 L and the 135mm f2 L This does not cover quite the range of the 70-200 but from what I read the 135mm is a better lens in terms of speed and quality of images being a prime. This would cost $3500 Australian Dollars.

    Which scenario should I choose if I plan on doing wedding and event photography, By event I mean music concerts and sporting events. I also like shooting foliage.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer
     
  2. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #2
    omg choices...
    i'd have to go with the 70-200, due to the fact that you meant, events, as sports and concerts, your going to need coverage and distance. and you can take decent wedding pics at great areas with it as well.
    i'd rather not get the 24-70, cuz you'll be using the lense you pick for multipurposes right? so yea the 70-200 will work out for the whole idea of your events
     
  3. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    What are your thoughts on the 135mm f2 vs 70-200 f2.8 thomahawk?
    I though the 24-70 f2.8 would cover the range that I need for weddings? not sure how it would be at 50mm though.

    Cr*p its hard making the right decision with lenses they cost so much and dont wanna make a mistake, I have been reading so many reviews but they can be misleading to.
     
  4. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #4
    well if you think about it, you are also going to be shooting sports and concerts. so your going to need the distance whereas the other, will not be able to cover the distance. (this is under my understanding that you'll be using this 1 lense out of 2 for all these events)
    however if i were doing parties, and family events ad others in close quarters, then i'd get the 24-70.
    but then for those events you can always swap to your old stock lenses for those events and use the 70-200 for the long distance shots
     
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #5
    The 135, while being among the sharpest lenses ever made (up there with the 200 1.8, and the 300 2.8 by Canon), is nonetheless a bit too long for your needs. You are currently shooting a 17-40, which is a standard zoom, and when you go FF, it will be an UW zoom. The 17-40, currently serves what the 24-70 does on FF.

    Here is my advice. First off, think about this- do you really need the IS in that 70-200? I've shot several weddings for friends, and though the timing may have been propitious, I used my 70-200 only outdoors, while there was still light. IS, for another $500 seems like a luxury I never paid for, and never used.

    The 50 1.4 is a nice lens, if you know what you're getting. At 1.4-2.0, it's soft as melted butter. Stop it down above 2.0, and you have yourself an excellent low-light lens, and even a better portrait lens on a 1.6 camera.

    The 24-70 is a nice lens on my 5D, and probably the most used lens from my lineup. That being said, if I didn't have the needs I do (lots of backpacking, hiking, traveling), I would go for a bag full of primes.

    The 100 macro is a must for the wedding photographer. Go ahead and get the 50 1.4 (be it the Canon, or the Sigma). An 85 1.8 is a great deal, is about a 135 equivalent on 35mm, and makes great head shots. If you want to shoot weddings, take the rest of the money and get yourself some proper lighting.
     
  6. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Lovesong, did you handhold the 70-200 when shooting? Regarding the lighting what are you recommending, a regular flash 580EX-2?

    Do you think the 24-70 would do for weddings in terms IQ and DOF? is it much bigger then the 17-40?, and lastly the reason for my wanting the 135mm vs the 70-200 is that its not so obtrusive.

    I do travel a bit my job takes me all around Australia, Fiji and
    Papa New Guinea another reason I'm rethinking the 70-200.
     
  7. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #7
    One thing you will find, when shooting events is that you simply don't have the time to set up tripods. The idea is to get the shot, and get as many of them as possible that are in focus, and pray that you don't screw it up or anything goes wrong. I've found that in these instances I can easily handhold the 70-200.

    The 24-70 is certainly capable of being a great wedding lens. For many FF shooters it is their bread and butter lens. One thing to watch for is the fact that there is variability in the quality control of this lens, and you might easily end up with a soft copy. I guess I got lucky with mine, though I had to send it back to Canon as it was back focusing. If you do end up with a god copy, then you should expect sharp images, excellent IQ, and fairly creamy and pleasant bokeh (not quite as creamy as the 85 primes, but hey- it's a zoom).

    Size-wize it's certainly much bigger than the 17-40, and the latter feels like a toy comparatively. Here is a good comparison of the lenses, though the length comparison really doesn't do the difference much justice (the 24-70 is a beast).

    For lights, I would actually look into getting a pair of used EX580 mkI. In my limited experience with the mkII, the new hotshoe foot slide lock thing sucks, and for some reason (probably a safety thing) the flash won't keep firing when hooked up to an external battery pack (my 580-I will fire until it starts smoking). Take this with a grain of salt, as I've been using the 580 for a couple of years, and only rented the 580-II for a friend's wedding this past summer.
     
  8. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Thanks for all this info! What is back focusing and how does one identify it?

    You all have been really great thank you.
     
  9. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    The lenses you are considering are all top notch...and while I have my preferences....I can not get past wondering why you would choose a 5D II for "concerts and sporting events".

    I would rather address that issue first..as it appears..rightfully...to be impacting your lens choices now.

    The 5dII can produce wonderful images, yet it is a very poor tool for sports or even concerts especially considering the cost of the 5dII. Why? It's SLOW. The 5dII has consumer level AF system and relatively slow fps. If you want to stick with Canon...cool...get a 1dmkIIn. That would be a great tool for the events you mention...AND...save you money for investing in glass.

    Unless you intend to print VERY large...the 21mp "advantage" is pretty much useless. You will never actually *see* the extra resolution in a moderate, say A3, size print.

    Just my two cents....
     
  10. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10

    I am keeping the 50D which I'm thinking would be perfect for event photography?, then use the 5D for weddings and the likes. Would this do? or are you saying that the 50D with its consumer level AF not be up to the job?
     
  11. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'm not a wedding photog, but... 70 on FF isn't ideal for portraits being too short..and the bride wants to look her best or you won't get paid or get a referral. :) The 17-40...40mm...will make her nose look distortedly large.

    The 24-70 would have many uses at a wedding, but you *need* 85mm on FF (or its equivalent on cropped) for those "money shot" portraits. As good as the 70-200IS is...it ain't a prime for the desired creamy bokeh portraits.

    135 on FF is the longest FL you would want to consider using for portraits. On cropped sensors, it is definitely too long.

    Hope this helps...gotta run...
     
  12. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Basically between the lines you are saying that I should go for the 50 f1.2 on the cropped body or the 85 f1.2 on the FF for the money shots? I can live with that its just unfortunate that they dont appear to be much use for anything else?, if you look at flickr most shots with both the 50 and 85 are portrait shots which is fine I guess.

    So in saying all this, I guess it might have to be the 85 f1.2 when I use the 5D for weddings for the "money shots" but if I were using the 50D the 24-70 f2.8 would be perfect? or as above would I have to get the 50mm f1.2? then for the longer shots for events, concerts as such are we going for the 70-200?
     
  13. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    IMO, if you do not need to make a living as a Pro sports photog, then that would make a great combo. The 50D is a good cam for sports / event work. The 5dII would great for weddings. I assume you would have both around your neck at weddings. *I* would use primes with the 5dII and a zoom on the 50D...voila.

    I find myself squirming a bit as I type, because if I wrote what I really thought of the 5dII, it would probably turn this thread into a SILLY brand war...but let's not "go there". :)
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Get the 70-200 with IS, it's much more flexible than a prime. You cannot retake shots and usually things don't go down as rehearsed.

    Also, regarding cameras, I also second that the 5D Mark II might not be the best camera for you. Two reasons: (i) the AF system is IMO underpowered given the price point of the camera (the 50D has a better AF system!) and the AF points are concentrated in the center.

    Comparison: viewfinder of the 50D
    [​IMG]
    Viewfinder of the 5D Mark II:
    [​IMG]
    Comparison: Nikon D700
    [​IMG]

    You immediately notice that on the 5D, the AF points do not line up with the rule of thirds whereas they do line up on the 50D.

    (ii) It's slower than the 50D -- in certain situation (e. g. the money shots), you simply need a fast camera with a large buffer.

    It's a pity that in that respect, Canon isn't like Nikon (which gives you up to 8 fps and the professional AF system with the D700). Canon does know how to make a good AF module and a fast camera. I'd suggest you have a look at a used 1D or 1Ds Mark II.
     
  15. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    You mentioned the Nikon D700...I didn't :) The D700 is soooooo much more appealing to me than a 5dII.

    Primes vs zooms...to each their own....
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    I didn't intend to start yet another Canon-vs.-Nikon flamewar, my point was that the OP should (at least for the applications he has in mind) think twice about the 5D Mark II.
     
  17. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17

    So really speaking then I should stay with the 50D for many reasons, if this is the case then can we say the 24-70 f2.8 is going to be good for weddings? then I could get the 70-200 for the long shots and just get another 50D for the backup camera.

    No, lets not start a Canon, Nikon thing again, I have owned Nikon in the past and gone over to Canon for my own personal preferences, They are both capable of producing award winning photos as is with the Pentax and Sony cameras. Can we please keep this to a lens thread :)
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Well, yes and no, depends on which shots you have in mind. For group pictures, it won't be suitable, no. With a crop body, I recommend you have a look at the 17-40 mm f/4 (full frame lens) from Canon or the 17-55 f/2.8 (crop lens). Obviously the latter gives you more reach and more creative freedom. These would be great for group shots. For portraits, a 50 mm f/1.4 would be plenty (and relatively inexpensive). On a crop body, this corresponds to about 80 mm on film which is a classical focal length for portraits. The 70-200 mm is a must-have lens IMO. I have one. It's a little long in the beginning (70 mm correspond to the viewing angle of a 110 mm), but it allows you to be discrete and stay at a distance.

    How about renting these lenses and trying them out?
    It wasn't my intention to start such a discussion. My point was simple: Canon knows better, because they do better. I can't help but think that Canon intentionally crippled the 5D to `keep it in its niche.'
     
  19. 66217 Guest

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    #19
    I don't see much use for a 70-200 in weddings, unless they are outdoors.

    I would go for the 24-70 f/2.8, and if you don't have on yet, get a 50 f/1.4. As for the 135mm, I agree it is too long for weddings. It would only be useful for those tight portraits, and even there, nothing you can't achieve with the 24-70, and maybe a bit short for sporting/concert events.

    I would rather take it slow and buy the 24-70. And when you have enough money saved, buy a 70-200. And for a camera back-up, you might want to get a used camera and don't investo su much for now. And then, when you have enough money saved again, buy a new camera (5D Mk2).
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    I've only shot one wedding as the photographer (and another just as an attendee with the same equipment), but my 80-200 got me most the money shots (ring scene, kiss, the two looking at each other tense (i. e. before the exchange of rings) and relaxed). I was lauded for being very discrete, thanks to my lens. Without that lens, I would have been screwed. However, the wedding photographer at the last wedding I've been to was very much `in their face', he used a 50 mm during the ceremony.
     
  21. 66217 Guest

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    #21
    I have to agree, it is indeed a nice lens and it's really nice to have a photographer that is discrete and shots from far away. But I've never seen a photographer with a 70-200 at a wedding, I would guess this is because that would make you need to have another camera at hand for taking photos at a wider angle.

    How did you handled this? Did you kept changing lenses?
     
  22. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    What do you think of this http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/photo...ers-review-canon-ef-70-200-f28-l-is-usm-lens/

    Not trying to prove a point but he uses a 70-200 IS and his shots are fantastic!
     
  23. 66217 Guest

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    #23
    Definitely an advantage. And he got very good photos.

    You just need to consider your situation. You already have a good wide-angle lens, so you might as well get the 70-200. If you can rent one, and see how you like it, do it.

    Also notice that when I speak, I do it as only a viewer. I had never done a wedding myself.:)
     
  24. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Thanks Roco, really do appreciate your input, I am beginning to believe that the 70-200 is a must have for both wedding (perhaps just some of the shots) as well as for event. I will probably end up with the 24-70 f2.8 plus the 70-200 f2.8 is along with my existing 17-40 which should pretty much cover the entire range, Later on with enough saved will spring for the 85 f1.2 for portraits.

    I think this will be my decision - Thanks to you all for all the input!
     
  25. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Most of the wedding photographers I've seen had two bodies and all of them had a 70-200 zoom in their camera bag.
    The other photographer had two bodies, one with the nifty fifty, the other with the 70-200. He also had an assistant with another 70-200 on a third body (although that guy wasn't doing much). He used the 70-200 for portraits after the ceremony and not during the ceremony, though.

    Since I did it for free for friends (who didn't give me any budget ;)), I really had to change lenses. Wasn't so bad, but I would have preferred not to.

    @OP
    I'm not sure the 24-70 will be terribly useful, unless you have a second body. Rent it and try it in typical situations, but IMO you should be fine with the 17-40 you already own.
     

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