Reckon I need a new lens (Canon)... ANS: Probably 17-55mm f2.8!

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 15, 2006
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103
Hi guys,

I am starting to take my photography and videography more seriously and have decided I need a new lens. I am shooting majority crop on the 600d.

At the moment I have the UWA tokina 11-16mm which has worked great for all the party style photo's I want especially linked with my 430exii

I have also recently upgraded from the 50mm Canon f1.8 to the f1.4 mainly so I can attach lens gears to it for my video work.

I think at the moment I am missing something in the middle. I'm not really worried about getting in tighter as I find that I can use my feet and the 50mm.

I have used the 24mm f1.4 before and whilst thinking at the time that it wasn't quite a WA and not really tight enough I think in retrospect I have decided that it was actually a really nice mix of widish FOV and DOF.

I think a fast 24mm - 35mm ish lens would be pretty good although I haven't had extended use so I am not sure.

How does something like a 24-70mm f2.8 compare to the prime lenses?

Also are there any deals I should look for (i.e. is the sigma 30mm f1.4 much better than the canon 35mm or is it better value?)

Any help would be great!

Cheers!
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
The Canon 35L is one of the most amazing lenses in that range that I've ever used and I've rented and owned a variety (although not the 24mm primes). BTW, I rented the Sigma 35 f1.4 for a weekend before buying the Canon and found the focus keeper rate to be unacceptable. It was all over the place... front focus, back focus, totally out of focus. :(

The new 24-70 f2.8 II might be so good that prime owners gravitate towards it as was the case when Canon launched the revised 70-200 f2.8 II. If you're considering a zoom, you may want to wait until the reviews are out on that, although it is a killer price-wise.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
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The Canon 35L is one of the most amazing lenses in that range that I've ever used and I've rented and owned a variety (although not the 24mm primes). BTW, I rented the Sigma 35 f1.4 for a weekend before buying the Canon and found the focus keeper rate to be unacceptable. It was all over the place... front focus, back focus, totally out of focus. :(

The new 24-70 f2.8 II might be so good that prime owners gravitate towards it as was the case when Canon launched the revised 70-200 f2.8 II. If you're considering a zoom, you may want to wait until the reviews are out on that, although it is a killer price-wise.
Ditto. The 35L is probably my most used lens in my bag (over the 17-40 and 24-105). Simply said, it's an all around awesome lens. The bokeh is nice and creamy, and I have encountered no focusing issues whatsoever with the lens.

The 24-70 II is another good option. But who knows when Canon is going to release that for sale.
 

Prodo123

macrumors 68020
Nov 18, 2010
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I'm also for the 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L, whether it's the first or the second. The first has a 77mm thread and reverse zoom, while the second has an 82mm thread and normal zoom. The former also being a full grand cheaper at this moment, it might be worth getting the old version too.

Also, since you're shooting crop, you might want to look into the 17-55mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM. This deserves an L but since it's EF-S it's not an L lens. But who needs a red ring when you can have something just as good as the 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L except it has a 3-stop IS system?
 

mulo

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2010
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Behind you
I'm also for the old 24-70 f/2.8L

a second note is that the reverse zooming allows for its deep hood, which in turns gives full coverage throughout the zoom range - smart eh?
 

Prodo123

macrumors 68020
Nov 18, 2010
2,326
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I'm also for the old 24-70 f/2.8L

a second note is that the reverse zooming allows for its deep hood, which in turns gives full coverage throughout the zoom range - smart eh?
Also, since the hood is so deep, you get loads of protection.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,617
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Redondo Beach, California
You can try an experiment. Buy a cheap used "kit lens" the 18-55. Price is maybe $60 or less. Shoot with it. Yes it is a f/5.6 lens but this is an experiment, just bump the ISO way up. Then after you have a few hundred shoots look at what focal lengths you tend to use most. The focal lengths used are recorded in the image files and likely your photo management software can dump the metadata. If you find most shots are all at 18 or 55 with nothing in the middle you know then that a 35mm lens would be a waste of money. But if every shot is in the 24-35 range you know what you need.

Then sell the lens on ebay for $10 less than what you paid.
 

jeremy h

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2008
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266
UK
Also, since you're shooting crop, you might want to look into the 17-55mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM. This deserves an L but since it's EF-S it's not an L lens. But who needs a red ring when you can have something just as good as the 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L except it has a 3-stop IS system?
Couldn't agree more. I've got one and I love it. (I also had the sigma 30mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.8 - they got sold a few months after getting the 17-55, I just didn't use them any more.)
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Also, since you're shooting crop, you might want to look into the 17-55mm ƒ/2.8 IS USM. This deserves an L but since it's EF-S it's not an L lens. But who needs a red ring when you can have something just as good as the 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L except it has a 3-stop IS system?
Couldn't agree more. I've got one and I love it. (I also had the sigma 30mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.8 - they got sold a few months after getting the 17-55, I just didn't use them any more.)
Maybe it was just my copy but after awhile the zoom was choppy and sloppy... not smooth and well damped like an L lens which would make it very difficult to tame for video use. And while I don't shoot much video, the IS on mine caused jumpy vibrations in my video but maybe I was doing it wrong.

And, although I use to swear by the image quality and it was my most used lens, after I used a couple of L lenses it became clear to me that the 17-55 is over rated. I don't think it's up to L image quality. My L lenses blow it away in contrast and saturation, consistently producing stunning images right out of the camera... I can't say the same for the 17-55. I couldn't go back now. :eek:
 

WRP

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
510
2
Boston
I agree with the others that on a crop, go with the 17-55. There's a big difference between 16 and 24 on a crop.

I have tons of primes and zooms. The 3 that never leave my bag are my 11-16, 17-55 and 70-200
 

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 15, 2006
3,269
103
I agree with the others that on a crop, go with the 17-55. There's a big difference between 16 and 24 on a crop.

I have tons of primes and zooms. The 3 that never leave my bag are my 11-16, 17-55 and 70-200
Thanks for this and to everyone else thanks for the info. Nice to know it is used more than the primes. Surprised that no one came up to back them up!

Does anyone know what sort of price I should be looking at second hand for the 17-55mm in the UK?

For this focal length what are people's main photographic subject? I am a definite people person and the 11-16mm is great for ambient party shots as I said before and the 50mm is nice for portraits, although the 150mm on my medium format film camera is the boss there!

Is Canon the best brand for this FOV? I saw Dale mention the Tamron but it's a focal length more equivalent to the 24-70 L lens.

How is the IS on the 17-55? I think what was swaying me towards the 24mm prime was the f1.4 as I can really only go to ISO 1600 max on my 600d.

Thanks again for all the feedback guys, it's very useful!
 

Prodo123

macrumors 68020
Nov 18, 2010
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9
Thanks for this and to everyone else thanks for the info. Nice to know it is used more than the primes. Surprised that no one came up to back them up!

Does anyone know what sort of price I should be looking at second hand for the 17-55mm in the UK?

For this focal length what are people's main photographic subject? I am a definite people person and the 11-16mm is great for ambient party shots as I said before and the 50mm is nice for portraits, although the 150mm on my medium format film camera is the boss there!

Is Canon the best brand for this FOV? I saw Dale mention the Tamron but it's a focal length more equivalent to the 24-70 L lens.

How is the IS on the 17-55? I think what was swaying me towards the 24mm prime was the f1.4 as I can really only go to ISO 1600 max on my 600d.

Thanks again for all the feedback guys, it's very useful!
Canon's offerings are usually the best. You could try Tamron but I personally haven't had good experiences with 3rd party lenses. Dale on the other hand loves it. I guess it depends on the person.
The 17-55 is a 27.2-88mm FF equivalent. The 24-70 on a crop is 38.4-112mm equivalent. Both fall into the "general purpose" range which is most useful for everything. The 17-55 however can also do wide angle shots while the 24-70 can do short tele shots.
ƒ/2.8 is more than enough for shooting in the dark at ISO 800 with IS off.
 
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breezie

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2010
45
0
Another vote for the 17-55mm. On a Crop Sensor - I think it'll out perform the 24-70 in IQ.
 

breezie

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2010
45
0
They are equal in IQ.
Actually, I'd give a slight edge to the 24-70mm.
Based on the below, the 17-55 is quite a bit sharper (when comparing both on crop sensors).

24-70: http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/184-canon-ef-24-70mm-f28-usm-l-test-report--review?start=1

17-55: http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/178-canon-ef-s-17-55mm-f28-usm-is-test-report--review?start=1

As for colors, I think we're splitting hairs. So for his 600d, I'd still recommend the 17-55. Keep in mind though:

17-55mm + crop > 24-70mm + crop, but 24-70mm + FF > 17-55mm + crop
 

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 15, 2006
3,269
103
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the further follow up.

I have a few photography gigs this week so that should help in regards to rattling some funds together.

Anyone have experience with prices of this lens in the UK?

I have seen one for £575 + p&p and it's quite a lot but I have also seen the rave reviews everywhere!

Anyone have any sample images?
 

TheReef

macrumors 68000
Sep 30, 2007
1,888
166
NSW, Australia.
The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is a great lens. Unless I'm shooting a specialty like macro or birds, it's on my camera.


Dale
I agree, save yourself a bundle and get this over the old 24-70mm f/2.8

It's very sharp, this is a crop of a shot taken with this lens:
I'd definitely give it a go if the focal length is what you're after, look into buying used off eBay.

 

Prodo123

macrumors 68020
Nov 18, 2010
2,326
9
I agree, save yourself a bundle and get this over the old 24-70mm f/2.8

It's very sharp, this is a crop of a shot taken with this lens:
I'd definitely give it a go if the focal length is what you're after, look into buying used off eBay.

Was the vignetting intentional?
If not then that lens has some serious problems for me.
 

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 15, 2006
3,269
103
I agree, save yourself a bundle and get this over the old 24-70mm f/2.8

It's very sharp, this is a crop of a shot taken with this lens:
I'd definitely give it a go if the focal length is what you're after, look into buying used off eBay.

I think it's a very interesting lens but apparently the AF is very slow.

I already struggle with my 600d in low light and could imagine that I could get quite frustrated if the focus causes me issues.

Am I right in thinking that there is a version with VC and a version without?

Price is obviously an important issue and the focal length is actually quite different.

I have found a version for around £200 so it could be a case of getting it and worse case scenario selling it at the same price or even more (judging by eBay prices) if it doesn't work out.
 

TheReef

macrumors 68000
Sep 30, 2007
1,888
166
NSW, Australia.
Was the vignetting intentional?
If not then that lens has some serious problems for me.
Yes :)

I think it's a very interesting lens but apparently the AF is very slow.

I already struggle with my 600d in low light and could imagine that I could get quite frustrated if the focus causes me issues.

Am I right in thinking that there is a version with VC and a version without?

Price is obviously an important issue and the focal length is actually quite different.

I have found a version for around £200 so it could be a case of getting it and worse case scenario selling it at the same price or even more (judging by eBay prices) if it doesn't work out.
My older bodies did have issues with hunting in low light, since upgrading to a K-5 these issues have disappeared, it focuses fine without problem.
The body is definitely a factor in the AF performance of the lens.

But if you're already struggling with the 600D as you say, and you're predominantly shooting in those conditions, then yes I could imagine it causing some frustration, as it did on my old K10D.
FWIW in a studio setting I never had any issues with any body.

Yes Tamron have recently put out the new Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, with ultrasonic AF drive and stablisier, which looks very attractive.
I haven't used the lens so can't comment, it also costs significantly more than the old Tamron, pushing it closer towards the cost of the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 and EF 24-70mm f/2.8

There is also the excellent Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non VC version) to consider.
 
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Policar

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2004
637
5
What do you need it for?

If you're shooting dramatic video you need the 17-85mm range covered at f2.8 or faster as the prime kit most directors and DPs expect is 18, 25, 35, 50, and 85, or similar. From there you might go wider (the Tokina covers this more than well enough) or tighter (for close POVs and whatnot), but that is the standard range. The slowest prime kits are around f2.8, but if you don't mind a slow lens the 18-55mm IS is very good in all respects except ergonomics. You can either get a 70-200mm zoom or 85mm/100mm prime for your portrait lens. I have found that this is the most infrequently used focal length of those above for narrative work, though.

For sports and videography you might want to go much tighter than that.

The 17-55mm f2.8 IS is the best EF or EF-S mount lens I've used. The focal lengths covered are boring but extremely useful. This is a must have for event photography (couple it with a 70-200mm f2.8 or f4 IS on a second body) and a must have for video, too. Totally indispensable (and superior in all ways except build quality and bokeh to the 24-70mm, which is the wrong focal length for a crop body anyway!).
 

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 15, 2006
3,269
103
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone.

I have just purchased a 17-55mm Canon.

I think in the end the slow AF and lack of IS on the Tamron swayed me and I am doing 4 events this week so hopefully it should pay for itself.

I think also this will be a good all around lens to just stick on my camera when I am out and about with friends and want to get a quick video or something.

As always everyone's help has been great and I hope I can help some of you guys out in the future!
 

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