top three lenses a photographer needs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rweakins, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. rweakins macrumors 6502

    rweakins

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    May 3, 2007
    #1
    out of all lenses what would be the top three every photographer needs?
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    No such thing. Every photographer doesn't shoot the same things at the same distances. The needs of a sports shooter are different than the needs of a wildlife photographer are different than the needs of a photojournalist are different than the needs of a portrait photographer....
     
  3. rweakins thread starter macrumors 6502

    rweakins

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    May 3, 2007
    #3
    well just in reply to that what would say say is the top lens for a landscape/nature photographer, top for portraits, and top for sports?
     
  4. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Well all depends.

    Lots of variables, I would say as a general 3 lens kit for an advanced amateur would be a 28-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 and a 50mm or 85mm prime lens. Maybe a wide angle like a 10-20mm, for landscape people.

    As for myself with sports I have a 28-75mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 VR and in transit a 300mm f2.8.
     
  5. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #5
    There's already another thread regarding "if you could only buy 3 lenses" which is pretty much the same thing you're already asking.
     
  6. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #6
    The problem with your question is that there are a myriad of theories as to what "top lenses" constitute. There is the camp of photographers who believe that primes are the only true lenses, and that zooms are really a cute little compromise. Then there are the zoom people, who feel that technology has advanced enough not to have to rely on primes alone, and that a good zoom is as good as a prime.

    For landscape, on a Canon mount (which is what I know), I'd go with a 16-35 f/2.8 II, a 24mmL, and a 35mm L.

    For walk-around and general photography, I'd go with a 24-70 f/2.8, a 70-200 f/2.8, and a 50mm f/1.4.

    For portraits, I'd go with an 85 f/1.2, a 135 f/2, and a 200 f/2.8.

    Nature and Wildlife, you'd want the 300 f/2.8, the 400 f/2.8, and some Bigma zoom.

    That is of course just my opinion, and many here will disagree.
     
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #7
    Agreed...64+ posts in another thread...

    forum searches for photography usually yield great results.
     
  8. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #8
    Yeah, as others said, there's already a thread on this. Also, are we talking about full frame, APS-H, or APS-C size sensors? A 24-70 on a 5D is the similar as the 17-55 on a 30D.
     
  9. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #9
    Sorry- I was talking about 35mm... or FF, if you want.
     
  10. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #10
    Here's a link to that thread.
     
  11. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #11
    Yeah, that's what I assumed. I guess I should specify 35mm, because I could be talking about full frame medium or large format. Do you own the 24-70? I'm seriously looking at it and would love to hear some first hand reviews.
     
  12. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #12
    The 24-70 is seriously one of the better lenses I have used in the 10+ years I have been into photography. Yes, probably my 70-200 is slightly sharper, but when I shoot with the 24-70 at 50mm, it actually outperforms my 50mm 1.4. Yes-it's heavy. And with the lens hood, it looks like a telephoto. To me that's a small price to pay for the optical quality of the lens. As the cliche goes, it practically lives on my 5D.

    One of the other lenses I was considering for a while was the 24-105- slightly lighter, IS, longer focal length. That still didn't make it a fast zoom, and the difference is noticeable when looking through the viewfinder.

    Here is a sample of an image I took with it when I first got it, and a 100% crop. This is at f/5.6. It gets sharper at f/8. I haven't done any sharpening, just the sepia filter. I'd say if you can swing it- go for it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. valiar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    It will really depend on what you shoot... And on your SLR system of choice too - because different manufacturers have slightly different lens repertoires.

    I am not very familiar with what Canon/Nikon currently offer, but if you decide to buy into an Olympus kit, the lens choice is a no-brainer.

    I use the 14-54 2.8-3.5, 50-200 2.8-3.5, and the 50 2.0 macro Digital Zuikos on my Oly E1. It has a 2x focal length multiplier, so, as you can see, these lenses provide enough coverage for pretty much any shot - from a reasonably wide 28mm to 400mm.
     

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