Hi. I'm hoping to prevail on the collective wisdom of CR regulars for advice on building my lens kit after making the change from crop sensor to FF (I've got the 6D - great camera). I got rid of the last of my crop sensor lenses, leaving me with the following lenses: 24-105 f4L, 50 f1.8II, and an older Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO HSM (no OS) that I've had since my Elan IIe days. I shoot landscapes, occasional portraits, and I would like to get into macro. I don't shoot sports and don't plan to. I see two possible paths forward: go mostly with primes or rely mostly on zooms. In either case, I plan to keep the 24-105 because of its versatility as a walk around lens.
Plan 1. Add the 24mm f2.8 IS, 35mm 2.0 IS, 100mm f2.8L IS, and 200mm f2.8L. Sell the Sigma. Perhaps add a Rokinon 14mm manual focus later. On hikes when I want to keep the weight down, I could go with the 24, 35, and 100 and have most of the bases covered.
Plan 2. Add the 17-40mm f4L, 70-200mm f4L IS, and 100mm f2.8L IS. Sell the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. I don't want to buy the Canon 70-200 f2.8L (IS or non-IS) both because of the weight and the fact that for most landscape I don't need shallow DOF. Similar comments apply for the 16-36mm f2.8L. On hikes when I want to minimize weight, I would go with the 17-40, the 50, and the 70-200 f4L. I suppose that I could add macro ability by swapping the 50 1.8 for a 50 2.5 macro.
Any thoughts about either of these plans or other recommendations? Thanks.
I recently came back from a trip from Death Valley and I've given your question more thought. In short, go with zooms, sell your Sigma and your 24-105 and get the 16-35 and a 24-70/2.8 either from Canon or Tamron.
Here is why i think you should to that, the long version.
1. As you had mentioned, weight
is a great factor. If your style of landscape photography is the "touristy" kind where you don't go too far from the car, then it's not a factor at all, by all means bring the sharpest primes. But if you are going to climb up and down dunes, canyons and mountains it will eventually sinked in (to your shoulders) that you need to lighten up your load. For weight savings I would go with zoom lenses. The weight difference between 16-35 and 17-40 is barely noticeable, same goes between 24-105 and 24-70. Get the 70-300L.
2. Not having to change your lens too often
. If you are a very experienced photographer and you can "see" the shot and which focal length to use for it then by all means go with the primes. If you're like me, having to move around and zoom in out to see the best composition, well you know the answer. Having to switch lenses too often is really taxing to your gear too. The weather sealing on the camera and lenses is mute at that point. Sand and salty sea mist will easily get in your camera no mater how careful you are. So zoom wins in this regard.
. I guess this depends on how you view a versatile lens. Zoom is more versatile than primes, except for Tilt-Shift lenses for reasons already mentioned in this thread. Here's my take on versatility. Having F2.8 may not seem important at first for beginning landscape photographer. Don't think of F2.8 for shallower DoF. Think of it as having a versatile tool. Focusing is easier with F2.8 and I don't mean the cross-type focusing points on your camera. It would be much easier to see in the view finder compared to an F4 lens. Most landscape photographers using modern digital cameras uses live view for focusing. But there would be times when you absolutely cannot see anything in live view, like at night are with the sun behind you. The F2.8 would also allow you to take pictures of the Milky Way at half the time or ISO that you would need with an F4 lens. So stars would be sharper and less noisy skies. Hence, I recommend getting the 16-35 and a 24-70/2.8.
. I didn't do the price comparisons between you plan 1 or 2 but it seems to me that having 3 zoom lenses would be cheaper than buying several primes to cover the entire focal length. You may not find the need the 100mm macro if you get the Tamron 24-70 or the Canon 70-300L as they both have shorter focusing distance compared to other zoom.
5. Room in your bag.
Aside from weight, there is only so much you can fit in your bag. I have the F-Stop bags and my favorite is the Kenti model. With that I am able to carry, a 5DIII, 7D, EOS-M, 70-300L, 24-70LII, 16-35LII, Lee filter set, jacket, flash light, water, some snacks and my iPad. My point here is, if you can't carry it, you can't use it.