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Topics - PJL

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Lenses / Lens Help - 17-40 & 70-200 f/4 or 24-70 f/4
« on: January 28, 2013, 02:05:36 PM »
I've been a long time reader and finally thought I’d ask for everyone’s advice on a lens purchase dilemma I’m having.  I realize the “which lens should I buy” posts can get annoying after a while so I’ll preface this by saying that I've tried all the lenses I’m deciding between and am really stuck!

First though thanks to everyone for all the incredibly usefully information that I've read over the years on these boards.  It has certainly helped improve the quality of my photos. 

About Me:
I currently have a 6d that I got for Christmas.  Before that I had a Rebel XT for 8 years that I used with a the EF-S 17-85 and the 85 F/1.8.  I just sold the 17-85.  I am loving the 6d so far.  Coming from an XT it’s one heck of an upgrade.  I’m up north so I can’t wait for winter to clear so there’s more time to get outside and shoot!

What I like to shoot:
My 4mo old daughter

What I like to do:
I do a lot of walking/hiking.  I don’t like carrying a ton of stuff, and almost never bring a tripod.  So my landscapes tend to be handheld wherever I am.  I wasn't into people pictures until we had our first kid.  Now she seems to dominate my subject matter.

So at first I was going to get the 6D with 24-105 the kit lens.  I wanted to learn more about the 24-70 f/4 and was hoping it would be available as a kit option alongside the 6D.  As a result I kept waiting and waiting for it to be released.  I finally gave up and bought the body only as I didn't want to miss any more shots and figured the 85 F/1.8 would get the job done in the short term.  I also picked up the 40 F/2.8 for something a little wider while I made up my mind.  I was attracted to the 24-70 f/4 because of the IS (handheld), small size (for walking/hiking) and macro features (I've been wanting to do more of this but couldn't commit to a dedicated lens).  In hindsight I should have just gotten the 24-105 as a kit.  I just wasn't excited enough at the time and felt like I'd regret it.

I went back and looked at photos from the last few years and realized that on my 17-85 I took almost all of my photos at either the wide or zoom end.  Very few in the middle.

Through a stroke of good fortune I received a $1,250 gift card to Amazon as a perk from work.  I netted $375 selling my 17-85 and an old 70-300 so I have $1600 or so to spend on the lens I've been waiting for.  After doing some research and trying out a lot of lenses I’m down to the following options:

Option 1:
EF 24-70 F/4 IS - $1,499

Option 2:
EF 70-200 F/4 IS - $1,099
EF 17-40 F/4 - $699

I realize there are rebates ending on the option 2 items Feb 2nd.  Not sure how likely it is that they will be extended but those prices include the rebates.

Here are my thoughts:
Option 1: Great size for walking/hiking, very useful focal range, brand new IS, and can do my macro thing when I want to try it out.  When I tried one at a local store I was impressed with how small it was.  Cons are the price (I feel like I’m overpaying as an early adopter) and the fact that it doesn't seem to “wow” everyone on these forums from an IQ standpoint.

Option 2:  I’m really excited about the 70-200.  From my brief experience renting one it is an awesome lens and I've never really owned a good telephoto.  The 17-40 also intrigues me as I love wide angle stuff.  The cons are the added weight and I worry about the 17-40 as my primary walk-around.  It doesn't have IS (is that ok for my handheld landscape needs?) and I’ll be missing the 40-70 range in my kit.  Not that it’s essential to have everything covered.

My questions:
1.   Is there some other combo for around $1600 that I should be considering?  Perhaps even non-canon lenses?  Blow it on a prime instead?
2.   Is the 17-40 ok for general purpose use?  Without a tripod?  How much will I miss the 40-70?
3.   How is the 70-200 as a portrait lens?  Is it usable indoors?  I have my 85 f?1.8 and absolutely love it so indoor use isn’t a necessity.
4.   Are these canon rebates that are ending Feb 2nd likely gone for a while?

Thanks in advance for all your help!  Sorry for the long post.

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