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Topics - growler

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Lenses / Seeking quick advice
« on: May 14, 2014, 03:58:35 PM »
While I realize I will probably get a lot of different answers, I appreciate feedback from CR members about gear purchases. Here is my situation. Late last year I switched from crop to full frame (60D -> 6D) and am still in the process of changing my lens kit. Here is what I currently have:

Canon 24-105 f4L (not going to sell this no matter what anyone says; it is a great walk around lens)
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX APO HSM (2001 vintage, bought when I was shooting 35 mm film, no OS)
Sigma 1.4X EX APO

Rokinon 14 f2.8
Canon 24 f2.8 IS
Canon 40 f2.8
Canon 50 f1.8

Interests: Landscapes and portraits, roughly 50-50 in terms of number of shots for each.

Situation: I will be spending a couple of weeks wit family in the pacific northwest in late July/early August and will be hitting North Cascades, Rainier, and coastal areas between Seattle and Vancouver. A few good quality Canon refurbs are still available (e.g. 100 f2 (not macro), 135 f2L, 200 f2.8L), but today is the last day. I can spend up to $500 over and above the proceeds I'm likely to get if I sell any of my current lenses. Because I will be hiking and want to travel light, I'm looking for lightweight but high quality lenses.

Option 1: Forget about the lure of the above highly discounted refurbs, sell the Sigma 70-200 & 1.4 teleconverter, and buy a Canon 70-200 f4L IS with the proceeds + cash (with rebate, this lens goes new for $1150 until later in the month). Not interested in 70-200 f2.8 (any version) because I won't hike it around due to weight/size. Also not interested in non-IS version of 70-200 f4 both because I want IS in this zoom range and because sharpness is noticeably better on the IS version. Down the road (probably around December) when I can afford it, purchase a good portrait lens such as Sigma 85 f1.4, Canon 100 f2, or Canon 85 f1.8 (no, I won't spring for a Canon 85 f1.2).

Option 2: Purchase either the 100 f2 or the 135 f2 refurbs and face the fact that I won't have a hikeable 70-200 zoom for the Pacific Northwest trip and will have to wait to buy later. Advantages of the 100 f2: much less expensive, nice focal length for portraits. Advantages of the 135 f2: Better IQ (especially wrt to chromatic aberration), more reach.

Thanks for reading and for your thoughts.

Lenses / zooms vs primes for landscape
« on: January 24, 2014, 10:38:57 PM »
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.

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