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Author Topic: New lens or body?  (Read 6391 times)

KarstenReis

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New lens or body?
« on: July 06, 2011, 05:45:29 PM »
Hello everyone,

Right now I have an XSi and three different lenses : 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS (kit lens) and 100 f/2.8 Macro.
 
I was wondering if anyone could help out with whether I should wait for a new body such as a 7D Mk II/ 5D Mk III or to just get a 7D now or if I should get new lens now.  The lenses I've been looking at are a used 70-200 f2.8 L Mk I with an 2x extender or a 24-70 2.8 L.  Other recommendations are welcome!

I would like something that I can grow in to and not be limited by in the future.

I mainly shoot wildlife and landscape.
Price isn't really so much of an issue.
I've been shooting for about 4 years and I'm not that good but I like doing it a lot so that's all that really matters.

Thanks

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New lens or body?
« on: July 06, 2011, 05:45:29 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 05:57:36 PM »
You can get a lot more out of your existing camera body with a high end lens.  A 17-55mm or 15-85mm for about the cost of a new body will make a much larger difference.

Check for refurbs if you are in USA.  http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/subCategory_10051_10051_-1_22751

awinphoto

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 06:25:48 PM »
You do realize the pandora's box you just opened asking internet strangers what gear they would have you buy.  =)  Waiting on bodies can be a very tiresome task.  5D people are waiting on a prayer that the replacement will be any time within the next 6-9 months and and 7D people, well, that camera, in all reality, likely wont be replaced until probably 3rd qtr 2012 to complete it's 3 year cycle, however that could be thrown up in the air depending on how stock levels remain (5D mark II being backordered in most stores) and other cameras like 7D being in short supply. 

Lenses are always your best bet because unlike bodies that have a life cycle of every few years, lenses outlive bodies sometimes 2-3 bodies (if not longer if you have a really nice lens and treat it well).  While the allure and options of a bigger and better camera are always more lucrative, you might as well (if funding is readily available), go ahead and buy a lens or two that will let you do what you want to do.  I would recommend getting a good "walk around" lens (17-55mm, 24-105L, 24-70L, 15-85 (at least), even the 18-135mm has ok MTF (sharpness) charts...)  Then get your specialty lens depending on what you love to do (telephoto for close ups of wildlife or wides or ultrawides for landscapes)... Have your bases covered and then once you get better, you can splurge on a new body and even better glass.   
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

AJ

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 07:45:46 PM »
Time to upgrade from the kit lens.  Your camera body is just fine.

Mt. Spokane's suggestions of 17-55/2.8 IS or 15-85/3.5-5.6 IS are good ones.  I have the 17-55 and it's a very good lens.

If you're into landscape, maybe start thinking about an ultrawide.  Canon 10-22, Tokina 11-16/2.8, Sigma 8-16, or similar.  I have a Sigma 10-20 that I'm very happy with.

As for the long end, things can get pretty expensive pretty quickly.  You have 70-300.  Your idea of 70-200/2.8 with extenders is not bad, but a lot of folks gravitate to 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS.  It's a very convenient lens and it delivers in the quality dept.  I have a 200/2.8 and extenders, but I don't recommend this setup to others - no zoom, no IS.

I'd skip the 24-70/2.8 L.  This lens is only really worth it for full-frame shooting IMO.

I've been shooting for about 4 years ...  I like doing it a lot so that's all that really matters.
Yes indeed that's all that matters!

Redreflex

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 08:40:24 PM »
Hello everyone,

Right now I have an XSi and three different lenses : 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS (kit lens) and 100 f/2.8 Macro.

It's exactly what I've been mulling over for the past 6-8 months. Like you, I have the EOS 450D (= Xsi). Just over 6 months ago, I had the kit lens and 50mm f/1.8. In pursuit of better quality images (following marked improvement from a couple of photography courses / seminars - I'd recommend doing something like this), I mulled over a new body vs lens. I went down the latter route. I now have the 24-70mm f/2.8L, 135mm f/2L and 24mm f/1.4L. I shoot a range of things, but particularly indoors (some low light) of my active 2 year old toddler.

There was a noticeable leap in my picture quality with the better lenses. It's only now, several months after my last lens purchase, that I feel I'm pushing the limit of the Xsi body.

Thus, I vehemently agree with the other posts - better lenses first (not giving specific suggestions - others probably better placed to do so). You'll be surprised by how much more you can get out of the Xsi with better lenses. And I'm still working on improving my composition etc etc... am ready for a new body... but still very happy with the photos I'm getting in good light with my expanded set of lenses.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 09:11:58 PM by Redreflex »

dstppy

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 09:12:40 PM »
I'll chime in and say either the 15-85mm or the 24-105mm L -- you have the benefit now of getting better (used) value for your kit lenses . . . not that it's a lot, but percentage wise, the low-end lenses are up.
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dr croubie

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 09:18:07 PM »
what's an xsi in real numbers? 450D?
ok, it's an older body, and *only* 12 MP. But for what it does, it's great.
you've already got the 'good' kit lens in that it's the IS version.
the 70-300nonL is good for its price (but i personally hated it at 300mm and got the L).

so going from 18-55 to 24-70 you will:
a) future-proof yourself for fullframe.
b) get a big difference in IQ.
c) gain 750g to your kit.
d) lose IS, lose 18-24mm (which will hurt on a crop-body)
e) gain a few stops of light, gain 55-70mm range.

going from 70-300 to 70-200 2.8 i:
a) lose the 200-300mm range.
b) maybe you've got a good copy, maybe i had a bad copy, but i wouldn't miss the 200-300 range because it was too soft to use.
c) if the deal comes with the extender, then you gain the 200-400 f5.6 range instead.
d) go a bit up in IQ in the 70-200 range, and gain 1-2 stops.
e) gain 680g in weight
f) Lose IS? you didn't mention if it was the IS or non-IS version.

going from 450D to 550/600/60/7D, depending on model:
a) definitely gain 50% more MP
b) maybe better AF system
c) maybe bendy screen
d) maybe more FPS
e) definitely video




So, if you upgrade the wide lens, you still have to swap to the 18-55 for the widest shots, or get a 10-22 and stick with APS-C. If you can put up with swapping lenses for a while (up to a year or two?) then upgrade to 5D3, go that.
If you're always going to be 7D or less, ie APS-C, then you'll definitely want to pair a 24-70 with a 10-22 (or equivalent 3rd-party). Or consider another option, 17-55 2.8 or 15-85 (choose between these on zoom range vs low-light only, hardly any IQ diff).

If you upgrade the zoom lens, and go the 70-200 + extender, take it out in the field if you can first (or rent one?), see how many shots you miss because you were too busy putting the extender on to get that extra reach. if it's the non-IS, see how much that affects your shooting style. see how much better the photos are wide-open at f/2.8. Also consider the 100-400 as AJ said, or a bit cheaper now is the 70-300L, better IQ than a 70-200+tc (how much better depends which flavour 70-200), no changing TCs, if you can put up with the f/5.6 for extra reach or convenience.

if you go the body option, one thing to think about:
the xxxD models are upgraded every year on the dot. they'll take the latest sensor whatever it is. if the 7D2 comes out soon, and at least 6 months before the 650D, then the 650D will get that sensor.
(it might not, but it has happened every time until now. even the 400d got the sensor *before* the 40d, the 50d sensor went to the 500d 6 months later, and the 7d sensor went to 550d 6 months later).
you can wait on a body, but every time there'll be something new or cheaper just around the corner to wait for. bodies degrade in price a bit more than good glass does too. if you're buying a used 70-200 2.8 nonIS, then factor in that if you ever need to sell it, and treat it well, you can probably get back almost what you paid for it. not so with a body.


hmmm, i came here thinking that the obvious answer was to go the 24-70, but i'm not so sure now.
i think the biggest question you need to answer first, is are you going to be definitely going FF at some point. the 5D2 will always be a good camera, regardless of if/when the 5D3 comes out. my bet is the 5D3 will be 50% more than 5D2's price now on release, a used 5D2 will hold its value for a while until 5D3 stocks are ubiquitous, i might even consider one at that point. upgrading the wide makes no sense if you're staying with APS-C, or get an APS-C wide (17-55, 15-85). So my money's actually on going the long-upgrade (also consider the 100-400 or the 70-300L), then if you ever go FF you'll have to get a wide-angle FF lens at that point too...

and i didn't give any good arguement as to why not to upgrade the body. my feeling is that the new models are coming out *soon*. but 12 MP is more than enough unless you're doing enlargements, or plan to crop out smaller bits when your lens can't reach far enough (i do sometimes). I'd stick with 450 until 7d2 or 5d3 some out, then maybe even a 2nd-hand 7d or 5d2 will be very attractive once the price has settled, a newer model doesn't make the old model any worse than it is now...
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 09:23:51 PM by dr croubie »
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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 09:18:07 PM »

Jamesy

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 09:56:15 PM »
I have a 40D and  a 17-55. On a crop body the 17-55 is a top performer - I have often thought about getting a 24-70 or 24-105 instead but could not live without 17-23 on the wide end. That said, I am holding out until the 5D3 comes out and will likely jump into FF at that time. The 17-55 produces amazing results over the kit lens. You could always pick one up used and sell it once you jump ship to FF.

neuroanatomist

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 10:08:17 PM »
On a crop body the 17-55 is a top performer - I have often thought about getting a 24-70 or 24-105 instead but could not live without 17-23 on the wide end. That said, I am holding out until the 5D3 comes out and will likely jump into FF at that time. The 17-55 produces amazing results over the kit lens. You could always pick one up used and sell it once you jump ship to FF.

Agreed.  In addition to actually being a wide angle (which 24mm is not, on a 1.6x body), the 17-55mm actually out-resolves the 24-105mm when both are used on the same camera, and the 17-55mm has less CA.  Distortion is similar (despite the 'sweet spot' effect), and the 24-105mm has less vignetting (sweet spot, and an f/4 lens, too).

OTOH, the 24-105mm when used on FF is better than the 17-55mm on APS-C, where the FF equivalent is a 27-88mm f/4.5 lens, meaning the 24-105mm is wider, longer, and has a wider aperture (in terms of depth of field for equivalent framing).
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Flake

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 03:17:29 AM »
It's funny reading the forums, the number of times people posting seem to leap for the longest most expensive lens that they can reccomend, I'm going to do the exact opposite to that.

"I mainly shoot wildlife and landscape."

And yet the widest angle lens you have is 18mm (Equivalent to 26mm on FF) some here are recommending you move to the 24 - 70mm or even the 24 - 105mm.  At the wide end 40mm Equiv.

There are some really good wide angle lenses available for crop bodies, Canon 10 - 20mm or the Sigma 8 - 16mm the equivalent being 16 - 32mm & 13 - 26mm.  With 17mm you can still take wide angle shots and stitch them together, but it has its limitations, such as anything moving, sea scapes are a prime example.  Any indoor type shots will need a wide angle lens if you want to capture the whole room.

I assume you have a decent tripod? and remote release?  I will also reccomend Tom Angs' excellent 'The Digital Photographers Handbook' which will help you to improve your technique no end (perhaps the biggest back for your buck ever!)

koolman

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 03:25:55 AM »
You mentioned that you shoot "wild life - and landscape".
This I assume means you go very long (for the animals) or very wide (for the landscape)

Your current lens collection does not really include a very wide option for a crop - so the canon 10-22 or 3rd party equivalent - would be the first to come to mind.

As far as the "long" shooting - the 100mm 2.8 you have is a good lens. If you need even longer - I would look at one of the 70-200 L canon zooms, the F/4 IS comes to mind, as it is the lightest and very sharp.
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kubelik

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 05:21:11 PM »
like many others here, I vote lenses over body.  not that I don't think the new bodies are good, but your kit lens on a 7D would be a waste of a 7D.

canon 10-22 is an excellent suggestion.  the new canon 70-300 L or a 70-200 f/4 L IS would also make great additions.

if you truly enjoy wildlife & landscape, you are simply not going to be able to find one lens to rule them all.  a [ultra]wide and a telephoto should both be things that you purchase prior to purchasing a new body.  I also feel that if you are really into wildlife at all, you will be continuing on to purchase a 7D, so getting a 10-22 rather than a FF lens is preferable.

that being said, you could also splurge on a 16-35 or 17-40.  those end up being wider than a kit lens on an APS-C cam and can also be saved for use on a FF body in the future.

KarstenReis

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 06:23:26 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input.

I have been looking at the 17-40 f/4 L too now that everyone has chimed in. I thought I had settled on the 17-55 f/2.8 but the 17-40 f/4 seems like a good option too. Anyone have any experience with that lens at all? I feel like I wouldn't really miss the 40-70 mm range this would cause with the 70-300.  Opinions about losing a stop and IS between the 17-55 f2.8 and the 17-40 f4?

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 06:23:26 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 06:47:25 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input.

I have been looking at the 17-40 f/4 L too now that everyone has chimed in. I thought I had settled on the 17-55 f/2.8 but the 17-40 f/4 seems like a good option too. Anyone have any experience with that lens at all? I feel like I wouldn't really miss the 40-70 mm range this would cause with the 70-300.  Opinions about losing a stop and IS between the 17-55 f2.8 and the 17-40 f4?

I'm sure there will be people like neuro that will pop in and sing the praises of the 17-55 over the 17-40, especially on a crop body.  I have shot with both on my 7D and settled with the 17-40 which sits on my 7D for 80% of my everyday shots.  In my personal and humble opinion, i love the body, sharpness, and forward compatibility when I make the jump to the 5d Mark III when it eventually pops up... The 17-55 is longer at the short tele range which i wish the 17-40 had and the IS which i do envy at times, however the 17-40 is a fine lens, it suits me well and I'm able to use that for most my photography only swapping when I want extreme situations of photography such as telephoto (70-200), ultrawide (10-20), low light (50mm 1.4) etc... It's a good all around general lens as long as you realize its limitations (no IS, F4, only 40mm at the long end) and you are willing to make the most with what you got. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

makkphoto

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 07:03:15 PM »
I also own the Canon 450D xsi, and I have upgraded my glass to the Zeiss primes, the Canon 17-55 and Canon 70-200L is 2.8 II. The latter is very sharp. It is a great lens and I have used on a recent portrait assignment. The better glass improves the quality of the images, assuming every else is done correctly. This will give you opportunity to improve your craft, and then you will be able to appreciate the features of an upgraded body.

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Re: New lens or body?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 07:03:15 PM »