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Author Topic: Opinion on upgrades  (Read 1991 times)

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Opinion on upgrades
« on: January 21, 2013, 10:14:11 AM »
I currently shoot with a T3i, and 75% of the time a 50mm 1.4. I also have the 50mm 1.8/18-55 kit lens/Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6. Of those, I only really reach for the kit lens for the zoom capacity, and the 1.8 as backup.                                             

I am heavily considering the 17-40mm f/4L as my next lens purchase. Additionally, I am looking to upgrade the body itself. I am torn between a higher level but still cropped sensor (like the 7d), which would allow me to keep on my nifty fifty without dishing out an extra grand for the 1.2. But when I see the image quality of cameras like the 5d mark ii, it really makes me rethink. Do I need to take the plunge? Would the 50mm 1.4 really be too soft for the full frame? I occasionally feel like the reason the T3i has decent quality is because it's a newer body and therefore I wonder if the jump to a higher level cropped sensor is even really worth it. It can still take impressive quality images (in my opinion):

But I am looking for more. Ultimately, I am after the best image quality for the best bargain there is. I mostly shoot outdoors/95% of the time never use flash.

If anyone would be willing to offer advice (specifically, models) out of that jumble I would greatly appreciate it!

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Opinion on upgrades
« on: January 21, 2013, 10:14:11 AM »

robbymack

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 10:27:32 AM »
Your 50mm lenses will still work on a ff body so don't think you would need to shell out for the 50L. You would however notice the wider field of view on your 50mm on a ff camera vs crop, so youd probably be looking at a 85mm sooner or later. There is no difference iq-wise between the 7d and t3i so unless you need the more robust build (ie heavier) or better af it's not worth it. Sme will say You also won't see that huge of a difference between a t3i and 5dii outside in good light, I think there is a difference but I will grant you in good light low iso it's not huge. The ff sensor does give you shallower dof, somewhat better colors, and i think is a little sharper overall.  since you think the t3i is plenty of camera for you right now unless you wanted better low light ability to just stick with it and maybe upgrade a lens. I'd recommend the 17-55 2.8 over the 17-40 for crop, its faster and has more reach for about the same price. Wait and see what the next generation of crop sensors from canon look like, my bet is there will be a nice upgrade coming down the pipe in the next 12-24 months.

Menace

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 05:41:39 AM »
As already suggested, stay with the current body and invest in the 17-55 2.8. It's L series sharp IMHO without the weather sealing etc.

If and when you decide to go FF, 17-55 2.8 will keep its resale value well.

Good luck

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 08:26:40 PM »
The 17-55 is much better than the 17-40, but its also more expensive.  If you want to go to FF, get a 6D and a 24-105mmL.  A big step up IMHO.

bycostello

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 10:02:10 PM »
17-40...  looking to go to landscapes?

wsmith96

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 10:28:04 PM »
I faced the same question last summer.  I have a T1i and would love to upgrade to a 7D, but didn't have the glass to warrant that move.  After reading the forums, the general consensus is focus on the glass first, then the better camera.  I did just that and got the 17-55 2.8 and the 10-22.  Like everyone has said, wow - those lenses rock on a crop body!  I've been pleased with both and also recommend the 17-55 to you.  My kit lens now collects dust, and my new additions nicely compliment my 60 macro and 70-300 is usm.  I still want the 7D to capture action shots of my kids sporting events, but my next buy will be the 70-200 2.8 is.  Nice part is that the 10,17,and 70 share the same filter size.

Good luck on your upgrade.
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sanfranchristo

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 10:37:28 PM »
Without regard to the pros and cons of moving to a FF for the lenses/budget you are working with, I hate reading unfounded concerns of sharpness or lack thereof. Sharpness is probably the most overhyped aspect of lenses and one that causes stress to those considering purchases. OF COURSE it is important, but the reality is that virtually all new lenses from the big makers are very sharp by definition. There are definitely some that are technically sharper than others in a lab, and in some instances there may be noticeable differences in practice, but sharp lenses are only one factor in getting sharp photos (if that is even what you truly want all of the time). I have fallen into this trap of reading how a lens "was soft" when contemplating upgrades and it can cause undue concern. I've said it before, but most of the best photographers to have ever lived shot with much less sharp lenses that you have access to today (at all price ranges).

I do have my share of Ls so I appreciate better or the best quality depending on the use and output, but I also have the 50 1.4 and can take tack-sharp photos with it with no problem! Of course there are caveats, but if you have a good copy and know how to use it (which it sounds like you do), it will be GREAT on the 5DII and you shouldn't be considering the 1.2 at this point unless money is no object or you have a specific need for top performance at 1.2-1.8 apertures (which is even debatable). Rest assured that your 50 1.4 is sharper than the 17-40L you are considering (I have both, and the 17-40L is a good value used if you need a very wide angle on a FF). Of course a prime vs. a wide zoom is not a fair comparison, but that's my point - there are so many variables to consider that I'd hate for you to think that you wouldn't get great shots with your 50 1.4 compared to an "L" or that it is too soft for a FF.

I am generally in the spend-on-lenses camp, but there is a balance to be had. I am a big fan of FF, and would recommend 5DII + 50 1.4 vs. T3i + 50 1.2 in that hypothetical debate. (I haven't had a crop so I can't speak to what appears to be a very impressive 17-55 though one lens probably shouldn't determine whether you shoot FF or crop. There really aren't many good, affordable options for wide angle FF lenses, but a used 17-40L is a decent place to start only if you really need the very wide end of it.)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 11:29:08 PM by sanfranchristo »

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 10:37:28 PM »

DocMo

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 11:40:16 PM »
In reading the responses to this post, I have to say that this is some of the best advice that I've read in a variety of forums.

I have a crop (T4i) and do have the 17-55 2.8. I can attest that it is a great lens. I recently picked up a deal on a new Mark II with the 24-105. I haven't shot with the Mark II yet (was debating on whether to keep, sell, or return - I'm leaning strongly towards keeping) but I did pop the 24 on my crop and gave it a go. Again, wonderful pics. (Actually, after reviewing results from the 24 in Lightroom, I said to myself, "there's no way this lens is going anywhere!")

I would chime in with the recommendation for the 17-55 for the crop, particularly if you plan on staying crop.

If you KNOW you want to go FF, then there's plenty of deals to be had on the Mark II's, and if you get the kit, it comes with the very capable 24-105L.

I can say that if I keep the Mark II, I will also plan to keep my T4i with the 17-55. The body is efficient, has great focus and speed, I like the touch screen, and perhaps most influential in my decision is that my young daughter will eventually move beyond the bridge she's learning on and will benefit greatly from a legacy T4i.

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jdramirez

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 12:14:02 AM »
I currently shoot with a T3i
That's a good camera with a solid sensor.  I was considering in when I was looking to upgrade from a Canon XS.  Ultimately I went with a 60D for performance (not picture quality as they are about equal) and the feel and ergonmics... and the cross type AF points.  If you don't need satellite AF points, I'd stick with the t3i.  The t4i would be a marginal improvement and eventually you would question whether it was worth the upgrade.

50mm f/1.4 is a great lens for the money and performs as well as the L version (though people will debate that till they are blue in the face.  Sell the 50mm f/1.8.  As a backup?  It is a fine lens at f/2.8 and higher, but it isn't worth the lack of money you are able to put into another lens. 

18-55 kit lens is a fine lens, but when I had that paired with the 55-250 and the 50mm f/1.8, I rarely used it.  There isn't much of a resale value for it, but I'd suggest wrapping it up in the original box and wait until you are ready to sell the t3i... then the lens will be in mint condition. 

The 17-40 is a good lens, but not great.  It doesn't really sharpen to the point to where it resembles an L series lens until around f/8.  That's great if you are tripod mounting it, but if you are hand holding, it leaves quite a bit to be desired.  Iso goes up and your shot gets grainy, or the shutter speeds are too long and you might be a touch of unwanted blur.  It also costs around 600ish if you pay tax.  I'd suggest taking that 600 and buy a 24-105 from bigvalue for around 750 when they have their ebay sale.  Even if you are paying 800, that is a solid upgrade at a GREAT price.  It's not a perfect lens (vignetting on full frame, not super sharp between 85-105, etc.), but it is a very good lens and it still compares very favorably for the money to a 24-70 (any version).  The f/4 will be fine if you are shooting in sunlit areas, and while f/2.8 provides a prettier bokeh, it sounds like that might not be your main concern at this point for a kit lens.  People claim the 24-105 is really sharp around f/4.5... and I won't argue with that. 

I like the 55-250, and I think it is a great value lens, but I've been leaning towards not using longer zooms.  Keep it for the zoo, but you'll notice that the 24-105 is sharper and gives a nicer image even if you have to crop into the image v. the 55-250.  I'm not saying it is expendable, but you might have a hard time taking the 24-105 off in favor of the 55-250.  Sell it for 150 and that combined with the 80 ish from the 50mm, and you have the money for the 24-105.

... like the 5d mark ii, it really makes me rethink. Do I need to take the plunge?

Go nuts, but your better off investing in better lenses before you invest in a really nice body.  You would basically have a really nice engine with a mediocre transmission.  Both have to work together in order to get real performance.  Having said that, the 50mm f/1.4 would be a good pair with the mkii.  I like primes, but I'm not sure I want to go back to mainly using the 50 prime again as my main lens.  Shoot the 50mm at f/2.8 to f/4 and it is one of the sharpest lenses you can get... even sharper than the f/1.2.  None of your other lenses would work with the mkii save for the 50mm f/1.8, but again... I'm not really sure why you have 2. 

I wonder if the jump to a higher level cropped sensor is even really worth it. It can still take impressive quality images (in my opinion):
Don't get another cropped, until they substantially upgrade the sensor.  This sensor has been basically used in the t2i, t3i, t4i, 60D, and 7D.  It's crazy how old this sensor technology is in new tech.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 12:28:56 AM by jdramirez »
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 12:19:25 AM »
since you think the t3i is plenty of camera for you right now unless you wanted better low light ability to just stick with it and maybe upgrade a lens. I'd recommend the 17-55 2.8 over the 17-40 for crop, its faster and has more reach for about the same price. Wait and see what the next generation of crop sensors from canon look like, my bet is there will be a nice upgrade coming down the pipe in the next 12-24 months.
Last I checked, the 17-55 is around 60% more than the 17-40.  I agree with almost everything you said save for that.  And the 17-55 is a really good lens, but if you are flirting with the idea of moving to full frame, you can't use it on the mkii. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 12:23:19 AM »
The 17-55 is much better than the 17-40, but its also more expensive.  If you want to go to FF, get a 6D and a 24-105mmL.  A big step up IMHO.

I think that is outside of his price range.  If he gets a GREAT deal on the 6d and 24-105 for 2400, I don't think he has the set aside funds for it as described (even if he sold all of his stuff).  These are best case scenarios... $500 for the t3i and 18-55 if he's lucky, 100 for the 50mm f/1.8, 300 for the 50mm f/1.4, 170 for the 55-250, and let's say 700 he was going to spend on the 17-40.  That totals to 1770... so he's still 600+ away. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

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Re: Opinion on upgrades
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 12:23:19 AM »