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Author Topic: Lens purchase strategy  (Read 6329 times)

well_dunno

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Lens purchase strategy
« on: February 25, 2013, 05:51:21 AM »
Hello all,

I imagine many of us are having a kind of strategy to purchase lenses that cover our needs for the shooting style we have. My approach was to get f/4 zooms (back problems) and combine them with fast primes for low light and better sharpness (even though latest f/2.8 zooms seem to nullify the latter) when needed. Then, probably some of us are basically going for more of a lens to lens evaluation for the purchases, considering + & - of getting in in addition to or replacing one or more lenses in the current lineup.

What is your approach and why?

Cheers!
J


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Lens purchase strategy
« on: February 25, 2013, 05:51:21 AM »

AmbientLight

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 09:34:26 AM »
My approach is to only purchase lenses, which will allow for shots I couldn't have taken with my existing gear.

I started out with what I considered to be good enough and reasonably priced f4 L zooms, but trying to get better results has led me to be interested only in the very best for what I do, which led me to shooting primes mostly. Now if something goes wrong I can consistently blame myself, not my gear.


killswitch

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 10:20:39 AM »
I am fairly new in photograpy, and still learning and exploring various avenues. Initially I had 15-85 and 60D. I realized I liked shooting at the wide end or the tele end in almost 90% of my shots. I like shooting landscapes, and also lust for shots that yields creamy background. I sold the 15-85, and bought 24-70L to cover general shooting, portraits, and wanted a constant aperture. About 90% of the time I found myself shooting at 70mm wide open.

When I moved to FF, I felt I was missing out on the reach and wanted a 70-200 or 70-300. I could not afford the 70-200 f2.8 IS MKII so bought a used 70-200 f.8L only to see if I like the weight, and the shots it can help me get. Then later sell this and add money to get the MKII ultimately. Sort of like a stepping stone for me.

So for the next 10 months I am hoping to get the 14mm Samyang for wide landscape shots, and then upgrade to MKII. Who knows, all these might change depending on my shooting habits down the road. Something tells me I will love primes more once I get my hands on some.

dickgrafixstop

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 12:02:59 PM »
My strategy is simple - purchase a new lens only when the several that I have won't allow me to take
the kind of shots I want to take.  It leads to a rather sparse camera bag, but a rich satisfaction at my
production.  If you find yourself continually moving backward to get the framing you want, buy a wider
angle.  If you find yourself constantly cropping your frames, get an appropriate telephoto.  If you do
neither, you don't need a new lens.  I find my 35mm and 75mm cover just about everything.

Menace

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 01:37:43 PM »
I buy a new lens when I can't get the shot with my current set up. In the past, I've rented lenses that were not likely to see a lot of use in near future but were required for a specific shoot.

Cheers
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jeffa4444

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 01:08:32 PM »
Depends on what your main type of photography is, in my case its landscape and wildlife. So I have high performance lenses at the long end and medium at the wide end where depth of field and smaller apertures help (smaller apertures for me generally mean no more than f16 and usually f8).

All lenses are a compromise and fast lenses generally deteriate past f5.6 / f8 anyway. 
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RLPhoto

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 02:32:18 PM »
My strategy was to buy the minimum amount of lenses needed. I found three that could do everything I needed and one to cover all those in-case of failure.

24L II - Fast wide prime

50L - GP fast 50mm

135L - Fast Tele & Portrait Lens

24-105 - Covers all these in one lens.

*Big glass of choice would be 200L + 1.4/2x tele-converters.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 02:36:48 PM by RLPhoto »

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 02:32:18 PM »

Ewinter

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 04:00:43 PM »
Pokémon style- Gotta catch 'em all

RGF

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 04:38:39 PM »
My strategy is simply.  Buy what I want.  If I don't have the money, save or readjust expenses until I can afford it.  Or tell my wife that near duplications are there in case both of us need to shoot at the same time.

Until 6 months ago I was drivng a 12 year old car - photography gear often wins out.


RLPhoto

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 04:46:05 PM »
My strategy is simply.  Buy what I want.  If I don't have the money, save or readjust expenses until I can afford it.  Or tell my wife that near duplications are there in case both of us need to shoot at the same time.

Until 6 months ago I was drivng a 12 year old car - photography gear often wins out.

I still drive a Mint '91 Lariat F-150, Why buy a new car? That's like 200 F/2 monies.  :P

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 06:36:24 PM »
I found that a zoom like the 24-105mm L was a great place to start.  Then I added more capability as I needed it.  I use primes for low light and zooms for walk around.  I also watch Craigslist every day, and buy any lens that is priced low enough that I can try it and resell it without losing money in the event it doesn't get much use.  Over the years, I've owned most of Canon's lineup with the exception of a few of the super telephotos. (I did buy a 600mm L and found that it was too much for me to haul around and setup).
I also looked at the images I have taken to see what would be a improvement.  I had to decide on a 24L or 35mmL for a low light wider angle lens, and found twice as many images at 35mm as at 24mm, so it came first, and is one of my 3 top usage lenses.
 
 
 
 

user222

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 08:38:04 PM »
+1 on the old car.

I have a 13 year old toyota truck, but an excellent choice of wide angle primes and macro lenses.

RS2021

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 11:01:07 PM »
There is a "completionist" mentality amongst some of us...where we want most of the red rings even if our shooting style does not support the lusted-after purchases. Canon of course will gladly take our money; I think Canon has some of the best marketing strategist working for them.

I bitterly complain about weight here in the forum...being mostly a people photographer, someone like me even lusting after the 600L is just plain silly... And I don't. My shooting style doesn't require it, even if I could afford it, it is highly unlikely I would be able to carry it, or appreciate its full worth. It is clearly a superb product, but it is best left in the hands of those who will use it to it fullest extent.

I would be a completionist if I wanted the supertele just to have this range "covered"...how often have we heard similar refrains in so many guises?  "Oh I need the ultra wide range covered...don't have a sharp lens there"...

 The fact some of us shoot landscapes now and then does not make us a landscape specialist who needs to lust after the 14-24 L that doesn't even exist yet! The fact we took a semi acceptable picture of the tufted titmouse that visited our bird feeder doesn't make us a bird photographer who needs to lust after the 400 f/2.8 IS II.

Completion-ism also drives us to collect or strive toward artificial groupings like Canon's "holy trinity"...if you choose 35L as a standard then there is perhaps a case to be made for getting the 85L and 135L.... There is enough spacing between them. But say if you truly loved your 50mm as your standard?  Then the 35L is not that far, so most chose either it or the 50L. But here is the kicker...in this case, some recommend that you add the 24L instead to complete an alternate "trinity" along with the 85 or perhaps the 135L.

Onerous as the original holy trinity concept is, at least it losely encompassed the classic portrait lenses... yes, even the wider 35mm. But how applicable is 24L on a routine basis to people photography? You could argue that you take street shots with 24L, and surely 14L can take pictures of people...but that is not the most common use for these wide-angle lenses. This alternate grouping straddles disparate styles of photography unlike the original somewhat "cohesive", albeit still artificial grouping.

And why stop at a trinity? Why not a "penta-perfect?" or "super-six?". Or instead of the holy trinity...I'll make something up here...how about we stop at the "divine duality?" Say, 50L and 135L? ;)

So "completionism" makes us invent artificial grouping; like a hapless magpie, it goads us to collect things we do not need, use frequently, or employ to their fullest ability.

Stop the madness and look at your shooting style first; get the best lens you can afford in that range. Strive or dream about updating to the highest quality lens in that range as finances allow over time. Dump the idea you need an L in every single focal range that ever existed.

“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 11:01:07 PM »

Danielle

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 11:17:40 PM »
I agree that only buy what you need. Others have summed that up well above.

My strategy is make use to the best of your ability what you have, for many of us don't have a huge bank account.

Secondly, get the best damn glass that you find appropriate. For me, I had only a 10-22 on my 7d for a while. I purchased a zeiss distagon 2/35. Now the others I may find appropriate are well... Very expensive. Like the zeiss apo-sonnar 2/135. I may buy a zeiss 85mm, for I do kinda need a tele. Notice I somehow mysteriously got addicted to zeiss! Whatever your choice I believe in getting the best that will last you years, If that's L lenses, cool, if its other then also cool. But really think before you buy or else you may be wanting.

ewg963

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 11:44:40 PM »
I found that a zoom like the 24-105mm L was a great place to start.  Then I added more capability as I needed it.  I use primes for low light and zooms for walk around.  I also watch Craigslist every day, and buy any lens that is priced low enough that I can try it and resell it without losing money in the event it doesn't get much use.  Over the years, I've owned most of Canon's lineup with the exception of a few of the super telephotos. (I did buy a 600mm L and found that it was too much for me to haul around and setup).
I also looked at the images I have taken to see what would be a improvement.  I had to decide on a 24L or 35mmL for a low light wider angle lens, and found twice as many images at 35mm as at 24mm, so it came first, and is one of my 3 top usage lenses.
+1
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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 11:44:40 PM »