November 27, 2014, 08:19:05 AM

Author Topic: Lens purchase strategy  (Read 6476 times)

RLPhoto

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 12:04:04 AM »
I completely agree with you Ray, but unfortunately my 135L isn't always wide enough. :\

Three works. Wide, mid, & tele. Why buy any more?

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 12:04:04 AM »

LostArk

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 02:04:32 AM »
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.

The appeal of lens trinities stems from the classic photojournalism technique of shooting a scene "wide-mid-tele" to tell "the whole story." This mentality can be useful for different styles or generes. Portraits for example; an 85 or 135 for close ups and a 50 or 35 or body / environmental shots. If you're a journalist, maybe 28 / 50 / 85 would work. Three lenses tends to be the sweet spot between versatility and simplicity. With four or more lenses, there are too many possible combinations to decide. With two lenses, there will be such big gaps in coverage you might as well just use one.

A good place to start is to pick up a 50mm equivalent and just use that for awhile. Odds are you'll end up wanting something a little (or a LOT) longer, and something a little or a lot wider. After you have your personalized trinity in hand and you still feel limited by gear, then you may be suffering from "completionism." No one is a profesional wildlife landscape wedding fashion sports event macro architecture photographer.

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 04:51:45 AM »
I buy when I like something and most importantly if I can afford it ... if I don't like something I just sell it. I mostly buy from B&H (sometimes from Adorama, Amazon Japan & Digital rev) at rates that are at least 50% less than the local market here in the Middle East. When I don't like a lens, I sell it for the same price I bought it for or 10%-20% less than what I bought it for ... for better or worse this strategy has worked for me over the last 6 years and I got to check out lots of lenses (but never bought any super telephoto primes or L primes, can't afford them). So far I've had 31 different lenses (16 Canon, 7 Sigma, 4 Tamron, 1 Tokina & 4 Nikon lenses), 8 DSLR cameras and 9 speedlites. One of the nicest things about DSLR photography is that it is not very difficult to sell used lenses as they tend to get sold easily, at least here in the Middle East.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 04:54:09 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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user222

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2013, 03:09:45 PM »
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.

Haha...too funny.

You forgot the ultimate one lens kit...the "the sacred singularity." (that would be the canon 28-300L of course).

Quasimodo

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2013, 04:12:53 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.

While I do appreciate your thoughts and position, there is something inherent pragmatist in your reasoning. Did I really need the 8-15 or the Siggy 35 that I bought this Christmas??... Probably not, but I have to feed the dreamer within, and thus great pleasure in lying awake at night mentally constructing the great shot I hope to take. I not only have what I need, but what I might potentially need; if I was a better photographer than what I am! :)
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RS2021

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2013, 04:52:01 PM »
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.

Haha...too funny.

You forgot the ultimate one lens kit... "the sacred singularity." (that would be the canon 28-300L of course).

I love that name you just coined! For me the singularity will be a simple 35mm of whatever kind :)
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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2013, 05:06:12 PM »
While I do appreciate your thoughts and position, there is something inherent pragmatist in your reasoning. Did I really need the 8-15 or the Siggy 35 that I bought this Christmas??... Probably not, but I have to feed the dreamer within, and thus great pleasure in lying awake at night mentally constructing the great shot I hope to take. I not only have what I need, but what I might potentially need; if I was a better photographer than what I am! :)

Dreaming is key and I will not gainsay its importance in any creative endeavor. We will still be etching reliefs on the walls of caves if we didn't dream.

My comments were just directed at those who go after artificial marketing gimmicks that say "you need to have this cohesive grouping of UWA lenses" or this “trinity” of portrait lenses or this  be-all-end-all zoom for sports and everything else under the sun (yes, I am looking at you 70-200 f2.8 II fanboys ;)).
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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2013, 05:06:12 PM »

Quasimodo

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2013, 06:08:43 PM »
While I do appreciate your thoughts and position, there is something inherent pragmatist in your reasoning. Did I really need the 8-15 or the Siggy 35 that I bought this Christmas??... Probably not, but I have to feed the dreamer within, and thus great pleasure in lying awake at night mentally constructing the great shot I hope to take. I not only have what I need, but what I might potentially need; if I was a better photographer than what I am! :)

Dreaming is key and I will not gainsay its importance in any creative endeavor. We will still be etching reliefs on the walls of caves if we didn't dream.

My comments were just directed at those who go after artificial marketing gimmicks that say "you need to have this cohesive grouping of UWA lenses" or this “trinity” of portrait lenses or this  be-all-end-all zoom for sports and everything else under the sun (yes, I am looking at you 70-200 f2.8 II fanboys ;)).

I hear you.

Fetischism (not sure about the spelling here, but understood in a Marxist way) is a part of all serious debates, whether it is photo, guns, cooking or... The secret is balance.. I convinced myself once that I HAD to have the 17mm TS, but today I would rather have had the 14L II. But who knows. Maybe one day I might use it, apart from the obligotary use now ;)
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LostBoyNZ

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 07:42:26 PM »
I shoot mostly landscapes and I've been upgrading my lenses over the past couple of years when I'm able to afford it, spending the money on lenses rather than a body (my 5D Mark II is still going strong). In a way I've been getting my lenses ready for that huge megapixel camera that one day will come out.

My current collection includes:

Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE
Canon 17-40mm f4.0 L
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L II
+ Canon 2x II Extender for occasional use

I recently sold my 24-105mm f4 and the money nearly half paid for my 24-70mm f2.8 L II. Took my first few shots yesterday actually and the difference is incredible. The resolution, even in the corners is clearly beyond what the 5D Mark II can capture.

I really love the Zeiss, for one of many reasons; the fact it's got a hard focus to infinity stop. Figuring out the hyper focal distance and all that is something I really need to figure out but I've found it quite confusing myself. It's also my go to lens for astrophotography. Now having the 24-70 f2.8 L II however, I don't know if I can justify keeping the Zeiss.

brad-man

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2013, 08:45:49 PM »
I shoot mostly landscapes and I've been upgrading my lenses over the past couple of years when I'm able to afford it, spending the money on lenses rather than a body (my 5D Mark II is still going strong). In a way I've been getting my lenses ready for that huge megapixel camera that one day will come out.

My current collection includes:

Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE
Canon 17-40mm f4.0 L
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L II
+ Canon 2x II Extender for occasional use

I recently sold my 24-105mm f4 and the money nearly half paid for my 24-70mm f2.8 L II. Took my first few shots yesterday actually and the difference is incredible. The resolution, even in the corners is clearly beyond what the 5D Mark II can capture.

I really love the Zeiss, for one of many reasons; the fact it's got a hard focus to infinity stop. Figuring out the hyper focal distance and all that is something I really need to figure out but I've found it quite confusing myself. It's also my go to lens for astrophotography. Now having the 24-70 f2.8 L II however, I don't know if I can justify keeping the Zeiss.

You're dangerously close to having that other holy trinity...

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2013, 09:20:00 PM »
You're dangerously close to having that other holy trinity...

I think his wife would like for him to stop at the "divine duality".  ::)
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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2013, 09:24:31 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.
Yup! After 14 years mine still works just fine. Like someone said photo equipment tops new car purchase :)

So I got the 100-400 for birding and wildlife. The 100L for macro. The 24-105 and 40mm for general shooting. I also got the 1.4x multiplayer in anticipation of the f8 AF fix on the 5D3. Again that is for birding and wildlife so I think I am good for now.

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2013, 10:14:17 PM »
I have attempted to purchase lenses somewhere in the 'middle ground'. I believe the very 'cream a-la cream' (top of the best) of lenses are often priced high, because of the laws of diminishing returns (with regard to image quality, etc). The 'cheapest / basic' lenses generally 'do things ok - but nothing very well.  So the middle ground often works for me (both in terms of functionality, image quality and price).  ;)

Almost 10 years ago I bought my first Canon DSLR 350D, complete with the 18-55mm kit lens - but also had a few other lenses, eg the Canon 28-135mm and Canon 50mm f/1.8   Have since sold those 2 'extra' lenses (still have the kit lens).  I used the Canon 28-135mm most the first few years, it was superior in image quality (and in many other ways-  eg IS, USM, contrast, etc)  to the 18-55mm - though of course 28mm on a 1.6x APS-C / crop body isn't very 'wide'. 

Then upgraded to the Canon 7D, and have the following lenses (and I use all of these extensively):
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 HSM EX
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM
Canon EF 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 IS USM

The only 'future' lens I'm looking for is a new Canon EF 50mm USM fast prime.  (None of the current 50mm primes - either Canon or 3rd party) is really what I want.   ::)

I have upgraded a few lenses - eg Canon 100-300mm USM to the much better Canon 70-300mm L IS/USM, because eg the lack of IS AND the image quality at tele end just weren't good enough. In other instances I bought a 'totally new lens' ("new" in my line-up) - like the Canon 15-85mm which can't really be compared with either the 18-55mm kit lens nor the 28-135mm. Only the 17-85mm is really comparable - but it is not very good IQ at wide end.

The 17-55mm f/2.8 (better for low light- but not the zoom range I like). The Canon 100mm USM macro is another 'special purchase' lens, and one that I decided on after using a friend's copy of this lens, and I was 'sold' as in - what I wanted in a macro lens.  BTW, I keep the 18-55mm kit lens as it's a handy light 'travel option' - eg going hiking with my 350D.  8)

I have achieved thousands photos that I'm very happy with, and many people that I've shared these photos with really appreciate them too... so I explain I've got 'good camera bodies and lenses' - but not 'the best / professional' ones.  It's more about technique, understanding light and being creative & composing well.  I'm very happy with my kit, and as I wrote above, only see a 50mm prime as a future upgrade...hopefully Canon will release a great new (hopefully IS / full USM) prime in the near future. 

Best regards

Paul
I'm not a brand-fanatic. What I do appreciate is using my 7D and 350D cameras along with a host of lenses & many accessories to capture quality photos, and share with friends.

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2013, 10:14:17 PM »

agierke

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2013, 12:16:21 AM »
Quote
No one is a profesional wildlife landscape wedding fashion sports event macro architecture photographer.

lol, true....but some of us out there do try to diversify.

currently i am mostly shooting weddings/events, portraiture, and real estate/architecture. that alone has me looking at a pretty hefty lineup of lenses. i am also very interested in getting into product photography and food photography...add a few more lenses to the lineup.

for me, basic needs are covered by the 24-70mm F2.8 and the 70-200mm F2.8. you can cover alot of jobs with just those two lenses.

getting into architecture made the 24mm TS a necessity and i have found that i will greatly be helped by adding the 17mm TS soon. the 45mm and 90mm may not be too far off if i can expand my shot offerings to larger scale buildings that would require a bit of distance and elevation to capture properly. there, i have quickly justified the whole TS lineup.

as far as the event and weddings go...sure i'm covered with the 24-70mm and 70-200mm but going into my 5th year of doing weddings i'm pining to add a bit more flair to my shots. enter the 35mm F1.4. instant love affair with that lens and i still find the 24-70mm quite useful despite that. i then picked up the 85mm 1.8 to test the usefulness of that focal length at a fast aperture (jury is still out) as a precurser to purchasing the 85mm 1.2. eventually i will replace the piece of junk 50mm 1.8 with the 1.2 version but that is pretty far down the priority list atm. throw in the 15mm Fisheye for the obligatory fun shots.

thinking ahead towards my entry into product, i see the 100mm 2.8 macro as something that will likely be necessary. i also see the 90mm TS pulling double duty here as well. 

so considering that i currently do weddings, events, portraiture, and architecture and i am intent on entering the world of product my ideal lens lineup would look like this:

16-35mm F2.8L
24-70mm F2.8L
70-200mm F2.8L

15mm F2.8 Fish
35mm F1.4L
50mm F1.2L
85mm F1.2L
100mm F2.8L Macro IS

17mm F4.0L TS
24mm F3.5L TS
45mm F2.8
90mm F2.8

that lineup would suffice my philosophy of "the right tool for the job".
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RS2021

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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2013, 05:26:35 PM »
Quote
No one is a profesional wildlife landscape wedding fashion sports event macro architecture photographer.

lol, true....but some of us out there do try to diversify.

currently i am mostly shooting weddings/events, portraiture, and real estate/architecture. that alone has me looking at a pretty hefty lineup of lenses. i am also very interested in getting into product photography and food photography...add a few more lenses to the lineup.

for me, basic needs are covered by the 24-70mm F2.8 and the 70-200mm F2.8. you can cover alot of jobs with just those two lenses.

getting into architecture made the 24mm TS a necessity and i have found that i will greatly be helped by adding the 17mm TS soon. the 45mm and 90mm may not be too far off if i can expand my shot offerings to larger scale buildings that would require a bit of distance and elevation to capture properly. there, i have quickly justified the whole TS lineup.

as far as the event and weddings go...sure i'm covered with the 24-70mm and 70-200mm but going into my 5th year of doing weddings i'm pining to add a bit more flair to my shots. enter the 35mm F1.4. instant love affair with that lens and i still find the 24-70mm quite useful despite that. i then picked up the 85mm 1.8 to test the usefulness of that focal length at a fast aperture (jury is still out) as a precurser to purchasing the 85mm 1.2. eventually i will replace the piece of junk 50mm 1.8 with the 1.2 version but that is pretty far down the priority list atm. throw in the 15mm Fisheye for the obligatory fun shots.

thinking ahead towards my entry into product, i see the 100mm 2.8 macro as something that will likely be necessary. i also see the 90mm TS pulling double duty here as well. 

so considering that i currently do weddings, events, portraiture, and architecture and i am intent on entering the world of product my ideal lens lineup would look like this:

16-35mm F2.8L
24-70mm F2.8L
70-200mm F2.8L

15mm F2.8 Fish
35mm F1.4L
50mm F1.2L
85mm F1.2L
100mm F2.8L Macro IS

17mm F4.0L TS
24mm F3.5L TS
45mm F2.8
90mm F2.8

that lineup would suffice my philosophy of "the right tool for the job".


I think you left out two or three that Canon made still...just plan on getting the complete set. ;)
Whenever I see these long lists, I am always tempted to say, "are you planning on opening a camera shop?" :P
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Re: Lens purchase strategy
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2013, 05:26:35 PM »