September 30, 2014, 08:07:23 AM

Author Topic: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision  (Read 1714 times)

lilmsmaggie

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« on: March 08, 2013, 12:07:03 PM »
I’m new to this forum and need a lil help with a lens purchase decision.  This is gonna be wordy, so I apologize in advance.

OK – so I’m not a professional and I’m undecided on making a lens choice.  Here is my current camera kit:

5D MK II (owned less than a month)
Rebel T3i

EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS
EF 50mm 1.8 II
EF 85mm f1.8
EF 24-105 F4L

I also own a Leica M5 and a Canon ELAN 7 – but that’s a different story.

I sold off my 4x5 kit (90, 210, 350) to focus on digital.  Film ain’t dead but film processing/printing has become more of a challenge at least for me when it comes to large format but I’ll probably still shoot 35mm film.  I’ve wanted to shoot FF digital for a long time and with the recent release of the 5D MKIII and 6D, it seemed to me a good time to pick up the 5D MKII body.  I will at some point in the very near future trade up to the 7D for its faster frame rate and AF system.  From what I’ve learned about bird photography is that the crop sensor takes advantage of the lenses center sweet spot.

I tend to shoot landscape, tabletop, some portraits, night photography, some architectural and a tad street. 
Since I live in what is considered the Pacific flyway, I’ve recently developed an interest in bird and wildlife photography.  I’m also considering some macro but I think the EF 100 f2.8 IS could fit that need.  So, long story short, my photographic interests are all over the map.

I’ve rented both the EF 70-300 f4-5.6, and EF 300 f4.  Of these two, I preferred the 70-300 f4-5.6 but I don’t have to tell you that with a 300mm focal length, when it comes to birds you’re limited.  The issue I have with the 70-300 is that it wasn’t designed to work with teleconverters.  The EF 400 5.6 doesn’t appeal to me.  Ditto with the 100-400 f4-5.6.

Money is a consideration.  So now I’m looking at the 70-200 zoom family (f2.8 & f4), or the 200 f2.8L II.  I could use both with a 1.4X III extender and a crop body.  Maybe there are other options I should consider or perhaps I should reconsider the EF 400 f5.6?
5DMKII, T3i, 24-105L, 100 2.8L Macro, 70-300 4-5.6L

canon rumors FORUM

Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« on: March 08, 2013, 12:07:03 PM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14518
    • View Profile
Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 12:17:37 PM »
First off, you state, "I will at some point in the very near future trade up to the 7D for its faster frame rate and AF system,"  be aware that it's a trade up in terms of frame rate and AF vs. the 5DII, but a significant step down in terms of IQ and high ISO noise performance.  For the things you commonly shoot (landscape, tabletop, some portraits, night photography, some architectural and a tad street), the 5DII is a much better choice.  So, for birds I'd really consider adding the 7D to your kit, rather than trading.  The 5DII and 7D are an excellent combination (although IMO the 5DIII is really the best of both, in one body).   I have similar interests as you, shoot many different subjects, birds amont them.  For a couple of years, I shot with the 7D + 5DII combo, it works very well. 

Honestly, the 7D + 100-400L is one of the best birding combos you can get in terms of price for performance.  The AF and frame rate are great, you get a 400mm lens with very good IQ, and IS which is helpful for stationary birds, so you can shoot at ~1/200 s or so.  If you look in my birds photostream (Flickr link, while the latest shots are with a much more expensive setup (1D X + 600/4L IS II), most of them are with the 7D and 100-400mm.  The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II + 2x TC is similar in IQ, with better IS, but the cost of that setup apporaches the 7D+100-400, and the the 7D will be better for birds than the 5DII.

Bottom line, I'd recommend adding a 100mm Macro (the L verison if you can afford it) to round out your FF kit for the subjects you listed, then picking up a 7D + 100-400L for birds.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

lilmsmaggie

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 12:41:04 PM »
Sorry Neuro and thanks for pointing that out.  What I meant to say was that I would be trading up from the T3i to the 7D.  I'll be holding onto the 5D MK II  ;D
5DMKII, T3i, 24-105L, 100 2.8L Macro, 70-300 4-5.6L

bseitz234

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
    • BrianSeitzPhoto
Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 01:22:11 PM »
I'm a little confused... if the 300 end of the 70-300 was limiting, why are you considering a 70-200 or 200 prime, + 1.4x extender? A 2x extender would get you more length... a 200 + 1.4x is only 280mm. I think if the 300 end of the 70-300 felt limiting, the 300 f/4 + 1.4x or 100-400 would be good options. A 2x extender on a shorter lens would be a possibility, but if you think you're going to want that length often, you'll get much better results without resorting to the 2x TC.

Having done a rebel -->  7d move myself (granted, my rebel was an older 400d / XTi) I highly recommend that trade.
7D x2
70-200 f/2.8L - 17-55 f/2.8 IS - 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 - 85 f/1.8 - 50 f/1.4 - 28 f/1.8
580ex II - 2x 430ex II

lilmsmaggie

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 03:03:13 PM »
I'm a little confused... if the 300 end of the 70-300 was limiting, why are you considering a 70-200 or 200 prime, + 1.4x extender? A 2x extender would get you more length... a 200 + 1.4x is only 280mm. I think if the 300 end of the 70-300 felt limiting, the 300 f/4 + 1.4x or 100-400 would be good options. A 2x extender on a shorter lens would be a possibility, but if you think you're going to want that length often, you'll get much better results without resorting to the 2x TC.

Having done a rebel -->  7d move myself (granted, my rebel was an older 400d / XTi) I highly recommend that trade.


I was figuring the crop factor of 1.6x X 200 = 320 X 1.4x = 448  So assuming I nail the shot/focus, the resulting cropped image should be sharp. As Neuro pointed out, IQ should be very similar.  In addition, a wider maximum aperture of 2.8 is preferable (for me at least and with 1.4X extender I loose 1 stop) to 4.5-5.6, which is slow and with a extender you loose AF. 

A prime would be preferable but with super tele's, that gets expensive and I just don't have the bucks.  I also have an affinity for fast glass and a constant aperture as you can see from my existing lenses.    I admit I should have gone for the 7D and bypassed the T3i all together but at the time I was only shooting film I hadn't quite embraced digital.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 03:18:17 PM by lilmsmaggie »
5DMKII, T3i, 24-105L, 100 2.8L Macro, 70-300 4-5.6L

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14518
    • View Profile
Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 03:52:34 PM »
I was figuring the crop factor of 1.6x X 200 = 320 X 1.4x = 448

Right, but 400 x 1.6 = 560mm FF equivalent.  With birds, you usually need all the focal length you can get.  I have the 600/4, and I frequently use it with 2x for a 1200mm lens, and even then I sometimes need to crop.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

lilmsmaggie

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 05:50:58 PM »
With birds, you usually need all the focal length you can get.

Ain't that the truth  :) 

Well, then the 300 f4 IS USM might work.  It gives me a constant aperture and with a 1.4x TC on a crop body I get the equivalent of 672mm at f5.6.  It would be lighter than the 100-400; I retain AF and at the native 300 FL should be sharper but at 400mm and beyond, its performance may not be satisfactory  :( 

The 500, or 600 f4L IS II USM would be perfect: that is if I had $10-12K to spend on a lens  ;)
5DMKII, T3i, 24-105L, 100 2.8L Macro, 70-300 4-5.6L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Need a lil help with a lens purchase decision
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 05:50:58 PM »