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Author Topic: Canon primes  (Read 2891 times)

EOBeav

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Canon primes
« on: July 30, 2013, 02:23:53 PM »
Note: This post is part rant, part food for thought. Comment as you see fit, but I have no questions to be answered or advice to be given at this time.

I currently shoot with mostly L's, including the 70-200 f/4 L, 17-40 f/4 L, and the 135 f/2 L.  I also have a 50 f/1.4 in the stable.  I'm considering rounding out my prime collection with a 35, 85, and possibly a wide at some point in the future. The 85L and 35L produce some impressive images, many seen right here in the CRF.  Then, I look at images produced with their non-L counterparts, the 85 f/1.8, and the 35 f/2.  Many stunning images to be had there as well. So with a 2-3x difference in price, what's the difference? Build quality, for one, as well as that extra stop or two of light. Better glass. Better sharpness when shot wide open, not to mention better bokeh quality. There is indeed a difference, and I'm not going to pretend there isn't.

But that's not to say that the non-L 85 and 35 primes are poor lenses. They can help meet your photographic needs without sacrificing image quality on a noticeable scale. If I can't put an 85mm f/1.8 on my 5DmkII and get a really good portrait...it's not the equipment's fault. And if I can't get good images with that lens, moving up to the L isn't going to help me out, either. 

I've scrimped, saved, and made deals along the way to get the setup that I've got right now. I like to joke that I drive an Old Lady's car so that I can shoot with a Big Boy's camera. And there's some truth to it. 

So, I could scrimp, save, and make deals so that I can get an 85L and 35L in that bag in the future. It might take me a few years. And in the end, I would have some incredibly awesome glass.  Or, I could eat beans and rice tonight, and then rice and beans tomorrow night, and afford the non-L lenses in a matter of a few months. That's that much more time I could spend shooting with those lenses. Time I could be getting great images and putting them to work for me. That's worth something.

I know that there are opinions on both sides of the issue. Those are just the things I'm wrestling with right now.

Get out there and shoot something meaningful today.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 02:30:48 PM by EOBeav »
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Canon primes
« on: July 30, 2013, 02:23:53 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 02:36:04 PM »
I recall when I dropped 1K on my 50L. I ate alot more at home for the next month. Then it happened again with the 24L II, Then again with my MK3's.

Soon I realized, buying expensive camera equipment made me more healthy by eating at home. Take-out or that new prime?

Grumbaki

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 09:58:31 PM »
The "Buy cheap, buy twice" idiom isn't only for crap that will break.

if you are sure that you'll like the results (focal lenght, thin dof) why buying the intermediate version? You'll still have that itch. It'll be even worse if you really enjoy the 1.8 as you'll have first hand experience on the limitations. Even if those glass hold their value well, you'll still make a loss.

At least that's the way I thought for my glass. Didn't do that for bodies and now the 60d collects dust while 5d3 runs wild.

As for the rant part of the post, it is a sad ttruth that the last percentile improvements cost more than the first. Sad truth of engineering, in every domain. If only lenses prices were linear....

scottkinfw

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 10:42:49 PM »
Unfortunately, most of us don't have unlimited funds and we share your pain.

If you ever get the itch and don't have the "scratch", look into billmelater.com.  You can buy now and pay off in 6 months without interest, and it doesn't go on your credit cards.

Just a thought.

sek
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rpt

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 10:55:57 PM »
I have no questions to be answered or advice to be given at this time.
Ok, here you go

"Nothing"

There - done ;)

blacksap

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 11:22:54 PM »
Note: This post is part rant, part food for thought. Comment as you see fit, but I have no questions to be answered or advice to be given at this time.

I currently shoot with mostly L's, including the 70-200 f/4 L, 17-40 f/4 L, and the 135 f/2 L.  I also have a 50 f/1.4 in the stable.  I'm considering rounding out my prime collection with a 35, 85, and possibly a wide at some point in the future. The 85L and 35L produce some impressive images, many seen right here in the CRF.  Then, I look at images produced with their non-L counterparts, the 85 f/1.8, and the 35 f/2.  Many stunning images to be had there as well. So with a 2-3x difference in price, what's the difference? Build quality, for one, as well as that extra stop or two of light. Better glass. Better sharpness when shot wide open, not to mention better bokeh quality. There is indeed a difference, and I'm not going to pretend there isn't.

But that's not to say that the non-L 85 and 35 primes are poor lenses. They can help meet your photographic needs without sacrificing image quality on a noticeable scale. If I can't put an 85mm f/1.8 on my 5DmkII and get a really good portrait...it's not the equipment's fault. And if I can't get good images with that lens, moving up to the L isn't going to help me out, either. 

I've scrimped, saved, and made deals along the way to get the setup that I've got right now. I like to joke that I drive an Old Lady's car so that I can shoot with a Big Boy's camera. And there's some truth to it. 

So, I could scrimp, save, and make deals so that I can get an 85L and 35L in that bag in the future. It might take me a few years. And in the end, I would have some incredibly awesome glass.  Or, I could eat beans and rice tonight, and then rice and beans tomorrow night, and afford the non-L lenses in a matter of a few months. That's that much more time I could spend shooting with those lenses. Time I could be getting great images and putting them to work for me. That's worth something.

I know that there are opinions on both sides of the issue. Those are just the things I'm wrestling with right now.

Get out there and shoot something meaningful today.


Hi I own a 85 1.8 because I am not willing to spend 1,500 dollars on a lens, well not a prime! and I can tell you the quality of the lens is brutal, MUCH BETTER than the 50 1.4! faster autofocus sharper image! you can also check reviews i like this page, I will leave you the links for the reviews of both the 1.2 and the 1.8, IMO not worth the 1,000 dollars difference

1.8
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/419-canon_85_18_5d?start=1

1.2
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/502-canon_85f12ff?start=2



And honestly the option of using the 1.2 for low light is great, but you have the MKIII you can crank up the iso! and honestly it is (on most cases) better not to have a depth of field that shallow! depends on what you do of course, but it is too much most of the times.

On the other hand, for a 35mm take a look on the new sigma A 35 1.4, cheaper and BETTER than the canon!!!

I hope it helps man and I think L lenses are sometimes to much, like you say on your post!





drmikeinpdx

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 12:06:17 AM »
If I were in your shoes, I'd buy the intermediate grade primes and shoot with them for a year or so to see how much I used them.  If you use them a lot and feel you need slightly better image quality (and substantially more mass) you can easily sell them to help fund your L glass.

I do love the 85mm F/1.8, such a sweet lens.  Light, sharp and fast focusing
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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 12:06:17 AM »

Robert Welch

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 02:40:02 AM »
Besides a variety of zoom lenses (17-40L, 24-70L, 24-105L, 70-200L IS) I also have several primes, the 28/1.8, 50/1.4 & 85/1.8, which I enjoy using for a different look than the slower zooms. I'd love to replace them with the L counterparts (except the 28, which there is no L version of), but it will still be some time until I'm able to.

The question of whether to wait and get a L lens later, or get the non-L version sooner is easy to answer. Especially if you are willing to buy used, you can just about re-sell the lens for what you paid for it, or at worse take a 10-20% loss if you buy the lens new. But even in the later case, having the opportunity to use one of these lenses sooner, rather than waiting a long time without the use of any lens of this type makes it easy for me to suggest you get the lens you can afford as soon as you can afford it. Then look to upgrade later. This gives you the opportunity to take more photos with a prime lens, and also gives you the chance to see how much you will actually use a particular prime focal length, to help you decide if you ever do want to upgrade. You may find, for instance, that a 35mm or 85mm lens just isn't a focal length that you find you care to use very often. Since you didn't invest in the more expensive lens, you may find that for the amount of use you get with that focal length, you are not interested in spending more money on one. If you find you use it a great deal, and want to upgrade to the L version, you can still use the non-L version until you are ready to spend the extra money. That's a no lose scenario, IMO.

adhocphotographer

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 02:44:35 AM »
Get out there and shoot something meaningful today.

I think that that sums it up for me...  I got into photography because I like to create something beautiful (and i can't paint for $#%^). I buy a lens to expand my abilities or because I need it for a specific task. When it comes to primes, the whole L vs non-L depends on your needs, and I think for the majority of cases a non-L would just as well.  I think a lot of people are lured by the red ring sometimes (myself included) without really considering the non-L primes. The 24 & 28 2.8 IS, 35 2 IS and sigma 35 are all fantastic lenses, and i think could do >90% the same shots as the L equivalents...  however, the L provides the extra for those shots (e.g. low-light and tough conditions).

Saying that, i'm looking forward to getting my 24L II soon. Lucky for me, food is cheap here (India)... :)
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The Bad Duck

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 03:45:31 AM »
I´m more impressed with my 85 /1.8 than my 35 /1.4 L. the old 35 /2 (non IS) was not too impressive when it comes down to bokeh. Sharp and all, but the backgrunds were not so nice. Then... the 35 /2 IS, or the sigma 35 /1.4 seems to be great alternatives.

So get the 85 1.8 and don´t look back. When it comes to the 35, get any of the three mentioned; they are all very good and somewhat different so the 35 /2 IS might be a better alternative than one of the 35 /1.4s, depending on your needs. Personaly I stop down the 35 /1.4 L to about f/2 most of the time anyway; so the extra stop is usually wasted. (same goes with my 50 /1.4. The 85 /1.8 and the 135 /2 I use wide open without hesitation). Have not done any AFMA on the 35 though, so it may be better than I give it credit for. Some people LOVE their 35 L.

And then one day you have enough money to get the 85 /1.2 L and you get it. Or you don´t, since you love the 1.8. But even when you get the L, the f/1.8 is still more subtle, light and inexpensive making it a nice lens for parties or travel or whatever. It´s not a waste.

symmar22

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 05:45:15 AM »
I would go in the way of the cheaper lenses too. I own a good amount of L glass as well, but I buy it only when it brings something I really need (17 and 24 TS-E for architecture, 100 macro L for the IS, 135mm for the USM and f/2). More expensive is not always better. I was with nikon before, used AI-S manual lenses that were all constructed the same (excellent) way. You had the 35mm f1.4, f2, f2.8, all built exactly the same, the f2 was the best of them, but some people needed 1.4 and other could only afford the f2.8. What I mean is not to fall in the trap of overkill: L is nice, better built, but Canon was clever enough to separate it from the "non L" lenses so you always feel poor when you don't have the L. That's the magic of marketing.

I earn my life with my lenses, and in some cases non L is better for me; I have the old 15mm Fisheye, and almost fell in the trap of swapping it for the 8-15 L (thanks to Canon cashback offer); the old one makes exactly the same images, but is 1 stop brighter, lighter, smaller and I paid 500€ instead of 1200€. I went hiking with the fisheye and am happy I did not buy the L zoom.

For the lenses you consider, my wife has the 85 1.8 and earns her life with it, no one ever complained; it's clear the 1.2 allows a more creamy bokeh and is a bit sharper, but is 5 times the price, big, heavy, not the fastest AF and is focus by wire in manual focus. If you make nice portraits, the 1.8 will do a perfect job, the 1.2 would probably do it a little bit better, but it's up to you if you want to spend 5 times the money.

For the 35mm, I was hesitating like you, I finally bought the f/2 IS, and could not be more satisfied with my choice, it's optically as good as the 1.4, almost half the weight, 1/2 of the price, the bokeh is really nice and the IS is for me a real plus, that makes you want all you primes would have it.

Construction quality ? Honestly all Canon lenses are good enough to work professionally, don't let yourself fool into thinking that you cannot make good pictures if it's not L, buy what you really need.


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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 01:39:14 PM »
For the 35mm you should go for Sigma. Their new f1.4 lens is probably best value for money in the lens world today. And, unless you are a bokeh freak, you should be very happy with the 85 f1.8. I believe most canon shooters will agree that that lens is the best value for money in the whole Canon range.

But! I have spent loads of money on buying my way up the quality ladder. If I could do it all over again, I would be a bit more disciplined and choose the most important focal length and go for the top line there, instead of trying to buy the whole focal length line up at once. And for what it is worth, in my opinion, the 85mm f1.2L II produces the most jaw dropping images of them all.
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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 04:19:51 PM »
If you're interested in the 85L because of the look of the images it creates at wide apertures rather than the shutter speeds it allows, I would note that you can get a similar look - not quite as extreme in the blur department, but close - from the 135L you already have and from the 100L and the Sigma 85 1.4 (how close depends on the relative distances you have to work with), each of which is well under half the price of the 85L and, with the 100L you get IS too.   (As it happens I just rented the 85LII to see what all the fuss was about and I must say that, for my purposes, it's not as obvious as I had expected what it would add to my 135L and 100L, aside from a lot of blue and purple fringing around just about anything that's white; and I'm not sure that the little it would add to my 85 1.8 is worth the expense and weight.)

As for 35mm, depending on why you're interested in the 35L, consider also the Sigma 35 1.5 and the Canon 35 IS (and the 28mm IS, I guess) and check out some of the excellent photos posted here taken with the old 35 f/2.

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 04:19:51 PM »

kennephoto

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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 09:49:38 PM »
The "Buy cheap, buy twice" idiom isn't only for crap that will break.

if you are sure that you'll like the results (focal lenght, thin dof) why buying the intermediate version? You'll still have that itch. It'll be even worse if you really enjoy the 1.8 as you'll have first hand experience on the limitations. Even if those glass hold their value well, you'll still make a loss.

At least that's the way I thought for my glass. Didn't do that for bodies and now the 60d collects dust while 5d3 runs wild.

As for the rant part of the post, it is a sad ttruth that the last percentile improvements cost more than the first. Sad truth of engineering, in every domain. If only lenses prices were linear....

Thank you I so agree! I've been victim to buy cheap buy twice or more lol. You can always make more money if you want to!
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Re: Canon primes
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 09:49:38 PM »