October 21, 2014, 09:02:59 PM

Author Topic: Advice on Primes  (Read 1839 times)

PikkieChick

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Advice on Primes
« on: February 12, 2014, 10:11:57 PM »
Ta for all the replies to my last post, I also wanted to add the following :

I agree that on top of a 5Dlll a 24-70mm f/2.8L + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, that a 100-400mm will be too heavy to lug around, so also considering a converter. With the 70-200mm what recommendation would you make : a 1.4XII or 2XII or 1.4XIII or 2XIII ??

Tilt shifts might be a little out of my range, but Im also considering some primes as well - still learning with these, so would love some advice on what range would be the best : 35mm f/2, 50mmf/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2.

I travel a bit & shoot mainly landscapes, street shots, architecture, people shots etc

Cheers

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Advice on Primes
« on: February 12, 2014, 10:11:57 PM »

Grumbaki

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 11:33:11 PM »
Fun thing is my usual kit is the same 2 zooms you have + 35 1.4 and 85 1.2. This 4 lens combo is really golden for 99% situations if you don't do stadiums or birds.

This is a personal taste/feel with the focals but 35/85 is my bread and butter. Some people are more 50. Just get out with you zooms, "lock" at the focals and see what you prefer.

Considering you have 2.8 zooms, I'd advise for going for a real difference with very fast primes. Kind of no point to add a 35 2.0 to a 24-70 2.8. Now 35 1.4 makes a real difference and the Sigma is good and not that expensive.

That also depends on your taste for Bokeh but for the 35, 2.0 vs 1.4 makes a world of difference. Quick maths:
Subject at 5m
DoF at 2.0 = 3,7m
DoF at 1.4 = 1,7m
Same idea for the 85 but the difference is less tragic and the upgrand cost more painful.

Random Orbits

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 12:10:54 AM »
Start with what you know you'll use and save the rest of the money for later.  Is there a penalty for waiting?  The more you shoot, the more you'll know where you want to spend more on equipment.

For TCs, go with the IIIs.  The 2x III is visibly better than the II.

knoxtown

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 02:33:24 AM »
I'll always take primes over zooms. I spend about 99% of my work days carrying 2 cameras and 3 lenses: 50 1.2, 35 1.4, 20 2.8

That combo has been all over the world and it covers everything I really need. Tough to say what you need, but I'd recommend starting with a 35 and going from there. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
Conflict Photographer - 5d Mark III, 50mm 1.2, 20mm 2.8, 24mm 1.4, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 70-200 2.8

wickidwombat

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 04:13:24 AM »
Fun thing is my usual kit is the same 2 zooms you have + 35 1.4 and 85 1.2. This 4 lens combo is really golden for 99% situations if you don't do stadiums or birds.

This is a personal taste/feel with the focals but 35/85 is my bread and butter. Some people are more 50. Just get out with you zooms, "lock" at the focals and see what you prefer.

Considering you have 2.8 zooms, I'd advise for going for a real difference with very fast primes. Kind of no point to add a 35 2.0 to a 24-70 2.8. Now 35 1.4 makes a real difference and the Sigma is good and not that expensive.

That also depends on your taste for Bokeh but for the 35, 2.0 vs 1.4 makes a world of difference. Quick maths:
Subject at 5m
DoF at 2.0 = 3,7m
DoF at 1.4 = 1,7m
Same idea for the 85 but the difference is less tragic and the upgrand cost more painful.

I agree 35 and 85 are a nice pair i'll often take just these 2 out especially if i'm out at night where i know i'm gonna be wide open at high iso most of the time
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ptill1

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 04:30:20 AM »
I have the 70-200mm IS Mk2, I also have the 2X Mk3 extender and find this combination works very well, with only a slight softning of
focus, plus the added weight of course.

bholliman

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 05:25:28 PM »
I also have the 24-70 2.8 II and 70-200 2.8 II that I use on a 6D.  The primes I find the most useful to compliment them are:

  • 135mm f/2 - The 70-200 is a great portrait lens, but the 135L is in a class by itself.  Superior bokeh and the extra stop of light really makes a difference.
  • 100mm f/2.8 IS Macro - Does macro and has a short minimum focal distance - two things the 70-200 can't do.  Also the 100 Macro and 135L are much smaller and lighter than the 70-200, so make a very portable tele option.  I often carry one of these lenses along with my 24-70 as a lighter weight kit for walking around (festivals, family events, etc.)
  • 40mm pancake - same aperture as your zoom, but MUCH smaller/lighter.  Makes a great combo with the 70-200 2.8 II (I don't own this lens, but have borrowed it and plan to add at some point)
  • 85mm 1.8 I enjoy using this prime in place of my 70-200 at times due to the 1.8 aperture, small size and shorter minimum focal distance
  • 35mm or 50mm (various options available) - faster apertures for indoor/low-light photography and smaller than the 24-70 zoom
  • 24mm TS-E Maybe the best landscape lens available, excellent for architectural photography (I don't own this lens, but its next on my wish list)
  • Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14mm 2.8 UMC - a terrific, low cost alternative to an expensive UWA zoom when you only need something wider than 24mm occasionally.  It was a perfect fit for my kit since I don't often use <24mm focal lengths. 


I have the 70-200mm IS Mk2, I also have the 2X Mk3 extender and find this combination works very well, with only a slight softning of focus, plus the added weight of course.

+1  Both of the Canon Mk3 extenders work great with the 70-200 2.8 II!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 05:39:04 PM by bholliman »
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 05:25:28 PM »

drmikeinpdx

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 06:22:17 PM »
It will be hard to beat your two zooms as a convenient, if rather heavy, travel kit.  You might find that they meet all your needs.  If I were in your position, I would shoot with the two zooms for a while, then go through your images and see if there is a particular focal length (or two) that you use much more than others.  If so, that would give you a good clue as to which primes you should buy.  It really depends on what kind of subjects you end up photographing regularly.
Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
blog:   http://www.BeyondBoudoirPhoto.com

justaCanonuser

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 06:08:16 AM »
With the 70-200mm what recommendation would you make : a 1.4XII or 2XII or 1.4XIII or 2XIII ??

Cheers

As others already posted already, go for Canon's Mark III TC's, it's a no-brainer. They are worth a higher price tag. With my 1.4x TCs I upgraded from a Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 to Canon's Mark III - and was stunned: much much better IQ and impressive AF speed with all lenses I use it (Canon's 70-200/2.8 II, 300/4 IS, 400/5.6, and a vintage 500/4.5). My main camera body is a 5D3, but the Mark III also performs much better on my 7D.

Canon's 2x Mark III TC produces a decent IQ, too, on both cameras. About two yrs ago a German photozine reviewed 70-200/2.8 + 1.4x/2x TC combos from Canon, Nikon and Sigma on Canon and Nikon camera bodies. It turned out that Canon's both Mark III TCs produced a significantly better IQ, they play in a different league. This review convinced me to risk a 2x TC for the first time in my life, and I did not regret the investment in Canon's Mark III version. 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 06:10:14 AM by justaCanonuser »
5D3, 7D, film: EOS 3, Nikon FM-2, lots of lenses from 18 to 500mm

mackguyver

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 02:51:55 PM »
I go back & forth between zooms and primes.  90% of my commercial work is with zooms, but 90% of my portraits are with primes and my personal work is a probably 50/50.  My philosophy is not to overlap zooms/primes unless the prime has a significant advantage (aperture, size/weight, or unique function like macro/tilt-shift).  Given your excellent zooms, I'd recommend picking up a fast prime at your favorite focal length.  If most of your shots are at one of the focal lengths you mentioned, pick up the prime at that FL.  Also consider the 135 f/2 - it's faster and much smaller & lighter than the 70-200 f/2.8 lenses and an amazing lens if that FL is one your enjoy.

As for the TCs, the 1.4x Mk III is slightly better than the Mk II, but the 2x Mk III is quite a bit better than the Mk II.  If you ever plan to get any of the Mk II big whites, go for the Mk IIIs.  Both work well on the 70-200 f/2.8s, but the 2x makes the lens somewhat big and unwieldy and slows the AF down a lot.  The 1.4x doesn't give a ton of reach, but is more seamless to shoot with vs. the 2x as you hardly notice it's there other than the extra reach.

docsmith

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »
The 5DIII, 24-70 II, and 70-200 II is a great travel kit.  Add in a 2x TC III and you really have a lot covered right there.

I would only be adding primes for very specific purposes, as has already been pointed out.  One prime not mentioned is the Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art.  I don't yet own it, but it is on my list.  Its purpose for your kit would be low light photography, think DoF, and relatively tight landscapes. 

Otherwise, your kit is very solid.  You may want to consider a good tripod, CPL filters and graduated filters.

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Re: Advice on Primes
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »