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Author Topic: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?  (Read 7957 times)

stevevihon

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Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« on: November 29, 2011, 12:08:33 AM »
Moving over to Canon from Nikon and looking to purchase a 5D Mark II.  Being new to Canon, I am starting from scratch and would like some advice from those who own the camera and pair it with prime lenses.  I have read that full frame sensors are less "forgiving" with lenses and that they should be paired with the top of the line glass (i.e. "L" lenses).

Curious for those that own this camera and have prime lenses -- are all the prime lenses that you pair with the camera "L" lenses?  If not, what non "L" primes have you found have been a good match?

Photo subjects are a non-cooperative four year old daughter and cityscapes (I live in Chicago, so lots of good architecture to photograph here along with the lakefront).

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Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« on: November 29, 2011, 12:08:33 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 12:54:30 AM »
the 3 primes i have at the moment are the
50 f1.4 (non L)
100 f2.8L Macro
300 f4L

they are all great, however the 50f1.4 isn't of the same calibre that the nikon 50f1.4G is which i sold when i sold all my nikon gear and moved over to canon. i also hear good things about the 85f1.8 non L which is priced well and i guess similar build to the 50. You dont have to have L glass but they do feel much more solid and heavy
so thats one up side is the non  L lenses are lighter and easier to carry around
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Leopard Lupus

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 01:14:56 AM »
Both the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and the Canon 50mm f/1.4 are incredible non L lenses for their price. I have used both on the 5D mk ll and for anyone looking to buy the L versions of this lens, i would suggest trying their less expensive brothers first.
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K3ntFIN

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 01:24:02 AM »
I only have the 50 f/1.4 prime lens, but I do love it, it produces stunning image quality for 1/4th of the price of the f/1.2L version.

dr croubie

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 01:27:53 AM »
If/when I ever go FF, I can guess right now that my Samyang 35/1.4 is going to be glued onto it most of the time.

(although, it does have a red ring, just not in the same place as the L lenses).
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Canon 14-24

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 01:30:06 AM »
Non L canon primes to photograph daughter: 50/1.4, 85/1.8, or 100/2.0 or 2.8 macro

Instead of a prime wide angle, I'd push for the 17-40/f4 for your architecture shots with a 85/1.8 or 100/2.0 or 2.8 macro (non-L) to complement.

branden

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 02:23:08 AM »
For shooting landscapes, any prime lens will perform excellently on the 5Dm2, L or no-L.

For shooting everything else, there's basically three groupings:

1) The cheapies, being the 135/2.8, the 50/1.8, the 35/2, the 28/2.8 and the 24/2.8. These are great, but have loud autofocuses and aren't comparatively fast. They are tiny and inexpensive, though, and (so long as you're not too concerned about bokeh) all have totally powerful optics, easily outperforming any zoom.

2) The mid-range, being the 100/2, the 85/1.8, the 50/1.4, the 28/1.8, and the 20/2.8. These autofocus silently, quickly, and in general have nicer build qualities, but on the flip side they halate wide open and are known for chromatic aberrations. However, shooting to avoid those situations, they take stunning photos.

3) The high range, being any L prime. These all provide knock-your-socks-off performance wide open, and as such are the best things out there for photographing anything involving people. Their only issue is that stopping them down beyond f/4-ish (depending on which lens) actually hurts image quality, so as a solution, don't stop them down :)

Hopefully this helps! I've actually used about 80% of Canon's primes, so these observations are based mostly on my own experiences.

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 02:23:08 AM »

Blaze

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 03:37:32 AM »
For the daughter, the 85mm f/1.8 would be a goon non-L choice. Relatively cheap, good IQ, and fast AF. The 50mm f/1.4 is pretty popular, but I'm not terribly impressed with my copy (too soft wide open and inaccurate AF).

For architecture, I would think you would want a shorter focal length. Since super wide aperture isn't usually as important here, a zoom such as the 17-40 f/4 the poster "Canon 14-24" mentioned might be a good choice.

J. McCabe

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 03:39:57 AM »
Moving over to Canon from Nikon and looking to purchase a 5D Mark II.  Being new to Canon, I am starting from scratch and would like some advice from those who own the camera and pair it with prime lenses.  I have read that full frame sensors are less "forgiving" with lenses and that they should be paired with the top of the line glass (i.e. "L" lenses).

Curious for those that own this camera and have prime lenses -- are all the prime lenses that you pair with the camera "L" lenses?  If not, what non "L" primes have you found have been a good match?

Photo subjects are a non-cooperative four year old daughter and cityscapes (I live in Chicago, so lots of good architecture to photograph here along with the lakefront).

I have a 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.8 and use them on a 5Dmk2, and I'm satisfied with the results, esp the 50mm f/1.4

The 35mm f/2's bokeh looks bad when there are lines in the background, as can be seen in the lens' review at photozone. It does not have USM, so focusing is a bit noisey but quick enough for me.

The 85mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens, with a small issue of purple fringing, as can be seen in the lens' review at photozone.

In neither case do I feel the need to fork the extra cash to upgrade to an L lens, which aren't perfect either.

Flake

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 03:45:55 AM »
I can't agree that the primes "easily outperforming any zoom."  The 70 - 200mm f/2.8 IS II will outperform all the primes quoted.  Prime lenses are not some kind of panacea to higher quality, and many of the non L lenses were designed an age ago and are not good performers.  Having said that most of my primes are non L including the 85mm f/1.8, I've had the 50mm f/1.4 which is good, the 100mm macro, now replaced with the L version, TBH it's difficult to tell much difference between them.

My advice would by to treat a prime lens for what it is - lighter, often faster, and most times cheaper than a zoom, they are not any better than todays zoom lenses when stopped down.  Buy with caution, some lenses are better than others, it's a bit of a minefield so check on sites like Photozone.de when considering a new purchase to avoid the lemons.

NormanBates

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 05:38:29 AM »
for architecture:

* the canon 24mm f/2.8 non-L is great: not as great as its L counterpart, but pretty close, for 1/4 the price
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=246&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=480&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=5

* it's still not out yet, but I'd bet the Samyang 24mm f/1.4 is even better (based on the fact that the 35mm 1.4 is A LOT sharper than its 4-times-as-expensive canon L counterpart); only manual focus, though
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=121&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=771&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 05:45:09 AM by NormanBates »

alipaulphotography

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 05:39:50 AM »
Canon 28mm f/1.8
Canon 35mm f/2.0
Canon 50mm f/1.4
Canon 85mm f/1.8
Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro or f/2.0

Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 85mm f/1.4

All great non-L prime lenses. I don't pay attention as to whether my lens has a red ring or not. Great images can come out of any lens.

Gothmoth

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 06:04:10 AM »
.  I have read that full frame sensors are less "forgiving" with lenses and that they should be paired with the top of the line glass (i.e. "L" lenses).

well i did not notice that in prints to be honest... but what i notice is bad composition, lack of inspiration.  :D

btw: i sell a lot gear to pro photographer who work for magazines.
and i can tell you they don´t care about stopping down to f16 or f22.

the advice to not go smaller then f4 is complete nonsense.
repeated again and again by amateurs who do pixelpeeping on testcharts rather then making pictures.

if you need f16 or f22 then use it.
that´s what everyone who makes money with photography will tell you.

diffraction limit of a lens... well let me tell you it will NOT RUIN a great picture!
in fact you will hardly notice it in print.
that´s why famous photography icons don´t care about diffraction limits.

it´s like the audio "gold ears" who claim they can hear a difference between a 1000$ audio cable and a decent audio cable for 30$.  but as test have shown (in studio environment, done by the german ct magazine), even the best are unable to hear a difference between a good MP3 with 192 kbit and the original CD.
leave alone the difference a 1000$ audio cable makes.  8)

there is always a gap between what you can measure and what you will notice.
you can measure diffraction limits.... you can measure a drop in sound quality going from CD to MP3 192 kbit.... no question.
but as tests on humans have shown it doens´t matter in reallity .. because a human will not notice it. 
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 06:59:55 AM by Gothmoth »

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 06:04:10 AM »

elflord

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2011, 06:29:02 AM »
Moving over to Canon from Nikon and looking to purchase a 5D Mark II.  Being new to Canon, I am starting from scratch and would like some advice from those who own the camera and pair it with prime lenses.  I have read that full frame sensors are less "forgiving" with lenses and that they should be paired with the top of the line glass (i.e. "L" lenses).

Covering a wider fov is a challenging engineering task (especially at faster f-stops), so a lens that easily covers a crop may not do as well on full frame -- for the same focal length, the fov is wider on a full frame. This is mostly an issue towards the wide end though, not the tele end (85mm does not have a wide fov on a crop or a full frame). 

Quote
Curious for those that own this camera and have prime lenses -- are all the prime lenses that you pair with the camera "L" lenses?  If not, what non "L" primes have you found have been a good match?

Photo subjects are a non-cooperative four year old daughter and cityscapes (I live in Chicago, so lots of good architecture to photograph here along with the lakefront).

I have the 50mm f/1.4 and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (the latter is priced similarly to cheaper L lenses) and would recommend these for the daughter. Canon's 85mm f/1.8 is a highly regarded cheaper alternative. I have the 35mm f/2 which is an excellent performer (see the photozone.de review)

For the 50mm f/1.4, you won't gain much in performance from stepping up (you will gain half a stop of course). The Sigma 85mm is very close to Canon's L lens in performance (see the comparison test on thedigitalpicture.com). The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is also solid as long as you don't pixel peep and compare with the Sigma or Canon's L lens. The 35mm f/1.4L is a stop faster than its non-L sibling. It's also somewhat larger (the 35mm f/2 is tiny), has a more modern autofocus system and aperture (the 35mm f/2 has only 5 aperture blades which makes the bokeh look bad in contrived situations, see photozone's review). But in terms of numbers, the 35mm f/2 holds its own (again, see photozone)

Some wide angle non-L lenses that have recently been reviewed very favourably are Samyang's lenses (14mm, 35mm and 85mm). These are also sold under the brands Bower and Rokinon. They are manual only, so for taking a picture of a 4 year old the 35mm and 85mm are probably out. However, the 14mm is a standout as a budget wide angle prime. See reviews on lenstip and photozone.de
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 06:31:37 AM by elflord »

scottsdaleriots

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 07:02:42 AM »
If I had a FF camera - which I don't, I will once they release the 5DmkII ;) the firt lens I'd buy would either be the 85L or the 135L - probably the 85L just over the 135L. A nice wide angle zoom would be great for your landscape shoot. SOmething like in the 10-24 range I reckon

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Re: Primes to go with a 5D Mark II -- does anyone not use a L prime?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 07:02:42 AM »