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Author Topic: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?  (Read 6429 times)

CowGummy

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New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« on: December 23, 2011, 06:28:28 AM »
Hi all,

I will be upgrading to a 5DMkii in January, coming from a 400D which I have owned for over 5 years now and has served me well, but I truly have outgrown this body. I shoot mainly landscapes and portraits (studio, as well as more and more low-light bar/restaurant portrait shots) and need a bit of advice as far as lens(es) for the 5Dii.
I always knew I would be moving to FF, so I've been using the 17-40 L on my 400D for all things landscape and as a general walk-about lens. I can't wait to get this lens onto a 5Dii body as I usually crave even wider field of view than it currently gives me on the 1.6 crop body, so this will very much become my 'wide landscapes' lens.
For portraits and low light stuff I have the plastic-fantastic 50mm 1.8 - it does okay for what it's worth, just not too keen on the feel of that lens compared to my L lens!

My budget for the upgrade is about £2000 (UK) - possibly a little more depending on how much this Xmas period is going to cost me...   ;D

So... I was simply going to buy the 5dii body only and just continue with my 2 lenses as before. However I'm very aware that I will only have a max focal length of 50mm, which might not be long enough, so have been toying with the idea of the 24-105 L Kit as it will extend my range. I would however also like to upgrade the 50mm to the 1.4 version as I'm really not fond of the idea of putting the 1.8 on the 5Dii. It may sound silly to some, but to me that would be like by buying a Mercedes and then sticking cheap & nasty tyres and alloys on it - it just ain't right!

What would you do given the budget? Maybe not bother with the 24-105 and go for a couple of primes instead? 50mm 1.4 + 85 1.8? 24-70 L 2.8 maybe? Although I'm really put off by the massive size and weight of that lens, plus it would really stretch my budget to the max...

Thanks in advance & a very Merry Christmas to you all!
5DmkII   |  50 f/1.4  |  24-105L f/4  |  135L f/2  |  70-200L f/2.8 IS II  |  430exII

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New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« on: December 23, 2011, 06:28:28 AM »

briansquibb

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 06:35:29 AM »

I always knew I would be moving to FF, so I've been using the 17-40 L on my 400D for all things landscape and as a general walk-about lens. I can't wait to get this lens onto a 5Dii body as I usually crave even wider field of view than it currently gives me on the 1.6 crop body, so this will very much become my 'wide landscapes' lens.
For portraits and low light stuff I have the plastic-fantastic 50mm 1.8 - it does okay for what it's worth, just not too keen on the feel of that lens compared to my L lens!

My budget for the upgrade is about £2000 (UK) - possibly a little more depending on how much this Xmas period is going to cost me...   ;D


Personally I find the 70-200 f/2.8 II works very well on the 5DII

That would give you the (now) ultra wide 17-40 plus the 50 f/1.8 plus the 70-200

The 70-200 is a superb lens when on full frame, giving  bokeh that crop owners can only dream of. The 70mm end is ideal for portraits - this covers the 50mm range that you had on the 400D
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 06:39:24 AM by briansquibb »

handsomerob

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 06:50:58 AM »
I would go for the 5DII + 24-105L kit and replace the 50mm f/1.8 with the 85mm f/1.8 for portraits. You can upgrade to the legendary 85mm f/1.2 later on. I would also sell the 17-40L to fund this purchase.

FF will obviously give you a much better wide angle without the 1.6x crop. So the 24-105L on FF would be a great general purpose lens, it's even 3mm wider than your 17-40L was on crop (27-64mm equivalent).

If you shoot landscapes, invest in a decent tripod with the rest of the money.

briansquibb

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 07:44:06 AM »
On the 5DII you should be aiming to have a f/2.8 lens or faster to help the AF. So try to get most of your shots taken with the f/2.8

The 70-200 is the equivalent to about 40-140 on the crop camera.

With the limited number of lens that you will have you might feel it is better to avoid primes at this point to get maximum flexibility. Attached is a photo of the Olympic Sailing village at Weymouth showing what a 17-40 on a 5DII can do - this is ultra sharp which doesn't really show here.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 07:49:59 AM by briansquibb »

CowGummy

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 07:46:25 AM »
Thanks to both of you for such swift replies - much appreciated!

I hadn't even considered something like a 70-200mm! So great to get some feedback on all this - personally I think that lens is too long for most of my needs, I usually find myself wanting to go wider rather longer, and the size of it - that's a monster in my books! I guess it would just be a case of getting used to it...

As for the handsomerob's suggestion: Again, sometime I don't seem to be able to the forest for the trees... I've always loved that 17-40 L (have had it for about 4 years now), and always thought it would be awesome to get it onto the FF body... which it is, but I see your point of parting company with it in order to be able to fund other better lenses. And yes, the 24mm on the 24-105 L would actually give me a slightly wider lower end than the current 17-40 on my 400D - great idea!

As for the 85mm 1.8 - I've always like the idea of this lens! But... I'm not so keen on the minimum focusing distance - would I not be better off with something like the 50mm 1.4 and simply 'zoom with my feet'? Also, I'm one of those that do feel that 50mm on a crop body is a little too long - I often find myself having to really step back when shooting inside, which in small English pubs, bars and restaurants isn't always possible!  ::)

So having the 85mm on a FF body would present me with similar issues surely?
5DmkII   |  50 f/1.4  |  24-105L f/4  |  135L f/2  |  70-200L f/2.8 IS II  |  430exII

briansquibb

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 08:08:07 AM »

As for the 85mm 1.8 - I've always like the idea of this lens! But... I'm not so keen on the minimum focusing distance - would I not be better off with something like the 50mm 1.4 and simply 'zoom with my feet'? Also, I'm one of those that do feel that 50mm on a crop body is a little too long - I often find myself having to really step back when shooting inside, which in small English pubs, bars and restaurants isn't always possible!  ::)

So having the 85mm on a FF body would present me with similar issues surely?

I think you need to get your head round the crop factor - it is very significant

- the 85mm on the 5DII is the equivalent to the 50mm (close anyway) on your 400D
- the 70-200 on the 5DII is the equivalent, at the short end, to your 40mm of the 17-40, therefore shorter than the 50mm on the crop - which is what you are after
- the 17-40 is ideal for close shooting, more so than the 24-105

When taking portraits you should avoid being too close as they will suffer from big nose syndrome due to perspective distortion. On the 5DII I find the most 'natural' looking are taken with the 135mm - but modern shooters prefer the 85mm (personal choice here - in the film days 135mm was considered the portrait lens and I have grown up seeing portraits at that length)

handsomerob

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 08:18:43 AM »
As for the 85mm 1.8 - I've always like the idea of this lens! But... I'm not so keen on the minimum focusing distance - would I not be better off with something like the 50mm 1.4 and simply 'zoom with my feet'? Also, I'm one of those that do feel that 50mm on a crop body is a little too long - I often find myself having to really step back when shooting inside, which in small English pubs, bars and restaurants isn't always possible!  ::)

So having the 85mm on a FF body would present me with similar issues surely?

85mm on FF is normally ideal for portraits but if you already experienced that 50mm on crop is too long for your portraits in pubs and bars, then 85mm on FF will be even more problematic (5mm longer).

You could always buy the 5DII (kit with 24-105L) first and test it with your new lens (as well as your current 50mm f/1.8 ). f/4 might seem pretty slow but you can crank up the ISO and IS will eliminate camera shake (not motion blur), enough to find out which focal length your shooting requires. If you end up around 50mm everytime, then yeah, 50mm f/1.4 could be what you need. Also test with the 50mm f/1.8, maybe you might wanna keep it after all ;)

I am not suggesting the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II (my favorite lens) for the reasons you described (you don't seem to need lot of reach/big&heavy and not really handy in a pub) but otherwise it would indeed be a fabulous portrait lens at wide end, tack sharp wide open with amazing IQ and bokeh.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 08:20:35 AM by handsomerob »

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 08:18:43 AM »

JR

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 08:29:18 AM »
+1 on the recommendation for the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II here.  NOw unless you really need ultra wide (meaning wider then 24 on a FF, I would be temped to sell your 17-40 and get the 24-105 as your general purpose lenses.

As Brian mentionned, you need to familiarize yourself with the crop factor difference.  So while the 70-200 and 24-105 zoom are great lenses, I personally also like to have some prime lens for portraits.  Your 50 1.8 could be replaced by a 85 1.8 or a 50 1.4 on your full frame... 
1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

CowGummy

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 08:45:34 AM »
Wow - thanks for all the great input guys!

The 70-200 options sure seems to be getting votes here, so I am now considering it, although it would certainly stretch my budget to it's max. I might help if I give a few more details on my current gear and the things I like to shoot:

-Canon 400D
-Canon 17-40 L
-Canon 50 1.8ii

-Manfrotto tripod
-Remote shutter release
-Canon 430 exii for on-the-go lighting
-Off-camera flashgun lead for 430exii
- a couple of old Vivitar 285 strobes for off camera flash work (long exposure light painting etc...)

-Interfit EXD200 studio strobes (x2)
-Infrared trigger for strobes
-60cm softbox
-white umbrella

So... I do have the 430exii which I use even in conjunction with the 50mm (as well as the 17-40 L) indoors for added light or when I don't want the shallow DOF of 1.8. The other thing I will share here is my flickr link so that you guys might get a bit of a better understanding of my needs/wants... I feel a little shy about giving the link on here, as most of it I don't think can be qualified as 'real photography'. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I do, but it's not always to everyone's taste as I do go a little ott with the ol' processing...

Essentially, I am not a photographer - it's something that I really enjoy doing and it does play into my workflow as a graphic designer, who spent a good few years working on album sleeves, so Photoshop has always been a big part of shooting and image editing for me.

Anyways, you can have a look over here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowgummy/

Thanks again so very much!
5DmkII   |  50 f/1.4  |  24-105L f/4  |  135L f/2  |  70-200L f/2.8 IS II  |  430exII

alipaulphotography

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2011, 08:51:09 AM »
I shoot 90% of the time with a 50mm f/1.4. I would definitely get this as your first lens as a general walk around. I have a 70-200mm which I am going to sell shortly from lack of use, which everyone else seems to be recommending - So really worth finding out what you need before splashing out. 35mm 50mm and 85mm are pretty much all the lenses I use. I'd check out the f/1.4 or 1.8 versions of all of them.

Enjoy!

handsomerob

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2011, 09:05:40 AM »
CowGummy, amazing stuff!! Thanks for sharing. Congrats with your award btw ;)

If you never used a lens bigger/heavier than the 17-40L, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II will come as a big shock ;) I suggest you go get your hands on one in a camera store before even considering it. It also draws lots of attention with its size & color, if this is important for you. There will be many times you will just leave it at home instead of taking to the pub due to its impracticality = missed shots :P

Zo0m

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2011, 09:12:54 AM »
I moved from the 550d to the 5d mark 2 recently and was in the same situation as yourself. I have the 17-40, 50, and 70-200. Despite of this great coverage, I feel that I miss out on a lot of photos due to constantly having to change lenses. That's why I'm thinking about selling my current wide-angle and use the dinero to fund a lens for general use (such as the next incarnation of the legendary 24-70). As rob said, a 24mm is still quite a lot wider than 17mm on a crop body.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 09:16:27 AM by Zo0m »
Nikon D800, Nikkor 35 AF-S DX f1.8G, Sigma 85 f1.4 EX DG HSM, Sigma 150 f2.8 EX DG OS MACRO, Tokina 11-16 AT-X PRO f2.8 DX, Nikkor 28-300 f3.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikon SpeedLight SB-910
Formerly:
5D Mark 2, 550D, 12-24, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 50, 85, 550EX

CowGummy

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2011, 09:13:29 AM »
I shoot 90% of the time with a 50mm f/1.4. I would definitely get this as your first lens as a general walk around. I have a 70-200mm which I am going to sell shortly from lack of use, which everyone else seems to be recommending - So really worth finding out what you need before splashing out. 35mm 50mm and 85mm are pretty much all the lenses I use. I'd check out the f/1.4 or 1.8 versions of all of them.

Enjoy!

This is interesting to hear - I feel I might have similar needs to yours. I'm just not sure that the 70-200 would get used all that much. 50mm on full frame (it always feels a little too tight on the 1.6 crop body imo) is a really good focal length as a starting point for me, and usually I seem to need wider rather thank longer focal lengths.

That being said, I am now considering getting the 24-105L as a replacement for my current 17-40mm 'walkabout and landscape' lens and upgrading the 50 1.8ii to a 1.4 - like I said before: Putting the 1.8ii on a 5Dii just feels weird to me...(?) maybe personal hang-up I should get over...   ???

I wish Canon did something like a 35-135 L 2.8 and if they could through in IS - even better! Maybe I should be looking at Sigma/ Tamrons?
5DmkII   |  50 f/1.4  |  24-105L f/4  |  135L f/2  |  70-200L f/2.8 IS II  |  430exII

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2011, 09:13:29 AM »

Maui5150

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2011, 09:21:07 AM »
I also just jumped from the T2i to the 5D MK II

Current stable of lenses:

24-105 F/4
50 F1.4
85 F1.8
70 - 200 F4 Non-IS

For my T2i I also have the kit 17-55, the 18-135 and the 10-22

I am looking to add the 16-35 2.8 MK I to add wide angle to the 5DMKII as well as add in the 70-300 L to add some length back and add IS.

I think over all I would be happier with the 24-70 2.8 as it is faster and a little more versatile, but given my current lenses, the 24-105 was the compromise to keep from having to switch lenses. 

The best thing I love about the FF besides IQ is that my 70-200 is now more useable in the studio.  Sometimes getting shorter is not a bad thing 

7enderbender

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2011, 09:22:01 AM »
Hi all,

I will be upgrading to a 5DMkii in January, coming from a 400D which I have owned for over 5 years now and has served me well, but I truly have outgrown this body. I shoot mainly landscapes and portraits (studio, as well as more and more low-light bar/restaurant portrait shots) and need a bit of advice as far as lens(es) for the 5Dii.
I always knew I would be moving to FF, so I've been using the 17-40 L on my 400D for all things landscape and as a general walk-about lens. I can't wait to get this lens onto a 5Dii body as I usually crave even wider field of view than it currently gives me on the 1.6 crop body, so this will very much become my 'wide landscapes' lens.
For portraits and low light stuff I have the plastic-fantastic 50mm 1.8 - it does okay for what it's worth, just not too keen on the feel of that lens compared to my L lens!

My budget for the upgrade is about £2000 (UK) - possibly a little more depending on how much this Xmas period is going to cost me...   ;D

So... I was simply going to buy the 5dii body only and just continue with my 2 lenses as before. However I'm very aware that I will only have a max focal length of 50mm, which might not be long enough, so have been toying with the idea of the 24-105 L Kit as it will extend my range. I would however also like to upgrade the 50mm to the 1.4 version as I'm really not fond of the idea of putting the 1.8 on the 5Dii. It may sound silly to some, but to me that would be like by buying a Mercedes and then sticking cheap & nasty tyres and alloys on it - it just ain't right!

What would you do given the budget? Maybe not bother with the 24-105 and go for a couple of primes instead? 50mm 1.4 + 85 1.8? 24-70 L 2.8 maybe? Although I'm really put off by the massive size and weight of that lens, plus it would really stretch my budget to the max...

Thanks in advance & a very Merry Christmas to you all!

Hi there,

The 17-40 should indeed work well for your landscape needs. Getting the 24-105 with the 5DII seems like an obvious choice given how good of a deal it is as a package. It really is a great lens and I say that as somebody who otherwise prefers primes and fast lenses.

Not sure how this pans out for you with your budget and how much you'll have actually left in a body only scenario. In a studio setting the 24-105 is a great lens as well. In low-light/bar/candid situation it may or may not work. I used it during (very) low light live music situations lately and I am positively surprised by the results the high(ish) ISO capabilities of the 5DII and the IS actually can work. The later won't help you with motion blur obviously so it all depends. The 24-70 may serve you better for certain things. But maybe not.

Primes are clearly the obvious choice here and there are quite a few alternatives there depending on which focal length you want to cover (first) and what fits into the budget. I personally skipped the 70-200 zoom option that so many people like these days and went with the 50 1.4 and the 200 2.8L II. I'll be adding the 135L next. All of these are extremely good, relatively light - and relatively affordable. Any 85 lens may be a good choice as well. Or maybe even a fast lens with a wider angle, like a fast 35 or so.

Good luck.
5DII - 50L - 135L - 200 2.8L - 24-105 - 580EXII - 430EXII - FD 500/8 - AE1-p - bag full of FD lenses

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Re: New to Full Frame - some help with lens(es)?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2011, 09:22:01 AM »