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Author Topic: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2  (Read 2982 times)

McDonut

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Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« on: February 02, 2012, 10:59:49 AM »
I have a 40D and I use it to shoot my kids and family events as well as landscape photography.  For lenses, I have the following:

- Canon 50mm f/1.4
- Canon 17-40mm f/4 L
- Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS

I am considering the following upgrades but can’t afford all of them right now – Would appreciate your thoughts on which you think would be the most important to accomplish first.

Camera Body- Like many on here, I would like to have a full frame body- both for effect for my landscape photos as well as increased sensor size and what I expect to be an increased dynamic range and better high iso performance.  I am also very interested in lens micro-adjustment that the 40D doesn’t have (but I realize that I could get that on a 7D as well)- my 50 1.4 could use it.  The combination of these factors made me think that the 5DMII would be the best choice for a new body.  Because of the focusing issues that I have heard of on this forum and elsewhere on the internet and the possible near term unveiling of the 5DMIII, I am thinking of waiting for the unveiling of the next FF Canon body to see whether the bump in price will be worth the feature upgrades.  I have the luxury of waiting to see what happens as I use the camera solely as a hobby and not for my income. 

17-40- Love it for landscape thus far but am very limited in low light.  My kids are 5 and 8 and the lighting conditions for candid shots are seldom ideal and often in low light and f4 gives me the choice of either (i) getting a blurry shot or (ii) going to a very high iso speed which gives me a noisy shot.  I am thinking of choosing the 16-35 (which is the other that I considered when I bought the 17-40- should have just spent the money then…)  or the 24 f/1.4L. The 16-35 gets me a wider aperture and the convenience of zoom.  The 24 would seem to solve all of my low light issues and be perfect if I could live without the convenience of zoom.  I hear that the 35 f/1.4L has better image quality than the 24, but I like my 50 f/1.4 just fine and the difference of only 15mm between the 50 and the 35 make me think that they would be too close and also I wouldn’t want 35mm to be my widest lens (and I can’t afford both the 24 and the 35).  Has anyone out there gone solely with a wide prime for candid shots and wished that they’d kept the zoom instead?

70-300 IS- I use this lens the least.  Partly because it is f/4 at its widest and then quickly goes to f/5.6.  I usually only use this lens to take shots of my kids playing sports.  But because I really want those shots (and those shots of my kids are the most important use for all of this camera equipment in my wife's opinion), I think that I need to hang on to this for now- especially if I move to a full frame camera body (I may have to sell my 40D to afford the 5DMII or 5DMIII depending on the price point).  But I am also interested in the 135 f/2.  I would love to upgrade to this image quality and low light capability for portraits and close distance sports photos of my kids.  But it doesn’t sound like this lens (either on a crop body or a FF body) can be counted on to take sports shots for things like baseball, football, etc. – on a FF, it doesn’t seem like enough zoom and on a crop, the lack of IS would be a problem.  Are there folks out there who have found the 135 to be useful for sports on a FF or crop body?

Finally, where do you all purchase your used equipment in the US?  Ebay?

Any suggestions or opinions would be really helpful.  I am certain some of my conclusions are probably wrong and would love to hear what folks think- Including if you think that I should stick with everything that I have now and just go out and shoot.  Thanks very much.

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Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« on: February 02, 2012, 10:59:49 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 11:24:37 AM »
On a 40D, get the 17-55mm EF-S.  Better than the 17-40L, and since it has IS, you will get more keepers than with a 16-35mm L .

Upgrade your 70-300mm zoom to a 70-200mm f/4L IS or a 70-300mm L  I use a 15-85mm EF-s as a walk-around on my 7D, I sold my 17-55mm when I sold my 40D, and I have a 5D MK II for low light and wide, so it works great for my use.

McDonut

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 11:47:31 AM »
Thanks- what do you use for low light and wide on your 5dMkII?  I thought that you couldn't use ef-s lenses on a full frame body.

danski0224

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 12:12:51 PM »
Thanks- what do you use for low light and wide on your 5dMkII?  I thought that you couldn't use ef-s lenses on a full frame body.

16-35II

That said, f2.8 isn't the same as f1.4. Big difference.

f1.4 would be a prime lens, 24 or 35mm for wide and low light.
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Crapking

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 12:24:39 PM »
But I am also interested in the 135 f/2.  I would love to upgrade to this image quality and low light capability for portraits and close distance sports photos of my kids.  But it doesn’t sound like this lens (either on a crop body or a FF body) can be counted on to take sports shots for things like baseball, football, etc. – on a FF, it doesn’t seem like enough zoom and on a crop, the lack of IS would be a problem.  Are there folks out there who have found the 135 to be useful for sports on a FF or crop body?

Check out the 135L lens gallery to see some sports shots with 135 on a 7D-simply awesome! No problems w/o IS for fast-moving sports, I was worried about the same thing, but with practice and high shutter speeds not a big issue, though a monopod does help.

I now also shoot with a 1dIV, but most times I put the 135 on the 7D to take advantage of the extra stop (f2) and use my 24-70 on the 1dIV. I  do love the 135 on a crop for any inside action.  If outside sports are more likely, then the aforementioned 70-200/4 may make more sense (more reach, more flexibility if only 1 body).
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35/1.4, 40/2.8; 50/1.2, 85/1.2, 135/2; 200/2

AprilForever

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 12:46:02 PM »
Get a 7D and use the savings on a 70-200 2.8!
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jm345

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 01:47:50 PM »
Keep the 40D (and consider upgrading to the 7D). Sell the 17-40 and replace it with the 17-55f/2.8 IS. Sell the 50mm f/1.4 and replace it with the 85f/1.8. Sell the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and get the 135f/2L.

or

Go full frame and sell the 17-40 and replace it with the 24-70f/2.8L. Sell the 50f/1.4 and replace it with the 85f/1.8. Sell the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and get the 135f/2L and the 1.4x Extender.

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 01:47:50 PM »

outsider

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 01:58:00 PM »
I am currently in a similar boat McDonut.
I own a 40D and a few lenses and was deciding if I should wait for the 5dmk3 to come out or just get a mk2, while on a limited hobby budget.

I decided to get a 5dmk2 now. First off, when the mk3 will be released, it will likely be twice the price of what you can get a used mk2.
And then I can upgrade to a mk3 at a later point when I have more cash.
I am selling my 40D, Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and a Sigma 30mm f1.4 (both of which only work on ASP-C sensor camera) since I won't need them on a full frame body.  Between them and the body I have almost all I need to pay for a used 5dmk2.

I own the 135f2, and it is an amazing lens. I've used it numerous times on the 40D, and even wide open it's sharp as a tack.

On the wide end, I mainly used the Sigma 30mm f1.4 as the walk around lens. Very sharp and great (for my shooting style) for low light portraits.

I've bought all my gear used from craigslist and local classifieds (in canada), and have not been disappointed yet. There's lots of great deals out there. Just be thorough with your inspection of the equipment that you buy.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 02:00:39 PM by outsider »

codewizpt

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 02:22:09 PM »
Not having the right answer for you, I will tell you my upgrade:
I had:
550D + 17-40 + 35 f2 + 50 f1.4 + 70-200 f4 NON IS
Invested in the body:
550D --> 5D II
Sold the 17-40 and the 70-200 and bought the 135mm f2.

Couldn't be happier. Ok, I could, but I think I'm very well equiped.

135mm f2 is addictive!!!!

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yyz

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 02:37:52 PM »
Same boat too: Got the following 4 years ago in anticipation of good FF in the future (1Dx would be ideal except for the price tag!):
40D
17-55s IS (awsome pic quality, IS major advantage), 90% pics taken with this lens
24 1.4 (like it for low light but at 1.4 sharpness and DOF are issues)
50 1.4 (OK lens)
80 1.8 (never use it - always take 135L, will sell it)
135L (awesome - my absolute favorite though the 17-55 takes more pics as walk around, see below)
300 4L (beset I could afford for birds)
teleconverter 1.4x
plus flashes 580 and two 430

135L: My absolute best lens tac shart from 2.0, a pleasure to work with! Has used it for lots of sports including indoor pro WTA tennis at courtside. I felt my pics compared to the published ones from the pros sitting next to me (I borrowed a 7D for the occation). Using it on a FF should not be different in principle - you can do the same cropping afterwards as is done by the smaller sensor, but could I afford it I'd like the 200 2.0 or 300 2.8.

I have taken lots of great close-ups of the kids and family with the 135 indoor. You get so far away that you don't disturb much.

I find IS so great that my planned upgrade together with FF to 24-70 2.8 (would never consisder 4.0) is disturbed by the lack of IS, so I still cross my fingers that rumors about non-IS on mark II are wrong.

I will surely concsider the 5DmkIII/x if frame rate is 7+ and ISO gets good reviews. Else I may still wait or get a used 7D in the waiting period.

jwong

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 02:58:23 PM »
You might be better off considering a 70-200 f/2.8 first because the 70-300 is the least useful to you.  It's 1-2 stops faster than your 70-300.  I use it with ISO 1600 on my 1.6x body for indoor shows and indoor/outdoor sports, and its value and versatility will only increase when you move full frame later (now useful for portraits and you gain higher ISOs for indoor use).  If you go this route, you can trade in the 70-300 and then pick up an entender later if you need more reach.

Faster primes increase shutter speeds but you lose depth of field.  That might be OK if you're shooting 1 kid, but it makes getting both in focus difficult.  Switching to 17-40 to the 16-35 gains you 1 stop, but that might not still be enough when the light gets dim.  At that point, a dedicated flash is the only real option in keeping the DOF and shutter speeds reasonable.  Oftentimes, bouncing light of walls/ceiling is more pleasant looking than direct flash.

Taking pictures of active kids indoors is hard.  I use the 17-55 more because it's more versatile, but I use the 35 when I'm focusing on 1 kid at a time or when ambient light is getting dim.  It is similar to the 50, and I wouldn't suggest replacing the 50 with the 35 because that would leave you a large gap.  If anything, the next step after the 70-200 would be upgrading the body and turning your 50 f/1.4 back into a true 50mm.  Then you can evaluate as to whether or not it makes sense to get a wide prime.

elflord

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 06:46:13 PM »
Camera Body- Like many on here, I would like to have a full frame body- both for effect for my landscape photos as well as increased sensor size and what I expect to be an increased dynamic range and better high iso performance. 

Full frame also gives you shallower depth of field. It's like turning your f/1.4 lens into an f/.9 lens.

Quote
17-40- Love it for landscape thus far but am very limited in low light.  My kids are 5 and 8 and the lighting conditions for candid shots are seldom ideal and often in low light and f4 gives me the choice of either (i) getting a blurry shot or (ii) going to a very high iso speed which gives me a noisy shot. 

Fine for landscapes but especially for portraits on a crop, not the best lens for taking pics of kids (a faster lens would be better)

Quote
Has anyone out there gone solely with a wide prime for candid shots and wished that they’d kept the zoom instead?

I sold my 15-85 and just used a 35mm f/2 and the 50mm f/1.4. The zoom is more versatile in focal length range, but not in aperture range ! I didn't miss the zoom at all. On a crop camera, 35mm is very useful because it's your "standard length" lens. I'd recommend the 35mm f/2 if the L lenses are budget breakers.

Quote
But I am also interested in the 135 f/2.  I would love to upgrade to this image quality and low light capability for portraits and close distance sports photos of my kids.  But it doesn’t sound like this lens (either on a crop body or a FF body) can be counted on to take sports shots for things like baseball, football, etc. – on a FF, it doesn’t seem like enough zoom and on a crop, the lack of IS would be a problem.  Are there folks out there who have found the 135 to be useful for sports on a FF or crop body?

I have the 135. I use it primarily as an outdoor portrait lens. For sports, lack of IS for sports shooting shouldn't be a problem -- you will want to shoot at fast shutter speeds because of subject matter.

I don't really see it as a low light portrait lens, because it needs relatively fast shutter speeds -- an 85mm f/1.4 or faster makes more sense for low light as you get an extra stop and you can shoot at a slightly lower shutter speed. It is however a great performer for portraits because it is tack sharp wide open and blurs the background out nicely. On crop of course the 50mm is very good as a low light portrait lens. 

Quote
Finally, where do you all purchase your used equipment in the US?  Ebay?

I use fredmiranda.com

My path was:
Rebel XS + 50mm f/1.4 + 15-85mm
sold 15-85mm, bought 35mm f/2. The 35 became my walkaround , the 50mm my portrait lens.

sold  rebel XS, bought 5D Mark II, 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2.

The 50mm f/1.4 has got the most use of my lenses, though the Sigma 85mm is getting a lot of time on the 5D Mark II (same fov as 50mm on crop)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 06:49:50 PM by elflord »

te4o

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 08:17:06 AM »
Same thing with me: 40D and waiting... Silly situation, but probably worth the wait.
I had the 17-55 on the 40D, and the 10-22 Sigma (or was it 10-20) and did a long tour through New Zealand. Shot >1500 pictures. Came back, and WOW, what a difference to the kit lenses before. All in RAW but barely touched in those days (2008-9), just a bit of crop etc on Aperture.
Well, take my advice if you want: Now I try to do postprocessing on these shots and... my god, what a pain in... - these lenses are just crap compared to my four primes from Zeiss. On the same 40D I do real PP and the sensor lives up. The 17-55 and the 10-20 just can't go there, no sharpness, no colour, no reserve for PP...
Beware of buying EF-S lenses before going FF and beware of spending money on strange zoom products - better to have one or two good primes than this compromise of the early years.
I regret ever starting with Canon lenses. Seemingly only the 70-200 range (4IS or even more 2.8II) is worth the money in the current zoom market. I still keep my 70-200/4 IS but even this one makes just muddy shots as compared to the CZ 100f2.
Sorry to be so direct on this Canon forum but this is my experience.  I am not a pro but you are neither, so similar situation.
5D3 (04/12), Carl Zeiss ZE 21, 35/1.4, 50MP, 100MP
Canon 135/2, Sigma 85/1.4
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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 08:17:06 AM »

RedEye

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 08:50:53 AM »
Just Picked up the 135M/F2.0 - Excellent Lens.  If your family does any sort of sports or even normal action shots for kids, this lense is awesome, even for my t2i. 


McDonut

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 07:43:29 PM »
Thanks so much to everyone for their input.  I purchased the 135 f/2 today based on the suggestions- I sort of rushed the decision as it was the last day of the lens rebates.  I also looked at the 70-200 based on the suggestions that I received in the responses above.  I love the convenience of the zoom and my test photos looked great, but I wanted to not give up a stop- wanted to take advantage of the f/2 aperture.

On a side note, tried to trade in my 70- 300 but they offered me what seemed like peanuts.  So I am either going to sell it on eBay or Craigslist or maybe keep that and the 40d (I assume that they will offer me peanuts in trade for that as well if I ever step up to a FF 5dii/iii) and use those just for sunny day outdoor sports where the 135 might not have the desired reach.

Anyway, everyone's input really helped. thanks again. The wait for the 5diii continues...

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Re: Upgrade choices- full frame; wide prime or zoom; 135f/2
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 07:43:29 PM »