December 22, 2014, 02:59:20 AM

Poll

Which lens should I choose?

24-70 f/2.8L
5 (50%)
17-55 f/2.8 IS
5 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Author Topic: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]  (Read 10043 times)

JoshObra

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Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« on: December 16, 2010, 04:22:53 AM »
Hello CR and this is my first post here. :]

Well I've had this dilemma since like January 2010, like no joke I've been reading reviews, comparisons and opinions on bodies and lenses for Canon and Nikon for almost a year already.

One thing is for sure, I'm sticking with Canon. Easy controls, competitive lenses, and it's red... I like red.

I don't shoot professionally, but I do would like to upgrade my current set that I've had for two years already. A Canon Rebel XTi + kit and 50mm f/1.8 II. I like to do a lot of indoor shots (Christmas parties, at home, etc) without a speedlite and it's low lighting in some cases.

I have about $2,700 in my camera savings and I really need help (I'm really going psycho about this) on which lens to choose from.. so is there anyone out there than can convince me to choose a lens before Christmas?

The 24-70: It's an L lens. I might upgrade to full frame in the future (about a year from now or when the 5D3 pops out to complement my low light needs as a FF) but I'm kind of used to the cropped focal range plus I don't always take wide shots (or 18mm on my kit, and 24mm on my kit seems wide enough for me on a crop and I could always walk back and forth) of my subjects. I do use my far end a little more often, but I really don't like switching from my prime to kit constantly so I need the versatile lens. The only thing that is stopping me from buying this lens right now is the IS. After reading CR for a while it seems that the rumors of the IS version has been anticipated for over two years already, but the rumor has been recently very active lately so I believe a newer version is immanent. The 24-70 replaced the 28-70mm after nine years (1993-2002) and coincidentally it is going to be nine years again from the time the 24-70 was released (2002-2011?). I think I did my math right there.

The 17-55: It has IS and is always recommended for crop users based from other users. It's about $200 cheaper than the L but I could go the extra mile to get the L so I wouldn't have to sell this lens and lose money in the long run. I'm actually burnt from typing the first half of this topic, but I'll come back to this later.

As for the bodies on my future upgrade after buying either lenses, I'm thinking about getting a 7D or 5D2. I'd go for the 60D but it looks so awkward to me that I'd rather get a 50D but they're roughly the same price as the 60D nowadays.

I'll come back to this in the morning, I'm really getting sleeping now. Haha. Sorry. But you guys get my point right? Which one should I get basically.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 04:24:27 AM by JoshObra »

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Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« on: December 16, 2010, 04:22:53 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010, 06:09:03 AM »
After reading CR for a while it seems that the rumors of the IS version has been anticipated for over two years already, but the rumor has been recently very active lately so I believe a newer version is immanent.

The rumor was pretty active in 2009, and in early 2010 it was a CR2 "source said take this one to the bank" rumor.  Still no 24-70mm f/28L IS.

The bottom line is that if you want/need a lens (or body) now, don't wait for what's coming.  Even when something is no longer a rumor, that doesn't mean it'll be available on schedule.  Look at the fisheye zoom (8-15mm) and the supertele updates (300/2.8 II, 400/2.8 II) - they were announced in August 2010 with availability "in December" for the superteles and "in January" for the fisheye zoom.  Those dates have now been pushed back to March 2011 (and will they slip again).  If you need it now, buy it now.

IMO, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is the best general purpose zoom lens for a crop body.  It's one of three EF-S lenses with optical quality equivalent to L-series lenses (the other two are the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6, which is too slow for the use you describe, and the EF-S 10-22mm ultrawide angle zoom).  The IS is a big help, but do keep in mind that it only helps with still subjects.

I'm thinking about getting a 7D or 5D2.

Both are excellent cameras.  To be honest, for the type of shooting you describe (indoor, ambient) the 5DII is the better choice.  The problem is that your budget of $2700 will cover the body but not a lens, and since your EF-S kit lens won't work on FF you'd be stuck with the 50/1.8 as your only lens choice.  Not ideal (but certainly 'old school'!).  The 'kit lens' for the 5DII - the 24-105mm f/4L IS - is quite good.  Since sensor size (the 'crop factor') affects not only focal length but also apparent aperture (depth of field) and ISO noise, the truth is that the 24-105mm f/4 on a FF body specs out better than the 17-55mm f/2.8 on a crop body (i.e. the FF equivalent of that EF-S lens is a 27-88mm f/4.5 lens and the better ISO performance of FF makes up for the exposure difference in shutter speed).  So, you may be better off saving up for the 5DII + 24-105mm f/4L IS!

However, the 7D is a great camera - the king of the crop cameras.  With the current double-rebate, the 7D + 17-55mm f/2.8 IS comes to ~$2550 (including the hood - get the hood!), leaving a little left over for something like a decent tripod, etc.

Good luck with your decision!
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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2010, 06:21:20 AM »
Hi Josh,

Good job on going Canon (Y)

I'm in a similar position but have pretty much decided on getting the 17-55 when I buy my 7D after Xmas! :D

From what I've read, IQ between the two lenses (17-55 and 24-70) is comparable. My walkaround lens is the EF-S 15-85, which is much slower obviously, but I found the IQ between that and a hired 24-70 pretty even too - in essence I wasn't "blown away" by the 24-70.

24mm isn't particularly wide on a crop (and not wide enough for me) - however your own personal needs might be different. I'd also benefit from the IS offered, and the lack of weather sealing isn't important to me.

I'm in the "might upgrade to FF" as well, but the 5d3 and 24-70IS could be 1, 3, 12 months away. Who knows! I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, and I'm pretty confident of the 17-55 holding it's value reasonably well.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble - just to say that my own preference is for the 17-55. And I'll put the cash saved towards a new Speedlite or prime!

Good luck!
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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 08:09:07 AM »
From what I've read, IQ between the two lenses (17-55 and 24-70) is comparable.

Actually, when used on the same 1.6x camera the 17-55mm f/2.8 actually outperforms the 24-70mm f/2.8L in some ways - it's sharper, has less CA.  In other ways - vignetting wide open and barrel distortion at the wide end - the 24-70mm wins because of the 'sweet spot' effect of using an EF lens on a crop body (those effects are worse in the corners which are cropped away).  In either case, the barrel distortion is not bad and vignetting and CA are easy fixes in post (DPP automatically corrects for them); but, the sharpness makes a difference because you can't add detail that wasn't captured in the image.
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ablearcher

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2010, 05:49:21 PM »
Both lenses are great and both, obviously,  have their own advantages. But.  Reading about your style of shooting (low light, indoors, parties, home, etc.) I think you will be better off with a nice prime and 35L immediately comes to mind. IMO, 2.8 (wide open) is simply not good enough for low light. OK, it might be fine, but not great and quite far from what 35L with its 1.4 is capable of. And just think of a beautiful combo of 35L with FF body!

Sorry I did not really contribute to the comparison of lenses in question, but I know from my experience - sometimes we get fixated on a couple of lenses instead of thinking about the actual shooting conditions/the actual best tool for the task. Sure, if versatility is very important, then primes might not be the best choice by definition. I suggest renting these lenses and looking at the results.

 Just my 2c  :)
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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2010, 07:15:58 PM »
You are making the right choice by getting either of the two lenses ;);).

I had the 24-70L and now I have the 17-55.
The build quality of the 17-55 is not on the same level as the 24-70L.
Image quality is a draw - the 17-55 is sharper but the 24-70L has slightly better colors, IMO.
The 24-70L also feels massive compared to the 17-55.

At the end, the focal range of the 17-55 works much better for me.
So, even though I had to clean my 17-55 once because of the dust issue, I still prefer it for a crop camera.
YMMV.

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2010, 09:53:05 PM »
You are making the right choice by getting either of the two lenses ;);).

I had the 24-70L and now I have the 17-55.
The build quality of the 17-55 is not on the same level as the 24-70L.
Image quality is a draw - the 17-55 is sharper but the 24-70L has slightly better colors, IMO.
The 24-70L also feels massive compared to the 17-55.

At the end, the focal range of the 17-55 works much better for me.
So, even though I had to clean my 17-55 once because of the dust issue, I still prefer it for a crop camera.
YMMV.

I tried five different 24-70mm lenses on my 40D.  None were all that wonderful, and images were often blurry from movement.  It only took me one 17-55mm IS to see the advantage, better focal length range, easier to balance, and razor sharp images every time.

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2010, 09:53:05 PM »

JoshObra

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2010, 04:59:52 AM »
Thanks for the reply guys and sorry for the late reply by me, but I've been checking this thread until I came up with a good reply to all.

You are making the right choice by getting either of the two lenses ;);).

I had the 24-70L and now I have the 17-55.
The build quality of the 17-55 is not on the same level as the 24-70L.
Image quality is a draw - the 17-55 is sharper but the 24-70L has slightly better colors, IMO.
The 24-70L also feels massive compared to the 17-55.

At the end, the focal range of the 17-55 works much better for me.
So, even though I had to clean my 17-55 once because of the dust issue, I still prefer it for a crop camera.
YMMV.

Speaking of the dust issues, that really does scare me a bit because my house does get a little dusty (maybe a good millimeters worth) when I haven't cleaned the house for a while. But would having a filter prevent the lens from capturing dust when it zooms in and out (from what I've read that's where it came from)?

Browsing through Flickr I do notice that the colors on the 24-70 seems more colorful, but it could always be post processed anyways. I'm a pixel peeper myself and I do would like sharp and colorful. :]

I'm still quite iffy about the focal range myself, would I really need the 17mm or 24mm would be just enough? Well, I do kind of prefer to keep less things in my frame just to keep my pictures simple rather than taking it all in and get cluttered sometimes. Plus I haven't tried going as far as 70mm yet but I've had some instances where my 55mm on my kit was barely not enough for me.

I tried five different 24-70mm lenses on my 40D.  None were all that wonderful, and images were often blurry from movement.  It only took me one 17-55mm IS to see the advantage, better focal length range, easier to balance, and razor sharp images every time.

Wow, well that turns it all around for me. I think I might have to agree with you that the 24-70 is not as sharp on a crop body for some odd reason (compared it on Flickr as well).

I also wish that could at least post a comparison of both lenses on a crop body at the same focal length.

One other thing aside from this topic, I was thinking about also going into the creative lighting now but I don't know which speedlite to start with. Should I get the 580EX II or a 430EX II? I was really leaning onto the 430EX II because it's cheaper, but I'm not sure if it'll cover my needs if I wanted to bounce of ceilings off of whoevers house (big or small) or with a use a lightsphere/bouncer.

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2010, 11:37:22 AM »
Hi,

I use the 430EXii. Sure the 580 has better coverage but the 430 is adequate for my needs, and yes you can bounce/swivel with it. The one thing which you would miss from it is the ability to use it as a "master" flash to control other speedlites off camera with ETTL. This may or may not be an issue for you!

Ref. another poster's suggestion about using a prime; agreed f2.8 isn't all that fast for indoor photography, but as your initial post was focussed on zooms only I didn't mention any. If you find that your 50mm f1.8 is fast enough but too narrow, i can recommend the Sigma 30mm f1.4 which is what i use for most of my indoor work.

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JoshObra

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 12:44:52 AM »
Hi,

I use the 430EXii. Sure the 580 has better coverage but the 430 is adequate for my needs, and yes you can bounce/swivel with it. The one thing which you would miss from it is the ability to use it as a "master" flash to control other speedlites off camera with ETTL. This may or may not be an issue for you!

Ref. another poster's suggestion about using a prime; agreed f2.8 isn't all that fast for indoor photography, but as your initial post was focussed on zooms only I didn't mention any. If you find that your 50mm f1.8 is fast enough but too narrow, i can recommend the Sigma 30mm f1.4 which is what i use for most of my indoor work.

Alright, I guess that settles it for the speedlite. I'll order that online now while it's still on sale for the holidays but I'm still deciding over which lens to buy at the moment.

I could consider using primes, but I'm kinda the type of person that zooms in and out a lot. And yes the 50mm is too narrow for me indoors but it sure is my best bokeh lens.

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 12:16:05 PM »
If you have been waiting for a year trying to decide on a new lens, then consider that you might not really need one.  You are getting by fine with what you have. 

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2010, 07:08:15 PM »
I have been struggling with this exact same decision for the last 12 months.  And I do mean struggling with it.  I have finally chosen to purchase the 17-55.  The reason I haven't done this sooner was I was waiting to see if the 24-70 with IS would come out soon and what the price will be.  However, Canon has been raising prices on new lenses significantly.  For example look at the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II - big jump.  I would expect the same for a new 24-70.

I actually rented both lenses from LensRental.com at the same time.  I soooo much wanted to love the 24-70 more than the 17-55, because it was an L lens - and I really wanted an L lens.  At the end of the day, I took much better pictures with the 17-55.  I determined it was largely due to the IS, and at that point I decided I wouldn't purchase a lens without IS (hence waiting for the new 24-70 w/ IS).  Also, the 17-55 was much lighter and smaller on the camera.  I felt like I was carrying around a brick with the 24-70 - so for casual everyday indoor use - that was going to get old after a while.  So as much as I wanted to like the 24-70 more, I had to be honest and admit it wasn't even close - the 17-55 was better for me. (I also rented the 24-105 F/4L IS and I liked that better then the 24-70 as well - better range, has IS and it is just 1 stop slower).

Other considerations - The ISO on your camera body.   Honestly, I don't think even a f/2.8 is going to do it for you with your current body - you will need higher usable ISO to shoot indoor party shots without flash.  The new bodies - even the T2i has ISO up to 6400.  (I hear the 60D is also a very good camera.)  I find ISO 3200 is very usable on my 7D.  Think about how many stops you need to get the shots you want, and at what shutter speed is good enough.  With good IS you can get away with hand-held shots much below 1/60th.  You could get a T2i or 60D and a 17-55 f/2.8 for under $2k and the combo of the faster lens, the higher ISO capability, and the IS on the lens should be just fine for what you are doing.  I also agree with the previous poster about going with the 5DII and 24-105 - if you want to wait to spend that much money, that is clearly a much nicer setup.

As far as getting a lens that will work on a Full Frame camera in the future  - I say buy the lens for what you need now.  Technology changes too fast.  You can't predict what will be exactly right for you 1 year from now.   All good Canon lenses hold their value.  The 17-55 is a good lens and will hold its value.  If you keep your crop camera and add a full frame to your collection, then you will want to keep the lens anyway.  If you sell the camera, then you can seel the lens as well.

As far as the dust issue - it is real and from what I have read, the dust comes in from the front lens element.  Some copies of the lens are sealed better than others at the front element.  If you are OK with using a UV filter on the lens, you won't have an issue with dust.  I put filters on all my lenses to protect them.  Some people don't like them.

I ended up purchasing a 7D 2 months ago and held off on the lens decision wanting to see how the higher ISO worked for me (the decision at this point was between the 17-55 or the 24-105).  I was taking candid shots of my Son's pre-prom dinner with the 18-55 kit lens I have, and realized that the focal lenght worked well, the extra stop was needed, and for all-around use the 17-55 was the best lens for me.
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JoshObra

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 03:55:24 AM »
If you have been waiting for a year trying to decide on a new lens, then consider that you might not really need one.  You are getting by fine with what you have.

Well I was originally settling in on getting the 24-70 around July before I went to vacation at Orlando, Florida this year because I honestly think my current lens couldn't keep up (18-55 non-IS) with the XTi indoors/night with even under a decent amount of light and max ISO of 1600 which is also very noisy unless I switched to my 50mm f/1.8 but turns out a bit too narrow at times wishing I could zoom in and out on demand. So I didn't really get to shoot as much at night and indoors... Honestly the setting I use is Av mode with all my lenses.

I have been struggling with this exact same decision for the last 12 months.  And I do mean struggling with it.  I have finally chosen to purchase the 17-55.  The reason I haven't done this sooner was I was waiting to see if the 24-70 with IS would come out soon and what the price will be.  However, Canon has been raising prices on new lenses significantly.  For example look at the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II - big jump.  I would expect the same for a new 24-70.

I actually rented both lenses from LensRental.com at the same time.  I soooo much wanted to love the 24-70 more than the 17-55, because it was an L lens - and I really wanted an L lens.  At the end of the day, I took much better pictures with the 17-55.  I determined it was largely due to the IS, and at that point I decided I wouldn't purchase a lens without IS (hence waiting for the new 24-70 w/ IS).  Also, the 17-55 was much lighter and smaller on the camera.  I felt like I was carrying around a brick with the 24-70 - so for casual everyday indoor use - that was going to get old after a while.  So as much as I wanted to like the 24-70 more, I had to be honest and admit it wasn't even close - the 17-55 was better for me. (I also rented the 24-105 F/4L IS and I liked that better then the 24-70 as well - better range, has IS and it is just 1 stop slower).

Other considerations - The ISO on your camera body.   Honestly, I don't think even a f/2.8 is going to do it for you with your current body - you will need higher usable ISO to shoot indoor party shots without flash.  The new bodies - even the T2i has ISO up to 6400.  (I hear the 60D is also a very good camera.)  I find ISO 3200 is very usable on my 7D.  Think about how many stops you need to get the shots you want, and at what shutter speed is good enough.  With good IS you can get away with hand-held shots much below 1/60th.  You could get a T2i or 60D and a 17-55 f/2.8 for under $2k and the combo of the faster lens, the higher ISO capability, and the IS on the lens should be just fine for what you are doing.  I also agree with the previous poster about going with the 5DII and 24-105 - if you want to wait to spend that much money, that is clearly a much nicer setup.

As far as getting a lens that will work on a Full Frame camera in the future  - I say buy the lens for what you need now.  Technology changes too fast.  You can't predict what will be exactly right for you 1 year from now.   All good Canon lenses hold their value.  The 17-55 is a good lens and will hold its value.  If you keep your crop camera and add a full frame to your collection, then you will want to keep the lens anyway.  If you sell the camera, then you can seel the lens as well.

As far as the dust issue - it is real and from what I have read, the dust comes in from the front lens element.  Some copies of the lens are sealed better than others at the front element.  If you are OK with using a UV filter on the lens, you won't have an issue with dust.  I put filters on all my lenses to protect them.  Some people don't like them.

I ended up purchasing a 7D 2 months ago and held off on the lens decision wanting to see how the higher ISO worked for me (the decision at this point was between the 17-55 or the 24-105).  I was taking candid shots of my Son's pre-prom dinner with the 18-55 kit lens I have, and realized that the focal lenght worked well, the extra stop was needed, and for all-around use the 17-55 was the best lens for me.

Thanks papa-razzi, your testimonial has been taken up for granted. It shall be done and I won't look back. I'll be getting the 17-55 IS + 7D + 480EX II which comes out to about $2679 with the holiday sale at this website I go to but I don't know if I'm allowed to mention. Just about right in budget and fresh new everything that'll hopefully keep me away from another review site for at least two years. As much as I really want to own an L-lens, it's just a red ring that is more than likely eye candy for robbers when I take a vacation in Philippines. But I'd really like to brag about having this lens, haha.

I was actually shooting with my kit lens today at my sisters 12th birthday party at home and I was really amazed on how often I used the wide end of my lens. So 17mm is definitely sufficient enough. I tried out putting my lens at 24mm and it was a bit not wide enough from about six to eight feet away I could only fit about 4-5 kids on my frame, and there were a lot of them in one spot playing on the Wii so there were sure some subjects that didn't make it to the frame. So this simple test in an actual scenario did help me choose what to get. It's just a real shame though that it's too late to order before Christmas day so I'll have to stick with my current gear.

Actually I'm iffy about the body now.. its down to either the 60D or 7D because I kind of liked how the 7D had more AF points and speed plus that dedicated raw/jpeg button is nice to have around. The 60D.. not so much wow factor for me at the moment but the 7D is like machine gun. So who could convince me which body is better to have? Haha.

I actually do wanted to try wireless flash so should I just stick with the 430EX II or jump to the 580EX II?

Also, is it normal for Canon to end their current rebates a couple days before CES ends? Just wondering.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 04:53:00 AM by JoshObra »

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 03:55:24 AM »

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 04:21:00 AM »
The 7D can control Speedlites wirelessly via the pop-up flash anyway so either the 580 or 430 as a slave would work with that. I *think* the 60D has the same feature however am not sure - I think someone else more experienced on this board could help you with that.

I shoot with (only) a 500D, and use some cheap ebay radio triggers for wireless flash which work great - manual only though.
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JoshObra

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 04:29:31 AM »
The 7D can control Speedlites wirelessly via the pop-up flash anyway so either the 580 or 430 as a slave would work with that. I *think* the 60D has the same feature however am not sure - I think someone else more experienced on this board could help you with that.

I shoot with (only) a 500D, and use some cheap ebay radio triggers for wireless flash which work great - manual only though.

Quick research. The 60D does have wireless speedlight control but also does not have a flash sync socket (not sure how that works since I never used a speedlight before but I'm willing to learn. :]). I think I'll end up using cheap radio triggers as well since pocket wizards are just too expensive for me. The 60D also does disappoint me in size since its smaller than the 50D and less(er) metal construction.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 04:34:52 AM by JoshObra »

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Re: Yet another help me choose a lens topic. [24-70 vs 17-55]
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 04:29:31 AM »