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Author Topic: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated  (Read 18026 times)

dirtcastle

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2012, 03:53:47 AM »
I would recommend starting by picking the ONE lens that gets you most excited. For some it is the dreamy 85L. For others it is the amazing versatility of the 100L macro. For many it is the all-around magic (and bargain) of the 135L.

Pick that one lens, and then work the rest of your quiver around it. Don't get fooled into thinking that three lenses will ever give you perfect coverage. Because they won't. The reason why you got so many responses is that choosing lenses ALWAYS requires a compromise, even for those who have every lens (and sherpas to carry them).

Let's say you choose the 100L as your most exciting prime. In that case, it would probably make sense to decide between 24/50/100 or 24/100/180. If you went with that last one, I think most everyone on here would agree that it would make sense to get the 70-200 instead of the 180.

Aside from that, I usually just ditto what neuro says.

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2012, 03:53:47 AM »

Random Orbits

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2012, 07:37:39 AM »
For ambient light indoor portraits, faster lenses are really helpful -- f/2.8 is too slow when the light is dim.  Take your pick amongst the 35L, 50L or 85L based on your preferred focal length.  All three are great lenses.

Even if this might be contrary to some enthusiast's view "larger aperture is always better" ... is the 85L with a large open aperture really a fix for noisy sensors at bad lighting indoors?

This might be the case with the wider-angle 35L, but afaik the depth of field of the 85L is so thin (and f2.8 on my 100mm or f1.8 on 50mm is thin to begin with) that it's great for carefully composed artistic portraits, but it is a bit misleading to suggest for your average indoors (or portrait) shot "f2.8 with IS too slow? Just take f1.2!".

Sometimes you just don't have a choice because you can't control the lighting.  Shot my kids preschool show last night using a 70-200 f/2.8 on a 5DII at ISO 3200 and was only getting shutter times of about 1/30-1/60s most of the time.  I was in the second row, but the stage is large, so I couldn't use my fast 50mm prime, and my flash won't reach well.  If I'm only concerned about one subject, I'd gladly trade thinner DOF for speed.  Zooms give you composing options, primes give you DOF/shutter speed options.  It is up to the user to make that trade to determine what setting combination will produce the desired effect.

IIIHobbs

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2012, 12:24:52 PM »
CAMERA: 5D Mark III
USE: 80% Stills / 20% Video (70% indoor family, 15% landscape, 5% architecture, 5 % sports, 5% Macro). I dislike using flash

LENSES: Initially, I was thinking of (14+50+100), but then…
Either 14 f/2.8L or 24 f/1.4L II
Either 50 f/1.2L or 85 f/1.2L II
Either 100 f/2.8L Macro IS, or 180 f/3.5L Macro

EDIT:
I am otherwise extremely lazy, not a person who would like to upgrade too often. Knowing myself, when I buy, anything, I tend to get something that is unlikely to be upgraded by manufacturer too soon. I also tend to use my stuff a lot, but really look after them, so they last a long time

Based on what you told us at the beginning, Full Frame, Best in Class Glass, Primarily Indoor Shooting w/o Flash, you should consider the following trio (they are all sharp, light and fast with great AF speed):
24 f/1.4L II - This will suit your Interior, Architecture and Landscape needs beautifully.
50 f/1.2L - This will also suit your Interior, Architecture and Landscape needs beautifully, but with a different point of view (great for Video also).
135 f/2L - Though not on your list, this lens will easily support your Sports, Video and Macro needs very well and is a great portrait lens.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 12:29:00 PM by IIIHobbs »

Marsu42

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2012, 04:21:17 PM »
135 f/2L - Though not on your list, this lens will easily support your Sports, Video and Macro needs very well and is a great portrait lens.

When advising this for "macro", we need to clarify what "macro" really means: it's not shooting your average flower which you can certainly do with any 135L or 70-200L just fine, but "macro" is targeting 1:1 when the internal mechanism that only real macro lenses have goes to work, boosting magnification and sending the actual aperture down the drain. And for e.g. shooting an insect and resolving the distinct insect eyes, you need a real macro or a mpe65.

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2012, 05:15:41 PM »
135 f/2L - Though not on your list, this lens will easily support your Sports, Video and Macro needs very well and is a great portrait lens.
... you need a real macro or a mpe65.



MP-E65 is 20% Macro, 80% Micro  ;)  Macro's are 1:1 with little to no magnification.
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elflord

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2012, 05:58:06 PM »
Even if this might be contrary to some enthusiast's view "larger aperture is always better" ... is the 85L with a large open aperture really a fix for noisy sensors at bad lighting indoors?

This might be the case with the wider-angle 35L, but afaik the depth of field of the 85L is so thin (and f2.8 on my 100mm or f1.8 on 50mm is thin to begin with) that it's great for carefully composed artistic portraits, but it is a bit misleading to suggest for your average indoors (or portrait) shot "f2.8 with IS too slow? Just take f1.2!".

Depth of field doesn't just depend on aperture. For example, dof is very thin with an 85mm f/1.2 at 5ft (less than an inch) but at 15 foot the dof is almost a foot -- comparable to f/4 at 8 foot. So sometimes it can help you get more shutter speed.

However, if you need more depth of field, it's generally useful to have a flash. I suspect it's common for enthusiasts to go through an intermediate phase where they have figured out that point and shoot flashes are awful, but haven't yet figured out how flash, when used effectively (which generally means not blasting it directly in the subject's face), can improve both the quantity and quality of the lighting.

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2012, 06:13:10 PM »
Depth of field doesn't just depend on aperture. For example, dof is very thin with an 85mm f/1.2 at 5ft (less than an inch) but at 15 foot the dof is almost a foot -- comparable to f/4 at 8 foot. So sometimes it can help you get more shutter speed.

You're correct of course, I always mistake indoors for "close quarters" and portraits for closer-up distance, both generating a thin dof. But shooting group portraits, a large stage or a church do qualify as "indoors", too.

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2012, 06:13:10 PM »

IIIHobbs

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2012, 07:24:21 PM »
When advising this for "macro", we need to clarify what "macro" really means: it's not shooting your average flower which you can certainly do with any 135L or 70-200L just fine, but "macro" is targeting 1:1 when the internal mechanism that only real macro lenses have goes to work, boosting magnification and sending the actual aperture down the drain. And for e.g. shooting an insect and resolving the distinct insect eyes, you need a real macro or a mpe65.

Truth (not a Macro; agree).

With the percentage for Macro use listed as 5%, I suspect that the 100 and 180 Macro Lenses will be used much more often as standard telephoto lenses by the OP and therefore offered the 135 as an alternative for better performance in the greater area of use.

briansquibb

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2012, 10:00:33 PM »
When advising this for "macro", we need to clarify what "macro" really means: it's not shooting your average flower which you can certainly do with any 135L or 70-200L just fine, but "macro" is targeting 1:1 when the internal mechanism that only real macro lenses have goes to work, boosting magnification and sending the actual aperture down the drain. And for e.g. shooting an insect and resolving the distinct insect eyes, you need a real macro or a mpe65.

Truth (not a Macro; agree).

With the percentage for Macro use listed as 5%, I suspect that the 100 and 180 Macro Lenses will be used much more often as standard telephoto lenses by the OP and therefore offered the 135 as an alternative for better performance in the greater area of use.

I use my 180 for close up and macro for 95% of the time.

Just love the 135 though

Obaidey

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2012, 07:57:07 AM »
OK
Results
I took the plunge
Finally
Thank you for all your advice

After settling on buying my DSLR, 5D III, I was initially wondering which 3 primes to buy with it
So, I asked you for advice
I bought the 5D Mark III, as already planned
But, not body only
I bought it, with kit lens, following the advice of so many of forum members

Yes, you convinced me
The whole package cost me £2608, from e-infinity in Hong Kong (It included all duties and Tax), on eBay
That is around £1000 cheaper than Jessops
Here, is just under 2 minutes of silent video, showing the box unpacking, and includes a written description of my buying experience on YouTube
Please skip it if you are not a camera anorak, and get annoyed easily. It reminds me of watching paint dry.

 Bought from E-infinity. Box contents: Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 24-105 f/4L IS USM Kit lens صامت

As you know, initially, I was thinking of just buying primes
I asked for advice
And, a certain non-prime kept appearing in your messages
It was the Canon 24-105 f/4 L
I initially thought "f/4?, what? No way!"
Which shows you my ignorance, and the desperate need of the likes of me, to seek advice

What really clinched it for me, are 3 main things
1- As mentioned, the repeated suggestion of the 24-105 f/4, which was not even in my initial list. It kept coming up in many forum members replies
2- As a video lens, which I was planning to use as a significant proportion, you do not want to use a wide open lens. So, anything wider than f/4, will have a very narrow depth of field, and probably have only a part of subject in focus. Then,  with any movement, this will go out of focus. Especially that the 5D III (unlike the 650D, which is a bit surprising), does not autofocus on video mode  >:(  In addition, with video, you will not be able to tell the difference between top of range and a much cheaper lens, even in highest resolution HD (Note to self: 650D is probably a much better choice for video, with its swivel screen and autofocus on the move. Sadly, neither is available on 5D III, for unknown reasons)
3- This message, made a lot of sense
Honestly, my best advice, buy the kit 24-105, use it for a bit then decide what else you need
What a fantastic idea
As a beginner, I had no clue which focal length I will be using, most
So, with a 24-105 zoom, and after a while of use, I can check which focal length I was choosing most, then buy the relevant prime
I really wished that the 85mm, comes up as one of my frequent uses
Unfortunately, whenever I check, it seems to be around the 50mm, which I keep choosing again and again, unconsciously
There are other quotes that tempted me into buying the kit lens
So, thank you for all
I'd recommend getting the kit lens (a great value when bought with a body).
Get the 24-105mm L kit lens with your camera.  It is ideal for outdoor use and may become your most used lens.
I have to agree about the 24-105 - there is a reason why it is so popular (apart from being sold as a kit lens with the 5DIII) - because it is so versatile.

OK
I already bought my 5D III with 24-105 L Kit lens

A 100L Macro is on its way (bought from the same dealer, for £569)

A 50/1.2L may be the next step

For video, who knows, I may buy a 650D (or 700D next year), and stick my 24-105 on it all the time, then use it as a video-camera and a holiday workhorse, while keeping the 5D III and the primes for more artistic leisurely use
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 09:44:24 AM by Obaidey »

pdirestajr

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2012, 09:12:42 AM »
IMO starting with 3 lenses is a bit crazy. Why not get one zoom (or prime) and see what focal lengths you prefer? Reading reviews is very different than actually shooting.
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Obaidey

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2012, 09:34:17 AM »
Why not get one zoom (or prime) and see what focal lengths you prefer?
Very sound advice
Thank you
As mentioned in my last post (few inches above), this is exactly what I have done.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 09:40:17 AM by Obaidey »

M.ST

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2012, 10:13:53 AM »
Forget the 24-105 IS Kit lens

If you want zoom lenses get the 16-35 II, 24-70 II and the 70-200 II.

If you want primes get the 24 mm 1.4L II, 50  mm 1.2L and the 135 mm 2.

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2012, 10:13:53 AM »

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2012, 10:20:08 AM »
No matter what you decide you must get the 85 1.2 II, awesome lens.

If you have the budget get the TSE 24 II, 50 1.2, 85 1.2 II.

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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2012, 10:59:27 AM »
Hmm, this is a fun question.  If I could only keep 3 of my primes, my answer would be different because I have so many.  I'll never part with my 24L.  I will part with my 35L and 50L if I buy the new 24-70L II.  I won't part with my 85L, nor my 135L.  Going beyond that requires more specialized shooting, so I'd say I'd keep a 24L, 85L, and 135L.  Expensive lineup for sure, but let's just pretend you could get them at Walmart.

Out of all of my primes, I'd keep the 24L, 85L, and 200L.  IMO, the 300 and up lenses you just can't count, because anybody needing those will already be so specialized.  If a 200-400L zoom lens comes out though, boy that would be interesting.

Can I just buy 3 of the 24L's and count that?  ;D :D :)
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Re: Which 3 Primes to go for. Your advice will be appreciated
« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2012, 10:59:27 AM »