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Author Topic: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??  (Read 22815 times)

iggyotis

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Hi guys,

I am just about to purchase the 5DII, as currently I use a 550d but I want to move into the professional arena and move into full frame with better ISO handling. Waiting for the III doesnt seem like an option now that there are delays so I'm going to go for it and get the II.

Lens wise I have the 50 1.4 which I love but sometimes the length comes up short in clubs when I just cant get any nearer the bands for instance. I also take photos of interiors in restaurants/bars but I need something a little wider to capture some of these small rooms.

Budget wise I'm trying to work out whether it is worth just going for the L lens and biting the bullet with regards to cost as these will take me through many years, but I just dont know for sure which ones are best for what I need! Would the 34mm 1.4 be wide enough in say a 20-30ft room where I want to get the whole scene in? Or should I go for the 24mm? Same issue with the other end...is the difference between the 50mm to 85mm enough or should I push to 135mm? It's hard as I have no camera shops nearby which have these lenses so I'm trying to work out what is best!

Thanks in advance for any help!

Zoe


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neuroanatomist

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 12:35:55 PM »
First off, simply putting your 50/1.4 on a 5DII will give you 'something a little wider' than your current setup (the 1.6x crop factor of the 550D means the field of view with your 50/1.4 on that camera is equivalent to an 80mm lens on the 5DII. 

So, that is probably the answer to your longer lens question.  Right now, you've got about the equivalent of an 85mm lens on FF, and it's coming up short, so you should consider the 135mm f/2L (which is great on a 5DII!). 

On the wide end, the 35mm f/1.4L is probably not going to be quite wide enough for a 20-30ft room where you want to get the whole scene in.  Both the 35L and the 24L II are excellent lenses, but the 24mm is substantially wider.  Some numbers:  standing 25 ft from a wall, the 35mm lens on FF will frame an area 25 ft wide and 17 ft tall; the 24mm lens would frame an area 37.5 ft wide and 25 ft tall.  One possibility would be to rent one or both of those lenses (e.g. lensrentals.com) and see which you prefer.  Another option if your budget permits would be to get the 5DII kit with the 24-105mm f/4L IS - that's a great general purpose zoom on FF, and would allow you to compare focal lengths and figure out which is best (that how I decided on the 35L over the 24L II for my needs).
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iggyotis

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 12:55:08 PM »
Thanks for the reply N!

Yes the reviews I've read of that 135 sound amazing so I think that is definitely top of my list:)

I was considering going with a zoom as this would indeed cover both ends but my concern for the 24-105 is that it wont be good enough in low light situations? Although it does have the IS so this would help I just worry that it wouldn't cope well in really dark clubs...what are your thoughts? I have been going back and forth between zoom and prime and which to go for and it seems every day I change my mind! I like the fact that the prime forces me to move around to get the right shot and it's so crisp but then that one zoom would in effect be a great lens to cover most jobs..at least until I can work out exactly where I'm going...wedding photography, gigs, interiors for example.

Grendel

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 01:39:30 PM »
x2 on the 135/2L, great performer. As for zooms (if money isn't an issue...), the 16-35/2.8L and a 70-200/2.8L would cover you for most situations (along w/ your 50.) Also, a 24-70/2.8L is a good indoor range. Consider renting some lenses online (eg. here) before you buy.

neuroanatomist

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 02:02:56 PM »
I was considering going with a zoom as this would indeed cover both ends but my concern for the 24-105 is that it wont be good enough in low light situations? Although it does have the IS so this would help I just worry that it wouldn't cope well in really dark clubs...what are your thoughts?

In those situations, f/4 will not cut it...and in all probability, f/2.8 will not cut it, either.  IS is not the answer there - while it's true that the 3-stop IS of the 24-105mm means it performs like f/1.4 in terms of handholdability, the trade off is shutter speed (that's how IS works, it allows a longer shutter speed) - and that means subject motion wil become a problem. 

I think for dark clubs, fast primes are the way to go.  I was suggesting the zoom for 'general purpose' use.  I've got a set of primes for portrait/low-light work (the complete 'holy trinity' of primes - 35L/85L II/135L), but the lens I usually leave on my camera is the 24-105mm. 

Depending on your budget, there are also lower-cost alternatives - the EF 28mm f/1.8 and EF 100mm f/2 together would cost less than the 135mm f/2L. 

The 24-70mm on a 5DII is a good compromise lens for event work - f/2.8 with the 5DII's excellent ISO performance (usable ISO 3200).  If you're shooting a wedding with only primes, you need two bodies so you don't miss shots. 
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Flake

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 09:00:47 AM »
For interiors you don't need a wide fast prime!  You need a tripod and a Pano head, if you can manage to stretch you should get the 17mm TSE tilt shift lens, which is one of Canons most high performance products.  In addition 3 - 4 speedlights and good few hours with the strobist learning how best to place them to light a room effectively. 

Doing interiors well is technically quite challenging anyone can snap away hand held but that simply won't cut it in a commercial market.

As for shooting bands - well you've been doing it for free and there's a queue of others waiting to take your place, this market is a dead duck if you want to make a living from it.  Unless you really want to donate your time and your money for free don't even bother buying a lens in the hope of professional returns.

Act444

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 11:17:04 AM »
Anyone who has the 135L - is the focus fast enough for indoor sports use?

I have the 35L but I use it on a 1.6x body which gives me an excellent FOV (similar to what 50mm gives you on a FF). I'd say it's my sharpest lens. Outstanding all the way down to f/2. Softens a bit once you open up to f/1.4 but still very useable. May be better on FF, but not sure.

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 11:17:04 AM »

zerotiu

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 11:38:16 AM »
I will suggest  135 f/2 for portrait

If I were you, I won't use fix for interior / architecture use.. I will get 16-35 / 17-40
because I can assure you that you will not use the aperture under 8 . 

35 L f1.4 ? nah...

neuroanatomist

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2011, 11:45:51 AM »
Anyone who has the 135L - is the focus fast enough for indoor sports use?

Absolutely - AF is very fast on the 135L.  It's great for head/shoulders portraits (on FF), and also an excellent lens for indoor sports (although with the 5DII, the AF system is somewhat limiting - it does better on the 7D for that use).
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Act444

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2011, 02:16:04 PM »
Anyone who has the 135L - is the focus fast enough for indoor sports use?

Absolutely - AF is very fast on the 135L.  It's great for head/shoulders portraits (on FF), and also an excellent lens for indoor sports (although with the 5DII, the AF system is somewhat limiting - it does better on the 7D for that use).

Cool. Thanks for the response! I wondered how it compared to say, the 85 1.8 which I used to have- it was quite fast.

alipaulphotography

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2011, 02:46:11 PM »
Sigma are producing superb primes at the moment which are in many ways better than the canon offerings.
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 has better centre sharpness at f/1.4 than the canon offering, great autofocus and a more robust 'modern' design.
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 has much faster autofocus than the canon f/1.2 (they have no f/1.4) and is obviously much cheaper.
I do hope sigma release a 35mm f/1.4 and a 135mm f/2 as I will likely buy them if they are as good as the canon offerings. Canon's versions are both excellent so the only 'niche' sigma could go for is the lower price.

I personally haven't felt the desperate need for 24mm on full frame - but that's just me. At 24mm, you will lose some of the lovely bokeh that longer f/1.4 lenses produces - something to think about if that is an effect you are after.

sb

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 04:29:19 PM »
Iggyotis, honestly if you can live with 100mm, forget the 135mm f/2 and go with the 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS. It is not only a much better low light lens than the 135mm, but it's better all around. It's noticeably sharper than 135 at f/2.8, with way less vignetting. The IS DOES matter, because to get a sharp pic with the 135mm you need at least 1/135sec shutter, whereas with the 100mm Macro, because of the hybrid IS, you can handhold and get a sharp pic even at 1/25 sec, so you can more than make up the one stop f difference between the 2 lenses.

Secondly, the 135 does not look that good wide open, I personally wouldn't use it at f/2 - it's a tad too soft for my taste. Even when you stop it down to 2.8, the 100mm macro makes it look silly in comparison. 

Thirdly, if you happen to need to shoot something that's closer than the minimum focusing distance that the 135mm allows (I think it's a minimum of 1m or so, maybe more) you'll be happy you have the 100mm macro on, because you can shoot from a foot away, if not closer.

Last year I was trying to decide between these 2 lenses, tried both of them, analyzed test shots on a pixel level, and I hate to say it but 135mm did not live up to the hype. It looks impressive mounted on the camera, but way too limiting, and ultimately not as good.

Cheers




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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 04:48:55 PM »
my picks would a 16-35 II and the 100L for a full frame sensor.  have both with no regrets.

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 04:48:55 PM »

Axilrod

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 06:25:20 PM »
Iggyotis, honestly if you can live with 100mm, forget the 135mm f/2 and go with the 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS. It is not only a much better low light lens than the 135mm, but it's better all around. It's noticeably sharper than 135 at f/2.8, with way less vignetting. The IS DOES matter, because to get a sharp pic with the 135mm you need at least 1/135sec shutter, whereas with the 100mm Macro, because of the hybrid IS, you can handhold and get a sharp pic even at 1/25 sec, so you can more than make up the one stop f difference between the 2 lenses.

Secondly, the 135 does not look that good wide open, I personally wouldn't use it at f/2 - it's a tad too soft for my taste. Even when you stop it down to 2.8, the 100mm macro makes it look silly in comparison. 
Cheers

Not trying to take anything away from your assessment, but I think you may have gotten a bad copy of the 135.  I have the 35L, 50L, 85L, 100 Macro L, and the 135.  In terms of overall image quality, the 135 is way up there (hard to decide between that many primes, they're all pretty damn sharp).  But one thing about the 135, it took a little while to grow on me, it has more of a learning curve than the others. 

But for this guy's situation, I would have to agree with you.  There are much more useful focal lengths if he doesn't have many lenses.  The 100mm Macro is very very sharp, the Hybrid IS is awesome, and it's much more versatile than the 135mm.  The 16-35mm II would be a great choice for indoor stuff, that is the only zoom lens I have left in my collection and its A LOT of fun on a FF sensor.   
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sb

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 10:00:23 PM »
Axilrod, it's possible that it was a bad copy, I didn't bother trying to get samples from another copy, but now that I have the 100mm L, I don't think I'll bother finding out because I'm more than happy with it. I also have the 85mm 1.2 L and the 35mm f/1.4 L, both fantastic lenses (although I hate the size of the 85mm, I'm planning to get the f/1.8 version for carrying around) The other thing that slighlty annoys me with the 85mm f/1.2 is the slow AF, lack of IS and pronounced CA at f/1.2, but I guess I'm just being greedy now :-)

35 L is by far my favorite lens - I can't say enough about it. FOV with a FF camera is really fun, and it actually changed the style of my photography, because I find myself rarely using long lenses now.

50L is on the list for sure, but I think I want the 45mm 2.8 TS first :-)

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Re: buying the 5DII and need two amazing primes to cover my range??
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 10:00:23 PM »