Help deciding on going full frame

Rob-downunder

EOS M50
Aug 16, 2014
26
1
Hi All,

This is my first post, although I have spent quite a bit of time looking at older threads and gained some very useful information. I am currently considering going full frame and would like some input from those that have gone before me. I currently own the following equipment:
Canon 550D
Canon EFS 18-55
Canon EFS 55-250
Canon EFS 10-22
Canon EFS 18-135 STM
Canon EF 50 1.8
Canon EF 85 1.8
Canon EF 70-300 L (on order awaiting delivery)
Canon 430EX flash
Manfrotto Tripod
Sounds like a lot when I write it all down. So a bit of background. I started with the 2 kit lenses (18-55 and 55-250) and quickly found that when I was out walking around on holidays taking pics I didn't want to be carrying multiple lenses and swapping them out all the time (also the wife doesn't really like hanging around whilst I swap gear adjust settings etc - sounds of "can't you just take the picture and lets get going"). So I got the 18-135 which suits me just fine in terms of a walkabout lens. This lens is on my camera most of the time for holiday type pics (50%) and the other 50% of the time if I go out to spend some time doing creative photography (without the wife in tow) I will take additional lenses and will use them as needed.
With the current setup I have been a bit disappointed with the sharpness of the 18-135, think the 10-22 is a good lens, don't use the 18-55 and 55-250 really, and use the 50 and 85 when I want to do shallow DOF or low light stuff (not often).
I also tend to take a fair bit of low light stuff with my 18-135 when doing holiday pics - an hour either side of sunset - usually when doing these pics I am not wanting to carry multiple lenses.
So my current issues are:
1) I want a general improvement in the sharpness of my pics as I tend to like having them printed reasonably large and I think the current EFS lenses just won't give me the image quality I would like.
2) Shooting around dusk with my 18-135 walkabout (even in dark shade sometimes), I am either getting blurred photos due to having to drop the shutter speed to low (even with IS) or bumping the ISO too high and getting unacceptable levels of noise.
I have been purchasing my recent lenses with a view to eventually going full frame (can't wait to play with the 70-300 - my first L lens)
My thoughts have been to upgrade to a 6D with a 24-105 as a walkabout, use the 70-300L as my long lens, a 16-35 F4 as my wide angle and keep the 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 for portraits and shallow DOF as well as low light. The 6D will solve my issues with noise and ISO whilst the L series lenses will solve my sharpness problems. I have read about the 6D AF issues, and don't think that will be an issue for me as most of my shots are static and for the odd shot of action I can use the centre point and crop later.

The area I want some feedback on is the 24-105. From all that I have read the newer 24-70 is lots better, but I won't go with that lens as that would give me a similar range on FF to the original 18-55 on crop that I found too limiting initially. I know that the 24-105 will be shorter than the 18-135 (equivalent approx. 216 mm), but I think I could live with 105, but definitely not 70 on the long end. I have read plenty of reviews and opinions on the 24-105 to believe that as an L lens it is pretty average and has a lot of distortion at around 24mm.

So my questions are:
1) Will the 24-105 provide a significant IQ improvement when used on FF compared to using the 18-135 STM on a crop. I am not interested in using the 24-105 on a crop camera, so many of the comments I have read which compare using both on a crop camera are not applicable to my scenario as in that case they would only be using the centre of the 24-105 not the full view.
2) Should I stick with the 18-135 STM and wait for the 7D mkii which I expect will also have significantly improved noise / ISO and will solve that problem for me, but will then still leave me with the image quality issues from the EFS lens, as I don't see any better quality walkabout lens that will suit me if using a crop sensor. (The 24-105 would not be wide enough for me on a crop).

So what do you think - 6D, 24-105, 16-35 F4, 70-300L or 7D mkii, EFS 10-22, EFS 18-135 STM, 70-300L.

I can't see any other scenarios that would give me the walkabout options that I want and also achieve the IQ I want.

Sorry for the long post - I thought too much info is better than not enough. I look forward to hearing your thoughts especially if you have been down the same path as I am going.

Rob
 

ecka

Size Matters!
Apr 5, 2011
965
2
Europe
www.flickr.com
Rob-downunder said:
So my current issues are:
1) I want a general improvement in the sharpness of my pics as I tend to like having them printed reasonably large and I think the current EFS lenses just won't give me the image quality I would like.

What size are your prints?
Are you shooting RAW and doing some post processing later? If not, then perhaps you should.

2) Shooting around dusk with my 18-135 walkabout (even in dark shade sometimes), I am either getting blurred photos due to having to drop the shutter speed to low (even with IS) or bumping the ISO too high and getting unacceptable levels of noise.

Well, there is Sigma 18-35/1.8, but you won't like the focal range :).

I have been purchasing my recent lenses with a view to eventually going full frame (can't wait to play with the 70-300 - my first L lens)
My thoughts have been to upgrade to a 6D with a 24-105 as a walkabout, use the 70-300L as my long lens, a 16-35 F4 as my wide angle and keep the 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 for portraits and shallow DOF as well as low light. The 6D will solve my issues with noise and ISO whilst the L series lenses will solve my sharpness problems.

Makes sense.

I have read about the 6D AF issues, and don't think that will be an issue for me as most of my shots are static and for the odd shot of action I can use the centre point and crop later.

Works for me :).

The area I want some feedback on is the 24-105. From all that I have read the newer 24-70 is lots better, but I won't go with that lens as that would give me a similar range on FF to the original 18-55 on crop that I found too limiting initially. I know that the 24-105 will be shorter than the 18-135 (equivalent approx. 216 mm), but I think I could live with 105, but definitely not 70 on the long end. I have read plenty of reviews and opinions on the 24-105 to believe that as an L lens it is pretty average and has a lot of distortion at around 24mm.

So my questions are:
1) Will the 24-105 provide a significant IQ improvement when used on FF compared to using the 18-135 STM on a crop. I am not interested in using the 24-105 on a crop camera, so many of the comments I have read which compare using both on a crop camera are not applicable to my scenario as in that case they would only be using the centre of the 24-105 not the full view.

I think that even the old EF 28-135 IS USM on 6D would be better than EF-S 18-135 on a Rebel.

2) Should I stick with the 18-135 STM and wait for the 7D mkii which I expect will also have significantly improved noise / ISO and will solve that problem for me, but will then still leave me with the image quality issues from the EFS lens, as I don't see any better quality walkabout lens that will suit me if using a crop sensor. (The 24-105 would not be wide enough for me on a crop).

So what do you think - 6D, 24-105, 16-35 F4, 70-300L or 7D mkii, EFS 10-22, EFS 18-135 STM, 70-300L.

Wait for Photokina first. 6D Mark II may be coming soon as well :)
6D, 24-105, 16-35 F4, 70-300L would definitely give you more potential.
 

Badger

EOS 90D
Dec 9, 2012
197
0
53
I have the 6D, 24-105 combination and I have been happy with it for convenience and flexibility. I will tell you however that more and more, when I know what I'm shooting and I'm not just "walking around", I am using the 85mm 1.8 for portraits. I believe you also have that lens. It gives me the level of sharpness and bokeh I'm looking for consistently. I will say probably 30% of my pictures today are taken using the 24-105. Think of it as a high end kit lens. I'm also a recent strong believer in AFMA.
 

ajfotofilmagem

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 23, 2013
2,382
85
Bahia Brazil
The combination 16-35F4 + 24-105 + 70-300L makes a great set of lenses. This does not solve the problem (for his wife) to change lenses often.
Of these three, the 24-105 has more distortion and less sharpness than the other two, but still have superior image quality (in full frame) compared to your 18-135.
Your prime lenses will shine with 6D, but 50mm could be replaced by the great 35mm F2 IS in the future, to an angle of view more different of his 85mm.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,069
4,639
The 6D + 24-105 will certainly be sharper than your 550D + 18-135. However, once you have that setup, I suspect you'll start comparing the 70-300L images to those with the 24-105, and soon be considering the 24-70/2.8 II despite the more restricted focal range.

I had the 28-300L for a while, IQ is equivalent to the 24-105L across the range. I have sold both the 24-105L and 28-300L, and now use the 24-70/2.8 II paired with the 70-300L for travel/walkaround, or with the 70-200/2.8L IS II for indoor events.
 

Rob-downunder

EOS M50
Aug 16, 2014
26
1
Thanks for your replies so far. To answer one question - yes I shoot in raw and process in Lightroom. My ideal solution would be a 24-105 mkii with equivalent sharpness to the other recent releases from Canon, but it doesn't seem likely this is going to be released. Purchasing the 6D with 24-105 plus the 16-35 f4 will cost in the vicinity of $4000 aus, which I am prepared to pay to get the quality if the 24-105 on FF will deliver significantly sharper images than the 18-135 STM on crop. However if this isn't the case then I can probably do a 7d mkii body and keep the rest of my kit for around $1500 aus (guessing at the price here).
I accept the 24-104 won't be in quite the same league as the other 2 L zooms, but will it be significantly better than what I have now?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,716
1,688
Rob, IQ of a properly exposed image in good light is not going to be a huge difference between full frame and a crop body. I have sold my crop cameras and gone to all full frame, I do use the low light capabilities of Full Frame where it makes a big difference.

Lenses also make a big difference. If you are having issues, try live autofocus on a tripod, and if you see a difference, its likely due to autofocus errors.

I'd wait for the next new generation of cameras to see what improvements newer sensor designs bring. If the rumored sensors with multiple layers actually happens, then the potential for better and more accurate colors might make the higher prices worth while. I also expect to see some huge price drops this fall as Christmas approaches and Canon blows out old inventory.
 

ecka

Size Matters!
Apr 5, 2011
965
2
Europe
www.flickr.com
Rob-downunder said:
Thanks for your replies so far. To answer one question - yes I shoot in raw and process in Lightroom. My ideal solution would be a 24-105 mkii with equivalent sharpness to the other recent releases from Canon, but it doesn't seem likely this is going to be released. Purchasing the 6D with 24-105 plus the 16-35 f4 will cost in the vicinity of $4000 aus, which I am prepared to pay to get the quality if the 24-105 on FF will deliver significantly sharper images than the 18-135 STM on crop. However if this isn't the case then I can probably do a 7d mkii body and keep the rest of my kit for around $1500 aus (guessing at the price here).
I accept the 24-104 won't be in quite the same league as the other 2 L zooms, but will it be significantly better than what I have now?

Well, sometimes my 500D with 18-55IS produced perfectly nice and sharp images and 7D wasn't that much different. Now 6D is just delivering it most of the time (instead of sometimes) even with non-L lenses. 40mm pancake is my walkabout.
There are no L EF-S lenses or even good+fast+cheap(affordable) primes (my weapon of choice) and I wouldn't be surprised if 7D'II cost more than 6D, so FF is a win-win for me.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,413
4,038
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
My two cents:

The cheapest upgrade would be the 15-85 EF-S. It's image quality and focal range are comparable to the 24-105 L.

As Mt. Spokane said, the differences between full frame and a crop body in good light are not that significant.

However, if you really have the full frame itch and it's not going away until it's scratched, then you might as well cut your losses and make the change sooner, rather than later.

A lot of people are counting on the new 7DII to be some breakthrough technology in sensors. I'm not so sure, but it's probably worth waiting three weeks or so to see.

In the U.S. a 6D is incredibly inexpensive right now. With a 24-105 kit lens they've been as low as $2,000 from unauthorized dealers and about $2,200 from an authorized dealer if you hit it at the right time. I don't know about the situation in Australia.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 24-105. It is an "L" lens and deserves that designation.

Either a 24-105 and 70-300 L kit on full frame or a 15-85 and 70-300 L on crop will cover more than 90 percent of shooting situations. When traveling, those are really the only lenses you'll need to pack. The 3mm difference between 15 and 18mm at the wide end is significant. At some point, regardless of which kit you choose, you can supplement it with a wider zoom, but you will need the wider zoom only occasionally.

Personally, I would never even consider a 24-70 as the range is just too short for my taste and with that narrow of a range, I'd rather use primes.

If the 7DII turns out to have some game-changing, physics-defying sensor in it, then all bets are off. Otherwise, I really don't expect for there to be an upgrade of the 5DIII for quite some time, while the most likely upgrade to the 6D would be 70D/7D style autofocus.
 

Hannes

EOS RP
Mar 31, 2013
279
0
When people say the 24-105 isn't sharp, they are comparing to other high end offerings and it is worth bearing in mind you can now find them for less than a third of the 24-70 II. My copy is very sharp 24-70mm wide open but after that the IQ drops a little. The f4 is sharp enough for most people but f4 may be a little limiting in some situations. Maybe the Tamron 24-70 is an option?
 

candc

EOS R
Sep 22, 2013
1,264
8
Wautoma, WI USA.
if you are trying to consolidate and streamline your gear and go ff then i would skip the 24-105. the fl gap in between the 16-35 and 70-300 is not a big deal and you have a 50 already. i am also interested in the new tamron 28-300 for a do it all lens, dustin abott says its pretty good.
 

timmy_650

EOS RP
Dec 20, 2012
293
27
I moved from my t2i to a 6D and have loved every second of it. I think you will be really happy with them move. Ps I do love the 40mm 2.8 on a 6D. I don't care for the 50mm 1.8. I dont have the 24-105 but I have the 28-135 IS but I don't use it much but it gives me much better quality than most anything I could get with my t2i (except with 70-200 or 24-70 mark2)
 

YuengLinger

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,541
1,997
USA
Not sure about the claims that "in good light" FF and cropped have few differences.

What is good light? High noon? Studio lights? Ok, fine. But that is very limiting.

Proper exposure? Great, but even the most skilled, experienced photographers find themselves in changing light situations and underexpose, meaning a HUGE difference in noise.

I have a 60D, which apparently has the same or slightly less noise as a 7D in the same situations, and a 5DIII. There is very big difference between the two at ISO 400. I can get up to 1250 or 1600 on the 5DIII before I start having the same noise as the 60D at ISO 400.

How many people shoot in studio conditions? How many want to shoot in noon day sun? We all have different tolerances for noise, and a Rebel or other cropped sensor might produce satisfactory images for large prints, but to claim that there is little difference in real world, common, shooting situations is misleading.

Is the 5DIII perfect? No. Completely free of noise in the shadows at 400 if I've underexposed? No. But it is much less noisy than my 60D in similar situations.

Want to crop in on eyes on a cloudy day? If you want details in the irises, you have to sharpen with pumped contrast, maybe brighten the shadows a touch. The noise quickly becomes apparent to the point that the eyes become the limiting factor in print size.

Get the best you can afford. Don't borrow on a credit card! But just know that the difference between Canon FF and cropped does not begin only in poorly lit interiors or after sunset outdoors.
 

rowlandw

EOS M50
Sep 16, 2012
29
0
Have both! I have the 6D and 7D. Each has its strong points. However, I tend to shoot wide more than tele, and FF gives me that. You can always crop narrower but never wider!
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
When you first use the 24-105 you may not understand why people don't rave about it. Then you may try the 24-70II and you will see for yourself. When you do, you just might never want to use it again, especially because iq is important to you. You can zoom with your feet. Why don't you try both lenses for yourself at a camera store before you buy?

sek
 

NancyP

EOS R
Dec 17, 2013
1,297
14
I went to FF 6D specifically for low light work and wide angle and shallow depth of field with fast lenses wide open. There's two stops difference in noise between the 60D and 6D. 60D is now my birding camera and walkabout casual camera (15-85). My landscape, macro, starscape, etc camera is the 6D, and I expect that I will be using it with both primes and zooms. I currently have a flock of manual focus legacy lenses that I use with the 6D, while I decide what normal prime and short telephoto I want.
 

Rob-downunder

EOS M50
Aug 16, 2014
26
1
Decided to bite the bullet and have ordered the 6D, 24-105 and 16-35 f4. I should have delivery in a couple of days and am looking forward to playing with my new toys.
 

DRR

EOS RP
Jul 2, 2013
253
0
I think you'll be thrilled with that combination.

For me the jump from 7D to 5DII was a larger quality jump than any lens upgrade I've ever made. It's true that with proper light you'll never be able to tell the difference between crop and FF, but I often shoot in less than ideal conditions, and while the 5DII still isn't a "perfect" camera for me, my keeper rate went up substantially going from crop to FF.

This was also at a point where I had the 7D plus L lenses so the lenses were not the limiting factor. I had gone by the old adage of upgrading glass first, although honestly if I had to do it again, I don't think I'd do it that way. That was true in the film days, when glass was often the limiting factor, since you could also easily "upgrade" your film with a different stock. These days, your camera IS the film - and it's not like you can drop in an upgraded DPAF sensor into your old 20D. And with sensor improvements dramatically outpacing lens improvements I would say make sure you have a body that works for you and then find the best glass you can for it.