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Archive 2012 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-len...
  
 
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


I currently have the 16-35 L and the 70-200 F4 IS and I'm trying to decide what lens to get to fill the gap in my current lenses. Of all the lenses I am considering, I am pretty well versed on all of them as an individual lens. I'm really looking for input based on personal experience with two or more of any of these AND thoughts you might have on zoom vs. prime option.

Prime options:
Canon 50mm (1.8 mk I/II, 1.4, 2.5) or the 60mm Macro (currently shooting 50D)

Zoom's
28-135 IS, 24-105 IS, 24-70 L

I hear great things about the 60...is it worth loosing the 2 stops and DOF you get with the 1.4? Is it really that much better?
What do you think about the 28-135 vs. 24-105...what made you switch or stay? I shot the 28-105 some years back and it was always just not *quite* wide enough and I'm wondering if 24 would make the difference allowing me to keep that lens on most of the time?
Have you tried filling a similar gap with a prime and felt a zoom better served you for general photography?

The main purpose for this lens, aside from rounding out my kit, will be family and portraiture use as well as some product photography. My wife likes to take pictures, standard and artistic (read shallow DOF) of cards and album layouts she does. Low light is a consideration. If I had the budget for it, I'd buy both the 50 1.4 and the 24-70...but that is not realistic right now...in fact, the 24-70 is probably not realistic at all for now...but then I never thought I'd be shooting with the 16-35 L either, but a good deal fell in my lap...
I did own the 50 1.8 Mk1 and was not too thrilled with it. It didn't feel very sharp and I realized, after i'd sold it, it probably would have really benefited from a lens hood when outdoors as lack of contrast and ghosting was often a fight. If the optics/coatings are the same with the MkII, I'm not super eager to get either of these two.

Again, I am just looking for "been there, done that" opinions.
Lastly, I have never shot with a Macro before. I love shallow DOF shots which is one reason why 1.4 or a 2.8 zoom is so attractive to me. But does the Macro handle DOF differently from a "normal" lens, or simply allow closer focusing/higher magnification?

I appreciate your responses. I did try searching the forums, but couldn't find any posts quite like this...but I apologize if this is redundant.



Feb 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Jefferson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Here's a couple I just posted with the Canon 50 f/1.4

Jefferson




  Canon EOS 5D    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/2.5    1/1s    1250 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/4.0    1/250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 30D    EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens    50mm    f/2.8    1/800s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Feb 15, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Nice pics! Thank you.

I guess another option would be to trade the 16-35 for the 17-55 EF-s...though I really like having FF compatible lenses as long as it make sense. (obviously the 60 would be an issue there)



Feb 15, 2012 at 08:46 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Greg Mangione wrote:
I guess another option would be to trade the 16-35 for the 17-55 EF-s.


I would...Oh wait...I did...



Feb 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Greg Mangione wrote:
I guess another option would be to trade the 16-35 for the 17-55 EF-s...though I really like having FF compatible lenses as long as it make sense.


I can speak very highly for the 17-55; great lens in my opinion. I haven't used the 16-35, so I can't compare them, but having a relatively fast, stablized lens in that range is very handy, and the image quality is right up there with the best of the L lenses.

Unless you specifically plan to get rid of crop bodies when/if you get a full-framer, I'd say go for the 17-55.

(BTW, I traded the 50mm 1.8 II for a 1.4 and glad I did. I also have the 28-135 and 70-200 f/4 IS among others. All have their place in my kit.)



Feb 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


I'd go with a 2 lens solution. I've been there. and here's what I'd do.

Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and 50mm 1.8, or if you decide you want macro, get the 50mm CM

The 50D can micro adjust, and I found that my 50mm lens needed some MA, but then it worked quite well. The AF on it is always going to be hit and miss, but your can get some great shots with it none the less.

Macro doesn't necessarily handle DOF differently, you just get more of it because DOF increases greatly as the sensor nears the focal plane. Macros focus closer, so they have greatly increased DOF depending on how close you're getting. At a similar distance, the 50 1.8 and 50 2.5 will look the same at 2.5 (speaking of DOF), but the 50mm 1.8 can only focus so close.


Again, I am just looking for "been there, done that" opinions.
Lastly, I have never shot with a Macro before. I love shallow DOF shots which is one reason why 1.4 or a 2.8 zoom is so attractive to me. But does the Macro handle DOF differently from a "normal" lens, or simply allow closer focusing/higher magnification?

I appreciate your responses. I did try searching the forums, but couldn't find any posts quite like this...but I apologize if this is redundant.




Feb 15, 2012 at 09:33 PM
leftymgp
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


I own the 50mm 1.8 II and I like it overall. I find that it's quite sharp. The only thing I really don't like about it is its bokeh (kind of harsh). The focus is slow also, but most the time that's just a minor annoyance.

I've shot a little bit with a borrowed 60mm f/2.8. It was very good. I was impressed with it.

Never used the canon 24-105 or 24-70. I have a Tamron 28-75 that has been getting the job done. It's not perfect, but I've never felt overly motivated to replace it. I would recommend that if you can't stomach dropping the $$$ on the canon zooms.



Feb 15, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


I've had some experience with two of the lenses you mention: the 17-55 and the 60 macro.

I was very disappointed in the 17-55. Maybe I got a "bad copy" - I don't know. What I do know is that in a comparison I did between that and several other lenses (all primes, it happens), the images from the 17-55 fell apart at 100%; those from the primes looked good.

The 60 f2.8 macro was one of the very best lenses I've ever used. If I only had 1.6x crop cameras, I'd still have it.



Feb 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Robr
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


For a crop camera a 50 mm is nice portrait lens. The 1.4 is a good compromise for price and quality. Below f 2.0 CA is something to be carefull with, otherwise a great lens. Also with the current lineup the 50mm fits nicely.


Feb 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate it!

The 17-55 sure seems to be a favorite.
I agree with Lefty that the 1.8 has harsh bokeh, my Mk I was harsh and since I was using it a lot for the shallow DOF, that bothered me and one reason I don't really want to consider it...unless I got feedback that the Mk II had revised/better optics.

At this point, I'm really only considering canon zoom's/primes...

Jasonpatrick, thank you for clarifying my DOF question. That was my suspicion but I had read things that made me question it.

Aside from the FL differences, in your practice, what kind of difference optically have you seen between the 28-135 and the 24-105L. Are the optics that much better, or are you mainly paying for build, new IS and the red ring? I don't particularly want to go the 28-135 route for several reasons, but I'm trying to be open minded.

If I had the opportunity to go FF or get into a 1D series, I would do it, so I do try to keep my lenses FF compatible...but maybe I shouldn't worry about that so much....

Who has tried to fill a FL gap with a prime and how did it work for you? Did you end up keeping the prime for it's niche role and get a zoom for general flexibility?

Thank you for all your feedback. A lot of this is just thinking out loud, so thank you for being a sounding board!



Feb 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM
 

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pinball_pw
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


I have owned:
1) 28-135. Not terribly impressed. Your other lens will make this appear soft. It was good at some focal lengthes and not great at others IMHO.
2) 24-105 IS - Nice all around lens for a full frame camera.
3) 17-55 2.8 IS - Great lens for a crop body. Probably the most versatile one you could own to be frank.
4) 50mm 1.8. Cheap build, nice intro into prime quality. A little bit harsh bokeh as mentioned above. It is inexpensive. Makes for a nice, but noisy portrait lens on a crop body.
5) 60mm 2.8 Macro. My personal favorite on a crop body. I used this lens all the time. Some might consider it long for a crop body. Then again, my most used lens on FF is the 135 F2L.

If it were me, and I was not planning on going full frame, I would swap the 16-35 for the 17-55 2.8IS and pick up the 60mm macro. Would make for a nice set along with your 70-200.

- Paul



Feb 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Paul, Thanks for that list and comments.

Good food for thought. Sounds like I should cross the 28-135 off the list as I am likely to be unhappy with it from the get go. The 50 1.8...that's out now too...

I've heard great things from the 50 CM 2.5... What is focus speed like on it? Comparable to the 50 MK1 1.8? How does it compare to the 60? Aside from lacking 1:1 and USM. And overall, compared to the 1.4

Thanks all!



Feb 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Greg Mangione wrote:
I currently have the 16-35 L and the 70-200 F4 IS and I'm trying to decide what lens to get to fill the gap in my current lenses. Of all the lenses I am considering, I am pretty well versed on all of them as an individual lens. I'm really looking for input based on personal experience with two or more of any of these AND thoughts you might have on zoom vs. prime option.

Prime options:
Canon 50mm (1.8 mk I/II, 1.4, 2.5) or the 60mm Macro (currently shooting 50D)


The only version of the 50 1.8 I've used was the old FD version . Not bad, very sharp stopped down.
The 50 1.4 terrible AF and the AF can be somewhat prone to breakage. I would say that f/1.4 is a big difference in DOF and speed compared to the f/2.8 of the 60mm. The 60 macro is superbly sharp, but so is the 50 1.4 once you are starting at f/2.8. I owned both at one time since they met different needs for me.


Zoom's
28-135 IS, 24-105 IS, 24-70 L


Honestly I'd sell the 16-35L and get the tamron 17-50 2.8. You won't miss 51-69mm nor miss having to carry a third lens around.

I didn't think the 28-135 IS was impressive, even on APS-C the edges were not so good and it was just kind of very blah. The 24-105L I tried were definitely better and not bad on APS-C at all but they left me very disappointed on FF for the price, blurry edges even at f/8, blah. Never did a truly careful test with a 24-70L but it didn't seem to quite do great edge to edge on FF either and it was heavy and expensive.

Tamron 28-75 was sharper than any of those, center, mid-frame or edge, crazy sharp on APS-C, yes sharper than the Ls. It had the same or less CA than even the Ls. On FF it was sharper at the edges on the wide end than the others are it too got a bit mushy there too at times and on the long end, near 75mm, the bokeh became nasty near the edges if you had objects at a certain relative distance to the main subject. It was smaller and lighter. The only downsides compared to the others/some of the others are that it is not quite as wide as the 24-'s or as long ranging as the 24-105/28-135, has no IS and the AF was really slow (so long as the lighting is not really bad and the subject is completely still, the AF was very good, but in low light it hunts and if there is any action at all it's sooo slow it doesn't track well at all) and the contrast was a little bit weaker than the Ls (and the bokeh near the edges near 75 on FF only could be a little nastier at times than with the others).

Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-VC. Loved it on APS-C. Dumped my 17-40L after I got it. A bit sharper and better contrast/color than the L at aps-c edges, same sharpness in the center (crazy sharp) although just a touch worse contrast in the center (nothing to worry about and even stronger center contrast than the tamron 28-75). AF is a bit like a hornet, kinda higher pitched than many, loud and buzzy. Seemed to focus faster than the tamron 28-75 though. Maybe not quite L speed AF though. A trace more CA than the 17-40 at 17mm, but it cleans up well and both have a fair amount there, less CA on the longer end than the L and the extra 10mm reach is nice as is the 2.8.
It was my single most used lens on APS-C. So much better than than the 16-35L and you really lose nothing in return at all other than how loud the AF is and a little bit in AF speed.

I really wouldn't bother with the 28-135 IS.
Honestly I'd sell the 16-35L and get the tamron 17-50 2.8. You won't miss 51-69mm nor miss having to carry a third lens around.
If you keep the 16-35L then I might nab the tamron 28-75 2.8 unless you had to have IS and then the choice is clear or you had to have really fast AF and then the tamron is out.



I hear great things about the 60...is it worth loosing the 2 stops and DOF you get with the 1.4? Is it really that much better?


If f/1.4 means nothing to you in terms of speed or DOF then get the 60mm otherwise, if you can live with the crummy 50 1.4 AF I think it makes more sense. It is a big DOF and speed difference and if that is what you are after no need to give it up chasing raw image quality, especially since once you are stopped to f/2.8 the 50mm also has stunning image quality and stunning vs 2% more stunning isn't much to worry about.


What do you think about the 28-135 vs. 24-105...what made you switch or stay? I shot the 28-105 some years back and it was always just not *quite* wide enough and I'm wondering if 24 would make the difference allowing me to keep that lens on most of the time?
Have you tried filling a similar gap with a prime and felt a zoom better served you for general photography?


The 4mm does help but it is still not all that wide, I found the 17-50 range better. With a 16-35 and 24-105/28-75 I wouldn't like all the swapping 16-35 for the 24-205/28-75 and back. 15-85 IS and 17-55 IS might be worth looks too.

It depends how you shoot though, it's for you to answer, not us.



Again, I am just looking for "been there, done that" opinions.
Lastly, I have never shot with a Macro before. I love shallow DOF shots which is one reason why 1.4 or a 2.8 zoom is so attractive to me. But does the Macro handle DOF differently from a "normal" lens, or simply allow closer focusing/higher magnification?


Same way although once you get in close DOF become thin really fast, even at f/11 you me mad at how THIN the DOF is! And at f/2.8 and 1:1 you may struggle to get all of a gnat's eye within the DOF, well not quite, but not SO far off either.





Feb 16, 2012 at 12:07 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Greg Mangione wrote:
Nice pics! Thank you.

I guess another option would be to trade the 16-35 for the 17-55 EF-s...though I really like having FF compatible lenses as long as it make sense. (obviously the 60 would be an issue there)


This. Honestly I would just dump the 16-35L for a 17-55 IS if you want IS/quieter AF or for the Tamron 17-50 if you don't care about IS (honestly there is no need that the lens has to have Canon stamped on it, as I said, I even dumped off a 17-40L for the tamron, APS-C wide/normal zooms are where the third party lens makers have really come into their own and I say this owning many Ls, just not in that range for APS-C).



Feb 16, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Thanks skibum5, I appreciate the detailed info... especially on the primes...some good food for thought.

A friend of mine has the Tamron 17-50 VC on his Nikon but neither he nor I were especially impressed with IQ. He loved the weight of it (especially compared to the Nikon option) but was never very satisfied with it. He has mainly switched to the Nikon 24-70 2.8 as his general purpose lens and his 17-50 sees very little use.

Again, I appreciate everyone's input, helps out since I don't' have the option to try them all "hands on".

I'm 3 hours away (on a good day with no snow, ice or avalanches) from a good camera shop where I could play with some of these!



Feb 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Just wait for the new 24-70. That is the ticket.

EBH



Feb 16, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


He he, yeah, that would do it all right! I'm open to donations!


Feb 16, 2012 at 01:26 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Greg Mangione wrote:
Thanks skibum5, I appreciate the detailed info... especially on the primes...some good food for thought.

A friend of mine has the Tamron 17-50 VC on his Nikon but neither he nor I were especially impressed with IQ. He loved the weight of it (especially compared to the Nikon option) but was never very satisfied with it.


It's funny how I and many Canon users always rave about the Tamron 17-50 2.8 being an L beater and yet calling the Tamron 70-300 VC a solid lens and amazing for the price but clearly no 70-300L or 70-200 f/4 IS and don't even think of comparing it to a 300 2.8 IS and then there is your Nikon friend was slagging the T 17-50 and all the early reports from Nikon users on the Tamron 70-300VC had them saying it was the most stunning lens ever, destroying the Nikon 70-300 and even looking about the same as the Nikon 300 2.8!

The Nikon users were all saying their Tamron 70-300 VC ws stamped made in Japan, while none of the Canon users were.

Maybe the nikon 17-50 tended to built on a ower quality plant/line or maybe he just got a bum copy?
All I can say is I sold my 17-40L (the better of two copies at that) after I got the Tamron. I liked the size/weight/f/2.8/extra 10mm/real world focusing placement for landscape shots/slightly better edge sharpness and all I gave up was a trace bit of contrast in the very center and a little bit of sharpness at 17mm in the absolute extreme corners (like 1/2% of the entire image, if even).



Feb 16, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Greg Mangione
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Interesting...I hadn't heard all that. You'd think they would all be the same...Oh well. Maybe I'll give the Tammy's a look.


Feb 16, 2012 at 01:33 AM
volyrat
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Have you used these lenses? Trying to decide on a mid-length lens


Agreed with all who suggest the 17-55 EF-S

I had a 50 1.4 that I really disliked - 2 trips to Canon and couldn't get it right.

I do have an 85 1.8 for portraiture and while a bit long for a crop camera, I won't give up that lens. It was the first lens I bought and while I may be lucky, is very sharp wide open.

While there is an overlap on the 70-200, the low light capabilities of the 1.8 are great.

My kit is a cropper with:

8-16 Sigma
17-55 EF-S
85 1.8
70-200 F/4 IS
300 F/4 IS
1.4 TC



Feb 16, 2012 at 01:38 AM
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