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| p.1 #12 · Canon Lens Dilemma [Photojournalism] |
As a working PJ (for an admittedly very small paper), the key questions about lens choice turn on: (1) How much light is normal or reasonably expected? (2) How close to your subject(s) are you likely to get? (3) How much action are you going to experience?
I shoot everything from seniors getting awards (close, no action, reasonable light) to the local HS sports, (reach, lousy light, all action).
A 5DII would not be my first choice for this type of work. Yes, it can create a fine image but really falls down in rough and tumble work. I've also not been impressed with its AF. If you're working in Wilkes Barre I'd guess you won't encounter a photog scrum or any such thing, but it is amazing how much bumping around goes on just trying to comply with simple things like "Mrs. Aragon receiving the garden of the month award."
If you could do a lateral move from the 5DII to a nice used 7D, you'd probably be lot happier. Don't know if that is possible, but current used prices suggest you could do it.
As for lenses, as Ian and other have noted, nothing beats more light - when you need it. And given that Murphy's Laws are immutable, the time you most need it is when you won't have it. Excluding sports, my lens use is 24-70 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/2.8L, 85 f/1.8, 50 f1/4. The first 2 lenses probably do 80% of the work. I'd have to run a find on my Aperture database to give real numbers, but I think this is within a few percentage points. (Sports work is a whole nother bottle of worms, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're doing.)
I'd say your decision is between the 24-70 and the 70-200. Don't know the condition or anything of your gear, but if you could sell both the 17-40 and the 70-200 you might be able to swing an older 24-70 and a NON IS 70-200. I took 10,000s of pix with my old non-IS 70-200 and it's as good a lens as the newer fancier IS models. (The IS is d*mn useful with still objects in bad light, OTH.)
In general I work with the camera (in my case a used 1DIV) mounted with either the 24-70 or the 70-200 in a CottonCarrier with the second lens in a belt pouch. I also keep a 50 f/1.4 in my pocket cause it is often the lens of last resort. Sometimes, ya just don't have the light.
Two observations from my experience that aren't gear related: (1) The ability to interact with your subjects is often the difference between just another VFW old foggy shot and something that really engages the viewer. Learning to talk with, enjoy, listen to, interact, etc. is priceless. The second is positioning. If I have any control over how a person or group shot is going down I look for the best possible backgrounds/light/reveal of things involved.
These 2 skills take a lot of practice and I'm still learning. As for nice boekh (however it is spelled), I hate to break this to you but editors are crude, rude, tasteless thugs who will destroy any beauty or artistic value you might perceive a shot to have. Plus they will chop, crop, and hack anything to fit column size. (I am not exaggerating.) Actually good editors have made me a much more focused and precise photographer, but I butt heads with mine real regular. (Actually I think she looks forward to jousting with me cause it's always interesting and occasionally loud.) Just remember, the editor always wins, so don't get too invested in your shots.
In a nutshell, pick the 24-70 first. If you can do the double swap add an older 2.8 70-200, and finally I wouldn't pick the 5DII as a PJ cam. You might find it okay for you or not be able to do anything about it, but if you really want to pursue this ill-paid, relatively thankless, and perhaps dying art, then start looking for the newest 1Dxx you can afford.
You're going to have a blast. Wish I'd have had a chance to "intern." Everything I know I learned by making mistakes. (Oh, always take more shots than you think you need - ya never know.)
I was already looking at used 1d mark ii's so but i had figured that one already. haha. I would like to with an old 24-70 and 70-200 at F2.8 like you said non IS on the tele isnt a must for me right now. I think i was still wondering if i could shoot the 24-105 and be ok at F4. My concern was more about the bokeh your saying thats not an issue, so i ask you personally do you think the 24-105 can get the job done at F4 regardless of bokeh? Thx for the advice all!