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Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?
  
 
Vermiculations
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p.1 #1 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Hi,

I'm just getting back into shooting after a few years away (digital and film) and have lots of questions.

Looking back on my previous experience the bulk and weight of my zooms was always a barrier to shooting. I am strongly considering selling my zooms and purchasing 3-4 high quality primes for a versatile, minimalist kit.

Most of my current shooting will be outdoors. A combination of landscape and action photos in somewhat remote locations. With a good portion of this shooting done at dusk.

I plan on upgrading my camera body to a 6D - lighter, less bulk, and strong performance in low light make this sound like the best choice. Though I still have questions about the video performance and AF of this camera. Positive or cautionary comments appreciated.

The 5D MK3 is my other option, but likely eliminates a lens purchase.

My current lenses are the: Canon 28-70 2.8L and the canon 70-200 2.8L.

The vast majority of my use with the 70-200 was roughly at 135 (2/3 extended) and fully extended at 200. It seems fairly obvious to replace this lens with the 135 2L and 200 2.8L II. Both primes have stellar reputations are lighter and less bulky.

My use of the 28-70 was restricted to the wider angles of the lens, with shots over 50 almost never occuring and I often remember wanting to go slightly wider. For that reason, I would like to replace this lens with 1-2 wide primes or possibly the 16-35 2.8L II.

Any comments in favor of the 16-35?

I am considering these primes in order: 35 1.4L, 24 1.4L II, TS-E 24 3.5L.

I'm very tempted to try 35, 135, 200 and fill in later.

However, I am concerned that the 35 might not be wide enough. Nor am I sure I could justify owning both the 24 and 35.

Comments on low light AF performance of the 24 and 35 welcome. Particularly if you have a 6D body.

I like the images I have seen produced with the TS-E lenses, but they are very expensive. How difficult is it to master their use?

Will the gap between 35 and 135 be an issue?

I was originally thinking about adding a 50 or 85 L but have all but ruled these lenses out based on my past usage and serious concerns about their AF performance - particularly in low light situations. Can any 6D owners comment how these lenses work with the 6D body?

Am I on the right track or am I crazy to sell off my zooms?














Apr 24, 2013 at 02:18 AM
RogerC11
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p.1 #2 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Go with whatever makes you happy. I tried that before and regretted it. A mix of both zooms and primes works the best...for me at least.


Apr 24, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #3 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I'm a prime guy but would never give up the 70-200 focal length. If f2.8 is to big than go with the f4 version.


Apr 24, 2013 at 03:07 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #4 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


For light and flexible, rather than going to the extreme of giving up zooms and trying to switch to all primes - often a less realistic decision than it might seem - why don't you instead consider losing the f/2.8 zooms - which are big - and replacing them with f/4 zooms? The 17-40 f/4 plus 70-200mm f/4 make an incredibly flexible and not that large kit.

I have more lenses than that, but I shot for ten days in Utah with friends last October using just these lenses plus a 24-105 and I was able to carry minimal gear (aside from a rather large tripod) down into lots of interesting and off-the-beaten-track places and produce a wide variety of photographs.

Once you start looking at the large aperture L primes - a few of which I have - and TS lenses, you are not really lightening up your load much at all.

Dan



Apr 24, 2013 at 03:13 AM
John S. Hudson
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p.1 #5 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I got the 6D about a month ago and it is blowing me away in all aspects. However I am upgrading from a 20D, so my perspective is slightly off ;-)


Apr 24, 2013 at 03:18 AM
scottam10
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p.1 #6 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I like the 35L and 135L

I also really like the 85mm focal length, and I find the 1.8 is perfect for my needs (zippy AF, small and light, much cheaper than the L)

I don't have a need for 200mm, I find that 135 is plenty long enough, and you can always crop as needed
- while I'm sure the 200mm 2.8 is a stellar lens, it isn't any faster than the 70-200 2.8, and it doesn't have IS. Its only real advantage over the 70-200 is size/weight
So personally I'd skip the 200

I find the 28-70 range to be 'boring', and the lens is a brick! I prefer to have a wider option available, 16-35 is great

- though the current-generation 24-70 does go usefully wider than 28mm

So my preference is 16-35 2.8L II, 35L, 85 f/1.8, 135 f/2L
(on full frame)



Apr 24, 2013 at 03:21 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #7 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Keep your zooms and add a prime or two later. Get the 85 1.8, 50 1.4 or the 35 2 if you are jonsing out.


Apr 24, 2013 at 06:08 AM
CalBoy87
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p.1 #8 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I consider it to be like ergonomics of a camera - very personal. As convenient as they were I simply didn't enjoy using them, too large, some too heavy and none of them was as fast as even cheapest prime. So I went prime all the way, 24 to 200. As photography is only a hobby, I don't have critical shots I have to make, I enjoy taking my time, switching lenses or moving closer or farther to get better composition. I am probably in minority here, but I am perfectly happy having primes only. Again, is purely personal and unless you try either or combination of both, none of the advice you hear here will give you a definite answer.

Edited on Apr 24, 2013 at 09:18 AM · View previous versions



Apr 24, 2013 at 06:21 AM
mitesh
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p.1 #9 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I wouldn't recommend making wholesale changes to your lens lineup at once. As has been suggested above, keep what you have and perhaps add a prime or two to see if you'd really enjoy shooting with primes better, or if you'd see any benefit over what you have now.

You mention weight as being a reason for considering primes. However, the L primes that you're considering certainly are not lightweights. In fact, 4 of them will likely weigh more than your two zooms. In your discussion of focal lengths, it seems like the only range that you believe you're lacking in is the <28mm range. You've proposed one alternative in the 16-35, and if you pick up a 50mm prime to go with it, that might be a workable solution. Another option might be a 24-70 (there are two versions, with the mk II being lighter, sharper, and more expensive). Not sure, however, if the extra 4mm on the wide end is enough for you.

As for the TSE, I wouldn't get into that unless it is a tool that you need. And I believe that if you needed it, you'd know it and probably already have it.

Finally, I'll leave one last opinion. If I was in your position, I'd probably keep the lenses you have and possibly upgrade to a 24-70. I used to own several primes (24L, 35L, 85L, 135L, 200L) but now have pared it down to 24-70 and 70-200. The main reason for using primes was the ability to shoot at really large apertures. I no longer have that need, so I'd rather have a smaller, more nimble kit. Kind of like the "less is more" saying. In your post, you never mentioned needing to shoot at f/2 or larger, so in my mind, that's one very good reason not to switch exclusively to primes. I also definitely know that I missed shots previously when I had the wrong lens on or was in the middle of switching lenses. That's rarely an issue now.

Hope this helps a bit. Whatever decision you make, enjoy your shooting!



Apr 24, 2013 at 06:40 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #10 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Don't forget the Samyang 14. It is really nice and cheap too.

Just spring for a prime for and try it out.



Apr 24, 2013 at 06:49 AM
 

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Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #11 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


5D III + 16-35 f/2.8L mk II + 24-70 f/2.8L mk II + 70-200 f/2.8L IS mk II + Sigma 35 f/1.4

Make a nice if expensive kit.



Apr 24, 2013 at 06:59 AM
bambi73
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p.1 #12 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


i did the switch from zooms to primes - i use only primes now (17,24,35,85)

i found that the 35L is great for most of my family shots.

the 24 2.8 is great and light for tavelling (i think i will replace it with the 28is + 40 2.8, because i like to take photos of my son and the 24mm has distortion).

i like to just put my camera out from my bag, and shoot - without playing with the zoom.

as CalBoy87 wrote - its just a hobby for me, i dont have any critical photos to take, and really like using the primes over to zooms.

OP - maybe its better for you to buy 1 prime lens (35mm for example), and see if you like it.




Apr 24, 2013 at 07:47 AM
Picha
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p.1 #13 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Vermiculations wrote:
Hi,

I'm just getting back into shooting after a few years away (digital and film) and have lots of questions.

Looking back on my previous experience the bulk and weight of my zooms was always a barrier to shooting. I am strongly considering selling my zooms and purchasing 3-4 high quality primes for a versatile, minimalist kit.

Most of my current shooting will be outdoors. A combination of landscape and action photos in somewhat remote locations. With a good portion of this shooting done at dusk.

I plan on upgrading my camera body to a 6D - lighter, less bulk, and
...Show more

No, you are not crazy :-) Using primes does limit you regarding focal lenghts to choose from BUT doesn't limit your quality of photography !

I would ditch the 24-70, as someone described it as being "boring", I kinda agree.
In combination with the 70-200 it does give you full coverage from 24 -200 ( and therefore it's been a common combination) but people often use it at the very end ... at 70 or 24.
And that's the "only" advantage you have, being able to use either focal length without switching lenses. For a wedding photographer quiet handy ...
But then I would prefer to work with two bodies, one with a 70-200 and the other with a 24 or 35 prime.

For me, I would keep anyway a 70-200. Which one ... ?
Ask yourselve, do you need f2.8 ? If not, I'd go for the 70-200 f4 IS. Small, light AND sharp wide open.
You need f2.8 ... I'd go for the IS version, preferable the MarkII

Prime Wide angle ... you wonder if 35mm is wide enough !?
Best advice regarding this (and won't cost you a thing) ..."select" 35mm on your 28-70 and see for yourselve ! Not just for a single shot but for a day !
You find 28mm even "narrow" !? There's your answer ... 24 !

The 35L is a great lens, makes your images "pop" on a full frame and fast glass is always "yummy" :-)
Mine is very usuable at f1.4 and off course it only get's better at f2.8 ...
I don't own the 24LII but I am pretty sure it's at the same level as the 35L.

I did own the 135L, great fast lens but I wish it had IS because shooting at 1/60/sec or slower wasn't that obvious and the 70-200 2.8 IS Mark I at that time did deliver at 1/30th ( 1 stop slower tough but love the Bokeh at f2.8 200mm just as much as the 135 f2).

I had a 17-35, which had too much distortion at the edges ( bad sample) and the 35L spoiled me so I sold it very fast !
No need for f2.8 ... I'd consider 17-40 f4.

24 T/S MarkII needs time to master, you can't just use it to replace a 24L/35L since it's manual and not as fast (f3.5) but it's a high quality lens and will challenge you. AND will keep you busy being creative, so it's a great lens to have aside a "normal" wide angle.

I have no experience of using a 6D. Full frame is anyway the way I'd go.
If you don't need/want the 5DIII features ... 6D seems more then fine.

So, I'd make the choice between a 24L OR a 35L ( instead of buying both, I'd invest in the 70-200 2.8 II)
Being able to use high ISO is NOT the same as using fast glass !

Rgds





Apr 24, 2013 at 08:12 AM
fixedgearmike
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p.1 #14 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I have a 5d3 and a 6d and the 6d images are fantastic but it feels a bit flimsy in comparison, and the focus needs more care & attention to get right (because I find it best using centre-point only). The 5d is much more solid and focussing is amazing. If you can afford the difference, I'd go for it.

for lenses, if you want 3 primes, I'd recommend the sigma 35 1.4, canon 85 1.8 and canon 135. I have all 3, I bought a sigma 85 1.4 and it's better than the canon 1.8 but not *massively* so. The canon 135 is amazing, but is quite long - you're a long way away from the subject for portraits, 85 is a 'friendlier' length.

I have a 17-40 4.0 which I use when 35 isnt wide enough, it's a nice lens. I havent tried a t/s.

enjoy!



Apr 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM
e.aland
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p.1 #15 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Vermiculations wrote:
Hi,

I'm just getting back into shooting after a few years away (digital and film) and have lots of questions.

Looking back on my previous experience the bulk and weight of my zooms was always a barrier to shooting. I am strongly considering selling my zooms and purchasing 3-4 high quality primes for a versatile, minimalist kit.

Most of my current shooting will be outdoors. A combination of landscape and action photos in somewhat remote locations. With a good portion of this shooting done at dusk.

I plan on upgrading my camera body to a 6D - lighter, less bulk, and
...Show more

6D + 35 simga works very fine together, as the 135L and 200L.
Different to others the 135 cannot replace the 200 (cropping) and the 200L makes a lot of sense if you want a phantastic, fast and light 200mm prime on a handy FF body like the 6D.
I went from a 24-50-85-135-200 prime line to a 35-85-135 (still keeping the 200L).
Reason: the quality of the 2470 II (which is very ok weightwise on the 6D).
The 70200 II is different. But its an image factory, if you need to deliver e.g. at events (including sport).
1635 ? no thank you. I bought, used and sold 2 of them. good for close range PJ stuff (events).
Your 2870 must be a nice lens for portraits. But of course its bulky on a 6D.
Your 70200 is (kind of) outdated with the II version. What about the excellent 70300L (which i like to use a lot on the 6D) ?
I owned and sold the excellent 24L, because the 35 sigma is more versatile (for me).
Instead of a 24TSE Id get the 17TSE.
My take for you: 17L 2470L II - 35 sig 135L 70300L



Apr 24, 2013 at 11:50 AM
kezeka
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p.1 #16 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


I switched over to mostly using primes in the last year and haven't regretted it at all. Dumped my 24-70 and replaced it with 35, 50, 85 L's. I couldn't be happier. What was your beef with the AF in the 85 and 50? I know the 50 can be a little fickle but I find it infinitely faster than the 85 in acquiring focus. The 85 has never missed a focus on my 5D2 - just a little slow - definitely focuses faster on my 1D body though. The 35L is a masterful lens. I still don't trust sigma after the crappy internal components of the 50 1.4 they released had been discovered so that ruled out the sigma 35 in my book. The 35L renders in a way that is very unique and will make a photo great rather than just good. In fact, that is something I have found to be true of all of the L primes that I currently own. I was impressed by the 135L that I borrowed for a weekend but never fell in love with the focal length like others here have.

That said, the only zoom you will have any trouble prying away from me is my 70-200 mkII. I can't imagine replacing this lens. I have had a 70-200 since I started taking photos 7 years ago and cannot imagine being on the majority of my assignments without it. Portraits, performances, inclimant weather - the 70-200s can take a beating and still perform stupidly well. The range is just so versatile and with the mkII being just as sharp and contrasty as the 200 2.8 I don't know why you would lean towards primes in that range. I know more than a handful of members here have replaced their 135Ls with the 70-200 mkII as well.



Apr 24, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Yohan Pamudji
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p.1 #17 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


If you plan to carry all lenses at once I'm not sure you're saving much weight by going with the primes you mentioned over the 28-70 f/2.8L and 70-200 f/2.8L. Of course you could carry just a couple primes at a time and achieve that.

One source of weight savings would be to consider the 35mm f/2 IS instead of the 35mm f/1.4L. If you were comfortable with f/2.8 zooms before then the f/2 won't be a drawback compared to f/1.4, and the f/2 lens will be lighter. That won't achieve your goal of going wider than 28mm, but if you're set on primes it's definitely something to consider.

For 200mm you could go with a 135L and 1.4x extender instead. It wouldn't be exactly 200mm but it would get you close, and you'd be at f/2.8 with that combo which the 200mm lens is anyway. That would save you a lot of weight.



Apr 24, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Vermiculations
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p.1 #18 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Some more observations:

I shot a few pictures of my son running track with my trusty old 20D and the 28-70 and quickly realized that I still need to have a few zoom lenses.

Anyways, I decided to purchase locally and took home a 6D today and 24-105L.

We also decided to bring home a Powershot elph for my young daughter (birthday) and a Nikon AW110 for some underwater fun (if it ever gets warm).

While it may not have the image quality and high aperture of my 28-70L lens, the 24-105L has a wider range and IS. My dealer says it works great with video. I'm going to give it a shot and sell the 28-70L in order to purchase my first two L primes. At the price I paid I am sure I can sell it and move on if need be...

Right now I'm leaning towards a short telephoto and a wide angle. The 135L is the obvious choice for the telephoto, but choosing a wide angle is going to be more difficult.

I handled the 24L and liked it a lot, but I still need to get my hands on a 35L. The dealer is pushing the Sigma 35 1.4 hard, but I haven't liked the Sigma products I've tried in the past...



Apr 25, 2013 at 05:45 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #19 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


RogerC11 wrote:
Go with whatever makes you happy. I tried that before and regretted it. A mix of both zooms and primes works the best...for me at least.


Me too. My most common setup is the 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 35/1.4L, and 85/1.2L II, with a 16-35/2.8L or 18 ZE on the side.



Apr 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Yohan Pamudji
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p.1 #20 · Sell my L Zooms for L Primes and Other Assorted Questions?


Vermiculations wrote:
I handled the 24L and liked it a lot, but I still need to get my hands on a 35L. The dealer is pushing the Sigma 35 1.4 hard, but I haven't liked the Sigma products I've tried in the past...


The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 has stunningly good image quality but the jury is still out on AF. I've been following user experience threads on the lens and a lot of people are experiencing AF inconsistencies at varying distances and lighting types (outdoors vs. indoor flourescent for instance). How much of that is the lens vs. the camera vs. the user I can't say. If you trust your dealer and they have a good return policy, buy it and drive it hard for a few weeks to make sure it's up to snuff. If you're satisfied with the AF you should be getting a lens that is better than the 35L wide open and at least even when stopped down.



Apr 25, 2013 at 02:03 PM
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