Lens for new 5D Mark II

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Registered: Dec 28, 2011
Total Posts: 4
Country: United States

hi, i'm new here. Just upgraded to full frame and now rebuilding my gear. given the budget, I can only afford one L lens for now. Should I go for 24-70 f/2.8 for flexibility or get a 35mm f/1.4? What would you pick if you're on a budget?

Registered: Mar 07, 2008
Total Posts: 638
Country: United States

standard question....what type of pictures are you going to take with the lens?


Registered: Sep 25, 2009
Total Posts: 4123
Country: New Zealand

What do you shoot?

35/1.4 is a superb lens but not a zoom. so shallower dof, faster, lower light.

Mind you the 24-70 is no slouch either.

Registered: Dec 28, 2011
Total Posts: 4
Country: United States

portrait, landscape, stills. the zoom does me good when i do events but prefer the sharpness of prime.


Registered: Jun 17, 2005
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

Look through your old pictures. The most frequent focal length will answer your own question.

Registered: Aug 06, 2004
Total Posts: 2174
Country: United States

I would go zoom 1st and then add primes. 1st-24-70 2nd 70-200 then primes. You could also get the Rokinon/Samyang 35mm if auto focus isn't crucial.

Registered: Jan 17, 2011
Total Posts: 673
Country: N/A

this question is rather open ended and will be fueled by more preference than anything unless you state exact goals. what suits you? i prefer prime anyday

mark petri
Registered: Oct 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1006
Country: United States

35L or 50.

Registered: Jan 13, 2006
Total Posts: 1523
Country: United States

What lenses do you have now? If I had to use one lens with my 5D2 it would be the 24-105L. I use that lens much more than my 24-70L. For landscapes, portraits or as a walk around lens I think it covers the bases well. You can get more specific lenses for each application, but none that do all the 24-105L does, and with IS, IMO.

Registered: Jun 28, 2009
Total Posts: 14600
Country: United States

I'd certainly consider the 24-105, especially if you will have only one lens and shoot the subjects you mentioned.


Jonathan Huynh
Registered: May 01, 2003
Total Posts: 10682
Country: United States

Agree with above.

James Taylor
Registered: Feb 15, 2006
Total Posts: 790
Country: United States

35L for sure - amazing lens! Wait for the update to the 24-70

Registered: Apr 04, 2008
Total Posts: 3016
Country: United States

James Taylor wrote:
35L for sure - amazing lens! Wait for the update to the 24-70

Or wait for the update to the 35L - both are rumored.

Or sell your camera and wait for the 5d3, also rumored.

If you need sharp, get a Zeiss ZE21... there's just something about that lens.

I'd get a 24-70L if you're only going to have one lens. a single focal length will get old really fast.

Registered: Apr 18, 2008
Total Posts: 711
Country: United States

24-105 can be had for a song, used. I'd get that.

Roger Whitehead
Registered: Aug 12, 2002
Total Posts: 5568
Country: United States

I would buy a 200mm f1.8.


Registered: Jun 23, 2006
Total Posts: 3536
Country: United States

Both the 24-70L and the 24-105L are good suggestions.

This thread shows some results with the 24-70L:

I think it's the most versatile "event" lens you can get, assuming you don't need
to shoot from far away. While it has its limitations, I don't think there is a better
Canon lens for versatility in the wide to short tele range. A nice all-around performer.

Registered: Aug 30, 2009
Total Posts: 86
Country: United States

35L is superb but also you should consider 24L ii.

Registered: Jun 23, 2006
Total Posts: 3536
Country: United States

Also, if money is in short supply, consider the Tamron 28-75/2.8

Tom Dix
Registered: Jun 29, 2010
Total Posts: 1930
Country: United States

35l is always a good answer. I have had both and prefer the 35, however the zoom is worth a go and then make up your own mind.

Registered: Feb 07, 2002
Total Posts: 1043
Country: United States

I would get the 24-70 and then later get 35 if you feel you need it or just really want it. 24-70 is an excellent and very versitile lens. While 35 is better at 35 if you don't have other primes to compliment it you might find yourself very limited. And I don't think you will have any problems with sharpness of 24-70...

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