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Thread: Glass Choice Dilemma

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    Member twister's Avatar
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    Glass Choice Dilemma

    Hi there!

    A couple of months ago I bought a 50D ...At that time I didnt buy any glass with it except the 18-55IS (which, while sharp enough, is very slow on the longer end i.e. 35mm+, which I very frequently find myself in)

    Now that I will be travelling in a few weeks, I am looking for some glass for this body which is less likely to fall apart over time than the 18-55...

    I've narrowed myself to a few choices after extensive research:

    - EF 24-70/2.8L USM: Pros: Sharp, fast, FF compatible...Cons: Not very wide, Expensive, hit-and-miss with regards to sharp copies? And ofcourse, no IS

    - EF 24-105/4L IS USM: Pros: Sharp, fast AF, FF compatible, low vignetting and distortion on APS-C, (relatively) light, Cheaper than 24-70...Cons: f/4, horrid distortion on FF (not really an issue on the 50D), not very wide

    -EF-S 17-55/2.8 IS USM: Pros: Probably the sharpest of the bunch, f2.8 AND IS...Cons: Expensive, stupidly cheap build quality for price, issues with dust creeping under front element, reports of IS dying on net...

    I am leaning towards the 24-105L, because with the time I've had with my 18-55, I usually stay in the 24-35mm range for "everyday" photos, and I like doing portraiture for which I would find the 70-85 range on the 24-105 useful...Plus it has heaps better build than the 17-55...

    That said, the 17-55 has absolutely awesome IQ from what I've read on reviews...but has some issues with dust getting into the barrel underneath the front element and there are reports of the IS going quit as well (lensrentals.com, dpreview, fred miranda etc)

    I've more or less ruled out the brick as such..no IS, heavy, and trying 5 copies before I get the sharp one is not on...

    I also intended to get a nifty fifty and 85/1.8 USM...but I've dropped the idea because both the 24-105 and 17-55 will cover 50mm quite well, and I've dropped the 85 because I've started saving for a 70-200/2.8 II in the future, which should cover the entire tele range and make any need for the 85/1.8, 135/2L redundant (OK, not as sharp, but close enough eh?)

    Your thoughts ?

    And also, I am getting a Speedlight as well...I can get either the 580 or the 430 (or the Metz 58 but not inclined to)...Instinct says portraits = bounce = get the juiciest one you can afford? Is that the right way to shop for a speedlight?

    P.S. Just to reiterate, my camera is a 50D...

    Sorry for the long post...

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    my thoughts? I have the 24-70 f2.8 L and I LOVE it. It is a remarkable lens and the build quality is on par with other brickish lenses like the canon 70-200 range. The 24-70 doesn't have sharpness issues, the bad reports come from front/back focusing issues. Who cares? You have a 50D which has the focus microadjustment function. So you can adjust out any qualms you may have with focusing. I was lucky, and it is spot on sharp on my 5D (mk1 - no microadjustment functions like the mkii).
    Get the 24-70 if you want to do some portraits as well, you'll get smooth OOF areas with the f2.8 apeture Plus the lens hood is very, very effective
    Canon stuff 5Dmk1 w/ 24-70 f2.8L, Canon 5Dmk1 w/70-200f2.8L, 100mm f2.8 macro, 50mm f1.4, 580exII
    Alienbees B800, Lumopro 160, Manfrotto 155XPROB w/ 498RC2, Lowepro ProRunner X450AW
    Phew!

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    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    If you are going to be dealing with portraits I'd go the fast glass in the right range = 24-70L - lucky you though - spoilt for choice when starting out.
    Berni

    ""The most important piece of camera equipment you will ever own sits between your ears...."

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    Now I know that I don't hold a lot of clout around here, but my suggestion is:

    Get the 50mm. It's so cheap you'd be dumb not to.

    If you want a 70-200, get a second hand mkI. If you're seriously new to photography and shooting on a crop then there's no need to fork out the cash for a mkII which could be better spent elsewhere.

    Of the three you're looking at, I'd take the 24-105. Why? Better for everyday lens and walkabouts. Seeing as you're travelling, the smaller size & weight, greater focal length, and IS will serve you better than 1 stop worth of aperture. Buy this, duct tape the end (depending on where you're going) and you won't notice that it's not f/2.8 during the day.

    At night, switch to the 50 and use foot zoom.

    Failing that, buy an M9.

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    M9 I'm a uni student!

    I have made up my mind to go for the 24-105 + 580EX II for the time being...While the 17-55 has 2.8 and IS, I find $1500+ (Oz stock) a bit stupid a price for the build quality...If I cant push the camera store too much on it, the 24-105 it is then.

    I dont intend to get the 70-200 right now, I will start saving up for it though...by the time I get ready to buy it, prices here should stabilise a bit into more sensible territory as well...

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    I wouldn't count on them lowering prices to a realistic figure. If you can think of a definite reason why you need the MkII, then buy it. If your reason is just 'It is sharper' then you're better off getting the MkI.

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    Being a user of the 24-70 2.8 I can highly recommend that for portraits, both on the 50D, and 5D2 it come into it's own. They have been quite a few debates on here re the 24-70 and 24-105, and though not much in them, I personally find the 24-70 so much better. But when it comes down to it, both are great lenses and you can't really make a mistake with either.

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    In my old stable I had a 50mm 1.2, 16-35, 24-70 and a 70-200, all L's.
    What was my favourite lens? the 24-70.
    We did a safari in Kenya last year and the 24-70 stayed on 90% of the time. My wife used the 70-200.
    Now all my gear is gone and I run just a 60D with the 24-105mm L and it is very good.
    I had a 580EX before and found it so much better that the 430EX.
    So I think you have chosen well.
    David
    __________
    Lumix G6 with 14-140mm lens.

    RAW post work done with Aperture 4 with image size done in CS5

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    Thanks a lot folks! Much appreciated!


    I wouldn't count on them lowering prices to a realistic figure. If you can think of a definite reason why you need the MkII, then buy it. If your reason is just 'It is sharper' then you're better off getting the MkI.
    Considering it will be at least a year before I am able to afford the 70-200, I think the prices in a year or two should start making a bit more sense...the 70-200 MkII is already down to USD 2069 in the USA bought on its own, and USD 1869 when bought with a body...Otherwise I can always import from USA and still come out ahead even with GST tacked on by customs if the AUD is high enough...

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    Member tmd77's Avatar
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    being a uni student have you looked at the tamron 17-55 2.8?
    very affordable and from all reviews i've read, great value for money.

    Trent

    Canon 60d | Canon 450d | Tamron 17-50 f2.8 | Canon EF-S 55-250 | Canon EF 50 1.8 II | Canon 430exII speedlite

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmd77 View Post
    being a uni student have you looked at the tamron 17-55 2.8?
    very affordable and from all reviews i've read, great value for money.
    Yep...the VC version of the lens is not as good as the version without IS...and my hands are far from steady unfortunately...it certainly is terrific value, and I will consider it as well...i will pull the trigger in a couple of weeks...

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    The fact that the 17-55 goes to 17mm would be reason enough for me to choose this lens over the other two EF lenses, thats just me, i find 24mm not wide enough for a general walk around lens. The 17-55mm sells for about $950 used on ebay, not too bad, and i guess most of them are people upgrading to full frame so they most likely in good condition.

    I have never seen a 17-55, how bad is the build on it?
    1DIII, 5DII, 15mm fish, 24mm ts-e, 35L,135L,200L,400L,mpe-65mm
    Film: eos 300, pentax 6x7

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    The build of the 17-55 isn't that bad, it's just not that great when you look at how much you spent.

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Have you thought of the 15-85 3.5-5.6?

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allann View Post
    Being a user of the 24-70 2.8 I can highly recommend that for portraits, both on the 50D, and 5D2 it come into it's own. They have been quite a few debates on here re the 24-70 and 24-105, and though not much in them, I personally find the 24-70 so much better. But when it comes down to it, both are great lenses and you can't really make a mistake with either.
    Absolutely correct assessment, I don't have the 17-55 IS but I do have both the others, I can't fault "the brick"....in a sharpness shoot out it wins every time, I even have a copy of the forerunner the 28-70 f2.8 and I think....think....think it might be just a touch sharper, but they only go out to 70mm so there are problems straight away. Another nice lens is the 17-40L if you want a wide piece of glass, just as sharp as the 24-105
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Quote Originally Posted by agb View Post
    Have you thought of the 15-85 3.5-5.6?
    It seems to have good IQ but Photozone days vignetting is massive (and I dont rely on the-digital-picture reviews...they bloody love EVERY canon lens they get!)...but more importantly it brings no significant advantage in terms of speed...it's still a 3.5-5.6 lens so it's slow on the long end...

    The build of the 17-55 isn't that bad, it's just not that great when you look at how much you spent.
    Spot on...it is not badly built, but for the price you expect at least some metal...heck, even the 70-200 f/4 non-is costs substantially lesser and is made of mag alloy...

    Another nice lens is the 17-40L if you want a wide piece of glass, just as sharp as the 24-105
    Not a bad lens, but too short on the long end...On FF it's horrible in the corners...

    I find myself in the 35-45 or so range quite often, so this one will leave it quite annoyed at the long end...


    I tried the brick the other day in the city...build quality is exquisite, and focus is FAST...Got offered an awesome price as well, so it's now a worthy option compared to 24-105...

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Some of these are taken with the 15-85.
    http://jjackflash.zenfolio.com/

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    It's not a bad lens...it just doesnt bring much new to the table other than USM and FTM to me...it is slow on the long end, that's what keeps me off it...

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