Dilemma, advice on Canon lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by MarcusM, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    I have a dilemma, and I'm hoping someone can help w/advice. I am starting to get into portraiture. I want to start a portrait side-business in the near future and I think I will get a Canon 5D.

    I already have a 300D so I want to buy a Canon lens to practice with now on my 300D that I can use when I get the 5D.

    Here's the dilemma: The lens I have in mind is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM. The price of the lens on B&H is $1,059.00. Well, I just saw on Canon's website that they just recently started offering the 5D with this lens and on B&H it is $2,749.95 for the kit, which means I would essentially get the lens for about $700 for a savings of $300.

    So, I think I might wait until I get the kit so I can save on the lens, but my question is, does anyone have a recommendation for a second lens that would be good for a portraiture arsenal, or general purpose lens? Do you need more than one lens for portraiture?

    Thanks!
     
  2. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    70-200 f/2.8L

    Great lens for everything. I used it for portraits all the time.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For portraits.... image quality comes before the convenience of a zoom. I'd shoot with some really nice primes. Start out with the 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.8.

    The default zoom used by wedding photographers is the 24-70 f2.8L coupled with a longer zoom usually the 70-200 f2.8 IS L. On the other hand... there is nothing stopping you from shooting good portraits with other lenses.

    Please keep in mind...
    * You CAN shoot portraiture with virtually any lens.
    * There is no rule that states that you have to have two.. three.. four lenses. Definitely no rule that states which lenses you MUST have.
    * Good portraits involves a good control of light. IMO, lighting is more important than the lens you have mounted to the camera.

    Think about lighting!
     
  4. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that thing is massive! There is about a $400 difference between the IS and non-IS lens.

    hmm...I looked at the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM and then I compared the EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM...Wow! There is about a $1000 price difference! I have a hard time believing there would be that big of a quality improvement on the L lens to justify $1000, what do you think? Maybe that 85mm f/1.8 would be a good lens to start with.
     
  5. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    I didn't shoot the IS version, didn't want or need it. It is a big lens, but it was my all around lens. The size and weight didn't really deter me. :)
     
  6. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Would there be any reason I wouldn't want the IS?
     
  7. azruial

    azruial TPF Noob!

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    Here's a good review that talks about IS vs "The Old" (non-is) http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/70-200is.shtml

    "...The two lenses tested essentially the same...The decision between the non-IS and the IS version of this lens is a no-brainer..."

    I think I read elsewhere that the weight difference is negligible as well, but don't take my word for it. :D

    Personally, I can't wait until I can afford this lens ;)
     
  8. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    I deemed that I didn't need it because I never did before. I had been shooting for a while and never needed it, so I didn't get it.

    It's purely a personal decision. :)
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The only reason not to get IS, would be cost. The first time you hold up a long telephoto lens with IS, and you see the image 'snap' into a steadiness...you will know.

    As for a lens for portraits...as mentioned, it could be any lens. I recommend a prime lens because the image quality is usually very good and the wide aperture will allow you to shoot with a shallow DOF.

    The 50mm F1.8 is an easy one. For only $70 or so, you can't go wrong. It's a cheaply built lens though. The 50mm F1.4 is three or four times as expensive but still affordable. Much better build quality. As you have seen , the 50mm F1.2 L is crazy expensive and I've heard that it's not really sharper than the F1.4...just faster.

    The 85mm F1.8 would also be a good portrait lens, on either crop or full frame. It's a great lens at a good price.
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That extra stop or half a stop might be essential for low-light shooting, like flashless wedding photography, but it probably wouldn't be any good for portraits because the DOF is so slim that most facial features would be out of focus. It looks like more of a specialty lens. I'm not sure about canons 50mm f1.8, but if it's anything like Nikon's, it's a good place to start. Sharp, fast and cheap as can be.

    If your shooting in a studio, it seems like an 85mm might be a little long, so keep that in mind.
     
  11. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your help everyone, so I decided also after talking with a more experience photographer friend (more experienced than myself is what I meant to say- I just reread this and didn't want it to sound like I was saying he knows more than everyone here!), who also suggested the 50 1.4 or the 50 1.8 or 85 1.8 but he was emphasizing the importance of the 50s...

    so I decided to go with the 50 1.4 and I'm also going to get a 430 EX speedlight!

    I just wish I could place the order now from B&H...I have to wait until 6:45 pm EST! I don't understand why they do that!

    (Oh, and yes I'll use the link from the TPF site!)
     
  12. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    I say get the 70-200 f/4 L or the 2.8 version if you have the money. That would pair nicely with the 5D and the 24-105 f/4 L.

    Better yet, build up to this kit one lens at a time:

    5D + 16-35 2.8 L + 24-70 2.8 L + 70-200 2.8 L + 1.4X converter

    It's the ultimate Canon Kit. 16 to 200mm all in 2.8 with L quality. and up to 280mm @ f/4 with the extender.
     

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