Long-Term Lens-Buying Plan - Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by astrostu, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I know lens-buying advice threads are all over the place, but this is different, I swear!

    Okay, so, before two weeks ago, my general-purpose lenses were an 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 (Canon) and 70-300 mm f/4.0-5.6 (Quantaray). I just got a 35 mm f/1.4L prime that I can use for people (see next paragraph) and my wide-field astrophotography. I also have a 600-1000 mm but that's special-purpose for lunar and solar photography.

    I have almost certainly just been hired to do some model work that should give me a fair amount of "playing around" money, and every-other $1k I get I'd like to put back into a new lens since this is not my day job. But, I can claim them as tax-deductible (at least the 35 mm and the wider zoom below) since they'll be used a lot for the model shooting (don't worry, I won't claim them as used for it 100%, I'll be fair and legal :sexywink: ).

    I've been doing some research and I would like to, over the next 1-2 years, purchase the following lenses (in no particular order):

    - Sigma Zoom 12-24 mm f/4.5-5.6.
    - Canon Zoom 24-70 mm f/2.8L (USM).
    - Canon Zoom 70-200 mm f/2.8L (USM).
    - Canon Normal 50 mm f/1.4 (USM) prime.

    Why? First, I don't want an EF-S lens because I plan on upgrading bodies in a few years to a more full-frame sensor. Specific to the lenses above, in order:

    - I do landscapes a lot and find that 18 mm is not wide enough in many cases, and I'd really like a true very wide-angle lens so I'm not always doing panoramae.

    - I want to replace my 18-55 mm kit lens with a high-quality lens that gives me a range up to the next lens.

    - I want to replace my crappy Quantaray lens with a good Canon and I don't think the 200-300 mm range gives me anything too important that I can't get just by cropping (I think it's around 30% less field of view on the APS-C sensors). And that's not worth sacrificing the f/2.8L for a f/4.0-5.6 to get the extra 100 mm. Especially in an astrophotography context, that's a difference of 4x in speed at the long end.

    - Not completely certain on this one, I'll really have to see how close I need to get to the models with the 35 mm to decide whether or not I actually want a 50 mm prime.


    So, that in mind, I'm torn on the order in which to buy these lenses. I believe I want the 24-70 and 70-200 "first," the 12-24 third, and still not sure on the 50 mm. I just don't know which one will be first and which second. I also realize that I'll need to buy new 77 mm filters which will be fairly expensive (since I want an IR filter in there), so that might actually count as my second "lens" purchase and I'd hold off on getting the second lens for the third round of cash.

    So the lenses in first and second place will be general-purpose and replacements for what I currently have. The 24-70 I could use for the model shoots. But the 70-200 I could use in astrophotography to try to snap some smaller but fairly large objects (like the Andromeda Galaxy or the constellation Dolphinus). And, I'm going to Hawaii in November and I'm pretty sure I'll have one of these lenses but not both at that time, so I'm not sure which will be better.

    Okay, if you're still reading, congratulations! You get a prize: You get to tell me your advice. I'd really like this not to come down to a coin toss between the two, so please let me know what you think.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Sounds like a fair plan. One thing I'm not sure of...the Sigma 12-24...it will fit onto a full frame camera but I don't think it has full frame coverage.

    I can understand the reluctance y to purchase any EF-S lenses...but they may be the best option for you, until you upgrade. When you do upgrade, you could probably sell then for a decent price. The EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS and the EF-S 10-22 are both very good lenses.
     
  3. astrostu

    astrostu Guest


    Yeah, as I posted I looked back at that Sigma and it is "optimized for digital" cameras, so I'm no longer certain on that purchase. And you're right, I am reluctant to invest in any EF-S lenses. I don't plan on upgrading camera bodies to a more full-frame until Summer '09 at the earliest, but you never know. But the EF-S 10-22 is a possibility. I would like a zoom lens that goes down to at least 14 mm and up to 22 to 24 mm (to match the low-end of the 24-70).

    One thing you didn't mention - would you suggest going for the 24-70 or 70-200 first?
     
  4. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    I would give the Canon 70-200 f2.8 the priority on the list. It is a remarkable lens in versatility. It works well as a portrait lens and it is quite fast in operation. IQ is the best that Canon offers.

    I seldom if ever take it off my camera.
     
  5. I never put the 70-200 f/2.8 IS L on my camera. I find it way too big, unwieldy, just clunky. It is an excellent lens though, no question about that. My default SLR lens is the 24-70 f/2.8 L - now THAT'S a great lens!
     
  6. Oh, and the 50mm f/1.4 is a stellar little lens. Great for portrait work.
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    BTW the Sigma is definitely intended for full frame coverage... it is merely "optimised" for digital, meaning that it has coatings to reduce flare and abberations on digital sensors. Basically a Sigma DG lens is full-frame 35mm, while a DC one is the equivalent of EF-S.
     
  8. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    Oye. Two conflicting opinions! Just to note, though, that I'm NOT looking at the IS. And the IS adds another 0.1" in width and length and another full pound, so that'll make a difference.

    Yep, that's what a lot of folks say.


    Alright, good to know. Thanks for the clarification on that.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    In my opinion...if you are looking at the 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS...why not go the extra yard for the IS version? Sure it's a bit bigger and heavier...but you will get used to that. IS is a god-send on a telephoto lens.
     
  10. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Yup....once more proving there AIN'T no definitive answer.

    I lug my 100-400 L around for a day and that does give muscle twinge now and then.
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know personally, I think it is a great list but with all that Canon glass why would you stick a Sigma in there. It seems like if you can afford all that other Canon glass why not get the Canon equivalent to the Sigma?.
     
  12. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    There isn't a Canon equivalent. Other than EF-S - which won't work without huge vignetting on the larger sensors - Canon's rectilinear lenses only go down to 14 mm with the 16-35 mm zoom or the 14 mm prime. Unless someone knows of a lens I haven't heard of?
     

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