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About to Push that "Buy" Button on a 24-70mm f/2.8L ... What Next?


I shoot for the stars
Aug 1, 2006
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Boulder, CO, USA
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About to finish a 3-year plan to round out my main lenses. I already have a 35mm f/1.4L and last year I bought the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. Now I'm about to push the button on the 24-70mm f/2.8L. :)

Now I'm planning on investing in other equipment. I figure after this lens, I'll invest in a good tripod. The one I have now cost $25 and is decent enough, but it won't support anything very heavy and it's not the most stable of things.

I'll be getting a 580EXII flash unit this summer 'cause I'm doing a friend's wedding in Sept. and need an off-camera flash capability.

I was considering getting Canon's 14mm f/2.8L II lens, but I already use my 35mm a lot to do panoramas, and I think I'm willing to do more stitching if it saves me $2000USD.

I will be getting a new body, the 5D Mark II, but that won't be 'til 2011 and so may be a "Mark III" by that point.

Is there any other equipment I should be looking at? What do you find is an important item that I may not have thought of?
look at the 16-35mm f/2.8. Pretty wide and I see wedding photogs use it often, as well as the 24-70. Also when you go FF the 16mm will be ultra wide, great for panos.
I'd say go with the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8...great lens, sharp, and way less than the 16-35...
I'd say go with the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8...great lens, sharp, and way less than the 16-35...

:scratch: he's buying a 24-70... what use, beyond the extra 7mm of wideness would that be?

Anyways, maybe you'd want a fisheye lens?
Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM for sure.

seriously though... does Canon have a 14-24 2.8 or something along those lines? if not the 14mm prime you mentioned is probably what i would go with.
Tamron also has a 14mm f/2.8 (non-fisheye) that works with ff as well as cropped body.

New around $1000, used usually less than $600 (I bought my for less than $400 from ebay)

I dunno, I have heard good things about the 10-22 sigma I think (at least I'm thinking that's the range, I might be off a bit)

The other thing I've heard is that if you're going to upgrade your tripod, get something excellent, Particularly with the money you're putting into lenses. I would think you're probably looking for something in the 1k range for the legs and head combined.
The 580EXII is a great flash, you will be very happy with it! Also, a good tripod is worth the cost, after going from a $15 aluminum tripod to a much more expensive (much heavier) one, it has made a world of difference.

What about a nice camera bag or case for all that expensive gear? I have a backpack and also a pelican case for all my gear, both were great investments. I order a lot of stuff from Digital Camera and Electronics Stores - We are experts in all the products we sell. they have a good variety of bags and cases, good prices and are very friendly.
a good solid tripod is a good investment - a Manfrotto is a good move, but a Gitzo might be a better bet if your looking to make a serious investment - if that is the case get to a shop to try them out if you can - carbon fibre (At more cost of course) might also be a consideration if you do a lot of walking and want to take the tripod with you

A flash is another good addon and it can really open up options - just on the camera alone its good - get if off camera and you can have some interesting fun playing with lighting. Make sure to get a diffuser for it of course.

Canon 800mm - its light enough to handhold, has IS and would be great for closer moon and star shots!! Its no Hubble but its on its way!
What kind of photography do you do? That will help with determining what you may want to consider for future purchasing.

For example, Do you do weddings? A good flash bracket may be a good sselection when you get the 580EXII.

Any macro? The Canon 100MM Macro is a good lens.

Let us know what you tend to shoot.
Thanks for all the ideas. And CxThree - I actually specifically left out what photography I do because I was hoping people would reply more generally with "what any photographer needs" kind of gear.

I probably should've mentioned I have a good camera backpack - picked up a Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II last September. So I'm covered there.

I can't go with the Sigma 10-20mm because it's not made for a full-frame camera. I'll look at that Tamron.

I'll be looking for a good tripod, but I'm not interested in spending $1k on one. I was hoping to go for something in the range of $250-500 or so. But I'll be making a separate post about that when it comes up in my budget that I can go buy it.

The photography that I mainly do is landscapes and general "nature." In addition to astrophotography. It's really the astrophotography that initially pushed me into the L glass range because it's one of the most demanding things to photograph in terms of what you need from the lens in sharpness, even illumination, lack of coma, etc. As a result, I'll probably pick up a Losmandy GM-8 mount next summer that will let me do long exposures without tracking errors nor the need to set my camera on top of a telescope to track the sky for me. Once I have that, I'll finally be able to drive an hour to a dark-sky site, set up, and take very deep, wide-field images of the sky.

Let's see ... I don't really do weddings, but I will be doing a friend's wedding in September of this year. It's my first wedding as the only shooter as opposed to a friend who took shots in between the pro's shots (with their permission, of course). I don't plan to make wedding photography a habit, but it would be nice to pick one up every now-and-then. I think the only thing I'm lacking in wedding photo gear, though, is a second body (will be remedied in 2011) and the ginormous lights and umbrellas, which I don't think I'll ever want to invest in unless I give up astronomy and do weddings full-time ... which I don't see happening.

I also do coin photography (my other hobby that eats my free cash). So while I have a macro lens at the moment, it's low-quality and will not work once I go to a full-frame body. So I will likely want to upgrade that within the next 3 years. I was looking at Canon's 100mm f/2.8 macro which is nice at under $500 ... versus their 180mm f/3.5L that comes in at $1300.

I'm actually surprised no one's said a 50mm f/1.4.
I'm actually surprised no one's said a 50mm f/1.4.

50mm f/1.4's aren't for nature or astrophotography. On a cropped camera the 50 f/1.4 is predominantly a portraiture lens, and on film/FF it's a snapshotter.
I just ordered the Monfrotto 055XProB and the 488 RC2 head this week. I will get them tomorrow and can let you know how I like it. From what I have heard, thats a good setup.
I really suggest the 50mm f/1.4, maybe the f/1.2 version if you can afford it. :D

I say just get the f/1.4.

As well, the 100mm. Both would cost collectively less than the 180mm macro.

At any rate, a wedding... it would be best to get the f/1.4 at least as well as the 580 EX II flash. Or at least the 430 EX II. That is a completely necessity, comes in handy at other times and is a must if you're going to do - even just a small dabble - in weddings. It's worth getting anyway.
Well for wedding work you have your 70-200mm but you will probably need something better than your 18-55mm kit lens for all those inside shots (and whilst your 35mm is a good option, it lacks that versatility that a zoom or a range of primes offers you).
The 24-70mm f2.8 L is often used by wedding photographers - though you could consider the 24-105mm f4 IS L since the longer focal range might be more suited to letting you get that odd nature grabshot. The smaller max aperture might push you more to learning and mastering the use of flash for inside work in dimmer environments.

As for nature what sort of nature are we talking about - plants, animals, birds, bugs, landscapes rivers - fish?
Each area has its own demands on gear and thus having some idea of which areas interest you the most would be a good starting point for suggestions.

As for macro the canon 180mm is not that popular a lens simply because its price is so very high and you don't get any more (image quality wise) then you can get from a sigma 180mm macro lens at less than half the price! If you intend to look towards bugs at any stage then you want to have at least 90mm of focal length for the working distance - for coins alone you can go lower without problems (they don't fly off) but remember that a longer focal length will give increased amounts of background blur in shot. EF options are:

Canon 100mm f2.8 macro - probably has the best AF of the selection though AF is not used in macro work so its not a major concern for many macro shooters- but its good to have for other areas
Tamron 90mm macro - good solid choice and a good option for a cheaper macro lens
Sigma 70mm macro - one of sigma's sharpest lenses, af is nothing special and is noisy, it is also compatable with both the 1.4 and 2* teleconverters (sigma make) dispite not being listed as such on their website.
Sigma 105mm macro - another solid macro lens and not too expensive
Sigma 150mm macro - A top range sigma macro lens compatable with thier teleconverters, with innner focusing, HSM focusing and also the longest generally handholdable macro lens.
Sigma 180mm macro - offers the same features as the 150mm model, but with a longe focal length - often considered more of a tripod macro lens as opposed to a handheld macro for prolonged periods of time.

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