Best Lens Choices? Please Help!


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Jun 17, 2013
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If I'm getting a Canon 6D + EF 24-105mm L IS USM lens, what other lenses are good choices to pair alongside that?

I'm a casual photographer, so whatever I buy, I want to have a reason to lug everything around (meaning I want to keep the number of lenses I have to a minimum). Or, if I buy something, I want a VERY good reason for having it and keeping it at home 50% of the time.

I've been recommended (or almost told to) pick up a 50mm lens. I am definitely on a budget, but I'm wondering whether the difference between the 1.8 and 1.4 is significant enough to warrant the nearly 4x cost difference.

I definitely want a wide-angle lens for scenery/landscape photography, and I was looking at the 17-40mm, but that's about $800. I'm wondering if at 40mm if that replaces the 50mm lens effectively.

Basically my question boils down to this: Aside from the 24-105mm lens, what lenses would really make sense for someone who shoots for fun and is willing to carry around a few lenses, but is budget conscious? I like all sorts of photography (not-so-much bird photography -- overall an extreme zoom lens is neat but not in my budget). Being able to take nice sunset photography, beach photography, etc, would be nice. I live in Vancouver, BC, so I have lots of scenic options... and I definitely plan to take a lot of vacation-type photography. Just general stuff, fun stuff... but I like to have fun with my gear, and I like to have options. I know some of this will boil down to "personal preference", but I do want to get suggestions so that I can research and decide what I want. I'm having difficulties figuring things out given all the opinions that are shot around through a google search. Thanks!
I love my 24-105 on my 5D3. And on the 60D when I had that camera, too. It's a fantastic do-everything, anywhere, lens, indoors and out. As you're using a 6D, indoor low light photography shouldn't be a problem at higher ISOs without a flash. Although a faster lens is great for thin DOF shots, it's up to you whether that's what you want to do.

As far as the 17-40, I don't think that the extra 7mm wide would be that noticable, or practical, unless you find yourself in cramped quarters or want to do more landscape photography. I have the 16-35 f2.8 L ii to complement my 24-105 for shooting in sometimes tight indoor spaces. It came in quite handy when I had the crop-sensor 60D camera. But since moving to full frame, that lens gets less and less mount-time. But I wouldn't part with it, as one never knows when the 8mm 'extra' width or full stop of light will be needed.

So, with only a 24-105 and a tight budget, I'd probably look at a 70-200 f4L, used or refurb, if money is really tight. First, I like the overlapping zoom range to avoid 'forced' lens changes when I only want a couple of mm 'more'. The 70-200 f4L is very well regarded in IQ, weight, and cost. Rather than parting with big bucks, I went with the predecessor to the 70-200 lenses, an 80-200 f2.8L 'magic drainpipe' and have been very satisfied with the results. Shooting at 200mm indoors at f2.8 has produced some astoundingly fantastic results.

I'm mostly a 'zoom' person. I like having the ability to frame my subject how I want to without having to move nearer/farther. I had 3 primes as well, but sold the 85 f1.8 and 200 f2.8L ii primes as they were too rarely used and the slight IQ improvement was unnecessary for my amateur needs. I kept the 135 f2L. That and the 24-105 will be the last two lenses I own if I don't drop dead first. There is absolutely no comparison to the 135 wide open...especially for portraits, although I am not a portrait shooter, either. Subject isolation and background bokeh can't be matched.

I don't know if your shooting needs compare to mine. But as I did more and more shooting, I figured out what I really wanted to do and have the lenses to do what I need. Just as a note, buying an L lens, new or used, if you decide it doesn't fit your future plans, you can get most all, or maybe even more, money selling it. They hold their value extremely well. FWIW, I 'tried' a 24-70 f2.8L mark i and found it too heavy and no IS, and sold it 6 months later for $70 more than I paid for it. That covered the 'free shipping' and a portion of ebays' outrageous fees.
You can't go wrong with any L series glass. Lenses are an addiction. I might need an intervention.
$250? Of the decisions recorded there is stand out that meets that financial criteria:

Standard Ef-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 Is

It's not perfect yet with practice you will get accustomed to its impediments.


Presently you have upped it to $500.

Contingent upon how close you want to be to the activity, you may as well genuinely investigate the Ef 85mm f/1.8 or Ef 100mm f/2.

The Canon Ef 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Is Usm is an exceptionally abate toy lens. It is Ok for the sake of entertainment and internet posting yet not almost up to the errand of indoor acrobatic photography.

I suppose you will be disappointed with anything slower than f/2.8. Anything slower will make your self-adjust chase more and your viewfinder will be darker.
^ EF-S lenses don't work on the 6D dude. Also, why are you suggesting he will be disappointed with anything slower than 2.8?!?! He didn't mention anything with fast moving action amongst his interests, and with the ISO performance of the 6D, you can take quality still subject shots easily with tolerable noise, at night even, with f/5.6 or even f/8 maybe, especially with IS.

Anyway, @OP for the type of photography you listed as enjoying most, I think the 24-105 would pretty much be sufficient for all of it. Why get a new lens? How are you feeling limited by the 24-105 for any of those things?
If your on a budget then your best bet is to purchase the 50mm 1.8. $100 buck only. Gives you more deep of field and light when needed. Also let's you play with the advantage of the low F stop. It's one of the first Len I brought for my 5d markii. Love it!!
This is just my opinion, but here goes. Get a 50mm. The 1.4 is worth the extra money. Forget the 17-40 for now. It has a whole lot of overlap on the 24-105 that you don't really need. 24mm on a full frame is plenty wide. The 50mm will give you fast glass when you need it. If you don't know what I mean, learn about the exposure triangle and play around for a few months with the 24-105 and the 50. After that you will have a better idea of what you want and or need. No reason to waste money guessing beyond that.

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