Buying a Canon 5D-MIII -- what two lenses should I own?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by camby123, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. camby123

    camby123 TPF Noob!

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    I'm relatively new to the DSLR world but would like to dive in after experimenting for awhile.

    I'd like to be able to do experimental landscape photography and documentary photography (portrait and street style).

    If money were no object, what two lenses would you buy?
    If you were on a budget, what two lenses would you buy?

    What other accessories do I need? (i.e. memory card, extra battery, case) Any specific recommendations? I plan to have this camera traveling a lot and in diverse environments.

    Thanks for reading!


     
  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Personally I'd get it with the 24-105mm L lens initially, and decide after using it a while what other lens I needed. The 24-105 covers a good amount, and does a lot of things well
     
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  3. Ido

    Ido No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II & Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. Though I’d personally substitute the 24-70 for both a 16-35mm f/4L and a 24-105mm f/4 (either Canon L or Sigma), and substitute 70-200mm f/2.8 for a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II.

    If I were on a budget, I wouldn’t buy the 5D Mark III and look for cheap lenses.

    Are you absolutely certain it’s not too heavy for your travels? I know I’d hate to take that with me.
     
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  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are no perfect lenses to choose and in all honestly a lot of it comes down to personal finances and shooting style. This is an area where you can also spend thousands very very easily.

    With no budget limit why limit yourself to just two lenses- you might find what is ideal for you is three or four.


    What kind of photography gear have you used thus far and what kind of photography have you done; a little idea might give some clarification to give a better recommendation. Otherwise hte best bet would be to get something like the 24-105mm or 24-70mm as a starting point and spend some time shooting with that. Get a feel for the lens and how it works and see if you want more or less in focal length or it might be ideal and all you need.

    You can also head down to a local camera shop and play with some of the lenses; that way you can get some feedback directly from different options before you buy - and walk out the store ready to shoot street right there and there.
     
  5. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As said above though, the 5d and the lenses it requires are quite big. Maybe an option like a tidy weather sealed Pentax dslr with its lenses may suit better, or indeed a weather sealed non full frame mirror less type camera.
     
  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Easy, a Canon16-35mm f4 IS L and a canon 24-70mm f2.8 L.

    Though for me I'd prefer a smaller camera for street shooting, like a rioch gr or something that looks more like a compact.
     
  7. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ... why can I only buy two lenses if money is no object ?!? That automatically leads to buying the big zooms:

    Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 VC - That thing beats the legendary Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8, and its cheaper and natively available for Canon. Amazing. Its a hunk though. And as a secondary production non-manual lens, it might turn incompatible in future. If less weight is demanded, theres the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS.

    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM



    If money is indeed no object, and I can get more lenses, I would also get:

    - Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II as the dedicated tilt/shift for landscape.

    - Zeiss [Milvus] Distragon 2.0/35mm ZE for the street photography part. For street it might rain, so I might prefer the current production Milvus version.

    - Zeiss [Milvus] Planar 1.4/85mm ZE as the portrait lens. Dunno how important weather sealing is for portraiture, so the cheaper non-Milvus would probably be more interesting.

    Warning: these are all MANUAL FOCUS lenses. For street I assume zone focusing here.



    ... what budget ? You can start into Canon as cheap as ~100$ for the "nifty fifty" aka 50mm f1.8.
     
  8. Dillard

    Dillard No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the 24-70 and 70-200 is a winning combo. You may want something wider for landscapes, but 24 would give you a good start. 70-200 would cover any action and portrait needs.
     
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  9. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's very difficult to provide specific recommendations without knowing what you intend to photograph. People? Architecture? Landscape? Sports? Wildlife? The lens recommendations change depending on subject type.

    I've been shooting for quite a few years and I've managed to build up a collection of gear. Some of it, however, is somewhat specialized -- so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless I knew what you intend to photograph. But here are a couple of general recommendations that would be fairly good almost regardless of what you plan to shoot.

    #1 The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II -- that lens should be on just about everybody's list. It's an amazing lens. I have the original (version I) -- having purchased my lenses before the "II" came out and while the "II" is certainly better, I didn't think the incremental improvement in quality and image stabilization was enough of an incentive to get me to re-purchase the lens. But my 70-200 is the lens that pretty much stays on the camera most of the time. It's an extremely versatile lens in that you can use it for people/portraiture, sports, wildlife... I probably wouldn't use it for landscape.

    #2 This one has a bit more wiggle room... you want a "standard zoom" (aka "working zoom" or "walk-around" lens). This is a lens that can be used when you're not quite sure what you might encounter. The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II is the best in class in terms of focal ratio and optical performance ... but it's limited to 70mm. The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM provides a little more focal length, but loses a stop of light. It adds image stabilization but image stabilization isn't a big deal in short focal length lenses (generally you can hand-hold a camera steady without image stabilization if it has a short focal length... it's the long focal length lenses that need the image stabilization help.) I have the 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (original -- because the version "II" didn't exist when I bought my lenses.)

    If you will be carrying the camera all day, then I'd suggest swapping the factory neck-strap for a sling-type strap such as the Black Rapid strap.

    There are different lenses that would be recommended if I knew what you wanted to shoot...

    If money is indeed no object... then the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is a fantastic lens for sports and wildlife (about $11k)
    The TS-E 24mm f/3.5L (a tilt-shift lens... all tilt-shift lenses are manual-focus only) is great for landscape and architecture (but there's a bit of a technical learning curve to using such a lens.)
     
  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Let me blow your mind. Buy a D750. Cheaper and way better dynamic range. More money for more lenses.

    And as far as lenses go. 24-70 and 70-200 for both cameras.
     
  11. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Landscapes and candids Tim. Its in the OP, two very different genres
     
  12. camby123

    camby123 TPF Noob!

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    All --

    Thank you for all of the replies and insights.

    To be clear, but I'm not a professional photographer -- just curious what pro's would prefer if money were no object.

    I should have phrased that a bit better to say, "What would you realistically recommend for two lenses for someone who takes lots of photos with his friends' Canon T2i and has a bunch of Amazon gift credit points?"

    I decided to stick with one lens initially. Then figure out what I want from there. Seems to be the smarter financial thing to do. I really like the Canon 70-200mm f4 and the 35 prime 1.4 from Sigma.

    I'm going to look at a used Canon 24-70mm f2.8 today or tomorrow for $650. After I use my gift cards, it looks like I'll be able to get the 5D-MIII and the used lens for $2000 out of pocket.

    I'll throw in another $300-500 for batteries, cases, cards. If anyone has recommendations on those (perhaps this is for a different post), I'd love to hear them.
     

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