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Which Lens
Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 32%  32%  [ 6 ]
Zeiss 135 f1.8 16%  16%  [ 3 ]
Sony 70-200 f2.8 53%  53%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 19
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 Post subject: New Lens, what to get?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:02 am 
So, I need a new lens :D

I primarily use old Minolta lenses, and they've been getting the job done, but the limitations (which I have worked around so far) are becoming more obvious with time:

- Asides from my 50mm f1.8, my other Minolta lenses start at f4.5. This works fine but when the light gets dim, I have to jump up the ISO ladder too quickly (and I don't have a problem with high ISO on the Sony A850, I have a problem with high ISO on all cameras :lol:)

- The focusing (again, with the exception of the 50mm f1.8 ) is really slow, especially for the 100-200mm f4.5 (which optically, I love, and is probably my favourite lens, though not necessarily my favourite focal length).

I've decided that I wanted a fast focusing lens, with a reasonable minimum focus distance and wide aperture of 2.8 or larger. I've narrowed it down to three choices:

- Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8
- Zeiss 135 f1.8
- Sony 70-200 f2.8

Optically, I can't find anything to separate these lenses and since they are all equally expensive, price isn't an issue.

For my purposes (wedding and portrait photography), 24-70 would probably be the most ideal focal length as that's primarily what I shoot at (well, probably 50-130mm, since I don't tend to go too wide).

The 70-200 is the lens I "want" to get, but it'll probably not get used as much as the 24-70 since I tend to be in the action rather than on the sidelines taking photos. But, when I do go out to 100-200mm, I think that's when I get my best photos (or at least the ones I like the most). And since I tend to crop A LOT, I think the 70-200 might actually get me closer to what I want before I take the picture.

The 135 is also tempting, as I really like using my 50mm prime, and really forces you to think about the shot, rather than zooming. But, there are situations when you can't step back any further, or you can't move quickly enough so it can be a little limiting.

So, to sum it up; The 24-70 is more practical, the 70-200 is the lens I like the most, and the 135 is probably one of the most optically superb lenses on any DSLR system (or so says reviewers).

Which should I get?

Also, is there any danger of Sony coming out with updates to any of the above listed lenses within the next 6 months?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:12 am 
If you plan on keeping your 50mm prime, I would say go for the 70-200. Seems like most of what you could do with the zeiss 24-70 you can already do with your prime.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:19 am 
I think the best lens for you would be the 70-200mm, I want the 24-70mm, but I hardly ever zoom past 100mm, by the sound of it the 70-200mm would be far more useful for you, especially since you have the 50mm prime.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:36 am 
Thx guys. Never thought of it like that at all!

I could even get an old minolta 24mm prime and use that for group shots, which would probably be much cheaper than buying both a 24-70 and a 70-200. Hmmm, much to think about here :D

Also, I meant Minolta 50mm f1.7. I don't know where I got the 1.8 from.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:51 pm 
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I too suggest getting the 70-200mm, though, of course, I haven't used the 24-70mm and 70-200mm on full frame. They're both superb lenses, the 24-70mm being slightly less useful on my A700.
The Zeiss 135mm doesn't sound like the right kind of lens for you at the moment. Maybe that's one to consider at a later point in time... :)

- Bjorn -

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Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:52 am 
I think it is important to get the lens that you will use the most first.

For me, 24-70mm will be more useful for event photography than the 70-200mm, it is just too long.

But if you're consistently shooting tight crop head shoulder portrait most of the time, then 70-200mm will be a better choice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:46 pm 
Personally I'd say go for the 24-70 if it's for event photography. Unless of course you have to stand far away from the subject when you're shooting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:52 pm 
24-70mm is the best for events,on a cropped sensor camera. :) & the zeiss should be the sharpest 24-70mm. (or equal to the nikon version)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:30 pm 
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In my opinion the 24-70 is without a doubt your best choice for wedding portrait work. No contest. On a full frame these lenses are unbeatable, as flaws will show up with less well made glass.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:09 am 
Thanks guys for not making it easy by agreeing on one choice :shock: :D

Thing is, I'll probably end up with both by the end of the year, so its really a matter of which to get first.

So, I have 3 lenses I use most often:

- Minolta 35-105 f3.5-4.5
- Minolta 50mm f1.8
- Minolta 100-200mm f4.5

The 50mm is usually on my camera if I'm not doing any weddings or if I need a wide aperture/shallow depth of field at a wedding. I also use it for shots of small groups or more candid shots.

The 35-105 is what sits on the camera 70% of the time and I haven't had any issues using this lens. It is a little slow to focus, and the aperture isn't ideal for low light, but it works and will probably remain in my kit as a backup lens even if I bought a replacement. Optically, it's fine for me as I'm not too picky about that.

The 100-200 is my baby :D, but I hardly use it at weddings because it is so slow to focus, the minimum focus distance is from earth to Jupiter, and again the aperture isn't ideal for low light. It's a really great portrait lens in the right lighting conditions, but so far its been a "specialist" tool.

So, essentially at weddings, I tend to use the 35-105 and the 50mm exclusively (if I want slight boost in telephoto, I just use the 35-105 on my crop sensor body).

I've been working happily without telephoto for some time now. That can swing either way (which is why I can't decide):

- Get a lens to cover the focal length I use most, making sure I get the best quality and capability where I take the bulk of my photos.

- Continue to use my existing setup, and invest in a decent telephoto lens to compliment my workflow since my lack of telephoto use isn't related to taste, but rather a lack of appropriate gear.

Also, I have a big personal project working on this year...kinda like a photo essay. This will probably be mostly environmental portraits, but again, I can easily get those with my 50mm.

Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! I can't decide!!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:24 pm 
24 70 should be fine but 70 200 are also versatile too, tough decision..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Location: Arkansas
Although...I don't know if any zoom is as sharp as a prime....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:13 pm 
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From your post above, I'd stick with my recommendation of the 70-200mm. Seems like the best option for you at the moment, mostly because you're satisfied with your current standard zoom.

You're right Amber, primes are generally sharper. You have to weigh up IQ against versatility though, especially when shooting events. For my personal projects, I'm building myself a collection of primes to shoot with. For paid jobs such as the ones I'm doing for the BBC in just over a month, I'll mostly use zooms since the fast pace of the event requires me to make swift adjustments of focal lengths. Having a second body would solve the problem to some level though...

- Bjorn -

_________________
Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter

Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:38 pm 
based on what u tell us, 24-70mm f/2.8 will be the best choice.

why? because you use that focal length 70% all the time.

Translate: 70% pictures will get a boost with the new lens + less missed opportunities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:14 am 
Strong points all around, and it would be very unfair of me to ignore any suggestion being made, as they are all very relevant.

At least I can rest assured in the fact that regardless of which lens I get, I'll probably be more than happy as any of them will give me a real boost in flexibility (faster focusing, large aperture).

That being said, I still don't know what to do yet!

- The 24-70 offers the most useful range for wedding work, and can probably do an entire wedding without changing lens once (which is a productivity booster in and of itself).

- The 70-200 covers a largely missing part of my kit and gives a lot of different options as well.


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