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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:33 pm 
I have a 550d with the kit lens and am looking to upgrade the kit lens on it. The three options I have in mind are the 17-40 f/4L, 24-105 f/4L IS or the 24-70 f/2.8.
The main things I shoot are portraits (using flash), landscapes and sports (car photography mostly). Low light isn't really a big deal I can usually deal in low light situations!
This would be my walk around lens. So in the short term it dose need to be wide enough for a walk around for me!
There is a huge difference in price between the 17-40 and the 24-70 so that is something to keep in mind for me!
I do plan to upgrade to full frame in the future so buying an ef-s lens for me would be a bad financial move (I also don't like any of the ef-s zooms, I have tired the 15-85mm and was not impressed at all with the sharpness!).
I already have a 70-200 so the 24-70 seems a perfect lens to go with that however the price and the weight of it puts me off!
Which of these lenses will be the best long term investment but also the best vale.
I should also add that a used lens is not out of the question! (Knowing how well the 70-200 is built!)

Thanks
Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Sounds like you've looked at most options, other than the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8, but of course that's another EF-S lens. Remember you can resell lenses when you're done, so you can view the loss as a lower rate hire cost. And if you get the lens used in the first place, you could even break even if you're good at the haggle. Unless you're going full frame in the very near future, I wouldn't compromise your usage of a crop sensor avoiding dedicated crop sensor lenses.

On crop sensor, I never liked the 17-40 while I borrowed one. A bit short on zoom range, no IS, and never struck me as amazingly sharp. About same ball park as the 15-85, or I think the 15-85 is even sharper but I never compared them side by side.

The other two, you are losing the wide angle. How wide? Set your existing lens to 24mm and see for yourself.

Have you considered separating the standard zoom from a portrait lens, where one of the 50mm primes might be more interesting?

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Firstly I was in the same boat as you. I decided on the 24-105mm and I find it to be a very good lens for everyday use. However that doesn't mean its right for you but remember they are all brilliant lenses.

For landscape the clear winner is the 17-40mm due to the wide focal length which will become even wider when upgrading to full frame. However for portraits this lens will not be very good. It doesn't have a very long focal length which means you won't be able to get a shallow depth of field especially with the fact it only goes to f4. Using it as an everyday lens might not be ideal as it is not very long. Overall the 17-40mm is a landscape lens and that is about it.

For portraits the best lens is 24-70mm. It is used by professional photographers all over the world. It is an f2.8 lens which allows you to get a shallow depth of field however it does not have IS which many people, including me, find a deal breaker. There is no denying that in studio conditions when you have practically unlimited light IS is not important. However when walking around and taking everyday photos IS can be a real life saver. But the wider aperture would help a little bit to compensate for it.

For general photography the 24-105mm is the clear winner. It has a very large focal range which remains sharp throughout. The addition of IS means that you can get any photo at any time of the day, even night. The long focal length means that you can get some nice portraits using 105mm at f4 and I even use for studio work. It is a very good lens that works well in all situations.

Overall my personal preference is the 24-105mm. The other two lenses are just a little to specialised for me. If the 24-70mm had IS I think it would be a harder choice but if you can only get one lens I think it has to be the 24-105mm. I will also add that I would highly suggest a battery grip for your camera when using any of these lenses as they will make your camera very front heavy.

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:10 pm 
Thanks for the advice (A battery grip will probably be the next purchase, the 550d is quite out of balance with the 70-200!). The 17-40, looks nice to be because of its price and performance/ focal lengths on a cropped body, the 24-70 is nice because of the focal lengths and the f/2.8 aperture. The 24-105, seems a bit of a waste for me because I am paying for focal lengths I already have!
Do you find 24mm wide enough for everyday shooting? That is what worries me about the two 24+mms on a cropped body!
I also heard that there may be a new 24-70 coming out in a few months so a used old 24-70 may be a very good purchase!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Location: Surrey, UK
Personally I find 24mm wide enough for 99% of my shots. I would strongly recommend avoiding the 17-40mm as it is only a landscape lens really. The choice between the 24-70 and 24-105 is completely personal. Also don't worry about overlapping focal lengths because when you are out walking around you wouldn't change lens just to get a shot because chances are you will have missed it. This means the extra focal range is very handy. The 24-105 is good at everything whereas the 24-70 is more of a portrait lens that can be used for everything else.

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:21 pm 
Ok, thanks for the advice. I suppose I will pop down to park cameras and see which one I prefer!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Posts: 861
Location: Surrey, UK
Yes I would definitely suggest trying them all out. Maybe even rent them for a day if its not too much and walk around the streets/parks for a day :D

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:35 pm 
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Posts: 498
Location: 1 AU from the nearest star
The 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is my walk-around lens on a crop camera similar to yours. I really enjoy this lens and do not regret getting it at all.

For landscapes I got an inexpensive Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM. This sigma is the older version and costs a lot less, so even if I upgrade to a full frame, and therefore be unable to use this lens on the new camera, it would not bother me as it did not cost enough to be a factor. Also, when I take a landscape I am generally at f/8-f/12.

You could look at a combination similar to that, especially if you got a good deal on a used price, and see if that will fit what you want to do.

_________________
Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:17 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
Hi
Reading your post just had me wondering a few things. :)

just curious on how you arrive at the conclusion that the 15-85 isn`t sharp?
On a cropped body its as sharp as the 24-105L and the 24-70L.
If you are chasing sharpness the 28-75 Tamron delivers better values, especially on a cropped body.
If you look up dxomark and compare lenses the 15-85 has higher resolution figures than the 70-200 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8 L is mark 1 on the same cropped body.

But what does it really matter :wink: .:P Sharpness is only part of the story.


Why do you see yourself getting a ff frame body in the future and will the 550d not be a great second or back up body?
What does the cropped body lack for your needs?


For serious portrait work have a good look at the 85 1.8 usm and 50 1.4 usm. They will deliver now and if and when you upgrade to ff. For a zoom portrait lens consider the tamron 28-75 it is very good on a cropped body and will work on a ff, its a lot cheaper, smaller and lighter than the canon 24-70.


But once you do have a ff body, the 70-200 maybe all you need for portrait work and then you may have a better idea of what lens to buy, in the meantime choose something that best meets your needs right now.

cheap kit upgrade is the tamron 17-50 or 28-75.
or the two efs 15-85 and the 17-55.
or just keep the kit lens and get a couple of primes.

_________________
Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:55 pm 
I think that the 24-105 may be the best option, it is 280 grams lighter than the 24-70. Has a smaller body, and a longer focal length. All of which would make me want to go out and take pictures more rather than lug a heavy lens around all day which could become a bit of a chore on holiday for example. My 70-200 f/4L is just about light enough for it to not be a hindrance when shooting for long periods of time (I only got minor arm ache when shooting cars going past every couple of seconds for 2 1/2 hours at Goodwood!).

I did think about the 15-85, or even the 17-85 however after using the 15-85 and reviewing the shots on my computer I'm not at all impressed with the sharpness!

Although the 24-70 does have a f/2.8 aperture which I would love I think, for every day use it would be highly impracticable!

The 24-105 is also quite a lot cheeper so if 24mm is not wide enough for me then there will still be some money in the kitty for a wide angle!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Location: SE Texas
Keep in mind that pixel-peeping on a computer may not be the best way to judge a lens, unless pixel-peeping is your primary way of looking at images. More important is the appearance of prints made from the digital images. Moreover, do not shoot images of brick walls or other straight-line geometric shapes, to be scrutinized on a large computer monitor, if your goal is a portrait/people lens. The same applies to corner sharpness and vignetting. Some of the most-loved portrait/people lenses do not behave all that well in the corners and margins.

Every zoom is going to be best at a particular sweet spot. That sweet spot is rarely anywhere near either end of the zoom range. Some have a broader sweet spot than others. Your 70-200L has a reputation of being one of the sharpest zoom lenses made by anyone, so most zoom lenses, of any brand, will seem lesser, in comparison.

The debate among Canonistas regarding the 24-70 versus 24-105 has been
ongoing for a long time. I recently sat at a restaurant table, with a group of
local pro and very serious amateur photographers, and personally listened to this debate. This one will never be settled, because each lens has its ardent
supporters, and there are plenty of folks well-served by each lens.

Of the two, I would likely choose the 24-105mm, for its lighter weight and slightly greater zoom range, but I have several fast primes which effectively lessen my need for 2.8 in a zoom, that factor into the equation. (Actually, because of my fast primes, and several excellent flashguns, I am quite
content with my 28-135mm that was packaged as a kit zoom with my first 7D.)

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:42 pm 
The 15-85 pictures were taken over a weekend by a family member (I have his photos for an apple photo book Im making for him). They were all not sharp at all, I deducted that if they weren't sharp when not zoomed in then when printed out it would be awful.

Anyway I think its going to be the 24-105, the lighter weight, smaller size, IS and longer zoom lens draws me to it! And the cheeper price means I can get another flash :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:32 pm 
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"not sharp at all" doesn't sound like a 15-85 in good order used properly. Without seeing the samples, of course I couldn't say why that may have been the case, be it a real lens problem or perhaps a more simple case of bad focus for example.

Putting that aside, prints are less fussy about resolution than you think, unless you're going for very big sizes beyond any ordinary book.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Sounds like a good plan to me - this will be my next lens, too.

_________________
Canon EOS 500D + Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EOS 33v
Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Posts: 887
Location: SE Texas
If a one particular lens misbehaves on one particular camera, it may be manufacturing tolerances of the camera and lens not being compatible, or one or the other simply being a bad sample. Newer, higher-end Canon DSLRs have the option of micro-focus adjustment, examples being the 50D, 5D2, and 7D. (This is one reason the 60D was a step down from the 50D.) I am not up-tp-date on the consumer-level Canons.

These tolerances are a compelling reason to buy lenses only after being able to try the individual lens on your camera, or else buy from a dealer with a liberal return policy.

Example: I thought that my second 7D would require micro-focus adjustment, as it front-focused with several of my lenses, causing blur, but then I found that it was perfect with my 100mm 2.8L, my main working lens, so those stay together as a pair. The 100mm 2.8L, itself, works fine on
all four or my Canon DSLRs.

Example: I tried our Nikkor 50mm 1.8 on a Nikon D2X that was in the pre-owned section at a local dealer. This 50mm works fine on my wife's D7000, but it seemed to front-focus on the D2x. This D2X seemed to work fine with a demo lens at the dealer, but I did not wish to buy another Nikkor lens at
the time; I wanted something compatible with our existing 50mm. So, I turned my attention to a pre-owned 5D, which cheerfully focused perfectly with all but one of the several of my EF lenses tried upon it. This one exception, a 24mm 2.8, seems to perform well only with my first 7D, giving poor results, also, with my second 7D and 40D. (This 5D came home with me, and renders superb images of people.)

If one 15-85mm gives one poor images, but that is a desirable zoom range, trying another sample should be a consideration. This lens has a good reputation among Canonistas.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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