Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)

Started Apr 18, 2012 | Discussions
this is where it begins
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Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
Apr 18, 2012

TL;DR Primarily for travel in Asia, back-country Jasper (Alberta), and walking around town, what two or at most three lenses would you recommend for a newer-than-new photographer with a 5D3 with not much more than $2-3k that he'd like to spend?

Hi, all, I'm expecting a lay-off over the next few weeks and thought I'd treat myself to a 5D3. I'm afraid I have virtually no experience with a camera, but have opportunity and time a-plenty to play with it, whether or not I turn out to be good with the thing.

We're working kind of crazy hours right now which leaves me short of time to do much research, but we head to Jasper, Alberta a half-dozen times a year or so (may be a little more this year and next), and will be in Peru for six or seven weeks and Asia for a couple or a few months next year, along with Ontario and a cross-Canada trip for six-eight weeks each year, with the option to stray a bit (last year we turned right in Manitoba and eventually spent two pretty cool weeks in New Orleans) so I see things worth taking photos of, and I've pined for a FF SLR since the original 5D came out, but never seemed to have enough cash to buy it. Anyhow, I do now, but was wondering what sorts of lenses you would recommend for these sorts of trips? To begin with, it'd be nice to not spend more than $2-3k on them, and because I'm not an especially large guy and because our longer trips to Asia run to five or six months, I'd like not to have too many lenses.

I'm embarrassingly ignorant when it comes to photography and that's unlikely to remedy itself prior to buying the lenses/camera but knowing the sorts of environments I'm usually around - wide-open ranges in the mountains, temples and a range of interesting people in cities, are there any fairly universal lenses that you might recommend? Also, what are the simpler or more common gallery sites so that I could upload some [humble, not-worthy-of-critiquing, but representational of my shooting interests] photos to to suggest the sorts of things I'd want lenses for?

I'm not sure how this comes across, but if anybody's got a similar occasional surplus of time, I really would appreciate the aid. My ignorance is absolute, to the extent that I've got no idea of how long it would take to switch a lens - on a single-day hike from Jasper, would it not be worth having more than one considered lens for the day, not bothering with a couple of lenses unless I were going for multiple-day hikes in the back-country? Otherwise a 50mm 1.2 (1.4? 1.8? Where's the sweet spot for value?) for walking around town, or else how wide an angle for the grand vistas I might come across? Wildlife is interesting and I appreciate it, but I think it might be more incidental in my eventual photography - nice to have in shots of the landscape, but maybe not warranting too long a zoom for shots of the animals, themselves.

For longer trips overseas, what lenses would you bring? Are you hiker and lover of landscapes - what are your favorites, there? I don't work too many months each year, so can't afford the most esoteric lenses, and would like to stick with Canon, if possible (is that a useless bias? Thanks again for any ideas.

Scott.

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III
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Dags
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

Hi, got to say I really dont know that 5dIII is best choice for a novice who wants to do a lot of travelling & hiking.

Personally, for your particular requirements I would be having a good hard look at the new Oly OM-D or something like that. Much, much smaller body & lenses, weather sealed and second to none jpeg quality. With 5dII & I expect 5DIII you need to shoot raw to get the best out of it. If you are going to just shoot jpeg &

do minimal post processing, I doubt there is any benefit in going full frame over aps.

One other thing to consider. Razor thin depth of field is often quoted as a benefit of full frame, but for travel & landscape photography you usually want as much depth of field as possible (eg everything in focus).
APS will give you the potential to get more depth of field & Olympus more again.

If you insist on 5dIII with $2000-$3000 lens budget, you will get a lot of recommendations for 24-70 or 24-105 & maybe a long lens option like 70-200 f4IS or 70-300L. Either option would be a lot of weight and bulk for travelling or hiking.

Although I must admit I travel & hike with a 5dII & quite often a lot more lenses than that.

From what you say it sounds like long lens was not too important, so I will give you a prime lens suggestion for that budget to think about. This option gives you relatively light lenses, fast lenses & good image quality. But, you do have to be prepared to change lenses.
241.4L + 501.4 + 85 1.8

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Tinu_ch
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

To cover landscape and general travel photography in a small package I have choosen:
17-40L
4/70-200L IS
And a 1.4x to extend the range if necessairy

This covers a lot of range in great to excellent quality and is still quite portable.

For people etc. I would recommend the 1.8/85 or 2.0/100. If close-ups and macro is of interest to you too, get a macro in the range between 90 and 105mm instead.

I have to add that these zooms have an awkward range for family pics. Many prefer the 24-105L for their kind of photography but then add a wide and a tele zoom to complete the range, so they end up with three big and costly zooms.

Tinu

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photonius
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

this is where it begins wrote:

TL;DR Primarily for travel in Asia, back-country Jasper (Alberta), and walking around town, what two or at most three lenses would you recommend for a newer-than-new photographer with a 5D3 with not much more than $2-3k that he'd like to spend?

Hi, all, I'm expecting a lay-off over the next few weeks and thought I'd treat myself to a 5D3. I'm afraid I have virtually no experience with a camera, but have opportunity and time a-plenty to play with it, whether or not I turn out to be good with the thing.

We're working kind of crazy hours right now which leaves me short of time to do much research, but we head to Jasper, Alberta a half-dozen times a year or so (may be a little more this year and next), and will be in Peru for six or seven weeks and Asia for a couple or a few months next year, along with Ontario and a cross-Canada trip for six-eight weeks each year, with the option to stray a bit (last year we turned right in Manitoba and eventually spent two pretty cool weeks in New Orleans) so I see things worth taking photos of, and I've pined for a FF SLR since the original 5D came out, but never seemed to have enough cash to buy it. Anyhow, I do now, but was wondering what sorts of lenses you would recommend for these sorts of trips? To begin with, it'd be nice to not spend more than $2-3k on them, and because I'm not an especially large guy and because our longer trips to Asia run to five or six months, I'd like not to have too many lenses.

I'm embarrassingly ignorant when it comes to photography and that's unlikely to remedy itself prior to buying the lenses/camera but knowing the sorts of environments I'm usually around - wide-open ranges in the mountains, temples and a range of interesting people in cities, are there any fairly universal lenses that you might recommend? Also, what are the simpler or more common gallery sites so that I could upload some [humble, not-worthy-of-critiquing, but representational of my shooting interests] photos to to suggest the sorts of things I'd want lenses for?

I'm not sure how this comes across, but if anybody's got a similar occasional surplus of time, I really would appreciate the aid. My ignorance is absolute, to the extent that I've got no idea of how long it would take to switch a lens - on a single-day hike from Jasper, would it not be worth having more than one considered lens for the day, not bothering with a couple of lenses unless I were going for multiple-day hikes in the back-country? Otherwise a 50mm 1.2 (1.4? 1.8? Where's the sweet spot for value?) for walking around town, or else how wide an angle for the grand vistas I might come across? Wildlife is interesting and I appreciate it, but I think it might be more incidental in my eventual photography - nice to have in shots of the landscape, but maybe not warranting too long a zoom for shots of the animals, themselves.

For longer trips overseas, what lenses would you bring? Are you hiker and lover of landscapes - what are your favorites, there? I don't work too many months each year, so can't afford the most esoteric lenses, and would like to stick with Canon, if possible (is that a useless bias? Thanks again for any ideas.

Scott.

As some mentioned - since you are starting out and since you mention travel and light weight - I would go with a lighter rebel body. The lenses will also be lighter, and you can cover a larger focal range.

So, a setup that is rather light (you can calculate the weight from Canon's web site) is:

Canon 600D, Canon EF-S 10-22, ef_S 18-55 IS, EF-S 55-250 IS. This covers a large range of focal lengths, and to me, this beats the quality I achieved in film days with an Canon A-1, a FD 24mm f2.8 prime, a FD 50mm f1.4, and a FD 70-210mm f4.

For a 5D, a good range set-up is 17-40mm f4, 24-105 IS f4, and 70-200 f4 IS.

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Dags
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to Tinu_ch, Apr 18, 2012

A bit more info....
I switched from Olympus to Canon 5DII 1 year ago & bought the following..
Here's my thoughts on what I bought

17-40L - ok stopped down to f11, but way below Olympus wide zooms I was used to. I try to avoid 17-20mm. If I want wider than 20mm, I go for my Samyang unless I need to use a filter

Tamron 28-75 - sharp, small & light....af average, colour & contrast maybe not quite Canon L standard.....but for

Samyang 14mm - brilliantly sharp. easily beats 17-40 sharpness, wild distortion but easily fixed with PTLens, cant use a filter. Manual focus is no big deal at 14mm.

Canon 50 1.8 - sharp, especially stopped down to 5.6. Probably as good as 1.4 stopped down. For $100 its a no brainer.

Samyang 85mm 1.4 - creamy bokeh, sharp,

Canon 100 macro (non L) - very sharp, good bokeh....but for the amount of use I get out of it (not much of a macro shooter) I suspect I should have saved my money & got the Tamron 90 macro

70-200 f4 IS L & 1.4 TC II very sharp & contrasty. Lightweight. But in hindsight wish I had bought 70-300L instead.

200mm 2.8L II- mint used on ebay for $500. - possibly sharper than my 70-200f4 ISL. Love the look of this lens wide open on full frame. Small & discrete compared to white L zoom

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this is where it begins
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to Dags, Apr 18, 2012

Wow, thank you for the preemptive warnings - I was concentrating on the idea of the fun of shooting without consideration given to the post-process. You're right in that I have no experience with raw (expect to see a post about that over the next couple of months), and I've no doubt that you're right about my not being able to take full advantage of its full-framedness but my zeal allows me to gloss over that point. At least for the time being (although I appreciate the specific recommendation of the OM-D and the weather-sealing is a strong, strong selling point - we'll likely be in Thailand for Songkran and I'd like to be in India for Holi and both seem to be solid arguments for reasonably advanced sealing, never mind that we'll be in the area for the bulk of the monsoon season).

The tips about depth of field is welcome, too, but it's gratifying to hear that you might enjoy the same sort of photography that I think I will, and do well with your own 5D. Could I ask what lenses you generally carry with you on hikes and for travel? Does physique end up being a consideration? I'm a 35-year old guy on the short side of average (5'8"), neither in terrific nor terrible shape - how heavy does the gear get by the end of the day? And if it's not rude to ask, could I flip through some favorites of your own to compare shooting styles or to highlight photos of yours to ask about the lenses used? Thanks again for the recommendations!
Scott.

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dbm305
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depth of field
In reply to Dags, Apr 18, 2012

It's true that Micro 4/3 gives you more depth of field at the same aperture.

But you can stop down FF more without getting bad diffraction effects.

Indeed f8 on m43 has about the same depth of field at an equivalent adjusted focal length as f16 on FF (some simplification here)

f8 is also the point at which m43 really shouldn't be stopped down further because of diffraction. And that point is f16 on FF

So really the potential for useful depth of field is the same!

Of course m43 will give you that DOF at a larger aperture so you can get a better shutter speed. But then FF has better high ISO can you can afford to stop down.

So in the end the quality and DOF is about the same or better in FF for large DOF photography; and of course FF allows narrow DOF photography that you just can't do on m43 -- if you get the nice Olympus 50mm 1.8 you are still getting the DOF and angle of view of an 85mm f3.5 on FF -- so nowhere near an 85 1.8 1.4 or 1.2, for example...

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this is where it begins
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to Tinu_ch, Apr 18, 2012

As I reply to this, is it added to the forum, or are they directed solely to the person I'm replying to? The latter would be preferable as my reply doesn't really add too much to the conversation, that's all.

A previous poster (Dags, also with a 5D) was recommending primes (a 24 1.4L, 50 1.4, and 85 1.8) - is the advantage of a zoom simply having a range (and longer reach in this case) and the advantage of a prime, what, that it offers a better image at that specific length?

And for your style of shooting, what does the long range offer? Does that end up being more people a ways off, or for wildlife?

Thanks for the tips - I wish there were one correct answer. Everybody has compelling ideas of what works. Do you shoot full-frame or, if not, do I simply divide by the 1.6 and look for an appropriate lens to hunt for reviews and opinions on? Man, this is fun and fascinating and daunting.

Scott.

To cover landscape and general travel photography in a small > package I have chosen:
17-40L
4/70-200L IS
And a 1.4x to extend the range if necessary

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this is where it begins
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

Oh, boy - I've got to rest up (night shift, 12 hour shifts, next day off is May 15) but I'll reply as soon as I'm able. I really appreciate the advice and am happy to hear that mine's a common enough situation to collect a broad perspective. You're great resources!
Scott.

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Wyville
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Jasper is great!
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

I went to Banff a few weeks ago, it's great there and I really missed my 7D.

I think the most simple and versatile setup would be:
24-105mm L
70-300mm L

Just two lenses. The 24-105 is a great walkaround lens that can do landscapes as well as portraits. The 70-300 is a great tele zoom that is still very compact. Both have environmental seals and effective IS. What more would you need?!

You could add the 17-40mm L for really wide landscapes, but 24mm is pretty wide already.

Don't forget enough SD/CF cards and an extra battery (or two).

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boudro_
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

Your story does remind me a bit of myself. I don't know if will work out this way for you, but I find size and weight a big factor in choosing which lenses to take with me on a particular outing. I tend to only take 2 or 3 and leave the rest at home.

I find the 17-40 + 100L to be a great pair for a daytime hike in the wild. The 24-70 + 200L is nice for an evening stroll (heavier, but not as rigorous) and a wide prime too sometimes if I know it will get dark or I expect to see something really cool.

I think the 17-40 plus 70-200f/4IS would be a great pair. Perhaps the Tokina 16-28 instead?

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kjbkix
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to boudro_, Apr 18, 2012

I'm in agreement with the below...
17-40L - useful for almost all landscape needs, weather sealed, light

70-200 f/4L IS - great longer walkaround due to light weight. IQ as good as anything

then get a 50 1.4 for low light normal shooting. I'd suggest the 1.4 in case you want to do some video, where the 1.8 starts to show it's weakness (terrible manual focusing). consider the Sigma 50mm 1.4, it's a newer design than the Canon (closer to the 50 1.2 actually) and a better overall performer.

mostly, have fun!

boudro_ wrote:

Your story does remind me a bit of myself. I don't know if will work out this way for you, but I find size and weight a big factor in choosing which lenses to take with me on a particular outing. I tend to only take 2 or 3 and leave the rest at home.

I find the 17-40 + 100L to be a great pair for a daytime hike in the wild. The 24-70 + 200L is nice for an evening stroll (heavier, but not as rigorous) and a wide prime too sometimes if I know it will get dark or I expect to see something really cool.

I think the 17-40 plus 70-200f/4IS would be a great pair. Perhaps the Tokina 16-28 instead?

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candleJack
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In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

I'm sorry if my suggestions don't support your own wishes, but I was in the situation of having a pro level camera without pro level knowledge. So, what I recommend is:

  • forget the 5D3, go for used 5D or 5D2 ;

  • lenses: 17-40, 70-200/4 IS, 50/1.4 , maybe the 100mm macro (non L) if you are interested in such subjects;

  • get a flash as well and a cheap radio trigger for it (it opens up opportunities both for learning and final results) ;

  • save the rest of the $$$ for when you'll know (out of personal experience) what's missing.

Sincerely yours,
Alex
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Doug MacMillan
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In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

As you state, you've dreamed of owning a FF camera for a long time and it sounds like you see a window of opportunity to buy one that may not be around long. You also discuss traveling and are looking for a manageable kit. You'll have to decide which is more important to you. I think you should also consider your needs.

I understand your desire for a full frame. Just last week I bought my first full frame digital camera, the 5D II. I know why, as a former professional with a degree in photography I wanted one, but I'm curious why, with little experience in photography, you would. Do you fully understand the disadvantages as well as advantages of FF?

The 5D is a BIG camera. That has implications not only regarding it's use, but also in taking it on trips. My camera bag, with lenses and accessories, is very large and heavy. My wife and I subscribe to the "travel light" theory and lugging the 5D will run counter to that. When we went to Scotland in 2002, I took a Canon G2 and a Canon 430 flash. Looking back I wish I had more than 4 megpixels, but I've made some wonderful 8x10 prints from the trip. It was certainly easy to pack and carry the camera.

If travel is your primary interest, I make the radical suggestion of considering a Canon G1 X. It is fully adjustable and the lens has more than adequate range. Add a flash and you'll be all set. It would be a dream for travel and you could easily make 13x19 prints.

If your heart is set on a 5D, I suggest you consider buying a new 5D II for ~$2000 and use the $1500 difference on your lens budget. The image quality is just as good. There are certainly improvements in the 5D III, but they are more useful to sports and wedding photographers.

My lens suggestion would be the 17-40 f4 L, the 70-200 f4 L IS, the 50mm f1.8 (nifty 50) and the 85mm f1.8. I have the 17-40. Lots of pixel peepers fuss about its corner sharpness. Yes, I'd like it sharper, but stop it down to f8, which you would normally do for landscape, and it is acceptable. The other lenses I have suggested are all very sharp.

You need some accessories. Buy a flash. You don't need the big 580, the 430 will do. Buy an extension cord that will allow you to use it off camera. Buy a polarizer. I use the Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizer. It is highly rated and much cheaper than the B+W. Buy the size that fits your largest lens, then use step rings to fit it to your other lenses. Buy a rectangular graduated neutral density filter ( http://www.amazon.com/Cokin-H250-P-Series-Grad-Kit/dp/B000A40M22/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1334758004&sr=1-2 ). This is great for landscapes.

Buy Adobe Lightroom 4. It will organize your photos and allow you to do just about all the post processing you'll need. Be sure to shoot RAW to give you flexibility in post processing. If you get a 5D, you'll need lots of storage space. I back up all my files on a separate computer as well as on DVD's.

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photonius
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

this is where it begins wrote:

The tips about depth of field is welcome, too, but it's gratifying to hear that you might enjoy the same sort of photography that I think I will, and do well with your own 5D. Could I ask what lenses you generally carry with you on hikes and for travel? Does physique end up being a consideration? I'm a 35-year old guy on the short side of average (5'8"), neither in terrific nor terrible shape - how heavy does the gear get by the end of the day? And if it's not rude to ask, could I flip through some favorites of your own to compare shooting styles or to highlight photos of yours to ask about the lenses used? Thanks again for the recommendations!
Scott.

Well, I think the key is that you say you are going for several weeks on travel. Some suggested that they take only a few select lenses when they go on a hike. I guess you could do that when you go to Jasper or the town, and you have specific things in mind you want to photograph. However, on travels you would like to be prepared for as wide a range of situations as possible. That means wide-angle for the tight places, fast lenses for low light, tele for distant subjects, animals, flash at night, some small tripod - gorillapod, filters?

Many times you might be able to leave some of your stuff at a hotel, but perhaps not always. And it's not the camera gear & accessories alone you carry, perhaps you also have a guide book, some emergency medical stuff - tissues or toilet paper (can be highly recommended :-).

So, in the end, though the pure camera equipment is only 2kg, with the bag etc you might end up with 4-5 kg of stuff. How do you carry this? Backpacks are the best choice, but I don't like them, because you don't have easy access when you swap lenses. I still prefer a shoulder back - where you can add an extra belt to attach it also around the waist to take of some weight. You can easily pull the camera from shoulder bag with no extra maneuvering required. And the shoulder bag is like a little extra table when you swap lenses, i.e. you take out one lens, swap the lens with that on the body, and put the previous lens back into the bag into it's slot. No shuffling around with stuff, just open and close the lid of the bag.

So, think about how you will travel, and what you might be a comfortable solution for you. Then think how much you can stuff into that bag - size and weight.

As many point out, if the equipment becomes too cumbersome and it stays at home, what's the point. But it's difficult to say how you will experience it - as it not only depends on your physique, but also how to decide to carry the stuff.
Perhaps you should get in the camera store and try out some things.

So, coming back to selecting camera and lenses, and thinking about all what you might need for your photographic journey, one advantage of the APS-C cameras is that they have a built-in flash. The 5D doesn't have one. One item less that you need to carry/worry about. Yes, you probably don't need it much. I never us it much either, but I have been in really dark places in tombs and temples, where the flash was necessary. So, for traveling, I don't worry much about thin DOF (that's where the primes can be very useful, because some tend to have bigger apertures compared to zooms), but rather go with the flexibility of zoom lenses. Alas, zoom lenses, especially the L ones do get big and bulky, while primes tend to be more compact.

A factor of 2 is usually a good focal length spacing for primes, for FF e.g. 24mm, 50mm, and then a 70-200 zoom (rather than primes).
Cameras tend to come with kit lenses that cover standard focal lengths.

The standard focal length zooms cover a lot of middle range, e.g. the Canon 24-105 IS, or the consumer 28-135mm IS, and for crop the 18-55 IS, the 17-55 f2.8 IS, or the 15-85mm IS (24 - 135mm equivalent). Such lenses cover the normal range well with very good IQ. Thus they are considered good walk-around lenses.

Then you can expand on the wide angle range with e.g. a 17-40 (on FF), 10-22 (on crop), and on the tele end with a 70-200 or 70-300 (FF/crop) or 55-250 (crop only, but it's the lightest tele you can find).

Some have recommended the 17-40 and 70-200 only. You could complement that with e.g. a 50mm f1.4 for low light and cover the middle a bit. But depending on your shooting style, you may find you need to swap lenses too often, so having a standard range (see above) might be good.

Anyway, given that you have at present no idea about camera equipment - and we have to keep guessing how you might use it, it's difficult to really suggest the optimal set-up for you.

In my case, I am perfectly happy with a crop body and the 10-22, 18-55 and the 55-250 IS for traveling because it gives me a wide range of focal lengths for many situations for little weight (including a flash). Also, having some focal length overlap is not bad, it means less lens swapping.

I do have other lenses, like a 60mm macro, the 50mm f1.8, and an 8mm fish eye Samyang, but they tend to stay at home.

Regarding thin DOF, that's often used for people photography (portraits etc.).

A 50mm f1.8 lens is light and small, and you could throw it with any camera kit you get to obtain those people shots where you want to have some isolated background.

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Chez Wimpy
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

this is where it begins wrote:

Could I ask what lenses you generally carry with you on hikes and for travel? Does physique end up being a consideration? I'm a 35-year old guy on the short side of average (5'8"), neither in terrific nor terrible shape - how heavy does the gear get by the end of the day?

When we once had no choice, I took the DSLR with a couple of lenses (17-40L, 70-200/2.8IS, a prime or two) almost everywhere. It does weigh you down as the day goes on. In particular shooting day-long events with the 70-200IS would cause some pain in the "camera arm" (using a handstrap) after five or six hours. I am in reasonably good shape too, and if we are talking mountain hikes over 1500meters, that is usually when I resort to a light kit lens (and certainly no pack full of glass).

The OMD recommendation makes sense, especially for travel. For $3k, that camera plus the 9-18, 12-50, 45-175x zoom (tele, yet so small it will fit in a vest pocket) and a couple of primes (14/2.5, 25/1.4, 45/1.8 - fit in another pocket) can take you anywhere - with Olympus jpeg results good enough to not worry about laborious post-processing. Although I am using Panasonic, I personally travel with micro 4/3rds cameras exclusively unless I know exactly what I am going to shoot.

If you really want to do FF and keep the gear manageable, you will probably want to stick with the 24-105L, the 50/1.8, and the 70-200/4IS. That should handle the vast majority of photo situations. If you want UWA, add in the 17-40L. You then have the smallest possible "L quality" f4 package (and a light as air prime for when it gets really dark/you need DOF control). A small pack to carry the set, and you will be good... for a little under $3k. Mind you, a backpack... whereas the Olympus camera + 5 lenses can fit in a man-purse / shoulder-bag without strain.

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photonius
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

this is where it begins wrote:

TL;DR Primarily for travel in Asia, back-country Jasper (Alberta), and walking around town, what two or at most three lenses would you recommend for a newer-than-new photographer with a 5D3 with not much more than $2-3k that he'd like to spend?

Hi, all, I'm expecting a lay-off over the next few weeks and thought I'd treat myself to a 5D3. I'm afraid I have virtually no experience with a camera, but have opportunity and time a-plenty to play with it, whether or not I turn out to be good with the thing.

We're working kind of crazy hours right now which leaves me short of time to do much research, but we head to Jasper, Alberta a half-dozen times a year or so (may be a little more this year and next), and will be in Peru for six or seven weeks and Asia for a couple or a few months next year, along with Ontario and a cross-Canada trip for six-eight weeks each year, with the option to stray a bit (last year we turned right in Manitoba and eventually spent two pretty cool weeks in New Orleans) so I see things worth taking photos of, and I've pined for a FF SLR since the original 5D came out, but never seemed to have enough cash to buy it. Anyhow, I do now, but was wondering what sorts of lenses you would recommend for these sorts of trips? To begin with, it'd be nice to not spend more than $2-3k on them, and because I'm not an especially large guy and because our longer trips to Asia run to five or six months, I'd like not to have too many lenses.

I'm embarrassingly ignorant when it comes to photography and that's unlikely to remedy itself prior to buying the lenses/camera but knowing the sorts of environments I'm usually around - wide-open ranges in the mountains, temples and a range of interesting people in cities, are there any fairly universal lenses that you might recommend? Also, what are the simpler or more common gallery sites so that I could upload some [humble, not-worthy-of-critiquing, but representational of my shooting interests] photos to to suggest the sorts of things I'd want lenses for?

I'm not sure how this comes across, but if anybody's got a similar occasional surplus of time, I really would appreciate the aid. My ignorance is absolute, to the extent that I've got no idea of how long it would take to switch a lens - on a single-day hike from Jasper, would it not be worth having more than one considered lens for the day, not bothering with a couple of lenses unless I were going for multiple-day hikes in the back-country? Otherwise a 50mm 1.2 (1.4? 1.8? Where's the sweet spot for value?) for walking around town, or else how wide an angle for the grand vistas I might come across? Wildlife is interesting and I appreciate it, but I think it might be more incidental in my eventual photography - nice to have in shots of the landscape, but maybe not warranting too long a zoom for shots of the animals, themselves.

For longer trips overseas, what lenses would you bring? Are you hiker and lover of landscapes - what are your favorites, there? I don't work too many months each year, so can't afford the most esoteric lenses, and would like to stick with Canon, if possible (is that a useless bias? Thanks again for any ideas.

Scott.

PS: if you go on longer trips, take a Sensor brush along (about 25$) to clean the sensor. The automatic sensor cleaning is not perfect, and recently on a trip in SE asia within a few days I had enough dust to start show up in the images - it can be quite dusty there. The brush is small, compact and light (easy for travel), and so far worked well for me (no need for wet cleaning) - just sometimes you need to do it a second time because you just redistributed some of the particles.

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Tinu_ch
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 18, 2012

this is where it begins wrote:

A previous poster (Dags, also with a 5D) was recommending primes (a 24 1.4L, 50 1.4, and 85 1.8) - is the advantage of a zoom simply having a range

That's the main reason for zoom lenses. One or two zooms give you a range that would fill a big bag to get covered with primes.

(and longer reach in this case) and the advantage of a prime, what, that it offers a better image at that specific length?

Primes usually are sharper and often faster (in the meaning of wider max. aperture). They are perfect when you have lots of time to walk around your subject, choose your perspective and compose carefully. If you have to react fast or hate changing lenses zooms usually are better to get the shot decently framed.

For starters I always recommend zoom lenses. They pack small and allow you to explore the different focal lenghts and what you can do with them.

Later on, with some experience, you will know which focal lenghts you use often and might be useful to also have as primes. If you want to experiment with shallow DOF to see if this is something for you, get the 1.8/50 or 1.8/85.

And for your style of shooting, what does the long range offer? Does that end up being more people a ways off, or for wildlife?

I do not quite understand your question. On travel I do not want to carry a lot of lenses with me. When travelling with others I also know I will not have much time for carefully exploring a subject; or find a spot where 24mm are wide enough to squeeze the whole building or mountain into the frame. Two zooms covering superwide to middle tele lenght fit the bill much better.

Thanks for the tips - I wish there were one correct answer.

There isn't. It all depends on what range of subjects you want to cover in which way under which circumstances.

Everybody has compelling ideas of what works.

... for them. The key is to find out what you want or need. If you like taking pictures spontaneously of family and friends my set-up won't work.

Do you shoot full-frame

The lenses I mentioned are those for my 5DII.

Tinu

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photonius
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 19, 2012

this is where it begins wrote:

For longer trips overseas, what lenses would you bring? Are you hiker and lover of landscapes - what are your favorites, there? I don't work too many months each year, so can't afford the most esoteric lenses, and would like to stick with Canon, if possible (is that a useless bias? Thanks again for any ideas.

Scott.

Here a quote from a post by jenbenn I just happened to come across in another forum:

"I am actually considering moving into the mirrorless segment as well. I just returned from shoooting in India with my 5d Mark II. There were two huge issues that really bugged me about the cam: One was the unreliable autofocus and the second was the huge size and weight of the equipment which scares my subjects and wears me down. I really long for a small, light weight camera with an opitcal viewfinder. ... "

Not necessarily advocating the mirrorless, but weight/size is something to keep in mind when traveling.

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DFPanno
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Re: Which lenses for 5D3 starting from nothing? (and thank you!)
In reply to this is where it begins, Apr 20, 2012

I just bought a 5D3 but I would probably not take it on any trip that involved a lot of hiking.

G1-X

or

T2i with a 17-55 and a 10-22
270EX
Black rapid strap

Done.

If I did take my 5D3 I would take my 24-105 and a 50 1.4 + 270 EX.

Too much/too heavy equipment will take the joy out of your trip unless you are a very committed photographer.

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