Lens arsenal

Started 4 months ago | Questions
CD1
CD1
Forum MemberPosts: 96
Like?
Lens arsenal
4 months ago

I need some advice on building up my lens arsenal.  The type of stuff I find myself shooting is:

Family events - indoors with that terrible indoor lighting

Outdoor photography - on the lake or in the woods (both up close, long range, and wide angle)

Sports photography - kids events (baseball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming)

Occasional portraits

Would like to do some occasional macro stuff

What lens combination would most efficiently cover as much of that ground as possible.  I don't want to spend $10,000 on lenses, but I know I'm not getting this group of lenses on the cheap either.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I shoot a 40D…in camera terms it's ancient…but it's what I've got.  I have the kit lenses and they are OK…but I've rented a lot of lenses and the nice glass puts the kit lenses to such shame that it's hard to look at the pics side-by-side.

thanks

-- hide signature --

Stand back people...I have no idea what I'm doing...

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Canon EOS 40D
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Lemming51
Forum ProPosts: 12,597Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

CD1 wrote:

I need some advice on building up my lens arsenal. The type of stuff I find myself shooting is:

Family events - indoors with that terrible indoor lighting

I think a high powered speedlite that can bounce flash (e.g. 430EX II or better) is much more effective than expensive big aperture lenses.  For family events I find I'm at f/4-5.6 anyway to get more than 1 person in focus.

Outdoor photography - on the lake or in the woods (both up close, long range, and wide angle)

EF-S 15-85 is a terrific all-around zoom, and may save you money if you find 15mm wide enough and can forego a 10-20ish ultra-wide.

Sports photography - kids events (baseball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming)

Usual suspects:  EF-S 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS STM on a strict budget, one of the EF 70-200 Ls if you've got more.

Occasional portraits

Would like to do some occasional macro stuff

What lens combination would most efficiently cover as much of that ground as possible. I don't want to spend $10,000 on lenses, but I know I'm not getting this group of lenses on the cheap either. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I shoot a 40D…in camera terms it's ancient…but it's what I've got. I have the kit lenses and they are OK…but I've rented a lot of lenses and the nice glass puts the kit lenses to such shame that it's hard to look at the pics side-by-side.

What lenses have your rented, did you like them?  EF 70-200 L (2.8, 4, IS or not) can do double/triple duty - sports, portrait, add a TC or extension tubes for macro.   Or EF-S 60 f/2.8 USM Macro or EF 100 f/2.8 Macro (L IS USM or original USM) can do double duty as portrait and macro.

-- hide signature --

Unapologetic Canon Apologist

 Lemming51's gear list:Lemming51's gear list
Canon EOS 40D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
WilbaW
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,622Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

That's a pretty vague specification.

What did you learn from renting a lot of lenses?

You might get some ideas from the Can you recommend a lens for...?  section of the unofficial Rebel Talk FAQ.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dale Garman
Regular MemberPosts: 394Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

I think two lenses would handle a lot of what you want to do.  The 17-55 f2.8 lens for your walk around and the 70-200 f4 IS for zoom.  The longer one is L but the zoom has the clarity that is very close to L glass, but the build quallity is not quite as good IMHO. The caution is if you think you will eventually go FF, then the 17-55 only works on crop, but it is a terrific lens for crop.

Flash is helpful in some circumstances, and opening lens wide open will give very shallow DOF.

 Dale Garman's gear list:Dale Garman's gear list
Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Bananasplit
Regular MemberPosts: 282Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

CD1 wrote:

I need some advice on building up my lens arsenal. The type of stuff I find myself shooting is:

Family events - indoors with that terrible indoor lighting

Flash + EF-S 15-85 or 17-55 (useful anyway for the rest) and Sigma 35 f1.4 for using natural light. Wider lens might be useful but harder to use.

Outdoor photography - on the lake or in the woods (both up close, long range, and wide angle)

EF-S 15-85 very good and useful lens. It has only one issue: it is not fast. But for outdoor, it is ok. Otherwise the 17-55 is shorter but great IQ.

Sports photography - kids events (baseball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming)

Canon 70-200 or replace by Canon 100 (might be sometimes a bit too short). Cheap zoom might not be fast enough.

Occasional portraits

Depending on your style: Sigma 35 f1.4 or Canon 40 F2.8 or Canon 50mm f1.4 or Canon 85 f1.8 or Canon 70-200 f2.8 or or Canon 100 f2.8 L or Canon 135 f2. All are good, the 40mm is the "worse" in the list because of its aperture but it gives great results for its price. I tried all and my preference depends on the subject.

Would like to do some occasional macro stuff

Canon 60mm (very sharp) or Canon 100mm macro (L is better specially for its IS but you can save by taking the cheaper non L).

What lens combination would most efficiently cover as much of that ground as possible. I don't want to spend $10,000 on lenses, but I know I'm not getting this group of lenses on the cheap either. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

My "economic" choices would be: 1)  Flash + 15-85 or 1755 + 100L (macro and portrait) and then you might add later a Sigma 35 or a tele zoom 70-200 (F2.8 is obviousely better IQ than f4 but much more expensive)

 Bananasplit's gear list:Bananasplit's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Pentax K-5 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
skanter
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,412Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

I use 10-22, 17-55 2.8, and 70-300 IS USM. These three cover everything beautifully, without spending L money.

-- hide signature --

Sam K., NYC

 skanter's gear list:skanter's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Rexgig0
Senior MemberPosts: 1,537Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

Two now-classic EF L lenses could do most of what you have mentioned, the 35mm 1.4L, and the 135mm 2.0L. I love mine! For a minimalist kit, for most personal shooting, I could be quite happy with a 40D, and these two lenses, though an ultra-wide would be nice to add to the mix. My favored ultra-wide is a zoom, the EF-S 10-22mm.

The EF 135mm 2.0L is compatible with Canon's EF 1.4x and 2x Extenders, though AF will be a bit slower. One member here on DPR uses an extension tube with this lens to shoot butterflies.

"Macro" is a very broad topic. Much depends upon your subjects. My closest-range shooting (lens to subject distance) is done with an EF-S 10-22mm lens, but that is not really "macro," and I have shot spiders and insects with a Nikon Nikkor 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S manual-focus telefoto lens, with a Nikkor 6T attached to the objective end, and a Novoflex EOS/NIK adapter at the other end. We also have 100mm lenses made by both Tokina and Canon, both of which are really nice performers on my 40D.

(My Canon EF 100mm 2.8 Macro L, with Image Stabilization, now lives on one of my 7D bodies, as I prefer splash/rain-resistance while at work.)

I can use a 35mm, a 100mm, a 135mm, or an ultra-wide zoom as a "walk-around" lens, depending upon where I am walking. It seems the only zooms I like are ultra-wide; I lust for a Nikkor 14-24mm for my Nikons! I should emphasize that not all folks would agree, preferring mid-range and tele zooms. Please read this post as documenting what I like, not  a recommendation for any other person.

-- hide signature --

I wear a badge and pistol, and, primarily with 7D cameras, with an EF-S 10-22mm and 100mm Macro L, make evidentiary images at night, which incorporates elements of portrait, macro, still life, landscape, architecture, and PJ. During personal time, I enjoy using both Canons and Nikons.

 Rexgig0's gear list:Rexgig0's gear list
Nikon Coolpix A Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 40D Nikon D700 +24 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mailman88
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,777Gear list
Like?
Re: CD....get the 100-400mm
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

.......it will cover most of your needs. From sports to macro's, this lens can do it..... I've done it. My best lens investment, when I bought my 100-400mm. This lens stays on 7D about 98% of the time. Check-out my gallery, you'll see why I like this lens so much.

Get the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM or NON-IS for low-light portrait shots....now your covered!

Or buy a few primes, which I have done also....

 mailman88's gear list:mailman88's gear list
Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
yellodog
Senior MemberPosts: 1,054Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

My "arsenal" has boiled own to a Sigma 18-35, a Canon 60 macro and a Tamron 70-300.

For times when I can't be bothered to carry all that, a Pentax MX-1 + a Nokia 808.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
CD1
CD1
Forum MemberPosts: 96
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to Bananasplit, 4 months ago

Thanks to all for the great replies!  That certainly gives me a lot of info to consider and will allow me to start my research in the right places.

-- hide signature --

Stand back people...I have no idea what I'm doing...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jonathan Brady
Senior MemberPosts: 1,588Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 4 months ago

An upgraded body could pay dividends - the 70D. Better ISO performance and image quality. Depending on budget left...

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8
Canon EF-S 60mm macro or 100mm macro (L or not depending on your need/want for IS) - either doubles as portrait lens
Canon EF-S 55-250 STM

All this out the door with a few accessories and the camera for around $2500. Get the 60 macro as a refurb from Canon for $300 right now. http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/275767?WT.mc_id=C126149

More money left?
Sub an L series telephoto for the 55-250 if you're going to shoot at the long end a lot.
Add the 18-135 STM as an all purpose walk-around lens with great video capability. Depending on telephoto needs, this may be all the reach you need, further freeing up budget by foregoing the 55-250 and L telephoto lenses.

Lenses I don't think are necessary with this setup:
40mm f/2.8 - the 35mm end of the Sigma is close enough and faster.
Canon 50mm f/1.4 or 1.8 - you have to stop them both down to roughly 2.8 to get really sharp pics and at that aperture, the 60mm macro does the job equally well with a similar focal length.

Other good options depending on your needs:
Canon 17-55 f/2.8
Canon 15-85
Canon 85 f/1.8
Canon 135 f/2 plus 1.4x and/or 2x teleconverter. (I don't have any experience here but it sounds great in theory)

 Jonathan Brady's gear list:Jonathan Brady's gear list
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ShootMeAlready
Forum MemberPosts: 96
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 3 months ago

Ok you wanted an arsenal

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 - Best UWA for any crop

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 - Best WA for any crop. It has 11 inch min. focus, so if you only need light macro duties its very fine. Why not zoom on your macro.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM - crucial for portraits.  Arguably the best 50mm f/1.4.

Now you could replace both of above with canon 17-55 f/2.8, but then you would need to buy a macro lens, perhaps the canon 100mm f/2.  Then these two canons cost more than the two above so I still like the above two.

Canon 85mm f/1.8 - great for headshots, compression, & some quality reach

Canon 55-250 f/4-5.6 zoom - cheap and good for outdoors, you could spend more but only if you need f/2.8 zoom. If I were to need it look at the sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 if you dont want more reach.

I have all of these except for the 50mm and the canon 17-55 f/2.8. They all work great together as a combo. I am stunned that some of the best glass only fits on a APS-C.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pritzl
Contributing MemberPosts: 566Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to CD1, 3 months ago

Telephoto: EF-S 55-250 F4-5.6 STM ($300) or EF 70-200 F4L IS ($1050). Both can double as your macro if you add a Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250.

Wide angle: Lots of options here including Tokina 12-24 F4, Tokina 11-16 F2.8, Sigma 10-20 F3.5 and Canon 10-22 F3.5-4.5. They all range within $500-800. The Canon is the lightest but also the most expensive. I have the Tokina 12-24 but am considering the 11-16 F2.8 for the faster aperture.

Portraiture/artistic/low-light: You need a good fast prime here. I chose the Canon EF 50 F1.4 ($350) but there are few bad choices here. Just find the focal length that best suits you and the budget you're comfortable with for this specialized lens. Other options include EF 35 F2 IS, EF 50 F1.4, Sigma 35 F1.4, 30 F1.4 and 50 F1.4. Or you can spring for the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 and get essentially 3 fast primes in one. It's a bit heavy and not the best for portraiture though at only 35mm.

General purpose: Not much help here I'm afraid as I am currently using Canon's 18-135 STM but only because I haven't found a lens that satisfies me yet. The Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 is currently the leading candidate for the focal range, slightly faster apertures in a manageable weight/price. I am holding off to see if Sigma is going to update their 17-50F2.8 with the Art treatment; if it's anything like their 18-35 F1.8, it will be an extraordinary lens.

 Pritzl's gear list:Pritzl's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Don Richardson
Senior MemberPosts: 1,428Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to Pritzl, 3 months ago

I  ued to think I had to have a lens for every senerio that could possibly come up. Now I've sold a lot of lenses and started over. I've got the 7D plus the

Sigms 17-70 f2.8-4 OC(C) 2. Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS, 3. Tamron 70-300 f4-56 VC and the

Tamron 150-600 mm f5-6.3 VC. This gives me form 27.2 thru 960 mm and I've got the Kinko 1.4x ordered which will give me up to 1344mm equivalence on the 150-600 if it works as well as has been written about the combo.  We'll just have to wait and see about speed and IQ with this combo.

I orginally bought Canon because of their lenses but Sigma and Tamron have stepped up their game so much and left their pricing structure in place where Canon has up'ed their game but almost doubled their prices.

-- hide signature --
 Don Richardson's gear list:Don Richardson's gear list
Canon EOS 7D +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pritzl
Contributing MemberPosts: 566Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to Don Richardson, 3 months ago

I am not trying to cover every focal length. Just the ones I use.

So how do you find the Sigma 17-70. I am concerned about the reported edge softness at 17mm. I could live with it if it was soft @F2.8 but it apparently doesn't improve too much stopping down. Or are those just the test results and don't matter in the real world?

 Pritzl's gear list:Pritzl's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Don Richardson
Senior MemberPosts: 1,428Gear list
Like?
Re: Lens arsenal
In reply to Pritzl, 3 months ago

Pritzl wrote:

I am not trying to cover every focal length. Just the ones I use.

So how do you find the Sigma 17-70. I am concerned about the reported edge softness at 17mm. I could live with it if it was soft @F2.8 but it apparently doesn't improve too much stopping down. Or are those just the test results and don't matter in the real world?

Check out my zenfolio page. All events since the 17-70 F2,8-4 OS (C) came out were taken with this lens,. Forget the Birthday party cause that was family and they wonted eveything I took. This years events at the Extension office "Texas Agrilife Extension" the Womens Fair as well as Leadership Abilene rare taken with 17-70 I believe.

I traded my 15-85 lens for it cause the 15-85 was a little slow when people started movingaround but I do miss the 88 mm on the long end. The 17-70 is as sharp and a little faster.

The reason I cver such a wide range is cause I can, and inexpensivly with the third party lenses and todays third party match if not beat major brands in sharpness. contrast, and color and I can take care of anything else in PP.

-- hide signature --
 Don Richardson's gear list:Don Richardson's gear list
Canon EOS 7D +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads