Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

Started Jun 19, 2010 | Discussions
Skip M Veteran Member • Posts: 7,174
2nd that

Even though I have a 24-70L, I do still occasionally use my old 28-135 IS. It was the first EF lens I bought, and I've kept it. It's light, versatile, with more reach than either the 24-70 or 24-105, although it does give up a little at the wide end. It's as sharp or sharper than any other non L zoom. It is prone to zoom creep, though.
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Jan Madsen Senior Member • Posts: 2,398
Not a bad idea

BAK wrote:

For a beginner, the 5D Mark II is a bad idea, unless that beginner is rich.

Why? It is just a consumer product. If you got the money (the OP has) I think it is a good start. Expensive lenses can come later. A couple of cheap primes, and you got a very capable system. 50mm f1.8, 35mm f2, 85mm f1.8 (as you mention), older manual lenses for almost no money, there are a lot of possibilities. A 70-200mm f2.8 IS II is not strictly necessary. One of my first lenses for the 1DsII was a Nikon 180mm f2.8 ED - of course strictly manual, but of very high optical standard.

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  • Jan

OP ismith Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: Beginner?

Hi BAK, thank you for your opinion and lens suggestions.

I think your assumption that I am new to this was possibly through my posting history, when I used to hang out in the Fujifilm compact forum as a proud owner of the little F30 (a great pocket cam, and many of my old friends used to hang out there). The truth is I've been in the game about 20 years, shooting with pretty much everything (film & digital as an 'advanced enthusiast'), but after experiencing the 5DMkII (notably with good L glass) I just had to buy one. But with the budget I have available at this time, and the amount of possible lens options on the market, I was curious to hear opinions from this forum's members on options within my budget to consider.

BAK wrote:

For a beginner, the 5D Mark II is a bad idea, unless that beginner is rich.

Then it is still a bad idea, but money can at least ease things a bit.

If you insist on wasting your money, leaving you withnot enough for a good lens, what can we do?

You do not have an adequate budget.

Anyway,start with a Canon 50mm f2 lens and a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, and save up for a Canon 85mm f1.8.

Or, and this is a good idea if it hits your budget, buy a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens.

Your 50mm and 70-300mm plan leaves you with no wde angle, and that is frequently a problem.

BAK

OP ismith Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: Thanks for the feedback (n/t)

(n/t)

Jim Cassatt Veteran Member • Posts: 4,973
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

I have used both the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and the Canon 28-105 f3.5-4.5 on my 5D. As stated both offer excellent value. Even tghough I own the 24-105 f4, I still use the 28-105 when I am just walking around and don't to carry the extra weight.
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carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: Wrong priority...

That's exactly my thought too when I read the op. I would spend most of my budget to buy good lenses instead of a camera that will make less impact on the results and will be out dated much sooner than the lenses.

maiaibing wrote:
...stop before you make a mistake!

Get good lenses first and a cheaper body. It will give you visible better pictures for years than the other way around. Also, lenses keep their price. Your coveted and expensive 5Dii can be had for much less or will be left in the dust by the 5Diii one day - and you can the upgraded body later in stead = better pictures now & better pictures when you have saved a little more. Clearly a much, much better way to move forward.

ismith wrote:

I'm sold on the 5DMkII - but with my initial budget after buying the body I'm left with around UKP(£)250-400. I'm will invest in the best glass I can afford in time, but I hope you might be able to suggest a good lens (or lenses) in this price range to start with? (I can't quite stretch to the kit lens option 24-105L just yet, and I would prefer to buy new).

I'll mainly be shooting urban & rural scenes whilst out and about, and portraits (and video) of my family & friends.

My initial thought was the Canon 50mm 1.8II + 70-300IS.
But is there a good wide/medium zoom in this price bracket to consider?

I look forward to your feedback, and thank you in advance.

Ian

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carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: It's still a bad idea and a waste of money

Hmmm... What "craft" you can learn with 5DII that you can't with a, say, T2i. Not saying 5DII is not necessarily a better camera but I don't know what advantage it provides for learning photography? Did you start to master the craft only after you obtained your latest and greatest camera?

Chez Wimpy wrote:

BAK wrote:

For a beginner, the 5D Mark II is a bad idea, unless that beginner is rich.

Bad idea? Why? It gives you more control over DOF... and prime lenses are the fundamental tools for learning to "see" photographically.

If you have the money, a 5D2 + 35/2 + 85/1.8 is an amazing way to learn the craft.

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carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: Wrong priority...

That's a valid consideration.

Legion5 wrote:

Canon doesn't have a normal zoom lens currently without significant tradeoffs, and all reports point to them releasing a new upgraded one in the near future to so it's best not to buy lenses currently unless you're looking at telephotos.

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Joe Photo Lover Veteran Member • Posts: 3,040
Re: 2nd that

Skip M wrote:

Even though I have a 24-70L, I do still occasionally use my old 28-135 IS. It was the first EF lens I bought, and I've kept it. It's light, versatile, with more reach than either the 24-70 or 24-105, although it does give up a little at the wide end. It's as sharp or sharper than any other non L zoom. It is prone to zoom creep, though.
--

Yep! Really bad zoom creep from Day One. Not so useful on a crop camera but I still like it for film and the inevitable day that I acquire a FF DSLR.

Joe Photo Lover Veteran Member • Posts: 3,040
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

Scales USA wrote:

The kit with the 5D II and 24-105mm lens is a good start. The lens is excellent, and covers from wide to telephoto.

The OP has already specifically ruled out the 24-105mm. He wrote:

"I'm sold on the 5DMkII - but with my initial budget after buying the body I'm left with around UKP(£)250-400. I'm will invest in the best glass I can afford in time, but I hope you might be able to suggest a good lens (or lenses) in this price range to start with? (I can't quite stretch to the kit lens option 24-105L just yet, and I would prefer to buy new)."

antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,653
Guess it's too late - but why not a great lens on a cheaper body?

I'm sure you know by now that what matters first, are the lenses. Not the body.

On Amazon today a 5D MkII is 3'200 dollars, or 3'300 with the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens as a kit. The 7D body only is 1600 dollars.

Yes I know the 7D is not full frame, but that's 600 dollars more to spend on lenses.

Plus. the 5D is probably nearing the moment when the successor product will be announced. It's 2 years old, plus guys like Ken Rockwell are pushing it so hard these days, that there must be a special incentive program benefitting them.

If it's not too late, go for a 7D - if you need the professionally feeling body - or even a 550D (if you can live with the crappy plastic body and awful controls and much less good AF and much less good viewfinder etc). And buy a nicer lens.

By the way the 24-105mm "L" glass does not have particularly good reviews.

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goodlucksdk Regular Member • Posts: 404
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

My personal recommendation is to spend more on lenses and less on cameras, well and if you have tons of money to spend just to buy only the best of both lenses and cameras.

goodlucksdk Regular Member • Posts: 404
Re: Wrong priority...

The differences are not as pronounced as you would think. Most of Canons cropped sensors are not that different from one another when it comes to ISO performance. If you want to step up your ISO performance you will always have to make the jump to full frame. I have come to this conclusion as I currently own a Rebel XS and am in the process of upgrading. I was looking very hard into the 7D but no matter how I looked at it from comparisons only I could not find any gain in low light performance worth mentioning. Going to the 5D MII though is a big gain but the advantage over the 5D MI again is soso.

My reference is: http://www.dxomark.com/

It is very interesting to review their ratings of camera sensors.

This is also of course not the only resource I reviewed. It only confirmed more or less what I had concluded from other online comparisons already.

carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: Wrong priority...

Rebel XS to 7D? Where did you get the idea there will not be any ISO gain? My 7D has almost 2 stops gain over my 20D. You'll only get about another half stop or so gain from 7D to 5DII.

goodlucksdk wrote:

The differences are not as pronounced as you would think. Most of Canons cropped sensors are not that different from one another when it comes to ISO performance. If you want to step up your ISO performance you will always have to make the jump to full frame. I have come to this conclusion as I currently own a Rebel XS and am in the process of upgrading. I was looking very hard into the 7D but no matter how I looked at it from comparisons only I could not find any gain in low light performance worth mentioning. Going to the 5D MII though is a big gain but the advantage over the 5D MI again is soso.

My reference is: http://www.dxomark.com/

It is very interesting to review their ratings of camera sensors.

This is also of course not the only resource I reviewed. It only confirmed more or less what I had concluded from other online comparisons already.

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sssanti Contributing Member • Posts: 692
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

I would start with the Tamron 28-75, other good options are 28 1.8, 35 f2, 50 1.4 (Canon or Sigma), 50 1.8, 85 1.8, 100 2 and 70-300 IS depending on your preferences.

For the same EF lens a FF camera typically gives you significantly higher center resolution (line pairs per picture height) than a crop. Border resolution is typically also a little better. In my experience, the improved resolution I observed in my lenses when going from crop to a 5D was more significant than the differences you may see between economical non-L primes and L lenses.

You may want to look at this comparison between FF and crop for a 50 1.8 lens as an example:

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/widget/Fullscreen.ashx?reviews=26,27&fullscreen=true&av=1.667,1.667&fl=50,50&vis=VisualiserSharpnessMTF,VisualiserSharpnessMTF&stack=horizontal&lock=&config=/lensreviews/widget/LensReviewConfiguration.xml%3F4

ismith wrote:

I'm sold on the 5DMkII - but with my initial budget after buying the body I'm left with around UKP(£)250-400. I'm will invest in the best glass I can afford in time, but I hope you might be able to suggest a good lens (or lenses) in this price range to start with? (I can't quite stretch to the kit lens option 24-105L just yet, and I would prefer to buy new).

I'll mainly be shooting urban & rural scenes whilst out and about, and portraits (and video) of my family & friends.

My initial thought was the Canon 50mm 1.8II + 70-300IS.
But is there a good wide/medium zoom in this price bracket to consider?

I look forward to your feedback, and thank you in advance.

Ian

localghost Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

+ 1 for 35 2.0
have a look at the old 80-200 2.8, too!!

BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 25,650
Typo alert

I unfortunately made a typo. This is wrong, > Anyway,start with a Canon 50mm f2 lens and a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, and save up for a Canon 85mm f1.8.

BAK

R1chardM New Member • Posts: 12
Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 50mm 1.4

Both the 50mm 1.4 rate well on a FF camera. I have owned both and like the Sigma better, but it is more expensive. 50mm is a good starter lens, I would not get the fantastic plastic canon 50mm 1.8 for your FF camera, it does not get good to take advanage of the resolution until F4

I agree with the other posters, you should buy a cheap body like an XT line and get some great lenses. If you have to have full frame then buy a used 5d.

There is an old saying, cameras come then go away, good fast glass is here to stay.

You buy pro glass, it will hold its value and will be able to be put on newer cameras. You camera body will take a price dive as soon as the new model is released, then it will become obsolete compared to the new stuff (sure it will still take great pictuers and you will be able to use it for a long time.

But since you bought the great camera, to get everything you can out of it as far as resolution and you want a cheap lens, the 50mm 1.4 will hold its value and be a great lens for this camera. Another great lens for $800 is the Sigma 70-200 2.8, close to Canon quality but at less than half the price and you will be able to get some great images from that lens. Look up both the Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.4 and the Sigma 70-200 2.8 on Dpreviews lens reviews and find out about them.

ismith wrote:

I'm sold on the 5DMkII - but with my initial budget after buying the body I'm left with around UKP(£)250-400. I'm will invest in the best glass I can afford in time, but I hope you might be able to suggest a good lens (or lenses) in this price range to start with? (I can't quite stretch to the kit lens option 24-105L just yet, and I would prefer to buy new).

I'll mainly be shooting urban & rural scenes whilst out and about, and portraits (and video) of my family & friends.

My initial thought was the Canon 50mm 1.8II + 70-300IS.
But is there a good wide/medium zoom in this price bracket to consider?

I look forward to your feedback, and thank you in advance.

Ian

Skip M Veteran Member • Posts: 7,174
Wrong advice, in my opinion

maiaibing wrote:

...stop before you make a mistake!

Get good lenses first and a cheaper body. It will give you visible better pictures for years than the other way around. Also, lenses keep their price. Your coveted and expensive 5Dii can be had for much less or will be left in the dust by the 5Diii one day - and you can the upgraded body later in stead = better pictures now & better pictures when you have saved a little more. Clearly a much, much better way to move forward.

Find the OP a less expensive Full Frame alternative... Right, there isn't one. If we were talking about going from one cropper to another, you'd have a point. But he's not, he's going from crop to FF. If he were to take your advice, he'd never buy a crop body. Or at least a new one.

Skip M Veteran Member • Posts: 7,174
Cheaper full frame? Nope.

antoineb wrote:

I'm sure you know by now that what matters first, are the lenses. Not the body.

On Amazon today a 5D MkII is 3'200 dollars, or 3'300 with the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens as a kit. The 7D body only is 1600 dollars.

I don't know who's getting $3200 for a 5D mkII, the going price is about $2500 most places.

Yes I know the 7D is not full frame, but that's 600 dollars more to spend on lenses.

But it's still not full farme.

Plus. the 5D is probably nearing the moment when the successor product will be announced. It's 2 years old, plus guys like Ken Rockwell are pushing it so hard these days, that there must be a special incentive program benefitting them.

If he waits, he'll never step off the curb.

If it's not too late, go for a 7D - if you need the professionally feeling body - or even a 550D (if you can live with the crappy plastic body and awful controls and much less good AF and much less good viewfinder etc). And buy a nicer lens.

Why should he buy a format he doesn't want just to save money?

By the way the 24-105mm "L" glass does not have particularly good reviews.

We've found the 24-105 to be an excellent lens in real world usage. So have others:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=101&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=355&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
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