Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

Started Jun 19, 2010 | Discussions
Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,073
Re: It's still a bad idea and a waste of money

carlk wrote:

Hmmm... What "craft" you can learn with 5DII that you can't with a, say, T2i.

MF, DOF control (no WA primes, plus the crop factor on DOF), framing outside of a tunnel, replaceable focus screens... the differences are significant, and immediately felt. I like the T2i, but treat it mostly as a "point and shoot" so far as my input is concerned... get it in the hyperfocal range, and check the review on the nice LCD to confirm everything went all right.

Did you start to master the craft only after you obtained your latest and greatest camera?

I had never shot "real" WA until FF. The best you can do (the best I managed) on crop was the normal-portrait split. Sigma 30, 85L. As long as the AF system was up to task, I mostly learned on those two focal lengths. I have a lot of great photos to show for it, but there is a definite pattern to my style that was formed from this constraint. 85L translated exactly to the 135L (with faster AF), the 50/1.4 on FF had a slight DOF difference, while being able to confirm focus (with my own eye) before the shot certainly helped. 24,28,35 FOVs are in no-mans land though, as the best you can do is a f2.8 zoom on crop (and 24mm only if you count the Tokina). This means you are starting at f4.5 equivalent DOF from the get-go... if you are willing to spend $1000 on the 17-55/2.8 IS, or split the difference between the 11-16/2.8 and a 3rd party 17-50/2.8. What I learned from my crop cameras was WA meant "everything in DOF", and because of lens speed + sensor noise, mostly outdoors. A number of years, and opportunities, wasted... but with little recourse besides film (or the $3k+ 5D classic). I learned a type of photography, but not the matured style I now practice.

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-CW

よしよし、今日も生きのいい魂が手に入ったな

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Roger Schliefert
Roger Schliefert Senior Member • Posts: 2,164
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

A great option is the 28-135 Canon zoom. I know a few pros that use this lens on their full frame cameras and they do just fine.

You can always expand later with some primes, 50 f1.8, 28 f1.8, 85 f1.8 or 100 f2.0, 200 f2.8 etc. Personally I've got my L zooms then I've got my travel kit, 14mm Rokinon (Samyang), Canon lens 28 f1.8, 50 f1.8, 100 f2.0, 200 f2.8, 1.4x Tamron t/c w/ 580 flash. The zooms are a lot more handier but the primes are a lot more fun, time consuming and the end results seem more satisfying than the zooms. Also with the prime kit everything fits into a photo jacket, no bag!

Just my 2 cents,

Roger

(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 378
Re: Best 'cheap' lenses for 5D MkII?

Depends on what you want to shoot; but in general you might go first with two primes i. e. 35/ 2 and 85/ 1,8 and use your feet as "zoom". Later when budget allows you might add 24/ 2,8 and 70-200 L 4 IS (with a 1,4 converter @ 280mm/ 5,6 it'll be sharper as the 70-300 at 300mm/ 5,6). So you are prepared for available light and DOF-Control and you will own an excellent tele-zoom.
Just giving an idea

OP ismith Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Thank you all.

Thanks to everybody who has responded to my posting. It has been most useful, and given me a lot to think about.

I appreciate the logical and common sense advice about investing in the lenses first, and updating the body later. This is a serious consideration I am not ignoring - in fact, when I first looked into this I though the 7D would be the best way forward with either the 15-85 or 17-55 f2.8 as the walkaround lens, and a 50mm f1.4 for the portraits. And to be honest I would still be going down this road if I hadn't noticed how comparable the IQ of the 550D/T2i was to it - at half the price! It made me think about the spec's of the 7D - which offered a lot of things I don't 'really' need - though the larger body, weather seal, CF speed and battery life is a significant compromise. But handling the 550D/T2i you really do notice the quality of the build and its small size, and it is just not something I could live with for long. But the same IQ at half the price... now I think the 7D is not for me. (Maybe Canon will release a 60D, sitting snugly in the middle, that might just tick all the boxes...)

But then the price of the 5DII drops by nearly UKP(£)1000 (less than UKP(£)400 more than the 7D), and seriously teases my wallet and excites the 'upgrade' level for me to a point where I can't see a reason to make any further upgrades for years to come (apart from the bits that bolt/screw and clip on to it). But can I get a good lens or two that will offer 'acceptable' IQ to start out with? Well, that's the reason for my post - and thanks to some really useful lens suggestion, I can see there are many possible options to consider. I quite fancy going old school and just shooting primes again - my legs still work (touch wood), so 'zooming' can still be achieved.

Thanks again.

Ian

R1chardM New Member • Posts: 12
Something to think about.

ismith wrote:

Thanks to everybody who has responded to my posting. It has been most useful, and given me a lot to think about.

It made me think about the spec's of the 7D - which offered a lot of things I don't 'really' need - though the larger body, weather seal, CF speed and battery life is a significant compromise. But handling the 550D/T2i you really do notice the quality of the build and its small size, and it is just not something I could live with for long.

Don't get the 550D/T2i for that reason, I would not compromise on this, get what feels right in your hands and you are going to want to use.

But then the price of the 5DII drops by nearly UKP(£)1000 (less than UKP(£)400 more than the 7D), and seriously teases my wallet and excites the 'upgrade' level for me to a point where I can't see a reason to make any further upgrades for years to come (apart from the bits that bolt/screw and clip on to it). But can I get a good lens or two that will offer 'acceptable' IQ to start out with?

This really depends on what you are shooting. If you are shooting portraits and have the room, I prefer a 70-200 2.8, the sigma or Tokina read the reviews. Wide angle some of the others had some good suggestions. You saying you wanted a cheap lens. You should not put a cheap lens on a 7d or a 5d2 if you want to get all the resoulution they have to offer or take advantage of Full frame.

To me is sounds like you have the money. If I were on a budget and had a 5d2, I would choose a sigma 24-70 2.8 and the Tokina 70-200 2.8 (or the sigma if I am shoot sports for the fast focus) and you would have a great setup.

Personally for portrait head shots, I prefer the 85 1.4 from canon over the 50mm which seems to make noses bigger. Again the 70-200 works well for this. Another good portrait lens if you are looking to do macro also is the 100 2.8 macro from canon. Good luck, but don't put kit lenses on those cameras get some decent lenses and you will be happy.

Thanks again.

Ian

BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 25,650
Battery grip

The battery grip on a 500D/550D makes a major change to the "feel" of the camera, in addition to providing longer battery life (not necessay usually because the batteries last a long time anyway, but often helpful) the vertical orientation for portraits makes shooting much easier.

Don't know about the UK but in Canada there are two 550D / T2i accessory kits. One includes a battery grip, a battery, and a camera bag, and this costs less than just a grip and a battery.

And dealers ofen have a little room to move prices on this accessory.

This week in Toronto you'd also get a Canon coffee mug shaped like a lens if you bought a D-SLR body with movie capability

BAK

mattr Veteran Member • Posts: 3,532
Re: Something to think about.

R1chardM wrote:

You should not put a cheap lens on a 7d or a 5d2 if you want to get all the resoulution they have to offer or take advantage of Full frame.

I totally disagree.

For me one of the biggest delights in digital photography is to zoom to 100% in a shot taken with the 50/1.8 (cheap enough?) at f/5.6 or f/8 with the 5D2 (processed from raw with DPP using Standard picture style)

It simply doesn't get better than this - not at any price point.

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

While I agree that you can’t do much with shallow DOF WA on a crop camera it is far from a “must do” for majority of people. A lot of photographers, including some very best ones (think liquidstone, Juza…), probably have never even thought about shooting thin DOF WA. On the same token there are things one could learn better from shooting crop and telephoto lenses, such as how to minimize camera/lens shake, that you have less chance to learn from using a full frame camera.

Using my experience as an example I would say 90+% of my photographic knowledge and skills were acquired in the 3 years I was shooting 20D. It’s hard for me to believe cameras like that can’t be useful to help people learn the craft even for those whose want to acquire very advanced skills. The only thing significant I learned from my latest and greatest 7D is now I forgo the focus and recompose and am using AI servo and move around the AF points to fit the composition most the time. This, incidentally, cannot be learned from 5DII. Either way imo to spend 80% of your budget for a “teaching camera” is really a waste of money. Half of that is down the drain by the time you actually are ready to decide what you want to do.

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carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: Battery grip

You should also consider including a flash in your budget. An external flash can let you do a lot things better even if you buy the camera that have build-in flash.

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R1chardM New Member • Posts: 12
I would disagree

I would agree at F5.8 or 8 it is as good or better as anything out there. And the fantastic plastic is a great buy at the price, if it holds up, quality is not so good either.

But I don't know about you but I buy lenses for their speed and ability to throw the background out of focus. Even at 2.8 the performance is pretty poor. At 1.8 only the very center of the image is sharp

But as with any lens, if you know the weak spots and the strengths you can get good images out of it. I would recommend the 50 1.8 as far as cheap lenses go, but knowing you need to use f5.6 or 8.

While the 50mm 1.8 maybe an exception, you need to get good lenses to take advanatage of the camera.

mattr wrote:

R1chardM wrote:

You should not put a cheap lens on a 7d or a 5d2 if you want to get all the resoulution they have to offer or take advantage of Full frame.

I totally disagree.

For me one of the biggest delights in digital photography is to zoom to 100% in a shot taken with the 50/1.8 (cheap enough?) at f/5.6 or f/8 with the 5D2 (processed from raw with DPP using Standard picture style)

It simply doesn't get better than this - not at any price point.

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