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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?...Hello, I am currently rebuilding my photo kit and I need to decide between: - buying a series of 3 ...
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Old 26-01-2013, 19:40   #1 (permalink)
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what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

Hello,

I am currently rebuilding my photo kit and I need to decide between:

- buying a series of 3 fiexed lenses 24, 50 and 85/100
- buying an all around 24-70

Pro's for fixed so far:
- already have an 85 1.8 USM
- better image quality ( from previous experiences )
- not as heavy ( I'm a girl and it counts, I also work much on location)


Pro's for all around so far:
- versatility
- less time changing lenses when event shooting
- found a really cheep and in good condition canon 24-70 2.8 L lens

So what do you think? What should I do?
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Old 26-01-2013, 21:37   #2 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

Can your photographic style cope with changing lenses?

- infrequent need to change lenses
- prepared to change position to get a shot
- not bothered by time lost changing a lens - and possibly a lost shot
- you change lenses in clean environment - less risk of dirty sensor - or prepared to regularly clean everything
- prepared to live with primes for the weight issue
- absolute need for quality results (however the 24-70L is a very nice lens)

or would you prefer the immediate access to a camera with a lens ready to go for a shot?

- stays on the camera
- smaller package
- no need for extra lenses
- no larger case to carry extra lenses

Check the lens out before you buy !!

Me? I can never decide so I bought both, but my preference in the past was to carry a set of primes. Today the top end zooms are so good that the primes don't often get used. It's more a case of looking at your personal shooting style and how you want to work, rather than choosing a lens because of what it is instead of what it does for you.
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Old 26-01-2013, 22:02   #3 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

Why not get an all-rounder zoom, eg 18-105 and keep it on your camera most of the time for speedy shooting, but then get a couple of prime lenses for when you have more time to shoot too
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Old 26-01-2013, 22:58   #4 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

The one thing you have not said in your first post is what sort of photography you do. You need to buy lenses that will deliver the results you want - not buy a random selection of lenses and hope they will suit your needs.

For instance, if you shoot weddings the prime options will likely be too restrictive. If you shoot sports you will need a long lens as well as short/medium focal lengths. If you shoot landscapes you might well be able to use a 24 and a 50mm.

You also don't say what camera you have. Presuming it is a crop factor camera you might want to consider going down to 18mm as a wide angle lens. If, as you mention 24mm as the widest lens in your list, you have a full frame camera, the 24-70 is an excellent range and using it will enable you to see if you are constantly wishing for a wider or longer lenses. That information will enable you to make informed choices on your next lenses.

Don't just buy lenses and hope they will be suitable for your needs.
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Old 27-01-2013, 10:11   #5 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

It is very difficult to advise without knowing a lot more about your photography. However, I am a fairly successful amateur photographer and do not have any fixed focal length lenses. The fact is that lenses have improved in design and manufacture enormously over the years. It is clear that at least 2 of my zoom lenses out perform many cheaper fixed focal length lenses and certainly out perform fixed lenses I had in the past. As I have a broad interest in subjects, I have three zoom lenses for my full frame camera covering 12 to 200mm. I also have a 1.4x extender for the tele zoom taking it to 280mm.

Why it is important to understand your own needs can demonstrated by just considering portraits. I take studio portraits fairly regularly and with traditional poses etc. I like all of the face in focus as I do not like portraits with say the eyes in focus and the nose and hair out of focus. Other members of the Studio Group seem to do the same. For this you are typically working at about f8 (say f5.6 to f11) so a f1.8 lens is unneccessary. Sometimes I will take a softer window light shot for which I do like f2.8 (not 1.8) and I can use my tele zoom for that. I think that the most popular lens in my Studio group is the one I normally use Canon 24-105mm f4. My set of lenses between them also match well to some sport and wild life at the tele end (if I was really serious I would need some much longer lenses) and the wide zoom (12-24mm) matches well landscapes and architecture which probably accounts for the majority of shots I take. However, my choice will not necessarily suit another photographer. Of course I did take me years of experience to understand exactly what I needed so you may well make some mistakes on the way as I did.
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Old 27-01-2013, 15:02   #6 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

I'll agree with Graham - it depends on what you photograph and how you photograph it. That said, I've looked at your web site, and based on that plus my own prejudices, I'll recommend fixed focal length lenses for the following reasons:

1. You already have 1 fixed focal length lens, and I suspect that you'll keep it and carry it around on location because of its maximum aperture and known qualities.

2. That makes it a choice between 2 fixed lenses (each one small and light) or 1 larger heavier zoom. I suspect that the weight requirements favour fixed lenses.

3. Based on what I saw, you photograph buildings, and zoom lenses will have more distortion (picushion going to barrel as you zoom) than fixed lenses (all zooms distort, good quality fixed ones don't).

My prejudices :

1. I don't use zoom lenses (they aren't available for my favorite format).

2. Based on what I've seen and comments I've read on forums, zooms are often used as a shortcut to a snap, because photographers using them don't take the time to consider the best camera position, just point, zoom and shoot.

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I don't spend enough time considering the camera position unless I use a tripod.
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Old 27-01-2013, 15:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

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Last edited by StephenBatey; 27-01-2013 at 15:04. Reason: Post duplicated
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Old 28-01-2013, 07:57   #8 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

Hi I too would reccomend the zoom. a 18/7o and a 70/210 plus i would be inclined to go with a wide prime for landscapes.
you dont mention what make camera you have but for the 70/210 f2.8 sigma would be the best on the market it outperforms all others exept for the canon maque lens. If you have a sony bodt their Zeiss 24/70 f2.8 is unbeatable .thats my2c worth
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Old 28-01-2013, 09:36   #9 (permalink)
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Re: what to buyȘ 3 fix lenses, one all around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenBatey View Post
I'll agree with Graham - it depends on what you photograph and how you photograph it. That said, I've looked at your web site, and based on that plus my own prejudices, I'll recommend fixed focal length lenses for the following reasons:

1. You already have 1 fixed focal length lens, and I suspect that you'll keep it and carry it around on location because of it's maximum aperture and known qualities.

2. That makes it a choice between 2 fixed lenses (each one small and light) or 1 larger heavier zoom. I suspect that the weight requirements favour fixed lenses.

3. Based on what I saw, you photograph buildings, and zoom lenses will have more distortion (picushion going to barrel as you zoom) than fixed lenses (all zooms distort, good quality fixed ones don't).

My prejudices :

1. I don't use zoom lenses (they aren't available for my favorite format).

2. Based on what I've seen and comments I've read on forums, zooms are often used as a shortcut to a snap, because photographers using them don't take the time to consider the best camera position, just point, zoom and shoot.

Admission:

I don't spend enough time considering the camera position unless I use a tripod.
would tend to agree with most of this, like everyone has said it more depends on your style / approach,. there are very very few zoom lenses that come close to a prime (I can only think of one off hand) and looking at your website I would suggest a prime route

it's hard to avoid having a 50mm lens (if you shoot 35mm/full frame digital),. there's also lenses like the 35 f1.4/f2 to consider,. the 85 can do a lot but I think start going wider with something like a 50 as they are pretty cheap

some reasons to choose primes are more choices on depth of field (especially shallow depth of field / fast primes) they are lighter and less imposing, the image quality is better generally and sometimes the restriction of not being able to zoom makes you think more
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