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Old 01-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #1
MikeandReneePlus5
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News lens - need vs want

I tell ya - it's tough sometimes.

I have a Canon t2i. My kit lens was the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. This I found lacking because I wished it was faster and longer. Ok, there's two specific "problems" so I set about solving them, cost efficiently.

I got the Nifty Fifty and it's great because it's fast, but it's a little too much zoom for indoors or across a table etc. It was $100 though so I'm glad I have it because its super sharp (even if it feels like a piece of junk)

I then got the 17-55mm f/2.8 and it cost a lot ($800 used) and I realized shortly thereafter I hadn't really solved any "problems" by getting this lens. It was the same FL as my kit, and while faster all the way through it wasn't quite fast enough for indoors without higher ISO or flash. I also didn't see $800 worth of improvement IQ wise over my kit. I sold it for $775 after a few months. No harm there, $25 to try a lens for a few months is a bargain.

I then purchased the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. And I was happy. I had solved my FL problem (or did I? LOL read on) and made my peace with high ISO and/or flash indoors, especially becasue I got LR4 for $55 and it's great and removing noise IMO. Or I could still use my Nifty Fifty indoors and have lower ISO and no flash.

I've been happy with my photography. My snapshots are 1000% better than anything I've ever had in the past and I even manage to capture a few shots other folks ooo and ahh over (not that this is my objective but hey, it's nice if people think you take good pictures).

So why do I see the 70-200mm f/4L for $560 and it sets off lust in me? Do I really need to spend $560 for another 65mm in reach? But that's a great price isn't it?! I want it.

I think I have successfully resisted the urge to get a 24-105mm L because used it's $750, and even if I get $200 for my 18-135mm that's still $550 o.o.p. for......what? One stop of light and an "L"? And less focal range.

So I guess I'll stay with 18-135mm and the Nifty Fifty. But I feel thats boring! I want some pizazz.

I wish the 18-135mm was just a little longer...and a little faster...but getting that little bit (say 65mm and 1 stop) is very expensive!

Does anyone else go through these shennanigans? Is it just part of the hobby to always covet new or different lenses?

Maybe I should just get that 70-200mm f/4L....seems like such a good price.....

What's YOUR story of the lenses you carry and are you satisfied? do you think you ever will be???
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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You will never stop lusting after lenses. Ever. Once you get the itch it just doesn't go away. You're also looking at trying to find one lens that gives good reach and speed which isn't really ideal. You can have one or the other but when you try for both sharpness will end up suffering.

I use an older 28-105 f/3.5-4.5. This is my trusty walk around lens and has been since the 90's. I've not gotten the 24-105 L because like you, I keep looking at that price tag and thinking is it really worth it for that tiny little gain on the long end, and for me a loss on the short end? There are a lot of great things about L series lenses, but it is hard to justify the cost for them sometimes. I'm finally going full frame though, I just can't pass up the 5DmkIII and it's crazy high ISO (among other things), so I'll likely just buy the kit and get the 24-105 with it.

On the 70-200 f/4 L... consider the 70-210 f/4. It's not L series but it's darn close. This is my telephoto zoom and it is worth every bit of the $150 it cost me used. This lens is very sharp with very little CA. Color reproduction and contrast are really nice. Image quality wise it performs better than any of the non-L Canon telephoto zooms I've used. It is a great option if you want to see if you like the speed and focal length and because this lens is in demand you can turn around and sell it fast if you decide it's not for you. But at $150... that's cheaper than the entry level tele zooms. The only catch with this lens is it's the old style push/pull zoom. Which personally I like better myself, but some people find it annoying.

I have a handful of other primes and zooms that I've collected over the years. I still love my nifty fifty, though it is long on a crop. And I love my Samyang lenses. The fisheye and 85mm are amazing.

KEH.com is a great place to buy used from, if you haven't been there already.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 View Post
So why do I see the 70-200mm f/4L for $560 and it sets off lust in me? Do I really need to spend $560 for another 65mm in reach? But that's a great price isn't it?! I want it.
Ahh, 1 of the reasons I like shooting with Sony. I bought a 70-210 f/4 for about $150 (used Minolta in mint condition). I absolutely love the lens for indoor reach (like gymnasiums), and for great bokeh in outdoor portraits.
I could use it as outdoor general telephoto, but I have a 70-300 for that.

I will say that 200mm is A LOT more reach than 135. 135mm is a good walk-around telephoto, but if you really need distance, the 200mm is far superior.
Do you shoot sports from the sidelines? or any wildlife? The 200mm would be very helpful.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
You will never stop lusting after lenses. Ever. Once you get the itch it just doesn't go away.
I suspected as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
The only catch with this lens is it's the old style push/pull zoom.
what does this mean? Then lens moves in and out as you zoom (like the 18-135mm) as opposed to all that happening internally?
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 View Post
I suspected as much.



what does this mean? Then lens moves in and out as you zoom (like the 18-135mm) as opposed to all that happening internally?
Instead of turning the lens to zoom you push it out.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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I went through something similar, a few months ago. I had the T1i at the time (now I have the T4i), and was wanting a new lens. Like you, the 18-55 was my kit lens. But my main lenses at that point were the 18-135 and the Sigma 30mm. I was strongly debating on getting that 24-105L. It has consistently gotten great reviews. And i knew that if i ever went FF one day, i'd at least have a nice starting point. But the main thing holding me back was knowing I would lose the focal range.

BUT, to justify it, I did a little bit of researching on my shooting habits. Around that time, I had discovered a way to go into LR, and see which focal ranges I tend to shoot in (there's a filtering option). Of course, 18mm and 135mm were at the top. But it was interesting to see that I tend to shoot at 24mm and 105mm quite a bit as well; especially because my main lens (the 18-135) goes beyond those boundaries.

Eventually, I ended up getting the Canon 10-22. Usually when I'm out and about, I find myself wanting to go wider, as opposed to feeling like I'm out of reach. But that lens produces great results, and was a focal range I was lacking. So it was definitely a step to filling my lens voids, instead of creating new ones. And I haven't had a regret since. It actually stayed on my camera most of the time on our cruise at around that time. So it was definitely worth the investment.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SrisonS View Post
I went through something similar, a few months ago. I had the T1i at the time (now I have the T4i), and was wanting a new lens. Like you, the 18-55 was my kit lens. But my main lenses at that point were the 18-135 and the Sigma 30mm. I was strongly debating on getting that 24-105L. It has consistently gotten great reviews. And i knew that if i ever went FF one day, i'd at least have a nice starting point. But the main thing holding me back was knowing I would lose the focal range.

BUT, to justify it, I did a little bit of researching on my shooting habits. Around that time, I had discovered a way to go into LR, and see which focal ranges I tend to shoot in (there's a filtering option). Of course, 18mm and 135mm were at the top. But it was interesting to see that I tend to shoot at 24mm and 105mm quite a bit as well; especially because my main lens (the 18-135) goes beyond those boundaries.

Eventually, I ended up getting the Canon 10-22. Usually when I'm out and about, I find myself wanting to go wider, as opposed to feeling like I'm out of reach. But that lens produces great results, and was a focal range I was lacking. So it was definitely a step to filling my lens voids, instead of creating new ones. And I haven't had a regret since. It actually stayed on my camera most of the time on our cruise at around that time. So it was definitely worth the investment.
Yes! I didn't post anything about going wider but that's been on my mind too.

And that specific lens has been on my mind.

See that's a great setup you have: 10-22, 18-135 and a fast 30mm prime. Logical. Maybe I'll move in that direction....

btw - one of the reasons I went for the 18-135mm was your pictures, which I think are excellent.

And i like photo_chick's suggestion of checking out a 70-210mm f/4. One just closed on Ebay for $75 with shipping. I mean....the 70-200mm f/4L doesn't have IS either so really, why not try out a cheap oldie like that and see if it satisfies? At least I'll know if I really need the IS.

Of course I still get the urge to splurge on a 70-200mm 2.8L with IS but that really is a bridge too far pricewise....for now.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Need? Overrated. "Want" is good enough for me!
"L" series is more than specifications, the feel, the focus speed, the images all make it difficult to go back to anything less. The 70-200 f/4 is one that came out really well and for a really low price too (for L anyway). Even though we switched from Canon to micro 4/3 I kept my Rebel and my 70-200 f/4 just for motorsports, where this lens does so well.

As for the 24-105, it has the L feel and function and is worth the $$$. It is not all about focal range and f-stops, rent an "L" and see how difficult it is to return it!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:50 PM   #9
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After reading these posts I feeling very lucky! I haven't had lens lust in so long that I can't remember what its like!! It may be that because of what I photograph (motorsports) I have all the lenses I need. Starting in a few weeks I will be shooting nearly every weekend. I won't have time for lens lust. If I ever change my style or topic then I could be in deep trouble. Until then I'm going to just sit back and enjoy.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Just do it!

I shoot with an Olympus E-5. I too was contemplating on up-grading from my kit lenses to something faster & better IQ. I read an article some where that stated" good quality lenses work better with a less quality cameras" Well after selling off all of my "stater lenses" I finally have some really good glass. I just purchased a 35-100mm 2.0 & yes it's very well worth the price. Once you get your hands on some good glass, you'll never shoot with anything else. I've bought all my lenses 2nd hand while selling off the lenses I don't use or need. My advice to you is look around the internet & I'm sure you'll find a good deal on some used good quality glass & you're going to find your self enjoying you camera even more.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:10 AM   #11
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Zoom starting at 28mm is not a good idea on a cropped APS-C body. The 70-200 f4 is nice for sports. However not nice at night for sports. The 2.8 works better for that. The 85/1.8 is a nice lens. You might also like the 35mm/f2 orthe 28mm/1.8 neither are fantastic but they are fast and useful.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:31 AM   #12
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Zoom starting at 28mm is not a good idea on a cropped APS-C body. The 70-200 f4 is nice for sports. However not nice at night for sports. The 2.8 works better for that. The 85/1.8 is a nice lens. You might also like the 35mm/f2 orthe 28mm/1.8 neither are fantastic but they are fast and useful.
When you state "Zoom starting at 28 mm is not a good idea on a cropped APS-C body", may not be entirely accurate. It depends on what you are using it for. I have used it all around WDW with no issues and I use it at the short tracks (auto racing) all the time. Many of us shooting motorsports have a 24/28-70 f2.8 in our bag whether it be with an APS-C or FF. It will be wider with a FF, but those are great focal lengths for our use, besides it complements the 70-200 that we all have!
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:32 AM   #13
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When you state "Zoom starting at 28 mm is not a good idea on a cropped APS-C body", may not be entirely accurate. It depends on what you are using it for. I have used it all around WDW with no issues and I use it at the short tracks (auto racing) all the time. Many of us shooting motorsports have a 24/28-70 f2.8 in our bag whether it be with an APS-C or FF. It will be wider with a FF, but those are great focal lengths for our use, besides it complements the 70-200 that we all have!
I agree. I am switching to the 24-70 soon cause I have noticed all my shots from my 17-50 start around that 24mm range and I'm on a crop frame also. That's as soon as I get some funny money laying around to pay for it!

I do think the 85mm 1.8 is a great little lens if u don't need any zoom around that range. It is very sharp I feel starting at 2.8 but below that is also pretty nice. I love this lens bit again I are pretty limited at that range. You really got to do some stepping back to get wider and that isn't always possible.

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5
I tell ya - it's tough sometimes.

I have a Canon t2i. My kit lens was the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. This I found lacking because I wished it was faster and longer. Ok, there's two specific "problems" so I set about solving them, cost efficiently.

I got the Nifty Fifty and it's great because it's fast, but it's a little too much zoom for indoors or across a table etc. It was $100 though so I'm glad I have it because its super sharp (even if it feels like a piece of junk)

I then got the 17-55mm f/2.8 and it cost a lot ($800 used) and I realized shortly thereafter I hadn't really solved any "problems" by getting this lens. It was the same FL as my kit, and while faster all the way through it wasn't quite fast enough for indoors without higher ISO or flash. I also didn't see $800 worth of improvement IQ wise over my kit. I sold it for $775 after a few months. No harm there, $25 to try a lens for a few months is a bargain.

I then purchased the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. And I was happy. I had solved my FL problem (or did I? LOL read on) and made my peace with high ISO and/or flash indoors, especially becasue I got LR4 for $55 and it's great and removing noise IMO. Or I could still use my Nifty Fifty indoors and have lower ISO and no flash.

I've been happy with my photography. My snapshots are 1000% better than anything I've ever had in the past and I even manage to capture a few shots other folks ooo and ahh over (not that this is my objective but hey, it's nice if people think you take good pictures).

So why do I see the 70-200mm f/4L for $560 and it sets off lust in me? Do I really need to spend $560 for another 65mm in reach? But that's a great price isn't it?! I want it.

I think I have successfully resisted the urge to get a 24-105mm L because used it's $750, and even if I get $200 for my 18-135mm that's still $550 o.o.p. for......what? One stop of light and an "L"? And less focal range.

So I guess I'll stay with 18-135mm and the Nifty Fifty. But I feel thats boring! I want some pizazz.

I wish the 18-135mm was just a little longer...and a little faster...but getting that little bit (say 65mm and 1 stop) is very expensive!

Does anyone else go through these shennanigans? Is it just part of the hobby to always covet new or different lenses?

Maybe I should just get that 70-200mm f/4L....seems like such a good price.....

What's YOUR story of the lenses you carry and are you satisfied? do you think you ever will be???
Oh I saw u live on Long Island. B&H. Go. It's in ur back yard! You can play with all u want. It's like Disney for photo nuts! We r going out in march again so I can look for a new bag cause my lens collection is growing and I want to check out the new 35mm canon and sigma.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
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Oh I saw u live on Long Island. B&H. Go. It's in ur back yard! You can play with all u want. It's like Disney for photo nuts! We r going out in march again so I can look for a new bag cause my lens collection is growing and I want to check out the new 35mm canon and sigma.

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you know it's funny...they have such a strong internet precense
I forget that B&H and Adorama are actual physical locations right in NYC...another great idea

PS I should have known better than to ask a bunch of photo junkies on the DIS about whether L glass or the equivalent is worth it
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