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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Nov 2012 (Thursday) 22:43
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Now that my money is invested in good glass...

 
PeyDay17
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Nov 15, 2012 22:43 |  #1

24-105L 50L 85 1.8 135L

I'm having a hard time gelling with my current lineup. I dumped a bunch of money into buying some great glass recently but I seem to be struggling to make it all work for my needs.

I love my primes for the thin DOF and IQ but my 2 year old makes the 135L difficult to use. The 135L has been on my "must buy" list for a long time. Once I got it I took it to the park with Ry. I find with the longer primes it's harder to keep up with her. She runs to and from me so I'm constantly bouncing back and forth trying to keep a certain distance. With my 50 it's much more forgiving in that regard.

I mainly shoot our family activities (zoo, family days and kids activities) and the occasional paid gig (family, engagements and seniors). I'm thinking I need to sell some of this glass and buy something more versatile or a shorter prime than the 135.

Here's what I'm thinking. Sell the 24-105, 85 and the 135 then either do one of the following:

A) keep the 50L and buy 70-200 2.8 IS II so I don't have to keep the same distance from my daughter while at a park. I've read it is a beast and it rivals all primes in terms of IQ. And it has some amazing bokeh at 200mm 2.8. I'd have a 50L and the 70-200 to go along with my 5d3.

B). sell my 50L with the other equipment, start fresh and buy a 35L and a 85L. This would be a nice, compact, simple setup that would allow me to shoot wide apertures and destroy backgrounds.

I've been wrestling with the scenarios for a few days. Anyone had this problem before. I appreciate any advice.


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romanv
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Nov 15, 2012 22:47 |  #2

Yeah I think long focal length primes dont work well in a lot of scenarios.

For example with a wide prime, If you need to move say 25% closer to the subject, it might be 1-4 meters.

However to move 25% closer with a long prime, where you have to run 100m closer or further back to get the same difference in framing the shot (exaggerating) Not ideal!

With an 85mm on a crop I find that same thing.

70-200 sounds pretty ideal for what you describe.

Having good IQ under impossibly specific conditions isnt going to result in your average picture looking any better, if you can never line up a shot well enough because of it.




  
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cdang
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Nov 15, 2012 22:50 |  #3

If your starting fresh, I'd go with the 35L and 70-200. If the 135L is hard keeping up with kids then I don't think you will be having a lot of luck with the 85L.




  
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Nov 15, 2012 22:52 |  #4

That's a tough decision to make. The 70-200 is quite the beast but you are left nothing on your wide end. I'm not sure if you've had your hands on the 85 1.2, it's slow. If you're looking for a fairly quick 85, you're better off sticking with the 1.8.


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Charlie
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Nov 16, 2012 06:00 |  #5

I think for what you describe, use your 24-105 more. Super thin dof gets old. Sell the stuff you don't use.


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Scott ­ M
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Nov 16, 2012 06:54 |  #6

If you are concerned about the size/weight of the 70-200 f/2.8, there is always the 70-200 f/4 IS, which is substantially smaller and lighter (and a lot less expensive). It's image quality and AF performance are superb as well. Since you have a 5D3, you can boost the ISO by one stop and still get pretty clean files. You will just lose some DOF over the f/2.8.


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BrandonSi
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Nov 16, 2012 09:24 |  #7

I use the 135L a ton, and I've found that trying to fill the frame with a moving subject was a frustration I didn't have to be dealing with. Back up enough so that there's some environment in the frame, which allows you to move less, and then crop the image how you want it in post. Back in the 10D/20D days this wasn't as feasible as it is now, but with 20+MP, even cropping 1/3 of total image leaves you more than enough to work with.

Just a thought before you throw in the towel on the 135L. It's by far my favorite lens, and I hate to hear people not enjoying it as much as I do.. :)


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amfoto1
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Nov 16, 2012 09:42 |  #8

First of all, with kids and pets a zoom can be handy helping you keep up with them. However, shooting with a prime has it's advantages, too... no zoom can give you as large an aperture as a prime can. The best you can get with a zoom is f2.8... some of your primes are more than two stops faster! Yes, the bokeh of the latest 70-200/2.8 IS II is superb... but it's never going to be able to blur down a background as much as an f2, f1.8, f1.4 or f1.2 lens at the same focal length.

However, realistically, you should be able to do better with the 135mm... I see you are using it on a 5DIII, so it should be very fast focusing... faster than your 50/1.2... about as fast as your 85/1.8. Any of the 70-200s would also be quite fast. So should your 24-105 be. The 85/1.2L is slower focusing than any of these... it's a "long focus throw" design, for accuracy at the cost of speed.

I also suggest you consider the 70-200/4... not to replace any of the primes, but to augment them and help when you need it. f4 (or f5.6 or whatever) also gives you a bit more room for focus error, than trying to shoot everything at max aperture for maximum bokeh. You'll still have the faster primes for those times when you want stronger background blur.

If cost is a consideration, I'd suggest swapping out the 50/1.2 for one of the 50/1.4s. Or for the 35/1.4... or perhaps even the newly announced 35/2 USM that's coming soon. (Personally I'm not a big fan of any 50mm on full frame... I prefer a 35mm as my "standard" lens.)

It takes a while and some practice to get comfortable and good with prime lenses. And there are times a zoom is preferable. But zooms can sort of make a photographer lazy.

The best solution is to have both in your kit... some primes and some zooms. Then make yourself use all of them and don't get stuck using just one particular lens.


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smcintosh
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Nov 16, 2012 10:46 |  #9

I just went through a similar decision on the 135L va 70-200 2.8 II for the same purpose. I got the 70-200 and it's perfect for chasing the kids outdoors. I understand that the 135 can be used with cropping etc but then you are working around limitations rather than using the best tool for the job. The 85L really isn't suited to chasing kids - I use mine when I want the thin DOF and won't mind missing a few shots/facial expressions to get one killer image. Again, you can use it but it's not the best tool. If I want to capture a series and want to get just that 'moment' I use the 70-200 II. It snaps to focus insanely fast and 2.8 is great for getting all the facial features and ears in focus.


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Charlie
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Nov 16, 2012 10:49 |  #10

yeah, with kids, you're better off with wider and MORE DOF. They move out of the range too fast.

I say give the 24-105 another chance before you get more unknown gear. Primes are super hard to deal with kids, unless it's like a 24,28, or 35. If you insist on butterizing backgrounds, look for the 35L. That FL is pretty damn easy to capture, just beware of distortion.


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Nov 16, 2012 10:58 |  #11

I use my 35L & 135L for most of my portrait work. I agree with BrandonSi about the 135L. You have to get pretty far back, but you can get some great shots including the environment around the kids. For my kids I will often throw on the shorty forty. This way I can catch the action all day without wearing my old man arms out. I also use the M now days for most of the family pics and video.

I'm a prime guy though. But, if zooms work for you a 70-200 2.8 II & 24-70 II combo would be nice.


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Nov 16, 2012 11:30 |  #12

The answer to this is fairly straightforward... you mentioned that you have a hard time with your 2 year old running "to and from" you. That is a requirement for a zoom, short an simple. A prime can't ever easily handle any rapid "to and from" scenario.

You mentioned your primary shooting is for zoos, family activities, etc.. If so, why not the 70-200 f/4 IS. It is a lot lighter and easier to work with. Keep the 135 for portraits and bokeh, and use the 70-200 for chasing her around in the park.


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Nov 16, 2012 11:35 |  #13

You are funny:-)

PeyDay17 wrote in post #15251526 (external link)
24-105L 50L 85 1.8 135L

I'm having a hard time gelling with my current lineup. I dumped a bunch of money into buying some great glass recently but I seem to be struggling to make it all work for my needs.

I love my primes for the thin DOF and IQ but my 2 year old makes the 135L difficult to use. The 135L has been on my "must buy" list for a long time. Once I got it I took it to the park with Ry. I find with the longer primes it's harder to keep up with her. She runs to and from me so I'm constantly bouncing back and forth trying to keep a certain distance. With my 50 it's much more forgiving in that regard.

I mainly shoot our family activities (zoo, family days and kids activities) and the occasional paid gig (family, engagements and seniors). I'm thinking I need to sell some of this glass and buy something more versatile or a shorter prime than the 135.

Here's what I'm thinking. Sell the 24-105, 85 and the 135 then either do one of the following:

A) keep the 50L and buy 70-200 2.8 IS II so I don't have to keep the same distance from my daughter while at a park. I've read it is a beast and it rivals all primes in terms of IQ. And it has some amazing bokeh at 200mm 2.8. I'd have a 50L and the 70-200 to go along with my 5d3.

B). sell my 50L with the other equipment, start fresh and buy a 35L and a 85L. This would be a nice, compact, simple setup that would allow me to shoot wide apertures and destroy backgrounds.

I've been wrestling with the scenarios for a few days. Anyone had this problem before. I appreciate any advice.


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PeyDay17
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Nov 16, 2012 11:40 |  #14

cdang wrote in post #15251550 (external link)
If your starting fresh, I'd go with the 35L and 70-200. If the 135L is hard keeping up with kids then I don't think you will be having a lot of luck with the 85L.

I recently rented the 35L and the 85L. The 35L was super easy to use and it was very forgiving. Im excited to see what the Sigma does however I like to keep all of my equipment Canon so the sigma will have to destroy the 35L.

The 85L was a pleasure to use. It was difficult to catch Ry but when it did the shot had a unique and awesome look.

Charlie wrote in post #15252280 (external link)
I think for what you describe, use your 24-105 more. Super thin dof gets old. Sell the stuff you don't use.

The 24-105 is a great, sharp lens. It just doesn't excite me and is a little boring for the way I shoot.

BrandonSi wrote in post #15252880 (external link)
I use the 135L a ton, and I've found that trying to fill the frame with a moving subject was a frustration I didn't have to be dealing with. Back up enough so that there's some environment in the frame, which allows you to move less, and then crop the image how you want it in post. Back in the 10D/20D days this wasn't as feasible as it is now, but with 20+MP, even cropping 1/3 of total image leaves you more than enough to work with.

Just a thought before you throw in the towel on the 135L. It's by far my favorite lens, and I hate to hear people not enjoying it as much as I do.. :)

I love the lens sample thread so much. I fell in love with the images this lens produces a long time ago. When I got it I took it and Ry immediately to a park to put it through the paces. It was just awkward to use because Ry plays at a distance then moves in close really quick. I was trying to keep distance but I had a hell of a time.

P.S. Thanks for chiming in Brandon, I love your style.

ThreeGuysPhoto wrote in post #15253216 (external link)
I use my 35L & 135L for most of my portrait work. I agree with BrandonSi about the 135L. You have to get pretty far back, but you can get some great shots including the environment around the kids. For my kids I will often throw on the shorty forty. This way I can catch the action all day without wearing my old man arms out. I also use the M now days for most of the family pics and video.

I'm a prime guy though. But, if zooms work for you a 70-200 2.8 II & 24-70 II combo would be nice.

I am a prime guy too. I have been in love since I bought my first dslr and the nifty fifty. The zooms just can't compare to the look. I have really been stubborn about sticking to a prime setup. As Rylin gets older I find myself wishing I had more versatility. Im emotionally cheating on my primes!

Ive found I like to shoot with wider primes 24, 35, 50 because the scene is wider and moving in or out to get the composition isn't as drastic as with a longer prime. So, if I did get the 2.8 IS I could maybe get the 35L and the 85L later on. I know the 85L isnt the choice for children but good lord that thing produces some amazing images.


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PeyDay17
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Nov 16, 2012 11:42 |  #15

light_pilgrim wrote in post #15253363 (external link)
You are funny:-)

Thanks! You are...helpful?


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