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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Jun 2013 (Monday) 15:53
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Sell Zoom Lenses for Prime(s)?

 
seanlancaster
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Jun 04, 2013 11:27 |  #16

I originally used zooms of various lengths. About 16 months ago, I bought a very nice Zeiss 24 fast prime on my NEX 5N. I quickly discovered that I didn't want to use any other lenses. After a while, I started seeing the world with my Zeiss 24 in mind and I don't even see the shots I am missing by not having a 200 lens or a fisheye or whatever; I see shots all around for the lens I am using. When I upgraded to the Canon 6D, I soon got the Sigma 35, which offers the same perspective as the Zeiss 24 on the cropped sensor. I have taken international trips (e.g., even one to Africa) with this focal length. Even though I had other lenses, I was content to shoot at 35 for my photography (I used a long zoom for 2 hours on a whale watching boat ride and that was it). To me, 35mm is extremely versatile. I have no regrets about selling my 24-105 since it wouldn't handle the low light shooting I do. Perhaps my biggest regret is buying a 50/1.2L since it sits around too often. ;)

I do think about adding a 100/2.8L, but that would just be for some macro work; otherwise, 35 covers it all for me night and day. I shoot far too often inside where the f/1.4 comes into play and I won't get that with any decent zooms. In 16 months, I've never had a situation where 35 (or my Zeiss 24) was not wide enough for my family shots. And, around the house I can also zoom with my feet for family shots. I am not suggesting that my needs are the same as the OP; I am just noting that I find the 35 focal length to be perfect for nearly every shot I want.


I am Sean Lancaster on Flickr (external link)
Sony A7, Contax G 90/2.8, Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2 II, & FE Zeiss 55/1.8 (<-most used)
Sony NEX 5N and many lenses including many Canon FD

  
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alann
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Jun 04, 2013 11:29 |  #17

Just put my 24-70II up for sale. Gonna go prime. :)


My FLickrPage (external link)

  
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bob_r
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Jun 04, 2013 12:28 |  #18

seanlancaster wrote in post #15998721 (external link)
I originally used zooms of various lengths. About 16 months ago, I bought a very nice Zeiss 24 fast prime on my NEX 5N. I quickly discovered that I didn't want to use any other lenses. After a while, I started seeing the world with my Zeiss 24 in mind and I don't even see the shots I am missing by not having a 200 lens or a fisheye or whatever; I see shots all around for the lens I am using. When I upgraded to the Canon 6D, I soon got the Sigma 35, which offers the same perspective as the Zeiss 24 on the cropped sensor. I have taken international trips (e.g., even one to Africa) with this focal length. Even though I had other lenses, I was content to shoot at 35 for my photography (I used a long zoom for 2 hours on a whale watching boat ride and that was it). To me, 35mm is extremely versatile. I have no regrets about selling my 24-105 since it wouldn't handle the low light shooting I do. Perhaps my biggest regret is buying a 50/1.2L since it sits around too often. ;)

I do think about adding a 100/2.8L, but that would just be for some macro work; otherwise, 35 covers it all for me night and day. I shoot far too often inside where the f/1.4 comes into play and I won't get that with any decent zooms. In 16 months, I've never had a situation where 35 (or my Zeiss 24) was not wide enough for my family shots. And, around the house I can also zoom with my feet for family shots. I am not suggesting that my needs are the same as the OP; I am just noting that I find the 35 focal length to be perfect for nearly every shot I want.

Do you not see distortion caused by using a wide angle lens for closeup portraits? Using your 50mm would normally be a better alternative. As for using fast primes for indoor low light situations, I normally prefer using a flash. Unless you're using window lighting, indoor lighting is rarely a better choice than flash.


Canon 7D, 5D, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 200L, 10-22, 17-55, 70-300, 100-400L, 500D, 580EX(2).
Sigma 150 macro, 1.4X, 2X, Quantaray 2X, Kenko closeup tubes, Yongnuo YN685(3), Yongnuo YN-622C-TX. Lots of studio stuff.
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bob_r
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Jun 04, 2013 12:51 |  #19

lewdogg wrote in post #15998285 (external link)
Sorry, I can see the confusion. By wider, I didn't mean wider than 24mm, I meant shots on the wider end of the spectrum, compared to 50mm. I also meant it would be more versatile because it gives me the option for indoor, low-light shots plus superb outdoor shots. Also, the difference in speed is crazy. I feel like I could get more creative with shots with the 35mm than the 17-40. Overall I'm just not happy with the lens and don't see myself using it. The 24-105 is extremely versatile, but I feel like I'd only be using it on the extremes.

IMHO, you'd be better served to invest in a flash and keep the lenses you currently own when you switch to full frame. Focal lengths that you may not have liked on a crop camera could become your favorites on FF. You'll also benefit by the better ISO performance of your new camera when you upgrade and may find that shooting in low ambient light is very possible with an f/4 lens (normally, I'd still prefer a flash). After shooting with a FF camera for a while, your lens "wish list" may change considerably so I'd avoid rushing your decisions.

As you can probably tell by my signature, I enjoy shooting with primes and use them more than zooms, but they're all tools and each has their place.


Canon 7D, 5D, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 200L, 10-22, 17-55, 70-300, 100-400L, 500D, 580EX(2).
Sigma 150 macro, 1.4X, 2X, Quantaray 2X, Kenko closeup tubes, Yongnuo YN685(3), Yongnuo YN-622C-TX. Lots of studio stuff.
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seanlancaster
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Jun 04, 2013 12:52 |  #20

Oh sure, distortion can come into play if I shoot too closely with the 35. I probably break this rule (though, I try and not break it with my wife). ;) That's when I'd prefer to use my 50. If I buy the 100 then that will become my preference. I still have my NEX 5N and I have a Contax G 90/2.8 lens that it terrific for portraits when I want very distortion free images of face close ups. But I don't mind shooting portraits at about this length with the Sigma 35:

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And, I suspect you're right about using a flash but there are too things I don't like about using a flash:
1. it adds bulk. I bought an RX1 first thinking that would be ideal given how small it is, but the AF was too slow for me. So, getting the 6D added a lot of weight already and then you have the lens(es) on top of that. A flash also means added size on top of the camera.
2. I don't know how to use flash photography. I've had bad experiences trying to get it right. I don't mind a shooting the 6D up to 6400 ISO and with an f/1.4 lens then I can typically get decent shots for my needs in most lighting situations. Up to 12,800 in even more extremely situations and I am okay with the noise that this creates.

But for closer face shots then I do currently switch to the 50/1.2L (and this is still a bit too wide of a lens for this, but it's what I've got when the light gets really low):

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7460/8862330953_62ca52ee98_b.jpg

We all try and figure out what our own needs are and weigh those needs against the equipment size and weights. I really liked being able to shoot closer than 6" on my old RX1 and my Sigma 35 needs a little more than 11" to get focus. Sure, I could buy extension tubes to use with my Sigma, but to me that is a hassle that is not worth it. I feel similarly about attaching a flash.

If someone else wants to use the 24-105 with a flash and figure out how to get natural looking shots with a flash then I suspect that will work for them just swell. Maybe some day I'll go down that path as well. But for now, I like the challenge of low light shooting.

I am Sean Lancaster on Flickr (external link)
Sony A7, Contax G 90/2.8, Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2 II, & FE Zeiss 55/1.8 (<-most used)
Sony NEX 5N and many lenses including many Canon FD

  
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lewdogg
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Jun 04, 2013 13:04 |  #21

bob_r wrote in post #15999003 (external link)
IMHO, you'd be better served to invest in a flash and keep the lenses you currently own when you switch to full frame. Focal lengths that you may not have liked on a crop camera could become your favorites on FF. You'll also benefit by the better ISO performance of your new camera when you upgrade and may find that shooting in low ambient light is very possible with an f/4 lens (normally, I'd still prefer a flash). After shooting with a FF camera for a while, your lens "wish list" may change considerably so I'd avoid rushing your decisions.

As you can probably tell by my signature, I enjoy shooting with primes and use them more than zooms, but they're all tools and each has their place.

Thanks, Bob! Didn't include it in the list, but I already have a 580EX...I prefer using natural light so the flash is only used when really needed.


6D | 35L | 135L | 580 EX

  
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bob_r
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Jun 04, 2013 13:12 |  #22

Sean, the problem with indoor ambient light is often the color. Many homes use various light sources and the mixture is rarely appealing. By using a flash, you eliminate the different color casts created by artificial lighting (converting to B&W is also an option, but not always the best solution). I often use a flash when shooting outdoor portraits too. It's an excellent option when your subject is back lit or when you want to add catch lights to your subject's eyes. I think using flash is a skill well worth learning.


Canon 7D, 5D, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 200L, 10-22, 17-55, 70-300, 100-400L, 500D, 580EX(2).
Sigma 150 macro, 1.4X, 2X, Quantaray 2X, Kenko closeup tubes, Yongnuo YN685(3), Yongnuo YN-622C-TX. Lots of studio stuff.
** Image Editing OK **

  
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bob_r
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Jun 04, 2013 13:30 |  #23

lewdogg wrote in post #15999056 (external link)
Thanks, Bob! Didn't include it in the list, but I already have a 580EX...I prefer using natural light so the flash is only used when really needed.

Are you referring to natural light as diffused sunlight or as man made ambient light? Diffused sunlight can be a beautiful light source, but rarely does that hold true for man made ambient light.


Canon 7D, 5D, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 200L, 10-22, 17-55, 70-300, 100-400L, 500D, 580EX(2).
Sigma 150 macro, 1.4X, 2X, Quantaray 2X, Kenko closeup tubes, Yongnuo YN685(3), Yongnuo YN-622C-TX. Lots of studio stuff.
** Image Editing OK **

  
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maximus_73
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Jun 04, 2013 13:40 |  #24

Welcome to my club. :)


Cameras: Canon EOS M, FujiFilm X-T1| Lenses: FD 50mm 1.4, Fujinon 23mm 1.4, Fujinon 56 1.2, Zeiss 32mm 1.8

  
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lewdogg
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Jun 04, 2013 13:52 |  #25

bob_r wrote in post #15999141 (external link)
Are you referring to natural light as diffused sunlight or as man made ambient light? Diffused sunlight can be a beautiful light source, but rarely does that hold true for man made ambient light.

I prefer shooting in available light rather than using a flash so my answer would be both, knowing, as you mentioned, many man-made light sources do not play well with the white balance.


6D | 35L | 135L | 580 EX

  
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lewdogg
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Jun 04, 2013 14:13 |  #26

Thanks to all for their replies! I enjoy the discussion and believe I've decided to move forward with the 35L when I get the new FF body. Things might change until then, but for now it will be the next lens on my list.

Thanks again for all the advice!


6D | 35L | 135L | 580 EX

  
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MachTwo
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Jun 05, 2013 04:56 |  #27

I just went FF and bought the 6D + 35L. Very pleased with them both.


Canon EOS 6D | 35L | 85L II | 135L | 70-200L f4 IS | 430EX II

  
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brian4646
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Jun 25, 2013 20:37 |  #28

I have a 9 month old daughter. I think you will use your 50mm and 85mm on full frame more for shooting your child. Babies have that perfect skin that you want to get close shots of. I too want more primes. The 28mm is next on my list but I still want a zoom when on vacation or when I don't want to carry more than one lens.




  
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oaktree
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Jun 25, 2013 22:59 as a reply to  @ brian4646's post |  #29

Having gone through a XTi, 5D2 and 9 lenses (3 zooms, 6 primes) since 2007, here's my take on zooms and primes. From 2007 to 2010, I actually kept a record of how many times I used each lens.

Although I thought I was a "prime guy", I used a walk-around zoom (17-55/2.8 or 24-105/4) the most. I only used primes for "special" purposes: 100/2.8 for macro and 135/2L for indoor sports. Some of my primes were rarely used. One time I FORCED myself to take only the 50/1.4 to the zoo so I WOULD use it :(

Now I have only one DSLR (T4i) and 2 zooms (17-55/2.8 and 70-200/4L IS) and 2 primes (100/2.8 macro and 135/2L). The 17-55 is almost glued to the T4i. I gave the 5D2 and 24-105 to our son and sold the other lenses

From my experience, I would suggest that you keep a "walk-around" zoom when you buy the 5D3. You might use it more than you first think. I took the 5D2 and 24-105 to Japan (2009) and Italy (2012) and never used the 50/1.4 I carried as a back up.

Primes are "better", lighter but not necessarily cheaper. Which prime to keep/buy depends on what you will shoot. Watching video seminars on You Tube, I notice that most professional travel/event/wedding photographers use zooms. Of course they are using 2.8 zooms that can weigh a ton and are mucho expensive. Nature photographers always have zooms along with their looong primes.

For me as a serious amateur, zooms are great until I really need a prime.


Too much stuff, not enough shooting time.

Canon T4i (2 lenses), Fuji X100s, Olympus OM-D EM-1 (3 lenses)

  
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nikesupremedunk
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Jun 26, 2013 00:15 |  #30

Zooms and primes both have its uses, therefore I would keep both in my line up. My 35L is my favorite lens, and even at 35mm on my 17-40, it just doesn't have the sharpness and the colors of my 35L. But for events, the 17-40 comes in handy, when I have to fit everything in a tight space. My 100L is my macro+portrait lens, but doesn't beat the versatility of my 70-200. I do love the look from the prime more, but sometimes I need the convenience of the zoom.


| Andrew | 5D Mark II | EOS-M | Canon 17-40mm f 4 L | Canon 35mm f 1.4 L | Canon 100mm f 2.8 L Macro | Canon 70-200mm f 4 L IS | Canon EF-M 22mm f 2.0 | Speedlite 430EX II|

  
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Sell Zoom Lenses for Prime(s)?
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