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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 01 Sep 2014 (Monday) 10:53
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Dear Pros, please advise this newer pro on lenses. Thanks

 
Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Sep 01, 2014 16:14 as a reply to  @ post 17130019 |  #16

I bet if you look at your past, favorite pics you will find very few shot under 50mm. If you are looking at this from a business investment point of view, that is your only starting point.

The canon 85 1.8 is an incredible value. It is easily my most used lens. I just evaluated the new sigma 50 and 35. If I were a hobbiest, the 35 would be my choice, but as someone trying to make a living, it has to be the 50.

Since picking up the tokina, I don't use the 24-105 under 35mm. 24-105 is a good kick around lens, but it has kind of lost its polish so to speak. I only use it at run and gun events now. I have no experience with the 28-135 but would probably suggest keeping it, and planning to phase it out over time.

Again, look at your most often used focal length and go from there.


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dmnelson
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Sep 01, 2014 16:15 |  #17

I'd tend to agree with CyberDyneSystems. The 28-135 may not be Canon's top lens but it's not terrible either, and if it's not letting you down then why rush to swap it out?

My priorities would be in the following order:
1) Round out your collection in terms of focal length (I'd want something longer, even if you don't feel the need.)
2) Get one or two more primes suitable for portraits. (I love the 85 1.8 for portraits and you might enjoy the extra control over DOF.)
3) Then start looking at lenses that would be direct upgrades to what you have (such as 28-135 > 24-105.)

If you don't feel like your work is hurting for lack of equipment, and don't feel the need for something longer, then go with Option A and save your money for when you do see a gap in your lineup.


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gnome ­ chompski
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Sep 01, 2014 16:18 |  #18

I think a 70-200 IS (f2.8 of f4) and maybe an 85mm 1.8 would suit you well.


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Aronis
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Sep 01, 2014 16:25 |  #19

Non pro here. No advice to offer, but

You take some great photos!
Post some more!
Mike


1Dx, 10D 28-70 L 2.8, 50 1.4, 28 2.8

  
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EOS-Mike
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Sep 01, 2014 17:02 |  #20

Thanks, Aronis (and everyone who contributed). It means a lot for you to take your time to help someone else. I appreciate it.

@dmnelson: That's the thing, I really do feel that this 28-135 is holding me back. It's not a horrible lens, and it's worlds better on a full frame (what it was designed for) than a crop sensor, but it often lacks the contrast and color. It's almost as if shooting through a clean window. You can't really tell what's wrong but you can see a bit of dull or flatness.

And, again, my paying gigs are part time. I can't see myself quitting my day job (teaching) for photography unless some crazy opportunity came up (like shooting stills for The Walking Dead or other local productions). And if that were to happen I'd just throw some new gear on the credit card and get to work.

But for now I'm mostly shooting children of neighbors and coworkers.


But occasionally I find myself in the right place at the right time. This was taken with an EOS-M a year ago at a Walking Dead convention. I told Norman Reedus he was old and ugly, so he gave me a similar opinion in return.

Nah! Just joking. I actually said, "Hey, Mr. Reedus, how about a salute." So he saluted me the way he often does. It's kind of his thing (and Michael Rooker's). A calling card, so-to-speak. The picture wasn't sharp and I had to crop a lot, so I decided to trick it out a bit for effect. Too spontaneous to take my time. Plus it was an EOS-M (terrible autofocus).

IMAGE: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Mikes-Portfolio/i-gszt6SW/0/XL/IMG_1829b2-XL.jpg

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chinch
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Sep 01, 2014 21:01 |  #21

You really seem concerned about $ so that is either a real or mental limitation you are placing constraints on that as such it is factored here (if $ was no object the conversation is drastically different)...

First, check your metadata and see what MM range you are shooting and getting the most keepers at. That is vital. Your people photos could benefit from subject isolation (bokeh) more than anything else (which is a clear function of lens and how/where you shoot).

I believe you that the 28-135 is limiting you as it's not a great lens except it has a very useful range back in the film days of course where critical focus and pixel peeping wasn't happening.

I would go with ONE VERY VERY GOOD LENS. Get one then dump both lenses you have. Your goal is a long and short high quality lens and for me these would be L zooms (primes are best when you have many lenses or are in fixed environment i.e. studio). What you need first (tele or std zoom) is based on the MM used.

24-105L is a great lens - the best FF travel/walkaround there is IMHO and gives pleasing background blur (which the 28-135 doesn't). If you are shooting a lot 70-105MM then it's the BEST $ UPGRADE for you (your lens is 5.6 @ 70+). I say that because then you get the quality 24-70 range for free with the 24-105L. Use this as you earn $ selling both our current (pretty meh) lenses. Take advantage of the pixel peepers dumping these great lenses in brand-new condition.

Now, if you don't shoot much 70-105 then a better choice IMHO is a used 28-70/2.8L (or stretch for a or 24-70L mkI) both of which would give more POP to your photos. Better than 100/2 or 85/1.8 (those are good but also meh at the same time plus limiting on how you compose shots).

If you shoot long then consider the 70-200/4 @ $600 or less used and a fantastic lens. Pleasing background blur and subject isolation. 4IS adds some sharpness and IS at nearly double the cost. I'd still dump the 40 as it's too limiting and too "not great" combined with the fact that the pancake just looks amateurish (not what you expect a pro to use). Perception counts here with clients.

Good luck!




  
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MalVeauX
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Sep 01, 2014 21:08 |  #22

chinch wrote in post #17130578 (external link)
Now, if you don't shoot much 70-105 then a better choice IMHO is a used 28-70/2.8L (or stretch for a or 24-70L mkI) both of which would give more POP to your photos. Better than 100/2 or 85/1.8 (those are good but also meh at the same time plus limiting on how you compose shots).

Interesting. You think a 24-70 with F2.8 will give more pop, than a 100/2 and 85/1.8. And you call those MEH, for portraits.

OK.

Very best,


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skilsaw
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Sep 01, 2014 21:46 |  #23

Your photos look really good to my amateur eyes.
Nice to have clients line up relatively quickly.




  
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chinch
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Sep 01, 2014 22:21 |  #24

MalVeauX wrote in post #17130602 (external link)
Interesting. You think a 24-70 with F2.8 will give more pop, than a 100/2 and 85/1.8. And you call those MEH, for portraits.

OK.

Very best,

Absolutely, as I own a 28-70L and 85/1.8 (didn't buy the 100/2 purposefully). There is just nothing really special about the 85 overall to make me use mine in terms of color/contrast/bokeh and when I see photos they are missing something like what the OP sees in his 28-135 (I owned the better 28-105 macro film lens for reference too). So now you add that the primes are more limiting for composition plus the OP would be stuck with an 85mm prime for his hobby photos. I don't see how that serves him well in any capacity but YMMV.

One more thing to add is that with one body I'd also factor that it's likely at some time the OP will have the wrong prime mounted to his body, thus killing the moment. Again all this factors that he's on a strict budget and not in a studio and needs lenses for hobby use also (and want's good ones not the 28-135).




  
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EOS-Mike
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Sep 01, 2014 22:22 |  #25

Thanks again, everyone.

@skillsaw: part of it is that I'm the only man and the only photographer working at an elementary school. Many of the teachers hire me to shoot photos if their kids. The kids already know me so they are comfortable. Secondly, we're well-connected around the neighborhood because my wife has a pet sitting business that does well. She refers clients to me. Finally, a former student's mom is a pro on the north side of town and is kind of my mentor. She sends clients to me because she tries to focus only on individuals, especially high school seniors. She and I aren't competition to each other because I don't shoot seniors unless I know them. Since I teach little kids that's what I'm comfortable with.

But I keep my work flow slow. I prioritize my teaching career, especially the first couple months. I get much more satisfaction teaching fifth grade kids (reading).

All that said, I think I will lean toward the 24-105. It's where the vast majority of my shots are anyway (that range).

Last one. Twins. Sweet kids (neighbors) the boy is a tad oof but it's still nice.

IMAGE: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com/Portraits/Daily/i-JXX7nMw/0/L/IMG_9811-L.jpg

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cdang
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Sep 03, 2014 12:27 |  #26

70-200 F4 IS or 135 F2 if you can afford it. It will give you a different look from the lens you currently have.

And 24-70 gives more pop than the 100 F2 ?




  
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Sep 03, 2014 12:50 as a reply to  @ cdang's post |  #27

What do you have for lighting? Just the one 430EX2 in your sig? I would get a second speedlight or other off camera light. There are a few pictures that you posted that I think would help the subject pop from the black background of a hair light was used.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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MalVeauX
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Sep 03, 2014 13:18 |  #28

Heya,

Looking at your examples Mike, I don't even think about glass, I immediately move to lighting as your biggest need to increase your portrait options and ranges. Lighting with modifiers that are portable and off-camera. A lot of the shots I'm looking at that you've posted would look so much different with some dramatic controlled lighting. I'd push that over new glass. A portrait done with a kit lens at F8 with really great lighting will look absolutely stunning and not require perfect natural light, situations, locations, etc. When you can make the light as you want to be, regardless of where you are, you've got it down.

If you have the cash, invest in a good strobe early. Otherwise, get two nice E-TTL capable speedlites and the means to use them off-camera and some portable softboxes. Will make a world of difference, compared to new glass that will look virtually the same honestly since nothing you're considering is faster than F4, it's not like you're getting blown out backgrounds from fast telephoto primes. So that to me screams " get serious lighting instead."

Very best,


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Sep 03, 2014 16:58 |  #29

Mike, I am in a similar boat to you. This is mostly a hobby for me, but my gear has shifted to be more portrait oriented, coming from an amateur motorsports background. I have been paid to do a wedding and a few family portrait sessions. I carefully balance my budget and bang for the buck lenses are usually what I am after. I have the 70-200 f4 IS and the 24-105L. Both are kind of meh for me for portrait work. To me, the 24-105 is more of a "convenient" lens than a great one. It is a good lens to throw in your bag when you want one lens to do it all, but if you have a lot of control of your subjects (seems like you do), then I would look at something more interesting. I am looking to sell the 24-105 at some point soon and get the 17-40 to do more landscape work. For the kind of things you do, I would also recommend the 85mm 1.8. Your subjects seem mostly static and I don't see why you would really need a zoom lens unless you want to use it for travel (in that case keep the 28-135). A 35mm/85mm combo would seem to suit your needs quite well unless you are just against primes (I plan to get a 35mm f2 soon). Here's a few family shots with the 85 and my 5D:

IMAGE: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MtNK2uF-D0M/U8VLpt7ZNvI/AAAAAAAAPoE/d75VAa9Oh-Y/s1600/Parkers+Family+2+(1+of+1).jpg

IMAGE: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-F1HBFP0w6p4/U8VLOgPOhDI/AAAAAAAAPm4/h_FRA5p1_To/s1600/Parker+(50+of+67).jpg

IMAGE: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9oGhVFMErbc/U_NODTlZIeI/AAAAAAAAPzc/ot9D-MM_jF0/s1600/Brayden's%2BBday%2Bwm1024%2B(58%2Bof%2B111).jpg

2 6D - 35 f1.4L, 135 f2L, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 f1.8
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Two ­ Hot ­ Shoes
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Sep 03, 2014 17:34 |  #30

Hi Mike, Well I shoot faces as well as events.
For the portraits I like the 85mm f1.8 but really love the 135mm f2L. I also use a 35mm and 50mm but they are more for context. I'm adding a 24mm f1.4 next.

For sporting events, mostly I use my 24-105mm f4L & a 70-200mm f4 L (non IS). F4 giving you (& your camera) a little AF room. Neither are bad lenses, my 24-105 gets a little saggy at the long end but knowing that, it's fine.

Zooms are great and flexible but I prefer primes for people, just feels nicer - to me anyway.

From a business point of view you need to look, at least a little bit, at the costings & returns of your investment too.

Good luck with the fun of it all & hope it goes well for you.


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Dear Pros, please advise this newer pro on lenses. Thanks
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