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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Mar 2009 (Sunday) 04:34
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Need help on buying decision: 16-35 f/2.8L or 70-200 f/4L IS

 
sf_loft
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Mar 15, 2009 04:34 |  #1

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and wanted to get people's recommendation on which lens I should pick up. I'm currently shooting a 40D and only have one lens at the moment, 24-70 f/2.8L, which I love very much. I'm planning on upgrading to a FF body at some point and would like to have a good set of standard tele zoom lenses that covers the most commonly used focal lengths. Right now I can't decide which lens to buy, between the 16-35 f/2.8L and 70-200 f/4L IS. I know that they are completely on two different ends of the spectrum, but I'm trying to figure out which one will get more use.

Argument for 16-35 f/2.8L is that I simply need a wider perspective. I like landscape photography, but I actually want an ultra-wide angle for tight shots and indoor use where I don't have a lot of room to work with. Problem is, I have a 24-70 on a crop body. Will I notice much difference between 16-24mm? I considered the 10-20mm EF-S, but it's $700(half the price of 16-35) and is not compatible with FF cameras. I haven't considered the Sigma or Tokina alternative.

Argument for 70-200 f/4L IS - It's arguably Canon's best telephoto zoom lens in the 70-200 lineup for IQ. Compared to the its 2.8 brother, it is lighter, smaller in length and diameter, equal in effective aperture because of its 4 stop IS, and cheaper. 70-200 is a very useful range for just about everything including portraits. It also compliments my 24-70 since there is no overlap in focal length like the 16-35. It is also cheaper than the 16-35 by $400. I don't really need the 2.8 for what I shoot and not interested carrying something so big and heavy as a walk-around lens.

What to do? I'm no pro and don't like to carry too much gear on me when I travel. I like to keep it light but don't want to miss a great shot because I don't have the right focal length.

I need to make this decission rather quickly because in 2 weeks I will be traveling to Greece (Athens incl. the islands, especially Santorini) and Prague. I will be taking lots of outdoor shots and also indoors like churches, castles, and houses. I really should buy both, but I'm planning on packing light and want to minimize on my choice of lenses.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
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Rowdy3090
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Mar 15, 2009 05:05 |  #2

Since you will be traveling I think the 16-35 will be better suited to you immediate needs. Also, reading your arguments for each lens it would seem to me that you already realize a particular need for the 16-35, whereas the 70-200 seems to be more like something you would like to have to compliment your 24-70, which it would do nicely.

Only you can decide, you just need to honestly ask yourself which lens will be more beneficial to your photography at this time.




  
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pigtailpat
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Mar 15, 2009 05:39 |  #3

sf_loft wrote in post #7526203 (external link)
I need to make this decission rather quickly because in 2 weeks I will be traveling to Greece (Athens incl. the islands, especially Santorini) and Prague. I will be taking lots of outdoor shots and also indoors like churches, castles, and houses. I really should buy both, but I'm planning on packing light and want to minimize on my choice of lenses.

Given this last portion of your post above, I think you NEED to go with the 16-35 then. A 70-200 f 4 indoors is not going to give you the shots you need on that immediate trip - with shots indoors of churches, castles and houses. You will need to acquire the 70-200 later, not now. If I were lucky enough to go somewhere special like Athens, this is what I would do. I have the 70-200 (the 2.8 version), and from my experience with that lens, I think you would do much, much better getting the 16-35 now.

I do not yet have the 16-35 yet, although I'll be renting it this summer for a wedding. Have no experience with the 16-35 but the shots i have seen with this lens is just awesome!

Hope this helps - and have fun on that trip!


1D-IIN, 30D, sigma 120-300, 24-105 IS f4 L, 70-200 IS f2.8 L, 50 1.4, 580 EX, Bogen 680B/3229

  
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gasrocks
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Mar 15, 2009 08:38 |  #4

Get the ef-s 17-55/2.8 IS lens. Do not buy lenses now based on what body you might have someday. Buy what works well for the body you use now.


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bohdank
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Mar 15, 2009 09:33 |  #5

When I hear questions posted in such a way... should I get this lens or that lens and not should I get "these" lenses, my gut feeling is that the FF is a very long way off or just typical wishful thinking. With that sentiment, I would recommend the 10-22 or the 70-200. They are so different, in use, that only you can decide how you are going to use the additional lens. I would get the 10-22, based on your upcoming travel plans, but that's just me.


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S.Horton
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Mar 15, 2009 09:37 |  #6

Rowdy3090 wrote in post #7526259 (external link)
Since you will be traveling I think the 16-35 will be better suited to you immediate needs. Also, reading your arguments for each lens it would seem to me that you already realize a particular need for the 16-35, whereas the 70-200 seems to be more like something you would like to have to compliment your 24-70, which it would do nicely.

Only you can decide, you just need to honestly ask yourself which lens will be more beneficial to your photography at this time.

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JeffreyG
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Mar 15, 2009 10:05 |  #7

You could get a used 5D and the 70-200/4 for the same money as just buying the 16-35II.

Getting the 5D suddenly gives you a wider AOV (24mm on FF is like 15mm on 1.6X) than your would get buying the 16-35. Stop making FF a 'someday' thing and just buy it now.

Otherwise, get the 10-22.


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jasonleehl
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Mar 15, 2009 10:15 |  #8

JeffreyG wrote in post #7527046 (external link)
You could get a used 5D and the 70-200/4 for the same money as just buying the 16-35II..

I agree with Jeff that you could make the switch to 5D at this point of time.

I don't know about others, and your shooting style; but I bought the 24-70L recently and it does a great walkabout. In this case, you may not need to purchase another lens or buy a tele instead.

To give you a rough idea, this is a recent shoot-out with the 5D + 24-70L:
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kagetora13
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Mar 15, 2009 10:32 |  #9

Hi

I also travel a lot and I have from time to time carried the following Canon lens:

  • Canon EF-S 17-85
  • Canon EF 50
  • Canon EF 28-135
  • Canon EF 70-200 2.8
To be honest all 4 of the 70-200 are quite heavy for long treks (so I would keep that in mind). If your taking portraits then the 70-200 is a good buy. The 16-35 or 17-40 are great lens for taking most photo's on a crop body. When I was in Vegas I did notice that sometimes in the hotels the 17-85 was not wide enough (but this is rare).

So ultimately my question is what type of shots do you like to take?

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czeglin
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Mar 15, 2009 10:40 |  #10

Get the EF-S 10-22. It is a great lens and will hold its value well. If you upgrade to FF in a year and sell the 10-22 you will maybe lose $100-$150 from your initial purchase price. I consider that a pretty good price for a 1 year rental of a great lens. If you get it used the "rental" will cost you even less.


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sf_loft
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Mar 15, 2009 11:36 |  #11

Thanks for the replies guys. I take mostly landscape pictures, architecture, and people (random people going about their day and also people I travel with). The indoor stuff all depends on the location and what's available. I think that my shots on this vacation (2 weeks) will be 60% outdoors (daytime), 30% night time, and 10% indoors.

I understand that the 70-200 is not the most friendly walk-around lens because of the size, but I'm not planning on doing anything strenuous where the weight would become a problem. On European vacations I take lots of beer and food breaks :)

It may sound like I'm really set on the 16-35, but the 70-200 is very versatile and I can see many uses for it. Probably more than the 16-35. My fear is that if I get the 16-35, I will end-up rendering my 24-70 useless during this trip. I hear so many people use their 16-35, on their crop body, as a walkabout over the 24-70. I guess my question is, will the 16-24 range on the 16-35mm give me an area of view that is worth swapping out my 24-70?


Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

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S.Horton
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Mar 15, 2009 12:25 |  #12

Maybe.

I've used my 24-70 far, far less since adding the 16-35.

Have a look:
http://www.tamron.com …cal-length-comparison.php (external link)

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ed ­ rader
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Mar 15, 2009 12:52 |  #13

sf_loft wrote in post #7527385 (external link)
Thanks for the replies guys. I take mostly landscape pictures, architecture, and people (random people going about their day and also people I travel with). The indoor stuff all depends on the location and what's available. I think that my shots on this vacation (2 weeks) will be 60% outdoors (daytime), 30% night time, and 10% indoors.

I understand that the 70-200 is not the most friendly walk-around lens because of the size, but I'm not planning on doing anything strenuous where the weight would become a problem. On European vacations I take lots of beer and food breaks :)

It may sound like I'm really set on the 16-35, but the 70-200 is very versatile and I can see many uses for it. Probably more than the 16-35. My fear is that if I get the 16-35, I will end-up rendering my 24-70 useless during this trip. I hear so many people use their 16-35, on their crop body, as a walkabout over the 24-70. I guess my question is, will the 16-24 range on the 16-35mm give me an area of view that is worth swapping out my 24-70?

on a cropped camera i would favor the 16-35L II as a walkaround. for portraits or close-ups of objects i would give the 24-70L the nod.

of course the 17-55 would combine the best elements of both lenses plus give you IS.

on a FF camera the 24-70L is the best single choice for walkaround of the lenses you mention....and i own all of them :D.

ed rader


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highcountry
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Mar 15, 2009 17:15 as a reply to  @ ed rader's post |  #14

You can get a refurb 5D for about the same as the 16-35mm and then your 24-70mm will become wide. Borrow someone's FF or visit a store with FF Canons and try your 24-70mm on it. A FF body might be in your future sooner than you think.:D


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40D, 1Ds MkII, EOS 1N, EF24-70mm F2.8L, EF70-200mm f4L, EF500mm f4L, 580EXII, EF 1.4x II

  
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sonofjesse
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Mar 15, 2009 17:20 |  #15

This question starts out like this for me? Should I get a Honda Civic or a 3500 HD 4x4? Both good at what they do but very different. First you got to decide. If you need to haul 2500 pounds of steel your picking the truck..the honda civic can never ever do that...if your looking to go back and forth to work with good MPG you pick the civic. so is the question with 16-35 vs 70-200 there totall different.

3 lenses you should look at:
17-55
70-200 everybody needs one I think
10-22

Hope this helps!

Unless you going to go full frame in the next 3 months. Get the lens for the camera you have.


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