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Old 23-07-2010, 12:59 PM
bloodhound31
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Glad you picked that lens/camera?Yes/No/Why?

G'day all, Jason has asked a very good question which merits some discussion that may help others:

Your camera and lens choices

Hi Barry,

I'm in a similar position to you at the moment, deciding on which camera and lenses to go with for some new purchases. I've got it down to either the 7D or the 5D MkII. Both have good and bad points, as do their respective lenses.
At the moment I have a 350D, 10-22mm, 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and 70-200 f/4L IS, so going full-frame would mean a few new lenses.

I know you've decided on the 5D MkII, so when you've settled on your lens line-up, do you reckon you could start a thread discussing your choices?

If not, no drama, I just think people would get some benefit out of it. I know I certainly would!

Regards,
Jason.


To start, I decided on a full frame camera, 5D MK II, because I want the widest possible image, combined with the widest possible lens without too much barrel distortion. One, because I hate the fish-eye look, and two, because I will be getting into business with photography were I will be required to shoot wide but keep vertical and horizontal lines straight while not having much room to back-up in a lot of cases.

I got the Canon 16-35L f2.8 II USM for this main purpose, with my secondary agenda being for wide-field time lapses of the Milky Way Galaxy, while still being able to frame it with nice foregrounds at night. For that reason, I also needed a fast lens. I might have picked a 14mm prime and still been able to get away with it, and yes, it would be a little wider and sharper, but I would have lost the flexibility of some creative zooming and framing. I took a test shot at a dark site my first day out with it at the centre of the Milky Way, wide open at 16mm and f2.8 on ISO 1600. WOW! What a sky! Not just the centre of the MW, which I am used to getting with my old 18-55 on the 1.6 crop frame, but the whole thing! A bit of vignetting in the corners but it was only one thirty second test shot. I am stoked.

I also got the Canon 100L f2.8 II IS USM Macro for fun, (Macro) with the added bonus that it makes a beautifully sharp portrait lens. Yes, it is a prime and I have to physically change my distance to the subject for creative framing, but generally I will have the room to do that with mobile subjects. I have had a couple of Macro attempts with it on a flower, cactus and spider this week. I am a little disappointed at the shots so far, as I was getting that good with my reversed 18-55 on my old 400D, but I am sure it is just because I am inexperienced with the new gear and I will improve quickly. I have already shot an outdoor sunset portrait shoot with a family down the river and it is a beautiful portrait lens, especially with the 580 EX II flash, instead of those terrible on-camera pop-up flashes. It could still do with some diffusing or lowering of power though. Watch out, it is a BEAST and puts out a LOT of light, especially if all you have ever used is a pop-up. I also got the MT-24 EX Twin-lite macro flash for it and it is a beautiful thing. I can't wait to make some diffusers and start experimenting.

With both the 5D and 7D I like the idea of live view, but so far I have had not much go at it. I used it the other night to zoom in on a star live and focus it. Awesome. Can't wait to do a full time lapse now. I'm sure it will come in very handy but will have it's own "Watch outs". HD video capability? Well, I'm not sure how much I will employ it yet. I have seen some stunning stuff done with it.

Going from the 400D to the 5D MK II is a huge leap, but I will say I am glad I stuck with a camera brand I already know and have got used to for the last three years. The buttons have moved around a bit, but the things they do are all still there. It can do all the same things and more, plus the software transition is easy. Now to learn all the new things I can do with the awesome levels of technology now available to me.

I just have to make sure I don't put my old 18-55 EFS lens on the 5 D or SMASH!! will go the mirror!

The reasons I didn't choose the 7D is because of the cropped frame sensor. I know the frame rate is a lot faster in the 7D for sports photography, but I have absolutely no interest in sports/action stuff like that and if I do one day, well, hopefully I will be good enough with my 5D to be able to manage. I've seen the quality of image coming out of the 5D and I am just blown away with it. It's awesome.

I have just spent ten thousand dollars on getting all the equipment I have been dreaming about for the last 18 months and am on the big learning curve that comes with mastering such a state-of-the-art set of technology. In that time, I have researched, compared, asked questions, cross-referenced the answers, got quotes, gone into camera shops and played with gear, read reviews, challenged professionals and amateurs alike on their opinions and results and done my best to master the equipment I have before I move on to the next big step. It was well worth the wait because I feel I have made a completely informed decision and what I have now is different than what I first imagined as a result of all that accumulated knowledge.

The other most important thing I did was to GET OUT THERE AND TAKE PHOTOS!! If you do this a lot and for a long time, not only do you get to know your camera back-to-front, it's capabilities and limitations by simply using it, but you will also find out if you really do love it, or is it just a passing fad and you really don't have the energy. I think if you are going to spend a serious amount of money, then you need to know if you are a serious photographer, because it does take a LOT of energy and your time.

In short, the throw-away line of "shop around" or 'do your research" means so much more. Do it! There is no rush. The anticipation and excitement of ANY new thing wears off very quickly once you have it as we all know. So do the work first and KNOW FIRST what you want to achieve, THEN find out how best to achieve it. You will be surprised along the way how your original ideas will change.

I sure hope someone gets something useful out of this. I am not a technical guy so my "plain english" may be blunt to some, but at least there is no room for guessing..(I think).

Cheers,

Baz.

Last edited by bloodhound31; 23-07-2010 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 23-07-2010, 01:35 PM
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I too am looking at the very same purchase.

I decided on a 5D Mk11. I already have a few Canon lenses - 28-135 and 28-105mm zooms.

My main reason over a 7D is the fact that my first EOS was an EOS 7 35mm film. It had a 28-105mm ( I think that's what it is) zoom.

I used to take great pictures because it has a wonderfully narrow depth of field so I could frame the object and have the background out of focus with lovely mottled colours.

The APS sensors don't seem to do that so easily. So I figure that the 5D is the first camera available that comes close to or surpasses the standard film cameras had reached back in the 1980's.

My personal opinion is there is no substitute for that and ideally the chip would be even larger but its a good standard to meet for now.

As far as lenses go from what I have researched the Nikon 14-24 seems at the top.

Greg.
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Old 23-07-2010, 02:51 PM
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Great post, thanks Baz. I'll be back with questions and comments........

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 23-07-2010, 03:01 PM
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Octane (Humayun)
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Jason,

You have 10-22, 17-55 and a 70-200.

Camera: do you need a full frame system, and, if so, why?

Lenses: can you explain what you want to use the lenses for on the new body?

Thank about both questions carefully, as there's several thousand dollars at stake here. If you have disposable cash, then the full frame system makes sense as you can make use of good quality lenses to their fullest potential.

Invest in good glass, and you can upgrade bodies at a later stage.

H
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Old 23-07-2010, 03:48 PM
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Before anyone posts a "which lens" or "which camera" type thread, I recommend they think about the following (as a minimum) and provide the answers to these questions in their first post. Shameless copy and paste from one of my posts in Baz's threads:

* Zoom or prime lenses? Zoom will offer more flexibility, but primes tend to be sharper on average.
* What body you going to put it on? Crop or FF?
* Indoors or outdoors shooting?
* What do you want to shoot? Do you normally shoot wide, close, telephoto?
* What's your budget?
* The "right" solution may need to consider whether it's just for personal use or if you're thinking of going professional.
* Would you consider 3rd party lenses other than Canon/Nikon (eg Sigma, Tokina, Tamron, Zeiss)
* What flash power and requirements do you need?
* What gear do you currently have (body, lenses, flash, tripod, other accessories)?

Last edited by troypiggo; 23-07-2010 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 23-07-2010, 04:02 PM
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Hi Humayun,

A couple of things have lead me to this point.

1) A month in Canada carrying zooms made me want to use prime's for their better size and weight.

2) Spending a reasonable amount of time taking photo's in rain and snow made me want a sealed body and preferably lenses as well. 7D or 5D2 would address this.

3) The 350D is not supported for lens correction in DPP, and the 10-22mm needs a LOT of correction. It's sharp, wide, and really nice, but edges and corners are way off reality. 7D or 5D2 would address this.

In his choices, Barry has built an awesome all-weather setup. Also, for a given prime, such as Barry's 100mm Macro, he will get more area covered with the full-frame body.

As I want to get some prime's, now would be a good time to choose between FF and 1.6x crop, as lens choice would be different. Ideally I'd like FF equivalents of 50mm and 24mm. This is easy on a FF as there are several options available at these lengths, but with a 1.6x crop, you'd be looking at 30mm and 15mm. The Canon 28mm f/1.8 approximates the 50mm, but to get something similar to the 24mm would mean the Canon 14mm f/2.8L, which just seems like overkill on a crop body.

Special lenses like the 15mm Fisheye and Tilt-Shift's also don't work to full effect on the crop bodies, and these could be an option in the future.

High ISO performance is also a consideration, as this allows decent shots with longer lenses around f/4-f/5.6, rather than spending the national debt on long f/2.8's.

Barry, are you considering anything longer than the 35mm end of your zoom?

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 23-07-2010, 04:20 PM
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I'm not really sure where this thread is going but I'll add my 2c worth for the heck of it.

I agree with everything H said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koputai View Post
High ISO performance is also a consideration...
The 5DMkII is undoubtedly better than the 7D in this regard. And hearing all your comments I'm surprised you're even debating an alternative to the 5DMkII (perhaps you recently made up your mind ). However, having invested (not much$) in processing software like Noise Ninja you can largely negate this in an extremely easy manner.

To address Barry's actual question .... if that is what this thread is meant to be for....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodhound31 View Post
Glad you picked that lens/camera?Yes/No/Why?
Bought: Canon 7D. Glad I picked it? Yes – what a great camera. So many great features, so easy to use, so “enabling”, has autofocus capabilities like it reads your mind, viewfinder that is big and bright, all the manual controls right at your fingertips for fast manipulation, extremely rapid fire capability. Noise is the downside. Noise and crop factor are it’s only two negatives, and crop factor has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Noise is dealt with in post processing 99% of the time without problem with the click of one button. 5DMkII was my alternative, but I couldn’t justify the extra cost, and still don’t really have the extra money to side-step to the 5DMkII if I wanted to. If I did have the money it would be a tough call to side-step or wait for MkIII with the brains of the 7D with the brawn of the 5DMkII

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Old 23-07-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koputai View Post
Barry, are you considering anything longer than the 35mm end of your zoom?

Cheers,
Jason.
I would REALLY REALLY LIKE a 50mm prime for portraits, an 85mm prime or possibly the 70-200 zoom.

All donations graciously accepted... I have a Handycam to swap...plug..plug...

Last edited by bloodhound31; 23-07-2010 at 04:43 PM. Reason: begging for freebies...
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Old 23-07-2010, 10:31 PM
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Baz, I spent last weekend in the Hunter Valley, up there for the Running Festival with the wife, and I never took the 70-200 off the camera. It's an awesome lens. Birds, scenery, and runners in action, it covered them all. It's also fantastic for candid/informal portraits as well.

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 24-07-2010, 09:08 PM
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I've recently upgraded to FF from crop, and in the process converted most zooms over to primes. Loving the incredible sharpness, quality, and DoF/bokeh. Driving reason behind it, besides feeding an obsession, was for family portraits. Also keen on macro, landscapes, and travel photos, but feel my previous equipment handled that all fine. I could have made do, but the other things that tipped me toward the 5DII was the high ISO performance and also the video. New baby, want to capture video as well.

Current lineup is 5DII, 35L, 85LII, 135L, 180L, 17-40L, MP-E65, 100-400L.

5DII - couldn't be happier with it.

All of the lenses are wonderful. Primes sharp. L series build quality.

85LII is a beast of a lens, so big. Just looks plain sexy. When I first took the lenscap off I heard this whistling sound and didn't know what it was. Then I realised it was the lens sucking in the light faster than anything you can imagine. Ok, I exaggerate AF is a little slow, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

135L - one of Canon's finest. Sharp, fast AF.

180L - wife has the Sigma 105, so wanted more reach. Have the Sigma 150, no complaints about it at all, but the WD of the 180L is just a little more.

17-40L - contemplated the 16-35LII but couldn't justify the extra money. Situations I use the 17-40 aren't really low-light, so the f/4 isn't an issue. If I am indoors, the 35L is typically plenty wide on FF and fast enough.

Must say I'm very happy with going primes. Aside from the above-mentioned, they really force you to think about the shot more, because you don't have the flexibility of zooming in and out. I think that's a good thing.
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Old 24-07-2010, 09:30 PM
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Very thoughtful write-up Troy. I am very sure that will be invaluable for many thinking of stepping up into the higher-end gear.

Baz.
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Old 24-07-2010, 10:18 PM
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I'm with Troy, I upgraded to the 5DII shortly after it was released. Before that I had a 20D and 50D.

I found the resolution improvement on the 50D to be minimal over that of the 20D. The 5DII was a noticeable improvement over the 20/50D.

My lenses are mostly L series, not as good as I would like for the money I had to pay, but as good as money can buy.

I have
24-105 F4L
70-200 F4L
100mm F2.8 Macro (Not the L series)
15mm fisheye.

Of the lenses the fish is my favourite, It's tack sharp, with beautiful contrast and colour.
The 70-200 next. I didn't go for the 70-200 F2.8 because IMO the extra stop isn't worth the extra weight and cost, as Troy says low light isn't usually an issue.
The 24-105 is a good lens but suffers a bit from CA, although it's easily corrected with Canons DPP software.

I'm seriously contemplating the Nikon 14-24 F2.8 using an adapter. At this stage Canon has no answer to the Nikon zoom and it's sharper wide open than Canon's 14mm prime at 2/3 of the cost. With an adapter on a 5D, you lose AF and Auto but chipped adapters give focus confirmation.


The things I don't like about the 5DII are the very ordinary autofocus, the lack of on board flash for daytime fill and there are times when I miss the extra reach of a crop body due to the magnification of the crop sensor.
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Old 25-07-2010, 03:14 PM
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I picked a 550D with the bog stock kit lenses (18-55IS & 55-250IS). HAd it now for 2 weeks. Previous camera was a kodak point and shoot. So very new to the game.

My photo needs are: travel pics - which means people, landscapes, sports photography (we'll be seeing the Ironman in Oct), and a bit of astro-photos (I love the power of longer exposure to bring out colours and details the human eye can not see).

Am I happy? - Camera body - yes, it is amazing compared to anything I have ever used before. It has so many features and allows me to do things I never did before. I have lots to learn.

Lenses? I'm not so sure. The body is so capable I'm disappointed with the distortions of the lens at the edges of the photos. Also I am not happy that I have to change lenses so much. Am I being silly here?

I bought the camera because the wife wanted us to have something better for when we go to Hawaii. In that siple task we have success, the photos will undoutedly be better than what we could with the old point and click.

BUT, I am seriously thinking about the EF-S 15-85 USM. Does anyone know this lens and what do you think about it? Is it worth the $900?

I will get the 50mm f/1.8, at $120 or so seems like a simple enough decision for such a fast lens. I intend that to be my main astro-photography lens. Feel free to disuade me if you think otherwise.

All views are welcome. thanks

Adam
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Old 25-07-2010, 04:14 PM
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Hi Adam,
I have recently bought a 550D and couldn't be happier. Love the Live View and the Video (especially the Crop with 7x magnification).

What is the lens "distortion" you are having problems with? I have had photos printed in A3 and I can't see any "distortion".

Peter
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Old 25-07-2010, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAAD9 View Post
BUT, I am seriously thinking about the EF-S 15-85 USM. Does anyone know this lens and what do you think about it? Is it worth the $900?
Adam,
From the reviews I've read,the 550D does sound like an extremely good camera.

The EF-S 15-85 is a very popular choice as a first non-kit lens. However, I'd recommend the 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM instead. I have one of these (as do a few guys here) and it is awesome. Really sharp, and at f/2.8 across its range, is two stops faster than the 15-85. Add to that the IS (not essential, but handy) and it's a winner. A bit more expensive, but a lot more lens.

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 25-07-2010, 08:40 PM
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Thought a few people might like this as we're discussing the 7D and the 5DMKii, it's quite humorous as well... http://www.digitalrev.com/en/canon-5...d-6264-article
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Old 25-07-2010, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelltree View Post
Thought a few people might like this as we're discussing the 7D and the 5DMKii, it's quite humorous as well... http://www.digitalrev.com/en/canon-5...d-6264-article
That's quite good and very true of the camera's abilities I think. Shame he dosn't mention price at all in his dicision factors.
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Old 26-07-2010, 10:21 AM
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Hmm, from reviews only, I think the 5D MkII is a bit short on features compared to the 7D and 550D, but the 7D is not quite there yet either, the 550D actually betters it in regards to noise performance and LCD functionality.

Rumour is the 60D will be announced next month (August), and the 5D MkIII within six months. If either of these incorporate the features of the 550D in a better quality package, then they will be worth waiting for.

Of course, you can't wait forever, there will always be 'the next model', but the 5D2 and 50D are nearing their end.

Hmm, maybe a 550D as a fill-in..........

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:26 AM
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You can't really compare the 5DII and the 550D and say it's short on features, can you? They're in completely different classes, it's apples and oranges.

It comes down to what features you feel are necessary, and which camera fulfills those requirements most completely, and also leaves you a little room to grow maybe.
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:58 AM
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Peter - thanks for the reply. In regards to the distortions I am seeing, I suppose at A3 it may not be visible. However when I blow my photos up to full size on the screen, around the corners I notice that the straight lines such as building begin to be curved. Is this what you call vignetting?

I suppose the only reason why I am even seeing it is because of the 550D's incredible resolution. On my old 6mgp there was no magnification to 5000 odd by 3500 or so. I was curious if there was a lens that is designed to cope with that level of detail.

And hoping like hell it isn't an L series (yikes! the $$$''s). Do Prime lenses behave better in this regard?

Jason, thanks for the tip RE 17-55 USM. Yes that is a faster lens.

thanks everyone for the discussion, I kind of wish I had come here sooner and learnt more before plunging down the mullah. I was seriously eyeing off the 7D Platinum pack.

Having said that, I just could not justify the extra $1200 or so (specially since this is my first DSLR).

Cheers
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