Considering the Canon 5D, but new to Canon lenses...(long)

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Martin Francis, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. .... so i'd like some advice where to go. Here's a little background:

    I like to shoot with fixed focal length lenses. My ideal two lens kit would
    be a 35mm and 85mm, both fast and sharp. Three lenses, i'd stretch to a
    28/50/105 combo. I consider a standard (35/50) and a telephoto (85/105) more
    important to me than an ultrawide. I like shallow DOF and good bokeh. I like
    the idea that Canon's system is so adaptable, and I like the idea of putting
    Nikon/Leica/Zeiss lenses on the 5D, but would like to consider Canon's
    lenses simply for having max aperture viewing before playing around with
    adapters in the future. I plan adapting my manual Tamron 90mm to the 5D
    anyway. My planned uses are portraiture, still life, with the possibility of
    landscape in the future (i'm growing addicted to mountains). I have a three
    lens Hasselblad outfit and have no plans selling it, and a Nikon FM3a i'll
    keep for kicks.

    So, i'm looking at Canon's FFL lenses in the 28-100mm range. My total budget
    (camera, lenses, CF card and spare battery) would be around £4000, and my
    manager will be arranging a suitably reasonable staff discount on such a
    large purchase. Unless I can find a sufficiently good deal, I will be buying
    new- in the UK at least, Canon's lenses fetch a premium price used. Unless I
    can find a good reason, I will be spending a more realistic amount of
    £3000-3500 total. Assuming a street price on the 5D of £2000, that's about
    £900-1400 to spend on lenses.

    I'm looking for any experiences, or recommendations that users can make. I
    would prefer to steer clear of zooms for the moment, as i'm considering
    something cheap (like a Tamron 28-75 f2.8) further down the line.

    Thanks in advance (those of you who read this far down, congratulations on
    not getting bored!)

    Martin Francis, Aug 31, 2005
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  2. Martin Francis

    Skip M Guest

    Many like the 85mm f1.8, but I'm a fan of the 100mm f2, both are sharp, and
    have good OOF characteristics. Another option, but one with which I'm not
    personally familiar, is the 85mm f1.2, but that might push out of your
    budget ($1450US). As far as a "normal" lens, the 50mm f1.8 is cheap, and
    good, but cheap in all senses of the word, all plastic construction, no USM,
    even a plastic lens mount. But under $75US. Then there's the 50mm f1.4,
    better all around, but roughly 4x as expensive. Both are faster than
    Canon's 35mm f2, but there is the 35mm f1.4L but it's over $1000US.
    Skip M, Aug 31, 2005
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  3. Hi Martin

    It's a personal choice thing, but I think you are planning a budget that
    has too much camera and not enough lens. BTW, the indicated RRP of the
    5D is, IIRC, about £2,600, and I would be pleasantly surprised if the
    street price reaches £2,000 any time soon. FWIW, here are my own
    personal choices, though they would break your budget.

    35mm f/1.4L USM - a superb lens, and the one I would choose for any
    hand-held interior use - I have used it with success in the British
    Museum and similar places enlightened enough to allow photography.

    50mm f/1.4 USM - what can I say that has not been said many times by
    others? I bought this in preference to the f/1.8 as I have an aversion
    to cheaply constructed lenses; having said this, I bought an f/1.8 for
    my daughter and, in normal use, it is hard to tell the difference in the
    results. Unusually, I bought both second hand (on e-bay) but both are
    indistinguishable from new.

    85mm f/1.8 USM - a fine portrait lens. I don't use it a lot, as I don't
    do much portrait work, but if I did it would be a favourite. For what I
    do most of, the next lens is more useful.

    100mm f/2.8 macro. Superb. I have the pre-USM version, but I have not
    heard much to suggest the old lens is noticeably inferior. For macro
    work, of course, the AF is fairly useless anyway.

    And, saving the best for last - 24mm f/3.5L TS-E. Could be my desert
    island lens, except that a desert island is probably the kind of place
    where it would be least useful. One of my main interests is taking
    pictures of buildings, exteriors and interiors, and at this it excels.
    With practice, it can be used hand held in good light. For church
    interiors, I quite often use it on the floor, where the upward shift
    conveniently removes all or most of the floor from the image. When I
    bought it, my main camera was an EOS 1n, on which it is near-perfect. It
    works well on my 10D, though the restricted FoV is less than ideal, so I
    look forward to being able to use it on a full frame digital.

    I also have a 45mm f/2.8 TS-E. This gets a lot less use; it would be
    excellent for studio still-life work, but I don't at present do a lot of

    If I had to choose, say, 2 of these, then for what I do it would be the
    24 TS-E and the 100mm macro. Your needs may, of course, be different
    from mine.

    If you would like to see some sample images from any of these lenses,
    e-mail me at: david at dlittlewood dot co dot uk

    David Littlewood, Sep 2, 2005
  4. Martin Francis

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Is it dark there, or also very warm in color temperature?

    I've noticed that when shooting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
    NYC, that when I try to white-balance in a RAW converter, the
    temperature is too warm to be properly corrected. I think that they may
    run bulbs in series, and put 6 in the place of 5 or something, or have a
    special power supply that under-powers the bulbs to get this very warm
    color. Or it might be special bulbs, but the shadows are basically shot
    because they have no useable blue.
    JPS, Sep 2, 2005
  5. Well, from memory it's both. Last visit I was photographing the Elgin
    Marbles; it was in my all-film days so I don't have any EXIF data, but
    from memory it was just about possible to hand hold at f/1.4-2.0 with
    ISO 100 film (which is pretty well all I normally use). My point is,
    really, that having good f/1.4 performance available gives you the best
    options if you need it. Maybe with digital, and variable ISO, it is less
    important, but there will always be a shot you can get with f/1.4 you
    can't get with f/2 or 2.8. Plus the performance is good at wide

    David Littlewood, Sep 2, 2005
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