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Author Topic: Please HELP ME purchase LENSES for my CANON 5D  (Read 26150 times)

benInMA

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Please HELP ME purchase LENSES for my CANON 5D
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2006, 12:53:19 pm »

Only ones I can comment on in your list are the 85/1.8 and the 100/2.8 USM Macro.  (Older 100/2.8 Macros are not USM and are much slower AF)

I recently traded the former for the latter.

I am not really finding any issue with the AF on the macro lens being too slow.  It has a focus limiter which really helps.

My impression is either the 100 is more accurate in terms of AF on the 5D, or it is just sharper.  This is of course subjective.

The 85 also has a rather long minimum focus distance which can be annoying.  The great focusing range on the macro does not go unnoticed.   (See if the 85/1.2 has a better min focus distance then the 85/1.8)

The 100 does have more depth of field which is probably making it easier to use for portraits.. but not much.

85mm @ f/1.8 @ 8ft - 0.28ft depth of field
100mm @ f/2.8 @ 8ft - 0.32ft depth of field - different composition of course
100mm @ f/2.8 @ 10ft - 0.5ft - guesstimating at approximating the same framing

Other comments:

I can't see how you could not get a 50/1.4.  That's probably my favorite lens.

Definitely grab a TS-E coming from large format cameras!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 12:54:19 pm by benInMA »
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2006, 05:45:43 pm »

I know the easiest answer to my query is to buy them all! I've reached a point in my life where simplicity has its rewards. I really don't want a too-large collection of lenses. I won't ever leave the studio if the bag is too heavy or if the lens decision (which ones to take) is too time consuming.

Renting the wide-angle lenses from FotoCare and performing the tests was the best way to pick my favorite wide angle. My 24-70 test results took me and my studio by surprise and I have since found out this lens rates very high with digital tech assistants here in NYC. I plan to do similar tests with the other lenses, as well.

I have to have a dedicated portrait lens so the decision to purchase the 85 f/1.2L II was easy. I'm a big fan of beauty cosmetics, and the bokeh will serve my high-end tastes well.

The 35mm f/1.4L is one of the most talked about primes. It seems to me, if I fall in love with this lens, I won't need a 50mm. I come from an advertising/art direction background and cropping the million-dollar shot is a talent I possess. As long as there's room to shoot 35mm, I should be content with cropping.

The Macro decision will require more research as I'm leaning towards the 180mm f/3.5L. My favorite Medium Format Macro was 120mm. I'll have to test and compare results. I love to shoot editorial food, flowers, and butterflies with beautiful bokeh.

I've also made the decision to purchase the 70-200 f/2.8L IS. It'll probably get the least use but I'll be happy it's there when I need it. I'm not a big fan of being too far away from my subjects and, like I said, I don't shoot sports.

Thank you for your continued comments.
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Ben Rubinstein

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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2006, 06:37:58 am »

I've had 2 copies of the 85mm 1.8 and the new 85mm 1.2 which I played with at a recent conference is noticeably better even at f4. It made my 24-70L (which I know is sharp!) look like a milk bottle in comparison!
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2006, 09:41:40 am »

Quote
I've had 2 copies of the 85mm 1.8 and the new 85mm 1.2 which I played with at a recent conference is noticeably better even at f4. It made my 24-70L (which I know is sharp!) look like a milk bottle in comparison!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=68617\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well, considering how sharp I found the 24-70 in my tests, that's exciting to read.

I haven't purchased the 85mm 1.2L yet but I'm looking forward to working with it. From all that I've seen and read, I have a feeling I will love it—and for 2G, I better like it.

I will most likely rely on the 24-70 for travel photography, and favor it on the wide end. I doubt it will be the lens I pick up to shoot serious people/beauty images but I can see it capturing people on the streets in everyday life. I'm excited.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2006, 09:42:45 am by mistybreeze »
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Ben Rubinstein

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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2006, 11:38:46 am »

Misty mate, why don't you get a 16-35L to go with the 85mm if you want a WA solution? the 24-70L is my work lens, I wouldn't carry it around for fun it's damn heavy! Using the 24-70L mainly for the wide end is a waste of time and weight.

I would warn you though if you've never used one, the new 85mm 1.2 is slooooow focusing, I can't imagine what the old one was like! I wouldn't say that is was a street lens if you intend to AF, half the time it will be quicker to manual focus for fast moving situations and capturing decisive moments.
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2006, 01:21:27 pm »

Quote
Misty mate, why don't you get a 16-35L to go with the 85mm if you want a WA solution? the 24-70L is my work lens, I wouldn't carry it around for fun it's damn heavy! Using the 24-70L mainly for the wide end is a waste of time and weight.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=68639\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The 16-35L failed my crisp-focus test at 24mm. I will NEVER sacrifice sharpness to save weight in the bag. Plus, my bod is worked out, I shoot in heels, and I won't be visiting the Grand Canyon anytime soon. I have little use and appreciation for 16mm images. Too many look like pretty post cards and that's not my style. But, thank you.

Quote
I would warn you though if you've never used one, the new 85mm 1.2 is slooooow focusing[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=68639\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think I wrote in my opening post that I don't rely on Auto-Focus. I doubt I would ever use AF at 1.2 when shooting beauty.
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SJM

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« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2006, 05:02:23 pm »

Sorry that this reply is late in the day but...

Regarding the choice of Canon macro lenses. All three (that will 'fit' the 5D) are very good. They are not the best available but they are good, and as good as each other. I've been using macro for most of my photography for the last 20 years so have seen most of the macro's in action.

The 50mm is fine if the subject you're photographing doesn't fly or run away as you'll have to get really close.

The 180mmL is better in this respect due to the greater working distance but you lose depth of field. However, it will be better for subjects such as lizards where the longer distance will increase DoF.

The 100mm is the best compromise. Only use it for macro work as you may be disappointed if you use it for portrait work.

These are all designed to work best at close(ish) distances. Additionally, I have never used the autofocus on a macro lens as the area I want in focus, usually defined by a DoF of only 2 or 3 mm, is usually outside the autofocus frame (however, this is most prevalent when approaching 1:1 and less so at greater distances). I think autofocus on a macro lens is largely redundant and just compromises the design and consequently optical quality (cf, Contax Zeiss 120mm Makro, Leica and Zeiss macros, and Tamron 90mm SP - all manual focus and all excellent but only the Tamron is available in EOS fit). If you ever consider a Tamron 180mm AF (also very good and arguably slightly better at certain distances than the Canon 180mm), beware that there are one or two dodgy ones floating around and this is due to the 'only-one-checked-in-ten' quality control.

Hope some of this helps.
SJM
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2006, 10:43:03 pm »

SJM, thank you for your post. I will do a test soon for my Macro decision because I have no experience with 35mm Macro lenses.

I think I mentioned that I own the Contax Zeiss 120mm Macro and I LOVE this lens. It's great for beauty/cosmetic close-ups, editorial food/floral shots (Martha Stewart style), portraiture with lovely bokeh, flowers, butterflies, etc., all without having to be "on top" of the subject. I think the only way I will be content with my 35mm Macro decision is to test the choices.

I know that many photographers swear by Tamron but I can afford Canon L glass and I'm not looking to create a discounted or disjointed 35mm outfit. I know I leave myself open to flames but it's hard for me to believe that a $700 Tamron performs better than a $1200 Canon L. But I always leave my thinking door open.

Thank you for offering your feedback.
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Yakim Peled

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« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2006, 01:39:57 am »

>> The 100mm is the best compromise. Only use it for macro work as you may be disappointed if you use it for portrait work.

Why?

>> I have never used the autofocus on a macro lens...... I think autofocus on a macro lens is largely redundant


I am a macro novice (with 100/2.8 USM) and really enjoy using AF in macro. Works great.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.

SJM

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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2006, 07:34:51 pm »

The Tamron is as good as the Canon. The lower price is reflected in the build quality - Tamron is plastic while the Canon is of typical L construction. The glass is excellent though.

I think if Tamron actually had faith in their macro lens and built it accordingly, along with better quality control (although same argument with Canon in this respect), we would see it as more than a match for the Canon and up there with Zeiss, Leitz and Schneider!

All the best,
SJM
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ray905

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« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2006, 10:42:21 pm »

Having just picked up 3 new lenses myself, I can relate to your indecision.  A comment on macro lenses, I decided on the new Sigma 150 F2.8 and have patted myself on the back ever since.  I like a little longer reach than a 50 or 100 and like the ability to add a 1.4 if necessary.  I can tell little or NO difference with or without the extender and the straight lens is wickedly sharp with great bokeh and contrast.  I've compared it with my wife's 60mm Nikkor which has a steller rep and can't tell which lens took which image without checking the filename even with pixalpeeping.  Most all reviews on this lens has it right at the top.  As to build quality, it's as solid as any of my L's. My 2 cents.
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Regards,
Ray Malin

mistybreeze

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« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2006, 11:04:01 am »

Quote
A comment on macro lenses, I decided on the new Sigma 150 F2.8 and have patted myself on the back ever since. My 2 cents.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=69557\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think options are great, especially if you can't afford your preferred choice or if you wish to be more modest with your spending. Everyone's constructive advice is a valuable asset here. 2 cents is much better than no sense.

I briefly researched the very good press on the Sigma 150 Macro. Impressive, indeed. For $600, I appreciate the great purchasing opportunity this offers many photographers. But let's face it, a car is a car and, as long as it runs, it will take you where you want to go. The decision to spend more money must depend on certain details and I don't wish to have an Acura hood ornament adorning my Lexus. (I own neither.)

Speaking of spending a fortune:

Much to my surprise, my $370, 77mm Singh-Ray LB Color Combo Polarizer arrived yesterday. I wasn't expecting it before the end of July. I've never paid this much for a polarizer before. Let's hope it outperforms most of the men I've encountered in my life.  

I also bought the B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer (MRC) to compare. I'll report back.

ps  The Bergeon #4657 dust blower also came highly recommended and I found one on the internet. I was told to avoid blowers that suck in dust and blow dust back into the camera. Apparently, the 5D requires a little more delicate maintenance.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2006, 11:12:03 am by mistybreeze »
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2006, 11:48:12 pm »

What is the best Macro, you ask? Is sure does depend on the application, doesn't it.

Once again, preliminary tests surprised me. I thought for sure I would LOVE the EF 180mm 3.5 (it is a great lens) but for the bulk of my Macro shooting needs, I have to say the 100mm 2.8 seems to fit nicely right where I need it. I sure wish it came with "L" glass, even though the area of focus seems sharp enough to please me.

First, the 180mm is not user-friendly for me. I use the Linhof Ballhead with a Quick Release Plate and the plate has to be removed from the bottom of the 5D and mounted to the tripod mount on the lens. (A spare could easily fix this issue.) Second, the lens is really heavy and removing the tripod mount is extra work to achieve awkward hand holding. Third, it takes me too far away from my subjects. And fourth, the 2.8 on the 100mm achieves the "editorial" feel that is my style. The 3.5 just didn't quite give me the light and bokeh I was hoping to see.

For portraits, the 180mm took me 12 feet away from the subject and all I could get was a basic headshot. I have a great daylight studio with terrace but by NYC standards, it's a small space. 12 feet is nearing my maximum distance and I need more than just someone's head.

At 12 feet, the 100mm gave me a generous 3/4 body.  If I want a tight headshot, all I have to do is move in closer to the model. The fall-off at 5.6 seemed just soft enough without losing too much detail.

The 180mm was an awful distance for editorial food. The camera has to be too far away to capture the outer edges of a single table setting and then there's no room to crop. The 100mm seemed perfect. I could sit at my favorite cafe in the South of France with little need to slide my chair back. With ease, I can get the whole table setting and/or come in tight on that lovely dessert. The 100mm feels VERY natural in my hands and I could see using it off the tripod a lot.

Other than butterflies, I have no desire to shoot insects or see insect hairs. I need a Macro that's as versatile as possible and gives me great "lifestyle" imagery. So far, the 100mm 2.8 looks like a keeper. Tomorrow I'll try using it with auto-focus.
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2006, 02:36:47 pm »

I just completed the auto-focus test on the 100 and 180 Canon Macros and I've concluded that auto-focus on Macro lenses is a complete waste of my time.

I've also concluded, if you plan to use either the 100 or 180 Macro for portraiture (anything more distant than a head, neck, and upper-shoulder), expect the eyes to be out of focus on ALL your frames, no matter what the f-stop. After all, these are Macro lenses and, unless you're very close to your subject, the eye socket is too small a territory for AF to catch. Not to mention, I'm on a tripod, using a shutter-release cord.

Utilizing every AF Point that the 5D offers, none of them brought home the bacon on the more distant portrait. Furthermore, I can't tolerate composing my image to accommodate any camera's AF Point. What kind of photography is that? Even with the Ee Diopter Screen in my 5D, on Manual Focus, I could NOT get the model's eyes in focus from a distance. Every time I took a portrait that included head, torso, and hands, the eyes were NEVER in focus.

I imagine if I was tethered to my computer, I could probably get there if I kept tweaking. But, frankly, there are far better lenses for portrait work that waste much less time and provide spectacular results. Unless you're broke, why use a Macro for non-Macro portraits?

Now, when I brought that 100mm baby closer to the subject (face only) and manually focused on one eye, the results were MAGNIFICENT. Absolutely incredible. Every lash, every pore, and the reflection of the daylight window in the pupil as clear as glass. The bokeh was sublime. I was REALLY impressed, especially at 2.8, even more so at 3.2.

Macro lenses are designed to shoot close and nothing can take the place of a good Macro. That's why my next lens purchase will be the EF 100mm, 2.8. I'm getting really excited.

ps Now if only you didn't need two weeks lead time to rent the 85mm 1.2L in NYC. The results of that test will be coming as soon as I can get my hands on a lens.  
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StephenS

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« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2006, 02:48:10 pm »

A very generous friend in NYC let me try his 85 1.2 for an evening. It's a fantastic performer and the transition at shallow DOF from razor sharp to out of focus is lovely.

Thanks for sharing your lens experiences too!

Stephen
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Yakim Peled

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« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2006, 02:36:22 am »

I have the 1D (Mk I) and 100/2.8 USM. I previously had 85/1.8 USM. When used for portraits (100/2.8 switch set to 'Far'), both lenses perform flawlessly in AF mode (I rarely use MF) so I have no idea why the former poster had any problems with it.

The only problems I found are where light levels are really low (e.g. a candle lit room), where the slower max aperture of the 100/2.8 USM starts to affect.
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mistybreeze

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« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2006, 11:29:30 am »

Quote
I have the 1D (Mk I) and 100/2.8 USM. I previously had 85/1.8 USM. When used for portraits (100/2.8 switch set to 'Far'), both lenses perform flawlessly in AF mode (I rarely use MF) so I have no idea why the former poster had any problems with it.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=69675\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thank you, Yakim. In my haste to accomplish much, I neglected to notice that both lenses offer a Distance Limiter Switch, the switch Yakim referred to as "Far" (I wish I had come across this info sooner). On the 100mm 2.8 Macro, there are two settings: 0.31m — infinity (lazy8)  and 0.48m — infinity. I did not change the switch when I shot my test from a distance.

Therefore, it is possible that one can get a model's eyes in focus if you put the Limiter Switch on 0.48 when shooting long. I'm sorry I did not have this information before I returned the lenses and this could easily explain my difficulties getting the models' eyes in focus.

This was my first experience with a Distance Limiter Switch.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 10:07:42 am by mistybreeze »
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Ray

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« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2006, 10:56:09 pm »

Quote
In my haste to accomplish much, I neglected to notice that both lenses offer a Limiter Switch (I wish I had come across this info sooner). On the 100mm 2.8 Macro, there are two settings: 0.31m — infinity (lazy8)  and 0.48m — infinity. I did not change the switch when I shot my test from a distance.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=69686\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Now this is a useful piece of information. I've had experiences shooting crocodiles on the Daintre from a boat, with my 100-400 IS zoom, (wouldn't attempt close-up shots with a 100mm macro   ), and was surprised that focussing was off. I remember thinking that perhaps the cause was due to that switch not being in the minimum position of 6.8 metres (from memory). At the same time, I was fairly sure that I was more than 6.8 metres away from the croc. Whatever, I'd bungled the shot.
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drstrangelove99

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« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2006, 03:43:55 am »

I have the 5D.

My lenses:
17-40 f4L
24-105 f4L IS
100 2.8 macro
70-200 f2.8L IS
100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS

4/5 are zooms in order to avoid changing lenses or moving back and forth.
The macro is used mostly for office dermatology (ringlight) and flowers.
The 100-400 is going to Alaska next week for Eagles/Denali. My copy is sharp.
The 70-200 is simply the best lens I own. Incredible sharpness, light gathering.
The 17-40 is sharper than the 16-35 and costs $700 less. The f4 works for me.
The 24-105 is my walkaround lens and doesn't vignette like my old 28-105 on FF.

My next purchase will be the 400mm 5.6L IS or the 200-400L IS, whichever actually comes out. Then the 100-400 will probably get sold to whoever wishes to pollute their sensor a bit more.

With regards to the primes, if I had that bug, I would get a 24, 50, 85, 135, 200, and oh what the heck, the 300 f2.8 (the gold standard of sharp) and the 500 f4 (weight for power, a couple discs less damage than the 600).
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llama

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Please HELP ME purchase LENSES for my CANON 5D
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2006, 03:18:37 pm »

There is already a ton of info here, but I'll log a vote for the 70-200 f/2.8L IS -- absolutely amazing lens.  50 f/1.4 is also very nice.  My kit contains those and the 24-105 F/4L and the 16-35 f/2.8L.

Next purchase will likely be the 24mm tilt and shift.

Good luck!
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