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AL3XCruise

Lens Acquisition Planning (suggestions needed)

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I recently acquired a used Canon 5D MKIII with a 28-135MM lens (not the Kit "L" lens that it shipped with, but at the price that was fine).  I'm trying to figure out a plan on how to slowly get some diverse lenses in an order that makes sense.  My main interests are Macro, Landscape, and Wildlife.  I'm not really planning on much portrait work, so anything for that can come later.  I know there are a lot of ways to tackle the same challenge (extenders vs zoom lens, etc.) all with various pluses and minuses (often a price vs quality/flexibility trade-off).  I also know different versions of similar lenses are built to different standards but I'm not sure how much that will impact my day to day results.

 

In short, I want to figure out how to add capability at a reasonable price now while getting in a good position for later should I decide to invest more $$$.  I'm not opposed to new or refurbished products as long as they have a reputation for being durable.

 

I know that I'm asking a very broad question, but would appreciate some advice on how to plan and narrow down my search!  

 

Thanks!

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Nothing wrong with buying straight out used, especially from a reliable source like keh.com, or getting used from Amazon with their return policy, or even a reliable eBay seller. Lenses are meant to last decades.

 

In terms of generally building your lens collection, I wrote this article. It's based on Sony's lens collection but the logic applies to all systems.

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/12/24/what-lens-should-i-buy/

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9 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

I recently acquired a used Canon 5D MKIII with a 28-135MM lens (not the Kit "L" lens that it shipped with, but at the price that was fine).  I'm trying to figure out a plan on how to slowly get some diverse lenses in an order that makes sense.  My main interests are Macro, Landscape, and Wildlife.  I'm not really planning on much portrait work, so anything for that can come later.  I know there are a lot of ways to tackle the same challenge (extenders vs zoom lens, etc.) all with various pluses and minuses (often a price vs quality/flexibility trade-off).  I also know different versions of similar lenses are built to different standards but I'm not sure how much that will impact my day to day results.

 

In short, I want to figure out how to add capability at a reasonable price now while getting in a good position for later should I decide to invest more $$$.  I'm not opposed to new or refurbished products as long as they have a reputation for being durable.

 

I know that I'm asking a very broad question, but would appreciate some advice on how to plan and narrow down my search!  

 

Thanks!

 

Sigma and Tamron have made quality lenses for Canon for years and Sigma's new Art and Sports series lenses are among the best available in their respective categories. Don't be afraid to venture away from Canon glass. 

 

As for the order, you need to consider the relative time you will spend in each genre. Are you going to be shooting macros in the backyard every weekend and live in an area with limited wildlife? A 16-35 f/4 is a reasonable way to tackle Landscape since the f/2.8 of the "pro" version is rarely needed when outside with a tripod. Tamron's 150-600 superzoom is a beast but it does a stellar job for the price. Check out Justin's (zackiedawg) PBase galleries for some remarkable examples. Sigma's 105mm f/2.8 macro for Canon is very highly rated and quite reasonable for the level of performance it offers.

 

I'm not a Canon shooter but know quite a bit about third-party offerings since the lenses are basically identical with different mounts. I shot a lot with a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 zoom on my Minolta and Sony A-mount cameras and while it was maybe only 98% as sharp as the branded version, it was 60% of the price and the output was excellent. Having said that, stick with newer third-party offerings as the quality has improved greatly in the last few years. My mid-2000s Sigma was great but is blown away by their new Sport series version.

 

With computer aided lens design being the norm these days, you almost have to work to find a truly bad lens but buying the best lens you can afford for each purpose will save you some frustration and eBay/KEH time later on.

 

Dave

Edited by pierces

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For my 5D Mk III & Mk II, in addition to the 24-105, I use the 16-35 f/2.8 (ii), 70-200 f/2.8 and the 2x extender.

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On 2/15/2019 at 10:04 AM, pierces said:

Tamron's 150-600 superzoom is a beast but it does a stellar job for the price.

Been doing some reading on that.  Pretty amazing lens!  A little bit slower than some, but I guess a stabilized, good quality lens with that kind of zoom has to give up something to meet that price point.  I imagine it wouldn't be a big issue unless shooting at dawn or dusk.

 

On 2/15/2019 at 10:04 AM, pierces said:

Sigma's 105mm f/2.8 macro for Canon is very highly rated and quite reasonable for the level of performance it offers.

 

Seems like that might be a cost effective alternative.  I know Canon offers two 100mm Macros, one an L series with stabilization for $$$ and one a regular series without stabilization for less.  That Sigma might fit nicely between them in budget and capability.

 

On 2/16/2019 at 2:50 PM, Heidi13 said:

70-200 f/2.8 and the 2x extender.

How do you like the extender?  Seems like opinion is split on them.

 

Thanks everyone for your thoughts!  I guess the biggest takeaway is to think about what I'll be doing daily or weekly.  While I love taking landscapes, I only travel to interesting places a few times a year.  But there are wildlife at macro targets of interest either at home or in some local parks, so those seem like the best to start with.

Edited by AL3XCruise

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31 minutes ago, AL3XCruise said:

How do you like the extender?  Seems like opinion is split on them.

 

Thanks everyone for your thoughts!  I guess the biggest takeaway is to think about what I'll be doing daily or weekly.  While I love taking landscapes, I only travel to interesting places a few times a year.  But there are wildlife at macro targets of interest either at home or in some local parks, so those seem like the best to start with.

Used it extensively when on safari in S/Africa and also a few times in Alaska. Got great results, even printed a couple shots on canvas, one of which was 3'. 

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