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Lenses

2ndaryInsanity
Apprentice
If you could only have 3 lenses, what would you choose and why? Also, which focal lengths would you recommend for landscapes, portraits, and architecture? I know I need a wide angle, but am not sure what else. I don't have the money to buy 4 or more lenses right now, so I'm limiting myself to 3.
Thanks
13 REPLIES 13

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

A walking around lens, either the EF-S 18-135 or EF-S 15-85;

A Macro: The EF-S 60

A telephoto - the EF 70-300

 

I think 15-18 is good enough for landscapes - you can always take multiple shots and stitch, but YMMV

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

If you could only have 3 lenses, what would you choose and why?

 

I have upgraded my arsenal of zooms to all "L" Series lenses.  

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,

EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM,

EF70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM

I wanted overlap in the ranges of the zooms.  My first was the general purpose, standard zoom 24-105.  The image quality had me hooked.  The "L" series zoom was a big jump in image quality over my kit zoom that came with my Rebel.

 

Also, which focal lengths would you recommend for landscapes, portraits, and architecture?

 

Wide angle lenses, 16-35mm, are great for landscape shots, and many architecture shots.  An 85mm lens is frequently referred to a "portrait lens" because of the depth of field and background blur, bokeh, that you can get from the medium zoom focal length.

 

I know I need a wide angle, but am not sure what else. I don't have the money to buy 4 or more lenses right now, so I'm limiting myself to 3. 

 

I do not know what lenses you already have, but do not compromise on future lens purchases because you will lliely wind up with buyers' remorse.  If you can afford 3, then rethink your investment and buy one very good lens.  You will not regret it.  A focal length of 24 mm is considered "wide angle", but not very wide, especially on a APS-C sensor body.

 

Like I said, my first "L" was the 24-105mm.  It is a great walk around, general purpose lens.  The 1:4 ratio between the short end, 24, and the long end, 105, is not so great that image quality suffers.  You really do not want to go much past 1:3 or 1:4 in a good zoom. 

 

Another consideration is whether or not to invest money in EF-S lenses, or EF lenses.  There is a world of difference between the two, should you ever decide to upgrade your camera in the future.  Only EF lenses will work on the full frame camera bodies.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

ScottyP
Authority

A main general purpose lens.

The 15-85 probably makes sense, as on a crop body it takes you through the entire 50-85mm ideal portrait range (adjusted down from the FF 85-135 portrait range) and it also gets you wide enough at 15mm for landscape and architecture.  For a little better IQ and larger brighter aperture you could go with the 17-55 f/2.8, though it has a bit less reach and costs a bit more.

 

A low light lens.  

I would supplement the general purpose lens with one large aperture lens for low light and shallow DOF/bokeh.  For general duty use on a crop frame I'd suggest a 24mm or a 35mm, either Canon or a Sigma Art. Or for portraits on crop I'd suggest a 50mm. 

 

No telephoto.

You didn't mention needing a telephoto so I don't recommend wasting good money to squeeze one in just for the "coverage".  A "gap" is just fine.  You don't need every possible millimeter covered. You do want good glass covering the 3 or 4 focal lengths most used for what you shoot 

 

That's it to start.

I agree it would be better to have 2 good lenses than 3 low quality lenses. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

2ndaryInsanity
Apprentice
Thank ya'll so much. This has been very helpful.

So far I don't care for any of the suggestions given.  But that is what makes us all different, doesn't it?

 

Saturday I am going on a Disney shoot with a 150+ teenagers.  I am taking three lenses.  They are m, ...

EF 8-15mm f4L, EF 24-70mm f2.8L II and the EF 70-200mm f2.8L II.

 

But before anyone can recommend lenses for you, I need to know what camera you have and exactly your goal as a photographer.  Throwing lens models out without that knowledge is useless.  That is why I told you what I was taking in my bag for this job.  Plus does the person doing the recommendation actually use or own the recommendations?  Most times, no, they don't.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

So far I don't care for any of the suggestions given.  But that is what makes us all different, doesn't it?

 

Saturday I am going on a Disney shoot with a 150+ teenagers.  I am taking three lenses.  They are m, ...

EF 8-15mm f4L, EF 24-70mm f2.8L II and the EF 70-200mm f2.8L II.

 

But before anyone can recommend lenses for you, I need to know what camera you have and exactly your goal as a photographer.  Throwing lens models out without that knowledge is useless.  That is why I told you what I was taking in my bag for this job.  Plus does the person doing the recommendation actually use or own the recommendations?  Most times, no, they don't.


I didn't make any specific recommendations.  In fact, I pointedly did not do so, because I do not know what camera the OP is using.  I answered the first question posed, and described what lenses own and why I chose them, just like you did.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

"... that is what makes us all different, doesn't it?"

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

So far I don't care for any of the suggestions given.  But that is what makes us all different, doesn't it?

 

Saturday I am going on a Disney shoot with a 150+ teenagers.  I am taking three lenses.  They are m, ...

EF 8-15mm f4L, EF 24-70mm f2.8L II and the EF 70-200mm f2.8L II.

 

But before anyone can recommend lenses for you, I need to know what camera you have and exactly your goal as a photographer.  Throwing lens models out without that knowledge is useless.  That is why I told you what I was taking in my bag for this job.  Plus does the person doing the recommendation actually use or own the recommendations?  Most times, no, they don't.


I pretty much agree with Ernie, particularly his last paragraph. All lenses are aimed at a specific purpose, and one that serves that purpose well on, say, a full-frame camera may be quite inappropriate for the same purpose on an APS-C camera.

 

Note that Ernie is preparing for an "event" photo shoot. With the possible exception of the 8-15, he has armed himself with lenses designed for event photography (specifically, indoor event photography, or he might have gotten away with lighter, smaller, cheaper f/4 lenses).If he carries two full-frame cameras (as event photographers often do), he'll have continuous coverage from 24mm (wide angle) to 200mm (telephoto), which is exactly what one wants for the situations he's likely to encounter. And he'll pay for it too, because that gear is HEAVY, and its weight will seem to double or triple as he tramps around a theme park all day. So if he were photographing landscapes instead, he might carry his 24-105mm f/4L and quite possibly a 16-35mm f/4L, which he likely also owns. And maybe just one camera body. The lighter, smaller gear would serve him well as he hiked through the woods or across the Kansas plain.

 

So what lenses you should get, especially when your budget is tight and you can't just load up for every possible situation, depend exquisitely on where and how you expect to use them most. Tell us that, and we can probably be of more help.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

I can get by with 2 plus a crop body to add extra reach. Full frame body, Sigma 12-24 & Canon 28-300 L IS. Covers just about anything I'd shoot.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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