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upgrading, what lens should I buy?

KaraBee
Contributor
Photography started as a hobby for me, but now that I have built up the skills and experience I want to make it a profession. The camera I first bought was a Rebel T3, but I'm looking into upgrading to a Canon 5D mark ii. I have 3 lenses- a EF 50mm 1.4, the kit EF 70-200mm, and the kit EF-S 18-55mm. I really love using my 18-55mm but I know I won't be able to use it on the full frame camera. What's a good full frame lens that's kinda like the 18-55mm. I do have a budget and I love the canon EF 16-35mm, but that's way too expensive. I'm thinking about $500. Thanks!!
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

TCampbell
Elite

If you're looking to Canon brand lenses, there are four that come to mind, but two that you may be able to get for something near your price range.

 

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L is well out of the $500 range -- so that's probably out.

There's also the new EF 24-70mm f/4L version -- but even the f/4 version is well out of the price range.

 

The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM will be within the $500 price range even when purchased as "new".  I have not personally used this lens so you should check reviews.  

 

However... the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a lens whose "new" retail price is well outside your range, but you can often find good deals on this lens ... frequently just around $600 for a lens which is technically "used" but you can think of it as "new".  

 

The 24-105mm is the "kit" lens included when someone wants, say, a 5D III body + lens kit.  But when I bought my 5D III, I was unable to find a retailer who had the "body only" version of the packaging.  The retailer sold me the camera as a "body only" and removed the lens from the "kit" (so my packaging is for a body + lens kit) and then "white boxed" the lens to be sold separately.  If you look at the price of a 5D III "body only" versus a "body + lens" kit, the price difference (last time I checked... I don't happen to be looking right now) was only about $550.

 

So there's a lot of people who will sell this lens for about $600.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

View solution in original post

20 REPLIES 20


@KaraBee wrote:
Photography started as a hobby for me, but now that I have built up the skills and experience I want to make it a profession. The camera I first bought was a Rebel T3, but I'm looking into upgrading to a Canon 5D mark ii. I have 3 lenses- a EF 50mm 1.4, the kit EF 70-200mm, and the kit EF-S 18-55mm. I really love using my 18-55mm but I know I won't be able to use it on the full frame camera. What's a good full frame lens that's kinda like the 18-55mm. I do have a budget and I love the canon EF 16-35mm, but that's way too expensive. I'm thinking about $500. Thanks!!

The only one that springs to mind in that price range is the EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS. For around twice your budget (less if you buy it used), the 24-105mm f/4L is very good.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

TCampbell
Elite

If you're looking to Canon brand lenses, there are four that come to mind, but two that you may be able to get for something near your price range.

 

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L is well out of the $500 range -- so that's probably out.

There's also the new EF 24-70mm f/4L version -- but even the f/4 version is well out of the price range.

 

The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM will be within the $500 price range even when purchased as "new".  I have not personally used this lens so you should check reviews.  

 

However... the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a lens whose "new" retail price is well outside your range, but you can often find good deals on this lens ... frequently just around $600 for a lens which is technically "used" but you can think of it as "new".  

 

The 24-105mm is the "kit" lens included when someone wants, say, a 5D III body + lens kit.  But when I bought my 5D III, I was unable to find a retailer who had the "body only" version of the packaging.  The retailer sold me the camera as a "body only" and removed the lens from the "kit" (so my packaging is for a body + lens kit) and then "white boxed" the lens to be sold separately.  If you look at the price of a 5D III "body only" versus a "body + lens" kit, the price difference (last time I checked... I don't happen to be looking right now) was only about $550.

 

So there's a lot of people who will sell this lens for about $600.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

cale_kat
Mentor

@KaraBee wrote:
Photography started as a hobby for me, but now that I have built up the skills and experience I want to make it a profession. The camera I first bought was a Rebel T3, but I'm looking into upgrading to a Canon 5D mark ii. I have 3 lenses- a EF 50mm 1.4, the kit EF 70-200mm, and the kit EF-S 18-55mm. I really love using my 18-55mm but I know I won't be able to use it on the full frame camera. What's a good full frame lens that's kinda like the 18-55mm. I do have a budget and I love the canon EF 16-35mm, but that's way too expensive. I'm thinking about $500. Thanks!!

Probably not what you wanted to hear but I suggest you get some work first then follow up with the lens purchase. You'll know a lot more about what you want in a lens rather than having folks like me tell you, "get this!", without having the first clue of what you'll be shooting.

 

Good luck.

I've been doing photography for almost two years, have taken dozens of classes, worked personally with several photographers, I've learned the camera I have now inside and out, I have been doing people's pictures professionally with just my Rebel and the pictures have turned out phenomenal, and I have work lined up which is why I need to get a lens soon. And trust me, before I put that kind of money down I'll be renting and testing them to make sure it meets my needs. Thanks!

Your original post referenced the 70-200mm kit lens. I'm confused because I am not aware of any "kit" version of this lens or, more correctly, these lenses. Could you clarify this for me?

It might be 75-200mm, I dont have it with me at the moment to check. But it's just a cheaper lens that comes with the Rebels.

Okay, that helps.

 

Your kit:

 

Canon T3

EF 50mm f/1.4

EF-S 18-55 f/3.5 - 5.6

EF 75-300 f/4 - 5.6 III (a lens typically bundled with the T3)

 

Ideally, you'd love to have the 17-35mm (available in two constant aperture versions, f/4 and f/2.8) but want to limit your budget to $500. I suppose you're also factoring in the cost of a body, the 5D2, and the move to FF.

 

Tim, covers the range of lens when viewed without buget constraints. I like this approach because it suggests that if you can remain flexible with respect to where you budget your spending, you could look at some of the other options.

 

With the 5D2, you'll have to decide if you'll be keeping the EF 75-300. Canon's budget telephoto zoom has been popular but it lacks the image stabilization, improved auto focus system, and the UD element found in Canon's more recent 70-200 f/4-5.6 USM IS. Put simply, you won't get as many good shots with your existing lens.

 

You can definetly "wait and see" if your EF 75-300mm proves suitable for your purposes but I would not be surprised if you find yourself wishing you had image stabilization to improve the percentage of keepers. Most photographers appreciate the benefit of IS in handheld shooting situations* but it doesn't help on a tripod. You know your needs best. (Edit to clarify, handheld telephoto photography.)

 

In a year's time you might regret having bought the standard zoom, 17-35, 24-70, etc. You can do an awful lot with an EF 50mm f/1.4 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. The aforementioned lens being one that comes up consistently as a most valuable tool for FF photography. You'll probably thank me.

I do mostly portraits so I hardly ever use my telephoto lens which is why I am not upgrading that one quite yet. Thank you for your input! I appreciate it!

The "kit" lens would have been an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom... but often you could get a bundle which also included either a 55-250mm zoom or the 75-300mm zoom.  Those are both consumer-grade (low price entry) lenses.

 

Canon makes several 70-200mm "L" series zooms which optionally come in either f/2.8 vs. f/4 versions and you can get these either with or without image stabilization.  They are considered very high end lenses.

 

Wedding photographers will often refer to the 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 IS as "bread-n-butter" lenses because they are probably the two most commonly used lenses.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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