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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-20-2013

Should I upgrade lenses?



In lenses, I have the 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and paid about $1,000.00 for it and I have the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.


So my question is....


I am in the process of building up my arsenal to get into wedding and portrait photography. So I went to a local camera shop to upgrade my 24-105 for the 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM to gain the extra f/stops for lower light conditions and bokeh (which I love).


However, the camera shop would only give me $500.00. That is a spread of around $1,700.00 for the upgrade, kind of high for a few f/stops - I thought and the salesman agreed and said he would not do it himself, the lens I have now is a great lens he said - albeit a few less f/stops than what I want.


So with the steep price of upgrading for what I am gaining and losing in terms of 35mm (105-70) is it worth it? Or should I put that money towards a second/backup camera and perhaps a f/1.2 prime lens such as the 50 or 85 for the extra speed and bokeh?


Other equipment I have


580ex ll


All of your input will be greatly appreciated and like most people money is not limitless!




Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,353
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Should I upgrade lenses?

That's a tough one to predict since many shoot weddings differently. I think there are a few wedding photog's here so you may get some answers, but they may differ. Another idea might be the 16-35 f2.8, either the original or the new mark 2 version.  

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Should I upgrade lenses?

Totally a personal choice.  The 24-105 is capable enough for wedding photography, and plenty use it.  That said, the 24-70 II is far superior and since you already have 70 - 105 covered with a great piece of glass...


I think the decision comes down to, how often to you shoot for yourself?  The 24-105 is a terrific workhorse, I’ll often travel with just that on my camera as I know it’ll get me through a large majority of situations.  If I’m running off to a b-day party or something I’ll usually just toss that on and call it good.  So the question is, is it worth selling for $500?

But the 24-105 will work in the mean time.  More importantly, I wouldn’t shoot a wedding without a backup camera.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,827
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Should I upgrade lenses?

It's a bit more common to find that particular lens selling as "used" because it's the "kit" lens with higher end bodies -- and there are a lot of people who will get it and then want to upgrade.


If you sell the lens yourself (rather than trading it in) you'll get closer to $750 for it.  You can often find the origin EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (not the "II") for about half the price of the "II" (usually around $1000 instead of the $2k+ that the "II" costs.)


The "II" is a tiny bit sharper.  The original uses 77mm filter threads (so the same threads work for both the 24-70 and the 70-200) but the II uses 82mm filter threads.  Also the original is a "reverse zoom" and the "II" is a normal zoom.  (On a "reverse zoom" the lens actually gets wider as you see the end of it extend.)  I prefer everything about the original EXCEPT that the II is a bit sharper.


You've got the 70-200mm to cover ceremony shots and that's where you basically can't ever use flash photography.  When you're able to be close to the bride (in the working range of the 24-70) that's usually when you *can* use flash.   You can also buy a nice prime for low light situations and gorgeous bokeh.


Keep in mind that not too many years ago, very few photographers would use zoom lenses for professional wedding photography because they couldn't compete with a prime on focal ratio or image qualtiy.  And those weddings shot entirely with a single prime lens with a "normal" angle of view turned out stunning.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-31-2012

Re: Should I upgrade lenses?

[ Edited ]

Having moved from a 60D to a 5D3 last November, I personally think your next move should be to get either a 6D or 5D3. 


Three reasons:

Full frame - the 60D is a fantastic camera, but it isn't full frame.  As a result, your L lenses will require you to be a bit further back from the subject(s) to get them in the frame.  For what it's worth, I have a 16-35 f2.8L ii that I used when I needed 'wider' on my 60D.  On the 5D3, the 24-105 f4L is quite 'wide enough' for me.  It's really got to be cramped for me to mount the 16-35 these days.


Fantasic low light ISO speeds.  I was comfortable shooting at ISO 1600 on my 60D, and used 3200 very sparingly, if I had to.  But on the 5D3, I just did some ISO 8000 with near noise-free results.  At ISO 6400, I barely need any noise correction.  The 6D is reputed to be a tad better in the low light department. 


Absolute dead-on AF on the 5D3.  My only criteria for dropping $3K+ to upgrade (net, after selling the 60D a month later) was AF and ISO.  It was VERY MUCH WORTH EVERY PENNY OF THE COST!  I can only say I should have upgraded sooner than last November!


For what it's worth, I do the bulk of my shooting at indoor and outdoor church events - no weddings.  Much of my work is with the bracket-mounted 580EX ii turned off as I prefer available light shooting.  Being that it's at church events, the quiet shutter mode is much appreciated.  I turned off the focus-lock beep as well.  Having the Micro Focus Adjust capability on the 5D3 that lacks on the 60D was the 2nd 'freebie' that I really appreciate, as well.


As for lenses, I have the above mentioned 16-35 and 24-105s, and an 80-200 f2.8L 'black drainpipe'.  That way I have overlapping zoom ranges as a means to reduce lens changes.  I also have the 135 f2L when I want absolutely jaw-dropping thin DOF results...although my 'bazooka' (as I think of the 80-200) is every bit as sharp and bokeh-rendering great as the 135...even at 200!  I think I'm covered for just about anything except wildlife and macro photography.


Lastly, I'd add, keep the 60D as your second camera.  That way you'll have fewer lens changes and have the safety net of having a backup should the 5D3/7D suddenly act up.  Although mine never has. 



Posts: 11,966
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Should I upgrade lenses?

[ Edited ]

I shoot lots of weddings even though I am now retired.

Let's get a couple things straight first. The Canon 70-200mm f2.8 II is a fantastic lens with no peers. Possibly the best 70-200mm made or even ever made. I consider it absolutely necessary.

Second I use my 24-105mm f4 about 80% of the time shooting weddings. I use it on a 1D Mk III most of the time and there is one on my 5D Mk II. The 70-200mm f2.8 II is on my 7D and sits at the back of the church on a Manfrotto tripod.

I, also, generally use one or two assistants. A small to medium wedding is 1500 to 2000+ shots. And larger weddings can go over 5000.


I would not trade off the 24-105mmf4 for a 24-70mm f2.8. You realize you are talking one stop not stops. But $500 bucks trade in for a 24-105mm f4 is very good and very high in my opinion. Because you can buy brand new ones for $7 to $8 hundred bucks, from people's kits, all day long. 


If I were you, just starting out, I would get another 24-105mm f4 and a FF body. (5D Mk III with kit lens 24-105mm f4 Smiley Very Happy) Whoever mentioned backups is spot on. What ever can go wrong, will go wrong. Make sure you have extra batteries and CF cards, too.


Most of all don't pay much attention to the pixel peepers!

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