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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,040
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?


@KaraBee wrote:
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!

Don't neglect to pick the brains of the professional photographers with whom you've worked. Because they're in a position to assess your interests and skill set better than we are, their advice is likely to be, on the whole, better than ours.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎01-19-2014

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

[ Edited ]

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.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

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
VIP
Posts: 11,503
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

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.”

 

Right on! I used and use these two lenses 90% of the time whether shooting a job or for hobby. I own some forty lenses but these pair are the “go to” lenses.

 

I would advise against any of the menses you have. I would either stop using them or see if you can find someone to buy them. You could keep the 50mm f1.4 but personally I never use one except for hobby stuff.

 

You can not imagine how much your equipment defines you. Oh sure, you can take pictures with a Rebel but so can everybody. And that is the point! I am nearing 70 and have been at this for many years. Every so often a client will ask what equipment I use. If I said Rebel, the reply is. “Well uncle Bob has a Rebel and he will shoot it for free.” If you are serious about going 'pro', do it. But go pro not half way. But remember you have to have and offer something that people can not do for themselves or get done for nothing. Why should I hire you? You have equipment that Walmart sells. So you say, you have a good eye. Right, apparently not good enough to get top drawer tools.

 

A buddy of mine had a potential client come in to his studio for an interview and after a while she left. But as she was leaving she said, “I thought you were using professional equipment.” Closed the door never to return. We couldn't figure out what she meant as his 5D Mk III was on a tripod with the Canon 85mm f1.2 L lens on it. But I noticed he had a Tamron lens cap on it and that is what she saw. Coincidence? Who knows but he lost that sale.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎08-11-2014

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

Like I said, I am going to a 5D mii really soon which is why I asked for everyone's opinion on the lens. I don't have a lot of business, actualluy pretty close to none, the ones I do now at only friends and family, but I have real gigs coming up within the next few months which is why I'm upgrading. I am not going half way, I am young, working almost full time job about to get a raise and promotion, working a bunch of side jobs JUST so I can get this thing started. I can't afford tens of thousands of equipment at the moment. I can afford a 5D mii, and I can afford about five hundred dollars on a lens right now. But I do have to worry about payments, insurance, build up my savings so i wont go in debt, bills, etc. I can invest MAYBE $1000 dollars at the end of each month. which is my plan to invest whatever extra into this while hoping to build up customers and business to put towards it as well. I have everything planned out, i just need to work out what I need to invest in FIRST then build up the rest. And I AM dropping my cheap lenses, again which is why I'm asking for everyone's suggestions.

Thank you for your comments about the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 though.

Have a nice day.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,040
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?


@ebiggs1 wrote:

A buddy of mine had a potential client come in to his studio for an interview and after a while she left. But as she was leaving she said, “I thought you were using professional equipment.” Closed the door never to return. We couldn't figure out what she meant as his 5D Mk III was on a tripod with the Canon 85mm f1.2 L lens on it. But I noticed he had a Tamron lens cap on it and that is what she saw. Coincidence? Who knows but he lost that sale.


I see your point, but there may be a good side to that experience: Someone who is so easily influenced by superficialities may not turn out to be an ideal client.

 

Another side to it is that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Maybe your friend could have made a point of mentioning the importance of having the correct equipment and said a few words about how he goes about selecting his.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎08-11-2014

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

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!
VIP
Posts: 11,503
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

"I can't afford tens of thousands of equipment at the moment."

 

Go find a good used, or new white box, 24-105mm f4 L.  It will make a great starting place.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 11,503
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

" Maybe your friend could have made a point of mentioning the importance of having the correct equipment ..."

Bob,

She did not let him get that far.  We had just entered his studio.  And, yes, this is probably an extreme case but it does indicate people do notice you.  When you are a 'pro', I mean you put groceries on the table with your camera, everything about you is important.  People have to want to hire you.  You don't wear blue jeans to a $2000 wedding shoot and you don't use a Rebel with the kit lens.

It is the same thing.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎08-11-2014

Re: upgrading, what lens should I buy?

That's exactly what I'm doing. I can't afford brand new and I know I can find really nice equipment in really good shape on eBay or craigslist. But I need to know what lens before I actually seriously consider something. But I have plenty of suggestions from everyone else now, so thanks anyway.
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