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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-12-2013

...yet another lens question!

Hi y'all, my question is, I'm saving for a L series lens but, not sure what exactly I should get.  I take photos of my kids or places that my family and I go to, sometimes events.  Though, I've been requested to take pics of small weddings, sweet 16's, senior pics and so on....I've been using the 50mm f1.8 for most shots but, wanting something better for myself and my "customers".  So, knowing what I use my T3i mainly for, what do you fine pple suggest I invest into, the 35mm f1.4, 17-40mm f4 or 135mm f2?  I know they are all different, prime, ultra wide zoom and telephoto.....thanks for any suggestions or tips whether they are the three i listed or not Smiley Happy

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 849
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: ...yet another lens question!

Go for the 24-70 F2.8

Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: ...yet another lens question!

You really couldn’t have picked a more different group of lenses to compare  Smiley Happy

First things first, I wouldn’t go into this with L envy.  Get a lens that fits your needs, not just because it has a red ring.  The L lenses are made to fit a full frame camera, so the zoom ranges may be a little less than optimal for your camera.  And as I discuss below, I really recommend having a decent zoom before you stock up on primes. 


Next, I’d cross the 17-40 off the list.  That’s made for an ultra-wide on a full frame camera.  Either go for something like the 24-70 recommend above, or an EF-S lens.  You’ll be able to get a lot more for your money with EF-S, the only down side is that if you eventually change to Full Frame you won’t be able to use that lens.


I love primes, but I would recommend first getting a decent zoom lens that covers a general focal length first.  I don’t use my zoom much, because I love how sharp my primes are, but it’s nice to have that flexibility when you need it.   If you go EF-S there are a lot of choices.  I’d look at the Canon 17-55 (which doesn’t have a large range, but gives you a constant 2.8 aperture), the 15-85 (large range, variable aperture), or the Sigma 17-70 (decent range, decent variable aperture). 


When you’re ready for a new prime it’s time to decide if you like wide or tele.  Nobody can tell you which is right for you, they’re all great lenses. 35mm is a classic.  85/1.8 is cheap and offers flexibility between crop and full frame, Sigma 85/1.4 offers fantastic performance at half the cost of the Canon L, 135/2 gives you great reach and performance, if you have enough light for it.  Choices, choices…  welcome to Pandora’s box.



Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: ...yet another lens question!

I agree with everything Skirball just said.

The 17-40 is just not a very logical lens for a crop camera. It only makes sense on a FF camera. O. FF, it is a very useful wide angle zoom. On a crop it is not very wide at all, and its upper limit at 40 makes no sense. Unless you know you are going full frame soon, there is not a very good argument to be made in favor of that lens.

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"?
Forum Elite
Posts: 14,341
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: ...yet another lens question!

By far and away the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM is the best buy in a Rebel type lens.

This lens has and does it all.

I basically don't like third party lenses of any brand but there are a few that are truly great. (very few) This Sigma is one of them. Beware of the remaining Sigma's as the list of great becomes very short.

The Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM acts like a 70-200mm on you camera.

Add a Canon 35mm f2 or the Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM "Art" (another great) lens and you will have the "start" of a fine camera bag..

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