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DSLR and other system camera discussion The place on DPNow.com for discussing Digital Single Lens Reflex camera issues and up and coming mirrorless or SLT system cameras.

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  #1  
Old 17-02-07
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Whats the best Lens?

Before you shell out a ***** load of dosh on a new lens its always best to ask other photographers there opinions.

Sure there are lots of reviews in magazines and all that, but I would just like to no what type of lenses you guys are using for your shots, Im interested!

So as a small little project, here is your chance to give us your opinions on the lenses you have, and if you would recommend them.

Categorising your lens would be helpful to us amatuers, ie landscape, portrait etc.........

I cant wait for the results

cheers
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  #2  
Old 17-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ash View Post
Before you shell out a ***** load of dosh on a new lens its always best to ask other photographers there opinions.

Sure there are lots of reviews in magazines and all that, but I would just like to no what type of lenses you guys are using for your shots, Im interested!

So as a small little project, here is your chance to give us your opinions on the lenses you have, and if you would recommend them.

Categorising your lens would be helpful to us amatuers, ie landscape, portrait etc.........

I cant wait for the results

cheers
Ash.
I'm having a lot of fun with the 7-14 ultrawide zoom I have at the moment (14-28 equivalent).

But I'd be lost without my 14-54 (28-108 equiv).

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  #3  
Old 17-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Thanks Ian, Im not very good at this am I, I forgot to mention it would help if you told us your camera!

And also why you like the lens
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Old 17-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

I have 3 lenses Ash. All are Canon L series, and this has been my policy in recent years, that I will no longer compromise my photography by using non Canon or budget makes and models. For me at least I feel the policy has paid dividends. The lenses are

17-40mm f.4.................. great for landscapes and areas with restricted space, even with an aps sensor and its crop factor you still get most of what you want in the shot. This lens is relatively light compared with the other two, but at f.8 gives a stunning result, esp as DOF is fantastic. I've sometimes wished for a wider max aperture though.

24-70mm f.2.8............... my 'standard' walkabout lens usually, though this one is heavy, and with the 1D and a flashgun on you have a substantial bit of kit round your neck. However this lens gives stunning results, and though there is overlap with the 17-40, what I often love is the quality at 2.8 often allowing me some creative DOF effects. The 70mm end often pulls in enough to avoid having to get too close.

70-200mm f2.8............... the 'magic drainpipe' (or was that the older 80-200 f.4) This is the non IS version of the Canon 'Great White' To be honest i couldn't justify the extra 500 for the IS. I have to say though that I've had a lotmore keepers with this lens than I ever got with a 70-300 f3.5-4 IS lens I had before. The quality if the image with this lens is just sublime, giving wonderful contrast and bokeh to shots using the wider aperture. The 200mm end of this lens pulls in most things for me and often gives me that creative perspective of things you just don't get with a wider lens and getting nearer. If I need any extra reach I put on the 1.4x extender, but you lose a stop in doing so without any loss in quality.

One thing I've learnt over the years though is that good glass is about more than just getting pin sharp results. There are other attributes afforded by getting quality lenses IMO but I think people must see and learn this for themselves. Suffice to say I'm very happy with my lenses

Oh and I don't think there is such a thing as a 'Best Lens'
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Old 17-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Like Ian, my main lens is a 14-54mm f2.8 (in old money that's 28–108mm). I'd hazzard a guess that Ian's is also an Olympus. Mine's used on an E-1.

This lens virtually covers the range I had on my film cameras (4 prime lenses covering 24mm to 100mm). It's also a bonus that the Olympus is really good quality and is built like a tank and is weather sealed. I also have a 40–150mm (80-300mm) and a 35mm (70mm) macro.

I do miss having something wider than the 28mm equivilant. The 7–22mm is a bit too rich for my pocket, but I'm considering the 8mm fisheye or the 11-22mm. I wonder if this latter lens is too close to my exisiting 14-54mm?
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Old 18-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Eyup stephen, it sounds like you have a nice set of glass there. I am a bit surrprised that you dont have anything bigger than the 200 mili.

I currently have the sony kit lens, 28-105 sigma & 70-300 sigma. I am looking to upgrade my general walkabout lens to the 28-70 ex sigma, as I feel this will give me the speed and a nice focal range to play with. The 18-50 ex would be the obvious choice but I dont really feel the need to go so wide, also would restrict that little bit on the tele side, and it is 100 quid more I would rather get a dedicated wide lens for landscape work.

I would love to set off on the right foot and get a pro camera like the d2x for example but my piggybank just wont stretch that far at the moment, its frustrating coz I no that the money Im spending on new glass for my sony could go towards a decent body, and the glass I want to get now wont fit the pro body Im working up to. Ahh well there always ebay

Anyway thanks for your indepth review of your lenses and I hope a few more posters will let us in to there secret camera bag and tell us what they use.

Its been interesting
cheers
Ash
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Old 18-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Thanks for your input dtd, a 1:1 macro lens is also something I would like, so many lenses and such little money
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Old 18-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Ash, there are loads of mega-quality lenses out there, however it's more important to identify the type of shooting you do and the limitations (if there are any) of your current lenses. Then you're better positioned to determine which types and models to go for. Certainly it's better to spend your hard-earned cash on good glass than it is to keep upgrading your camera body, so bear that in mind.

Like Stephen I use Canon DSLRs (a 1D Mk2 and a 5D) along with a selection of lenses, from primes through to zooms and telephoto zooms. However I reckon a proprietory 50mm prime is hard to beat - Nikon and Canon both offer a basic (and admittedly cheap-feeling) 50mm f1.8 for around 80, but thanks to the simplicity of the manufacture, they offer almost unrivalled sharpness and speed when compared to even some very expensive zooms.

Nikon and Canon then offer a 50mm f1.4, both of which cost around 250 give or take a few quid. These are better made, weightier and optically superior to their cheaper brethren, but the key difference is the number of aperture blades, which in short means that you get a higher-quality, smoother out-of-focus background (often referred to as bokeh) than you do with the f1.8 versions.

All that said, I have the cheap f1.8 and it's regularly used for big commercial jobs and almost everything else. It's fast, light and thanks to it's cheap purchase price, it's emminently replaceable should you drop it or er....... spill beer on it. Perfect
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Old 18-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ash View Post
Eyup stephen, it sounds like you have a nice set of glass there. I am a bit surrprised that you dont have anything bigger than the 200 mili.

I currently have the sony kit lens, 28-105 sigma & 70-300 sigma. I am looking to upgrade my general walkabout lens to the 28-70 ex sigma, as I feel this will give me the speed and a nice focal range to play with. The 18-50 ex would be the obvious choice but I dont really feel the need to go so wide, also would restrict that little bit on the tele side, and it is 100 quid more I would rather get a dedicated wide lens for landscape work.

I would love to set off on the right foot and get a pro camera like the d2x for example but my piggybank just wont stretch that far at the moment, its frustrating coz I no that the money Im spending on new glass for my sony could go towards a decent body, and the glass I want to get now wont fit the pro body Im working up to. Ahh well there always ebay

Anyway thanks for your indepth review of your lenses and I hope a few more posters will let us in to there secret camera bag and tell us what they use.

Its been interesting
cheers
Ash
Hi Ash, I'm unsure why you should be suprised about me not having anything longer than 200mm, though I did say I had a 1.4x extender. With that attached I get 280mm which with the 1D is eqiv to 364mm and this of course is over 7x magnification, s'nuf for me and frankly I don't often need it.

Now if you are hankering after that Pro body, I have to assume you mean a Nikon or Canon. It seems to me then that you should stop buying Sony fit lenses now, put it all on Ebay and get yourself a low to mid range N or C body now. Then accumulate their glass in readiness for when the boat comes in and you get the one your really want.

I know its all wishful thinking, but that would be the sensible plan.
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Old 19-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Hi Ash,

Like Ian and DTD, I use Olympus equipment. I have the E-500 and the two kit lenses that came with it. One is 14-45 mm and the other 40-150 mm. I recently added the 50 mm F/2 macro lens which also makes a great portrait lens. I'm happy with the kit lenses for now. It would be nice to have another lens at the wide end.
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Old 19-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Hi Ash

Like Stephen I only use Canon glass but my pockets aren't as deep as his so I can't afford the "L" range.

I use a 350D with:

EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro, great for both macro and portraits
EF-S 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM, a significant improvement over the kit lens (well my particular kit lens at least)
EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM, a noticeable improvement over my previous EF 75-300mm.

I find this gives me more than enough focal length range and the IS is a useful option, especially on the longer zoom.

I'm happy with the results from all of three lenses (until I can afford go full-frame probably ) and the only other lens I might consider buying is the Canon 50mm f1.4 or f1.8. The f1.8 is a reasonable price but probably too close to the 60mm f2.8 I already have to justify buying it. Mind you, I remember the 50mm f1.4 I had on my Canon FTb a few years back - what a lens that was!

I sometimes wish I had a wider maximum aperture on the long zoom and I still get annoyed at having to pay extra for the lens hoods. In fact I didn't buy the "official" lens hood for the 70-300 opting for a 5 rubber one instead. Works well, the length can be adjusted if you feel the need and, added bonus, you don't have to stick your fingers inside the hood to rotate circular polarising filters - just turn the whole hood!
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Old 20-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

the lens that gets the most use from me is the 70-200 2.8L (non IS) and was bought specifically for sports photography. i couldn't justify anything longer as the price, for what i do, was too prohibitive. i do have a couple of non canon extenders (1.4x and 2x) which are infrequently used. the 2.8 is rarely used for anything other than sport and isn't exactly a walkabout lens ;-)
other lenses are a 17-40 L for most other general stuff, a 50mm 1.8 (best lens you can possibly buy for the money) and a modified 18-55 kit lens (so it fits the 10d) which also gets used with a fisheye attachment. there are some other lenses dotted around which the better half uses on her camera, the 28-200 f3.5-5.6 getting the most use.

as bearface says, you need to know what you want to shoot then generally buy the glass to suit. i do very little with macro photography, so make do with close up filters rather than owning a specific macro lens.

i needed a good lens for rugby / rally - bought the 2.8L
i needed a good lens for architecture - bought the 17-40
i needed a good lens for portraits - bought the 50mm
i wanted a 'fun' lens - modified the 18-55 and slammed on the fisheye attachment
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  #13  
Old 22-02-07
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Re: Whats the best Lens?

Thanks for all your input, I think Ill hang fire with splashing out my dosh, and chew on it for a while, the sony is a great camera, but if Im to spend some money on some pro glass then I spoze it should be for a pro or semi pro body, which is of good build quality and last me for at least a couple of years.

Im gunna go to focus on imaging and see if I might pick up a bargain, by selling my sony and my lenses I think it will be a gud wedge off the price of a body. I can always sellotape my whisky tumbler on to the front to make a lens till I can afford one
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