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Old Jan 29, 2008, 7:15 PM   #1
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I'm still fairly new in DSLR photography but feel like I have progressed as far as my Tamron lenses will allow me. I'm shooting with a Canon Rebel XTi with the Opteka Battery Grip that will probably turn over to my girlfriend if I decide to pick up the 40D.

I've been looking steadily at the Sigma 10-20mm, Canon 17-40L, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, Canon 24-70 f2.8L, and Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS. I'm also looking at possibly getting the 40D in the near future. All of these purchases will be staggered of course. My girlfriend would put me 6 feet down if I got them all at once. :-) I would like to get most of this before the Fall trip to Yellowstone though

The reason for such a wide variety of lenses is because I do a lot of rail photography including volunteering at a railroad museum in Mineral, Washington. I like the idea of the Ultra-Wide to capture those tight in-cab experiences or those up close in your face images of the locomotive. I also take photos of friends and family as well and wouldn't mind myself dipping my feet into the amatuer modeling photography or even just school photography. I don't or rather can't see myself doing weddings or anything like that. I also like to shoot at concerts and landscapes.

To get a good feel for what I like doing, I have photos over on flickr.com ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_macster )

The 17-40L is one I've tossed around. I guess you would call this my general purpose walk around lens but justifying it's use is the most difficult aspect since I think I would use the 24-70 more often but the ability to go wide is something I also would cherish without swapping lenses all the time. (:idea: 17-70mm f2.8L ...Canon, you listening??)

The 24-70 would probably be the lens that would be attached to the camera at 80% of the time. Currently, my Tamron 28-70 is attached and is my main lens but it isn't wide enough or fast enough. I probably should haven't have tested the 17-40 which really started the desire to go really wide and solid.

My Tamron 70-200 is rarely pulled out, simply because I don't like the results from it. I know it could very well be from user error but since I CAN get some crisp shots but using the 70-200L a few times proven it is more likely the lens itself. The 70-200 f2.8L would be used for taking pictures of games, like baseball, indoor basketball and everything else inbetween.

The 50mm and 85mm will be used for friends and family portraits. I love the look of the 85mm... the backgrounds are so creamy and incredible that it's just a must have for any photographer looking to do those types of images IMO.

I guess what I am really looking for answer wise - is there a real justification to spend this much money on 6 lenses that may or may not be used all the time besides the 24-70? I've read umpteen reviews but it's really the users end that has me mostly curious, especially those that have been down my path.

Thanks for all of your help and if any clarification is needed, please, feel free to get a hold of me on here or at [email protected]

Thanks a lot!

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Old Jan 30, 2008, 7:53 AM   #2
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Well I can comment on the 85mm F1.8 lens it a great lens and I always get nice photos with it. Sorry can't really comment on the other lens.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 3:51 PM   #3
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I don't know what kind of budget you're looking at, but that is a lot of lenses for a lot of money. I have the 85 1.8 and it's a great lens, but for your trip to Yellowstone, I would get a super wideangle lens first. And if you're planning on getting the 70-200L 2.8, then I think you can certainly hold off with the 85mm.
So, in my opinion, get the 10-20 first as you will really get some great shots with it in Yellowstone, get the 24-70 which seems like a must for you, and then the 70-200L 2.8 for wildlife and or portraits. Those three lenses should cover just about every situation. You could always get the 18-55 IS kit lens which delivers surprisingly good results if you really think you need to fill the gap between 20 and 24 millimeters.

I tell you what though, those pictures you have on flickr are really nice, and it doesn't seem to me you need all that new glass. Maybe you should just get a Rebel XSi (assuming it will have a better sensor and better image quality) and the super wide angle. You could save a lot of money that way...
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 8:09 AM   #4
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For 40D, the most logical f2.8 choice is 17-55 IS. Imagine that beautiful evenings you can get with 1/4s handheld with low ISO. If you plan to go for full frame soon, then 24-70 is good choice.

I also vote for EF-S 10-22 and EF 70-200 f2.8L IS as soon as possible.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 1:07 PM   #5
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Thank you for the comments!

I think I am going to hold off on the 40D after talking it over with the misses, she more or less changed her position and got a Canon S5IS.

I think for now my tax refund will go towards the 70-200 f2.8L and I'm going to head to a local camera store to see if they have the Sigma 10-20mm and get that within the next few days. I'm really impressed the way Sigma has came around!

Good idea on the 17-55 IS! I didn't really think of about that at all but I'll take a good look at it. I'll miss a few MM difference but the gap would be minor enough for me to shrug off until the 24-70L comes around =)

L Glass is dangerest once you get it and use it :lol:

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Old Feb 3, 2008, 7:20 PM   #6
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Another vote for the 17-55 a much more usable day to day lens than the 24-70. I have the 24-105mm f4 L IS which I sometimes use on my 30D but a lot of the time it is not wide enough.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Another thing to consider is how much kit you want to carry around with you. I have a Tamrac Expedition 8 which is not enough to carry all my lenses, flashes and bodies so I also have an Expedition 7 as well.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The reason for all the lenses is I shoot sports/weddings and studio portraits so need a selection for all conditions. From experience I would suggest keeping your lenses to a minimum otherwise you will be carrying around a lot of kit all the time.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"If I were you I would go for the Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-55mm f2.8 and Canon or Sigma 70-200mm f2.8. This will give you good coverage and not too much glass to carry around. style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I have the following lenses, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5, Canon 24-105mm f4, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX HSM Macro, Canon 85mm f1.8, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 and the Sigma 1.4x and 2x TCs. I'm about to add the sigma 24-70mm f2.8 and replace the Sigma 10-20mm with theSigma12-24mm as I have a Canon 5D and also a 1D mkIII (this arrives this week....... really can't wait). So basically I have coverage for low light, high speed and also backup's of the main wedding lenses as I can't afford to lose that shot if something stops working. Trust me this is not a light load to carry
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