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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:25 AM   #1
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If you could only use 3 lenses....

....what would you choose and why?

I guess this would apply in the 7D forum, but since I'm getting a T2i/550d I posted here instead.

Since I am new to the HDSLR front, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:36 AM   #2
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The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, 16-50mm f/2.8, and 50-150mm f/2.8 would make a nice set. However, I've read that only the 11-16mm is a great lens, as the others often have significant chromatic aberration. And none of them have image stabilization. You can get all three for around $1600 total.

If money were no object, then the best selection would be the Tokina 11-16mm, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L. They are simply the best zoom lenses available for the Canon EF system.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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When I bought the 7D I asked myself the same questions. I got:
50mm 1.8 (Because the following lenses weren't going to be available for 2 weeks)
Sigma 30mm 1.4 A wonderful lens which was my favorite. Great in low light, great DOF.
Canon 17-55mm 2.8 Giving me some more room to shoot with it was also a good walk around lens for photography.
Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 which was WIDE. Great lens when you're inside and everyone is close.

L glass is more expensive, but if you ever do decide to go to full-frame, selling your lenses can take time (Unless you keep your crop lens camera as backup or second camera)
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:01 PM   #4
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You must not like to shoot with long focal lengths, evidently...

Tip: Buy all of your lenses used. I can think of no good reason why you would buy brand new lenses, unless you're concerned about the warranty. Great lenses will hold their value, so if you ever sell them, you will have gotten a "free rental."
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:06 PM   #5
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Without knowing what you're shooting, it's hard to know what to suggest.

I have the Tokina 11-16/2.8 and it's a great lens, but not necessary most of the time - I got mine more for stills than video. By the summer, you'll have 3 choices for a 17-50/2.8 with IS/OS/VC from Canon, Sigma and Tamron. A possible 17-50/2 from Canon would definitely be the best bet, but the pricetag will be hefty. A 17-50 is good enough for 90% of shooting needs in good light and 17mm is often wide enough.

I would consider a fast prime more important due to the limitations with shutter speed, you might be stuck shooting 1/60 due to the type of lighting, so a Sigma 30/1.4 or even 20/1.8 would be much higher on my list - I have the 30/1.4. If the Canon 17-50/2 shows up soon, that would solve a lot of problems.

With that, 90% of your indoor and outdoor shooting should be taken care of with just 2 lenses. Then you have to figure out whether you want to go a lot wider or longer.

With tele's, the sky and your wallet is the limit. I'd be very happy with an EF1200/5.6 :) , but I have 70-200/2.8, 120-300/2.8, 400/5.6 and 50-500 and 1.4x and 2x TC's. A good possiblity here might be the EF100/2.8 Macro as your only tele, it's a lot longer than the 17-50, and you'd have a very good macro and it's pocketable.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fei Meng View Post
I can think of no good reason why you would buy brand new lenses, unless you're concerned about the warranty. Great lenses will hold their value
But to be fair, it's a bit like Dedo lamps and great tripods: second-hand ones are very rare and usually beaten up or fatally flawed. You can get lucky, but you can also miss out great opportunities by waiting.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss
But to be fair, it's a bit like Dedo lamps and great tripods: second-hand ones are very rare and usually beaten up or fatally flawed. You can get lucky, but you can also miss out great opportunities by waiting.
I don't think that that's fair when we're talking about lenses. Rarely will you find a second-hand lens that's "beaten up or fatally flawed," especially if you use a reputable dealer like KEH. And we're talking about quality lenses here. Do you really think that any photographer who cares about his hobby or trade would not take good care of his lenses?

Modern AF lenses are a lot more fragile/delicate than old manual lenses. But one should still note that the old manual lenses in rough physical condition have been shown to perform as well as brand new manual lenses of the same models.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:42 PM   #8
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After exhaustive research... I picked up a EF 50mm f1.4 from Canon which is GREAT and not a ton of money. Next on my list is the 70-200 f/4 L from Canon (About $650 with no IS) and last will be the 24-70 f2.8 L from Canon...the beast. Total around $2500...OMG! I'm spending WHAT?

This package will give me the DOF, general shooting, and long throw zoom. If I need wide (which would be the 4th lens) Tokina 11-16/2.8 though my HMC-150 provides me with super wide angle AND my continuous 200 minutes of recording with pro audio inputs! The T2i will be for the "beauty" shots!

Choosing was especially difficult as I shoot such a wide variety of stuff. Thankfully, there's a great camera store that rents nearby!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 09:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fei Meng View Post
The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, 16-50mm f/2.8, and 50-150mm f/2.8 would make a nice set. However, I've read that only the 11-16mm is a great lens, as the others often have significant chromatic aberration. And none of them have image stabilization. You can get all three for around $1600 total.

If money were no object, then the best selection would be the Tokina 11-16mm, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L. They are simply the best zoom lenses available for the Canon EF system.
That's a good choice. My budget collection is Tokina 11-16mm, Canon 17-40mm F4 L, Canon Mk1 50MM f1.8 (Metal bayonet), Canon 70-200 F4 L and Canon 1.4x. Three good lenses one cheapy and a converter. I also have the old $50 Canon 18-55mm non IS kit lens for macro use only.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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3 Lenses only

I would like to have the following 3 lenses :

a. Tokina fisheye 10-16mm (to make boring landscape more interesting)
b. Canon 24mm 2.8f (to shoot everything mid-range including indoors, people conversations and close-ups)
c. Canon 55-250mm (to shoot subjects that are too far away such as animals and sports)

There is no need for more lenses as there is not much time for me to change lenses during actual shooting.

Regards.

Kenneth
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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If you don't want to change lenses, rather than a 24/2.8, I'd go for the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. It's just as fast as the prime, has IS and covers the most important range for filming people in normal situations.

If you primarily shoot sports and can get up close, a fisheye/super-wide and long zoom are exactly what you want.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #12
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Is there such a lens where you can use for all applications, super-wide, Zoom, close up and have a f/1.8 or so for low lighting, (EF not EF-s)even if it is a high price, that will be a lens that stays on your camera all the time.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #13
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There are some broadcast lenses for 2/3" cameras that just about fit that description.

Here's a field lens that has a 100x zoom(!) from 9.3 to 930mm. Talk about reach!

Canon

Or, if you want something a bit wider, you can start at 6.5mm and go to 180mm. From 6.5 to 123mm, it's an f/1.5 lens. With macro, the minimum focus distance is 10mm.

Canon

BTW, both lenses have autofocus. I'm not sure on the wider studio lens, but I hear that the AF in the field lens was developed to track a Formula 1 car accelerating down the straightaway toward the camera.

If you have to ask the price...
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #14
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Reduced to 2 lenses

Ah! I almost forgot. I have been thinking of getting a 17-50/55mm lens. Now I have a Canon 24mm and a 55-250mm and I will buy a Tokina 10-16 fisheye soon.

A 17-55 2.8f IS lens is a great lens choice. Even the 3-rd party lens companies have similar products. But it is just a bit expensive and a bit too heavy.

If I reduce the lens combinations to 2 only, I may choose the following :

a. Canon 15-85mm / Tokina 12-24mm (for everything from super-wide to mid-range shoots)

&

b. Canon 55-250mm (for things that I cannot get too close such as animals in the wild, sports events & stage performances)

(p.s.. a 24mm without IS is ok in most situations and I enjoy it light weight)

Regards,

Kenneth

Last edited by Kenneth Tong; March 4th, 2010 at 10:44 PM. Reason: wrong spelling
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Old March 5th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #15
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If I could only have 3 lenses I'd go with the 16-35mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2.

I'd even be tempted to go with the 24mm f/1.4 over the 16-35mm f/2.8. That lens is the absolute jam. I'd also consider the 85mm f/1.2 over the 135mm f/2.

Telephotos on DSLRs are a limited use deal. They induce Jello readily, but I've had lots of luck with the 200mm f/2.8 in controlled situations.
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