24mm 2.8 + 50 1.4 as travel lens set up ( full frame )

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by tdigi, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. I have a trip coming up and I some great lenses but I want to go as light as possible as photography will not be the focus. ( no pun ) Anyway I was considering a four thirds camera or something else like that but now I am thinking of picking up a 24 2.8 mainly for its small size, fairly now price etc. I figured it would be nice paired up with my 50 1.4 ( which I already own ) but would I be better off getting an old 24-85 zoom? I hesitate to purchase a 2.8 prime so just thinking about some other options. I thought about the 28 1.8 but I much prefer 24 to 28 and not really much else to choose from.
    The main goal here is I don't want a giant camera, I am traveling with kids so easier the better and I would have to assume a 5d2 with a 24/50 and maybe my 85 prime plus my little 270 flash should be much better then any four thirds camera or even a rebel or something along those lines.
  2. The advantage of the "Rebel" line is that lenses are interchangeable with your already existing cameras and that the camera are very light and small in the hand -- most especially with a 'normal' lens in the 24-35mm range and a short telephoto (e.g. your 50mm f/1.4). My personal favorite is a 35mm f/2, which also has the advantage of being one of Canon's bargains. The 28mm f/2.8 is still plenty fast on today's cameras and is even a little cheaper.
    It doesn't sound, however, like the cost is such a problem for you, so a nice new "Rebel T" series with video and a couple of nifty primes.
    If you want a zoom covering the wide to tele range, the new EF-S 15-85mm is swell, but of course would only work on the Rebel. I wonder if one of the EF zooms in this range (including the under-rated 28-135mm IS lens) doesn't defeat the whole idea of a small, light camera that is not too heavy nor intrusive.
    In your situation, what I would consider is packing my old Rebel XTi and the two primes (in my case the 35mm and the 50mm). On a trip back in August to visit my daughter, all I took was my old 20D and the EF-S 17-85 IS. Worked out very well and was much more convenient than my 5D with several zoom lenses. A couple of years earlier that was the only kit I took on a non-photo-oriented business trip to Puerto Rico. Again, had a great time and rarely missed anything else.
  3. My Nikon days from 25 years ago consisted of a 24/2.8 and an FE. Traveled exclusively with this setup for a decade. There were moments I wished the Nikkor 85/1.8 was also on the trips for portraits of my partner and museum figures.
    Today, it would be an inexpensive medium shoulder Kata-bag with a 5D body, 16-35/2.8 II and a PowerShot G12. A little heavier and bulkier than your setup, however.
  4. I traveled a good bit in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe with just a 20mm and a 50mm. I think a 24mm would have been better most times, but it's what I had. There were occasions to when I wanted something a little longer, like 85/100, but I did alright. JR
  5. Also I forgot to mention that I have the 24-85, and like it pretty well. It's the first zoom I've owned in a while; I think it'd be a good travel lens. JR
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    On a 5D, I would prefer 35/2 and 85/1.8 as a light weight two, Prime Lens kit.
    I like the 35 on the 5D, just because I do. I understand the logic of 24 but I wouldn't (and didn't) buy that particular (small 24) lens, because the (small) 35/2 is a stop faster.
    The 50 is nice and I use that lens a lot on the 5D: but for travelling the 85 just allows those tighter people shots and a bit more "difference" from the wide view of either, other Prime you choose.
    I am reminded of a quote on a recent thread, which seems applicable here, when you want light and minimalist, paraphrasing - to my eye, the 50 is too short and too long both at the same time.

    I don't do Flash that much - so I would likely be happy with a 5DMkII and 35/2, that's it. That's a pretty good "kids/family holiday" kit, IMO
  7. I always hear the 35 F2 is bad on full frame
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    . . . hi Tommy,
    I don't mind it, but others might complain about the edges wide open – I think the 28/1.8 is worse.
    I will see if I can find a few samples and post them for you – that might be on the weekend, though – stay tuned to the thread.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all you guys, for tomorrow? (I think).
  9. Thanks William you too.
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    . . . thanks but I gotta wait 'til Christmas Day to get my Roast Turkey... and I love Turkey
  11. Just to mix things up, here's another approach. Spend your "non-photography trip" days with just your 5D2 with the 50mm, but while it looks to all innocent bystanders that you have forsworn your photography addiction and are enjoying your vacation with your friends and family, secretly you are scouting locations. Then, at the crack of dawn, when the lighting is perfect, you come back to the spots you've planned out with your 5D2, tripod (yes, tripod) and some really exotic, expensive lens that can only be justified by that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have found. I think that the 24-TSE-II would be just that lens, but it could also be the 17-TSE-II or the 14-II. Doesn't really matter. You will have picked the location for the lens. You could rent the lens if you feel guilty spending all that dough now when you know you should be waiting for Santa!
  12. I can relate to this somehow - I used to have a film-based EOS SLR with the 24-85mm, a 24mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.8. I was carrying all of them with me in a small camera bag (Lowepro Nova Mini). I would find it very difficult to have to make a choice between the zoom and the primes. I would keep the zoom on most of the time, as wife or friends had to use the camera too, but I would use the primes whenever I felt more in control of the scene and wanted to take a more composed shot, or when the light levels were too low. Mind you, it would take a lot longer to change ISO with a film camera :)
    But Tommy, I think this is a question only you can answer, depending on what you are comfortable with. The point is, the 24-85, as well as the primes are about as small and light as you can get on a 5DII. If you feel OK with swapping primes and controlling your shots, go with the primes, but from the sounds of it (i.e. photography will not be the focus) you may be better with the zoom and more casual shooting. But if I were you I would take both options in the travel bag and perhaps leave some of them at home/hotel/base camp depending on the situation or the time of the day.
  13. 24-105/4 L IS
  14. To me, a 5DMKII and a couple of primes is not a big photo kit. Anything I can carry in a small shoulder bag, I can manage, during "non-photography" trips.
    If I want to go really minimal, I will carry the little Panasonic LX5.
  15. Interesting question. Back in March 2010 I went on holiday to Barcelona, and I took with me a 5D MkII plus a 24mm f/2.8, a 50mm f/1.8, and a couple of other manual focus lenses. Most of the time I had the 24mm on the 5D. After looking at all the options, resolution charts etc I decided that the 24mm f/2.8 is essentially the only decent non-L wide angle full-frame Canon prime lens, which is why I took it, although it's still inferior to a second-hand Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AIS. I would have taken the 50mm f/1.4 if I had it, but I didn't so I didn't. Both the 24mm and the 50mm are sharp in the middle from f/2.8 upwards and even across the frame at f/8 and f/11 on my 5D MkII.
    When I say "even", I mean that the extreme corners aren't particularly sharp, but they at least have a fair amount of detail. The 28mm f/2.8 I used to own had a lot of CA, and the extreme corners were just a blurry patch of mush even when stopped down; the samples I have seen from the 35mm f/2 have the same problem, they're sharp in the middle but the corner quality goes to pot. The 24-85mm I used to own had a lot of distortion and it was full of dust and again the corners were ropey. And if the corners are ropey there's no point using a full-frame camera, you might as well ditch it and buy a 550D and Sigma's 8-16mm.
    I have an old Oympus 24mm f/2.8 lens that I use on the 5D with an adapter. It's better than the Canon 24mm, and also smaller and lighter, but I wanted something with autofocus. The Canon lens felt well-built, and it didn't extend or rotate when focusing.
    If money had been no object i would probably have opted for a Panasonic GF1 with a 20mm f/1.7, and whatever ultrawide there is for the Micro Four Thirds system, and a little tripod. Or the aforementioned 550D and a Sigma 8-16mm plus the 50mm, or a 35mm f/2, depending on my mood.
  16. I'll add that, even after all this evaluation and angst, I was never particularly enthused with the 24mm f/2.8. It didn't make me feel good. I felt as if I had bought something inadequate, and that I was trying to convince myself to love it, when in reality my eyes were drawn elsewhere. People are like that with their girlfriends, or cars, what-have-you; they can't have their dreams so they end up with something they don't want, and they drink in the hope that the alcohol will make the bad things look good, and they lie and say that's what they always wanted. Like characters from a Tom Waits song. The same is true of most of the photography here. It's not as good as the creators hoped, there is a huge gap between aspiration and resources and the final result, but it doesn't matter because it's just transient, it gets posted to a discussion thread and - zap - it's out of sight, out of mind the next day.
    No, the 24mm f/2.8 depresses me. It's good enough, better than the rest, based on the samples I have seen only the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the tilt-shift 24mm are obviously, crushingly better at 24mm, amongst all of Canon's lens range. On an emotional level I felt nothing for it. People like the 35mm f/2 because it's the underdog. People have an emotional attachment to it because 35mm is a good classic focal length and it's fast. I felt nothing for the 24mm. It was just a piece of plastic and glass. But then again I'd rather feel nothing that feel sickness and disgust, which is what I feel when I think about the 28mm f/2.8. Sickness and disgust. The crappy zooms are crappy, I can accept that. The 28mm f/2.8 aspires to something more and fails badly. It's the gap between aspiration and failure that gets me down, not the failure per se. Too much.
  17. I don't see why you don't just come out and say what you feel, Ashley. It can't be good for you to hold all that inside without letting it out.
    I didn't know that the Canon lenses could be so imbued with emotional response. Do Nikon lenses disgust you too?
    I think you may be personifying things a little more than is strictly advisable. Meds may help. :)
  18. @ Ashley Pomeroy: WoW!
  19. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Tommy DiGiovanni , Nov 25, 2010; 12:22 a.m.
    I always hear the 35 F2 is bad on full frame
    William W , Nov 25, 2010; 12:37 a.m.
    I don't mind it, but others might complain about the edges wide open – I think the 28/1.8 is worse.
    I will see if I can find a few samples and post them for you – that might be on the weekend, though – stay tuned to the thread.​
    Hi, if you are still reading:

    I looked at all my stuff I have shot with the 35/2 and really it wasn’t suitable because it was all “finished stuff”.
    So I took these shots over the last few days using my 5D.
    I have attempted to make the first four as bad as possible by shooting them all at F/2.
    All are SOOC, with just standard sharpening.
    All are shot with NO lens hood and a Hoya UV Pro Filter
    The Wall – best way to show the edge IQ, the barrel and the vignette:
    The Close Up – The vignette and edge IQ doesn’t matter:
    The Scene of varying EV and on a Sunny Day. Vary rare (or dumb) to shoot at F/2, but anyway:
    The Other Scene – Overcast day / speckled sun through clouds, varying EV; purposely underexposed to maximize the “lack of contrast” complaints about the lens and the exposure was “corrected” in post production; and then over sharpened:
    So, with those preceding - now here is the 35/2 as it likely could be used – a “street lens” - and as an example, inside a Shopping Centre, reasonably low light and used nearly wide open.
    Shooting Specs: F/3.5 @ 1/100s @ ISO1600, Available Light. basically SOOC with no Noise Reduction:
    BTW I have no great emotional attachment to my 35/2 . . .
    but it is small . . .
    and cute . . .
    and it is the underdog to the 50/1.8 on these forums.
  20. Thanks William it certainly seems capable and worth considering.

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