Moving to DSLR, came up with a couple of options

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by james_slanger|1, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Well, it's time for me to move into a DSLR. After reading many posts and handling six camera bodies (T1i, 50D, 5DmkII, D300, D700, and D90) I've come up with the following loose options and am hoping for some opinions from those who have gone before me.
    1. A used 40D with the 10-22mm and 17-55mm EF-S
    2. A used 40D with the 16-35 L II and a longer prime, probably in the 50-100 range.
    3. 5DmkII with the 16-35 and something else? prime 50-1xx? zoom?
    My previous photography experience is mostly with Canon AE-1Ps plus a few fun odds'n'ends - Russian Leica knock-offs, an old folding Zeiss Ikon MF etc. My only digital is the SD700 IS which I've enjoyed using for what it is good for, mostly P&S, though I did get the underwater housing and have taken it SCUBA diving a few times.
    I carry one AE-1 loaded with b&w and one with color, usually 400 ISO, slower if I know there will plenty of light. Glass is usually Canon 50 f/1.4, 50 f/1.2, or 28 f/2.8. When I carry a zoom it's usually my Tamron 28-70 which I've used more for it's macro function. Sometimes I'll bring an 80-200.
    I love available light, narrow depth-of-field, and tend towards the normal-wider end of the spectrum. I like my 28mm but have always wanted something wider.
    My style tends towards closer-focused details, candids, and intimate photojournalistic, with the caveat that I'm an active rock-climber and would like something that can do justice to some of the landscapes that I've come across.
    The motivation for the jump to DSLR is two-fold. The long-term motivation is that I no longer have easy access to a film darkroom. In the near-term, I've got a trip of a lifetime two week cruise through the Mediterranean coming up and the thought of carrying a ton of film along with the chance of it getting cooked or damaged by an over zelous airport security person got me thinking now might be the time to take the plunge.
    Back to cameras.
    My thought on option 1 was that those two EF-S lenses offer the best quality for the range I like but with the travel convenience of zooms - not always having the time to move physically to frame the shot. The downside of course is that when I get a full-frame body (which I will) the lenses won't work.
    Option 2 get me a fast lens that I can see using for the bulk of my shooting after going to a FF body.
    Option 3 is really just to get the body that I want to start with, but it would beging to limit the second lens somewhat budget-wise. The 5DmkII's better sealing might come in handy in the great outdoors. Also, from what I've read, the 21mp come in handy when printing large, which is a plus for the landscapes, but I usually print most of everything else 16x20" or smaller and am not sure what the benefit would be at that point. I do know from the digital prints I've done that I really dislike digital noise (a cross-over from being an audio engineer)
    So, for those of you that made it through my rambling, what do you think I should do? I'm open to any an all opinions at this point.
  2. For me its unfortunate, but its about the money,I have a 40d and I love it very much, the5d would be the camera I would like to have, the lens is a big issue as well, with the 40d you mentioned you get a L lens and thats a lens out of my league, I would go for the 5d overall because, it is has more frames on the shutter, with 40d life of around 100k clicks, its like having a car with a short warranty, I love all the color i can get , so the 5d would be my pick , you can get refurbished lens at reasonable prices.From Adorma and I by my warrantys for my refurb stuff at refurb depot, like the 40d camera i have 5 year warranty for 50 bucks, so if you can afford it go for the better camera ,just about any lens you attach will make awesome shots , no matter where your traveling , even the cheap lens i own make great photos, or so im told.
  3. "The downside of course is that when I get a full-frame body (which I will) the lenses won't work."
    I just want to address this one issue. I don't see any downside to getting EFS lenses for your crop sensor camera. When you do go full frame you may want to keep the crop sensor camera. In that case you will continue to use your EFS lenses. If you decide to get rid of your crop sensor camera, you can sell your EFS lenses. There's a strong market for used Canon lenses and they generally hold their value very well. In the meantime you have the use and benefit of said lenses. However, if you really think this is a problem then simply erase the crop sensor cameras from your list and go straight to the full frame. If budget is a problem, consider a used 5D.
  4. Hmmm... What's your budget? Bearing in mind your desire to go full-frame, how about the 5D2, 16-35 II, 50 f/2.5 macro and maybe a 100 f/2? Or swap the latter two for a 50 f/1.4 + 100 f/2.8 macro? Also, the 24-105L, although an f/4 lens, is no slouch in the image quality department, and from my experience with film SLR, 24mm is noticeably wider than 28mm. The 17-40L is also a great lens, and definitely one to consider as well. I have both of the latter two lenses mentioned, and I shoot film as well as dSLR (crop-sensor 400D).
    <p>Choices, choices...:)
  5. Do you need a f/2.8 zoom? If not, you might want to consider a 40D and 17-40/L kit with 10-22, 35/2 and 85/1.8 as "creative" additions. This gear will probably cost only slightly more than the 5D/II body alone. All lenses except the 10-22 will work -- and be great -- if you ever move to FF.
  6. I have or have owned or used most everything you listed. I currently have a 40D and 5D2. The 5D2 is very good but the 40D is no slouch and actually has a few advantages ( frame rate being the biggest ). I was very much against EF-S lenses but one of my favorite setups was a 40D with the 10-22. If you do go with a crop body get the best lens for it and don't worry about full frame. All good lenses retain a lot of value so you will not loose much if and when you sell it.

    I can say this if high ISO low light shooting is your thing the 5D2 is the way to go. At 3200 ISO the 5D2 is better then my 40D at 800. I find myself using f4 and 5.6 more and more. I feel I am getting more depth of field so shooting faster then F4 seems more difficult on the 5d2. Could be my lack of experience, I am still getting to know this camera.
  7. "A used 40D with the 16-35 L II and a longer prime, probably in the 50-100 range."
    For the money (bang for the buck) I think that is one of the top choices James. The prime would be the EF 85 1.8.
    When I go on 3-4 hour hikes that's my kit -- that body and those two lenses. Top performance.
  8. If you're a climber and traveller then weight matters. Consider the new Ti1. My suggestion would be:
    C17-55/2.8 IS, or Tamron 17-50/2.8 which is cheaper and lighter
    Canon 85/1.8, or else a macro lens like Canon 100/2 or Tamron 90/2.8
    photoshop CS4.
  9. If you're contemplating moving to full frame Canon DSLR in the future, avoid the "S" lenses.
    If you go with the 5D or 5D MK II, I would recommend 2 lenses for landscape work
    • 16-35 f2.8L II USM
    • 24-105 f4L IS USM
    A full frame sensor almost always will give you lower noise levels at high ISO's
    You can pick up a used 5D for about 1,000 a new 5D Mark II goes for 2,500 or so.
  10. 5D2, 17-40 f4 L, 24-105 F4 IS L, you wont need 2.8 lenses for landscape, also keep in mind what software you may need and computer needs, for climbing you will want the lightest possible lenses, hence the f4 versions which will give you very good IQ and these 2 lenses ar top notch and will allow the same filter size, maybe later add the 70-200 f4 IS L and you have a full kit.
  11. Thanks for all the responses so far, keep them coming!
    T1i vs 40D - The rear thumb wheel, veiwfinder, build quality, and size turned my away from the rebel. The 40D and 5D both feel very natural in my hand.
    I really feel having a wider 2.8 option is a necessity for the way I shoot.
    Ken- are you happy without IS on your EF 85 1.8? No issue with shake when handheld?
  12. James that's what did it for me. I love the control of the XXD bodies. The Rebels are fine cameras but I learned much quicker on the XXD. also to answer your question about the 85. No primes have IS. But for what its worth I have the 70-200 2.8 without IS and I love it. I do have IS on my 24-105 and sometimes its nice but for my style I guess its not that useful.
  13. Tommy thanks for the heads-up on the primes not having IS. I'm still trying to get up to speed on the current lenses.
  14. You wont really need it, they are small and easy to handle plus you should have no trouble with a fast shutter speed. The only time IS really helps is when you want to drag the shutter ( really slow shutter speed ) and with practice and light you can do this without IS.
  15. A few good places to review gear:
  16. "Ken- are you happy without IS on your EF 85 1.8? No issue with shake when handheld?"
    Yes. I seldom use the 85 1.8 in low light so if I am at least at 1/100 sec. it's good. Most camera shake can be mitigated by good technique.
    And for sure you need the QCD on the XXD cameras. Rebs don't have 'em. Game over already. Viewfinders too -- Rebs are rather poor even compared to the XXD's and a (lighter) cheaper build too.
  17. OK, after thinking more about my needs, shooting style, and upcoming trip, I'm going to pull the trigger on option 1 (40D w/ 10-22, 17-55). When I think long and hard about my budget, 4100$ for the 5D2 and 16-35, plus another 6-700$ for a prime and extra batteries, CF cards, filters etc, it's just more than I want to spend right now.
    I am thinking of spending an extra 250$ and getting a refurbished 50D. Total from Adorama with filters and extra battery is only 5$ more than the 5DmkII body alone.
  18. How about 10-22 with 24-105.
  19. The 24-105 looks like a good lens, but it's out of stock right now. The 17-55 is well-reviewed plus with the 1.6 crop factor it covers the same ground I'm used to with my Tamron 28-70 on my AE-1. I might still pick up the 85 1.8 which would give me a nice lower light lens equivalent to roughly the longest length I normally use. Using the 10-22 will help confirm a future purchase of the 16-35 L.
  20. If your this serious perhaps you should consider starting with a 5D2 and a 24-105 or even a used 5D1 with an L lens.
  21. You mentioned a couple posts up looking at the 17-55. I had this lens on a crop sensor before I bought a full frame, and it was outsanding. The build quality is good but not as good as L. In my experience IQ was on par with L quality. I highly recommend the lens.
  22. Apologies for coming into the discussion a bit late. It is interesting how we all go through these thought processes at one point or another!
    Just last week, I moved to DSLR, having shot 1N and lots of other EOS-bodies since the late 80s. I also have an A1 and lots of other old film bodies (Mamyia and some others). Against this background, and in view of my having several EF lenses, it was not even an option for me to consider accepting the FOV crop (or whatever the term is) of the 50D or 40D or others.
    So I bought the 5Dmk2 and love it. The high-iso quality is simply incredible and it allows me to use my lenses without crop factor.
    When I was in Japan last year I bought a used 17-40 f/4L at Mapcamera (also sells internationally at very good prices). I considered the 16-35L but even at Japanese used equipment prices that one was too much. I reasoned that the next 5D - which I was intent on getting already then - would have even better ISO capabilities.
    Having now bought the mk2 I feel I made the right chose with the 17-40L. I recently travelled three weeks in south-east Asia and the 17-40 was on my old 1N pretty much all the time. It is a _very_ useful lens. On a full sensor camera it will give amazing wide angle photos and still be able to take good shots of people or groups at 40. It is also built like a tank and did well during the long hikes and humid conditions that I exposed it to in Laos and Cambodia.

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