Upgrade choice - semi-pro

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dales_daisy, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. I'd be grateful for some advice/tips.
    I'm moving into semi-pro photography after a long career break and I need a new DSLR. From my past-life in film photography I have several lenses best suited to full-frame. My only EFS lens is a 17-85mm f4.0 IS. Question is, on my budget, should I (a) get a 50D and a new lens, or (b) a 7D and use it with the 17-85 EFS, or (c) a used 5D markI? Budget is £1200 (but I might want an upgrade to my Lightroom 1.1 too!). I'll be shooting studio portraits, mainly, but who knows where it will lead.
    My other lenses are all canon EF and are a 28-105 f3.5 IS, a mediocre 70-200 IS, a nice 85mm f1.8, and a 100mm macro.
    many thanks.
  2. I'm a big fan of the EF-S 17-85mm IS, so that would incline me on that ground to stick with APS-C and go to something like the 7D or else the 60D.
    On the other hand, I personally have some older legacy lenses that I use a lot (especially a PC-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8), so I went to a used 5D (which I also am a big fan of) to make the PC lens a wide angle again.
    It's really nice to have both formats. I often carry one of my APS-C cameras with telephoto and the 35mm-sensor camera with the EF 24-105mm L IS, which is the "grown up" version of the 17-85 in some ways. Your 28-135mm IS is an underrated lens and would serve well on the larger format. The only drawback is the load you have to carry, but sacrifice is necessary for art, eh?
  3. a mediocre 70-200 IS​
    Damn, that one made me laugh. I'd sell all EF-S and gotten 5D Mark II. But of course 7D might be a very good option too. Depends on how you are going to use it.
  4. Whoops, typos. Before this goes any further I must apologise and correct my duff typing.
    The 28-105 lens is not IS, and the 70-200 is actually a 75-300 IS. Good thing I'm not relaunching my career as a typist.
    Thanks for the responses so far, more are very welcome.
  5. yeah, I don't see the 70-200mm IS being mediocre. Its one of the most highly regarded EF zoom lenses, unless you're actually talking about the old 80-200mm, or the 70-300mm IS, which is good too. You could go a few ways here. The 7D is very nice, but not mandatory. The 17-85mm would work great on a 50D. I'd either go the 50D route, and spend the rest of the money on flashes, or get a 1st gen. 5D, sell both 17-85mm and 28-105mm and get a 24-70mm or 24-105mm, although that may put you over budget. You have a few options here, just play around with the budget and see what gets you the most for your money.
  6. okay, now that we know you have the 75-300mm IS, here is my suggestion. Sell the 75-300mm IS, and get the 70-200mm f/4L. It will cost a little bit for the upgrade, but definitely worth it. I did the same thing about a year ago and haven't looked back. Sure, you lose 100mm of reach and IS, but every other aspect of the 70-200mm is far better. Its better optically, it has a constant f/4, an internal zoom so physical length never changes, its built better, and for me the biggest improvement is the AF. The AF is lightning fast on the 70-200mm whereas it has to search on the 75-300mm. I can't tell you how many shots I missed on the 75-300mm b/c the AF was too slow. Now I never miss a shot and I'd trade AF for 100mm and IS any day if it means getting the shot over not getting anything. With that being the situation, I'd go for the 50D to use with the 17-85mm, or even a 40D if you want to save more money. I had a 40D and loved it. My neighbor has the 50D and its nice, but I wouldn't have traded for my 40D.
  7. Of course, I was assuming that the 28- lens was the EF 28-135mm IS, which is decent.
    You could still get along with the 28-105 as a walkaround lens on a so-called "full frame". The EF 75-300mm IS is by no means as good as the newer 70-300, but it's capable of quite acceptable results, especially if shot stopped down a little. Wide open at 300mm, not so much. Of course, it's much "longer" effectively on a APS-C body. Given the revised list, I'd probably tilt more to a 50D/60D or, if you can stretch to it, the 7D. Get one of those and a nice ultrawide in the 10-20mm sort of range (Sigma makes a couple that are both good and cheaper than the EF-S one from Canon) and you'd have a pretty full complement. A nice 50mm f/1.4 or even the 50mm f/1.8 would be good portrait and low light lenses on the smaller format, and the latter is so cheap and good that you probably ought to buy it on general principles.
    If you do decide to go 35mm-format, then of course, your 85mm is great for portraits, and it will work as a longer telephoto for low light and close-in portraits (especially of people with big noses) on the APS-C format. ;)
  8. Given the budget and the lens assortment, I'd either get a 50D or a used 5D mark I.
    Given the studio portraits and the 85mm... I'd lean toward the 5D.
  9. I would go with John Wright's suggestion re getting the 5D classic and using your 85 f/1.8 as your portrait lens. I'd sell the 28-105 and the 75-300, keep the 17-85 for a nice walkaround lens and occasional landscape or group shot (until you get something better - I had it and liked it about as much as JDM but, ooh, that barrel distortion on the wide end!). Save up for a good long zoom like any of the Canon 70-200s or the 70-300 IS (not the new L unless price is no object).
  10. Keep in mind, if you get the 5D the 17-85mm will not fit on the camera as its an EF-S lens and only fits certain APS-C bodies. So Jeff's suggestion to use it as a walkaround lens with the 5D will not work. Not trying to nit pick, I just want the OP to be informed. Imagine getting out on a shoot just to realize the 17-85mm won't mount on your new 5D.
  11. Jeff,
    The 17-85 wouldn't fit on the 5D, so that would have to go too.
  12. Nathan :).......
  13. Great minds think alike.... or so they say.
  14. oops - forgot - that's the reason I sold the 17-85. I'd sell that 17-85 and then until wait til I had enough $ for the Tamron 28-75 as a walkaround (tho it is lacking on the wide end).
  15. Thought-provoking stuff, thanks for the responses. Since my original post I've been browsing lenses. After all, I thought isn't it better to put a great lens on a fairly good body, rather than a fair lens on a really great body? So now I am contemplating a 50D with the EFS 15-85 IS which I could get on budget. That lens is so new I can't find an MTF graph (I like those) but the reviews are glowing.
    I am reluctant to get a used camera unless there are compelling reasons. I now think my collection of EF lenses are not (by themselves) a compelling reason to get a 2nd-hand 5D; there would have to be another, stronger reason.
    I note that there has not been much said about the 7D which I have read does nearly everything the 5DII does but on a small sensor. If I got that, the budget would be blown I'd have to stick with the 17-85 IS. That means the camera-body is quite a lot fancier than the lens.
  16. I had hoped that the EF-S 15-85mm IS would be the same sort of improvement over the old models that showed up in a few of the L lenses, but it's more ambiguous. There are improvements in the wide end distortion (but that's easily fixed in post) but overall there are still some things to be said for the old 17-85. I had thought I would be one of the first in line for the 15-85, but now have decided to stick with the older lens (of course that also reflects my acquisition of the EF 24-105 L IS lens). I think the 17-85 will still serve you well on a 7D. In the meantime, get an ultrawide lens.
    I'd still recommend that, if you do go to 35mm-sensors, you keep your APS-C camera body too.
  17. I, like JDM, like the old 17-85mm as well and wouldn't hesitate to use it. If you need a faster zoom, I hear the Tamron 17-50m f/2.8 is a gem. As for your comment about being better to have a good lens and mediocre body instead of vice versa, for the most part that's correct, but both are still important. I always say, "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link." So while lenses may be important, some bodies may be outdated and could use upgrading, however, all the bodies you've mentioned so far should serve very well for your purposes.
  18. I would go with a 50D (or possibly the new Rebel T2i/550) rather than a 7D. I have a 7D and like it a lot but it is probably tougher on lens quality than any other SLR I have ever owned. I use very good glass and even then i find the 7D can show up some of the lens limitations that the 5DII will not. I suspect that 18MP on an APS-C sensor pushes the lens resolving power to the limit - especially at the edges. This appears to be confirmed by DXOMark as the 7D with the 85 F1.8 resolves 33lp/mm while the 5DII manages 59 (and this is a very good lens). thus unless you want to start replacng lenses i would suggest that there is no need to go beyond the 50D
  19. With studio portraits as the emphasis-budget approach would be a 50D or 40D . Keep the 17-85 it is very good at 85 and add a 50 prime. A step up, in my mind anyway, would be a 5DI a 50 prime and the 85 1.8. The 5D is still a fine portrait cam.
  20. Just to add, . . . a +1 on the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for consideration.
    I have had this lens for just over a year now. It's the "carry-around" on my 50D most of the time. I don't have the VC (IS) version, but this lens is almost as sharp as some of my L glass.
  21. I too am wondering what's wrong with you 70-200mm, the f/4L IS is a stunning lens and great with the 5D for all kinds of uses.
    I'd focus on getting a full-frame body. You can't afford the 5D2, but it's high-ISO performance and great files make it ideal for the pro that needs the ability to rescue images and/or push ISO with no ill effects. The MkI is good in this respect, just not all the way there.
  22. Thanks everyone in this thread for your time and thoughts. It's been very helpful.
  23. You say you have a nice 85mm f1.8, and a 100mm macro.
    I keep 100mm, get 5D and sell other lenses. Try and get a used 28 to 70mm 2.8 and then get a couple of 550EX used. attache is photo taken with this set-up.

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