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Photography Talk => Photography Discussions => Topic started by: caterpillar on June 21, 2011, 01:49:18 PM

Title: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 21, 2011, 01:49:18 PM
In another thread, I posted on the Guide for Upgrading for the Intermediate or serious hobbyiest. What was mentioned there is the need to build your system on lenses rather than bodies. This series, hopes to guide the user into the process of how to go about building your own lens lineup.  ;D

 First let's get the ground rules clear first.

  1. To build a lens lineup, you must be clear and sure already of the type of photography you want to be involved with.

  2. If you are not sure,  best dip into the different types of photography for at least 1-2 years, till you start getting serious about a certain direction of photography you want. This has it's own strategy so that you won't be spending too much only to find out that it's not your cup of tea.

  3. If you are independently wealthy or have money to burn, then you may skip this article. Still you are welcome to read on.  ;D




Title: Types of Photography
Post by: caterpillar on June 21, 2011, 02:07:38 PM
There are many types of photography and it is important one is aware of them. The reason is that the lenses you need for events shooting may not be good enough for the wildlife shooter. So, I'll rattle some types of photography off the top of my head:

  - General/Casual
  - Portraiture
  - Events
  - wildlife/birding
  - Sports/action (indoor and outdoor)
  - macro, still life, insect photography
  - Glamour/modelling
  - Product, Advertising photography
  - PJ or Journalism, candid,  street, historical, documentary
  - Travel, landscape, nature
  - Art, contest/competition

  You can subdivide them some more  or have other categories.  Maybe I may even have omitted some areas. But that is not the point though. The point is, each segment has their own lenses and gear needed to perform well in those areas.  What is obvious though is that some categories overlap. Events shooters for example, may have equipment that portraiture shooters also use. This overlapping is basically good because it allows the photographer to use the same piece of equipment in another area of photography. But in some cases, it is not possible. For example, a Birder's 400m or 500m lens will have little, if no use, to a wedding/events shooter. A travel or documentarian, OTOH, may find some of the equipment of the wedding shooters useful, though they may skip others because they are too heavy and too bulky.

  It is thus important that YOU know what type of photography you will spend a lot of time in. This determines the type of body you will need and more importantly, the lenses and other accessories you will need.  Unless you have lots of money, you can't just jump into an area with guns a-blazing or pockets are full and ready to empty out for the new gear.  Some gear are not usable in one area of photography. A 100mm f2.8 macro lens is expensive and it does not translates well into portraiture (even if you can) with a true 100 f2.0 or 85 1.8 of faster lens and vice-versa. So, at the sound of being repetitious - KNOW AND BE SURE OF YOUR CHOSEN FIELD OF PHOTOGRAPHY FIRST!




 
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 21, 2011, 02:25:21 PM
But what if you are still not sure? What if you are new and still groping and finding out what you LIKE or what you will devote your time and equipment on?

  Well, what you can go is first go into GENERAL photography. This is an all around photography from casual around the home shooting. Quite amazingly, if you bought a body with the kit lens, that kit lens is exactly what you need to get you going!  :)

  Yes, that 18-55 with IS (hopefully with VR and IS) will get you started. With that you can experiment on portraiture, group shots, street shooting, events, even macro!  I suggest you dip into this area for at least a year or two. In two year's time, assuming you are a regular weekend shooter, you'll eventually be pulled to the area of photography that will interest you most!

  One of the first 2 things you will learn early are the ff:

  - You will lack light as the buil-in flash is not strong enough or fast enough to re-cycle for the next shot.
  - You will lack reach, hence you will want a longer reach lens

 For those falling for landscape, they will notice their need for a wider lens first.

  So for sure, your first add-ons or upgrades will be an external flash and a longer lens. Now, 3rd party flashes can be affordable nowadays and need not go P12-20K, so that's good news for you. And in case you want to do macro, there are attachments that can modify that light for macro shooting. So, those are good developments. Thus, in most situations, getting a flash first is the most well trodden path most take.

  Now, most tend to go for a longish lens first before a wider lens. As one reaches the limit of one's 18-55mm at the 55mm, one craves for longer FL to get that compression of the background and isolation. A 70-200/300 or 55-200/250/280 goes a long way in introducing one into portraiture, sports, action, landscape (long),

 Don't laugh or pooh-pooh those with the slow 55-xxx or 70-300 lenses! They can have their place. Also remember, that we are talking of exploratory here. You don't really want to spend too much till you get he hand of what you really like! So, using a 70-300 at f5.6 on 200mm is not the greatest compared to a 70-200 f2.8L IS at 200mm and f2.8 or f4. But still it is a start as one learns the limits of one's equipment or what one can do.

 Same for macro shooting. Don't buy a macro lens yet. Try getting a diopter lens first in the +1  to +5 or where you can stack. Or get a reversing ring, or extension tubes (ET). Don't blow out your wallet for a P28k 100 f2.8 macro lens yet. Go for the P1k-6k solutions first or 2nd hand items on sale. In fact, mos 18-55's have good macro's that let you explore the field in the beginning so that you don't have to commit too much into a field.

  The trick is, MAKE DO FIRST WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. If that field piqued you, explore more with ETs or whatever is needed. You can borrow or rent lenses for that area. The thing is, don't commit yet, unless  you are absolutely sure.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 21, 2011, 03:05:10 PM
Let me jump the gun here and assume that you already know what type of photography you want. And you know what gear you need. The next question is, how do I go about getting them?

 Before that, let me say this, regardless of photography you decide to go into, never let go of a 18-55 or 17-50/55 FL. Why? Because even if you love birding and those 400mm and 500mm and 4 x TC's you have are your bread and butter, one way or the other, you are still going to shoot General photography or some other types. It would be a shame to have that U$6,000 lens and in a friends party you can't whip up an 18-55 lens for a group picture!  :P  This is one thing that you are not going to run away from!  :D

   Back on topic, the trick is to find out from the pros or those in the field what they use. Instead of buying the gear outright, join groups whose members have those type of gears and then see if they let you try out their gear. You'll get an accurate feel and see if those types suits you.

  Now once you know what you NEED and want, the no. 1 problem for most of us is budget. Some lenses are way far ahead of what we have in our wallets. One might be tempted to compromise or use "lesser" spec'd lenses or gear. That can work. But 50-60% of the time, it won't. Let's illustrate this problem. I'll use my own experience as an example.

   I knew when I started I wanted sports and action shooting. Love it. There's no money in it. I also love documentary and real life shooting of people. That's semi-PJ and street, etc.  But there's no money in them. I am clear on that. That means, I have to finance the upgrade by saving up for it, or doing sidelines in other areas (weddings/events).

  I listed the lenses that would do the job. So with the bodies and accessories. At that time, the 10d was the most affordable (at P87k!), so I can't reach that. A 1D is right but it's around P240k! Unreachable even in 10 years! Even after 10 years, I can' afford P200k+ for a body! The good thing is technology moved on and now there is a 7d w/c can do 8fps like the 1d mk1 or 2, and even has a higher pixel count and I can save up for.

 As for lenses, I knew that the 70-200 f2.8L IS is the lens that is the main stumbling block. Together with the body, it's going to as expensive, even more expensive. In the early 2000's, a 70-200 f2.8L IS is P95k used and around P100k brand new. You can't even find a used one as hardly anyone sells it. It is that good and prized! So, as one can see, I knew I had to make do for the meantime with something lesser. It was either the 70-200 f4L (non-IS) or the 70-300 f4-5.6 IS. I chose the latter even if it is not an L because I knew that without IS, a sharp lens would be a blur. I can live with the compromise of a lesser optic, but a usable picture. They cost about the same at that time. BTW, this 70-300 is not the same as today's sharp 70-300!

  So, with a 300d, 18-55 kit lens (no IS then), 50 f1.8 mk-2, I got my range covered. Within the limits of the technology of the time, and budget, I compromised. Of course, I knew I could do a lot of things I wanted to do. But I also knew that there is no point in crying over that. I must MAKE DO WITH WHAT I HAD!  :)  And I did. It was tough to shoot with the 300d and the d60 (even slower) and a 70-300 w/c was slow in aperture but also in focus, but I got memorable pics in those! :)

  Fast forward to 7-8 years, revamped by lineup and got a 20d and 400d. I got me a 100 f2.0 usm, a 55-250 IS, 50 f1.4 (incl the 1.8 mk2) and even a 100 f2.8 macro. Sold that one eventually but I did took the ET route to experiment on macro and I knew I will get a good resale value on the lens (and I did) without too much loss.

  Eventually, I was able to get a 70-200 f2.8L IS mk-1 w/c was the dream lens for most of us. Amongst friends in our group, we targetted the lenses and gear needed and best suited for the job. Many still have the 20d with the appropriate lenses. Look at it this way here is the typical lens our group has as event shooters.

 == Friend no. 1 (2x 20d body)
    - 17-40 f4L
    - 24-70 f2.8L
    - 70-200 f2.8L IS mk1

 == Friend no. 2 (2x 20d and a 5d)
    - 16-35 f2.8L mk-1
    - 70-200 f2.8L IS mk1
    - 50 f1.4 usm

 == Me (20d and 400d)
    - Tamron 17-50 f2.8
    - 50 f1.4 usm and 50 f1.8 mk2 (might let go of the f1.4)
    - 70-200 f2.8L IS mk1
    - 100 f2.0 usm
    - efs 10-22 usm
    - ETs

  As one can see, as events shooters our gear is basically the same. Any variance is due to personal preference. One likes the speed so he got a 16-35 f2.8L rather than a 17-40L.  One can also see that friend no. 2 loves fast lenses so he has a 50 f1.4 usm. Friend no. 1 does not need speed but versatility. He has no need for primes.

  As for me, I have need for primes due to sports and low light shooting. The 50 f1.4 and 100 f2 usm's allows me to shoot indoor sports or actions. No IS and f2.8 will do. Since I do both action and events these lenses can be used as well. The 100 f2 usm is less versatile than the 70-200 f2.8L IS and that IS is a big help when even f2 can't handle things in weddings.

 I also have the 10-22 for really wide stuff on a crop body. I have ET's in case I have to make my 50mm's or 100mm's into macro lenses. I have a 1.4x TC to get me more reach in case I need to (for mild birding and wildlife). In short, my line-up is optimized for sports, events and can be modfied/exteded to do a bit of other types of photography just in case.

  I also had a 55-250 IS w/c I sold but might get again. It is very sharp and on par with my 70-200L on the same FL and aperture but a lighter cost, smaller size and lower weight. Great for travelling. But I am bending more to getting a decent P&S instead of lugging a 400d with a 17-50 f2.8, 55-250 IS.  Today's P&S are getting better and though they will never be as good, an LX5 or canon SX220/230 can be very good for a much smaller package!

   Personally, if I were to follow my own tips, my 20d and 400d also needs upgrading. They don't have video and today's 600d and 60d have very good high ISO a 18mp and fast and accurate AF too. What's holding me back are:

  - money (I am rebuilding our own ancestral house in Sorsogon)
  - and Canon's bad AF in video in DSLRs.

  So, no rush there. Again, I will have to make do with what I have. :)  I do admit I am lagging now in the body dept. I will have to upgrade my bodies next in the immediate future.

  

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 21, 2011, 03:17:43 PM
In Summary:

   What some of us has done is build our system on lenses. One can even see that we are holding 6-7 year old bodies. But our lenses are solid as the philosophy goes. The disadvantage of our system is that they are:

 - heavy
 - mostly large
 - expensive

To finance it, Friend no. 1 built his from a 20d and a 17-40L lens. In 2.5-3 years he got a 24-70 f2.8L financed by shooting weddings. Eventually, in 7-8 years he also was able to get a 70-200 f2.8L IS bought in the USA (as it is cheaper there).

Friend no. 2 first used a kit lens, got 50 1.4 usm, then a 16-35 f2.8L. Again, it took about 7 years before he got a 70-200 f2.8L IS. He isn't fond of this FL but since he is in the USA now, he needs it when shooting events as the altar is often off limits to shooters, unlike here.

  Another thing one will notice is we hardly compromised with the lenses.  We could have and some of us did in the beginning. But in the end, based on our experience, we knew some things cannot be compromised. Best to work and save for it than opting for the lesser model. Thus a 70-200 f4L IS, excellent as the lens is, was not chosen, even if the price is half of that of a f2.8L IS. The point is, once you know what is NEEDED to get the job done, you don' compromise. You work towards getting the gear. Any compromise gear is only temporary especially if it will take a long time to get it. But one does not lose sight of the long term goal!

  One can also notice that the main lenses revolve around 3-4 lenses. And once you get them, the feeling is peace. Unless you have a persistent GAS problem, what you have is stability. Reliability. We keep an 18-55 in there as backup just in case he main conks out. But I don't consider that as our main core lenses. Some may require maybe 5-6. That depends on you. But the thing is, especially for those of us who are budget limited, you do have to pick your lenses. The more budget limited, the more picky you should be.

  Now you can choose to go this method or create your own way to go about things. All I can say is that if you build your system on lenses and other accessories to support your type of photography, then you'll see your money go longer. Bodies are accessories to the lenses. Not the other way around. Seen this way, you won't be trapped in he perennial update of bodies w/c become obsolete really fast.

   BTW, some 3rd party lenses can be very good. I am a fan of Tamron and their optics is pretty good. Their weakness in the past was lack of IS and USM. Now they have those technology too. I am just waiting for them to issue them in their popular models. A 17-50 f2.8 VC USD at half he price of a ef-s 17-55 IS delivers the same optical and other performance for half the cost. And they don't break easily too (unlike the 17-55 IS). So, consider 3rd party lenses as alternatives. But do your research because some brands and models can be bad. If only Tamron made a 70-200 f2.8L IS version at 2/3 the cost, I'll sell my 70-200 f2.8L IS and go for a black tamron lens. Unfortunately, or fortunately, they still have to come up with one. They still have to come up with a 24-70 or 28-70 f2.8 with VC and USD. If they do that, no doubt they'd have a champion cash cow like their 17-50 f2.8.


Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Jagner on June 22, 2011, 10:54:18 AM
It's long but a great read :)  Thanks for sharing sir caterpillar :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: malmon on June 22, 2011, 11:21:18 AM
another "sticky" worthy thread.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: archdust on June 22, 2011, 12:26:26 PM
Nice topic sir, a great help for a starter like me. :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: wasted_brain on June 22, 2011, 01:07:39 PM
Just wanted to add that another thing to consider is your dslr body upgrade path. If you decide to upgrade from a crop sensor (DX) to a full sensor (FX) body, this will affect your lens line-up. So, if you know at this point that you will be getting an FX body, try to avoid buying DX only lenses (unless you're going to go the 2-body route).

Personally, I've chosen to stay within the DX-type bodies (Nikon d40, d90, d7000). So my lens line-up is almost all DX-only lenses:
Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-VC
Tokina 50-135 2.8
Nikkor 35 1.8g

If I were to choose an FX-type body. I'd have to change my line-up to 24-70 + 70-200.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: NormanABates on June 22, 2011, 01:58:05 PM
i vote this thread for 'sticky'

this is worth reading/sharing. Thanks a lot.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: dolina on June 22, 2011, 02:15:08 PM
Interesting article mel. Are you a pro photographer?

1. My take on lenses is buy the best you can afford. Bodies can be the most basic.

2. Prioritize zooms first before primes.

3. Full frame lenses before DX or crop lenses if you have any plans in getting a FX or full frame body.

Don't get stuck in conventional thinking when it comes to focal lengths. Like say landscapes "only" use wide angle lenses while birds are only super telephoto lenses. Rather you should put emphasis on your framing and how distant you are from the subject.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: brotha214 on June 22, 2011, 02:35:22 PM
Nice. Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ricco on June 22, 2011, 04:20:43 PM
Nice share sir! Must read for the beginners like me! :)


Sent from my iPhone 4
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: jhojho on June 22, 2011, 05:46:32 PM
very informative for newbie like me...thanks for sharing sir...
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: pogzz505 on June 22, 2011, 05:55:58 PM
+1 for sticky..sana noon pa meron nito..
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caliber21 on June 22, 2011, 09:02:50 PM
Sir, bookmarked na po ang thread na to para sa akin. Great article and very timely for me.  ;D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: digilog on June 22, 2011, 09:53:13 PM
I think this is more subjective. It depends on your shooting style.
I am very comfortable shooting with primes  :)

2. Prioritize zooms first before primes.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: digilog on June 22, 2011, 10:00:01 PM
Yes... i just sold my nikkor 35mm 1.8f for a 24mm 2.8f
35mm has better optics than 24mm 2.8 but considering an fx upgrade made me switch ;)
going for 24mm 2.8d, 50mm 1.4g, 85mm 1.8d lens line up.

cheap but very good quality

Just wanted to add that another thing to consider is your dslr body upgrade path. If you decide to upgrade from a crop sensor (DX) to a full sensor (FX) body, this will affect your lens line-up. So, if you know at this point that you will be getting an FX body, try to avoid buying DX only lenses (unless you're going to go the 2-body route).

Personally, I've chosen to stay within the DX-type bodies (Nikon d40, d90, d7000). So my lens line-up is almost all DX-only lenses:
Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-VC
Tokina 50-135 2.8
Nikkor 35 1.8g

If I were to choose an FX-type body. I'd have to change my line-up to 24-70 + 70-200.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: arkiroms on June 22, 2011, 10:41:57 PM
Topic made sticky. ;)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 23, 2011, 12:33:07 AM
Just wanted to add that another thing to consider is your dslr body upgrade path. If you decide to upgrade from a crop sensor (DX) to a full sensor (FX) body, this will affect your lens line-up. So, if you know at this point that you will be getting an FX body, try to avoid buying DX only lenses (unless you're going to go the 2-body route).

Personally, I've chosen to stay within the DX-type bodies (Nikon d40, d90, d7000). So my lens line-up is almost all DX-only lenses:
Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-VC
Tokina 50-135 2.8
Nikkor 35 1.8g

If I were to choose an FX-type body. I'd have to change my line-up to 24-70 + 70-200.

  A good and interesting point. Thank you for mentioning it. :)

  The reason I didn't bring this out is that this can cause complications and may compromise the proper lens selection. This has been debated years ago in Dpreview. And it was a heated one!

  For me, the bottom line is, if you try to select a lens  that will work for both 35FF and aps-c, it may or may not be good for one format. To illustrate, getting the excellent 50 f1.4 usm can substitute for an 80mm equivalent portrait lens in a crop body. However, on a 35FF, you aren't really thinking of a portrait lens when you mount that same 50mm. If you do move, you will still get an 85mm or equivalent if portrait is your thing. Your 50mm now, may not get play time!

  Or take the excellent 24-105 f4L IS. Great for a 35FF body. But it's not wide enough for a crop body. And this is why the 17-55/50 and 18-105/135 are so popular. They are the equivalent 28-80/90 or 28-135 in the 35FF format.

  There are exceptions of course, like the 70-200 f2.8L's. Even with the extra reach on a crop body, they seem to work well in both formats. Ask any wedding photographer and most will have no qualms whether it's used in a 35FF body or crop body.   


  The thing is, even if your lens will work in both formats, if you really aim for how you will use it based on the type of photography you will do, that same lens will likely be best on one format only, and mediocre or useless on the other, no matter how optically good it is.  So, might as well, design your lineup on a particular format. There is no point in planning for a body you don't have or might have in the future. Not getting an 17-50 f2.8 or a 10-22 because it will not work with a 35FF in a future date is limiting your performance today. And today is what your gear is. Not tomorrow.

   Trust me, I've tried planning on that and I gave up because it's just screwing up the lineup. I got a 28 f1.8 usm, 100 f2.0 usm, 50 f1.4 usm for a future 35FF body. Trouble is, the 28mm is not getting air time. So with the 100 f2.0 (and the 100 f2.8 macro). So, I sold the 100 f2.8 macro and the 28mm f1.8 even if they were good copies. Now, the 100 f2.0, I kept because, on a crop, it was a good low light sports lens and I have something when I really want uber sharp than my 70-200 f2.78L IS. Or when I want a really shallow DOF at f2.0. Or need a pseudo macro if I use ET's. :)

   I'm not saying you should not try to work on both formats. But it can be a pain. It will give you headaches. In the end you will compromise one format. To illustrate, on a crop, what will you substitute for a 10-22 that will work on a 35FF? Or where will you get a good 17-55/17-50 f2.8 crop to work on a 35FF later?

  So, my take is, don't try so hard to bridge both formats. Just work on the format you will be using most. IF it happens that it will work well on both, then well and good. But experience has shown, that some FLs don't translate well into the other, particularly from 50mm and down. The best approach is still to build on a single format and worry about the other format when you have the body.

   
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 23, 2011, 12:56:55 AM
Another thing about lenses. Even on the same FL, and good optical performance, some issues may sway you over the other. For example, the 17-50/55 lenses.

  Even if both models have f2.8,.you have to know your needs and type of photography because, even if both are ff2.8, the other lens may not hack the job. The canon 17-55 IS f2.8 is an excellent lens. So is the Tamron f2.8 17-50 Di-2. You can find wedding shooters using both. Now try using both lenses in a sports or action situation, and even with a 7D, the tamron will fall short? Why is that?

  It's the AF. To date, Tamron has yet to release a 17-50 f2.8 Di-2 that has ring USM or USD in their parlance. They have the VC (IS) version already, but not the ultrasonic drive motor. As one can see, this has a bearing in action shoots. But in weddings and events where people are not running or moving fast basically, both are on par. But once there is action, only the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS will likely be able to keep up.

  So, it is essential that you know the requirements of your type of chosen area of photography. Of course, the ideal is to get the best, or in the example, the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS. That should cover all bases whether you are shooting a wedding or some action shots. Unfortunately the Canon costs P55k, or twice the price of a Tamron (without the USD at P25k). The reality is, if you don't do sports or action, the Tamron will do. The reality also is that most of us are really budget constrained.

  Howerver, if you do find that it is the 17-55 IS that you really need (and want), then you just ask yourself when you can afford it. Are you willing to wait years to get it or will the wait be only months? Are you willing to pay for the interest in CC if you do installments? If not, then could the Tamron do for now, till you can save up for it?

  The point is, YOU DO KNOW what is needed. It's just a question if you are willing to compromise temporarily or bite the bullet now, or delay the purchase.

  This situation is something you will encounter when you analyze your situation. Let me end this post with another example. My friend loves shooting birds. He asked me before he got a DSLR if 200mm or 300mm will do  on  a crop body, after all, on an aps-c sensor, a 200m leans is equivalent to a 320mm and a 300mm lens equivalent to a 480mm lens on a 35FF body! I told him, 300mm is even too short. If the birds were all big, maybe yes. But the reality was, many birds are not as big as chickens!  ;D  So, I told him, 400mm is the least. But if you are budget constrained, just go get a 70-300 IS lens interim till he can save up for a 400 f5.6L or a 100-400L IS.
 
  Eventually, he decided not to compromise. He just saved up money for the lens. He just used his videocam (w/c has a good zoom FL) for the meantime. In about 2 years an opportunity cropped up, and he was able to snag a 100-400L IS for a decent price. :)

  In the end he was one happy camper! But patience is needed, especially if you are budget limited. Most of us went this route. It's a good policy to follow. And it does deliver the goods!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: digilog on June 23, 2011, 09:17:42 AM
I have to say that nikon has an edge if you want to use both formats. Nikon may have less lens line up but you can use them for both formats.

for example. the nikon 20mm 2.8... if you use this in an FX format. it'll give you a 13mm equivalent to DX. that's super wide! instead of buying the expensive 14-24mm you can use this 20mm 2.8...

I'm not saying nikon is better than canon. but it's a trick on how to effectively use nikon lenses. :)



Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: DennisP on June 23, 2011, 10:22:47 AM

for example. the nikon 20mm 2.8... if you use this in an FX format. it'll give you a 13mm equivalent to DX. that's super wide! instead of buying the expensive 14-24mm you can use this 20mm 2.8...

I think you got it wrong; the FOV of the 20mm f/2.8 on FX is still 20mm.  While if you use it on DX, the equivalent FOV would be 30mm.


Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Itch on June 23, 2011, 10:57:04 AM
Thanks for this, great for me.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: digilog on June 23, 2011, 01:14:37 PM
yes ofcourse sorry i wrote it in a very confusing manner. but you get my point though? ;)

nikon has recently launched the 35mm 1.4 (very expensive) attaced to dx this will be 50mm 1.4
50mm 1.4 is much cheaper than the 35mm 1.4

better to get
fx body + 50mm 1.4
than
dx body + 35mm 1.4

ofcourse 35mm 1.4 attached to a fx body is another story :)



Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: digilog on June 23, 2011, 01:20:32 PM
I have to say that nikon has an edge if you want to use both formats. Nikon may have less lens line up but you can use them for both formats.

for example. the nikon 20mm 2.8... if you use this in an FX format. it'll give you a 13mm equivalent to DX. that's super wide! instead of buying the expensive 14-24mm you can use this 20mm 2.8...

I'm not saying nikon is better than canon. but it's a trick on how to effectively use nikon lenses. :)





to clarify it
i said 13mm equivalent to dx :) which means you need a 13mm on dx to match 20mm on fx body

confusing :))
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: outlier_20 on June 24, 2011, 10:43:12 AM
Thank you sir for this thread.  ;D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: dolina on June 24, 2011, 10:54:32 AM
I think this is more subjective. It depends on your shooting style.
I am very comfortable shooting with primes  :)

I prefer shooting primes as well but I see the value of flexible focal lengths especially when someone is starting out or if traveling weight is an issue.  :D

When you want more pronounce bokeh or better image quality then go prime.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: FredEstioko on June 25, 2011, 11:03:45 PM
Very informative and practical thread as most of the information comes from day-to-day practice. I do agree that everything starts with your walk-around lens. I have a EF 24-70mm f2.8 with my Canon 7D and a DA*16-50mm f2.8 on my Pentax K7. I am more of a travel photographer so I have already encountered instances where I wished I had a wider lens. So I have added a EFS 10-22mm to my Canon lens line-up. I have been a Pentaxian for quite sometime so my Pentax lens line-up is longer with a DA*60-250mm (I was frustrated during the graduation of my daughter when my DA*50-135mm f2.8 could only take a picture of the whole stage.), a 100mm f2.8 Macro lens and a 11-17mm f2.8 fish-eye. I still keep my 18-55mm kit lens and an old 80-320mm telephoto zoom lens. I do get a chance to still use my film lenses 50mm f1.4 and 135mm f3.5. I just love the flexibility of zoom lenses over primes. 
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Gidz on June 25, 2011, 11:58:02 PM
this is sticky as it may get, but certainly delicious to the palate...  ;)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: blim_happy on June 27, 2011, 10:40:27 AM
i will definitely share this to my friends! and from time to time reread this thread to remind me on what I really want to shoot. thanks!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on June 28, 2011, 01:15:30 AM
Very informative and practical thread as most of the information comes from day-to-day practice. I do agree that everything starts with your walk-around lens. I have a EF 24-70mm f2.8 with my Canon 7D and a DA*16-50mm f2.8 on my Pentax K7. I am more of a travel photographer so I have already encountered instances where I wished I had a wider lens. So I have added a EFS 10-22mm to my Canon lens line-up. I have been a Pentaxian for quite sometime so my Pentax lens line-up is longer with a DA*60-250mm (I was frustrated during the graduation of my daughter when my DA*50-135mm f2.8 could only take a picture of the whole stage.), a 100mm f2.8 Macro lens and a 11-17mm f2.8 fish-eye. I still keep my 18-55mm kit lens and an old 80-320mm telephoto zoom lens. I do get a chance to still use my film lenses 50mm f1.4 and 135mm f3.5. I just love the flexibility of zoom lenses over primes. 

  You really have to keep an 18-55 or equivalent lens even if you are mostly into other types of photography like birding, or macro, or whatever. If you are into weddings and have a fast 17-55 f2.8, maybe you can skip the slower 18-55. But if you are into weddings, then you know that you have to have a backup lens. So, you may have to keep this lens. Also, for traveling, the canon 18-55 IS is pretty decent optically, light, and small.

  As you can see, travel photography is different. You'd really want small, light, and unobtrusive, with a lot of shots per battery charge in case you can't recharge. Or at least carry 1 or 2 spare batts.

  In all these, lenses are a series of compromises. Even if you can afford the best, the "BEST" may even be the worst, if you can't justify it's size or weight. Sometimes, there is just "good enough" and if you are decent enough with your skill, you can get very good shots with "lesser" equipment. :)

  I'd like to play this hypothetical game and ask myself if I have my 400d and a kit lens, can I cover a wedding wherever I am and still have a decent album to to give to the couple if I only had that 400d and an 18-55 IS kit lens. If my answer is yes, then it means 2 things - 1) I have a good grasp of my gear so I can make the most of what I have at the moment; 2) I have a good grasp of me, my skill, my limitations, and my pluses that I can overcome most of the 400d + 18-55 IS limitations. And no flash to boot too! ;)

  Of course, if I have a 2nd body, my 70-200 f2.8L IS, a 50mm fast prime, my 10-22mm, and 2 flashes, I could do more. But that is not the point. The point is maximizing equipment you have and your skill to come out with a decent and above board output. Because if you can do that and cover an event while on a different mission (travelling), then your gear is good enough for most types of photography.

  By playing this hypothetical games, I have created a light system of the 400d, 18-55, and the 55-250 IS where I can take travel pictures but not be too bulky or heavy, and if asked to cover an event, do some light macro, or some basic birding, I can still pull off something. ;)  Again, not the best, but this 2 lens combo, can take you a lot of places and do decent on a lmited performance level. But still good enough for what one has.

  Lately, I've scaled this mind games, if I can cover the same scenario but only this time with a P&S like a Canon SX220 IS or Sd4000, or an LX3 or LX5. Such exercises further challenges me to become a better photographer because the more limited the gear, and if I can come out with decent photos, what it means is that my skill moves along on a better level because if I can still get decent results on lesser gear, then it is skill that is taking it there, not the gear. :)

  Also, today's P&S's aren't slouches anymore. A S95 or an LX4 or EP1 can be formidable and do great things in the hands of a competent photographer. So, as far as travelling, I do want to explore lighter, smaller options, though may not be as good as an SLR with fantastic lenses, but may be good enough for my own use and standards.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: monocle on June 29, 2011, 11:26:09 AM
In another thread, I posted on the Guide for Upgrading for the Intermediate or serious hobbyiest. What was mentioned there is the need to build your system on lenses rather than bodies. This series, hopes to guide the user into the process of how to go about building your own lens lineup.  ;D

 First let's get the ground rules clear first.

  1. To build a lens lineup, you must be clear and sure already of the type of photography you want to be involved with.

  2. If you are not sure,  best dip into the different types of photography for at least 1-2 years, till you start getting serious about a certain direction of photography you want. This has it's own strategy so that you won't be spending too much only to find out that it's not your cup of tea.

  3. If you are independently wealthy or have money to burn, then you may skip this article. Still you are welcome to read on.  ;D






i like the number 3 there, not applicable to me though.  :(
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: bmcasis on June 29, 2011, 06:06:42 PM
Hello, Caterpillar. This is a very informative thread including the comments of the other members. I don't have any special interest in a particular type of photography, I am a hobbyist who just loves to take pictures 

I agree with you, Caterpillar, to maximize the use of your equipment to know just exactly what you lack (if it is really a lack, baka GAS lang kasi). I started with a 400D and I still have that camera (love it and the lenses that I can only use with it, but this is another story). I have upgraded to a 5D M2. I use a 24-105 as my walk around lens and I travel quite a bit. There was a time that I had to have the 24-105 repaired and used a 50 mm macro lens (remember that lens, Carterpillar, worth every peso I paid with the pictures I now have using that lens) and a 70-200 f4 IS for an out-of-town trip. I came back with pictures that were really good and very sharp (prime lens kasi). Did I regret not having my walk-around zoom lens during this trip? Initially, I thought I will be missing out on a lot of shots but it turns out that the situation just made me more imaginative in composing my shots. Another factor was the relatively unassuming 50 mm lens, I was able to get more street shots than if I were using a larger 24-105.

The lenses that I got before for my 400D are still being used and I try to consider these lenses and their focal lengths with a crop body when I am thinking of getting a lens for my ff body. In the end, even if you have a limited line-up of lenses, your output will only be limited by not letting go of the idea that you cannot have a good shot because of the lack of good equipments.

By the way, I still have my non-L lenses that I got early in my digital photography days. They still take good pictures as long as you know their sweet spot. I have tested them and now, I am more aware of their strengths and limitations.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: FredEstioko on June 30, 2011, 04:02:49 PM
I love to take pictures and save them as memories. I got into SLRs because I surmise that Point & Shoot cameras do not provide the image quality that I want. I actually started out with a Pentax ME Super - a film camera which I bought from a surplus store in Mabalacat during one of my trips up North in tthe mid 80s. It came with a 50mm f1.4 standard lens and a 135mm f3.5 portrait lens. (I guess some camera models would have 105mm as their portrait lens.) Things were pretty limited until about 10-15 years ago when I could now afford manual focus zooms 20-35mm and a 80-200mm Pentax lenses which I bought togther with a new camera body -- the Pentax MZM. The notion I had was to have the standard 50mm lens, a wide angle and a telephoto lens and a portrait lens.

Things became different when I started to go digital with the Pentax *st DS which came with a 18-55mm kit lens. All of a sudden nomenclatures became different probably because of the availability of a crop sensor compared to the film's 36x24 dimensions. The standard 50mm was no longer standard because of the crop factor of 1.5x. Moreso, I realize I need to have auto-focus lenses as all my existing lenses were manual focus. I complemented the new digital body with a 20-35mm wide angle lens, a 28-105mm walk-around lens and an 80-320mm telephoto lens. With these lenses, I barely used the kit lens. I had great fun times shooting with this set, using the telephoto during graduations and recognition days, the wide angle during parties and the walk-around during travels.

But changing lenses became a hustle so I took the opportunity to get another digital body -- the Pentax K10D body only. I also realized the flexibility of buying just the body without the kit lens. This semi-pro body gave me more verstility in taking photos; thus I ventured into more playful lenses such as the 10-17mm f2.8 Fish-Eye and the 100mm Macro f2.8. I also became more discerning about lens speed and trying to understand which type of photography would need more depth of field and which would look better with lens wide open.

Luckily, I got a gracious bonus 2 years ago and I pampered myself with a Pentax K7 body, a Pentax DA*16-50mm f2.8 and a Pentax DA*60-250mm f4.0. I must admit that I use the DA*16-50mm f2.8 almost 80% of my time with the K7. The DA*60-250mm comes in handy if you want to see facial expressions, far-away items, etc.

I guess I have been limited by the thought of needing to use my film lenses and that is the reason why I have remained a Pentax user for a long time. Just a few months ago I ventured into new territory -- Canon Photography with a Canon 7D. After a lot of reading reviews, photographers' lessons and experiences, I am trying to complete a trinity. I already have a EF 24-70mm f2.8 and just purchased a EFS 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 in Kuala Lumpur (insignificant savings; cheapest in shops within Sungei Wan Mall/Bukit Bintang area). I am looking forward to completing the set with a 70-200mm variant. I am still weighing the pros and cons of a f2.8L and a f4.0L, with IS or without IS or the IS II.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: proud07christian on July 05, 2011, 11:32:54 PM
thanks. learned a lot from this article. :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: iampoch on July 10, 2011, 11:00:19 AM
This post is in absolute need of a printable PDF version. I can create one for you, and you can provide pictures, and I can contribute with pics as well :)

Another point to consider: just because you have a DX body, doesn't mean that it's impractical (nor optima) to use just DX lenses :) Some FX lenses tend to become gods (or have different purpose) when used on a DX body. For example, the 24-70mm becomes a SuperPortrait on a DX due to the crop factor, but kinda lacking range-wise when shooting events. That's why I'm thinking of just keeping my 17-55 since I still shoot events (and if I don't have another buddy photographer with me, when I do, I usually go sniper mode).

For street photography, I more often than not carry only one lens: the venerable and much-loved 18-200mm. Not pro-quality shots when compared to my other three lenses, but the convenience it provides more than makes up for it. I'm planning to get a prime or two as backup, or for fashion/portrait photography but for the moment, the 24-70 and 70-200 fit the bill. But from what I know, primes are the best for these fields of photography.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: awen on July 12, 2011, 12:50:25 AM
thank you s'Caterpillar for the very informative thread. it's good to know that even my office mates 'belittle' my entry-level cam I can say that i'm on the right path, gear wise.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ShowMeTheMoney on July 12, 2011, 10:37:31 AM
Good read.

Definitely agree about knowing what you want to shoot first.  IMO, this is the most important thing.

Many of us think we need to cover every single millimeter from UWA to tele.  (I did for quite a long time too, I guess you could say I learned the hard way that this is rarely true).

I once had both 70-200 and a 150mm macro lens on crop for awhile.  It took me a long time to realize that for my purposes (I shoot street), I generally have very little need for a telephoto lens.  For street, I realized that I'd live on the 24mm-50mm equivalent FLs 98% of the time.  For my tele needs, I'm typically okay with an 85mm equivalent, or a 105mm equivalent as my longest lens, and even then, they will mostly be used very sparingly.  Had I realized this back then, I would not only have saved a lot of money, I'd also have enjoyed shooting a lot more.

RE: the upgrade path to Full Frame, I think you should also take into consideration how long you'll be shooting with a crop sensor.  It's more economical to go for the full frame glass first, but if you're going to be shooting crop for quite awhile (2-3+ years), I think you might end up with some wonky focal lengths if you try to force lenses designed for FF to the cropped FOV.  Para sa akin, a lens like a 16-35 or a 35mm would be very useful for both crop and full frame,  but lenses like the a 24-70 or a 70-200 would be strictly for full frame use only.  They'd both be pretty useless focal lengths on crop for me.  (another thing I learned the hard way).  But of course, YMMV.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: iampoch on July 12, 2011, 11:11:05 AM
Good read.

Definitely agree about knowing what you want to shoot first.  IMO, this is the most important thing.

Many of us think we need to cover every single millimeter from UWA to tele.  (I did for quite a long time too, I guess you could say I learned the hard way that this is rarely true).

I once had both 70-200 and a 150mm macro lens on crop for awhile.  It took me a long time to realize that for my purposes (I shoot street), I generally have very little need for a telephoto lens.  For street, I realized that I'd live on the 24mm-50mm equivalent FLs 98% of the time.  For my tele needs, I'm typically okay with an 85mm equivalent, or a 105mm equivalent as my longest lens, and even then, they will mostly be used very sparingly.  Had I realized this back then, I would not only have saved a lot of money, I'd also have enjoyed shooting a lot more.

RE: the upgrade path to Full Frame, I think you should also take into consideration how long you'll be shooting with a crop sensor.  It's more economical to go for the full frame glass first, but if you're going to be shooting crop for quite awhile (2-3+ years), I think you might end up with some wonky focal lengths if you try to force lenses designed for FF to the cropped FOV.  Para sa akin, a lens like a 16-35 or a 35mm would be very useful for both crop and full frame,  but lenses like the a 24-70 or a 70-200 would be strictly for full frame use only.  They'd both be pretty useless focal lengths on crop for me.  (another thing I learned the hard way).  But of course, YMMV.



True. Personally, the crop effect proved to be beneficial for me, as both my 24-70 and 70-200's crop effect on a DX (36-105 and 105-300, respectively) fit my needs perfectly, so much so that I'm not tempted to shift to FX. On events, I usually go to sniper mode, and the 105-300 is a godsend. I let my partner photogs take care of the close-up shots. When I go solo, I just whip up my 17-55 (or the 17-50 before that). I haven't used my 24-70 yet on events, but it's my staple in fashion photography (still learning the ropes, it's a different discipline from events, street). I haven't explored using primes for fashion yet, but I plan to. I haven't bought a 85mm yet.

My only other DX lens is the 18-200, and I use it exclusively on the street. The weight and length of the pro lenses prove to be too cumbersome for me, and the 24-70's focal length is too limiting for me.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ericbanes on July 15, 2011, 05:29:46 PM
Good read.

Definitely agree about knowing what you want to shoot first.  IMO, this is the most important thing.

Many of us think we need to cover every single millimeter from UWA to tele.  (I did for quite a long time too, I guess you could say I learned the hard way that this is rarely true).

I once had both 70-200 and a 150mm macro lens on crop for awhile.  It took me a long time to realize that for my purposes (I shoot street), I generally have very little need for a telephoto lens.  For street, I realized that I'd live on the 24mm-50mm equivalent FLs 98% of the time.  For my tele needs, I'm typically okay with an 85mm equivalent, or a 105mm equivalent as my longest lens, and even then, they will mostly be used very sparingly.  Had I realized this back then, I would not only have saved a lot of money, I'd also have enjoyed shooting a lot more.

RE: the upgrade path to Full Frame, I think you should also take into consideration how long you'll be shooting with a crop sensor.  It's more economical to go for the full frame glass first, but if you're going to be shooting crop for quite awhile (2-3+ years), I think you might end up with some wonky focal lengths if you try to force lenses designed for FF to the cropped FOV.  Para sa akin, a lens like a 16-35 or a 35mm would be very useful for both crop and full frame,  but lenses like the a 24-70 or a 70-200 would be strictly for full frame use only.  They'd both be pretty useless focal lengths on crop for me.  (another thing I learned the hard way).  But of course, YMMV.



As a beginner, this is what I thought I need to do. Im still in the process of exploring what kind of genre im comfortable with (i find a great liking in travel and portrait photography. Thanks for the post!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: caterpillar on July 15, 2011, 09:28:00 PM
Here's more to consider.

I've read somewhere in the past, that if you spend more time at a certain focal length, it is best to save up for the best or what you think is the ideal for that FL. This guide was for those who want to know when and why one should consider a prime lens. But it should work with zooms as well. If I recall, this was made in a time when zooms were really subpar optically vis-a-vis primes.

So, if you are spending a lot of time in the 65mm or 90mm range with your zoom lens, perhaps it is best to get an 85mm prime. With today's digital files, it is easy to create a profile or stat of where you normally zoom. The data is normally imbedded in the EXIF and there are softwares around that can gobble up your jpegs and spew out the stats of your usage.

 I am not saying you should go or not go prime. It is just an aid for you to figure out your lens lineup. After all, if you are spending shooting at 75mm-120mm, for example, that's already a clue to you that maybe you should consider a 70-200mm lens or a 100mm prime.
 
  Of course it is not all cut and dried. Even in the 70-200mm range, there is a long debate if not discussion on the merits of aperture (f2.8 vs f4.0) and with IS or without IS, not to mention w/c is sharper, etc. So, you just have to do your research.

  At the other end of the spectrum, sometimes, you must also break from your mold. Even if you find out that you are a 70-200mm guy, you must also explore the world of 10-24mm or other FL. This is most especially if you are still exploring your favorite field, or even if you have found it, you still haven't tapped into it. Let me illustrate.

  Most landscape shooters prefer wide angle lensee. So, in time, they learn to use wide angles very well. It becomes "easy" for them to compose that. But ask them if they use 100-400mm range, and it is hardly used. But you can also do lanscape shooting with a 100mm or 400mm lens! What if the mountain is so far away and you can't get the details with a wide? Or the sunset is so nice on that horizon and it will be lost if you use an 18mm or 10mm? The sun's power will be marginalized or not accentuated on an overaly wide shot. Hence, even long FL can be useful in landscape.

  Same with events and weddings. In our group, only I love the 10-22mm. In fact, I can now wield 10-14mm quite well and is my favorite. I hardly go over 16mm (on a crop body). But there was a time I hardly knew how to use it. But I realized early that in events, a room can be so small, or the altar is so narrow and you can't back down because your light will fall off and exposure will be wrong, or you will get the pew in the shot that the only way to go is to shoot at 10-14m ;Dm.

  At first, it was hard to wield it. Later on, I got to be so good at it, I even was able to take a portrait shot at 22mm and you'd not think it was taken at 22mm!  ;)

  In short, you still have to explore. One can be so comfortable with a FL that one no longer wishes to see how to see the world in other FL. Personally, I think this will limit you as a photographer. FL is one of those variables that can add a dimension and creative stimulus to your shots. You simply have to get out of your comfort zone and try a wide angle lens or a super-zoom lens, or a prime.

 When I say TRY, I mean stick with it for at least 3-6 months! And when I meean "stick,' I mean you really try to learn it. Don't judge it and wipe it off if you haven't really explore it.

  One of the things that can bog you done in trying other FL is if you insist to shoot the new or unfamiliar FL the same way you shoot your other lenses. For example, you can't compose and think the same way with a 10-22 the way you use a 17-55 or 70-200mm. And this is why many fail to learn the other FLs. They insist on doing the same thing with a 10-22mm as what they do with the 70-200mm. It's not going to work!

  I got to like the 10-22 so much and got to master it's intricacies, strength, and weaknesses, that if you ask me I had only one lens I could pick to shoot a wedding, I would not bat an eye and say it is the 10-22! It's not my favorite lens, but I know how to wield it and can make a portrait of it at 22mm that I don't feel limited with it. It's easy to shoot a portrait at 70-200mm. But you can't take a group picture with it! Well, unless you back up at the end of the church! I doubt if your flash can reach that far or you won't get people walking in front of your shot! But a 10-22 can take that shot and can take a portrait. Not as good as the 70-200mm, but it is possible.

 In summary,  consider getting the best lens or a prime for those most used FL. After all, if you are spending a lot of time, say in the 17-85mm range, might as well get the best 17-85mm lens, or 17-55mm if it is not as good as you want it. Analyze your usage and see where you normally stay most of the time. Then consider saving up for that lens.

  By the same token, explore other FL. Really learn it for 6months, even 9 months. Keep an open mind. Learn the lens in its own terms, not with how you wield your other FL. In this way, you can really know if you like the lens or not.

 Of course, in the end, what this does is that it helps you create your own lens lineup. :)

=============
FYI, my all around trio is the 10-22/24-105L/70-200 f2.8L IS. It is good for a crop, and if I move to a 35FF, I can drop the 10-22 and still have a decent wide angle. BTW, I can convert my 10-22 and will work as a decent 16-22mm on a 35FF!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: darrellbaet on July 19, 2011, 09:43:26 AM
Nice thread for a starter like me! a must read thread. kudos to caterpillar :D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: humpdebump on July 21, 2011, 07:09:10 PM
this thread really helps me a lot, it is also expensive for a beginner to try photography
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: bikoy888 on July 21, 2011, 10:25:40 PM
This thread is very helpful. Thanks man


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: kristoff on August 04, 2011, 05:28:56 PM
Very informative!  ;D ;D ;D For a beginner like me this will help a lot.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Silvermage7 on August 07, 2011, 05:55:08 AM
a very informative thread sir :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: markvtec on August 07, 2011, 02:25:02 PM
thank you for sharing this informative thread. very helpful
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: JailBait on August 12, 2011, 09:36:09 PM
thanks for the share of knowledge bro.  :D KUDOS.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: spidermanph on August 29, 2011, 06:17:34 PM
Very nice read. Thanks for sharing...
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: pendycastle on August 29, 2011, 07:55:19 PM
one of the most beginner friendly article here in PiPho. i will share it to y friends. credits to sir caterpillar of PiPho.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: joelsare on August 29, 2011, 08:06:03 PM
Thanks Caterpillar, very informative and aye opener for most of beginners who are at lost on what lens to begin with.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: james071994 on September 25, 2011, 09:21:24 AM
Thanks for sharing sir :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: reddragon on October 02, 2011, 11:18:00 AM
Thanks for this! I should have read more articles like this before I decide to buy any lens other than the kit lens.

As a beginner, some may find themselves getting all the gear first rather than make do for what they already have. I bought an 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 two years ago. Now I realize I don't even use it that often since I now know that I am more into portrait and travel photography. Lugging that long and heavy lens is just not an option when I'm traveling. I may have to swap it with a wider lens.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: bmcasis on October 12, 2011, 11:15:43 AM
Yes, Mel is correct. It is really best to try out what FL you work with most of the time then get the best lens for that FL. I have moved from my initial lenses for a 400D and now use FF lenses most of the time. The convenience of a zoom lens is something that a photographer has to keep in mind but prime lenses really give your photos an added plus. In building your lens line up, research and information are essential so that you don't waste money and end up not using the lenses that you get.

This is exactly what is most useful in this forum, the experts giving their take on equipments and giving advice to the newer and younger members. With this type of environment and atmosphere, everyone gains from the exchanges and comments! 
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: kraynor3 on October 22, 2011, 10:06:44 PM
a very good read for a newbie like me.

now if i can only find someone i can borrow some lenses. :D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: BigDeals on November 13, 2011, 01:53:20 AM
Nice article.

Now I try to always use primes + foot zoom. I know what are its limitations and where it will excel. Working with limitations forces your creative mind to take better photos (in theory). But in practice it's a different story :)

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: outlaw on November 24, 2011, 11:15:01 PM
Another very helpful thread for me. Thanks guys for contributing. :D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: whaphak! on November 25, 2011, 04:17:58 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this, very informative. A must read for newbies like me  ;D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: kyxz on December 04, 2011, 05:50:47 PM
a worthy read...indeed, very informative for newbies like me
thanks to all resource posters, your experience is of great value
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: PowellBingcang on December 04, 2011, 08:20:44 PM
Nice, that's why i shifted and make my cam a full frame one. Even it's old, it's still a full frame. I may not upgrade my body for the next years, will be focusing more one lenses and other useful accessories
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: grifter127 on December 11, 2011, 02:30:15 AM
very i formative and very well explained. Thanks qnd kidos to s'caterpillar. Will definitely wait for more threads like this.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: R8ed on December 16, 2011, 08:21:07 PM
This article will really help me a lot since Im new in the photography world. Ngayon na medyo kabisado ko na ang gamit kong camera pede na siguro ako mag upgrade ng lens. Mostly kasi Im into portraits at street photography so ang unang lens upgrade na bibilhin ko ay yung 50mm f/1.8G. Im also into outdoors so isang mahabang lente. baka po meron kayong suggestion it will be highly appreciated. Thanks!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: athos11 on December 27, 2011, 04:14:43 PM
Helped me a lot and very informative! Thanks!!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: quarterback on January 03, 2012, 11:22:34 AM
a very helpful and very informative thread.. thanks sir caterpillar!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: franz_inwurdz on January 06, 2012, 10:37:20 AM
I consider myself very lucky that I have a dad that was into the hobby years ahead before I can even spell photography.

When I wanted to try it, He asked me if I was serious. He started me out with a Nikon FM2 and a 50mm, even though he already had a seldom used D40, he rarely let me touch it.
After 3 months he gave me his D40, and the kit 18-55mm, that went with it. Without the FM2 experience, I wouldn't have greatly appreciated the introduction of a 3rd important variably, the ISO.

I spent a couple of years shooting with the D40, He wouldn't let me touch any of his cams and lenses. Oh, he did gave me this nifty SB-400 flash to use after a year.

After saving a good amount, I bought myself a D7000 and my Dad literally opened up his lens collection for me. But he did it, 1 by 1, and would tell me to spend time with each. I tried the 70-300mm, the 85mm, the 24-70. But I fell in love with the DX 35mm. With the high mega-pixel of my D7000 and the convenience of cropping things in post processing, I could literally shoot anything with the 35mm. a couple of steps forward or backward was all I needed. I conveniently traveled and joined photo-walks with only that lens. I always thought panget yung mga lenses na yun. (Yes, napangitan ako sa 24-70,)Wala na sana akong balak pang ibang bilhin at balak ko na nga sanang ibenta ang D7000 ko at bumili nalang ng X100 until I read this article.

After reading this article, I realized that those lenses weren't crummy, I just didn't know how to use it. I never gave it a chance. I also realized that I'm into street and nature photography.

thanks for the read, and the second wind.  ;D



Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: maykello on January 07, 2012, 01:16:25 AM
hi i'm new to photography and also to this group. i saw this thread and wanted to know which of these options is the best upgrade for me? also my budget is around Php12-15K.

1. Nikon Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Autofocus Lens

or

2. Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens

what i have right now is a 50mm f/1.8D paired with my D90. i'm not a professional, the D90 was only sold to me by my sister because she needs to buy a new one.

i use it for group pictures (church meetings, parties, holidays, etc), basketball games, action figures.

thanks in advance! i'm really glad i joined this forum. i'm already learning a lot. =)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: killer_smile3 on January 09, 2012, 06:38:28 PM
I feel bad ngayon ko lang nabasa itong thread na ito. :( kasi nakabili na ako ng L lens kahit di naman ako masyado marunong sa photography. I hope I did not make the wrong decision.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: vicko on January 12, 2012, 08:44:51 AM
Interesting.. I'm thinking of a lens upgrade and this thread helped a lot..
Thanks!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: rljavierto on January 12, 2012, 08:55:29 AM
hi i'm new to photography and also to this group. i saw this thread and wanted to know which of these options is the best upgrade for me? also my budget is around Php12-15K.

1. Nikon Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Autofocus Lens

or

2. Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens

what i have right now is a 50mm f/1.8D paired with my D90. i'm not a professional, the D90 was only sold to me by my sister because she needs to buy a new one.

i use it for group pictures (church meetings, parties, holidays, etc), basketball games, action figures.

thanks in advance! i'm really glad i joined this forum. i'm already learning a lot.

Your D90 and 50mm 1.8D is already great. Now buy the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 for group pics para hindi ka atras ng atras. Then buy external flash probably SB600 and that will do wonder for your group pics. Save more for a telephoto 70-200mm f/2.8 probably sigma which is cheaper than a nikkor for your sports photo. Happy shooting!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: maykello on January 12, 2012, 12:10:03 PM
@rljavierto: thanks for the information. yun din ang naiisip ko na bilin. sa ngayon habang nagiipon manghihiram muna ako ng lens sa ate para matulungan din ako makapagdecide habang nanghihiram pa ako sa kanya =)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: 1812 on January 13, 2012, 11:18:47 PM
Nice thread! Truly, Experience is the best teacher.  :D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: nitnelav_30 on January 21, 2012, 01:00:31 AM
very informative to newbie like me.... thanks Sir Caterpillar....
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: cmbo75 on January 21, 2012, 11:39:31 AM
i've got the

kit lens nikkor 18-55 vrii
nikkor 50 mm f/1.4 g.
sigma 17-70 mm os hsm..


too bad... :(
still wanting the
nikkor 24-70 mm f/2.8
nikkor 70-200 mm f/2.8
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: junji on January 21, 2012, 12:46:14 PM
my lens line is somewhat complete already in terms of range.
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-vc
Tokina 50-135 f/2.8
Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 (120-300mm approx in a crop body)

I did not spend to much from the above line-up as the last two have been purchased 2nd hand in pristine condition.

I am still craving for 24-70 and 70-200 to replace the three to future proof my line-up just in case I go full frame as I am using currently D7K. In my case when already have the budget, I will dispose the first two as the 80-200 is already ready for FF. My learning is that if your budget allow, go for the killer lens (save and buy it one at a time to replace the kit lens). Ang hirap kasi talaga na pigilang maglaway kahit ayos na kung ano meron ka. tsk tsk.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: skeaniee on February 02, 2012, 10:11:03 AM
very informative thread for newbies like me  :D

Thanks everyone  ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: hmrpatricio on February 02, 2012, 10:27:29 PM
save,save and save and then buy the best lens that you wanted! This thread is a big help, salamat caterpillar.  I recently bought the canon efs-10-22mm and I love it,...an L lens without the red ring. I already have the 18-55 kit lens, 50mm 1.8 and 55-250mm, but the sharpness of the "L" is superb! My 100mm 2.8 L IS macro is my walk around lens--very sharp! Isa na lang ang kulang---70-200mm f4 L IS  plus the extender and I'm  okay :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: mikeve on February 11, 2012, 09:19:47 PM
ty po Sir Caterpillar.  a big help for us just starting
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: czetsuya on February 16, 2012, 01:10:58 PM
Thanks Sir Caterpillar, very informative article. I'm currently looking for lens combination and this article really helps a lot :-)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: sh8ks on February 24, 2012, 12:34:21 AM
my lens line up now is
canon 24-70 2.8
sigma 70-200 2.8
canon 100macro
sigma 50 1.4

sa range ok na siya, pero i lack on the wide. 24mm on a crop body is not wide parang sakto lang siya sa paningin ko..next target will be 17-50 tamron or 17-40L

nice article very informative
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: momon sarreal on March 20, 2012, 03:05:03 PM
know first how you shoot... if you love strobe, you can settle for zoom lens(i preffer 2.8 lenses) but if you shoot mostly with available light like me. you should think of buying fast prime lenses like 24 1.4, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, 85 1.4...:))
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: nienna on April 03, 2012, 06:52:07 PM
Hehe buti nabasa ko ito. Kudos kay Boss Caterpillar.

Balak ko na nga rin talaga bumili na nang additional lente. At may nagsabi sa akin na maganda ngang kumuha ako nang prime lens para mabilis... kaso naguguluhan kung gustu ko ba nang 35mm or 50mm hanggang nabasa ko itong discussion na ito. At ang pinaka magandang sagot na nakuha ko ay:

"Want to know the difference between the 50mm and 35mm? Its15mm.
Want to know what this means in real life? Get your kit lens, put it on 50mm and shoot all day. Tomorrow, set it at 35mm and shoot all day.
Now you know."

So talagang gagawin ko yan hehe.
Title: Re: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: iampoch on April 14, 2012, 08:24:25 AM
Hehe buti nabasa ko ito. Kudos kay Boss Caterpillar.

Balak ko na nga rin talaga bumili na nang additional lente. At may nagsabi sa akin na maganda ngang kumuha ako nang prime lens para mabilis... kaso naguguluhan kung gustu ko ba nang 35mm or 50mm hanggang nabasa ko itong discussion na ito. At ang pinaka magandang sagot na nakuha ko ay:

"Want to know the difference between the 50mm and 35mm? Its15mm.
Want to know what this means in real life? Get your kit lens, put it on 50mm and shoot all day. Tomorrow, set it at 35mm and shoot all day.
Now you know."

So talagang gagawin ko yan hehe.

If you're using DX, though, it's more of like a 52.5mm (35mm) vs 75mm (50mm), so it's a little under 25mm difference in the field of view :-)

Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: drb on April 26, 2012, 03:23:01 PM
Such a helpful thread.
Really appreciate it, Caterpillar.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Dennis Zamora on May 01, 2012, 08:50:48 AM
Excellent 'how-to' guide.  Thanks for sharing your insights, Mel.   
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ceden_yu143 on May 02, 2012, 07:40:54 AM
this one really helps.. ;)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Hardinero on May 16, 2012, 01:26:42 PM
Thanks for this! I should have read more articles like this before I decide to buy any lens other than the kit lens.

As a beginner, some may find themselves getting all the gear first rather than make do for what they already have. I bought an 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 two years ago. Now I realize I don't even use it that often since I now know that I am more into portrait and travel photography. Lugging that long and heavy lens is just not an option when I'm traveling. I may have to swap it with a wider lens.

paps,  i'm in this situation right now ...eyeing for 18-200mm tamron (kaya lang parang mabigat)...and i'm into portrait and landscape but more leaning on landscape.... what lense fits my interest paps..
 
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Hardinero on May 16, 2012, 02:00:47 PM
Hehe buti nabasa ko ito. Kudos kay Boss Caterpillar.

Balak ko na nga rin talaga bumili na nang additional lente. At may nagsabi sa akin na maganda ngang kumuha ako nang prime lens para mabilis... kaso naguguluhan kung gustu ko ba nang 35mm or 50mm hanggang nabasa ko itong discussion na ito. At ang pinaka magandang sagot na nakuha ko ay:

"Want to know the difference between the 50mm and 35mm? Its15mm.
Want to know what this means in real life? Get your kit lens, put it on 50mm and shoot all day. Tomorrow, set it at 35mm and shoot all day.
Now you know."

So talagang gagawin ko yan hehe.


buti na lang paps nabasa ko ito...ang laki ng natipid ko dahil dito....
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: centralperk on May 18, 2012, 07:10:13 PM
It would have helped me a lot to have read this when I was starting out. :) I eventually came to mostly the same conclusion as Caterpillar. Shoot first then determine what you like to shoot before buying. I found out I like fast lenses so I ended up getting a 17-50 2.8, a 50 1.8 and an 85 1.8. I also recently got a 70-200 f4 IS. (I find the 2.8 too heavy to carry though the extra stop would have been nice).


Thanks Caterpillar for a very well written and informative thread.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: garrie david on May 22, 2012, 07:38:37 PM
In another thread, I posted on the Guide for Upgrading for the Intermediate or serious hobbyiest. What was mentioned there is the need to build your system on lenses rather than bodies. This series, hopes to guide the user into the process of how to go about building your own lens lineup.  ;D

 First let's get the ground rules clear first.

  1. To build a lens lineup, you must be clear and sure already of the type of photography you want to be involved with.

  2. If you are not sure,  best dip into the different types of photography for at least 1-2 years, till you start getting serious about a certain direction of photography you want. This has it's own strategy so that you won't be spending too much only to find out that it's not your cup of tea.

  3. If you are independently wealthy or have money to burn, then you may skip this article. Still you are welcome to read on.  ;D






Hello


I hope that the item number 3 should be considered. While you have money to burn it seems that youstill need to identify what king of photo you need to take. Let us continue developing the descipline among as photographer to think, create, and review the output that we want.


I wish I have money to burn also. I have a wish list of lens that I wish to acquire but limitations dictates that I need to work within what I have on hand.


Allow me to thank you for making the ground rules and enable us to learn from this.


MAGANDANG ARAW PO.

Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: emojay on June 20, 2012, 03:04:49 PM
Sir Caterpillar,
Can I cover events with this gear
Canon 1100D
EF-S 18-55mm IS II, EF-S 55-250 F4-5.6 IS, EF - 50mm 1.8 MkII, Godox Speedlight TT520

thanks for any input.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: tdbur on July 06, 2012, 12:17:25 PM
Great thread! Very well written and informative! I've been shooting for awhile now and have transitioned into video.

The one lens I regret selling have been my 70-200 f/4L. I realized late how useful the extra reach of this lightweight lens is in both my photography and video work.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: yno0o_15 on July 27, 2012, 08:28:16 PM
this helped a lot., tnx ^_^
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: alanpokito on July 30, 2012, 12:08:32 AM
A very inspiring read, starting out with a kit lens and slowly moving up to those expensive, yet quality lenses. Maraming salamat sa isang napakagandang artikulo, kapatid na Caterpillar!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: guelmigz on July 30, 2012, 08:48:50 PM
Thanks for the nice read... I'm using tamron 17-50 VC with my 550d may ma rerecommend po ba kayo na ok na zoom lenses that have length more than 50? ung cheap lang, pero dream ko ung 135mm f2 ng canon
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ozphoto on August 26, 2012, 11:01:04 AM
A dedicated macro lens e.g Nikon micro 105mm f2.8 is essential in macro photography.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: mikhailphotographia on September 09, 2012, 03:14:47 PM
during my photography milestone(4years) eto palang na-invest kong lenses

1000D 18-55 kit for reversed macro photography, 50mm 1.8 prime, 17-45 Wide, 55-250mm as my zoom, and 18-85mm for spare zoom

and 2 YN460-2 flash
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Reymond Padriga on October 02, 2012, 11:25:51 PM
maraming salamat po sa topic nato. I've decided to build my len's line up instead buying for a new camera body.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ripcity32 on October 09, 2012, 03:46:41 PM
This thread is very helpful. Thanks Sir catterpillar!
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: smartrey on December 16, 2012, 07:18:49 PM
If you don't know where to start buying lenses, then I suggest start buying lenses for Wedding & Events  & portraiture lenses. Why?????    because it has a better ROI, what I mean that you can easily generate income thru these lenses compared to macro/sports/landscape lenses. Just my cent..
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: lorenzop on January 01, 2013, 12:45:44 PM
I like Dolina's philosophy in building your camera and lens line up. It is practical and economical
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: kyxz on January 30, 2013, 06:22:53 AM
practical and informative read...thanks for the article
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: mcbry on February 05, 2013, 05:09:46 PM
thanks for this very informative thread.
this is really helpful for newbies like me  :)
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: mnacar on February 05, 2013, 08:56:21 PM
very very very informative thread by sir Caterpillar...lucky enough to read this since I already on the stage of creating my lense line up or weither I will be upgrading soon to FX or will have 2 bodies with DX and FX with me....wew... :o :o :o
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: machinedolphin on April 04, 2013, 03:29:53 AM
very informative and nice read. Thanks for sharing this
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: skidoodle on April 13, 2013, 02:31:34 PM
May i know po what was the difference between the DX and FX lenses?


TYVM
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: sugapoks on April 21, 2013, 12:27:38 PM
salamat sir Caterpillar sa post mo..very informative sa mga newbies na katulad ko..  ;D
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: c010504 on April 29, 2013, 02:56:07 PM
also eyeing joining a club and be a part of event shooting group
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: alanpokito on May 05, 2013, 09:16:05 AM
A good read. Definitely gives newbies a good direction in this field.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: Aalia Nebhan on May 16, 2013, 07:28:20 PM
I have a couple of sets that I like to use(I also combine and match), I'm generally preparing my range for the future, which will be FF EVIL.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: bmcasis on October 07, 2014, 10:37:59 PM
Hi, Mel. It has been sometime since we have exchanged ideas. A truly interesting read. I still have the 100mm 2.0 and 50 mm macro. On my ff body, I now use these prime lenses more and less of my zooms, the 24-105 especially. I still have my trusty 400d for some of my really sharp efs lenses. When we first met, I was using my zoom lenses more and hardly used primes, but our needs and wants really evolve over time and this goes with the photography that we do.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: cha_369 on November 25, 2014, 10:54:32 AM
newbie photographer here. thanks for the advice. though may question pa ako.
I'm torn among the 3 lenses and I have a Nikon D5200 camera, just bought it last July 2014.

35mm, 50mm or 70-300/55-300mm? I know there isn't an all in 1 lens.

I travel 1-2x/yr and got my hands on 55-200mm from my partner. we watched a tennis event in SG. it was really good because we got nice focus and angles of the players. since we were seated far from the players.

35mm or 50mm for travel and portrait? mahilig kasi magpa pic un dad ko. haha ang vain. price wise hindi sila kalayuan since its 2k php. I've checked reviews and its really close.

appreciate your response.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: dru on December 24, 2014, 12:33:29 AM
what's a good lens for my canon 70d, price range around P5000 to P6000 aside from the 50mm 1.8?
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: paulfg on January 11, 2015, 10:48:27 PM
Newbie here and very informative yung mga advice. I want to build my own lens line up also. I have a Nikon D7100 and a 30mm 1.8g lens, i'm planning to buy my second lens and i'm choosing between sigma's 17-70 2.8/4 and tamron's 17-50 2.8 non vc, which do you think is better out of the 2? Thanks.
Title: Re: How to build your own lens lineup
Post by: ajfudge on January 12, 2015, 03:56:24 AM
@paulfg , identify your priority: longer reach (tele) or low-light.