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Most universal lens, in your opinion

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Casey Petersen
Most universal lens, in your opinion
on May 24, 2012 at 5:31:55 pm

I'm shooting primarily with a 60D, and it is mostly weddings and interviews.

I am on a tight budget and am wondering what the best choice for my first L series lens (or equivalent) should be.

Granted, I understand the need for a longer zoom during wedding ceremonies, and I also understand the benefits of fast primes. I know I can rent lenses to fill those types of needs, but I'm wondering what people would recommend as the best "everyday" lens, that would get you through a good 75% of your shooting situations without having to always have a lens bag strapped to you, and being prepared for tight spaces, as well as a little flexibility with zooming.

A friend has recommended the 17-85mm 2.8 Canon lens...any thoughts on that one?

I'm looking for other thoughts/opinions. I know there is no "one lens to rule them all", I'm just looking for something that is more universally okay (also budget considering) in bright/dark, small/large rooms, indoor/outdoor, etc.

Thanks in advance!
Casey


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Brent Dunn
Re: Most universal lens, in your opinion
on May 24, 2012 at 6:10:05 pm

Canon 24-70 L-series will cover most of your shooting. It gives you macro and well as up to around 90mm with the 60D's cropped sensor.

You can also buy a 50mm canon Macro for around $300 (non-L lens) that still looks great.


Finally a 70-200 would be the 3rd lens.


Primes are always better, but when on a tight budget you need the zooms to cover ground.

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Casey Petersen
Re: Most universal lens, in your opinion
on May 24, 2012 at 6:13:43 pm

Thanks!

I have rented the 24-70 in the past, and have actually found it to be a little soft looking. I tried it side by side (at 50mm) with my 50mm 1.8, and my little 50mm was noticeably sharper...so much so, that we ended up not using the 24-70 at all. Talked to the people at the rental place, and they said that the 24-70 was an older lens, and that lack of sharpness was a common complaint among their renters.



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Phil Balsdon
Re: Most universal lens, in your opinion
on May 24, 2012 at 10:47:19 pm

The Canon 17-85 is not an f2.8 it's f4-f5.6. This is a problem for video because your exposure will change throughout the zoom range when wide open.

The L series 24-105 has an image stabiliser but is only f4. The IS feature is useful if you need to do a lot of shooting off the tripod. This focal length range is enough to cover the "portrait" end for interviews and still give you an adequate wide angle. This is the standard lens I leave on my camera in case I have to grab a quick unexpected shot.

Unsure why the 24-70 you tried looked soft, it's normally a highly regarded lens. Was it the older first version? A second improved version was released and now they're going into a Series II version which is quite a bit more expensive.

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Casey Petersen
Re: Most universal lens, in your opinion
on May 29, 2012 at 4:28:30 pm

The 24-70 could have been the older version...the lady we spoke to mentioned that it had been around for awhile.

Also, my mistake...my friend's lens is a 17-55 2.8, not 17-85. Bummer...that would be a nice lens if it existed!



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