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5D MKII and L Lenses - Do I need to buy one

SGIBBONS 11 56 1 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2009 2:32PM
Hi All,

Hope you are all well !

Just wanted to ask a quick question. I purchased my first digital camera Canon 5D MKII back in April. The reason I chose this camera was firstly because of the full sensor size and more importantly because I could use my existing lenses:
28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Zoom Lens
100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

I am happy with the camera but earlier in the year I went on a photography holiday and some people on the holiday mentioned that really I should be using the L series to make the most of the camera id just bought. This has left me being in doubt now about my lenses I currently have and should I fork out for a new 17-40mm L lens.
My question is does anyone else use the 5DMKII with the lenses ive mentioned above instead of the L series and are you happy with the results ?

Carabosse 17 41.5k 270 England
7 Sep 2009 2:41PM
The question is: are you happy with the results?

Buying equipment on the basis of what people on your holiday told you that you "should" use may not be the best of ideas! Wink

That said, I would say the 100mm macro should be up to the capabilities of the 5D Mk II but the 28-105 may be limiting the best you can get out of the camera.
Overread 12 4.1k 19 England
7 Sep 2009 2:53PM
+1 to the above - don't just get lenses because other people say they are good lenses - sure they might be tack sharp, but if they are not the right lens for you then you will find that they will quickly gather dust on the shelf

From what I have heard the 17-40mm L is a fantastic lens, but compared to your current zoom its far shorter (though also a little wider) and I would have thought a 24-105mm f4 IS L might be a more suitable shift from your current lens. A little wider and it covers a very similar focal range so its not going to affect your shooting style that much.
gary_d 12 576 13 Wales
7 Sep 2009 3:58PM
I have the 100mm you have and I took the last upload in my P/F with it and I am thrilled, see what you think, I have the 28mm - 105mm L too and its fantastic - gary
mattw 16 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2009 4:01PM

Quote:28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Zoom Lens

Is that the old 28-135mm lens?

I would suggest going on one of the EPZ meets (or arrange one if there are non in your area) - Hopefully there will be someone with an L lens which you can try out.
Fairclough 11 174
7 Sep 2009 4:20PM
The 24-105 L is a has a very useful range on the 5D2, and makes a very good general lens. That said, Sigmas 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro is every bit the match optically, and losing IS, a bit of range and some robustness gets you a very usable f2.8 aperture for just 400. Then there are cheap primes like the 50 1.8 that blow the zoom Ls into the weeds in terms of optical resolution. So no, L glass is not essential. Good glass will let you make the most of your camera's sensor ability, but good glass doesn't need to have a red ring around around it.
cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
7 Sep 2009 6:34PM

Quote:I have the 28mm - 105mm L

Is there such a thing...? Or should that read 24 - 105 L...!!!

Whatever, If you believe those who delve into the science behind anything, They will always come up with a reason for having the most expensive whatever, For whatever it is....Smile

No doubt an L series lens is going to be of better quality, Than a lens thats not dubbed L series.

The real question is, By how much, Do you need to put the results under a microscope, To justify the differences, Or even see them at all....!

If your happy with the output from your camera & lens combo, As it is currently....Surely thats all that counts....Wink
SGIBBONS 11 56 1 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2009 6:38PM
Thanks everyone for the responses.

Carabosse - Erm to a degree im happy with the results but i suppose i have a niggling feeling that my last 2 uploads dont look mega sharp and have thickish outlines to the detail in the images...its maybe my post processing though as id prefare to get it right mostly in the camera by using filters and minimal amount of tweeking in Lightroom and PS.

MattW - Yes the 28-135mm lens is the old one I have.
Overread 12 4.1k 19 England
7 Sep 2009 6:47PM
I'd say try out some L lenses at a local shop if they have any in stock or try to attach yourself to a photography club or EPZ meet as Matt suggested. That would let you have a little play with the different lenses and see for yourself how the quality measures up.
(though be warned this method can prove to be as addictive as drugs or World of Warcraft!)
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
7 Sep 2009 9:52PM
A high grade sensor (like the one in the 5D II) can produce better image quality with /any/ lens than a lesser sensor - because that is how optics work.
Generally a "better" lens will not produce extra quality at f8-11 because at these apertures many lenses are close to optically perfect anyway.
Where you can get important differences with higher quality lenses is build quality, faster aperture with a brighter viewfinder, faster AF and more depth of field options, and better image quality at the maximum aperture of a slower zoom.
Whether you can detect the differences depends in part how big you enlarge, how steady you hold the camera, with a moving subject whether you use a fast enough shutter speed to stop subject movement causing image softness, and how well you use post processing to control any negative impact of a low pass filter on a digital image.
cambirder 16 7.2k England
7 Sep 2009 11:38PM
The 100mmm macro is a cracking lens and optically it is L class (better than a few of the L zooms IMHO), so I would definitely hang on to that one.

As for the zoom I would basically agree with Len, but if like me you like to shoot wide open a lot then an upgrade should be on your agenda. To get an idea of the difference a good lens can make try doing identical test shots with the zoom set to 100mm @f5.6, and the macro also @ f5.6.
gary_d 12 576 13 Wales
8 Sep 2009 12:12AM
Sorry as Vince pointed out I did meen 24mm - 105mm. - gary
SGIBBONS 11 56 1 United Kingdom
8 Sep 2009 9:30AM
Thanks again everyone for your comments and suggestions.
As suggested above i am attending and Autumn Meet on Anglesey in October so maybe someone will kindly let me have a go with one of their "L" lenses then. Till then ill stick with the old 28-105mm till my minds made up Smile
PhilSimo 13 28 England
8 Sep 2009 9:38AM
i`m also going to anglesey next month and will have 3 "L" lenses with me you`re most welcome to try them Sam,see you in Anglesey
SGIBBONS 11 56 1 United Kingdom
8 Sep 2009 11:47AM
Thanks very much Phil thats really nice of you! Looking forward to the Anglesey meet as it will be my first Smile. Are you staying at the Anglesey Arms ?

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