Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

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Keepcalm
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Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by Keepcalm » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am

50mm 1.2 or a 24-75mm 2.8

Both prime lenses and it’s a Mark 5D IV

It’s for a 2 day trip out to a friends farm in NY state. I’m thinking because of that it’s the 24-75 by a wash however....the bokeh of that 1.2 will make you drool if I run into opportunities to shoot wide open.

What would you take?

Also I only have ND filters for the 24-75 right now. So if I want to shoot day shoot any kind of creative shots during the day I’ll appreciate those.

I question the 50 because we will have 3 dogs there with us and the our families.

Thanks in advance cheers.

Also there’s no reason I can’t bring both lenses but I’m trying to get in the habit of not always having everything and the sink with me. So I’m forcing myself to decide and bring one.

lazydavid
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by lazydavid » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:30 am

When I'm travelling light, I always bring a "do it all" zoom lens. For me that's an 18-200 with vibration reduction. I only use my primes (50/1.8, 105/2.8) when I pack a larger bag or if I'm working out of my full case. Actually the 50 spends almost 100% of its life mounted to my old-school manual film camera. :happy

This statement confuses me:
Both prime lenses and it’s a Mark 5D IV
Prime lenses have a single focal length. 24-75 has focal lengths over a roughly 3x range, and is by definition a zoom lens

GmanJeff
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by GmanJeff » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:33 am

It depends what you plan to shoot. If you're going for "artsy" shots, take the 50mm since you'll likely be able to take your time composing your shots and can change your distance from your subject by moving rather than by relying on the zoom feature of the variable focal length lens. If you want to be able to adjust your field of view rapidly to capture action or uncomposed shots, and won't need the higher speed of the 50mm, take the zoom.

I use a Nikon 28-200 zoom almost all the time, rather than a prime lens even though I own a few. That lens is slower than the primes, and is a little heavier and is somewhat bigger, but the versatility far outweighs the disadvantages unless I have a very specific need for higher speed or another characteristic only available with a prime lens.

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jhfenton
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by jhfenton » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:43 am

That would be a tough choice. Those are very close to my two go-to lenses: a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and a Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5. I buy filters for my largest-diameter lens and step-down rings for my other lenses, so I only have to take one set of filters.

If I could only take one, I'd take the 24-75mm for family outdoor photos and the 50mm for family indoor photos, but you're also right about the bokeh on the low f-stop lenses. That's why I usually take that one too. I carried those two lenses in a small bag all over Spain and Morocco in June. I left all the others at home.

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vineviz
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by vineviz » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:53 am

Keepcalm wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am
Also there’s no reason I can’t bring both lenses but I’m trying to get in the habit of not always having everything and the sink with me. So I’m forcing myself to decide and bring one.
Clearly the zoom would be much more versatile, and is very high quality, but I do think there is something to be said for working exclusively with a single focal length lens from time-to-time.

I suspect that if you take just the 50mm then there may be a shot or two you miss but that you'll end up being a better photographer at the end of the trip.
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Watty
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by Watty » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:07 am

Keepcalm wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am
It’s for a 2 day trip out to a friends farm in NY state.
.....
we will have 3 dogs there with us and the our families.
Easy choice, take the zoom for the versatility and being able to quickly catch a photo without taking 20 steps back.

With a trip like that the photos you take are much more likely to end up on facebook or a christmas card than a print on your wall so the advantages of the prime lense are unlikely to matter.

MiddleOfTheRoad
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:33 am

What will be most of your photography, i.e. people or scenery?

If people, I would take the 50. Use the cellphone for bigger group snapshot in tight spaces.

If scenery, you can probably do ok with a 50, but the zoom is probably better with the wide end (stopped down).

TN_Boy
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:59 am

Keepcalm wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am
50mm 1.2 or a 24-75mm 2.8

Both prime lenses and it’s a Mark 5D IV

It’s for a 2 day trip out to a friends farm in NY state. I’m thinking because of that it’s the 24-75 by a wash however....the bokeh of that 1.2 will make you drool if I run into opportunities to shoot wide open.

What would you take?

Also I only have ND filters for the 24-75 right now. So if I want to shoot day shoot any kind of creative shots during the day I’ll appreciate those.

I question the 50 because we will have 3 dogs there with us and the our families.

Thanks in advance cheers.

Also there’s no reason I can’t bring both lenses but I’m trying to get in the habit of not always having everything and the sink with me. So I’m forcing myself to decide and bring one.
What do you think you will be taking pictures of? Critters on the farm, or the scenery? Or people?

But either way, given those two choices, I think the 24-75 is a (very) obvious choice. Mostly because 50 is not as wide as you'd like for many landscape shots, and the extra reach of the 24-75 might help in some situations with animal (or people) shots. And a fixed 2.8 aperture zoom is still pretty fast for low light situations.

Frankly I'd take both, though neither of those lens is really that versatile. On a slight tangent If you really want a "single lens" solution for travel you have to look at wider-range zoom lenses, though you are generally giving up image quality*.

A lot of people do extol the virtues of a prime (use your feet to zoom!) but I think that in a real world non-controlled situation a zoom lens is so versatile. I mean, if you want a picture of an animal over there, it simply may not be possible to get close enough for a good shot with a 50mm lens. On the other hand, you have enough pixels in the Mark 5D IV to do some cropping.

* Scott Kelby, who writes a lot of digital photography books with an informal, accessible style, comes out and says that for non-work travel he sucks it up and goes with a 18-300 zoom. Other photography writers will go into a coughing fit and tell you how extremely awful the image quality is on those types of lenses -- plus they are pretty slow. My experience has been that if you are stuck with a single lens, something like a 18-300 is the best you can do, and the image quality is generally respectable. Otherwise, in a travel situation you tend to be always having the wrong lens on, and I find that carrying multiple lenses and constantly changing them is a huge pain.

andrewphillipf
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by andrewphillipf » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:01 am

For me if I could only have one: Nikon 24-70 2.8.

Heavy, but a great lens.

TN_Boy
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:02 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:07 am
Keepcalm wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am
It’s for a 2 day trip out to a friends farm in NY state.
.....
we will have 3 dogs there with us and the our families.
Easy choice, take the zoom for the versatility and being able to quickly catch a photo without taking 20 steps back.

With a trip like that the photos you take are much more likely to end up on facebook or a christmas card than a print on your wall so the advantages of the prime lense are unlikely to matter.
Plus, that's a high end camera and if the zoom is a good one (I am assuming it's a fixed aperture 2.8 and probably a good lens) that you could take pictures with that zoom good enough to make a 30x40 print with. It's not like he's comparing a good prime with a lower quality zoom (I don't think).

aristotelian
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by aristotelian » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:03 am

I usually go with the prime. I am always dissatisfied with my zoom pictures. If I need a close up, I just get close with the prime and always get a better picture than I would have with the zoom. Plus the prime is more compact which is perfect for travel situations.

stimulacra
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by stimulacra » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:04 am

I'd take the 50 1.2. It's what I have and is usually the only lens I use for my Canon.

I do bring a second camera usually which is the FujiFilm X100S, love the framing of the 35 mm equivalent lens. Perfect for travel.

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climber2020
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by climber2020 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:04 am

I'd take the zoom, but that's only because I find a 50mm too restrictive for my needs. I just don't see well at that focal length or long focal lengths in general.

On most of my travels, I only take a single camera with a fixed semi-wide prime lens. Lately it's been the Ricoh GR with a 28mm prime. Light, tack sharp, and fits in a pocket.

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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:05 am

lazydavid wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:30 am
When I'm travelling light, I always bring a "do it all" zoom lens. For me that's an 18-200 with vibration reduction.
+1

This is my go to lens when on the go and don't want to carry a camera bag with all the other gear.

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GoldStar
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:06 am

Are you new to photography?

The 24-75mm is, by definition, not a prime lens. Its a zoom.

One of the tips I read when I first started in photography was to spend some time with a prime lens so that you are forced to "zoom with your feet" and think creatively without the aid of zoom capability. So if you are new it might be useful to only take your prime lens for this reason.

TN_Boy
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:11 am

aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:03 am
I usually go with the prime. I am always dissatisfied with my zoom pictures. If I need a close up, I just get close with the prime and always get a better picture than I would have with the zoom. Plus the prime is more compact which is perfect for travel situations.
The prime is light for sure, but I look at my pictures from traveling, and well, there are many many pictures I simply could not have gotten with a prime. Some things you literally cannot get close to. Other things would take too much time to approach. Or you need a wider field of view than than a given prime.

The picture quality from a good zoom is extremely high; pros use zooms all the time -- though you have to pay up for a high quality zoom.

TN_Boy
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am

GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:06 am
Are you new to photography?

The 24-75mm is, by definition, not a prime lens. Its a zoom.

One of the tips I read when I first started in photography was to spend some time with a prime lens so that you are forced to "zoom with your feet" and think creatively without the aid of zoom capability. So if you are new it might be useful to only take your prime lens for this reason.
I suppose I should try that some day, but I personally think it's a bit like telling someone to try their hand with a film camera (another tip I've seen once or twice), so they will get used to thinking carefully about every shot (cost of getting the picture developed). It's not a bad thought exercise, but I'm not sure it really helps you much.

To continue my example, what I mostly learned with my film camera was that I was hesitant to take a picture sometimes because I didn't want to spend money getting film developed. I think if I just wandered about with a prime lens, I'd wind up being really annoyed I couldn't get some pictures.

Either way, I'd reserve the "learn to get creative" thing with a prime to wandering around on my own practicing rather than taking on a trip where I really wanted to get some good pictures to bring back.

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Alexa9
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:24 am

I like a prime lens for portraits and even landscape. You have to move your feet more but that makes it fun. The lens is also tiny and lightweight which makes it better for carrying all day and travelling.

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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by aristotelian » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:25 am

climber2020 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:04 am
I'd take the zoom, but that's only because I find a 50mm too restrictive for my needs. I just don't see well at that focal length or long focal lengths in general.

On most of my travels, I only take a single camera with a fixed semi-wide prime lens. Lately it's been the Ricoh GR with a 28mm prime. Light, tack sharp, and fits in a pocket.
Good point. I suggested the prime above, but mine is 30mm. I might have to change my answer...

stimulacra
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by stimulacra » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:29 am

The 1.2 L isn't really small or lightweight. It's a nice hunk of glass.

Image

dknightd
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by dknightd » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:29 am

I'd take 24-75mm 2.8

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GoldStar
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:32 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am
GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:06 am
Are you new to photography?

The 24-75mm is, by definition, not a prime lens. Its a zoom.

One of the tips I read when I first started in photography was to spend some time with a prime lens so that you are forced to "zoom with your feet" and think creatively without the aid of zoom capability. So if you are new it might be useful to only take your prime lens for this reason.
I suppose I should try that some day, but I personally think it's a bit like telling someone to try their hand with a film camera (another tip I've seen once or twice), so they will get used to thinking carefully about every shot (cost of getting the picture developed). It's not a bad thought exercise, but I'm not sure it really helps you much.

To continue my example, what I mostly learned with my film camera was that I was hesitant to take a picture sometimes because I didn't want to spend money getting film developed. I think if I just wandered about with a prime lens, I'd wind up being really annoyed I couldn't get some pictures.

Either way, I'd reserve the "learn to get creative" thing with a prime to wandering around on my own practicing rather than taking on a trip where I really wanted to get some good pictures to bring back.
I did buy a prime lens and spent a couple of weeks shooting with it. What you don't realize is how much compression you might be getting with a zoom sometimes so the exercise may have helped me a bit with that. Other than that - can't say I know for certain whether or not it was worth the time. To me - photography is similar to learning a musical instrument. With an instrument you learn scales and techniques and some of your favorite songs and so forth. One day you suddenly realize are really good and you can just "play" original great music. Its hard to tell which learning techniques got you there when they all come together.

I do agree with your earlier comments about an 18-300mm being a great walk-around and travel lens. Quality might suffer but you gain a lot in flexibility.

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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:35 am

24-75mm 2.8
DW takes a Canon 24-100 f4 (L) when traveling. Incredible versatility :D
I usually take a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II.
We also will use the Canon 5d mk iv if limited to only 1 body.

My latest "back up" play camera is an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 PRO Lens :D
j

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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by kailash » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:48 am

For me, I've learned that a 50mm is often too limiting, hence, the zoom lens if it's the only option. But, depending on the type of shots you need, I'd consider buying a AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G Lens real quick, then zooming with feet, leaving the bulkier zoom lens at home.

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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:59 am

My EOS just has the lens that came with the kit (18-135mm zoom, f/3.5-5.6). It's a good all-purpose lens, but I confess there have been times I wished for an f/1.2 stop just to be able to smash down depth of field. I'd say you'll probably be fine with the zoom.
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by hightower » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:02 am

It's always a tough call on which lens to bring.
I just did a 2 week trip through Germany and Austria in June. I wanted to pack very light (just one back pack total) so I choose to bring only a 27mm pancake lens on my Fujifilm XT-2. It was a good choice in terms of packing light. I felt that the lens served it's purpose well. I wasn't doing any landscape shooting or likewise, so it was fine for the kind of walk around shooting I was doing. It also worked well for the group photos we took. When I travel somewhere for landscape photography it's totally different. I end up bringing more lenses and filters, tripod, etc. If I'm backpacking I bring just one wide angle zoom and a lightweight tripod with a couple of filters (ND and Grad ND, sometimes a polarizer).

TN_Boy
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:12 am

GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:32 am
TN_Boy wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am
GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:06 am
Are you new to photography?

The 24-75mm is, by definition, not a prime lens. Its a zoom.

One of the tips I read when I first started in photography was to spend some time with a prime lens so that you are forced to "zoom with your feet" and think creatively without the aid of zoom capability. So if you are new it might be useful to only take your prime lens for this reason.
I suppose I should try that some day, but I personally think it's a bit like telling someone to try their hand with a film camera (another tip I've seen once or twice), so they will get used to thinking carefully about every shot (cost of getting the picture developed). It's not a bad thought exercise, but I'm not sure it really helps you much.

To continue my example, what I mostly learned with my film camera was that I was hesitant to take a picture sometimes because I didn't want to spend money getting film developed. I think if I just wandered about with a prime lens, I'd wind up being really annoyed I couldn't get some pictures.

Either way, I'd reserve the "learn to get creative" thing with a prime to wandering around on my own practicing rather than taking on a trip where I really wanted to get some good pictures to bring back.
I did buy a prime lens and spent a couple of weeks shooting with it. What you don't realize is how much compression you might be getting with a zoom sometimes so the exercise may have helped me a bit with that. Other than that - can't say I know for certain whether or not it was worth the time. To me - photography is similar to learning a musical instrument. With an instrument you learn scales and techniques and some of your favorite songs and so forth. One day you suddenly realize are really good and you can just "play" original great music. Its hard to tell which learning techniques got you there when they all come together.

I do agree with your earlier comments about an 18-300mm being a great walk-around and travel lens. Quality might suffer but you gain a lot in flexibility.
There are always things to learn. The OP may well be a relative novice, in which case there is plenty of (fun) learning to do. Though if the OP is a relative beginner, I'd be asking things like "do you understand the exposure triangle" before I'd be having them out playing with a prime lens.

My bias against primes is
a) you can get really high quality pictures from a zoom and
b) so many of my trip pictures would have been impossible (not harder, impossible) with a prime, whether I wanted to move my feet or not. This includes both ends of the zoom range being used.

MrBeaver
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Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

Post by MrBeaver » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:18 am

What kind of photos are you more concerned about capturing?

Which zoom lens is this? I'm unfamiliar with a 24-75mm zoom for Canon EF mount. I'll make the recommendations below assuming it's a Canon 24-70 2.8L (I or II).
  • Indoor? 50mm 1.2
  • Fast action? 24-70 2.8
  • Outdoor? Either. It's easier to zoom with your feet when you're outdoors.
The focal length versatility is less important than the focussing speed advantage if capturing fast action (kids, dogs, etc.). The 50mm 1.2 just isn't very fast because of the large front element focussing mechanism.

If it were me, I'd take the new 85mm 1.4L IS and call it a day, but then again I don't actually own that lens :(

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