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Locked in a loop. (Lens choice question ).

Greetings Earth dwellers!!

Now then.

I should know better than to even ask this, and I do appologise for the question, but..............

I own the Canon ef 24mm f2.8, the ef 50mm f1.8 MK1, and the ef 85mm f1.8.
Big deal. Rolleyes

A few days ago, I tested these three lenses against my wifes 24-105, and was quite shocked to see that the zoom equalled the primes in quality, in fact
, it looked better.
Now, I always KNEW primes beat zooms. Didnt need an "L" prime to be great. Or maybe not..... Not these days.
Perhaps I'm still stuck in the 1970's? Maybe.

If YOU owned these 3 primes, and found the coverage good enough but found the lens swapping a bit inconvenient, would you sell all three, (financial constraints here), and buy a 24-70 L
Note I say a 24-70, NOT a 24-105. The latter is a bit too slow for me.

I gather that the 24-70 is better than the 24-105 in some ways, and therefore, quite a bit better than those 3 primes. But is this true? Is the weight a problem?

As I said, I shouldnt even ask. I should know.
Maybe I do.
Maybe I just want some extra input.
Maybe I need valium.


Big Grin

Regards, to all,

Cave canem
what camera? full size sensor?

I own a 24-70L and it does produce beautiful pics, but I would


sell your primes.

One simple reason is that the 24-70L is bulky and heavy, and whenever I can get away with carrying a prime instead, I do prefer it.

I have used a friend's 85/1.8 and loved it, would not seperate with it if I owned one.
The 50/1.8 I don't know, but if it is anything like my 50/1.4 (not an L either), same true for it.

On the 350D I always like the pictures from the 50mm better than the ones taken with the L @ 50mm or around. I don't miss the zoom when I don't have it.

on the 5D I haven't made the comparison.

Hello Uli! Smile

Yes, I still have the 5D. It's a cracker!!

Thank you for your comments so far. Food for thought.

Appreciated! Smile
Cave canem
Hi Rufus...

I'd try to keep the 85mm and sell only the other two, to buy the zoom lens. You always need a lens like this one (85mm) for low light conditions.

About the weight, well yes of course, it is lighter to go with a 85mm than with a zoom like any of those you mentioned. But still, I wouldn't shoot a weeding with any of those prime lenses only, even though it would be easier in weight... Maybe because I don't know how to use them, or probably because I find more comfortable to use my zoom lens (24-105mm) for this kind of photography... Anyway, I shot around 6 hours with the zoom continuously and it wasn't that tiresome.

On the other hand it was not the same when I went to the aquarium the other day. I used my 85mm f 1.8, I shot all my pictures to 3200iso and my pictures were way much better than the ones I took the year before with my zoom.

Hope my comment helps and my ideas of what I want to say are clear...
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
This is a tricky subject. I have a 50mm @ 1.4 and an 85mm @ 1.8 as prime lenses but it’s my 17-55mm @ 2.8 that I leave on my camera for general work. At the time these were bought you couldn’t buy long-range zoom lenses to match them but who’s to say that technology can’t advance that far? Of course these lenses are going to be improved on eventually but as far as I’m concerned I am so used to using them I don’t think I would want to change. Yes they are bulky and heavy but to me that means rugged and reliable (I am rather “old school” when it comes to quality and am suspicious of anything invented just to save weight). Although my gear is Nikon and not Cannon I think the same rules apply. I have always seen lenses as long-term investments despite whichever body they happen to be on.

The 24 and the 50 are average primes. Certainly the 85 is a great lens. I agree with Irma especially as the 85 extends your range a little over the 24-70. That said - the 85 is worth the most out of the three and would get you the biggest return if you sell it.

If you had only one or the other I would go with the 24-70. It is a killer lens on the 5D and doubles as a macro.


Canon stuff.
Interesting thread.

I'm told that there aren't enough primes for my system, but it's hard for me to judge as I wouldn't buy wide primes even if they were offered. Telephoto zooms are another matter -- I'd love to get my hands on a 150f/2 -- but I've never quite "gotten" the point of the WA stuff. It's been intriguing to see how the other half (okay, 93%) lives. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
I recently took the plunge myself and got a 24-70L f/2.8. It's a wonderful piece of glass but certainly bulky for a standard zoom.

Since owning it I've barely touched my Sigma 28mm f/1.8 (which is comparable in many ways to both your Canon 24mm f/2.8 and your 50mm f/1.8 Mk1, not just in specs but also in IQ, features, and usability - or lack thereof). I keep meaning to dig out my 28mm to use, but considering it doesn't get sharp until f/2.2 there is only a 2/3 stop advantage over the 24-70 which is much more user-friendly and flexible.

I have happily kept using my Canon 50mm f/1.4 however because it's IQ is exceptional (even wide-open) and it's a full 2 stops faster than the 24-70. Until they put IS into the 24-70, you'll still need something to use for low-light. In my experience the 50mm f/1.8 just doesn't cut it, but the f/1.4 does nicely. It's also nice to have a compact 50mm prime handy because the 24-70 is not a discreet lens.

I haven't really used the 85mm f/1.8, but certainly it has a good reputation.

It sounds to me like the advice given by the others is very sound; You might not miss the 24mm and 50mm lenses, but it could be worth keeping the 85.
Adrian Broughton
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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Woooo! :o

Ok, I think I get it. I suppose that since I found the primes a close match to the 24-105, I'm wondering, "will I gain much?"
In order to buy the 24-70, I think I need to sell all 3 primes......Rolleyes

Oh dear!

Thanks to all who have replied so far. Very good stuff. Why do I feel so reluctant to sell those primes?
My head hurts!
Cave canem
1. Consider your final output size..this might sway one to sell primes...
2. do not sell your primes...but...
3. if you do...let me have first dabs on the wideangle(that'll give me just the reason I need to get a 5D body then!)
4. build a shed in the back garden, rent it out to some eastern europeans= keep the primes, then get the L zoom...then shoot a photo-doc about Polish ghettoes in Redditch.
If you only remember one of the above, let it be number 3.
All my stuff is here:
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist:
The reason I've got some primes is because they have a larger aperture than a zoom can provide.
I could always put the ISO up to compensate for the smaller aperture of the zoom, but I've found myself in situations shooting f/1.4 ISO3200 with a prime, or f/2.8 ISO3200 1/20sec with a zoom where I could not push the limit any more.

A zoom would be more convenient, everything in one, except the large apertures, which you don't *always* need Big Grin
Rufus Wrote:I suppose that since I found the primes a close match to the 24-105, I'm wondering, "will I gain much?"
In order to buy the 24-70, I think I need to sell all 3 primes......
Well, going back to the OP, the issue is that the quality of the 24-105 is close enough to better, but too slow, hence the 24-70. But with that switch, you're still losing more than a stop @50mm and @85mm, as well as losing your telephoto. I've heard great things about the 24-70, but most of them aren't about how small and light it is.So you're giving up small size, speed, and reach. You're gaining image quality (probably, but what do I know?) and flexibility. Presumably going to one lens will also cut down on the sensor cleaning. Rolleyes

(Oh, and you're leaping forward about 40 years' worth of technology -- from the 50's to the 90's. Big Grin)

But in addition to the financial hit of switching, it's coming across that you simply like primes. (Maybe you have a well-hidden contrarian streak?) Personally I'm not a fan of standard zooms, even though I have a couple of them, so I can certainly appreciate sticking with a system you like.

And say Hi to NN for me. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

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