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Lenses for 5D Mk II travel

Posts: 789

Lenses for 5D Mk II travel

Post Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:46 am

I am a lucky happy owner of the new 5D Mk II.

In the past I have been a user of the 5D and Leica M8. I still use Leica film bodies and love the lenses.

I have a number of Canon EOS lenses, including various L lenses, and have picked up quite a few bargain used third party lenses with adapters to use on the 5D/5D2 (Leica R 21mm f4, 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2 and 35mm f2.8, 50mm f2, 90mm f2; Contax 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4, Olympus Zuiko 21mm f2 and 28mm f2).

Having so many lenses I love gives me a headache when planning a far off trip for some photography (later this week, first time in Myanmar). On the one hand you want the best, and a choice, on the other to take too much is not just not practical, but means I fear I will take too long worrying about what lens to use instead of taking photos. Whilst many people prefer zooms, I prefer prime lenses not only for their superior quality (generally) but also because they can be less big and obtrusive. I also have a preference for wide angle photographer and - often - wide apertures.

I am narrowing down my choices. Along with the 5D Mk II I will take one old Leica film body (the M6) with just one lens (the 35mm Summicron f2) and only black and white 400 ISO film,

With the 5D Mk II I intend to use as my main 'walkabout' lens the 35mm f1.4L. I recently got this second hand and think it is one of the best Canon lenses own. It is excellent in low light and has a very nice bokeh. 35mm is also my favourite focal length. Instead of zooming in or out I think it would be better to just use this for most situations.

I think I need one telephoto, and although I have recently fallen in love with the Contax 85mm, I think I should take the Canon 135mm f2. Its my other favourite Canon lens, with great bokeh, has AF (of course) and is more telephoto.

Instead of the 24-105mm f4L zoom, which I have and think is a good practical lens, but not a beautiful lens, I think I want just one small fast 50mm prime, and I am plumping for the Leica R Summicron f2 as I think it is so much more beautiful wide open than the Canon 1.4.

My real headache comes with extra wide. I have the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L MkII. In the past this would have been the first lens in my bag for such a trip. I love the range and the lens is very good. But I rarely us it at 16mm, at 35 my 35 prime is far better, and I am not convinced it is as good or better than the small primes I have in the 21-28 range. I am leaning towards the Olympus Zuiko 21mm and 28mm lenses. They are both very light and small, and unobtrusive (making the 5D Mk II look almost like a normal camera). They both seem very sharp stopped down. They both can go up to f2 (although the bokeh is rather rough, especially on the 21mm in my opinion), and they are nice and easy to use. I am not sure if the Leica 21mm Super-Angulon f4 is much better than the Olly 21, although I expect if I could focus it more accurately, and had it on a tripod, it would slightly out perform it. It is heavier and I find slightly more difficult to use.

So I am narrowing it down to the Zuiko 21 and 28, the canon 35, the Leica 50 and the Canon 135. I realise this is all a matter of personal taste and preference. Many would prefer to take just one lens or all the best zooms etc. So although I don't espect anyone can tell me what lenses are best for me, the whole point of these forums for me is to discuss and get other people's ideas. So if anyone has thoughts or advice about this choice, or good/bad experiences with any of these lenses, I would be grateful.

In my first few days of experimenting with the 5D mk II this week (whilst at work) I have made a couple of galleries using some of the lenses I am uncertain of. They are here




Posts: 54
Location: Covington, LA USA

Re: Lenses for 5D Mk II travel

Post Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:55 pm

I'm watching this thread expectantly. I don't have the expertise to advise in any way but your equipment list makes me drool! :mrgreen: Congratulations on your new camera and I am sure you will be fine with any of those lenses! :wink:

Posts: 1303

Re: Lenses for 5D Mk II travel

Post Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:28 am

Oddly enough, Nick, the lens I used the most on a trip to Paris a couple of years back was my Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS. Looking at your Mark II gallery, I am really impressed with the extreme high ISO that the Mark 11 handles so well. I am looking to upgrade to the 5D Mark II when the price drops (if and when!!)

Sheila Smart
Canon 5D Mark III; 17-40L; 24-70 f/2.8L; 70-300 f.4-5.6 L USM; 135 f/2L; 100 f/2.8 macro; 8-15 f/4 L fisheye


Posts: 27

Re: Lenses for 5D Mk II travel

Post Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:55 am

can't really go wrong with a 50 and wide angle prime :)

Posts: 5
Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Re: Lenses for 5D Mk II travel

Post Wed May 27, 2009 4:06 am

if me, i'll use 24-70 f2.8L. best for all type
Photographer from Viet Nam. I'm Milivista!
I hope I will public Viet Nam' life to the world through my photos!


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