Guest Posted October 23, 2008 Share Posted October 23, 2008 On the back of one or two discussions here I was recently thinking about glass. As we all know and discussed on the thread about entry level SLR's, the technology is moving at such a pace that models come and go quite quickly. The one thing that should endure for a decent amount of time is glass. Not only that but it doesn't matter how good your camera is if you don't give it a sharp eye it won't take sharp pictures. Now lenses tend to come in three primary market sectors - consumer, prosumer and pro. Unlike in Perry's thread about the FF Canon bodies, money definitely is an object. Happily, however, I have managed to replace my kit lens and build up a small number of decent lenses. As I'm not that much of a photographer I've aimed for a small kit - a four lens kit in fact. A focal length of 18-300mm to be covered by two medium range zooms, a macro and a hyperzoom for lightweight travel. For the purpose of this thread we can forget the macro and hyperzoom, I am only interested in the other two as these form my main lenses. My thought had been to upgrade from my (actually pretty good) prosumer lenses to the full top of the range versions. The two lenses are a 24-105mm f3.5-4.5 and a 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 APO. The logical upgrade path is to replace the 24-105mm with the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 VS DT. This lens has a fabulous reputation and adds the extra wide angle I missed during my recent rail trip. But, of course, it opens up a gap between the wide angle zoom and the telezoom. But no worries, the logical upgrade from the 100-300mm is the SAL "G" 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 SSM. I still get my preferred focal range covered and do so with the best lenses presently available to me. Downside, of course, is the Â£1200 that goes missing from my pocket. That is way, way, way more than I have ever spent on photographic equipment before and would not normally be considered. The only reason I have considered it this time is because I am getting into photography a bit more seriously now, bodies are coming and going so quickly that the one constant is the glass - and because it's a one off thing, after all once bought the lenses should do me 20 years compared to about 2 with a body. But does it make sense.... really? I realise it's unlikely anyone here will have any direct experience of any of these lenses so I am not asking for opinions on that, I am more interested in opinions on the thinking behind it. Firstly, I have no complaints about the existing lenses, except perhaps that the 24mm end isn't always wide enough. Secondly, that's a big chunk of money and if I buy the lenses, then something has to be sacrificed for it so I'd need to be sure. But the one real nagging doubt is that the Carl Zeiss, excellent reputation not withstanding, is a DT lens (i.e. for use on APS-C sensors). There will now be 5 full frame cameras on the market - two Nikon, two Canon and one Sony. For the moment these are only for the enthusiasts and the professionals but it stands to reason that as the technology beds in and becomes cheaper to make that they might start to cascade down the body market. One day they might even reach the bottom and APS-C will become extinct, leaving the DT / DX / (whatever Canon calls them) lenses as a relic from "the early days" of digital SLR's. That somewhat undermines my cost justification that it's investing for the future and lots of money up front but 20 years or more of service for that money. It might be as little as 5! It would be doubly annoying as the existing 24-105 and 100-300 are both FF lenses but would basically need to be sold to contribute to the cost of their replacements so I'd need to buy again. Oh what to do.... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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