Help to put together a good selection of lenses

I am an I guess an advanced beginner. I am recently retired and before I left work I tried to invest in some equipment that would last to get me started on this journey. So started with a Canon Rebel, bought a used 7D next. Then the person advising me suggested I leave the crop sensors and get a full frame camera, so I currently have a Canon 5d Mk III which I love. The lenses I have are all L series. My question is this: What lenses should I have in my kit? I shot largely landscapes and some wildlife. But I plan to come to Summer Intensive next year and hope to learn and become more comfortable in other areas of photography. So I have a. year to find any gear I may be lacking. I would value any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

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Hi Richard,

Arguably you could cover all your bases with 2 lenses. A 24-70 and a 70-200 and then a 1.4 tele-extender.

Certainly having these focal lengths in primes is nice, but it means more lenses.

I once worked with a very successful stock photographer (he drove a Jaguar) and he said he used the 24-70 for 90% of his work. Something to think about.

Another more affordable option would be Sigma Art lenses. The 24, 35, 50 and 85 are outstanding and less than the Canon counterparts. Again, more lenses.

If you have questions about specific lenses, let me know!


Thank you so much Jeff! I will look into these lenses and compare to what I already have. I really appreciate your help! Can I send you what I already have to get your thoughts? I started buying gear when I had the funds (working) but used friends for advice. They were way ahead of me in skill and had deeper pockets too! Thanks.

OK, don’t laugh, I was asking and taking advice and had little experience at the time!

EF 100-400 1:4.5-5.6. L. IS, EF 100mm Macro 1:2.8. L IS, EF 16-35 1:2.8 L (bought used, I think I may send this one to be checked) Nifty Fifty Canon, EF 24-105 1:4. L IS

That is what I have. Thanks for any help Jeff. I was going to come to SI this year but had some other expenses come up, and now with virus situation? So I have spoken to Bob at RMSP to get on list for 2021. I took a one week class which I loved from Lynn HB in Texas 3 years ago. I was signed up for a class at local college, went once then virus! So using RMSP YouTube and I am in the process of working with Forest on LR to get my feet under me there. This stay at home has been good for some things!

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Hi Richard,
Looks like you have a pretty good arsenal of lenses already!!
Other great ones are:
24 tilt/shift - one of Canon’s sharpest lenses - for landscapes
180mm macro - for macro from further away
135 f/2 is also one of Canon’s sharpest


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I have a Canon 5D Mk III, and use mainly the Canon F2.8 L 24-70 & the Canon F2.8 L 70-200 with an extender. I love both lenses, they work great with the
5D Mk III.

Thank you Brenda. Would you save up for the MK II or do you think the MK I lens is the better value? Seems folks think the build is better in MK I but MK II seems to be a good bit sharper. Just not sure if it is worth twice the price? I really like what I ready about the 24/70 2.8 and want that to be my next lens.

Hi Richard, I would definitely spring for the MKII. In my opinion they are vastly sharper and faster at AF.