Originally Posted by dcstep
I found it very constraining vs. the options today. You either have to carry three other lenses or just miss shots that you'd get with a zoom.
Besides, on a 1.6x crop a 35mm is closer to a "normal" lens, if that's what you're trying to achieve. A fast 50mm made sense to me way back when I was shooting at ASA 25,100, 200 and, gosh darn, 400, but my modern cameras are WAY faster than that these days.
I had my 24-105mm on my 5D2 yesterday, shooting around Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock, in a restaurant and on the street. I shot about 100-shots and they varied from about half at 24mm shooting archetectural to 90mm shooting friends and some icons. 50mm doesn't begin to be wide enough for scenics and archetectural with a field of view equivalent to 80mm. I did shoot a handful in the 80-90mm range, but those were more portrait style of people at the table or a head shot with the Empire State Building in the BG.
I had no bag or vest, just one camera and one lens. I checked the battery and card before I left the hotel and made sure that the lens was clean.
If we're going advise people to get one prime lens and they're buying a crop-sensor, I think that we should at least steer them toward a good 35mm. 50mm on a 1.6x crop starts getting what I consider a "portrait" lens. It's very limiting for most scenics and many "travel" shots. I think that starting with a kit zoom is a better position for most people today, particularly if it's a "true" wide-angle to portrait range zoom. If they can afford L-series and understand why, then go L, but I think most noobs will waste money with an L-series.
All my stuff is L-series and I don't know the alternative brands well at all, so I can't contribute specifically to a budget discussion, but I think that someone starting with a 50mm is going to soon want something else.
Dave, Thank you for you honest opinion.
I was at my local electronics store yesterday and I spent some time with the 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM and I absolutley loved it. They did not have a 24-70mm f/2.8L for me to look at. Most guys around here have both of these lenses, but if you had to choose one, which one would that be and why?