Q. “I know it’s all about the photographer and not the camera and that I shouldn’t get camera envy as much as I do, but what about lens envy? Should I upgrade the lens first or the camera first?”
First, my tangent //
Yes. It is ALL about the photographer, not the camera. We face huge pressures to upgrade our cameras and I get lots of people wanting to know why their camera doesn’t ‘take good pictures’. And so we have already well established that it’s not the camera, it’s what you do with it that matters. That said, lenses are a whole ‘nuther issue which really should be discussed. A Canon 350d, 400d, 450d all have the same sensor. Same guts, just a facelift. The only benefit I experienced when upgrading all these different models was that the screens got bigger which does make a difference. But anyway the sensor is the same so unless you’re considering a major jump (5d), don’t sweat the small stuff.
Lenses, on the other hand, have everything to do with taking good pictures. I don’t think the statement ‘my camera doesn’t take good pictures’ is a valid one, but I do think you can easily say ‘my lens doesn’t take good pictures’.
Personally, I have always had major lens envy and in the past 10 years, many lenses have come and gone. The thing I’ve noticed in all this lens jumbling is that when you jump from the kit lenses (that come with your camera) into the higher-end lenses you see a vast difference in quality. After getting my 50mm f/1.4, the 50mm f/1.8 (‘nifty fifty’) seemed like I was looking through plastic. And when I jumped from the 1.4 to the L series 1.2, I again experienced an amazing jump in quality.
Bottom line? Yes, lens envy is a perfectly reasonable and valid experience. Get the best you possibly can, even if it means spending less on your camera.
Now my answer //
So to answer your question, Rebecca, I would say that you already have a beautiful prime (50mm f/1.4). I love that lens. Your 28-135mm is a great mid-range which has the great benefit of IS (image stabilizing) and I would never buy another zoom without IS. If I were you (and this is completely from my own POV, without knowing what experiences and preferences you have), I would sell what you have (keep the 50mm), and buy the 5D if that’s what you want. And, Honey, that camera’s kit lens is the ultimate lensing pleasure! You can get the 5D with the 24-105mm L series f/4.0 as the kit lens. This lens was so sublime that I borrowed it for a wedding and that week sold up all my primes to buy my own. It’s beautiful at 24mm, beautiful at 105, sharp as a tack, heavy as a brick (I love heavy gear – it gives me muscles) and fast as anything. The 50mm 1.4 will still give you better bokeh, but as an everyday lens, the 24-105 is what I would recommend to anyone who can get their hands on it.