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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> $1,500 bucks to blow but on WHAT!
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12/29/2008 01:44:14 PM · #1
sooo I have around 1,500 bucks to blow on camera gear and no idea what to get! If you were in my position what would you get?

my info
I tend to shoot seniors pictures weddings and the occasional model.
I have an XTI with a 50mm 1.4 prime
I have a two light vivitar 285hv strobist set up with ebay triggers that do okay but one fails a lot while the other nails 99 percent of the time.

Assuming you have a $1,500 budget and taking my info into consideration what combo of these would you get? I'm getting more gear later this year this is just the first purchase so any owners out there want to spit out advice? Also going a couple hundred over budget is okay

70-200 2.8L IS $1,500
16-35 2.8L $1,200
3 Pocket wizard trancievers $600
Light Meter $~200
24-70 2.8L $1,100
17-40 4L $650
5D $1,500
40D $800
50D $1,000

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 13:55:21.
12/29/2008 01:54:07 PM · #2
17-40 4L $650
&
50D $1,000
12/29/2008 01:54:48 PM · #3
if selling the xti is an option i'd do that and put that in the mix and upgrade to the 50D plus a couple lenses. If you like primes i'd get the sigma 30mm and a canon 85 1.8. If you're doing weddings i would highly recommend a wider lens. the 85 would be great for portraits.
12/29/2008 01:57:21 PM · #4
Originally posted by kyebosh:

if selling the xti is an option i'd do that and put that in the mix and upgrade to the 50D plus a couple lenses. If you like primes i'd get the sigma 30mm and a canon 85 1.8. If you're doing weddings i would highly recommend a wider lens. the 85 would be great for portraits.


hmmm hadn't thought of that but yes it is an option. With it having a kit lense, battery grip, two batteries with the original box and paperwork how much would it fetch?

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 13:58:26.
12/29/2008 01:58:17 PM · #5
if you mostly shoot portraits and weddings I would recommend 70-200 2.8L IS $1,500 or the 135mm 2.0L at 900$. I have a 40D and I love it so much and it would make a great upgrade too. Have fun!!

12/29/2008 01:59:09 PM · #6
Grumble grumble...I wish I had that problem

If I had $1500 and no clue where to spend it, I'd hang on to it until my heart set on something. Maybe I'm unconventional, but to me there's really no point buying something if you haven't recognized yet what need needs filling.
12/29/2008 02:01:41 PM · #7
Originally posted by mindbottling:

Grumble grumble...I wish I had that problem

If I had $1500 and no clue where to spend it, I'd hang on to it until my heart set on something. Maybe I'm unconventional, but to me there's really no point buying something if you haven't recognized yet what need needs filling.


The problem is I want them all! :)
12/29/2008 02:03:06 PM · #8
Originally posted by mindbottling:

Grumble grumble...I wish I had that problem

If I had $1500 and no clue where to spend it, I'd hang on to it until my heart set on something. Maybe I'm unconventional, but to me there's really no point buying something if you haven't recognized yet what need needs filling.


I have a 5d mkII sized hole that needs filling. :)

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 14:03:15.
12/29/2008 02:04:05 PM · #9
Originally posted by egamble:

Originally posted by mindbottling:

Grumble grumble...I wish I had that problem

If I had $1500 and no clue where to spend it, I'd hang on to it until my heart set on something. Maybe I'm unconventional, but to me there's really no point buying something if you haven't recognized yet what need needs filling.


I have a 5d mkII sized hole that needs filling. :)


psh dont we all. its a liiiiiittle out of budget though lol
12/29/2008 02:06:51 PM · #10
Originally posted by lovethelight:

if you mostly shoot portraits and weddings I would recommend .... the 135mm 2.0L at 900$.

If you get this one you should have enough left over to buy one of each of my prints. ;-)

If you don't have it yet, you might want to invest in some insurance for all this expensive gear ...
12/29/2008 02:10:46 PM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by lovethelight:

if you mostly shoot portraits and weddings I would recommend .... the 135mm 2.0L at 900$.

If you get this one you should have enough left over to buy one of each of my prints. ;-)

If you don't have it yet, you might want to invest in some insurance for all this expensive gear ...


do you just get the insurance added onto your homeowners insurance? or is it seperate?
12/29/2008 02:10:57 PM · #12
Originally posted by mindbottling:

...If I had $1500 and no clue where to spend it, I'd hang on to it until my heart set on something. Maybe I'm unconventional, but to me there's really no point buying something if you haven't recognized yet what need needs filling.


Well, yes, or consider the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 sans IS, about $ 1000, which leaves $ 500 in the bank? For portraits, why not use a tripod?

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 14:11:31.
12/29/2008 02:12:29 PM · #13
Mmmm, I love thinking about buying camera gear - especially when it's not my money involved. =)

1. A nice L-series lens would be sweet - the pro lenses have great contrast and color and focus crazy fast. But if you love what the 50 prime does for you, then just stick with it.

2. Radio triggers have been a total PITA for me - the pocket wizards would be great, definitely if you shoot for pay.

3. A 40D would be a great step up over the XTi. You'd get more custom functions and settings for tailoring the camera to your shooting preferences, as well as (I presume) slightly better IQ and ISO performance.

4. You didn't mention Canon flashes. You could pick up some eTTL-II enabled flashes (580 EX, 430 EX) and see if the automatic exposure helps you. You'd have to check whether the XTi or 40D can control them remotely via IR, though I've heard the IR-triggering is only moderately reliable. The downside is that these flashes are expensive, and if you're used to setting power levels manually it may not be worth the convenience.

With the spare change, don't forget light modifiers - diffusers, reflectors, gels, etc.

Have fun!
-Jeff

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 14:13:45.
12/29/2008 02:19:40 PM · #14
Originally posted by egamble:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

If you don't have it yet, you might want to invest in some insurance for all this expensive gear ...


do you just get the insurance added onto your homeowners insurance? or is it seperate?

If you are a "dedicated hobbyist" or a very small business, you can probably add it to your homeowner's policy -- most of them have optional coverage for business or high-priced items (computers, jewelry, etc.); I think mine added coverage for up to $15,000 worth of music and computer stuff. It will probably be highly dependent on your company.

If you are running a serious photography business out of your home, you should probably get a separate business insurance policy, and include professional liability coverage in addition to damage/theft for the equipment.
12/29/2008 02:19:58 PM · #15
I love the IQ of the 50mm I just feel like it is limiting only having one focal length ya know?

I'm totally happy with my manual flashes but I might get an Ettl for receptions at a later date.

Also generalE everything is insured already

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 14:20:58.
12/29/2008 03:02:04 PM · #16
If I had $1500 to blow..........

well I'd sell my 1DMKIIn add that money to the $1500 and I'd buy a 1DsMKII and another prime lens like the 24 F1.4 or 35 F1.4.

But that is just me.

Matt

Now in your case, I'd sell your camera, pick up a used 5D(they are so cheap its unreal) and spend the rest on fast prime lens.



Message edited by author 2008-12-29 15:02:53.
12/29/2008 03:25:14 PM · #17
Originally posted by Patrick_R:

I love the IQ of the 50mm I just feel like it is limiting only having one focal length ya know?

I'm totally happy with my manual flashes but I might get an Ettl for receptions at a later date.


Identifying an area where your gear limits you is a great way to decide where you should invest in photography. If you do get a lens, I've heard most wedding photogs say the 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 are their money makers.

Still, that's a lot of money for one lens. But if you're doing weddings, it'd probably be a great investment. You pay big bucks for your gear because it helps you get the shot when you need it.

Personally, as a hobbyist, I've decided that the best bang-for-the-buck photography gear is lighting. You could take some amazing shots with a consumer-level SLR, kit lens, and good lighting.
12/29/2008 03:47:45 PM · #18
See if this sensor comparison helps when you are deciding for an upgrade.

Good luck!

12/29/2008 03:54:46 PM · #19
24-105 L is a fantastic lens, it's super wide for weddings and it zooms in nice for portraits. Super fast (I mean wicked fast) focusing in any light and if you don't mind used, I bought one for $700 (took time and patience) and I bet you could find one.
12/29/2008 03:55:06 PM · #20
oh yeah, and I shoot that lens on the xsi as well, does fantastic.
12/29/2008 04:15:41 PM · #21
If you do a lot of portraits, why don't you buy the 85mm 1.8/F
12/29/2008 07:43:24 PM · #22
I have a hard time justifiying the 85mm when I already have the 50mm you know?
12/29/2008 08:03:18 PM · #23
Originally posted by Patrick_R:

I have a hard time justifiying the 85mm when I already have the 50mm you know?


that's true. In that case. i think you should go with a good set of lights. By your OP, it sounds like you don't have very reliable ones.

Or you may wanna upgrade your XTi body. Someone of your skill should have a 50D or a 40D at least

Message edited by author 2008-12-29 20:04:39.
12/29/2008 08:14:46 PM · #24
Education, it will last forever.
12/29/2008 08:42:17 PM · #25
Originally posted by Patrick_R:

I have a hard time justifiying the 85mm when I already have the 50mm you know?


I had that same struggle, but decided to stick with the 50mm, it's just so versatile and felt that the 85mm would have been to tight on the 30D. I'll eventually upgrade to the F1.4 though when I'm through school, maybe as a graduation gift to myself in a couple years.
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