Best startup 5D setup?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by david_e._starr|1, May 1, 2008.

  1. So, I've been shopping for my first DSLR for a long time now. And I thought I
    finally settled on the 40D with a good set of lenses, and that was it. But I
    made a very crucial mistake...

    I took the 50mm 1.4, and I tried it on the 40D. Then seconds later, I tried the
    same lens on the 5D. And... I completely messed up all the research and work
    I'd done for lenses. I've used a lot of 50s on a lot of film bodies (Canon 7,
    Nikon FM2, Nikon F2, Leica SL, Leica R6, just to name my favorite few), and I,
    for some reason, didn't mind the cropping on the 40D, until I tried it with the

    So I've got to rethink all my lenses. But, unfortunately, I don't have an
    infinite budget. With my 40D, my budget was about $3,000, and that was going to
    get me the body with a grip and four lenses. But, uh... the 5D is going to
    substitute a significant amount of those lenses (I may wait on the grip...),
    and even more so if I wait for the successor (it's the 6fps that drew me to the
    40D in the first place).

    Now, I know I'm getting the 50mm 1.4 in any event (I'm also getting a Leica R
    to EF adapter to put my 50mm Summicron on the camera; I've seen some beautiful
    results). But because of my budget constraints, I think I need to slim it down
    to just three lenses. So now I need a decent walkaround lens, and telephoto.

    The 16-35 is way out of my budget, plus it's not very long, so that obvious
    choice is out.

    100-400 would be an upgrade once I stop bleeding money over this.

    So, I was thinking I'd do the 24-70 f2.8, and the 70-300 IS.

    Does anybody have any experience with either of these lenses on a 5D? And does
    anybody dislike them? And if so, why? And which lenses of a similar price would
    be better?

    Thanks for listening to me ramble.
  2. "I'm getting the 50mm 1.4 in any event (I'm also getting a Leica R to EF adapter to put my 50mm Summicron on the camera"

    What? You said "my budget constraints" and you still want to get the Canon 50/1.4? I'm lost.
  3. Heh. Well, the Canon 50mm 1.4 is only a couple hundred bucks. The USM is worth it to me. If the 1.2 (too expensive) and 1.8 (too cheap) were the only options, I'd stick with my Summicron.
  4. Did you know there are two versions of the 70-300 IS? There is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS and then there is the less expensive Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM IS. Which one are you interested in?
  5. Oh, definitely non-DO. The small performance increase isn't worth double the price tag to me. Considering the lens will eventually be replaced with a 100-400, the DO just isn't worth the money to me.
  6. Well, depending on the type of photos you like to take, I would recommend the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM IS (yes, I have used it). But, you will be lacking a wide angle prime and/or zoom.
  7. Ah, a 70-300 user! Do you use it on a full frame, or on a cropped camera? If full frame, have you had any bad experiences with vignetting anywhere in its range?

    Also, I figure 24mm is the widest I'd need. And if I do absolutely feel the need for a wider lens, I can just rent a 16-35 for a day. :p
  8. Notwithstanding the mass, you probably know that there is approximately a $1000 difference between the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM and Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM IS.
  9. lol Yeah, that's for much, much further down the line, once I have money again to spend on glass. Any telephoto lens I get is going to be a temporary one, so I may as well not go nuts. And the reviews say the price per performance of the 70-300 IS is top notch.

    Bearing in mind the mass of it... it is kind of intimidating to think about carrying it around. So I may not even get rid of the 70-300, just to have a lighter telephoto for less serious adventures. But that depends on how much I like the 70-300. If it's underwhelming, it can go on eBay when its time comes.
  10. While the 5D is a fine camera - I use one - you can get the same angles of view and most
    other lens features on the crop sensor 40D by getting lenses with shorter focal lengths.

  11. I noticed the vignetting nearer the 300mm end with my friend's lens. The lens performs at it's best from 70-200mm. So, for the extra $500, I decided to buy the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM which is a better lens.
  12. And I have used the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM IS on my 5D and Rebel XT.
  13. Yeah, all the reviews I read of it were tested on a cropped-frame sensor, so of course vignetting wasn't too much of a worry for those.

    But see, that's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for! I forgot about the 70-200 f4 IS. That lens would put my total purchase at just above $4,000, which means I've only added a grand, despite the much higher quality gear.

    I'm going to ponder if the stabilization is worth it to me. Because I can get the non-stabilized for the same price as the 70-300.

    That's fantastic! Thanks for mentioning that lens!
  14. What do you want to make pictures of? And what kind of pictures? Prints? Web display?

    Decide that and most equipment questions fall into place.

  15. And I forgot to add that the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM was once part of my tool kit. It was a very good lens but not as good as the revamped IS version. The IS version is sharper at f/4 than the non-IS version. But, if you are a monopod or tripod user, than save the $500 and get the non-IS version. When you hit the lottery jackpot, then get whatever you want.
  16. @BK: Yeah, that's pretty much how I decided on the lenses I have so far. I know exactly how I'll use them. The 50mm 1.4 is a must, the 24-70 is slowly becoming a must, and... the telephoto lens is still up in the air.

    @Peter: Yeah, after briefly reading reviews, it's clear the IS version is worlds better (despite the non-IS 2.8 being sharper than the stabilized 2.8). I just now need to figure out if 200mm is enough telephoto for me. I luckily work at a Wolf Camera, and have access to this lens. I might be able to borrow it for a day.
  17. Lucky you! And I'm sure you buy at cost too, right? Read this review for fun!
  18. :) I get some handy discounts.

    I read that review on the DO IS, and bearing in mind the resolution charts, it seems like its advantage is really only its size. And I drive everywhere I go. So this doesn't have to travel on a plane. The 70-300 non-DO or the 70-200 f4 will easily fit in my back seat. Hell, the new 800mm would. lol
  19. "I took the 50mm 1.4, and I tried it on the 40D. Then seconds later, I tried the same lens on the 5D"

    That was a *big* mistake, as you know now. I held off getting that lens until I was getting a 5D, where it is the classic combo, I love it. I put it on a 1.6 crop body a few times: it is kind of depressing, looking down a long narrow tunnel at short telephoto.

    For another lens, I'd strongly recommend the 24-70. It will do for almost *everything* on the wide end. It is by far the main lens on my 5D. I currently don't have anything wider. It's also good for near-macro.

    I might get the Canon 16-35II down the road, not sure. It's very expensive, and I have most of that range covered. Still...

    For telephoto I have the 70-200 f2.8 IS. I got this before the f4.0 IS version was offered. If I was making a decision today I might tip to the 4.0 version: it's 1/2 the weight, a fair bit cheaper and very sharp.

    If you want more reach a lot of the time, say birds/small wildlife, the Canon 100-400 is a good, versatile range.
  20. >> "I took the 50mm 1.4, and I tried it on the 40D. Then seconds later,
    >> I tried the same lens on the 5D"

    Same here. Except I wasn't even using a good lens, just my everyday 28-135!

    Anyway, for long reach, you won't really be satisfied with 300mm (unless all you need it for is to shoot distant portraits). Don't waste your money on it. 400mm is the way to go.

    1) 100-400 is not "that" expensive. You may find a used one for 1000-1100, just have patience and keep looking.

    2) Get 400mm/5.6 prime. Fantastic lens. No IS, but depending on your need that may be ok (it would be for me).

    3). Try 3rd-party options, such as Tokina 80-400 (no IS) or Sigma 80-400 OS (or any of the other tele-zoom from sigma).
  21. If the 70~200/4L IS isn't long enough, consider adding the Extender 1.4x. Extenders usually don't work very well with zooms, but this combination seems to be an exception - performance is excellent, and of course the lens on its own is absolutely stunning.

    Since you are planning to have a fast 50mm prime (one way or another!), you might consider the 24~105 rather than the 24~70. For me, the 24~105 range is almost ideal for a single lens on the 5D (incidentally, there's no Canon equivalent for 1.6-factor), and I prefer to use the f/4 zooms with the alternative of really fast primes like the 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and 135/2L for when I need them, rather than use the f/2.8 zooms.
  22. The short version a good setup 17-40F4, 50F1.4, 70-200F4 (no IS). The other version 24-105F4IS, 100-400LIS, with your Summicron. I have option one, the 70-200F4 is a little on the short side for sports, especially LAX.
  23. I think there is a danger of contemplating the navel here. I would recommend you go with
    either of Gerry's suggestions. I have his first proposed set-up. You will not be disappointed.
    Read the reviews for these lenses; they are all tops. You can always get the Canon converter
    for the 70-200 (all be it at the loss of up to a couple of stops) if you really feel you need the
    extra length.
  24. I was in the same boat when i got my 5d, picked up a 50mm and got a 24-28 sigma f2.8 for
    day to day stuff, its a good lens and good price too.

    24-70mm on a ff is a great range, really covers alot
  25. I am waiting for the 5D successor personally. Having used a 5D for the past year with all
    of the F2.8L zooms, it was painful not to jump in and buy the 5D given the pricing, but it
    is showing its age a bit with lack of live view and slow FPS etc.

    The 24-70 f2.8 is a the best walking around zoom you can get. If I had to have one lens
    on a full frame, it is state of the art. But in the long run, it is neither a dramatic wide or a
    telephoto so becomes a bit redundant if you progress down the canon L glass path (the
    Fluorite brick road?). Not a bad crowd/street lens though, if you like
    photojournalist/realist pictures.

    The 17-40 and 70-200 f4 lenses are a great pair, but will leave you wanting something
    more indoors.

    The f2.8 16-35 and the 70-200 IS are hands down the best zooms in the canon system,
    especially the 70-200. Both are pricey, but are worth the money you pay for them. And it
    is no coincidence that there is a 50mm shaped gap between the zooms.

    The image quality of the f4 L lenses is not substantially less than the f2.8 versions, but the
    wider aperture makes the lens a lot more versatile. The 70-200 f2.8 is a telephoto
    portraiture lens!

    As mentioned, 200 is a little short for sports, but the 1.4x teleconverter works really well
    with the 70-200 and the IS claws back the stop that you lose.

    Going from 70 to a long telephoto zoom is a bit of a stretch. If you really need the
    sports/wildlife capability, then the 100-400 or a fixed focal length tele are a better bet.

    My current system is:
    40D, 28/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5

    I am saving for:
    5D successor
    70-200 f2.8 L
    16-35 f2.8 L in that order
  26. I think the 24mm on the 24-70 is really all I need as far as wide goes. The 24-105 and 17-40 is just too slow for me. I do a LOT of available light shooting. But my telephoto is mostly going to be used for daytime outdoor shots, so slow isn't a big worry. Plenty of sunlight to go around when I'd use it.

    But I got carried away with thinking about the 70-200 f4 IS. Because that is really close to the price of the 100-400, which I decided I couldn't afford yet. So... I think I'm back to the 70-300 IS non-DO for now.

    This first setup is turning out to really just be the beginning of an upgrade path. I'll eventually sell my 5D for the Mark II, and I'll eventually sell the 70-300 for the 100-400. Maybe sell a film camera for the 70-200 2.8 non-IS.

    And last night I realized I completely forgot about the money I have to spend on a macro lens, too. I'm just going to use the one I planned on using with my 40D, the Sigma 150mm 2.8. Now THAT's a versatile lens! Telephoto action portrait macro!
  27. "It's a crime for not getting 24-105 for 5D", someone said in this forum.

    It's even more so for you, since you will get the 100-400.

    So get the 5D kit for $2760 and use the rest to buy some oil related options. Soon you will be able to get the 100-400.

    BTW Since you have a 50mm Summircron, why do you need another 50mm?
  28. Well, as I said earlier, the 24-105 isn't fast enough for me. I feel the lens is pretty overrated. I think it's one of those things like the 28-135 IS where the lens just wouldn't sell by itself, so they need to package it with a camera.

    And as I also said earlier, the Canon 50mm 1.4 is only a couple hundred bucks, so the USM is worth it to me. When I'm taking some more creative or important shots, I'll use the Summicron, but for just candid available-light use, the snappy autofocus definitely worth the $250 I have to pay for it.

    Most of my work is just social candids. That's about 70% of the pictures I take. That's where the Canon 50 comes in. The other 30% (the ones that make it out to the public), are where I took my time to compose the shot instead of just capturing a moment. That's where the Summicron will come in handy.
  29. 16-35 + 50 prime + 70-300

    Pass on the 24-70 because the 16-35 is a better low light zoom and you can take pics of people without pointing the camera at them. Also, the 50 prime is awesome on the 5D and makes the 24-70 somewhat redundant.

    My kit: 5D + 15 fisheye + 50 1.4 + 70-300 DO + DxO Optics Pro Software

    I de-fish the fisheye to 12mm perfectly and the 50 + DO lenses are corrected with DxO beautifully. And the last time I checked, Canon does not make a full frame 12mm lens.
  30. But the 16-35 isn't a very good walkaround. It has a very wide field of view, but its range stops very early. If I were to do the 16-35 and the 50 and the 70-300, I'd find myself changing lenses very often, which is a cumbersome activity in and of itself, let alone having to carry all three lenses everywhere. With the 24-70, I would probably end up keeping that on most of the time, and end up switching to the 50 once I go inside for a long period of time. And the telephoto is purely for outdoor, far-away nature. So on shoots when I use that, it's all I'd use.
  31. Not sure I get the dislike of the 24-105.

    1) if you're getting the 50 1.4 anyway, that would give you good low light capacity in the middle of that range.

    2) f/4 with 1600 ISO, and IS will let you shoot in pretty low light

    3) if you don't like the quality of the 24-105L, I can't imagine you'll be satisfied with the 70/300

    4) even if you might think the 24-105 is overrated, and not worth the price, if you get $400 off the price, it's tough to find something better in that range for $600.

    My 2 cents.
  32. 1) Right, but it'd be nice to have at least some capability on another lens if I don't have time to change.

    2) I'd like to stay at the lowest ISO possible, even though the noise is very reasonable on the 5D.

    3) Heh. You're right. I won't be satisfied with the 70-300, but for the price I can get it at, the price to performance ratio is through the roof.

    4) It's just the depth of field at f4 is so underwhelming. For a portrait/walkaround lens, I would love to get shallow depths of field without having to muck around with my focusing distance. The 24-70 at 2.8 will do that for me.
  33. The 24-70 is a great lens and you surely can't go wrong with it. But it is larger and heavier than the 50 prime, 2 stops slower and you can easily use your feet to make up any differences. The 24-70 is great for weddings and other paid events, but not 800 better for unpaid walking around pics.

    I think you missed the point of not pointing the lens at people even though they are the subject. It can be very dramatic.

    Bob brings up a good point as well. However, only you can decide, and you have great lenses to choose from. It's always something when I see cheap glass on a 5D. It's like putting cheap tires on a Corvette. :)
  34. Well, I can get the 5D and 24-105 for $2500, or I can get the 5D and 24-70 for $2800 (god bless employee discounts). So... it's only a $300 difference instead of a retail $800 difference.

    And yeah, I do know that you don't have to aim at people to make them the subject. A couple steps back at 24mm would be more than wide enough.

    And I was thinking about dabbling in paid wedding photography after getting my setup here, too. One gig would probably earn me back all the money I spend on this.

    And yeah, it is a little depressing to see someone with a 5D using something like an 18-55. Like wagon wheels on a Porsche. But... I kinda have been toying with the idea of buying a 50mm 1.8, just for some shots with massive vignetting. Occasionally that horrible combination can produce interesting shots. Hence the Lomo appeal.
  35. honestly.... 24-70L f2.8 would be my only recommendation.

    But i'm not a full-frame shooter.

    It's still my only recommendation. Great piece of glass...very versatile.
  36. also... EF-S lenses don't work on full frame cameras. So your comment about 18-55 on a 5D isn't valid... it wouldn't even go on the camera :)

    Shoulda been "like driving a porche with no wheels" hehe
  37. lol Well, you could put the lens on there. I don't know if the camera would reject it in manual mode. But uh... it'd certainly break the camera. Which is indeed sad.
  38. While I can't comment on the 70-300 on a 5D, I can tell you I shot it on a Rebel and a 40D for about a year. Great lens, but it ended up being a tad slow for me. I upgraded to the 70-200/2.8. While I miss my money, I love the lens. If you're interested, I have the 70-300 for sale with the hood. It's in great condition, but honestly, from the sound of this thread, I don't think you'd be satisfied.
  39. I think you may be looking at this the wrong way. Sounds to me like you need a moderately priced setup with great performance and features that give you total control over your shots. The 5D is a great camera, yet it is pricey for the outdated camera it is. I would not buy that camera with a successor not far down the line. The 40D gives you great features and performance at half the cost. For 1500 you get the body and the 28-135 IS lens, which has a pretty good focal length considering the 1.6x crop factor. I also purchase the 20mm f2.8 ultra-wide angle fixed lens, which I LOVE! I bought the 50mm lens because I wanted an extremely shallow depth of field, although I do not use this as much as the wide angle lens. I'm sitting at about 2300 with three compact flash card, extra batteries, etc. This is a great set up for me. I have yet to say, "I wish I had a lens that would...." Just my opinion. Again, I wouldn't by the 5D because better technology is around the corner. And when it does come out, the 40D is going to make a Great backup body.
  40. I almost always choose my 24-70 over my 24-105. Each has it's good points, but for me the '70 is *the* choice about 90% of the time.
  41. I purchased a 5D last year, along with the ef 50 1.4 lens. I'm getting terrific results shooting! I'm happy with my purchase. If I had only one chance to purchase a lens I would have opted for the 24-70 2.8. It's a versatile lens. I probably would not change out the lens for the 50. I shoot a lot of street scapes so I believe it's the perfect walk about lens for my style of shooting...This is my next lens purchase. As telephotos go I would seriously consider purchasing the 70-200 2.8. You'll need to get a very sturdy tri-pod to support this setup. Good luck deciding!
  42. @Michael Brossart<br>Yeah, I know the 70-300 IS wouldn't be the best lens to do the job. But for the $450 the lens would cost me, it seemingly the perfect lens to temporarily do the job until I can afford a better one. The resolution on the lens is surprisingly high. The color may not be the world's best, but on a 5D, it's already got an advantage over most, and there's always Photoshop to tweak the colors just a little bit more.<br><br>The way I see it: It's incredibly sharp and incredibly inexpensive. What else matters?<br><br><br>@Aaron Davis<br>I was considering the 40D, as I stated earlier, but... something was so unappealing. First off, I really just dislike the 28-135 IS lens. It's too soft and slow. But the sad part is there's no real substitute that's any better. The 24-105L on a cropped sensor is really kind of pointless. The 17-85 is WAY too distorted at the wide end for me to be happy with. And... just most of the L glass is underwhelmed when put on the 40D. And when comparing the color between the two, the 40D's color was vibrant and punchy, but the color on the 5D was just sublime. So much more subtle and rich. The color, the IQ, and definitely the full frame sensor has got me convinced I want the 5D instead.<br><br>Plus, because of the cropped sensor, I'd need to get an ultra-wide lens just to get a moderately wide angle. Ultra-wides are always so much softer, slower, and lower in contrast. Not to mention more expensive. There's just really so few lenses that mate well with a 40D that would leave me satisfied.<br><br>I figure I'll start out with the 5D. The thing that draws me most to the 40D is the 6fps, and the 5D Mark II is rumored to have it, as well, but I'm not yet sure that I'll need it. 3fps just may be enough for me. And really, the speed is my only complaint about the camera. It may be older technology, but it's been proven to be excellent technology that still trumps most DSLRs. I'd rather wait a few months with the Mark II on the market to see if it is as good or better. If it is, I'll sell or trade in the 5D for the upgrade. And if 3fps turns out to not be enough for me, I'll just upgrade as soon as the Mark II hits the market. My problem is that I'll probably have a lot of other people doing the same thing to compete with.<br><br><br>@Bruce Sturm<br>
    Yeah, I've been wanting the 70-200 2.8 non-IS for a long, long time now. I don't know what all the fanfare is about the stabilized version. It's so much softer than its non-stabilized brethren.
  43. Sounds like your tele lens will be secondary to what you want to do. If I'm right, my advice would be hold off. Shoot your other lenses. When you have the money, buy the tele/tele-zoom you really want. You may even find you've changed your mind on your tele needs when the time comes.
  44. David, the 5D sounds like the only option for you, and you won't regret it. I don't think its successor will be available this year, so I would take that out of the equasion.

    The 24-105 is a very versatile lens. Despite loving my 50mm, I need the 24-105 because it covers so many situations. And then there was a need for a longer lens ...

    Yesterday I had a great deal of help with the 'long lens dilemma'. If you get a chance to read the thread, you'll see the 70-300 IS non-DO is the clear winner. It really is rated very highly, and the quality is good throughout the range. Even though I could afford something a little more costly, this is the one I chose. I'm just concerned the 70-200 might not give you the reach you want.
  45. David, I have the 5D and also the 24-70. I LOVE that lens just for a walk around lens. Also
    instead of the 16-35, try the 17-40 for wide angle. Its much cheaper and pretty much the
    same focal length. its just f4 instead of 2.8. Also I own the 70-200 but I find its not enough
    length for me at all. I would hold off and save up for the 100-400, thats what I am doing
    right now.
  46. I shoot film still on my Canon EOS 3. I have the 70-300 IS non-DO, and I appreciate it for its smaller size, but my go-to lens has become my 70-200 2.8L, paired with 1.4x and 2x extenders. With its IS, I can be at f5.6 using the 2x extender and easily hand hold. The red wattle bird photo in my portfolio was taken with those parameters. That lens is noticeably sharper than the 70-300, but of course sharpness depends also on contrast within the photo. The only downsides to the 70-200 2.8L are its size - it attracts too much attention, and its weight. I have a 135 2.0L prime that's sharp as a tack, black colored and small, and it's one of my favorite "people" lenses. I find myself changing lenses a lot, though, when I'm using this one. In the end, there's no perfect solution, only trade-offs. One thing that I've learned is that I seldom wish I had carried a lighter lens, but I sometimes wish I had carried a sharper lens.
  47. I have been using a number of Canon lenses on both 20D and 5D in the past few years. I believe that the EF2.8/24-70 and the EF2.8/70-200 are by far the best both in terms of usability and quality, hands down.
  48. The 28-70 is a great all-over lens and I use it a lot with the companion 70-200-both f/2.8. MOst importantly, I use several of my Leica lenses on the 5d: 60mm Macro and 280 APO. They work just great.

    As I do fine art traditional color landscape, the combination of outstanding optics and 12.4 megapixels. WHo could ask for more?

  49. Also, I recently heard a complaint about the 5D that I never heard before.

    Battery life? I heard I'd probably only average about 200-300 shots per charge?

    That sounds very, very low to me...
    Can anyone tell me anything about the battery life of their 5Ds?

    If it is that bad, I may just skip the telephoto lens and buy the battery grip instead.
  50. re: 24-105 f/4.0...........I shoot a lot of available light also and I use the 24-105 on the 5D a lot. The IS really helps a whole lot. If I need the extra speed I always have my 50 f/1.4 and a 35mm f/2.0 with me. And during the light hours the 24-105 rarely comes off the cam

    I never thought IS would be as helpful as it has been. If I was starting over ALL my zooms would be IS and I'd get a few primes for the speed in really low light. Why mess with f/2.8 on a aint really that great in really low light at that max f stop anyhow. 2.0 and faster is the best...and that's primes only.
  51. Be careful, the non-L zooms tend to vignette on the 5D and there's a lot of CA. I have had nearly 3 years of experience. I tend to stick to non-L primes (e.g. 50mm, 85mm), L-primes (e.g. 35mm, 135mm) and good zooms (e.g. 17-40L), 70-210 L. If you want something longish, go for the last with a 1.4 extender. Gary
  52. "Also, I recently heard a complaint about the 5D that I never heard before. Battery life? I heard I'd probably only average about 200-300 shots per charge?"

    Even with IS, that's not been my experience at all. Perhaps their batteries were old, or non-Canon, who knows. Try not to be influenced by the odd throw-away comment.
  53. @Gary White<br>Yeah, that is true, but luckily vignetting and CAs are pretty much the two easiest optical flaws to Photoshop out. For a budget, temporary lens, the 70-300 IS wouldn't be so bad.<br><br><br>@Lindsay Dobson<br> About how many shots do you find yourself getting per charge?
  54. "I've been shopping for my first DSLR for a long time ... I, for some reason, didn't mind the cropping on the 40D, until I tried it with the 5D.... With my 40D, my budget was about $3,000, and that was going to get me the body with a grip and four lenses. But, uh... the 5D is going to substitute a significant amount of those lenses (I may wait on the grip...), and even more so if I wait for the successor "

    Analysis paralysis.

    You spent too much time comparing specs before placing a body in your hands.

    You decided immediately on getting a camera, 4 lenses AND a grip immediately upon purchase of your first DSLR? Insanity.

    The 5D successor will cost at least $3200 -- beyond your budget.

    Get the 40D and a single, decent lens and start shooting. There's supposed to be a $200 instant rebate on the body starting next week, bringing the price down to $950 or so. Get ONE good lens and play with it for a few months and then decide on another lens. You like the 50mm field of view? Get Canon's 35mm lens, or Sigma's 30mm, or the fairly decent kit lens.

    The 5D is also expected to come with a $300 rebate, bringing its price down to around $1900. Just enough for you to hit your budget if you want. But nothing you've written suggests that you need or could take advantage of a full frame sensor.
  55. I have the battery grip, but I just shot over 800 photos with my 5D the other day and my camera is still showing a "full"
    charge. So even if the ONE battery is dead, it took WAY more than 200-300 shots!

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