Considering a 5D2

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dave_charles, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Let me start this by saying that I'm not a professional, however I am interested in taking great pictures and I'm considering moving into photography as a second career in a few years as I wind down my business. I've been shopping for a good DSLR and have been considering buying a 5DmkII. I don't have any lenses and would probably be starting with a 50mm prime, probably the 50 f/1.4. I'd mainly be shooting street, architecture, some landscape, family, indoor low light, and travel. Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to go FF? The 5D2 is a little larger than I'd like it to be ideally, but it has some features that really appeal to me.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. There is no valid reason to prefer a crop camera over FF, unless your use would benefit from the advantages of a crop sensor unit. Unless you are planning on shooting things like birds in flight, at distance, action sports, or at ultra-high framerates or for similar reasons, there really isn't a benefit to APS-C over FF sensors. The benefits to a FF sensor though are obvious.
    Of course all that being said, you can absolutely take great pictures with something as 'small' and 'old' as a 400D (or XTi), or even 'older'. The new rebels have most of the capabilities of the 5d2, and are a fraction of the price. If you have a budget, a new rebel paired with high quality, fast lenses, are going to produce far better imagery than a 5D2 paired with crappy lenses. Not to mention, the limits of your glass are far more quickly reached than the limits of the body.
     
  3. What are the features that appeal?
    For a starting out camera the 5D MkII is expensive, by the time you have got to grips with it, and the software learning curve needed to get the best out of digital cameras, a 5D MkIII could well be available and much more interesting. Also one prime lens might be considered limiting, especially given your diverse interests. For landscape, street and indoor low light few would choose a 50. Mind you I started with a 50 and it was the only lens I had for three years :)
    I would probably not recommend a 5D MkII, but it would be hinge on your interesting features.
     
  4. What appeals to be about the 5D MkII are; (in no particular order) the feel of it, the large, bright viewfinder, the sound of the shutter and the beautiful LCD screen. In some ways, other cameras that I have tried seem like toys in comparison. Does that seem crazy? I would be adding other lenses in fairly short order, however, I just don't see myself as much as a zoom guy.
     
  5. ...the feel of it, the large, bright viewfinder, the sound of the shutter and the beautiful LCD screen.​
    Have you compared image quality of the 5DII and other EOS's?
    I just don't see myself as much as a zoom guy.​
    You normally would consider a zoom if you need to react fast in composing a scene (i.e. fast paced weddings, chasing the royal couple and at times, travel photography). For vacations, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM is on a gripless 5D. The backup camera for short telephoto reach would be the Canon PowerShot G12. But, there is a huge difference in low light image quality between the two.
     
  6. "Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to go FF?"​
    • better image quality vs crop sensor
    • shallower DOF
    • more wide lens options
    • brighter VF
    • no regrets
    Only thing missing from the 5D MKII is the 60D's swivel LCD.
     
  7. Dave C.
    What camera are you using now (DSLR, compact digital camera, film camera)?
    In what areas to you feel that your current gear is lacking?
    What do you think the 5D2 can do for you that your current camera cannot?
    I love my 5D2. It wasn't the first camera or even the first DSLR that I owned. There's nothing wrong with the 5D2 being your first DSLR, but some smaller, less expensive cameras can do a very good job as well, especially since you'll be climbing a steep learning curve for a while.
     
  8. How old are you, and what sort of film slr's have you had in the past?
    Reading between the lines about "winding down a business", and your desire to start with the 50mm f1.4 on a full frame dslr, I suspect that would be an excellent starting point for you
    For a little more satisfaction and latitude, you might want to pick up the 24-105 "kit" lens as well. It's price is reduced a fair bit when purchased togetether with 5D body.
     
  9. I often go out with my 5d 1 with only the 50mm. It's a great combo and much lighter than a zoom!

    A fine choice.
     
  10. My first DSLR was a 5DII with an EF 50/1.4. I opted for a full frame body because I'd only ever used 35mm film, and for an EF 50/1.4 because I had always been impressed with my FD 50/1.4's. (I confess, however, that although the 50/1.4 was my first autofocus lens, I used it on my EOS-1V and 3 before I got my 5DII).
    Although I now tend to use other EF primes and zooms more than my EF 50/1.4, the 5DII-50/1.4 combination has produced some stunning imagery for me, and if I were to be "starting from scratch" again, there's no question which camera and lens I'd be acquiring.
     
  11. Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to go FF?
    Cost vs utility. A 60D is $1,500 cheaper than a 5D mkII. A Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 crop UWA lens is $1,000 cheaper than the Canon 16-35 f/2.8L II needed to match it on FF. A Canon 300 f/4L IS is $1,400 yet on crop gives you the reach and brightness of a $7,000 500mm f/4L IS on FF.
    The $1,500 savings with the 60D means you wouldn't just start with a 50 f/1.4, but could start with, say, a Tokina 11-16 and Canon 70-200 f/4L as well.
    We are at a point in sensor evolution where the best FF sensors are not much better than the best crop sensors. After post processing you're not going to see a difference even in 24" prints with low to mid ISO images. FF sensors still have a discernible advantage at high ISO, and have about 1 stop more DR. But you pay a lot for those small gains.
    (No doubt my above statement will bring the typical storm of "No way! FF is SOOO much better! I swear I can see it!" type comments. Trouble is the people who reply that way always scurry and run when asked to say which image came from which in a test with no labels.)
    I imagine the gap will widen with the next generation of FF sensors, but it's never going to be very wide again, and the next generation of crop sensors will probably shrink it back down again. Too many people are stuck in the days of 5D vs. 20D comparisons and crummy UWA options for crop. Those days are long gone. I don't know why anyone ever thought a great difference in IQ would persist between two formats so close together that they share bodies and lenses. Moore's law is clearly on the side of crop in terms of shrinking the gap.
    The advantage in shallow DoF is also of dubious value. I generally have to stop down a 50 f/1.4 on crop to f/2 to get enough DoF in a portrait shot. Of what advantage then is even less DoF?
    So...if you need to make large prints (i.e. 20" or 24") from high ISO (i.e. 3200) shots, you definitely want FF. If you want certain lenses (i.e. 35 f/1.4L or 17 T/S), then you will probably want a FF body to put them on to maintain their intended FoV.
    And if you don't fit in those categories, you really need to think about whether or not you want to spend your money on a sensor that will never yield a print noticeably better than the print you would have gotten with the cheaper sensor.
    I guess if you can tell me which crop came from which sensor in these two links (without cheating by finding the original source images) you should go FF. If not, then you should ask yourself where that $1,500 should be spent.
    http://www.taylor-design.com/photos/2/test.jpg
    http://www.taylor-design.com/photos/format_test.jpg
     
  12. >>> Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to go FF?
    If image quality is not the most important factor to you. If you rarely shoot in low light. If having better dynamic range is not that important. If you don't have any lenses that require FF to achieve desired quality/fov. If you need to shoot sports at high fps. If you are limited on $$$.
    Was an easy choice for me, having both. Full frame... (loads of photos here)
     
  13. I've owned Canon DSLRs for years and most recently a 5D2 for almost two years. My major use was for capturing landscape/nature images for sale. My clients often wanted very large, mural size images. This often meant stitching frames to create adequate file size and some situations did not work well with stitching. I recently sold my Canon systems and went to a Pentax 645d digital medium format system.
    The improvement over the 5D2 was significant but the 645d could not totally replace all of the capabilities of the 5D2. As a backup I purchased a Pentax K-5. I am not trying to suggest you shouldn't purchase the 5D2 if that is what you have your mind set on doing. I have high praise for Canon products and their customer service, and I own and use their wide format printers. That said, the K-5 (along with the Nikon 5100, D7000, SONY a 580) uses a new SONY manufactured sensor that is equal in most respects and superior in others, to any of the Canon sensors. The high ISO capabilities of the K-5 are pretty much a match for the 5D2 and the K-5 has 14EV of dynamic range, almost 2 EV better than the 5D2 and it is particularly cleaner in shadow/dark areas at high ISOs than the Canon. And it will shoot 7 fps with shutter quietness that is probably superior to even a Leica M9. TheK-5 body is built to professional standards (alloy, weather seals, etc) with an outstanding feature set. Pentax also produces an outstanding range of prime lenses, if primes are your choice.
    You won't be unhappy with the 5D2 but you should have a look at the Pentax K-5. I have absolutely no regrets.
     
  14. " A Canon 300 f/4L IS is $1,400 yet on crop gives you the reach and brightness of a $7,000 500mm f/4L IS on FF."
    No it will not. It will give you exactly the same subject reproduction ratio on the sensor, whatever size that sensor might be. The subject might be easier to frame with a crop camera, but that is a different matter, a 300 is a 300 is a 300, no matter what camera it is mounted on.
     
  15. "A Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 crop UWA lens is $1,000 cheaper than the Canon 16-35 f/2.8L II needed to match it on FF"

    Again, if you are talking equivalence, then you would need the 17-40 f4 to more than match the range and effective
    DOF of the Tokina on a FF. In fact you would have a lens that was wider and conciderably longer for the grand sum of
    $150 more.

    I've never scurried anywhere!
     
  16. " A Canon 300 f/4L IS is $1,400 yet on crop gives you the reach and brightness of a $7,000 500mm f/4L IS on FF."
    No it will not. It will give you exactly the same subject reproduction ratio on the sensor, whatever size that sensor might be. The subject might be easier to frame with a crop camera, but that is a different matter, a 300 is a 300 is a 300, no matter what camera it is mounted on.​
    The gain arises from the higher pixel density of the crop body, not from the fact that it is a crop body. If you have a 5DII with 21Mpixels, then a 20D or 30D with 8Mpixels gives you no gain at all, and a 40D with 10Mpixels gives very little gain. On the other hand, a 7D or other 18Mpixel crop body gives a substantial gain, but not quite by a factor of 1.6; you would need a 21Mpixel crop body to achieve that. The actual gain (using round figures) is 1.6×sqrt(18/21), or just under 1.5, so a 300mm lens on a 7D will provide the same subject detail as a 450mm lens on FF, but with a slightly narrower angle of view (that of a 480mm lens on FF).
    I have used a dual-format kit for some years, currently 5DII+7D, so I have no axe to grind as between FF and 1.6-factor. Both formats have their advantages for different types of work. In comparing the 5DII and the 7D you have to remember that the 7D is a more recent and advanced body, and it is important to separate out the inherent advantages/disadvantages of FF over 1.6-factor from effects due to the specification of the body. If, as far as it is possible to do so, you compare cameras of the "same generation" (5D and 30D; 5DII and 50D) you can see that the FF sensor has advantages in terms of image quality that become much more marked at high ISO, and for as long as we are talking about mirror/pentaprism systems it will probably remain the case that FF viewfinders will out-perform 1.6-factor viewfinders. Finally, again on a same-generation basis, a higher pixel count is possible on FF, allowing printing to larger sizes or (perhaps more important for most users) more flexibility over cropping. Set against those points is the difficulty of moving all that machinery around on FF, leading to lower maximum frame rates and slower flash synchronisation.
    Then you need to consider tha interaction between bodies and available lenses. As has already been pointed out, for long-lens work on FF you need to be prepared to carry a lens that is substantially bulkier and heavier, and much more expensive, than you would need for 1.6-factor. That would always be the case. Other effects arise from what lenses are actually available, for example the TS lenses, from which you certainly do not get full value if you use them only on a 1.6-factor body. Another example is in copying work, for which Canon offer no suitable lens for 1.6-factor (the EF-S 60/2.8 is a great lens, but has too narrow an angle of view for handling medium to large artwork, and even the EF 50/2.5 suffers from that problem, whereas it is ideal on FF).
    At the moment, I would say that unless you do a lot of high-ISO work or have a specialist requirement that depends on using a FF body with particular lenses, then the 7D is a better, and certainly more versatile, choice than the 5DII. When, as is expected shortly, the successor to the 5DII is announced, that may tilt the balance – but it will be at a price!
     
  17. "The gain arises from the higher pixel density of the crop body, not from the fact that it is a crop body."
    Another oft quoted misconception Robin. I would add that I have absolutely no axe to grind either :)
    The extra pixel density of the 7D only translates into additional resolution and image quality if each smaller pixel is as good as a larger ff sensor pixel, the fact that the 7D does not have the dynamic range or the high iso abilities of the 5D MkII would point to the fact that they are not. Also you need to use particularly good technique in near optimal conditions to have a chance of realising that resolution advantage.
    Well that is the result I came to after testing both sensors thoroughly enough to draw my own conclusions.
    That is not to say the 7D is not a superb camera, it is, and it is not to say for the majority of people the 7D would be a better general use tool. But as Dave asked about reasons to not get a 5D MkII (and he must have known the cost) then I think it would take a brave person to convince him of a completely different sensor. Having said that, I did think, and suggest, that as the 5D MkII is very mature in its product cycle, and if you are new to digital there is a ton of other stuff to learn, it might be a good idea to get a stand in until the MkIII becomes available.
     
  18. I'll catch some flak for this but, why not pickup a used 30D for right now and use the saved money to get good glass? I use my 30D for my street/biker photos and my used original 5D for the studio.
     
  19. Dave,
    In my personal (and these days somewhat unpopular) opinion you are absolutely on the right track. If you like the 5DII already from just trying it out that's a good indicator. And I love the combination with the 50 1.4. If you can stick to that combo for a while you'll likely learn a lot that may come in handy once you're ready for a second career in photography. And I'm saying that as a non-professional but as a long time user of this type of lens and 35mm cameras. It always was my favorite and still is.
    People who tell you otherwise may be "correct" in their own right of course and have likely gotten used to certain aspects of digital photography that I probably don't value enough yet. And honestly, I would still be shooting film if that was still possible at reasonable cost and quality. The 5D and now the 5DII (and probably their Nikon equivalent) were the first digital cameras that sort of interested me because I consider them a en par replacement for "35mm" film - if you can get adjusted to AF and, well rather dim viewfinders that is... I'm still struggling with that last part but there is no alternative in the DSLR word.
    But yes, there are a lot of people using "crop" cameras who take and make amazing images. To me "full frame" makes more sense and is a little more rewarding.
    As far as cost is concerned: I did the math when I bought my 5DII and figured that the 7D I was briefly taking into consideration wouldn't have been cheaper! Why is that? Because you end up spending more money on lenses just to make up for the difference in DOF and the loss at the wide angle end.
    I didn't see the need to wait for a 5DIII because the 5DII had pretty much what I was looking for (and then a lot that I was not looking for...).
    Good luck and enjoy
     
  20. I'm sorry that I've been away from the keyboard for awhile. Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. Here are some answers to the many questions in no particular order. My current equipment setup is dismal and consists of an old AE1 and a couple of lenses as well as an older G5. Over the years, I've owned Leica, Nikon and Pentax. I'm in my late 40's and as far as my business is concerned, my business partner and I have been discussing spending less time working and more time doing things that we have an affinity for, so we are working on a plan to transition ourselves over the next few years. Hence the comment about a second career. I'm starting some college courses in digital photography part time this fall to help me hone my skills and learn the software and plan on continuing this program over the next few years. There are probably many less expensive cameras that would enable me to get the job done, however, there are many intangibles involved as well which I realize can come at a price. Today, at lunch, I ventured down to a local camera shop and spent a bit of time comparing the 5D to the 7D. I learned a couple of things. First of all, I just can't seem to escape the shutter on the 5D. Every time I take a shot, it just feels/sounds so right to me, whereas on the 7D, it doesn't. Would it not bother me on the 7D, if I were not comparing them side by side? I don't know. The second thing I learned is that I had forgotten how much I liked the FOV offered by a 35mm lens. Whichever camera I get, I have decided to get the 35mm or equivalent lens as my first lens. The 5D with a 35 f/1.4 L as a combination is a thing of beauty. Whether I get the L up front is yet to be determined, but it's very tempting.
    Charles, you are the second person to mention the K-5 to me. I should check it out, however, it's pretty scarce. I'm traveling next week so I'll see if I can locate one on the road. I looked it up on B&H's website and it seems that Pentax has a limited amount of lenses, or am I missing something?
     
  21. >>> The 5D with a 35 f/1.4 L as a combination is a thing of beauty.

    Absolutely. That's the only lens I use on my 5DII today; for street photography and and street portraiture. I
    should probably sell my 24-70 f/2.8, which I haven't used in a year since getting the 35mm.

    Also, the 35mm f/2 is a fine lens. Much smaller and lighter weight. It's a real shame that extra stop costs
    an extra $1,000...
     
  22. No it will not. It will give you exactly the same subject reproduction ratio on the sensor, whatever size that sensor might be. The subject might be easier to frame with a crop camera, but that is a different matter, a 300 is a 300 is a 300, no matter what camera it is mounted on.
    To put (roughly) the same number of pixels on the subject as an 18 MP APS-C sensor with a 300mm lens will require a 500mm lens on a 16-21 MP FF sensor.
    Again, if you are talking equivalence, then you would need the 17-40 f4 to more than match the range and effective DOF of the Tokina on a FF.
    It's true that the Tokina does not zoom in as far, but that range will likely be covered by other lenses in one's kit. It's not the tele end that's important when considering UWA.
    I've never scurried anywhere!
    You've also never correctly identified 5D2 and 7D crops in an unlabeled test.
     
  23. The 35 f1.4 is a good enough reason on its own to only consider full frame. There is no crop camera equivalent.
    That lens on a ff body make a sublime pairing.
    Daniel, not interested.
     
  24. The extra pixel density of the 7D only translates into additional resolution and image quality if each smaller pixel is as good as a larger ff sensor pixel, the fact that the 7D does not have the dynamic range or the high iso abilities of the 5D MkII would point to the fact that they are not.
    It translates into additional resolution, period. You can prove that easily by shooting a resolution chart with the full 7D sensor and with the APS-C center of the 5D2 sensor.
    As to DR and noise level, the differences are far too small at low to mid ISO to put the 7D at a disadvantage, especially in a limited reach scenario where per pixel noise is going to be amplified when you crop the 5D2 shot.
    For a range of subjects and print sizes the difference between a 7D telephoto image and a cropped 5D2 telephoto image will simply not be dramatic. But that doesn't mean it never comes into play. I have some 20" prints of surfers made from 9 MP crops out of the 7D's full 18 MP. On a 5D2 that would have left me with 4 MP, not nearly sufficient for a 20" print. The differences would have been obvious.
    If you're pushing print size then you can either slap a $1,400 lens on the 7D or a $7,000 lens on the 5D2. Your choice.
     
  25. What Scott said. Not interested...
     
  26. The 35 f1.4 is a good enough reason on its own to only consider full frame. There is no crop camera equivalent.
    I would agree with that.
    Daniel, not interested.
    Of course not. You couldn't tell me which crop came from which if your life depended on it, and the differences will never be more apparent than in 100% pixel views. In print any differences will be even harder to spot.
    There are certainly valid reasons to spend the extra money on full frame. But anyone who thinks that superior image quality at low to mid ISO is one of them needs to check their beliefs against hard evidence.
     
  27. What Scott said. Not interested...
    See my reply to Scott.
     
  28. No Daniel, I'm just not interested in engaging you. That subject has become your mission in life over
    multiple threads here over the last year with your so-called "evidence" photos. Be happy with your camera
    choice - you've saved some money. We're happy for you...
     
  29. Dave (Charles),
    I have shared a similar dilemma as yourself. I was about to purchase my first DSLR. I was given lots of advice also, and had the big push toward the 7d, for many of the same reasons mentioned here, technical advantages and such. I went against all of the advice I was given. It took a little bit of time to save for, but I bought a 5d II and have not regretted it one iota. The 7d is an amazing tool, but not for me.
    As with you, the 5d II just felt/sounded right. I like the view though the viewfinder, the depth of focus of full frame, etc.
    If the 5d II is what makes your heart flutter, then go for it. You said that you will be able to add lenses in fairly short order so sounds like new glass will not be a problem. Only you know what feels right in your hands.
    Don't settle for anything less than the one that fits YOU the most.
    At least that's what I think. I wish you luck camera hunting.
     
  30. Have to agree with Justin here. Sounds like you are looking to seriously approach this down the line so you might as well do it "right" in the first place. Ultimately, the camera these days is the "disposable" part of the system. I'm sure that I won't keep my 5DII for 25 years - like I did with my last camera body (still going strong...). So it comes down to lenses. And in that department - in my estimate - good Canon glass is still the best value. And those good lenses are still built around "full frame" cameras. I understand that some of the EF-S lenses are excellent. But they also limit future extension of the system towards pro bodies etc.
    And after having been through the process myself (at least half way through now): the cost difference of the bodies in the end is just a smaller portion of where it appears you're headed - especially if you' re starting all over and are new to digital. I started with the 5DII/24-105L "kit" and another lens. Then there was another lens (with 3 more to go for what I have in mind), a bag, the battery grip, another bag, tripod update (with another one on the horizon), a flash, another flash, and another, some remote triggers, new software, some PC upgrades, CF cards, little gizmos, batteries, more batteries, a few more gizmos, macro extender, light stands...
    And before you know it you're looking at a 5-digit dollar amount. If I had to pick just one camera/lens combo it would be the 5DII with a 50.
     
  31. A great street photographer in New York tried the 5D but found he was missing a lot of the fast, spontaneous shots due to focusing speed. He went back to the latest EOS cropped sensor cameras.
    I have heard other photogs describe this focusing issue and it would be a very serious consideration for street photography. I have an XSi and paired with a nice 28-30mm prime, is a compact, quick to handle, and easy setup to carry all day. And you'd be very surprised at how handy the flip-out screen of the 600D or 60D will be. Image quality on the latest cropped EOS's are going to be great with a good lens.
    Go to a store and feel and handle them all.
     
  32. >>> A great street photographer in New York tried the 5D but found he was missing a lot of the fast,
    spontaneous shots due to focusing speed. He went back to the latest EOS cropped sensor cameras.

    What is his name?

    As an aside, I have both a 5D2 and an XSi. There's no comparison re focusing speed. 5D2 is much
    better, as it is for image quality as well.
     
  33. fast, spontaneous shots due to focusing speed​
    Pah. I don't believe it! Or rather I do not doubt you heard the statement but I doubt it is a fact that they are missing shots due to AF difficulties on the street. Birds in flight, sports with long teles - possibly, but street I find hard to believe.
     
  34. 5d2 is a great camera. I don't understand why so many are unsupportive. You don't need to be a pro to buy a FF.
    That said, 50mm is not a great general purpose lens. It's too long for interiors, groups and landscapes. It's also too short for portraits.
    Consider something wider as a general purpose lens, like 35mm f/2 or 35mm f/1.4. Or better still, get a 24-70mm f/2.8. Add a portrait lens like 85mm f/1.8 or 135mm f/2.0 and you have a great set.
     
  35. You know it's what you want, just buy it. I've been using my 5D2 since they first appeared and if I had to choose ANY camera, regardless of cost, I would still pick the 5D2 in today's market.
     
  36. Brad says go with DX if dynamic range isn't important to you. Hmm DXO says the full frame 5DII has a dyanamic range of 11.9 and the $799 dollar APS Nikon D5100 has a dynamic range of 13.2. Yet another myth busted. Not saying the 5D2 isn't a wonderful camera BTY. Just saying.
     
  37. I just got a 5D2. For me, it's all about image quality and using good affordable optics as alternatives to these huge zooms. Short of a medium format digital, its the best image quality I can (barely) afford. Having used a Pentax APS-C digital, I like the way my 5D2's full range captures reach into the shadow areas and the controllable highlights using RAW. I just heard of a long-time pro who says he stays at ISO 800. I will check that out. Believe me, as cheap as I am, it was not easy to lay out perhaps the equivalent of everything I've spent on photography the first 20 years for just one camera body that probably will not give me the longevity of my old F-1 or Leicaflex. However, had I not bought the 5D2, I would be wishing I had. I love my EF 85 f1.8, and my Leica R 35 Summicron is stunning with this sensor.
     
  38. Brad, his name is Dave Beckerman.
     
  39. Smooth Carrots - you are absolutely right! I do want it, and I am going to buy it. I feel it's the right camera for me. It's like having the right golf club in your hand. When you feel like you have the right club, you instinctively make a better shot! That's the story I'm sticking with anyway.
    Now the rest of you guys, quit arguing and take some beautiful pictures!
    Thanks for all the advice and counsel.
     
  40. Bob,
    Dave Beckerman used a 5D, not a 5D MkII. From the little I have used a 5D I know the MkII focuses better.
    Dave Charles,
    Good for you! Now just make sure you get that 35mm f1.4..........
     
  41. No Daniel, I'm just not interested in engaging you. That subject has become your mission in life...
    LOL! I spend less time making my point than FF fans spend pushing the 5D2 with emotional appeals to non existent IQ differences. I guess it's their "mission in life."
    If Dave Charles had unlimited funds he wouldn't be here asking about his purchase or starting with one cheap prime. Budget is obviously an issue. He doesn't need the features of the 7D, which means he would be looking at a 60D. So...which is the better and more flexible kit which will allow him to do more and which will last longer before he needs to add equipment?
    5D2 + 50 f/1.4
    60D + Sigma 30 f/1.4 + Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 + Canon 70-200 f/4L + Canon 430 EX II
    That's just one example 60D kit. He has $1,500 to play with however he wants with the 60D route. Anyone who thinks that the 5D2 route is better in this instance or "starting off right" is kidding themselves. Dave would be a lot more productive, and have a lot more fun, with the 60D kit, which will also last him a lot longer before he has to spend money to expand.
    He said he would be shooting street, architecture, some landscape, family, indoor low light, and travel. Why spend $3,000 to have one lens that does not adequately cover those subjects?
     
  42. Actually, budget is not the issue. Justifying the expense in my mind is the issue. Once I do that, it's amazing how much gear I can acquire for a hobby, or so my wife tells me.
     
  43. I can help you there Dave :)
    Just think how much money you are saving by not buying and developing film! I used to spend $400-$600 per wedding on film, I shoot the same number of images with digital (around 400) and I spend 1/10 that.
    If you are going to use them and have the money a 5D MkII and a 35 mm f1.4 are cheap.
     
  44. Don't worry Scott, I justified it earlier today. I'm good to go. I went back and had another look at the 5d2 and that 35f1.4 - it's all over for me. I won't get all L glass, but the 35 will be the lens that I will use the most.
     
  45. >>> I went back and had another look at the 5d2 and that 35f1.4 - it's all over for me.
    You made an excellent choice.
    Since getting my 5D2, and later my 35/1.4, my photography took a very noticeable jump up from when I shot with a crop cam. Not just in quality due to the combination, which was readily apparent, but switching from a 24-70 f/2.8 to a 35mm prime has drastically changed my approach to street photography and street portraiture.
    Speaking about shooting with a single 35mm lens, I wrote about that subject in a blog post about a week ago, in case you're interested. Click here...
     
  46. Thanks Brad, I liked your blog. More importantly, I had a good look at your Citysnaps website. You have some amazing photographs of NY and SF. And your presentation of Alcatraz is simply incredible.
     
  47. Dave,
    I think you won't go wrong with that. And to Daniel's point: that may be true for you and a lot of other folks. I wouldn't say that either way of approaching this is "wrong" or "right". To me it's about reading a bit between the lines when someone asks for advice - and for being able to identify with the questions and, well, emotions.
    In other words: if some kid with a limited budget asks about a 7D kit vs a your suggested 60D kit I wouldn't try to push onto him or her my ideas about this kind of stuff. I may make a suggestion based on my experience if that kid doesn't even consider certain things (like buying primes, for example...). Dave gave some hints that this was not about budget (I understand, that budget is ALWAYS a concern no matter how much doe is burning in your pocket). He was asking about quality and had already looked at things in a certain way which likely ties back to his experience from the various great film cameras he mentioned. And some people here, including me, could relate to that.
    And to your suggested kit: call me crazy, but I would choose the 5DII plus 50 1.4 any day over the 60D kit that you suggested. And I'm not saying that your suggestion wasn't well thought through. It's actually amazing that those two sets have about the same monetary value.
     
  48. The 5D II and 50mm is a great combo and will be for many years. However, if you are not in a hurry I would wait a
    little while and see what the next gen brings. I mean the original 5D is still a great camera, but some of the
    additions and ISO improvements on the II make it a more attractive camera. The next gen should add even more utility and perhaps
    push the limits even more.
     
  49. Daniel began: "... FF fans spend pushing the 5D2 with emotional appeals to non existent IQ differences."

    Your contention that differences are non-existent is, of course, unsupportable nonsense.

    A more valid point might have been that each photographer should consider whether or not the real differences
    between formats suggest that a full frame or cropped sensor camera would better suit his/her particular situation.

    For me and for my photography the full frame format better matches my needs. My initial thought was that our OP
    would probably not see much advantage from full frame, given his initial description of his intentions.

    I find your comments about "emotional" issues ironic, given the context of your post.

    Take care,

    Dan
     
  50. If you want to take stunning pictures, you need to practice, you need an excellent dark room, you need an excellent lens, you need a body with a good sensor properly aligned to the lens, and you need to control the motion of the lens during exposure.
    Here is my recommendation. Prices are from B&H and Amazon. Price tag: under $5,000
    • Darkroom: Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, Camera Raw. Install Canon software and profiles.
    • $200-$700. You may be eligible for educational pricing.
    • No substitutions! (You could do LightRoom or Aperture, but you wanted stunning!)
    • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens w/hood (about $1,400)
    • B&W 77mm UV Haze 010 F-Pro MRC Filter (about $90)
    • $1,500 for 10 years use.
    • No substitutions!
    • Camera Body: Canon 5DMk2 body (about $2500)
    • Reliable UDMA 600X Compact Flash Card (16GB or 32GB) $100-$200
    • If this is a problem, buy a Canon 5D used and save.
    • Alignment: Canon factory calibration about $75
    • This is essential.
    • A Steady Hand:
    • Opteka CFM300 Monopod (carbon fiber) about $60
    • Giottos MH1304-110C Pro Mini Ballhead about $20
    • This is essential.
    Advise:
    Don't substitute equipment. If you really must, then buy a used 5D and send it in to Canon with the lens for calibration. Save money for a 5DMk2 or the Mk3 when they come out next year. Wait 6 months, or until the second firmware release before buying a new release camera.
    Getting Started: (takes two weeks)
    The first think to do is take a few photos and make sure that the camera and lens are working fine. This lens will focus extremely quickly. Put the camera in spot auto-focus. Choose only the center spot. Take a number of photos at different settings. Look at 100% to see if the focus spot is pixel accurate. If not (and it won't be), send the camera and lens to Canon for calibration. When you get it back, it will be spot on.
    Develop a Game Plan:
    When you get it back, make sure the filter and lens are clean. Put the filter on the lens and leave it. Make sure you use the lens hood for every shot you make. It makes a big difference.
    Make sure that any photo that you take with a shutter speed of 1/60 or below is stabilized by the monopod. The purpose of the ball is to let the monopod have the freedom of placement without restricting the plane of camera. Use the monopod as much as you can. It's really light.
    Take all of your exposures in RAW. Learn to use the darkroom (your software). The art is done in the darkroom. That's straight from Ansel Adams to me to you.
    In the matter of making an action shot, choose shutter speed over aperture over iso sensitivity. Learn to use the autofocus. Leave room for cropping with the center of attention in the center of the exposure. Use the rule of 1/3s in the darkroom.
    Practice:
    When you practice, compose 3 shots but don't press the shutter release. Then, think back through each of those shots. Think about the composition, why you placed the camera where you did, and why you chose your settings. Did you get the shot you wanted? OK, now make those shots. Repeat for 20 minutes. Do it 3 times a day. Do it every day for 30 days.
    Use f5.6 or f8 if you can. If you need f4 or f11, they are available. Use something else if the composition demands it. To use the macro capability, you will need to study lighting.
    Share your first stunning photos:
    If you don't produce a stunning shot after practicing 30 days (total elapsed time 60 days from arrival of equipment), I'll be surprised.
    Master, then invest:
    Don't buy any more equipment until you can take stunning shots routinely with this equipment. Your next investment will likely be an EF 35mm f/1.4L lens or the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. You might want to pick up another body for the lens. It's good to have a pair and to not disturb the factory alignment. With the 5DMk2, you can also fine focus each lens. But the factory can make adjustments that you can't.
    Hope this helps.
     
  51. Get a 7 D instead. It's cheaper, faster, newer technology, and you will be very happy with it. Get a 15-85mm zoom instead of a 50mm f1.4. The Canon 50mm f1.4 is low quality and mine broke way too easily. If you want wide aperture, short depth-of-field, get yourself a 35mm f1.4 L, which is about equivalent to the 50mm f1.4 on the full-frame bodies. You'll be glad you bought L glass with aspherical elements (though you might not realize what you have, because you will not know the difference - the 50mm f1.4 makes scallops at f1.4, when you are shooting points of light in focus, when shooting night landscapes, and there are many other reasons it is not as good as the L glass).
    -
    If you become a professional, the 7 D will serve you well. I know a number of professional photographers who use the 7 D. If you want to expand your system, you can get the 5 D Mk II replacement and a 17mm f4 L Tilt-shift lens, so you can shoot amazing wedding portraits with it, as well as amazing architectural and landscape photos. That lens will be like two lenses, when you swap it between the two camera bodies you will have then. You can also get a 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II, so your wedding photos will take on another dimension. Swapping those three L series lenses between the two bodies will give you amazing results, and you will be able to use the 7 D with the 15-85mm lens as your trusty walk-around kit on a daily basis.
    -
    You may decide to get the 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II, once you have been shooting with your 7 D and the 15-85mm lens for a while. It would be good to have both, especially as you enter the professional world. For a long time I shot with my 5 D and my 70-200mm f2.8 L IS almost exclusively. Every now and then I would swap over to my wide zoom, but not very often. The 7 D with those two lenses will be a GREAT all-around set-up. If you think you'll be shooting birds and other animals more, and not shooting inside much, get the 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS instead of the 70-200. It's a great lens, much cheaper, and gives you twice the telephoto at the long end. DON'T try to save money and get the 70-200mm f4 L. It's not worth saving that money.
    -
    Good luck!
     

Share This Page