If you had $5k - $6k for a camera outfit what would you get?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by mark_ennis, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm new to the forum and would like some advice please. I'm somewhat new to DSLR cameras. Back in my college days I did develop my own black and white film with excellent results. I've taken tons of digital pics with a sony that is just shy of a DSLR.
    As the subject states my father would like to get me a complete camera setup in $5k to $6k range. My brother in law has a 50d which I have used some and enjoyed. I have decided on the Canon 7d in order to get the HD Video. What I can't decide on is which lens or lenses to get.
    I have allocated the following so far ( BHPhotovideo.com is where I'm planning on purchasing from):
    Canon 7d $1700
    Accessories - 2 extra batteries, 2 16gig Sandisk extreme pro CFs, Speelite 430EX II, backpack & tripod
    so far I've spent $2900
    I shoot mostly outdoor in sunlight, desert, mountains, back packing, fishing, sporting events as well as indoor family events, dinners, Birthdays,
    Which lenses would you all get if you could spend $2k to $3K?
  2. I don't know if you're going to get any good answers as everyone's needs are different and you're not going to be able to cover everything with quality glass for 2-3K.
    The no-brainer suggestion would be the 24-70/2.8 and the 70-200/2.8 but that may not be wide enough for you or long enough for you.
    What I myself have done is get the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and the 100-400L leaving me about 1K which I will be using shortly on either on the new 100/2.8L or putting towards the older (and more expensive) 180/3.5L.
  3. $1200 for accessories seems high...I'd rather put it in the glass.
    I would go with:
    Canon 10-22mm (for landscapes)
    Either Canon 17-55 IS or 24-70. (general walk around glass).
    And 70-200 (zoom).
  4. Have you already bought all this stuff? $1200 on accessories? Those Extreme Pro's are really expensive, and might not be necessary. Have you considered the Extreme IV line instead, or even the Lexar Professional? Maybe you only need a pair of 8GB cards instead of 16GB each? You're only getting one light, and it's not even the 580 EX II? Are you getting a carbon-fiber tripod, or what?
    What I'm getting at, is maybe you have a little bit of "free money Christmas fever". You think that $6k is an unlimited supply of money, but if you start wasting it you will soon realize it isn't all that much. You could blow the entire wad on one lens like a 600mm and be completely limited. If you've already spent half the money, and don't even have a single lens, you need to seriously reconsider what the heck you are doing. This sounds a little bit like winning the lottery and then blowing everything on a sports car and a mansion and then starving to death.
    Cool your jets and shop a little more conservatively, and you can get a nice 16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200mm, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm macro, and all the memory cards and batteries that you need. Make a list of everything you want, and make it fit within your budget. If you get the sense that you don't have enough money, then you are wasting it somewhere. There's no reason you can't get every single piece of glass and accessory you could ever need for $6k.
  5. Ok - all good points. Let us restart a bit. You're getting $5k - $6k. You must present a wish list of exact items and then you purchase it all in one shot and get reimbursed. Nothing has been purchased yet.
    I've chosen the 7d only because my brother-in-law will be the teacher and has a 50d and highly suggested I get the 7d since he would be more familiar in helping me learn it. He is very good in my opinion and has suggested a lens or two. I'm asking for another opinion is all but I'd like to stick with the 7d as the body.
    Another though is that next christmas we can easily ask for $3k in more camera equipment, ie lenses. For that matter I can afford to spend $2k myself as well. This is just for starters.
    We go fly fishing in Wyoming which is 20 miles from electricity, horse back in, and thus need plenty of memory cards and batteries for 7 days. Most likely won't be keeping ALL the raw photos mostly jpegs.
    If you wanted to just spend it on the 7d, batteries, memory and lenses what would you do?
    I realize that everyone is going to have their own opinion. I'm just looking for solid advice on lenses. If you wanted to just get one, two or three what would you do? Which lenses are your favorite that are always with you for outdoor shooting. Indoor lenses appear to less expensive for what I need them for. My big concern is outdoor stuff.
    I seriously appreciate your personal thoughts.
    Thanks so much
  6. If I, personally, had $6k to spend on a Canon system from the ground up, I would shop as follows:
    Canon 5D - $1100
    Canon 17-40mm f/4 - $600
    Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 - $300
    Sigma 50mm f/1.4 - $450
    Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS - $1500
    Canon 85mm f/1.8 - $400
    Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro - $500
    2x Lexar Professional 8GB CF cards - $100
    4x batteries - $24
    Tripod - $45
    2x LumoPro LP120 Speedlights - $260
    2x lightstands w/modifiers, etc - $160
    Cybersync transmitter and 2 receivers - $200
    Camera cases - $100
    Total: $5,739
  7. Just to stir the pot, and in hopes that you'll actually touch more than one camera body to get at sense for ergonomics (which is especially important when you're out shooting in the field), consider:

    Nikon D300s
    10-24 ultrawide

    and you'll still have some $ for some extra batteries/storage and even a flash you can use off-camera. Terrific camera, good in rough conditions, and now with dual memory card writing and HD video. The main thing, though (because it or the Canon will do you fine): touch the camera. It's all about your happiness in handling and using it.
  8. Excellent - Now we're talking. Keep the ideas coming. Thanks SO MUCH!
  9. OK. I'll take a shot at it.
    $1900 for the 7D + 28-135mm. That's not the best lens in the world, but it's not bad and it's terrific for $200.
    17-55mm f/2.8. This one IS a terrific lens. A little less than $1000.
    50mm f/1.8. Another no-brainer. About $100
    70-200mm f/4L IS. Another great lens. About $1200
    About $800-$900 worth of Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and a good head. I like the Acratech Ultimate ballhead, but some folks aren't nuts about it. Alternately (this is really bad advice, but lots of folks seem to want to go this way), get a much cheaper carbon fiber tripod. Lots of people like Feisol. Adorama has a store-brand that some folks like. If you don't use it much, something like that might be OK.
    That brings you up to about $5000. Less if you go with a cheap tripod. Did I mention that I think that's a bad idea?
    As far as "accessories" go, I'd get ONE spare battery, a couple of 8 GB UDMA flash cards (see if you can find some rebates, etc), 580 exII flash, and a nice bag/backpack/etc. to put it all in. That will just about put you at $6000.
    Howzat for spending somebody else's money?
    Good luck!
  10. Hal,
    Did you mean Canon 50D? If so keep in mind that I really would like to have HD video as well.
    Thanks again
  11. I would definelty agree on the 70-200f2.8, probably non IS (my pick) and add a 1.4 extender, if any sporting events are at night, you'll need the f2.8. Tokina 11-16 f2.8 for wide shots, several to pick from in the mid-range, 85 f1.8 for portraits/indoor sports.
    If you decide to focus on wildlife, next year you can ask for one of the big L zooms.
  12. Many roads lead to Rome. Get lenses with IS if you're planning on shooting video. How about: 10-22 (landscape), 17-55 IS (outdoor, indoor with flash, sports), plus a fast prime (100/2.8 IS macro, or maybe 85/1.8 or 100/2) or a zoom (how about 70-200/4 IS or 70-300/4-5.6 IS) for sports, tighter portraits, and shallow dof shooting.
    The new 15-85 is worth a look as well. Comes as a kit lens with the 7D which will save you some $$. Pretty hard to beat 17-55 as a walk-around lens, though.
  13. The 7d is a 1.6 crop factor and from what you say you are going to be primarily shooting my suggestions are:
    10-22mm or 17-40mm
    24-105mm F4 L is usm
    70-200mm F4 L is usm
    50mm f/1.4 usm or 28mm f/1.8 for low light indoor stuff -- for that 7d a 50mm = 80mm on FF
    580 flash
    series 3 or better gitzo tripod and a heavy duty ball head with at least one extra quick release plate.
    No electricity then several back up batteries kept a a decent temperature.
    Lexar 4gb pro 300x udma cards x 4 or ? instead of the 8gb for that 20 miles in the boondocks stuff in case of something happening would not lose 8gb of photos at once if a card went bad or damaged especially since you don't say you are going to have any other backup or portable device that runs on batteries to download to.
  14. I wouldn't spend that much on my "outfit." I'd just wear the clothes that I have on. Maybe I'd buy a new pair of boots! :)
    That said, a 5D2 system with f/4 lenses and a 580 EX gives you about the most bang for the buck. A D700 system would be more durable, but the IQ would be lower. Noise is a problem with Sony systems even though they have great glass. I think the Canon lenses may be the weakest of the three, but the f/4's are light and relatively inexpensive, so it's still a great deal.
  15. Why not just buy the 7D with the kit lens shoot with that for a while and then buy the lenses that you actually find you need. That way you can built a system for you that suits your needs. You might find that you don't need anything else or that you would rather pick up some small prime lenses instead of big zooms.
  16. While we are shopping... Don't forget post processing. What do you have? Will you want Lightroom, Photoshop CS4? Another hard drive to store pics?
    I like the idea of the 7D. I have a 7D, 10-22, 24-70L, and a 100-400L. (next two lenses will be a 400 5.6 and 180L macro)
  17. Dream 7D setup, with the outdoors in mind:
    - 7D ($1700)
    - 17-40mm f/4L ($600) + 77mm UV filter ($50)
    - 24-105mm f/4L IS ($1000)
    - 70-200mm f/4L IS ($1200)
    - 1.4x Tele Extender ($300)
    All weather-sealed setup covering 17-280mm with great optics and IS, for just about $5000. IS helps for dawn/dusk/night shots. If you do mostly wildlife, where IS can be less useful than f/2.8, you can sub out the following:
    - 24-105mm f/4L IS ---> 24-70mm f/2.8L ($1200)
    - 70-200mm f/4L IS ---> 70-200mm f/2.8L ($1200)
    If you want extra reach (like for birding), sub out any of the 4 above for:
    - 300mm f/4L IS --OR-- 400mm f/5.6L
    Add in batteries and memory to taste. I have no idea how many batteries you will need since I don't know how much Live View and video (if any) you will be taking; these are the real battery drainers.
    Personally, I prefer genuine Canon batteries since I don't trust Chinese ripoffs with my potentially explosive chemistry. And with memory, more of less is more! 2 4GB cards are better than 1 8GB card, for redundancy purposes. Rotate the cards once or twice a day and the loss/corruption of one won't completely doom your shooting for any given day. But bigger cards are better if you are shooting video, so you will have to consider your own needs.
    Have you heard of ATP Promax memory cards? They're supposedly water-, freeze-, dust- and shock-proof. They don't really cost more than other name brands, so it can't hurt to try them.
    All the glass mentioned on the thread is great, so you can't really make a truly wrong choice. Your dad must be a great guy. Good luck with your decision!
  18. build your outfit around your lenses...i'd put more money into glass and less into the camera body and accessories...you will upgrade your camera much sooner then your lenses...i use the 24-70 for most events...i have a terrific portrait lenses 85mm 1.2, but you may not need to spend that type of money if you just want a decent lenses and not a top performer...i also have the 105mm 2.8 for macro, the 135mm 2.0, because I love these lenses and a 70-200 with a 1.4 tele converter...you will quickly learn that the glass is the most important piece of equipment you can purchase and once you get the bug for L glass, you could go haywire...i shoot with a 5D...truthfully, i'm not as familiar with the 7D...you almost need to see how your interest matures for the rest
  19. Body/accessory-wise, it seems pretty well-discussed. But lens selection depends on how you like to shoot. Me for instance, I'd get a Tamron 18-270 VC (since I take day trips pretty often and like to only bring one bag), the 70-200 f/4L (since I shoot Roller Derby, but not enough to spring for the heavier f/2.8), and a crapload of prime lenses. Actually, that's a lie ... probably just the 85 f/1.2 and 50 f/1.2. Then again, that's just what I do. I very rarely use wide angle, and I will always shoot a prime lens when possible for the better depth-of-field control and bokeh.
    If you're not sure what you want to shoot, start with the Tamron 18-270 VC. Or the Canon 18-200 IS, if you care what the brandname is. The Canon is a little better, but personally I don't think it's better enough to make up for the fact that the Tamron is cheaper and more versatile - especially when I want to pack light. Then buy a 50 f/1.8 or 1.4, because you're going to own one at some point in your life anyway.
    If you're usually outdoors (and it sounds like you will be), think about settings. At f/8-f/11 (common daylight settings) the 15-85 IS is just as good as a 24-70L, weighs and costs less, and is more versatile. But that's definitely not the case at wider apertures. If you almost never use the long end of the zoom (as is my case), then buying a 70-200 f/2.8 is probably a poor choice, since the extra weight won't be worth it. If you use wide angles a lot, the Canon 10-22 is a better investment than a Tamron or Sigma version. If you only use them occassionally, I'd save your money.
    I always recommend starting with a super-versatile lens, and a single low-light lens. That way you can take any photo you want, no matter what the situation. Until you know what kind of photography really interests you, buying specialized gear right off the bat is a good way to get a few really pretty, really expensive white paperweights.
  20. I think Richard Hatch has the best all-around setup with the 10-22, 24-70L and 100-400L. That covers the equivelent of
    16-640mm range, and leaves you just enough cash for your accessories. And those are 3 spectacular lenses. Good call
    • Photoshop
    • A current computer with lots of RAM
    • RAID for online storage, and a sensible backup and archiving strategy for the array
    • Graphic arts grade display
    • Epson photo printer
    • Monitor and printer calibration system
    • Good tutorials and reference material to learn how to use it all
  21. Mark, you will indeed get answers as varied as the people who give them, but the bottom line is, I would not go out and blow 6k at a go. I would get your 7D and then RENT a number of lenses. A wide, a normal and perhaps a long telephoto. I would consider:
    - Wide/super-wide angle: Canon 10-22, 17-40L or 17-55, Tokina 11-16 or Tamron's new 17-50 f/2.8VC.
    - Medium telephoto: 24-105L. Does your brother in law have the 28-135 IS? If so, you could perhaps borrow that and see how you like it on your 7D.
    - Long telephoto: 70-200 f/4L IS
    I am curious about this statement: "Another though is that next christmas we can easily ask for $3k in more camera equipment, ie lenses."
    Is someone else funding your purchase? As has been said, 1200USD is pretty high for accessories. Invest in *appropriate* glass. I would also advocate for getting a larger number of 4GB cards. You don't want to lose 16GB of data in one fell swoop. Also get plenty of portable storage. When backpacking, consider carrying a laptop for backing up stuff and a photo-backpack to carry both the camera system and your laptop. I know little of tripods. I have a Slik 400DX which works well for me.
    Make a few weekend trips and shoot with those first. 5-6k is not an amount you want to spend all at once especially if you're not sure what exactly you want. Check the files later and see what your most-used focal lengths and apertures were and make notes on what you felt was missing. Consult with your 'tutor' as well, but ultimately the decision will be based on your shooting style and will depend on you. There's little sense in having a range of 10-200mm potentially covered if you don't know what your shooting preference is. Else you'll just have wasted a lot of cash to end up with expensive dust-collectors ;-) From the sound of it, you don't need the fastest glass as you'll be shooting outdoors most of the time and will have a tripod.
  22. Nikon D700
  23. Going totally prime 7D, 24L, 50L, 100L Macro.
    Adorama $'s: 1700+1700+1600+1050, after that you'll have to beg for a memorycard and a bag.
    Zoomy / wider&longer alternative: 7D + 15-85 + 70-200/4IS + 50/1.4 +100L Macro + x1.4 extender
    Adorama $'s: 1700+720+1135+360+1050+310 plus some cash left for memory, flash and a bag.
    Other fun stuff: studioflashes, trips, courses, model fees, entry fees.
  24. I would get 1D mark4 with 24-105L=enuff said. Slowly build L glass line-up. v/r Buffdr
  25. My preferred set-up would be 7D, 17-55 f2.8L and 70-200 f4L IS. I find the 17-55 to be a great walk-around lens with the APS-C sensor - the 10-22 is pretty much landscape only and you can add it later on if you want the wider angle.
    The 17-40 f4L is an alternative to the 17-55 - it is less prone to flare than the 17-55 so may make the better landscape lens, but I find that its top end of 40mm (even on APS-C) limits its use with other subjects.
    My personal view is that buying primes would serve you no purpose whatsoever.
    I agree regarding the memory cards - the professional range is probably way more than you need, I would say that those are for high transfer rates and ensuring rapid shootng times with higher-resolution cameras (OK, they may be more durable as well but how extreme will your conditions be). Just get the Extreme range.
    You make it sound like you are shooting mainly jpeg. With 2x8gb cards = 4,000 shots assuming JPEG file of 4MB. Over 7 days that is some going if you are also hiking, fishing etc! I would learn some photo-discipline and shoot RAW +Jpeg (or mRAW+ jpeg) and get the best of both worlds. Or get 4 x 8GB and shott RAW+jpeg.
    Never underestimate the amount of accessories you could need (it can get pretty scary cost-wise):
    Lens hood for 17-55 - almost essential for landscape shots with that lens
    Carbon fibre tripod for carrying out to fishing/camping spots, and a decent tripod head with markings on the base for panoramic shots (you can update to a gimbal head if you get really interested in that aspect of photography). Or go cheaper and get a monopod.
    Remote release cable when using tripod (you can use the camera's auto-timer but you less control over precise timing).
    Circular polariser (very useful for removing glare when taking shots of water or generally on bright days), set of graduated neutral density filters for when taking picures with a bright sky.
    Portable storage to back up your photos while out in the field.
    Bag for carrying gear
    Photoshop Elements
    Maybe Lightroom for cataloging and organinsing pictures if you think you will take gazillions of photos.
    Upgrade your computer, if needed, to handle and edit file sizes of 18MB.
    Flash for indoors
    In future:
    expand your lens range, maybe ading the 100-400 L which I think is a bit large as part of a 'starter pack'. Or add the 10-22 if you want to get those really wide landscapes (not everyone does) or inside shots.
    1.4x teleconverter for 70-200 if you want more length without the expense of the 100-400
    Close-up lens for macro (to see if you really want to get serious about it) and if you do get the 100mm macro.
  26. Adorama is sells three 32GB Extreme III compact flash cards for $460. After a rebate, the price comes down to $260 and it's tough to beat that price on a per gigabyte basis.
    It can be argued that a single large card that never leaves your camera during the trip is safer than shuffling many 4gb cards. Unless you are shooting frequent long and rapid bursts, the speed of the card isn't an issue. Unless you are somehow risking your cards in very extreme environments, the extra rugged flash cards don't really buy you anything that regular cards don't have.
    The only real drawback to a slower card is download time into your computer. If you aren't on a deadline, do it at home and catch up on your email while downloading the cards to your hard drive.
    Link to the Adorama's 32GB deal . If you want to be more conservative, here's the link to the 16GB deal . (Personally, 16GB covers me for a whole day of shooting and I wouldn't have to worry about a $200 rebate getting lost in the mail.)
  27. Mark,
    No, I didn't mean the 50D. I meant the 5D (Original 12MP version, lightly used, from 2005). I can't get on board with what you're trying to accomplish, in the way you mean to do it. I only wanted to express how I would put together a system for myself. I'm a photographer, not a videographer. Personally, I don't care one hoot if my still camera can take video or not. I have a $400 video camera that does wonders for that. I can always put the video camera on a tripod and let it roll while I click away with my still camera. Video shoots itself.
    While I may not care about video, I DO know how to get everything I need for whatever the budget is. Alot of people on here are recommending you waste up to 15% of the cash on a tripod, a single accessory. I use a $45 tripod because I prefer to spend my money on something important, like lenses. $45 can buy you a very sturdy, durable tripod. In the end, it's a stick in the ground with a screw on it. Big hairy deal. Some people forget that carbon fiber wasn't always around. It's a luxury, not a necessity.
    Or hundreds of dollars in batteries because there is still a stigma in the professional photo community at large that name brand batteries are somehow magically better than the alternative. The fact is, name brand batteries fail, too. And even if you only get 80% of the juice out of a 3rd party battery, you can buy a dozen of them for the price of a single brand-name battery. That puts you at 960% as much power for the same price. Personally, they're all I use because I can afford dozens of them and keep them around everywhere. If one dies, big deal, I have plenty of spares. And I've never, ever heard of one "exploding" in a camera before in all my life. Exploding in the charger, maybe, but not in the camera. For one parting shot, try this on for size: I get longer life out of any of my Chinese ripoff batteries than the Canon battery that came with the camera.
    I can get a camera plus a full range of lenses, plus macro and fast primes, plus lights, power, memory cards, and other accessories for just about any price. If I had $200, I could do it by buying a single P&S camera. For $1000 I get a Canon G11 with some choice lighting accessories. For $2000 I get a Digital Rebel with some nice lenses. For $4000 I get a really nice camera like the 50D with some really nice lenses. At $6000, I get exactly what I want, and I get all of it, including some specialty items like the 100mm macro. I wouldn't consider the 7D unless my total budget was about $10,000. And I certainly wouldn't consider a 1DIV unless I had about $20,000 total to spend. The glass should always be commensurately more expensive than the body you are putting it on.
  28. Any outfit?
    2 Contax G2s
    Lots of Tri-X and Acros
    Lovely bag
    A few trips
    Equivalent Leica setup
    Probably less trips
    Lots of film
    Just something different for you, though I don't expect you'll get it.
  29. Mark, if you already understand perspectives, I would get these lenses
    70-200 f/2.8 IS- $1,600 - A great lens for the outdoors/sports, if you feel it's too heavy (1.3kg), go for the 70-200 f/4 IS which is lighter and smaller..
    1.4x II extender- $400
    17-40mm f/4- $780 - A great landscape lens
    50mm f/1.8 - For everything else. - $100
    Buy 3 4GB CF's from Lexar Professional 233x because when you're writing to smaller cards, even if you lose the card you will still be losing only 4gb of data. - $150
    Buy a completely waterproof bag such as the Lowepro DryZone Rover for outdoors/kayaking, and also buy a Holster system like the Spider Holster/ Cotton Carrier/ BlackRapid R-Strap, which is useful for carrying the camera on your hips and leaving you hands-free for outdoor sports.
    That's pretty much all you need for outdoor photography.. I think spending all the money is overkill. Keep the money for future lenses such as the rumored 14-24 f/2.8L, or future camera bodies you might want to invest in.
  30. If it were me, I would take that $6000 and go wild on Hasselblad and maybe a Sinar 4 x 5 with Nikon glass. But that's just me! :)
  31. Nobody cared to mention an Olympus system? E-3, 12-60mm and 50-200mm is the most weather sealed system, light weight, excellent IQ all for under $3000. This system isn't for everybody, but I feel it's an incredible outdoor enthusiast system.
    Something to consider anyways.
  32. This is excellent advice and thoughts. I'm no expert and the money is given in one single shot. I either spend it or lose it so may as well spend as much as possible. I have tallied up what you all have recommended so far and it looks like I'll most likely reduce the cost of accessories, non-name brand batteries, simpler tripod and spend the bulk of the cash on lenses.

    Thank you so much for the input. Keep it coming as I don't submit the wish list until December 24th. My dad is a wonderful man but also a bit eccentric. 74 years old and still working as a Medical Group Manager, he retired from practicing medicine at 65.

    Merry Christmas to you all!
  33. If I were to have only one camera, it would have to be an 8x10 film camera. For digital, in that price range, I would get a 5DMKII with 85mm f1.2 and a 50mm, whichever 50 I could afford. For a tripod, since funds are limited, I would get a Berlebach woody.
  34. 5DII, used 17-35/2.8 L, 50/2.5 Macro, 70-200/4 L, 300/4 L IS, 1.4x, 3 more batteries, 580 EX, six 8 GB extreme III, heaviest Manfrotto tripod you don't mind carrying, smallest tabletop tripod to sit on a rock or a car roof, and a Manfrotto monopod doubles as a walking stick. If I had to skip something for the initial budget it would be the flash.
    For myself a couple of these lenses are a compromise. If you are going to spend more megabucks in the next year or two then as far as lenses go I'd start with 16-35/2.8 L, 50/1.4, 70-200/2.8 L non-IS, and 1.4x.
    Now for my personal choice, and this comes from the devoted (read that as bent and twisted) landscape side of life, 5DII, 17 TS-E, 50/1.8, 135/2 L. Get any other lens you need later.
  35. Listen to Hal and forget your brother-in-law
  36. I would tell the others to hold their money, buy with what I had on hand; and then, if they believed in it, have them fund a short press run of a book that I made with that camera I could get.
    If you use what you've got, and redirect your supporters into supporting a project you've got a successful start on, they might feel better about their part of the funding.
    It's a totally different option than what you've asked; but, really, that's what I'd recommend people do with a few thousand. If you don't like books, pick a digital media for publication; or, some other type of project. Redirect efforts from equipment acquisition to project support.
    If it doesn't work out, then you've contained your losses within your budget. If it's an idea with potential, your close supporters will probably help you, if they have a real opportunity to do so without hardship.
  37. A Canon G11 and a small flash, and a hell of a workout for my passport.
    Michael J Hoffman
  38. Tripod - $45​
    Seriously. I would never put a $2k camera on a $45 tripod. I just invested in my first good tripod and I would call it a good reliable entry level tripod and it cost me $300. Do not skimp on the tripod. I have a Manfrotto 055XProB and I love it. It will save you lots of headaches to get a good ripod.
    As for lenses, that depends on the body. If it were me, I think I'd buy 2 bodies. 1 FF and 1 APS-C. This will virtually double your lens set and you'll have a camera especially for portraits and landscapes and one especially for sports and wildlife. I'd get a 40D and a 1st gen. 5D, unless you wanted to fork over the moey for the 5D Mk.II, which also has HD Vid. I would say you want a 17mm or less on the wide end of an APS-C body, but if you have a FF to accompany it, then you don't have to go that wide. A 24-70mm 2.8L and a 70-200mm 2.8 L would cover everything from 24mm-320mm between the 2 bodies. I'd also get a couple primes. Maybe a 50mm and a 85mm or even a macro. The 100mm macro is a great dual purpose macro/portrait lens.
  39. The question is,
    1. Do you want to become a better photographer
    2. Or do you want to blow $6000 as a newb because it's solely someone else's money?
    For one, I think spending $1000 each lens for 3-4 lenses is a completely waste for a beginner. Spending $700 on a tripod? Pretty much idiocy.
    If you're a pro, selling photos and shooting weddings where IQ and 40x60 prints matter, every little bit counts. If you are a beginner, no amount of expensive glass is going to make your photos better.
    What I would suggest is, spend $2000, at most, on camera, lens, tripod, and accessories. Ask to put the other $4k on hold, 'because I want to know what I really would use before I spend it all'.
    I mean, if you've never driven a car before, would you buy a GTR based on internet forum people, or would you buy a cheaper one, learn to drive, then decide for yourself what type of driving you want to do?
    • Canon T1i with 18-55 and 55-250 kit lens ($900)
    • Tokina 12-24 $499
    • 50mm 1.8 $100
    • Lightweight tripod < $200
    • Speedlight 580EX $385
    • CPL filter, ND filter $100
    • 2x generic battery, 4x8GB SD, bag $200
    If you can't shoot great photos with the above kit, you should sell the whole kit, not spend more on L lenses.
  40. Nathan makes a good point about the tripod. I've got a Manfrotto too, don't recall the model as I bought it very long time ago and it's out in the car right now, but it's probably a predecessor to Nathan's 055XProB. Solid and worth the money. And you can get different types of tripod heads depending on your needs.
    Speaking of support, a monopod might be useful too. Again, what you really need depends on what you are shooting.
    Good support is the single best thing that will make sharper pictures. But getting into basics like that is really getting off topic. Partly my personal bias, if you are a newbie and want to learn, something with two control wheels (separate dials for aperture and shutter speed) is nice.
    Is there a reason you are locked into Canon? Or is Nikon or any other brand something you'd consider?
  41. 5DMkII + used 300mm f2.8L IS
  42. My 2 cents......
    Having done a fair amount of backpacking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, and many other things 'outdoors', I'm a big proponent of "less is more". Lugging a bunch of gear around sucks. It's cumbersome and heavy. I found that most of my memorable shots come from P&S's. That moose just 25 yrds off the trail will most likely just be a memory if you have to unclip your waist belt, wiggle out of your backpack, unzip and forage around for your camera - it'll be long gone. A nice P&S (Canon S90 for example) in a pocket will be quick and do a credible job. Of course you can bring along the heavier gear for when time allows, but many times outdoor activities simply don't allow enough time or are just too darn impractical to carry around when mobility is key (like fly fishing). Now if you're goal is to record other peoples fun akin to being a photographer for Outdoor Magazine, well that's a different animal.
    So I'd start by making sure I had a good P&S and THEN expand on the dslr route. And I think David Streets seemingly esoteric Olympus suggestion might warrant a closer look. Naturally the 4/3s thing is a bit of a lightning rod on a Canon forum, but this new 620 body (light, well built, versatile, inboard Im.Stab, slave flash triggered from pop-up flash, swivel lcd - I love the swivel on my canon A610) combined with their 12-60 and 50-200mm lenses provide coverage from a 35mm equivalent of 24mm through 400mm. Both of these lenses have been been very well reviewed. Again they're light, well built, focus super fast, weatherproofed, and did I mention LIGHT. If there's a problem with the Olympus system it ain't the glass. Perhaps not deep enough in variety of lenses for pro's, but a compelling solution for most hobbyist's. Knowing that plugging the Olympus system is like trying to promote leprosy, I'll simply join the camp that suggest's focusing on glass whether it be Canon, Nikon, or whoever and then work my way backwards - body, flash, tripod, etc..... Spend the extra dough for the higher output flash.
    Keep in mind, my perspective is from that "light and versatile" viewpoint and from having experienced the downside to the big gear. I like having it, but more times than not my P&S's have done most of the heavy lifting (so to say). Get a good one.
  43. mizore

    mizore A Gringa in Nicaragua

    Everyone else has given you good advice on putting money on the lenses. If this was your money, the advice to start slow would be appropriate, but since it's a one-off take it or leave it offer, that's not relevant. I'd hold off on specialist lenses and put the money on two zooms that cover from wide angle to 200 to 300mm, and add a 50mm f/1.4 for going light. Then get a light amateur grade zoom for the days when you're just fooling around: wide angle to portrait/short telephoto (or pick that up on your own dime). The interfaces for cameras doesn't change that much from one to another within brands if they're in the last 5 years or so, so I wouldn't worry about getting exactly what your brother-in-law has. The advantage of having the same brand is that you can share lenses and perhaps batteries, which gives both of you some advantages.
    Unless you are hiking a lot, get a decent aluminum tripod (even used) and put the money in the head (ball heads are popular) and quick release plates (one for the camera, one each for any lenses with tripod mounts). Gitzo and Bogen/Manfrotto have been around for a while and have spare parts available. Tripods last a long time. Winterize a metal one with pipe insulation or bicycle handle bar tape.
    Monopods are worth having if you're out chasing larger wildlife. I like my Manfrotto 653B Neotec, but it's a bit heavier and longer than more classic monopods.
    Get the most powerful flash (biggest GN at 100 ASA/ISO) you can. Buy a flash of the brand of camera you're getting for a first flash and add a snap on diffuser if one doesn't come with the flash.
  44. $1200 for a tripod and backpack? Unnecessary to spend that much. You should be able to get a good, light, carbon-fiber tripod, head, and backpack for less than $800. Spend your money on quality glass. Buy a 24-105 L USM IS, a 70-200 f/4 L IS, and a longer lens if you really need one - which I doubt. I think I'd also recommend a 50mm f/1.8 as well.
  45. All I can do is sell my set-up.
    5D2, 16-35II, 50L, 100L. Manfrotto CF tripod with a Gitzo QR1740 head. 580 EX II and a 270EX. I also have a 580 and a STE-2.
    I do have a 24-105 but I hardly use it.
  46. 7D, 10-22, 17-55/2.8 IS, 100/2.8 IS or 70-200/4 IS, Gitzo 1541T, RRS BH25 LR, Kirk/RRS L-plate, 430EX II.
    I have all of this save from the 100/2.8 IS (on the way), 70-200/4 IS (had it, sold it) and 430EX II (have the 580EX).
    Happy shooting,
  47. There are lots and lots of good point here. I do see a lot of fast lenses suggested and think that may be overkill. I work with a 5D MkII and a 7D and find that their excellent high-ISO performance really negates the need for anything faster than f4, except for special purposes, none of which you've listed.
    Everyone raves on and on about bokeh. I find that you can get plenty of bokeh at f4 and even f5.6 on your teles. You DO want f4; however, so that your 1.4TC will work. Bokeh has it's place in photography, but I think that many get carried away with it and forget how good an image can look with deep DOF.
    You might also budget for a 25mm Extension Tube. An ET transforms the EF 70-200mm f4L IS into an excellent macro lens.
  48. tripod: Gitzo metal with head (Ebay, people dump them for the carbon pods)
    batteries: go cheaper (sterlingtek.com)
    cards: go cheaper (i use run of the mill 4gb sandisk cards $19 at newegg et al, i use 1dmk2, 40d, 5d, have seen no loss of performance, not for what you want to pay)
    bodies, i have no problems with the 7d. I dont have dslr video, but am happy using the Canon hv30 hd cam (tape), consider going that route, I like my video separate from stills, the canon hd line is reasonable
    lenses, why not take it slow and start with just one, shoot with it a while. the lenses will always be there...
    and what one other mentioned, how much photography are you doing now? You may be better off starting with like a g11, which you will want anyway :) go ahead and get the 580 flash it will work with the g11,
    i think the worst thing is getting a bunch of stuff off the bat, and not liking all of it
  49. Cards DO make a difference, particularly for video or high burst rates with both jpeg and RAW files being generated. For "average" use it won't matter.
  50. mizore

    mizore A Gringa in Nicaragua

    W.T., you've missed the key factor mentioned in Mark's post on Dec 17, 2009; 04:15 p.m -- Mark's father is buying him whatever he wants for $5K to $6K. High -- low and the money isn't Mark's to save for later. He has to pick it up now. The lenses may always be there, but the money won't.
    Unless his father is attaching strings to the gift, he can sell gear if he doesn't use it so he might as well get the best gear possible. Think about what you'd like to buy used in six months if he doesn't use it.
  51. Rebecca,
    You are absolutely correct. I don't get to save it for later. It's now or wait till next year. Spend it all and if I don't like something I can sell it later and get something else.
    Have any of you had any experience with the Canon 28-300mm? Yes, heavy but not much heavier than the 70-200mm. I could get the 18-55mm f/2.8 and 28-300mm. Keep in mind this is going to be a long term learning adventure.
    The reviews I've read about the 28-300 are all good. Cons are Heavy but you get used to it.
    Thanks again
  52. Hi Mark,
    After reading all this, I felt I had a contribution that hadnt been made yet.
    I'd go with the 15-85 IS and the 70-200 F4 IS.
    Both lenses will be a pleasure to use and no matter what you buy AFTER this, you'll continue using these. the 15-85 is a great walkaround lens and because it goes unusually wide, you'll get a taste of whether you need a 10-22 later or not. The 70-200 F4 IS is just a must have in Canon's collection. Even if you have an interest in the F2.8, you'll appreciate the lightness of this version. Both lenses have 4-stop IS, which is just a pleasure to have.
    You might want to add a prime, I'd go with the 50 F1.8 (75 bucks, best bucks you'll ever spend) or the 35 F2.0 (250 bucks).
    I think all your other choices you made (from the flash to the tripod) are very valid and you'll have a great time. If you really want to do wildlife, you'll feel the need for the 100-400 IS and the 1.4 extender later, but the above 2 lenses and one prime will give you long ways to go. Enjoy!
  53. I'd think hard about whether video is an absolute must. Because frankly, shooting high quality video is actually not easy, in fact it is quite hard . If you want to move the camera, you're probably looking at some kind of stabilization device like a blackbird or a glidecam (= $300-600). If you want to focus the camera while shooting video while getting some out-off-focus background blur, you really need some additional equipment like a follow focus and/or a LCD loupe-type device to see what you are doing (such as a Zacto Z finder). If you want to use f/2.0 to shoot video outside during the day, you'll need a vari-neutral density filter. Want smooth pans? You'll need a tripod fluid head. Want decent sound quality? A Zoom H4n. The list goes on and on. Also, editing video may require some serious computer hardware, a lot of time, and has a significant learning curve. I'd do one of these:
    1. used 1D mark3. At the current insanely low used prices of ~ $2,100, this camera is an absolute STEAL. Then get a used 16-35 f2.8 mark I at $800 (blurry corners will be "cropped" by the APS-H) and a used 70-200 f4.0 IS (975). Finally pick up a 85mm f1.8 for a fast portrait lens (350) and a 24mm f1.4 (~1025) for low light situations.
    2. used 5D (1200), used 70-200 f2.8 IS (1500), new 16-35L II (1500), used 85mm f1.8 (350), new 35mm f2.0 (350).
    To both: Add a nice tripod + ballhead (400), a good 77mm Polarizer and step-up rings (150), a 550EX (225) (don't bother with a 430EX-- not enough power for light modifers and no option for an external flash battery down the road), and you're at about 5,750 to 6k.
    Skip the 5D2. You gain a stop in high iso performance, HD video (see above), and a sweet LCD, but you have to spend an extra $1500, i.e. it is simply not worth it (nice LCD though!). Skip the 7D, for 300-500 more I'd MUCH rather have a 1D3--better AF, better built, & better high iso. In fact, the original 5D high iso is still better than the 7D. It is still my primary camera, although when the 1Ds3 drops to 3-3.25K, I'll be getting one of those.
    Oh, and buy generic batteries and some much cheaper 4-8GB CF cards yourself.

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