The kit I have assembled...

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by james_legan, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. This may seem like an odd post, but I visit this forum often and glean a tremendous amount of insight from all of you. To that end, I would like to ask for your assessment of the kit I have assembled. There was always something that intrigued me about photography and after buying a D90 (and selling it for reasons other than a love of photography), I knew I needed to get another decent camera. Since then, I have been putting together a kit for serious amateur photography and a 2 week trip to Hawaii in October.
    Below is a list of my gear. I have two questions for all of you:
    1) Is there anything glaringly missing from my list? I do want to get a wired remote release before the 4th of July to take advantage of some bulb mode photography.
    2) Is there anything else I should plan on taking on the trip? When we are out and about, I will likely not take my full bag but rather my spider holster, 70-200 and 10-22 with my polarizing filter.
    Thank you all for your input.
    • Canon 7D Gripped
    • Canon 580EX II
    • Canon 10-22mm f/35-4.5 (B+W MRC UV)
    • Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS (B+W MRC UV)
    • Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (B+W MRC UV)
    • Canon 2.0x Extender
    • Wireless Remote Release
    • B+W Slim Circular Polarizing Filter
    • Lumiquest 80/20
    • Manfrotto Ball Head
    • Benro Carbon Fiber Monopod
    • CyberPack 8 Backpack
    • Spider Holster
  2. It's a good list. Everyone should be so lucky. I'd trade the battery grip and 2x for a 24-105/4L, but that's just my set of priorities.
  3. I would suggest you dump the 2.0TC and go for the 1.4TC. Your images will be much better. Since you are taking a tripod and head why not consider the 400mm f5.6 Canon prime? Not expensive, fairly light in weight and a superb lens with very fast auto focus. I know someone who has just returned from Hawaii and he was hand holding the 400mm occasionally and getting superb shots of the local wild life.
    The Manfrotto gimbal might be useful for the 400mm.
  4. I really cannot spend too much more money on the gear at this point, but several of these items are still in the returnable time frame, the grip and converter being two of them.
    From a focal length standpoint I currently have 10-22 and 17-55 covered (1.6x). I cannot justify having both the 17-55 and the 24-105. Is the loss of a stop on the 24-105 worth the extended reach?
    The 400 prime is around $1000. If I pursued it, I would dump the extender all together as my goal with it was to give my 70-200 the extra reach when needed. I would still need to come up with another $700 to cover the difference.
  5. You could sell the 17-55mm and get the 24-70mm f/2.8 L. You get rid of the 17-22mm overlap and gain 55-70mm. Just a suggestion, I know the 17-55mm is a good range on 1.6x and a 24mm lens on the wide end may not be as versatile.
  6. That is why I originally picked up the 17-55 with my 50D (which I am selling to move to the 7D). I am wondering though if the 10-22 will be "enough" for close quarters. I love the 2.8 on the 17-55 and am note sure if the 24-105's speed will cause me to regret the decision.
  7. That a good kit in my opinion.
    From a focal length standpoint I currently have 10-22 and 17-55 covered (1.6x). I cannot justify having both the 17-55 and the 24-105. Is the loss of a stop on the 24-105 worth the extended reach?​
    Only you will know if the extra reach is worth it. I have a full frame and one of my favorite combinations when I want to keep th weight down is the 17-40 plus 70-200 F4. I don't have a need for F2.8 since I use a tripod frequently and the gap doesn't bother me. However sometimes I recently did get a 50mm to help cover the gap between the two and I sellected a wide aperture lens for the rare times I want narrow depth of field or low night landscapes.
    In your case you might want to consider the EFS 60mm. It's in the gap and gives you macro capabilities you currently don't have.
    I have a 1.4 teleconverter and never used it. I found it just as easy to crop later. It would be good for closups of interesting flowers or portraites.
  8. Looks like an excellent kit to me. I wouldn't trade the 17-55/2.8 for a 24-70/2.8, because the 17-55 has IS, and it has a significantly more useful range on a 7D.
    I would miss having a fast prime and a macro lens, but those might not matter to you. The 50/1.8 is inexpensive and would serve well as a portrait lens, so you might consider it.
  9. I was just looking into the reviews of the 1.4 vs 2.0 extender on the 70-200 and I do not know how I missed all of them. I guess I failed to do a comparison of the two, just the extenders on the lens.
    Here is what I am considering (because macro photography is something I am interested in).
    Return the 2.0x extender and pick up:
    1. EF-S 60mm macro
    2. Either the 50mm 1.4 or 1.8.
    The question on the 50mm is whether or not the extra $240 is worth it.
  10. another vote for the 50mm f/1.8 for portraits and/or low-light stuff. it's so inexpensive and lightweight you might as well have one on hand. for what i do, the extra half a stop on the f/1.4 isn't worth the extra cost. i'm also often looking to minimize weight, and the f/1.8 is less than half the weight of the f/1.4.
  11. That is why I originally picked up the 17-55 with my 50D (which I am selling to move to the 7D). I am wondering though if the 10-22 will be "enough" for close quarters. I love the 2.8 on the 17-55 and am note sure if the 24-105's speed will cause me to regret the decision.​
    Ugh. Forgive me for having brought up the 24-105. It's a wonderful kit as your originally presented, very well balanced and well thought out. The 24-105 really isn't such a great choice without the long and wide ends already so well covered. It's my own neuroses, and nothing you need to consider. I have primes, macros, two TS, and 3 zooms giving double, triple, and even quadruple coverage at both ends and the middle of the 24 to 100mm range.
  12. At this point I am sold on the returning of the 2.0x extender and replacing it with:
    Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM (B+W MRC UV & Hood)
  13. I haven't read others' posts, but it would seem to me you're missing a fast prime. 35 1.4, 50 1.4 or 1.8, maybe? The latter weighs next to nothing and is a very reasonably priced (and well-regarded) lens. I have one and am yet to regret. It of course has its limitations but is likely the best bang-for-buck lens in the entire Canon lens stable.
  14. For compact traveling, I'm more into 1 wide/normal zoom + 1 tele prime setup.
    It would be 17-55 + 85/1.8 (+ and 10-22 if you need ultrawide)
    With your current setup, I wouldn't add a 50/1.8. Oh yes, you might need a macro lens.
  15. Looks like a pretty good setup. Don't be in too much of a hurry to return the Extender 2×. I haven't used it with the 70~200/2.8IS myself, but there have been reports that it is good enough in that combination for occasional use, although not as good as the 100~400 at 400mm. So if you are going to photograph birds and need all the reach you can get, yet don't want to carry yet another heavy lens, it could be the answer. However, some tests that I did a while back on my 70~200/4IS showed me that, on that lens, the 2× revealed no more detail with the combination at 400mm that the 1.4× did at 280mm – whereas the 1.4× at 280mm definitely revealed more detail than the lens alone at 200mm. If the same applies to the f/2.8 version, then swapping the 2× for the 1.4× would be a good move.
    The 60/2.8 macro is an excellent lens – but with that setup you don't need it unless you are actually going to do close-up/macro work. If you are, and it is mainly flowers, then the 60/2.8 will be a good choice because it is light and compact to carry. For insects the 100/2.8IS would be better, but it is bigger, heavier, and much more expensive.
  16. You don't say where in Hawaii you are going and the islands are very different, at least they were 10 years ago. Kauai for example was less touristy with lots of places to hike. Your gear is not unlike what I took, but I would recommend taking a small bag that you can put only the stuff you're using that day in (maybe you travel really light and use the holster for that). Your back will thank you for it. You can operate out of your big bag where you're staying or from the car.
    Also I'd take some kind of backup. Any camera can break down. Even if your backup is a film camera, you should take something. And think about helicopter tours. I took a ride with interisland helicopter and they flew a Hughes 500 (I think) with the doors off and that was great. Couldn't change film or lenses in the wind though, so if you do that bring a big memory card and a good wide range zoom lens. Kauai has stunning views from a helicopter!
  17. Sorry, acting up. Duplicate.
  18. The first post failed to post the picture. When I tried to repost, I got the text and not the picture. Here we go again to try to post the picture.
  19. James, for macro get a 105 sigma or tamron 90 over the Canon 60, much friendlier to work with and still top notch IQ. Also get a 12mm and or 25mm ext. tube for your 70-200 (12mm tube will work on your superwides as well), cheap and makes for great creative macro. I would def dump the 2x for a 1.4x
  20. James, I would take the 17-55 and the 70-200, the polarizing filter maybe the 2.0X extender and maybe the flash (with the 7D you may not need it much). The IS on the lenses will negate the tripod for the majority of shots and carrying a lot of gear will be a pain in such a beautiful place.
    Enjoy the trip
  21. James,
    First off, I'm no pro, but I do agree, the EF-S 60mm Macro USM is an AMAZINGLY fun lens. I've not used it for serious portraits, but it works well with nearly every lighting situation I've put it in (Mid-day / harsh sun to soft evening lighting). It's great for macro shots as well. Currently, it stays attached to my 300D (I know, old, but it's my first & only camera as i don't have much of a budget for gear) It's relatively inexpensive (I got it for $400 and shipping, some sites sell it for ~ $450), it's light weight, and it doesn't take up much room. I'm currently at Diego Garcia, BIOT (check it out on wikipedia) and it works well enough for me, although I'm torn between getting a macro flash, a wide angle lens, or the T2i.
    I'm just trying to learn as much as possible as quick as possible so I can use my lens to it's full effectiveness.
    Hope this helps, and enjoy your vacation.
  22. If it is a serious photography trip then you need a back-up camera body. What good this 10lb of glass will be if your camera malfunctions?
  23. I love the 2.8 on the 17-55 and am note sure if the 24-105's speed will cause me to regret the decision.​
    That's why I mentioned the 24-70mm, its a f/2.8. It doesn't have IS, but with a 2.8 and the lens being fairly wide, its not too necessary.
  24. Are you going to take any pictures or exchanging lens?
  25. James - if you really want a macro lens in Hawaii then the 100mm is far better than the 60mm for close work. It allows you to keep your distance and use flash - even the in-built camera flash.
    Beware of getting too involved with all the kit! What you want is photos. If I was going to Hawaii I would take my 70-200mm IS f4 plus the 1.4TC. The IQ of the 2.8 lens may not be as good as the f4. This would give me 448mm of reach on the 7D, hand held and with excellent results even at 3500 ISO.
    I would add the 400mm f5.6 prime with maybe a monopod and a gimbal head. The 400mm becomes a 640mm on the 7D and can be hand held - it is not happy with extenders. I would maybe just use my 17-85mm IS zoom for wide angle work and I may not take the macro because I could do quite good macro with the 17-85mm. The 580EX flash could be useful. Even that set up is quite a lot of kit to lug around! Have a good time.
  26. I see a monopod and a ball head, but I don't see a tripod. Maybe the ball head is attached to a tripod...not sure. It never fails that when I don't take a tripod, I need one.
  27. Is there anything glaringly missing from my list​
    Yes, a sherpa. Leave all that junk at home, take one body with no grip and a normal range lens, a backup point and shoot in the pocket, and try to enjoy your trip instead of spending it digging a strap dent into your shoulder.
  28. Hugh J is making a very good point. Many men get over involved in the gear and forget the photos! I recall touring Africa with a Ricoh film camera shoved in my shirt pocket and I did fairly well. I have a couple of large photo albums and many of the photos were the result of my speed of response when I saw something happening. If I had been changing lenses I would have missed the shot. The shot you do get with a maybe not very good camera is a lot better than the shot you don't get with an excellent camera! Everyone who has viewed my albums thought they were very good and wanted to know what camera I was using. They were surprised when I showed them my pocket Ricoh!
  29. James,
    12 months ago I went on holidays to Japan for 2 weeks and took everything I owned (10-22, 17-85, 50, 70-200, shutter release, laptop, tripod, etc.) and it was painful (weight as well as being a slave to the gear).
    Leave as much as you can at home and enjoy the holiday. Definitely leave the grip, monopod & ballhead (instead take a bean bag like the Cam-Pod or a flexible Gorilla tripod), extender and lumiquest.
    I'd also try to leave one of those lenses at home. However, all my best photos were with the 10-22 and 70-200 and I now have the 17-55 and its definitely my favourite lens so I couldn't leave it behind.
    Something like the Canon M80 for a storage device is also a great idea for backing up. Lightweight, easy to use, priceless if you lose a card or have a card failure.
  30. This may come as a shock to everybody due to the prevalent presumption that a prime will always outperform a zoom. According to SLR Gears testing the 17-55mm (at 55mm) will outperform the 50mm 1.8 at F2.8 from there going up the f stop scale they are very very close. The 50mm 1.8 does have two faster stops but the circle of sharpnees is very small and thus a negligible advantage.
    I own the 50mm 1.4 and an EFS 17-85mm IS, after processing through DXO, ACR and Photoshop there is a difference in output but it is not mindblowing. I print 17 x 22 sometimes, so this small difference is important to me.
    Another suggestion for James is to get a set of extension tubes and play around with them before investing a lot of money in a true macro lens. I use the Pro Optic three piece set available from Adorama. Macro is cool for about a week then the novelty wears off and you're stuck with the question of what to do with all of those macro shots. One could say at least he would have a good 60mm prime lens even if macro no longer interested him. At 70mm his existing 70-200mm F2.8 will match or outperform the 60mm macro prime, again according to SLR Gears testing.
    Finally, if it was me, I would consider swapping the 17-55 for the new 15 - 85. You would gain on both ends of the zoom but give up some speed. Check them out at SLR Gear and decide on your own. And, no I do not work for SLR Gear, but I do rely on them heavily because I value my money and don't like experimenting.
  31. Best advice after several decades of traveling and photography. Carry as little as possible. Depends what you intend to photograph of course, but I usually only bring a 35-105 and 70-200 lens (Canon), batteries, and a photobank or small netbook to store the pictures, and a small solar panel to charge batteries (if I go to places with mo electricity). More gear does not mean better pictures. I have two backpacks, one small which can carry the camera and the lens plus some other gear (it is called Safrotto), and a bigger one made by Ospey. The Osprey is not intended to be used for photo gear, but I made an interior out of plastic foam sheets and hot glue. It works fine, and I got my clothes in there as well. The advantage is that you can either wheel it behind you as a suitcase, or carry it as a backpack. We all know how heavy photo gear is. Backup camera, fine if you don't care about weight and space, but in 40 years plus of photography and traveling, I only had a camera malfunction once, and I managed to borrow one in three minutes. It is a bit like having a parachute ready for every flight, you just might need it one day.
  32. I am asking for an opinion. I need to cover a distance from 17mm till <400mm on 2 bodies. Is a 17-40mm on 5D Mk 2 and 28-300mm on 1D MK 4 a good combination. Both lenses will be permanently on it all the time. I am using Lowepro AW 75 to carry the 1D and hang the 5D with a necklace all the time for my expedition to India, Nepal, Bhutan & China in May this year.
  33. I am asking for an opinion. I need to cover a distance from 17mm till p>

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