« on: January 26, 2013, 02:34:53 PM »
Adding my $.02 to some of the good advice that has been offered. With all due respect, and as constructively as possible, I think you are getting WAY ahead of yourself with your proposed purchases based on on how long you have been shooting. Just a few things I will echo or challenge...
As far as bodies, I think you are overestimating the nuances with various AF capabilities and proposing a pretty giant leap in functionality and price from where you are now. There's no doubt that the AF system of the 5DIII is much improved over the 5DII, but either a used 5DII, which can be had at a very reasonable price now, or a 6D while still on promo seems like a better value proposition from where you are now. Bodies change every few years, so this is not going to be a very long-term investment for you. I'd strongly recommend a used 5DII to make the initial move to FF instead of spending on a 5DIII right now.
For lenses, I am a bit shocked that you're even considering a 50 L or 85 L. We can go on for days about "sharpness" of the 50 1.4 vs. 1.2, etc. but I find the debates about sharpness to be the most over-emphasizes aspect of photography for all but those shooting commercially or for large-format print. Look around the web at some of the top-notch shots taken with the 1.4 before you settle on how sharp it isn't. When used properly (assuming a good copy), the vast majority of people will not see the difference in a very good lens vs. a "legendary" lens. The 50 1.4 (or even 1.8 ) would be my general recommendation for the first lens to buy on a FF. The 85 1.8 is perhaps the best value portrait lens, and unless you have a very specific reason for the 1.2 (and the skill to use it), there is no reason for you to consider spending that much yet. The work of many of the best photographers (historically) would not be considered "sharp" by the standards of today's digital pixel peepers.
Other lens thoughts... the 40 2.8 is a very capable and fun lens to explore FF with - and a tremendous value. I'd recommend that as a first purchase - even if you outgrow it, you'll always have a great-performing option in your pocket or travel bag. Consider a used 70-200 4.0 IS - you can get good deals on these, and unless you have a specific, income-generating, need for more light, it is one of the most versatile lenses to explore the longer end with - with fantastic results. That, paired with a "normal" prime will get you very far. I will also plug the 100 macro L as a possible first L - it's true that the non-L has almost equal IQ, but this makes a fantastic macro and portrait lens (the IS helps) that you will have fun with and probably never outgrow (and is somewhat reasonably priced right now).
One other +1 would be Lightroom. Looking at some of your photos, you will be well served to improved your PP skills (corrections, enhancements and cropping) and Lightroom is easy and affordable. It will make a big difference in quality and sanity.
Renting is often a good option, as is befriending other photographers in the same situation as you to periodically trade lenses and equipment. Have a good macro? Find someone with a very long tele.
If I could tell my former self one thing, it would be go out and shoot and stop reading about technical capabilities of cameras and lenses and what they do or do not do in labs or for others. It's good to be informed when making investments, but the best equipment for you is what you enjoy and actually use. Choose one thing and use it until you have a very specific, well-defined, need for an upgrade or addition. Good luck and go SLOW with the $ investments.