« on: January 26, 2013, 12:25:32 PM »
to the OP. nice work man. keep up the shooting
I know this is an older thread but I would just like to add my votes for new gear purchases. I'm all for the newest/latest/greatest gadgets but frankly I'm surprised by all the recommendations for "specialty" lenses considering what you own and don't own.
I think at first, we need to shop for things offer quality (IQ), versatility, and value. This helps us learn more about what we want/need. We can then make more informed decisions about future purchases/upgrades. As an example, I thought I wanted to go ALL primes, but for my style of shooting, I found that I could do more with 2.8 zooms and in the end, save tons of money (at least before I decide I want all the prime lenses again!)
There are a handful of pieces of gear that really made a huge change to my photography. The most important purchases I made (for my style) when I first started were the following:
1) flash....get it off camera. get 2 if you can. when you have time to play with lighting setups, you can really change the look of your photos. Also, you don't have to worry so much about high ISO noise performance. Your t3i can already trigger a flash wirelessly. have fun with that.
2) ultra wide angle lens. (I got a used Canon 10-22mm when I first started). a very different look and one that I found I loved... especially for "fun" shots (family parties, dance floor at a wedding reception, etc.) I love playing with the distortion of a wide angle
3) 70-200 2.8 IS II sharpest lens I own. AWESOME bokeh. I thought you could only get this look from primes but the 70-200 is a beast. the longer focal lengths helps create a shallower depth of field. pair this up with a FF camera and you'll have TONS to play with. Not sure if I'd recommend an 85 1.2 before this (as some people have stated). The 70-200 is way more versatile and it's in the same price range.
4) Adobe Lightroom 4... not sure what you're using for post but this is a must. It's always a pain to learn new software (I came from Aperture) but this was probably one of my best (top 3) investments ever.
5) 5d mk3. FF has many advantages over crop. I didn't appreciate the differences in details until I tried it. (I borrowed a friends mk2)
on a side note: AFMA is very useful. It turned my old 50 1.4 into a lens that shined. Still found I was using it at 2.8 though so I sold it and bought a 24-70 II.
Best of luck to you. Keep us posted on your purchases. =)