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Author Topic: Help me spend a one-time windfall!  (Read 6789 times)

jhpeterson

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2012, 02:09:28 PM »
So, here are my questions:

1.   Should I spend half my funds on the upgrade to the Mark III? The images from the Mark II are lovely, and focusing speed or extreme low light hasn’t been my issue. I do find my images at 1600 ISO seem fairly noisy, but I don’t know whether the Mark III would be substantively better, often enough.
2.   What’s the best mix of overlapping zooms? The 75-300 that my wife and I have been sharing is convenient, so in some ways just replacing that with L glass seems like a good choice – in others, I wonder about a 70-200 and 100-400 combo. Or maybe a 70-200 and a 1.4x converter...)
3.   How much use will the Tilt/Shift get, really? (I know, that’s hard to quantify an answer)
4.   If I keep the 100 Macro, which I love, will I really need the 180 macro?

Thanks for reading what got much longer than I intended, and for advice and comments!
I'd definitely get the 5D Mark III (keep the 5D2 as backup), the 24-70 II and the 70-200 II. That pretty much uses up all the bonus, but you now have both a top-notch body and glass. Besides, can always sell off a few items you already have to get one or two others.

I think the 24 Tilt-Shift is a fantastic lens, but unless you plan to do architecture and interior photography you'll almost never use it's functions. I'm told the new 24-70 is just as sharp as the latest 24 TS, which is saying a great deal. Of course, if you need the shifts and tilts a lot (otherwise, you are probably better off renting for the few times you'd use it), this is what I'd get next, or perhaps get the 17 TS and sell your 17-40.

There's no question I would get rid of the 28-135, as well as the 200, since your 70-200 would make the latter redundant. Perhaps, the 35 should go as well, unless you want to use this in place of the 24-70 as a walkaround lens. Put the money towards 1.4  and 2x converters for the 70-200, or a tilt shift if that's your preference.

I'd talk you out of the 100-400. It's not that bad a lens, but it's been outclassed by more recent arrivals, especially with regard to autofocus and stabilization. And, at f:5.6, it's slow for so many situations. You're just as well off with the latest 2x converter on the 70-200, and if you don't need the full 400mm, get the 1.4x and you come out a step and stop ahead. I'd get both if it was in the budget.
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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2012, 02:09:28 PM »

Kernuak

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2012, 03:49:26 PM »

I think the 24 Tilt-Shift is a fantastic lens, but unless you plan to do architecture and interior photography you'll almost never use it's functions. I'm told the new 24-70 is just as sharp as the latest 24 TS, which is saying a great deal. Of course, if you need the shifts and tilts a lot (otherwise, you are probably better off renting for the few times you'd use it), this is what I'd get next, or perhaps get the 17 TS and sell your 17-40.

The OP did state that he mostly does landscapes and architecture, both of which are suited to the TS/E.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2012, 07:09:36 PM »
Pro bird photographers are not really using the 100-400mm for these reasons.
I don't disagree with you that carrying two 3-lb lenses and switching them out is no fun.  However, Art Morris (Birds as Art) praised the 100-400's versatility.

+1

I would never carry both.  If the intent of the outing was birds/wildlife, I'd bring only the 100-400mm.  If the outing was for other purposes where I'd usually be using a shorter lens, but opportunistically want more reach (e.g., a trip with the kids to a zoo), I'd take the 70-200 II + 2x. 

One thing to consider - the collapsed 100-400 is shorter than the 70-200 II + 2x.  I use a Lowepro Toploader Pro 75 AW, and while either the 100-400 or 70-200 II are a perfect fit, with the 2x mounted it's too long. The 2x can fit in the side pocket (along with the 40/2.8 pancake, actually), but then to use 201-400mm you have to fiddle with mounting the TC.  So, the 100-400 wins for convenience,  IMO.
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natureshots

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2012, 07:12:01 PM »

I think the 24 Tilt-Shift is a fantastic lens, but unless you plan to do architecture and interior photography you'll almost never use it's functions. I'm told the new 24-70 is just as sharp as the latest 24 TS, which is saying a great deal. Of course, if you need the shifts and tilts a lot (otherwise, you are probably better off renting for the few times you'd use it), this is what I'd get next, or perhaps get the 17 TS and sell your 17-40.

The OP did state that he mostly does landscapes and architecture, both of which are suited to the TS/E.
Not only that but the TS/Es look like so much fun! Much more fun than a new camera and cheaper. The new camera high wears off after about 1 hour or so while the TS/Es seem like they'll bring much more long lasting entertainment value. People are not reading the OP or not caring what he says and arguing about the sharpest lens for a professional or someone who spends hours looking at 100:1 magnifications at ISO-15837109486750196478 charts on a 32" 4K monitor. While that second group constitutes a good portion of the posters the OP does not seem like he belongs in that group.  He states he's not professional and seems to spend too much time working and not enough time out playing with his camera. Consequently bleeding edge sharpness is not as important. A ton of the readers (like me) and the OP (I assume) of the site come hear to get summaries of what the pixel peepers are saying but use our cameras differently: as a serious hobby. We want the best of course but we're not going to do what we see as wasting time posting stuff on the forum. We'd rather spend time outside taking pictures with the sweet gear you guys spend hours arguing about. Why am I posting in this thread? Well, I've thought about this stuff for a long time and lurked on this site but unfortunately I am very sick and can't spend much time outside so I decided to play the canonrumors.com game and flame people on the internet  :D.

EricPeeg

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2012, 08:53:21 AM »
I laughed at Natureshot's last post :) I do, in fact, spend too much time at work and too little time with the cameras! As for the "flaming"... well, I've enjoyed the give and take. And given that some of my other internet diversions include lurking (and I do mean LURKING) in some political websites, the discourse here seems positively cordial.... (well, mostly...)

I will say that I'm increasingly convinced by the 70-200/teleconverter suggestion instead of the 70-200/100-400 combo, partially because of cost savings, and partially because of how my current photographic habits play themselves out. As part of fitness resolutions, my wife and I have become disciplined about taking daily walks through our Boston neighborhoods, and so we tend to travel relatively lightly - I carry a camera/lens, and a belt pouch with several smaller lenses, and my wife carries a camera/lens. A second large lens would probably get left at home: a TC might not... (Obviously, when I go out to do more extensive and intentional landscape or architectural work, I've got a tripod and backpack with everything and the bathroom sink.)

Last thought (and not to incite an additional flame war), but Kernuak suggests I should consider filters as part of this. I'm intrigued to hear more on this, Kernuak, if you read this - what filters are you using. I have, in the past, used some graduated ND filters, and when I was a student using Tri-X and Pan-X, some red and yellow filters for the Ansel Adams-like B&W landscape effects. That said, I've also seen considerable passion expended on the "don't put any crappy filters in front of our very expensive glass" position. What filters are you using, and how do you integrate them into your work, instead of digital post-processing?

Again, many thanks to all who've commented. Oh, and feel better soon, Natureshots...

7enderbender

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2012, 09:46:02 AM »
First thing that comes to my mind: why would the company offer you to buy equipment instead of just giving you cash?

If that was the case I could think of a bunch of options. Having a second body is always nice. That could be a 5dIII or even a second 5DII given how cheap they are right now. Then add the tilt-shif lens of your choice and invest the rest of the money. If you're leaning towards a 5dIII I would wait until prices come down a little further.
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Kernuak

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2012, 10:14:51 AM »
I laughed at Natureshot's last post :) I do, in fact, spend too much time at work and too little time with the cameras! As for the "flaming"... well, I've enjoyed the give and take. And given that some of my other internet diversions include lurking (and I do mean LURKING) in some political websites, the discourse here seems positively cordial.... (well, mostly...)

I will say that I'm increasingly convinced by the 70-200/teleconverter suggestion instead of the 70-200/100-400 combo, partially because of cost savings, and partially because of how my current photographic habits play themselves out. As part of fitness resolutions, my wife and I have become disciplined about taking daily walks through our Boston neighborhoods, and so we tend to travel relatively lightly - I carry a camera/lens, and a belt pouch with several smaller lenses, and my wife carries a camera/lens. A second large lens would probably get left at home: a TC might not... (Obviously, when I go out to do more extensive and intentional landscape or architectural work, I've got a tripod and backpack with everything and the bathroom sink.)

Last thought (and not to incite an additional flame war), but Kernuak suggests I should consider filters as part of this. I'm intrigued to hear more on this, Kernuak, if you read this - what filters are you using. I have, in the past, used some graduated ND filters, and when I was a student using Tri-X and Pan-X, some red and yellow filters for the Ansel Adams-like B&W landscape effects. That said, I've also seen considerable passion expended on the "don't put any crappy filters in front of our very expensive glass" position. What filters are you using, and how do you integrate them into your work, instead of digital post-processing?

Again, many thanks to all who've commented. Oh, and feel better soon, Natureshots...
For me, anyone who is remotely enthusiatic about landscape photography should have filters. I started off with a Cokin P mount adaptor, with a set of Hi-Tech ND grad filters, plus a circular polariser for each lens. I then added a Singh-Ray reverse grad (for sunsets) and a Singh-Ray warming CPL. Hi-Tech filters are probably about the best value, no colour cast and higher quality than Cokin grads, without breaking the bank. However, when I moved to full frame, the Cokin P system wasn't really large enough for wideangle use, plus I was finding I was using the Singh-Ray reverse grad when I shouldn't, because it was higher quality than the Hi-Tech filters. I then decided to go for the Lee system (with a 9 month wait :P). Unfortunately, I can no longer easily use the reverse grad and I do miss it for sunsets. I have a set of hard grads and a 3 stop soft grad, plus a Lee square CPL and square Lee 2 stop solid ND filter. I currently also have professional grade Hoya CPL filters (one Pro-X1 77mm and a 72mm HD), but others are just as good/better. I do have a cheap Hoya 58mm CPL, for occasional use on my 50mm f/1.4 and 100mm macro, but I can of course use the Lee square CPL instead, with the adaptor for all of my lenses (well except for the 300mm f/2.8 IS).
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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2012, 10:14:51 AM »

Kernuak

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2012, 10:21:28 AM »
Btw, if you only want to get a small range of filters, then for grads, choose either a 2 and 3 stop (hard/soft, depending on the type of landscapes you shoot) or a 3 stop hard and a 3 stop soft, plus some polarising filters, either a square one to use with your filter system or one for each filter size on your lenses. Many Canon lenses have a similar filter size, which makes it easier, for example, many L lenses are 77mm (with some recent and past exceptions).
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rocketdesigner

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2012, 11:12:27 AM »
You are budgeting regular street price fir the MK III.

This can be had for much less from authorized Canon dealers if you can time your purchase. Beach just had a $2899 sale last weekend, which would save you $600 which you could free up additional funds for your purchases.

sanj

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2012, 11:24:15 AM »
Buy tilt shift last. Buy only if you sure you will use it to its full potential.

Mine is NOT used as much as I would like but students often rent it for their DSLR movie projects.

I was also away from photography (I concentrated on cinematography) and know how you feel. :)

PhyloGuy

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2012, 11:25:41 AM »
I enjoyed reading the thoughtful responses to EricPeeg's question on how to spend a one-time windfall. EricPeeg is leaning to the following list of equipment,

   24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift
   24-70mm f/2.8L II
   70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
   100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS,

all of which are great lenses. For the most part, this list also corresponds to the philosophy I've been trying to adhere to in adding to my lens set. The idea is to cover with zooms the focal range that you are interested in. In my case, I have

   EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
   EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
   EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
   EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

which are all zooms, except for the 100 macro. The zoom lenses cover the range from 16-200 with minimal overlap (i.e., I have overlap from 24-35) and are all fairly fast. In the future, I plan to add a few prime lenses to my set, starting with the 50 f/1.2L (so I have a really fast lens for low-light situations) and a TS-24 (which should be a hoot to shoot with).

I note that in the list EricPeeg settled on, that the 100-400 zoom telephoto is the only one with significant overlap in focal range with the other lenses. Would he be better off sticking with the 70-200 and buying a 2X extender?

It's also possible that my approach isn't sensible. However, when I first got into photography as a hobby, I was bewildered by the variety of lenses Canon offers. After getting my first L lens, I became convinced that quality glass really matters and I gave some thought to how I should prioritize my purchases.

As an aside, I really enjoy this site. I've learned a lot from reading the posts. Thanks!

EricPeeg

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2012, 12:52:38 PM »
I will say that I'm increasingly convinced by the 70-200/teleconverter suggestion instead of the 70-200/100-400 combo...
Although I recommended the 70-200 + 100-400, I think the 70-200 + extenders makes sense.  I forgot that your wife already has a 70-300.  If your wife is like mine, she may take over your 70-200 too.  :)

You mean, perhaps, like how I have to beg to use the 100 Macro? Like that? (Yeah, I'm prepared for it. I'm betting, however, that she's going to say "it's TOO HEAVY..." and I'm going to encourage that response!  :o )

FOB2009

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2012, 01:42:36 PM »
I know you have a tripod, but it is nice sometimes not to have to use it for low light situations. I couldn't imagine being w/o my 35/1.4L nor my Zeiss 21/2.8. I use B+W MRC UV filters for all lenses, and for landscapes often a circ pol. You say you don't often do portraits, but I love my Zeiss 100/2.0 for portraits (and macro) -- give the Canon macro to your wife. Good luck, and have fun!

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2012, 01:42:36 PM »

Wrathwilde

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2012, 02:51:39 PM »
First thing that comes to my mind: why would the company offer you to buy equipment instead of just giving you cash?

Probably for tax reasons, since it's his employer giving it to him, the money would be taxable. However, if the company bought $8000 of camera equipment, and decided "they didn't need it", and gave it to an employee, the employee wouldn't be liable for taxes on $8000.

TexPhoto

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2012, 03:01:50 PM »
If your income is tied to your photography, you need to have 2 bodies.  You like the 5D II, keep it. 

Your lens choices sound great.

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Re: Help me spend a one-time windfall!
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2012, 03:01:50 PM »