Gear Talk > Canon General

Is it worth it...for me?

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Quick Bullet Post:

Body: Canon T3i
Lens: Sigma 30mm F1.4
No Flash


I am not a professional at all. I only started in July and even though people around me are saying I'm progressing pretty quickly, I feel like I still can't really get photos that appeal me and match my vision. Also with my lack of experience I have trouble picturing the shot sometimes. My favorite photos are the one of my girlfriend in my Flickr page.

Now, when it comes to having money in my account, it means I will spend it tomorrow >.< I am trying to save for a new lens. The ones I'm currently looking at is the 50mm F1.2 vs 85mm F1.2. Currently leaning towards the 50mm, and I know the 1.4 is cheaper, but I like to shoot at those wide apertures and hear that the 1.4 isn't sharp open, but if you can really convince me to get it instead please do.

The thing is that I want to get a FF camera as well, probably 5D3 just cause I like the more AF points as I HATE focus + recompose and I can't understand how so many people ONLY use the center point, it really doesn't make sense to me. So in a sense within a year I'm already thinking about spending about $5000 in new gear.

With my photos do you feel like it's a logical decision? I mean I don't mind taking a chance and spending money but I also want to be mature into this decision and ask you guys who many of you might of gone through this or have expert opinions about this. I know I need more experience but it would be nice in a sense to have better gear to motivate me, which I might really need since Minnesota gets so dark so early now.

Sorry bout the long winded post but I put a lot of energy into this hoping I would get the same in return. Also if you do recommend another lens, I would honestly like a prime better than a zoom only for the reason that I don't have to worry about deciding what focal length I should be on, I just want to get the exposure and shoot.

Btw, just incase I might go to hockey games this winter just so I can get SOME sport shots, it's like the only thing I feel like I can capture in the winter with my school and work schedule. I do like portraits and night time or indoor low light photography. 

Thank you in advance!

Buying new camera gear is rarely a logical decision.  For instance, any real gain from using a 5D3 over a t3i is incremental and not readily apparent to a lot of non-photography people.  If you go looking for the impovements in shadows, background blur, higher ISOs etc, you will see them.  But while you wax lyrically about these improvements and how they make your photos better, your family and friends will stand there with glazed eyes and just say "yes...they are nice photos".  But it is nice using top quality gear and the 5D3 will excel in low light and indoors.

Both the 50 and 85 are great lenses.  Which one to go for might be easier to decide once you've worked out if you are sticking with the t3i.  A quick glance through some of you photos suggests some are taken with a 17-55?  That's a nice lens.  And it looks like you use it a lot at 55mm.  Do you regularly wish for a longer focal length?  If not and you like the 50mm focal range, then the 50mm with the t3i and 85 with the 5D3 would seem the way to go.  Just note that while these lenses will be great in low light and for portraits, neither is widely regarded as a sports lens.  But that's ok - another excuse to go shopping....

Haha true about the family stuff! Now of course I'm assuming the way you should think I go is the lens first then body? I definitely will get a FF camera one day, I feel like I need the ISO capabilities cause I never even push past 800 on my t3i, I just don't feel comfortable.

I was thinking the 85 on the crop would be a nice reach for sports and then once I get a FF it'll be a nice portrait, but I definitely lean towards the 50mm being a nice portrait length on camera then a nice normal on FF. The thing that bugs me is the back focus issues? but I would be shooting wide open usually anyways which I hear isn't an issue than.

Could you also help me out with understanding why people choose only to AF with the center point only?
And leading into that, another reason why I would definitely like a new body is cause I hate how it feels like my t3i AF system isn't reliable at all, well not at all but not to my tastes, I sometimes just switch to live view, zoom and MF to my spot if I have the time.

There are many reasons why people choose center point AF only. I thnk that by far the most common one is that the outside AF points don't work as well. This is particularly true in the Canon world. In the Nikon forum i hang out on, there is wayyyyy less talk of it. Probably because the D700's AF kills the 5DII's.... Now that people are moving on to D800's and 5DIII's it's becoming a mute point(unless you're getting a 6D.)
Personally, I chose the 5D classic and the Sigma 50 1.4... I loved this FF combination while i got used to the FF look and using the bigger more complex body, but after a couple of years, i wanted better AF and a pop up flash, so I switched to a D700(i got really sick of carrying around the litte 240EX flash from Canon.)
I'd probably go with the Sigma 50 1.4 or (in my dreams) the 50mm 1.2. I wouldn't get the 50 1.4 Canon unless you can get one for super cheap, especially since there are rumors it will be replaced very soon.
Your pictures are nice, but as others have said, most people wont really notice much differencebetween camera bodies. I guess the decision about whether it's worth it is up to you.
However, i will say that lenses will depreciate much faster than bodies will so buying glass first is always a good idea. If you can get a 5DIII for around 2500 bucks I think thats a good deal though as the camera will probably be around that price for a couple more years.

You'll generally find that if you are shooting wide open and using the centre focus point and recomposing, then you will have more back focusing issues.  At f/1.2 there is only a very thin plane of sharpness.  Moving the camera moves this plane and causes backfocusing problems.  As you stop down and use smaller apertures, the area of sharpness increases and focusing problems become less noticeable.

I'm not really suggesting lenses before bodies.  It comes down to priorities, which issues you are trying to address, which capabilities you are trying to gain etc etc. There's rarely a right answer.  Usually its all trial and error.  I can guarantee that, like everyone, you will make some decisions or buy some gear that you'll later regret.  Its all part of the fun.

Also, I think EchoLocation above meant camera bodies lose value faster than lenses.  If you buy an "L" lens, it won't drop too much in value over the short to medium term.  If you buy the wrong one, you can sell it second hand and shouldn't be out of pocket by too much.  However, camera bodies will decrease in value faster.  A lot of my lenses have very steady prices.  Why have money sitting in the bank not earning any interest, when you could have that money invested in lenses that you can use?  Most people wouldn't be any worse off.  (Disclaimer: Please don't take my investment advice.  In fact, don't even take my advice not to take my advice.]

I don't know if most people AF with the centre point only.  I do occassionally as I know the centre point works well and I have my cameras set up so that at the press of a button I'm back at the centre point.  But that's a personal choice and I find it works well for me when shooting sports and other fast moving subjects.  I then crop later if needed.  But I try to use the AF closest to what I want to focus on when I can.  The thing that annoys me is that while my cameras have 45 AF points, they're all crammed into the centre of the frame.  I'm just waiting for Canon to release a camera with a very wide array of AF points and I'll be jumping on it.


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