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Author Topic: Is it worth it...for me?  (Read 23051 times)

fonts

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Is it worth it...for me?
« on: December 02, 2012, 02:01:58 AM »
Quick Bullet Post:

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

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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!



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Is it worth it...for me?
« on: December 02, 2012, 02:01:58 AM »

Hillsilly

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 02:53:08 AM »
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....
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fonts

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 03:12:05 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 03:14:03 AM by fonts »

EchoLocation

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 03:49:55 AM »
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.
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Hillsilly

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 04:32:04 AM »
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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sandymandy

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2012, 05:54:25 AM »
Get 5dmk3 first. It will be your companion for years. Then just add 50mm 1.4 lens from whatever brand u prefer. FF already got a bit more of shallow DOF and i think 50mm 1.2L is nice but its not good if its gonna be about the only lens u are using. It really only shines at wide open and besides that it gets beaten by cheaper alternatives.
Of course the higher f/numbers wont give u bad results its just....I think 50mm 1.2L shouldnt be the first pro lens if u dont already have several other lenses for backup.

and believe me u will come to a point in ur photo career where u want to try something else than bokeh craving

Perhaps even the 6D might be good for you. You should really test it out in a store in ur area. Maybe u like it so u can save some more money compared to 5dmk3.
Besides that i think its not about "am i worth the FF camera and L lens?". If you are happy with what you are doing u are a good photographer.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 05:57:16 AM by sandymandy »

koolman

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 06:07:10 AM »
Heh Fonts

I'm not sure why you feel the need to spend so much $$$ so quickly - your shots are very nice with existing equipment. You seem to have good natural skill for someone shooting only a few short months.

As I see you like portraits with blurred backgrounds, maybe consider a longer lens. Id'e skip the 50mm options and go to 85mm options. Either:

1) Canon 85mm 1.8 = classic lens not expensive.

2) Samyang 85mm 1.4 MF lens - in the right hands this can produce stellar results.

Jerusalem Photographer (canon t2i, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 non VC, canon 60mm, canon 35mm L,Samyang 14mm MF,Voigtlander 20mm MF)

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 06:07:10 AM »

cocopop05

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 06:38:45 AM »
My two cents.

Definitely 85mm if you like mainly shooting portraits.

Now, regarding the equipment.  Photography is a recent hobby for me.  I bought my first DSLR, a 5D Mark III with the 24-105mm f/4 L lens and a Speedlight 600ex-rt.

A family friend has a 60D with 18-200mm lens.  We both take lots of family photos, his family photos are very similar to mine in terms of content.  However, there is a massive gap in technical terms between our photos.  My family think I am a gifted photographer (don't all families have inflated options on us), purely because my photos are so much sharper and clearer. 

Now I am new to photography and by no means am I a gifted photographer.  I make tonnes of mistakes technically and on a composition and lighting level.  I have so much to learn.

What I am trying to say here is that having high quality gear gives your photos a quality that cannot be replicated by lower end equipment.  It is a quality that may be hard to quantify, but people do notice.

If you have some budget to spend on new and higher quality equipment, then I would encourage you to go ahead.  It will make a noticeable difference.  I also highly recommending hiring the equipment you are looking to buy.  That way you can see if the improvements are enough to warrant buying new gear and will help you decide which lens you prefer :)

picturesbyme

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 07:47:17 AM »
1. go FF (5D2-it will be a good backup later, if you won't do it as a pro go for a deal on a 5D3)
2. since you like primes I'd check these out (inexpensive, yet great quality)
- canon 85 1.8 (you'll love it on crop and will be even better on ff)
- sigma 50 1.4 (smooth finish), I shot these with the 1st version.. still not that bad (http://atlanticpicture.com/p460965309)
- canon 200  2.8L
(Disagree with the lenses are losing value faster than bodies comment but that's another topic...)

You already have a good skills so you prob. already realized it's not the gear that makes the photos.. :)
Some big name in the industry shot with only one or two lenses for years.. if you have a little time I suggest to
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sdsr

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 08:56:27 AM »
Don't worry about whether someone else will notice differences in the finished results - better equipment is more enjoyable to use (some of us like the actual process of *using* a camera) and if you find a camera and/or lens more enjoyable to use you will likely end up taking better photos anyway.

If you don't know someone with a FF camera, do what I did and rent one (ditto lenses you're interested in); doing so isn't exactly free, but you may end up saving money (or not!); and there's no substitute for hands-on experience.

One last thing - if you like portraits with blurred background, consider going longer (esp. if you end up FF); 135L is not only fantastic in its own right, but considerably less expensive than 50L or 85L.  Or try a good zoom such as Canon's 70-200 f/4 IS (or a 70-200 2.8 - needn't be Canon).  If you want 85, consider the Sigma.

Have fun!

PavelR

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 09:17:02 AM »
Don't worry about whether someone else will notice differences in the finished results - better equipment is more enjoyable to use (some of us like the actual process of *using* a camera) and if you find a camera and/or lens more enjoyable to use you will likely end up taking better photos anyway.

If you don't know someone with a FF camera, do what I did and rent one (ditto lenses you're interested in); doing so isn't exactly free, but you may end up saving money (or not!); and there's no substitute for hands-on experience.

One last thing - if you like portraits with blurred background, consider going longer (esp. if you end up FF); 135L is not only fantastic in its own right, but considerably less expensive than 50L or 85L.  Or try a good zoom such as Canon's 70-200 f/4 IS (or a 70-200 2.8 - needn't be Canon).  If you want 85, consider the Sigma.

Have fun!
+4 ;-)
enjoying, longer FL, 135/2, 85/1.4

And-Rew

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 11:08:09 AM »
Many moons ago - well approximately 4 years give or take, i asked my wife to let me have a budget to by a 5D2 to replace my 30D or 40D. When she was given the price of £2100 the smelling salts were in great use.  :)

That said, budget was given and i purchased said camera and on taking it out for its first shoot, she was impressed in the difference in almost all aspects of the pictures.

ISO800 was not something to be used in emergency - ISO 6400 became the extent of the usable range. The level of detail captured and ability to crop were also something she picked up on quickly. Over the next few months, as the number of 'keepers' increased - she grudgingly accepted the investment was worth while in so far has what "equipment could do to help me improve my photography".

Unlike you, i had already invested in L class lens so did not have that aspect of choice you do. My one and only gripe with the 5D2 ever, was its 9 point AF. Like you, I'm not a center point AF person - i like to choose the AF point according to shot, and sadly all i can say is - i learned to work with the 5D2 AF system.

5D3 AF is a whole new ball game - i don't own one but have tried it and it would be fair to say my gripe has been remedied - and i think you would be happy with it as well. So in that respect, the 5D3 would be a valuable investment to your photography. We've already said how good ISO is on thr 5D2, and it is no worse on a 5D3, so that's most bases covered.

As for lens option - i really would suggest renting the 50 1.2, 85 1.2 or 135 f2 and seeing which floats your photographic boat the most. I've used the 85 1.2 but didn't get on with it - but i think i was the problem, not the lens.

Dylan777

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 11:14:36 AM »
From T3i to 5D III is a HUGE jump. Therefore, you will see HUGE improvement in IQ in low light.

I love my 5D III + 24-70 f2.8 II combo ;) ;)

Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 11:14:36 AM »

Zv

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2012, 11:34:02 AM »
Nice images on flickr I commented on one I really liked. If I could go back an learn from the start I would learn about LIGHTING, using light effectively and understanding it will help you create better images than simply buying a new lens. Some of my best images were done with my nifty fifty and t2i. When I look at which images worked out well it always comes down to how the light played out. Buy a flash and get it off camera or even just a reflector for some fill.

You have creative skills, just think what you could do by controlling and shaping light!

I guess moving to FF is inevitable so you might as well do it now!

If you do go for a lens, analyse your shots for focal length to see which you like the best. A 35L might be nice as you could crop it later, it gives a kinda 50ish equivalent on FF. Otherwise if you like tele / compressed look with nice bokeh I would say 85L possibly the sigma as an alternative. 135 is a bit long for portraits on a crop body, best leave that until FF.

Added - Yeah I'm an advocate for select your focus point manually, I even wrote a blog article about focusing to help spread the word!
zeebytes.blogspot.jp



 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 12:11:15 PM by Zv »
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SJTstudios

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 12:03:16 PM »
Definitely the 50 if you're going to ff. it makes some really nice shots, and you're already used to the 30mm on your  crop body, which is 50mm ff equivalent, now the 50 will make a good portrait lens, and it will look nice on ff.

The 85 may not do you much good now, if you get it and then upgrade, the 85 will be the only ff lens you'll have.
Get once you move to ff, or sell the 30mm and get the 85mm 1.8

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 12:03:16 PM »