August 28, 2014, 07:13:54 PM

Author Topic: Is it worth it...for me?  (Read 23195 times)

Zv

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2012, 06:53:29 AM »
My first L was a 70-200 and first thing I noticed was the images look fine straight out of Camera, and that meant less time dicking around on LR trying to correct things like CA, color and contrast. Time is money, saved time = money well spent.  ;D
5D II | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50 f/1.4

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2012, 06:53:29 AM »

aprotosimaki

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2012, 07:12:28 AM »
I like your photographs especially your black and white work. I would seriously consider starting to work with off camera flash and spend your winter perfecting throwing light on to your subjects. I might even buy two flashes (since money is not holding you back) and get both off your camera. I bought a set of Cactus V5 triggers because the price was right and they seem to work ok for manual work. 

tron

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2012, 07:22:29 AM »
At minimum get a body that supports AFMA ...

Zv

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2012, 08:59:10 AM »
I like your photographs especially your black and white work. I would seriously consider starting to work with off camera flash and spend your winter perfecting throwing light on to your subjects. I might even buy two flashes (since money is not holding you back) and get both off your camera. I bought a set of Cactus V5 triggers because the price was right and they seem to work ok for manual work.

+1

Yeah, get a couple of Yongnuo YN560II's and Cactus v5 or some other cheap trigger. A few gels and the speedliters handbook and your good to go!
5D II | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50 f/1.4

EOS M | 22 f/2 | 11-22 IS

christianronnel

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2012, 10:13:13 AM »
I think the advice given here is somewhat "generational" in nature.  Those who started out in film, when the gear is very expensive and processing is also very expensive, they didn't start with L grade equipment.  But I think if they could afford it at the time they would have.  Those who are starting out in digital age only need to spend on gear at the early stage of their hobby.  Also new generation of photographers have access to fantastic photographs online which are taken with better gear.  Anecdotally, there is this guy I know and he was talking badly about a kid younger than I am.  He said, "I hate that kid already shooting with 5D mkII and L lenses.  I didn't get to L lenses until 20 years into my career."  I think that's just jealousy talking but I didn't say anything.

Personally, I would rather the gear I'm using not get in the way of learning.  It's hard enough to control light, create good composition, pose the model, communicate to the model, make them comfortable.  If you have to add the complexity of trying to use a gear a certain way because of it's limitation, well, that's not fun anymore.  Here's an example of the gear getting in the way
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.

I disagree with this
-canon 50mm 1.8
-canon 85mm 1.8
-old canon 35mm f2
-old canon 24mm/28mm 2.8
-canon 100mm f2
-canon 60mm 2.8 ef-s
-canon 15mm 2.8

        Or even...
-canon 135mm 2.8 soft focus
-canon 20mm 2.8
-a lensbaby
-or even the canon 200mm f2.8 l

All these primes are sub $1000, all the ones in the top group would total $3000

L lenses are the pinnacle of lenses, but they're pro quality. Unless the photos you take will be printed poster size plus, you don't need a l lens.

Why spend $3000 on gear you don't want or need.


But let's not forget the title of this post:  Is it worth it...for him?  My answer, rent them both and see if they are worth it.  And with your statement:
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...

...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.

I still think the best advice given here is this:

.
Sorry to rain on the shopping parade, but you need experience far more than you need equipment. You've already got decent picture making equipment; spend your time using that to make the best images you possibly can. Give yourself a year with what you've got. A few suggestions:

1. Get involved with a photo club or some class or group that will critique your work constructively. Typically, they will give you "challenges" to go out and get a particular type of picture so you have to get focused on what it takes to MAKE that kind of image.

2. Limit your shooting to only one lens for a day or week or so. That forces you to live within the limitations of that lens and schools you in the discipline of being challenged by limitations. Photography is nothing if not dealing with limitations. The better you get at accepting and dealing with that, the better photographer you will become.

3. Take pictures relentlessly. Shoot every single day. Maybe for 2013, do a 365 project where you have to take and post a picture every day. This forces you to do the work that makes you better.

4. Do some formal training (reading, classes, online videos, etc.) in the theory of photography -- composition, lighting, optics, etc. I know the more I do this the more it eventually sinks in.

Finally, if you can't resist playing Santa for yourself this month, get one of these two lenses:

EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro. This gives you a tighter portrait capability as well as a new option to try some macro work.

EF 135mm f/2.0L. This provides some reach for the sports you mentioned, and it's great for low light, nighttime work. If you get this, go out and walk around at night taking pictures. Also spend a day doing "headhunting," portraits of everyone you see.

Both of those are L-class lenses and will become part of your kit when you move to full-frame photography. Also, you can get either one for less than $1000US.

Thanks for asking -- a good first step.

Know your gear, get more experience, then decide what you're missing.  Rent the gear you think you need, or like, for a week, or borrow from a friend.  Expense it in your head.  Don't have buyer's remorse.  And don't be a lens collector.  "The best gear you have is the one you carry with you." (unless you carry a cabinet, or a sherpa :D)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 10:25:37 AM by christianronnel »
Don't take life too seriously; no one makes it out alive anyway

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fonts

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2012, 01:41:43 PM »
Thanks for all the replies!

  Just clearing some stuff up: I only use a Sigma 30mm F1.4....the 17-55 was rented for a week where I wanted to record my cousins wedding. Link to video http://youtu.be/9Xwt1yE1Esk?hd=1  - it has spanish background music just to warn you.

  But yea, so in terms of lenses, the sigma is always on the camera, the only other lens I have is the kit 18-55 which has stayed in my bag for idk how long.

  I have researched hundreds of hours already online, and I think that's why I'm progressing as quickly as I am. I also am taking a basic digital photo class to make sure I have all of my basic foundation grounded. I will be taking another photo class next semester and even join the universities photo club as suggested.

 
Personally, I would rather the gear I'm using not get in the way of learning.  It's hard enough to control light, create good composition, pose the model, communicate to the model, make them comfortable.  If you have to add the complexity of trying to use a gear a certain way because of it's limitation, well, that's not fun anymore.  Here's an example of the gear getting in the way

   This is the whole reason why I am trying to invest in new gear. I know my limitations, and I'm to a point with my current body where I just "feel" like I need more coverage in what I want to do. I ALWAYS shoot in manual M mode. Like when I mean always, I mean it, cause there are times where once I switch to Av I get lost and have to reteach my self "ok, Ev Comp, change it with...this dial to get....this image". I installed ML to get me more stuff to mess around with in my menu, and I feel like that's not enough sometimes.

At minimum get a body that supports AFMA ...

Haha, yea trust me, I'm always second guessing myself if the lens needs it or not. Camera with AFMA would be nice.

I like your photographs especially your black and white work. I would seriously consider starting to work with off camera flash and spend your winter perfecting throwing light on to your subjects. I might even buy two flashes (since money is not holding you back) and get both off your camera. I bought a set of Cactus V5 triggers because the price was right and they seem to work ok for manual work. 

Thank you! and I am thinking of buy the 430 EX II. I did play around with the on-camera flash settings (thank ML too for given me more control of the flash) and for my last couple of photos have been using a white sheet of paper to give me SO MUCH better and softer light to the subject.  But yea, I think if anything an off-camera flash would be my next purchase.



 Oh and it's not that I love taking portraits, I just like the experience of it, and with my school and work hours, its hard to get a chance to walk around in the day to get some different pictures.


RustyTheGeek

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2012, 12:26:43 AM »
It's all been said so I'll just throw out my opinion...  It sounds like you are starting off right, reading a lot and learning by using M and thinking about the shots.  Don't get caught up in the hype of buying so much.  It's not necessary.

The essence of a good photographer is not what he can do with equipment, it's what he can do without it!  All the fancy stuff does is make it a little easier but you don't learn as much if you can overcome all the challenges with high ISO, fast fps, etc.  For example, having a Classic 5D in low light forced me to improve my camera stabilization technique and watch for subject movement.  It also eventually made me really appreciate the difference a faster lens makes.

Don't spend a lot of money now.  Get ONE additional lens of your choice to enjoy at Christmas and learn.
Learn about the LIGHT.  Flash, Bounce, Diffuse, Available, Off Camera, whatever.  Inexpensive triggers would be easy to add.  Check out David Hobby's Strobist blog.  It rocks for off camera flash info.  Read Joe McNally.  Lots of great interesting stories about real life challenges and how their experience saved them, not their equipment.
Build evenly.  Buying a 5D3 is NOT building evenly.  This stuff isn't going anywhere.  Buy what you need a little at a time and really use it as you buy it.  After a year of heavy use, you will really know what you want or need and perhaps you can get a great used 5D3 for less if you still even want it.
-  Get protection for your equipment, small things like a monopod and/or tripod, high quality strap and case system with room to grow, etc.
-  If you want to experience FF, rent and then perhaps buy a 5D Classic or 5D2 used.  What's the rush to spend $3K on a body?

EQUIPMENT OVERLOAD - I can't emphasize this enough... it won't be long before you will experience frustration with too much equipment.  I know that sounds hard to believe but eventually you will have trouble choosing which lenses to take, which body works best, should I just take it all?, etc.  You'll start having storage issues.  It will happen.  So don't rush it.  I think many here will agree that there is a lot to be said about owning one body and two or three lenses total.  The more familiar you are with what you own, the easier it will be to choose how you use it and what you buy next.

I'll repeat - take it slow.  Buy used if possible.  Sure you can go out and spend $5K on a body and one L lens but I think you will be robbing yourself of a much more interesting experience of slower growth.  Enjoy the process and get plenty of books to learn from to maximize your satisfaction and knowledge.  There is another thread on here currently that is discussing books.  See my post along with others for good suggestions.  http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11435.0

Have fun and shoot often!!
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2012, 12:26:43 AM »

Zv

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2012, 08:37:27 AM »
+1 on the gear overload thing! I always try to carry the lightest equipment possible for the situation, often opting for the cheap 50 1.8 as my only lens over my zooms. Makes me wanna buy the 40 pancake!

 I can just about fit my camera, lenses and speedlites in one Kata 205 bug backpack so I always try to balance a new purchase by selling something. Like for like or lighter!

It's all about downsizing these days!
5D II | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50 f/1.4

EOS M | 22 f/2 | 11-22 IS

AudioGlenn

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2013, 11:48:29 AM »
If you are happy with what you are doing u are a good photographer.

amen
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AudioGlenn

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #39 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.  =) 
5D mkIII  |  40 f/2.8 | 8-15 f/4L | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 600ex-rt | 430 ex ii | EOS M+22mm f/2 | EF to EF-M adapter

sanfranchristo

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #40 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.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 03:00:52 PM by sanfranchristo »


Zv

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2013, 10:43:09 AM »
I agree with sanfran. Some of my best shots were with my cheapest gear. You only NEED to upgrade if there is a specific reason to do so. I have still got my little nifty fifty and use it because it still works and rarely lets me down! If you can get the job done with the tools you got why change em?   
5D II | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50 f/1.4

EOS M | 22 f/2 | 11-22 IS

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Re: Is it worth it...for me?
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2013, 10:43:09 AM »