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Author Topic: Where to from here?  (Read 6090 times)

afira

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Where to from here?
« on: June 27, 2011, 11:13:05 PM »
I'm certain these questions have been asked before, but I'm hoping that someone has bookmarked a few of the answers I'm looking for. A search on these questions is bringing up 800 posts, and hopefully someone has already been through the process and point me to the right bookmarked posts.

I prefer to shoot land/water/cityscapes with some wildlife and macro photography, but I'm finding myself increasingly doing work for charities, including a bike ride and some triathlons, this includes group shots and action shots. Note that this isn't what I want to shoot, but happens to be what I end up taking photos of. I'm working on the 'assumption' that getting lenses that suit sporting events will be suitable for most distance wildlife photography. I'd describe myself as an advanced amateur or beginning pro-sumer.

I currently have a Canon 450D
- EF-S 18-55mm and EF-S 55-250mm (Replacing first due to purple leading edges) twin kit
- 50mm F/1.8
- 100mm F/2.8 Macro
- a 580EX II flash
- a cheap tripod and monopod, hoods and 58mm UV/CP filters

I just ordered a EF-S 10-22mm, a 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II, and a Tiffen 77mm UV/CP/ND kit with it, they arrive in six days. Excited.

I am considering the EF1.4x III Teleconverter. I'm worried about the weight that the 70-200mm F/2.8 IS II is going to add to my bag and my tiny camera already, so the Teleconverter is looking rather special at the moment compared to a 100-400mm L. Another option would be a mid range say, 24-70mm to replace my 18-55mm kit. I would pair either with additional filters (gradient NDs, an expensive IR - though supposedly the 450D produces really terrible pseudo-IR photos) and maybe a new tripod. I'd like to keep my focus mainly on zoom lenses - I understand the desirability for primes, but the sports shots I work with often don't let me work around that, and lugging around something like a very expensive 400mm prime when I only have one camera is rather tricky. However, I was told that it is more beneficial to get a cheaper secondary camera (like a duplicate 450D) or to save and get a 5D Mark III than to look at the above options. My questions stem from the following:

- At what point does having a better camera outweigh getting better lenses? I'm not finding that I'm missing shots or anything with a slower fps, nor do I mind the lower pixel resolution as they all get reduced to a a max 1200x800 jpeg size for distribution. I see the benefit in the 7D with the additional AF points and the ability to use my EF-S 10-22mm, but I don't see the draw of a 5D Mark III yet. Especially when the price will be upwards of 3200-3500 in Australia. I'm curious if I am missing out on having a secondary camera to back up my primary.
- What should I be considering as my primary goal in achieving a light and daily general use bag of equipment? I am thinking I need to keep my 18-55mm and my 100mm Macro for my standard everyday bag. I should be able to use my camera's inbuilt flash for anything tricky. I think this limits the versatility of what I have, but will give me a light and small bag I can actually walk around with without falling over. It has been suggested that the 50mm and a 70-200mm would be better, but I'd consider buying another lighter lens that wouldn't weigh 3.28 lbs or 1.5 kilo for daily use, if this is the case, what would be recommended?
- If I chose to go the route of a teleconverter, what primary issues will I be dealing with in relation to using it with a 450D APS-C sensor? How difficult is it to remove quickly and replace the 70-200 on a camera? I know that it will reduce the aperture, but it was the reason I chose the F/2.8 instead of the F/4.0. Is the clarity on the 70-200 worth the teleconverter over getting a 100-400L or a 70-300L to fill in the gaps? Is it possible/actually worth considering using the 1.4x on any of the other lenses I have? I've only seen reviews of it paired with the 70-200mm.  I looked at the benefits of the 2.0x and the 1.4x teleconverters, and I've seen the suggestions that the 1.4 is better with regards the quality. Is this still the general consensus?
- I have 12,000 actuations on my 450D, and have read that they should be serviced at 50,000 optimally, and 90,000 definitely. What signs am I looking for to know when/if this should be done earlier or later? It still seems to be running like clockwork, and I haven't noticed any shutter lag or other issues.

Apologies about the long post, just trying to sort out where I should be looking.

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Where to from here?
« on: June 27, 2011, 11:13:05 PM »

Canihaspicture

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 02:23:01 AM »
One thing you will need to quickly realize is that if you ever intend to switch to full frame you wont be able to use EF-S lenses. EF-S lenses also lose value pretty quickly.

The new cameras have better dynamic range and noise reduction. I would say get a 7d (body only) and use your current camera as the backup. If you do that then you can obviously delay getting the old one serviced.

I bought the EF2x III extender to use with my 70-200mm because I want the extra reach and losing an additional stop doesn't concern me outside during the day. As far as IQ vs the 1.4X... well let's not get into that here.

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 03:09:27 AM »
At what point does having a better camera outweigh getting better lenses..  never..


What should I be considering as my primary goal in achieving a light and daily general use bag of equipment?..  yuo need a lot less than you think, 24-70 and a 70-200 will cover 99% of everything u wanna shoot...

If I chose to go the route of a teleconverter, what primary issues will I be dealing with.. loss of apperture really

I have 12,000 actuations on my 450D.. how critical is failiure and do you have a back up.  If u are on pro assignments it is hugly important your kit dosn't let you down, if its just fun personal stuff, it may be annoying but not important.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 06:37:27 AM »
Apologies about the long post, just trying to sort out where I should be looking.


Lots of questions, so lots of answers coming.  At the end of the day, you have to answer these questions for yourself, but some good advice helps...

I'm working on the 'assumption' that getting lenses that suit sporting events will be suitable for most distance wildlife photography.


Maybe true, but it depends on the sport.  You mention bike rides and triathalons - generally, spectators and casual photographers at those events can get pretty close to the action - close enough that 200mm is likely plenty of focal length.  That might not work for wildlife, possibly for big game on a safari (where you sometimes need a wide angle for wildlife - in Ngorongoro Crater, lions and elephants came within 5 feet of the Land Rover we were riding in), but not for small animals/birds, where even a 400mm lens comes up short.  If birds/wildlife is an occasional thing for you, a teleconverter makes sense (more on that below).

I just ordered a EF-S 10-22mm, a 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II, and a Tiffen 77mm UV/CP/ND kit with it, they arrive in six days. Excited.


Great choices!  The 70-200mm II is a great lens, and I really liked the 10-22mm angle of view (I had one, which I sold when I added a 5DII and 16-35mm f/2.8L II to my kit, giving the same angle of view as 10-22mm on APS-C).

I disagree with the blanket statement that EF-S lenses lose value quickly.  Some do - kit lenses and lower end lenses in particular.  But three current EF-S lenses deliver optical quality equivalent to many L lenses (when used on APS-C), and hold their value well - the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.  FWIW, after using the 10-22mm for about a year, I sold it for only US$50 less than I bought it for (new from Amazon.com), and that was before the recent spate of lens price increases - selling it today, I likely would have made a profit.

I am considering the EF1.4x III Teleconverter. I'm worried about the weight that the 70-200mm F/2.8 IS II is going to add to my bag and my tiny camera already, so the Teleconverter is looking rather special at the moment compared to a 100-400mm L.


For occasional use, a TC is fine.  Personally, I would not plan on it for frequent use.  More later...

Another option would be a mid range say, 24-70mm to replace my 18-55mm kit. I would pair either with additional filters (gradient NDs, an expensive IR - though supposedly the 450D produces really terrible pseudo-IR photos) and maybe a new tripod.


With the 10-22mm in your kit, a 24-xx L zoom would work.  You could also look at the 24-105mm f/4L IS - on a crop body, it's a useful focal length for outdoor shooting. 

I'd skip the IR filter - dSLRs aren't really sensitive to IR, because the Bayer mask (RGB array) covering the sensor blocks almost all light outside the visible range.  There are 3rd party vendors which remove that mask (IR conversion), which would be the way to go if you want to shoot IR on your 450D (after getting a new body, that is, unless you only want to shoot in black and white going forward).

I'd like to keep my focus mainly on zoom lenses - I understand the desirability for primes, but the sports shots I work with often don't let me work around that, and lugging around something like a very expensive 400mm prime when I only have one camera is rather tricky.


Zoom lenses are for convenience and flexibility.  For example, you just got a 70-200/2.8, but the 200mm f/2.8L II prime lens gives you the same long end and aperture in a package that's 1/3 shorter and half the weight.

IMO, the main reason to get primes is for the faster aperture - the fastest zooms are f/2.8, but if you need to stop action in low light, f/2.8 makes that challenging.  Similarly, if you want to stop action in low light at long distances, those heavy supertele primes (300/2.8, 400/2.8 ) are often used by pro shooters, but with cameras that have better ISO performance than your 450D.

However, I was told that it is more beneficial to get a cheaper secondary camera (like a duplicate 450D) or to save and get a 5D Mark III than to look at the above options. My questions stem from the following:


Depends on the benefit you want to achieve.  For a working photographer shooting events, a second camera is almost a must-have.  Are you getting paid for your shooting (you mention charity events, so possibly not)?  Cameras fail, and if you're getting paid for covering an event/wedding/etc., 'sorry, my camera broke' doesn't cut it for the client.  But if you're just a casual shooter, carrying a second dSLR as a backup is not really necessary, IMO (if you're concerned, bring a P&S).

The one exception to that might be if you're using prime lenses, so you can hang both cameras off yourself and change focal lengths quickly.  But that's why you're using zooms...

At what point does having a better camera outweigh getting better lenses? I'm not finding that I'm missing shots or anything with a slower fps, nor do I mind the lower pixel resolution as they all get reduced to a a max 1200x800 jpeg size for distribution. I see the benefit in the 7D with the additional AF points and the ability to use my EF-S 10-22mm, but I don't see the draw of a 5D Mark III yet.


At the point where you feel your camera is limiting your shots (or when you own all the lenses you could ever need/want).  Personally, I started with a 500D/T1i, and I did find it limiting.  Compared to your camera, the 7D's autofocus system is a dramatic improvement.  Compared to your camera, the ISO performance of a 5DII is a dramatic improvement - the 450D tops out at ISO 1600, and you might not even find that useable, whereas the 5DII produces useable images at ISO 3200. 

Another limiting feature is AF microadjustment - as you get faster lenses, you might find they are a little off with a thin depth of field.  AFMA can correct that (so can a trip to Canon for service, but you need to send in your body and all your lenses).  With fast primes, I'll never get a body withour AFMA (my 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS was backfocusing on my 500D, for example, but I worked around that because I shoot mostly manual focus for macro work). 

What should I be considering as my primary goal in achieving a light and daily general use bag of equipment? I am thinking I need to keep my 18-55mm and my 100mm Macro for my standard everyday bag. I should be able to use my camera's inbuilt flash for anything tricky. I think this limits the versatility of what I have, but will give me a light and small bag I can actually walk around with without falling over.


That's always a trade off.  On a recent trip to China, my photo gear bag weighed in at about 10 kg (all packed in a LowePro Flipside 400AW, which was in turn packed into a Pelican Storm im2500 hard case for a 15 kg total carry-on).

I suspect if you get a decent general purpose zoom (24-70, 24-105), you'll carry that instead of the 18-55mm kit lens - you might need a bigger bag.   ;)

It has been suggested that the 50mm and a 70-200mm would be better, but I'd consider buying another lighter lens that wouldn't weigh 3.28 lbs or 1.5 kilo for daily use, if this is the case, what would be recommended?


The combination of a general purpose zoom and a 70-200mm telezoom would cover most needs.  I do disagree with the previous poster stating 24-70 + 70-200 - that would be fine on a FF camera, but on a crop body, 24mm is not even wide angle (38mm FF equivalent).  However, an EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II would cover almost all your shooting needs in a 2-lens kit.

If I chose to go the route of a teleconverter, what primary issues will I be dealing with in relation to using it with a 450D APS-C sensor? How difficult is it to remove quickly and replace the 70-200 on a camera? I know that it will reduce the aperture, but it was the reason I chose the F/2.8 instead of the F/4.0. Is the clarity on the 70-200 worth the teleconverter over getting a 100-400L or a 70-300L to fill in the gaps? Is it possible/actually worth considering using the 1.4x on any of the other lenses I have? I've only seen reviews of it paired with the 70-200mm.  I looked at the benefits of the 2.0x and the 1.4x teleconverters, and I've seen the suggestions that the 1.4 is better with regards the quality. Is this still the general consensus?


First off, of all the lenses you've mentioned, the only one a Canon TC will work with is the 70-200mm zoom (they are compatible with 135mm and longer L-series primes, the 70-200mm L-series zooms, the 100-400mm but you sacrifice AF unless you have a 1-series, and a few miscellaneous lenses like the TS-E series).  You could get a 3rd party TC that would work with other lenses, but IQ is not as good.

Yes, the 1.4x III causes less of an IQ hit than the 2x III. 

I really recommend using a TC for only occasional use.  For routine use, buy the focal length you need.  A possible exception would be the supertele primes - a lens like the 300mm f/2.8L IS takes only a very small IQ hit even from a 2x TC.  The 70-200 II holds up pretty well to a 1.4x, and decently to a 2x.   There's a whole other thread on the latter, and I also posted a shot with the combo on my 7D.  I also have the 100-400mm, and the IQ is definitely better with that - not a lot better, but noticeably better.  I got the 2x II for use with my 70-200 II as a weather-sealed alternative to the 100-400mm.

Swapping on and off a TC is a hassle, especially in the field.  You'll likely miss shots if you need to do that frequently.  For situations where you need to go from short to long quickly, consider the 70-300mm L or the 100-400mm - either would be a lot more convenient than 70-200mm ± TC, and deliver better IQ.

Yes, you'll lose effective aperture as you know, but that's not the only downside.  Less commonly known, but possibly significant, is that AF is slower with a TC - by design, when you put on a 2x TC the camera will slow down the AF by 50% (25% for a 1.4x TC).  That might be an issue for fast moving sports (you would notice it compared to the 70-200 II without a TC, yes, but compared to a non-USM lens like the 55-250mm you've been using, even 50% slower on the 70-200 will still be faster than that).

Hope some of those answers help.  Good luck with your decision!

« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 09:34:43 AM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 08:07:47 AM »
One thing you will need to quickly realize is that if you ever intend to switch to full frame you wont be able to use EF-S lenses.


Agreed, you need to be careful about which EF-S lens you choose; for the same reason, you need to understand that EF reviews can be from FF cameras . . . and an 85mm macro is not used in the same way on a crop that it is on a FF.

EF-S lenses also lose value pretty quickly.


Citation required. 

Any of the better EF-S are subject to the same ups/downs as good EF lenses.
http://www.canonpricewatch.com/product/00040/Canon-EF-S-17-55mm-f2.8-IS-USM-price.html
http://www.canonpricewatch.com/product/00029/Canon-EF-S-10-22mm-f3.5-4.5-USM-price.html
http://www.canonpricewatch.com/product/02852/Canon-EF-S-15-85mm-f3.5-5.6-IS-USM-price.html
http://www.canonpricewatch.com/product/00002/Canon-EF-S-60mm-f2.8-Macro-USM-price.html

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afira

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 07:39:39 PM »
That's a lot of questions. I'm not able to answer all of them, but here in the US, it is possible to rent cameras/teleconverters/lenses and see if it makes sense to upgrade. Maybe you can do something like that in Australia (that's where you are, right?). For some people upgrading might make sense, for some people it might not.

Yes, I live and breath in Australia :) For starters, lets take everything with the Canon name, import it to Australia and put a 33%+ increase on all goods coming here. For instance - LensRentals.com has the Canon 5D Mark II available for rental at $202 USD for a one week rental. A Sydney based rental company in Australia has it for $355 USD. It would be a good idea, but it isn't a feasible option, particularly when you're looking at a significant amount of equipment to test.

At what point does having a better camera outweigh getting better lenses..  never..

What should I be considering as my primary goal in achieving a light and daily general use bag of equipment?..  yuo need a lot less than you think, 24-70 and a 70-200 will cover 99% of everything u wanna shoot...

If I chose to go the route of a teleconverter, what primary issues will I be dealing with.. loss of apperture really

I have 12,000 actuations on my 450D.. how critical is failiure and do you have a back up.  If u are on pro assignments it is hugly important your kit dosn't let you down, if its just fun personal stuff, it may be annoying but not important.

Noted.

I'm 103 lbs and 5'2". The 3.28 lb 70-200 F/2.8L IS II and the 2.1 lb 24-70 F/2.8L, plus a 1 lb camera, 2 lb bag containing filters and hoods, my purse, wallet, phone and keys isn't my ideal "day use" bag. I'm hunting for lightweight suggestions, even if that means looking at EF-S style non-L lenses. I'd like to stick to a maximum of two lenses, one if people think it would cover my basic needs.

Yep, I know that one, but there are usually other drawbacks - removal of the 1.4x takes 4 minutes or something of that nature.

Not really a problem at the moment. I can borrow my assistant's gear (No, I'm not a professional, but this year the charity volunteered a guy to help me lug my gear around!, or I can go out and buy it as needed.

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 08:26:19 PM »

I'm 103 lbs and 5'2". The 3.28 lb 70-200 F/2.8L IS II and the 2.1 lb 24-70 F/2.8L, plus a 1 lb camera, 2 lb bag containing filters and hoods, my purse, wallet, phone and keys isn't my ideal "day use" bag. I'm hunting for lightweight suggestions, even if that means looking at EF-S style non-L lenses. I'd like to stick to a maximum of two lenses, one if people think it would cover my basic needs.


for light weight but still high quality, consider a 15-85mm EF-S plus a 70-200mm f/4L plus a 30mm f/2 for low ligh.  This might be a lightweight kit that is high quality and works for you.  The 24-70 (I've had 5 of them) is heavy, poorly balanced on a small camera, and just not that good on a crop.  Its not wide enough either.  I just ordered a refurbished 70-200mm f/2.8 MK II, it will go with my larger cameras where it balances well, but is still heavy.

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 08:26:19 PM »

afira

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 10:24:16 PM »
Lots of questions, so lots of answers coming.  At the end of the day, you have to answer these questions for yourself, but some good advice helps...

Maybe true, but it depends on the sport.  You mention bike rides and triathalons - generally, spectators and casual photographers at those events can get pretty close to the action - close enough that 200mm is likely plenty of focal length.  That might not work for wildlife, possibly for big game on a safari (where you sometimes need a wide angle for wildlife - in Ngorongoro Crater, lions and elephants came within 5 feet of the Land Rover we were riding in), but not for small animals/birds, where even a 400mm lens comes up short.  If birds/wildlife is an occasional thing for you, a teleconverter makes sense (more on that below).


Wow does it. Incredibly detailed answers as well.

If/when I decide to go to Africa, taking a seven thousand dollar+ 500mm is on the list. Oh so very on the list. Fortunately, I limit myself to the Australian outback - I don't believe I'll have a massive worry about distance to be honest, most of the wildlife is either tame enough to be captured within the 200mm range (we have wallabies and a massive echidna that love the area below our house). I do however worry if it comes close, as there is an increased likelihood is that it's coming to poison or kill you.

Quote
Great choices!  The 70-200mm II is a great lens, and I really liked the 10-22mm angle of view (I had one, which I sold when I added a 5DII and 16-35mm f/2.8L II to my kit, giving the same angle of view as 10-22mm on APS-C).

I disagree with the blanket statement that EF-S lenses lose value quickly.  Some do - kit lenses and lower end lenses in particular.  But three current EF-S lenses deliver optical quality equivalent to many L lenses (when used on APS-C), and hold their value well - the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.  FWIW, after using the 10-22mm for about a year, I sold it for only US$50 less than I bought it for (new from Amazon.com), and that was before the recent spate of lens price increases - selling it today, I likely would have made a profit.


Thanks! I did about two months of research and price comparison before settling on my choices. I heavily considered the 16-35mm F/2.8L, but it really had several issues I wasn't prepared to deal with. Including the 82mm filters which fit nothing else in my arsenal, and the fact that I wouldn't actually have a true wide angle lens on an APS-C sensor. If I decide to upgrade to a FF, I'll look at the 16-35mm then.

I also agree here. I purchase the EF-S 10-22mm at $839 USD. It retails here in Australia for $1360 USD. I have observed the used lens prices from $700-775 on eBay for the past two months. I am very satisfied with the return on the lens and completely disagree that it would lose its value.

Quote
For occasional use, a TC is fine.  Personally, I would not plan on it for frequent use.  More later...

With the 10-22mm in your kit, a 24-xx L zoom would work.  You could also look at the 24-105mm f/4L IS - on a crop body, it's a useful focal length for outdoor shooting. 

I'd skip the IR filter - dSLRs aren't really sensitive to IR, because the Bayer mask (RGB array) covering the sensor blocks almost all light outside the visible range.  There are 3rd party vendors which remove that mask (IR conversion), which would be the way to go if you want to shoot IR on your 450D (after getting a new body, that is, unless you only want to shoot in black and white going forward).


Noted.

I've heard the quality on the 24-105mm is severely lacking and the QC on the lens tends to be very iffy at best. I may hold off on this lens until I either buy the FF, or I see a new lens that Canon puts out for this range. I'll hold judgement until I can hold and test both the 24-70 and a 24-105 at a store.

Noted. Will skip and keep using Photoshop :)

Quote
Zoom lenses are for convenience and flexibility.  For example, you just got a 70-200/2.8, but the 200mm f/2.8L II prime lens gives you the same long end and aperture in a package that's 1/3 shorter and half the weight.

IMO, the main reason to get primes is for the faster aperture - the fastest zooms are f/2.8, but if you need to stop action in low light, f/2.8 makes that challenging.  Similarly, if you want to stop action in low light at long distances, those heavy supertele primes (300/2.8, 400/2.8 ) are often used by pro shooters, but with cameras that have better ISO performance than your 450D.


Noted and agreed on both ends. The 200mm isn't practical for the reasons you pointed out - convenience and flexibility on one camera.

Quote
Depends on the benefit you want to achieve.  For a working photographer shooting events, a second camera is almost a must-have.  Are you getting paid for your shooting (you mention charity events, so possibly not)?  Cameras fail, and if you're getting paid for covering an event/wedding/etc., 'sorry, my camera broke' doesn't cut it for the client.  But if you're just a casual shooter, carrying a second dSLR as a backup is not really necessary, IMO (if you're concerned, bring a P&S).

The one exception to that might be if you're using prime lenses, so you can hang both cameras off yourself and change focal lengths quickly.  But that's why you're using zooms...


Answered previously, and also noted and agreed with.

Quote
At the point where you feel your camera is limiting your shots (or when you own all the lenses you could ever need/want).  Personally, I started with a 500D/T1i, and I did find it limiting.  Compared to your camera, the 7D's autofocus system is a dramatic improvement.  Compared to your camera, the ISO performance of a 5DII is a dramatic improvement - the 450D tops out at ISO 1600, and you might not even find that useable, whereas the 5DII produces useable images at ISO 3200. 

Another limiting feature is AF microadjustment - as you get faster lenses, you might find they are a little off with a thin depth of field.  AFMA can correct that (so can a trip to Canon for service, but you need to send in your body and all your lenses).  With fast primes, I'll never get a body withour AFMA (my 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS was backfocusing on my 500D, for example, but I worked around that because I shoot mostly manual focus for macro work). 


True. I'll see how the 70-200 handles on the 450D, I don't find I have many issues in the manual settings at the moment, but I'm a heavy handed post-production fan, mainly because I did graphics work prior to experimentation with a camera. I do find the ISO settings limited especially when pairing with fast shutter speeds, but I would rather look at a 7D compared to a 5D Mark II until we get specs for the III.

I find the AF across the board on DSLRs pretty terrible. I honestly won't be happy until I can have an option to choose my own AF points, if I want to override the camera. I use the feature on my camera phone (terrible I know), but I've gotten to used to the feature.

Quote
That's always a trade off.  On a recent trip to China, my photo gear bag weighed in at about 10 kg (all packed in a LowePro Flipside 400AW, which was in turn packed into a Pelican Storm im2500 hard case for a 15 kg total carry-on).

I suspect if you get a decent general purpose zoom (24-70, 24-105), you'll carry that instead of the 18-55mm kit lens - you might need a bigger bag.   ;)


The thought did cross my mind that I'm going to need a bigger boat. As mentioned previously though, I'm 103 lbs, I already lug around a 15" laptop and my camera when I travel, and boy is the weight noticeable already. I try to limit myself to the twin kit and the macro when I travel already. Adding in the extra two lenses and dropping the EF-S 55-250mm will just be a nightmare to be honest. I think I'm going to have to buy a pack mule.

Quote
The combination of a general purpose zoom and a 70-200mm telezoom would cover most needs.  I do disagree with the previous poster stating 24-70 + 70-200 - that would be fine on a FF camera, but on a crop body, 24mm is not even wide angle (38mm FF equivalent).  However, an EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II would cover almost all your shooting needs in a 2-lens kit.

First off, of all the lenses you've mentioned, the only one a Canon TC will work with is the 70-200mm zoom (they are compatible with 135mm and longer L-series primes, the 70-200mm L-series zooms, the 100-400mm but you sacrifice AF unless you have a 1-series, and a few miscellaneous lenses like the TS-E series).  You could get a 3rd party TC that would work with other lenses, but IQ is not as good.

Yes, the 1.4x III causes less of an IQ hit than the 2x III. 

I really recommend using a TC for only occasional use.  For routine use, buy the focal length you need.  A possible exception would be the supertele primes - a lens like the 300mm f/2.8L IS takes only a very small IQ hit even from a 2x TC.  The 70-200 II holds up pretty well to a 1.4x, and decently to a 2x.   There's a whole other thread on the latter, and I also posted a shot with the combo on my 7D.  I also have the 100-400mm, and the IQ is definitely better with that - not a lot better, but noticeably better.  I got the 2x II for use with my 70-200 II as a weather-sealed alternative to the 100-400mm.

Swapping on and off a TC is a hassle, especially in the field.  You'll likely miss shots if you need to do that frequently.  For situations where you need to go from short to long quickly, consider the 70-300mm L or the 100-400mm - either would be a lot more convenient than 70-200mm ± TC, and deliver better IQ.

Yes, you'll lose effective aperture as you know, but that's not the only downside.  Less commonly known, but possibly significant, is that AF is slower with a TC - by design, when you put on a 2x TC the camera will slow down the AF by 50% (25% for a 1.4x TC).  That might be an issue for fast moving sports (you would notice it compared to the 70-200 II without a TC, yes, but compared to a non-USM lens like the 55-250mm you've been using, even 50% slower on the 70-200 will still be faster than that).

Hope some of those answers help.  Good luck with your decision!


Honestly, from what you state here, and from the weight issue, I think I might actually pick up a 1.4x TC. I don't think adding a 100-400 will solve my weight issue and give me the effective 300-400 range. The information about the AF is incredibly helpful, zero posts I've read about the subject mention that, and I appreciate that information :). I am not hunting the primes yet, but if I do happen to look at picking up the 100-400mm, its nice to know I can potentially consider using it there.

Thanks so much for your post - its given me a lot to think about and use for the next step :)

Eagle Eye

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 09:14:19 PM »
Just FYI, the Tiffen filters are going to cause vignetting on the 10-22mm at the 10mm focal length. 
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 10:13:22 PM »
Just FYI, the Tiffen filters are going to cause vignetting on the 10-22mm at the 10mm focal length.


FWIW, I didn't see mechanical vignetting on the 10-22mm at 10mm f/3.5 until I stacked nearly 12mm of filter mount (two B+W XS-Pros and one F-Pro) onto the front of the lens.  See testing results here.
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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 03:44:59 AM »


If/when I decide to go to Africa, taking a seven thousand dollar+ 500mm is on the list. 


That size lens I highly recommend spending a few weeks with before heading off on a safari with unless you plan on bringing a Sherpa along. Supers have a way of limiting mobility and command more consideration than their shorter counterparts. Great lenses but really operate quite differently than something light like a 300 2.8 with a 2x.

Actually, if I were going to do Africa, I would probabaly forgo critter close-ups (it's been done to death already), and instead work the animals into lanscape shots (70-200 f/16).


Flake

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 12:47:58 PM »
"What should I be considering as my primary goal in achieving a light and daily general use bag of equipment?..  yuo need a lot less than you think, 24-70 and a 70-200 will cover 99% of everything u wanna shoot..."

"I prefer to shoot land/water/cityscapes with some wildlife and macro photography,"

I can't think of a more wrong piece of advice to give to some one!  It isn't even true with a full kit bag!

17 - 55mm f/2.8 with some screw on close up filters the EF-s 18 - 55mm is a real weak spot in the most important point of the focal range so I'd suggest that a better standard zoom is an essential, especially with a 70 - 200mm IS L II.

The 24 - 70mm for your type of shooting on a crop body is a disaster, you will constantly be changing lenses - no one wants a lens in this focal range on a Full Frame, and yet the same people who say they wouldn't want one keep reccomending it to others!  In addition it lacks IS and has an issue with field curvature, which makes it an even worse choice for your photography.

If you are happy with the coverage of your 18 - 55mm then there's no need to look any further than Canons 17 - 55mm f/2.8 IS, but there are other third party alternatives just as good at cheaper prices.  If you want more focal length then there are options to suit that too, but you certainly need a new standard zoom.

aldvan

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 03:40:00 AM »
At what point does having a better camera outweigh getting better lenses..  never..

I disagree with this cliché that dates back to the film era. At that time a camera was nothing more than a mechanical support for a lens and a film. Focusing and metering were in most situation a human affair. So picture quality was up to the optical quality (lens), human skills (composition, focusing and metering) and film quality. A camera stood up due to the quality of its system and for its reliability. Stop.
At the present, film quality resides permanently in the sensor quality and  in its related electronics. The sensor IS the film and everybody old enough can remember the difference between a Kodachrome 25 and a film bought at a tourist kiosk... And, if at that time the film choice and the related quality range weren't  so large, now the quality range for cameras (i.e. sensor+electronics) is huge, with huge differences among them.
Human skills remain the crucial point, but the difference between the same composition coming from a 450D and a 1Ds is astronomical.
If you check a lens+camera test (like those at DoX9), differences for the same lens connected to different cameras are really impressive, since a camera is not more a simple mechanical support for a lens and a film...

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 03:40:00 AM »

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2011, 05:45:02 AM »
Aldvan has a point, but I think that the old adage still has merit.

Yes, digital cameras are developing steadily although the advances are slowing down. This must mean that eventually a body will come along that makes the decision obvious. Apart from the sensor and associated processor, a digital camera is still very much a simple box on which to hang some decent glass.

Until then I am sticking tight with my 30D which I bought as my first "toe in the digital water". I hope that the rumoured 1Ds mk 4 will have enough improvements to make it a no brainer of a switch. But if it's not, then I'll sit on my hands for another generation. My thinking has been that I'd wait until I got at least double the number of pixels in each direction, as well as returning to full frame. As good as the 30D has been, there comes a point when cropping where there just are not enough pixels left and quality plummets.

The other big thing for me would be dynamic range. In the current generation of digital cameras this is dreadful, way behind film still and I'm hoping that Canon's promise of better to come holds true. 

WarStreet

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 08:44:28 AM »
The sensor IS the film

+1

If you check a lens+camera test (like those at DoX9), differences for the same lens connected to different cameras are really impressive, since a camera is not more a simple mechanical support for a lens and a film...

In some situations, it is cheaper and faster to improve resolving power with an increased MP count camera rather with a lens upgrade if we consider the upgrade cycle time of cameras and lenses. But there are other factors which are equally important in a lens and body, rather than just resolving power.

EDIT: Personally I prefer to spend money on lenses as this is more valuable, but a good compromise avoiding bottlenecks is important.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 09:00:18 AM by WarStreet »

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Re: Where to from here?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 08:44:28 AM »