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Author Topic: My next upgrade...  (Read 6028 times)

lady

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My next upgrade...
« on: January 19, 2013, 09:25:49 PM »
Hello all! It's been awhile. I've had my 7D for a year and a half now and I have gotten so much use out of it, still love using it.

On my list of things I "need" to get, there's the following:
  • 5D Mark 3
  • 16-35mm f/2.8
  • 24-70mm f/2.8
  • small compact for every day stuff, either a Panasonic LX-7 or the Sony RX100
  • A tripod that isn't cheap/broken like mine currently is

My compact panasonic died, and I had the luxury of borrowing a friend's RX100 that day. Holy moly, the pictures on the thing were incredible for a compact. It's almost irresistable to have my new "pocket" camera be something that good. However I had been looking to eventually replace my Panasonic with the LX7, another nice model. Tough choice. After the death of my compact I realized how much I had been using/relying on it for every day photos around where I work and such. I lug around my 7D and it's a beast and gets much better DoF than the compact cameras, but it isn't as versatile (juggling 3 lenses).

However my camera fund is now up again and I can afford a 5D Mark 3 now, though my top priority is getting rid of this 17-40 (the F4 is just extremely limiting since it's my indoor lens) and replacing it with the 16-35mm. I can actually get both, and I just got paid for some commercial shots I took of a farm which would add even more to the fund.

I could get both lenses, and the compact, and thus have an upgraded set-up in both areas to what I have now. Or I can add a second body in with the 5D3 and just get the 16-35 leaving some saving room to get the next lens and compact by summer. Getting the second body would mean having a really nice camera for portraits and something that does better with wide landscapes (something I struggle with currently). But then I'd ideally have both the 16-35 and the 24-70 in order for the dual camera set-up to work well. Come summer I'll have enough for all the things on my list (horse show season all spring = $$$ for me), but I'm prioritizing in the mean time.

The tripod I'm getting either way since mine broke. Recommendations for one again would be spectacular, looking to spend < $300.

Soo... suggestions?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 09:28:19 PM by lady »

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My next upgrade...
« on: January 19, 2013, 09:25:49 PM »

bseitz234

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 09:40:14 PM »
What input exactly are you looking for? Sounds like you should get a 5d3 and a lens and a tripod. Whether you get the 24-70 or 16-35 first is up to what you'll use more... Or get the 16-35 for landscape, and a 17-55 2.8 to use on your 7d until you get the 24-70.

As far as inexpensive tripods go, I've been very happy with my oben 1320 w/ ba-1 ballhead, $170 with free shipping from b&h. Simple, reasonable weight, gets the job done.
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lady

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 10:48:26 PM »
$300 for the tripod without a head since I have a head.

The troublesome thing is that while I really want the 5D Mark III, it might be better to get the lenses and compact first and then add it to my collection this summer. I want to see what I can achieve with my 7D when I actually have a wider aperture to work with on the wide angle end. The 5D3 will no doubt be a huge improvement as a landscaping and portrait lens but I'd like to prime my skills on the 7D in the mean time. I'm also really disliking not having my backup compact around. It's affecting me quite a bit on a day to day basis. 

But I've been having a lot of issues where it's better to do manual focus and I've kind of been wanting a camera that was a little less dumb when it comes to focusing on landscapes, portraits, etc. Which is where the 5D3 comes in. Decisions, decisions...
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 10:54:30 PM by lady »

RickSpringfield

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 11:01:34 PM »
Well, this is probably not what you want to hear ... but I wouldn't buy a tripod without going hands on.  I bought a tripod about 8 months ago and it was a Manfrotto and I thought it was the cats pajamas.  Until, a friend of mine was over and I used his tripod and I was blown away by how easy it was to use ... (but mostly what a dullard I was for not even knowing about it).

So, I sold my old one as punishment, and then vowed I wouldnt actually buy another one until I could try out a few and decide what I liked or didnt like.  And low and behold, I am completely happy now.  But the quest wasn't overnight.  Actually the closest place I have to check out a wide variety of tripods is like 150 miles from my front door.  They carried Gitzo, Manfrotto, Fiesel, and a handful of other brands too.  The best part was ... they were all sitting out on the floor and I could try to collapse them and carry them and extend them and all that stuff.  And when all was said and done, they price matched B&H ... so I was thrilled.

Now, my sticks of choice weren't less than 300$ so I won't mention.  A couple things that I would have never known before going down this path though:
 - They make tripods with center columns which level your head so you don't have to move the legs at all (really nice)
 - They make a wide variety of barrel diameters for the legs.  Some have an obnoxious diameter, and others are ticonderoga #2 ish thin.  I had no idea.
 - There are a zillion ways to make the snappy or turny doohickies which secure the legs
 - Some tripods legs only 'lock' at specified angles and move freely outside of those angles
 - Weight varies greatly.  There are actually tripods which feel so heavy you probably couldnt stand to take them anywhere but the studio.  Before I went, this wouldnt have been a consideration at all.  By the time I left, I would say this was maybe second only to sturdiness.
- Height varies greatly.  Sometimes I fully extended the legs and the column and thought 'Wow.  If I actually mounted a head on here to shoot this would topple to the ground in the mildest of climates'

At the end of the day ... the one I selected only received modest B&H reviews, but you know what ... it really works well for me.  But I think had I not actually fiddled with these up front, I would have been sending tripods back and forth to B&H or amazon like 10x.

lady

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 11:17:30 PM »
Well, this is probably not what you want to hear ... but I wouldn't buy a tripod without going hands on.  I bought a tripod about 8 months ago and it was a Manfrotto and I thought it was the cats pajamas.  Until, a friend of mine was over and I used his tripod and I was blown away by how easy it was to use ... (but mostly what a dullard I was for not even knowing about it).

So, I sold my old one as punishment, and then vowed I wouldnt actually buy another one until I could try out a few and decide what I liked or didnt like.  And low and behold, I am completely happy now.  But the quest wasn't overnight.  Actually the closest place I have to check out a wide variety of tripods is like 150 miles from my front door.  They carried Gitzo, Manfrotto, Fiesel, and a handful of other brands too.  The best part was ... they were all sitting out on the floor and I could try to collapse them and carry them and extend them and all that stuff.  And when all was said and done, they price matched B&H ... so I was thrilled.

Now, my sticks of choice weren't less than 300$ so I won't mention.  A couple things that I would have never known before going down this path though:
 - They make tripods with center columns which level your head so you don't have to move the legs at all (really nice)
 - They make a wide variety of barrel diameters for the legs.  Some have an obnoxious diameter, and others are ticonderoga #2 ish thin.  I had no idea.
 - There are a zillion ways to make the snappy or turny doohickies which secure the legs
 - Some tripods legs only 'lock' at specified angles and move freely outside of those angles
 - Weight varies greatly.  There are actually tripods which feel so heavy you probably couldnt stand to take them anywhere but the studio.  Before I went, this wouldnt have been a consideration at all.  By the time I left, I would say this was maybe second only to sturdiness.
- Height varies greatly.  Sometimes I fully extended the legs and the column and thought 'Wow.  If I actually mounted a head on here to shoot this would topple to the ground in the mildest of climates'

At the end of the day ... the one I selected only received modest B&H reviews, but you know what ... it really works well for me.  But I think had I not actually fiddled with these up front, I would have been sending tripods back and forth to B&H or amazon like 10x.


Good info!

I'm lucky enough to have several stores carrying higher end tripods nearby, though the model selection is limited. I guess I'll go and play "legos" with them and set a whole bunch up to see which ones are the least annoying! I would expand my tripod "budget" for carbon fiber because I like things being light.

I miss having a tripod. I did some casual commercial photography for a barn I'm associated with and I had to do it without a tripod in 28 degree weather. I had to take a shot, readjust the settings, take another one and hope they aligned well and the DoF was flattering. I often ended up with very shallow pictures. To me, they were awful, though the business raved about them. I do much better with a tripod than without. You can actually see some of those pictures in the 17-40mm lens thread I just posted in.


expatinasia

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 12:59:27 AM »
Velbon makes some nice affordable tripods and monopods. And I agree fully with RickSpringfield that you should try them in a shop, see what you like etc.

The Sony RX100 has some great reviews as has the RX1. Some people here also talk none stop about the new Fujis such as the X100s and X-Pro2. I really like the look of the RX1.

As for a new camera, unless you have loads of cash, why not keep hold of the 7D and enjoy that for a couple more years. I try to make any tech I buy last 5 years or so. You still get great pics from your 7D and there will always be something better so why not hold off on that purchase.

1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

lady

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 01:45:17 AM »
Velbon makes some nice affordable tripods and monopods. And I agree fully with RickSpringfield that you should try them in a shop, see what you like etc.

The Sony RX100 has some great reviews as has the RX1. Some people here also talk none stop about the new Fujis such as the X100s and X-Pro2. I really like the look of the RX1.

As for a new camera, unless you have loads of cash, why not keep hold of the 7D and enjoy that for a couple more years. I try to make any tech I buy last 5 years or so. You still get great pics from your 7D and there will always be something better so why not hold off on that purchase.

Sell my 7D? Never. It's fantastic for shooting horse shows because of the crop factor and the FPS. But with portraits and landscapes it can start to fall behind. Maybe someday, when I can afford to upgrade to 1D, but not any time soon. I managed to save up $5,200 so that's what we're working with here.

 

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 01:45:17 AM »

shutterwideshut

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 02:45:39 AM »

Good info!

I'm lucky enough to have several stores carrying higher end tripods nearby, though the model selection is limited. I guess I'll go and play "legos" with them and set a whole bunch up to see which ones are the least annoying! I would expand my tripod "budget" for carbon fiber because I like things being light.

I miss having a tripod. I did some casual commercial photography for a barn I'm associated with and I had to do it without a tripod in 28 degree weather. I had to take a shot, readjust the settings, take another one and hope they aligned well and the DoF was flattering. I often ended up with very shallow pictures. To me, they were awful, though the business raved about them. I do much better with a tripod than without. You can actually see some of those pictures in the 17-40mm lens thread I just posted in.


If you have the budget why not look into the Gitzo or Really Right Stuff carbon fiber tripods? I also shoot with a 7D and the 17-40mm lens for 3 years and though it may not be as spectacular as other lenses in its class, it isn't a slouch either. The 17-40mm is also a good performer for shooting landscapes from f/8 to f/16 when fitted into a FF body, like 5D3.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 02:47:57 AM by shutterwideshut »
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brad-man

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 03:37:13 AM »
It's more than you intended to spend, but you're purchasing first class equipment, why not continue the trend? This tripod has the greatest weight/rigidity ratio of any I know. The best tripod is the one you have with you :)


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/759477-REG/Gitzo_GT1542T_Series_1_Traveler_6x.html


lady

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 04:14:52 AM »
Hm... Yes... Gitzo. I will try that model out tomorrow. I haven't seen Really Right Stuff carried locally unfortunately.

The real question here is which things I should get now and which can wait until summer. Possible combinations...

Combo 1
  • 16-35mm f/2.8 ($1100)
  • 24-70 f/2.8 ($1350)
  • Sony RX100 ($650)
  • Tripod (~$300)
Total: $3,400 (leaves ~$1,700 to go towards saving up for the 5D3, or wiggle room for a nicer tripod)

Combo 2
  • 16-35mm f/2.8 ($1100)
  • Canon 5D Mark 3 ($3,000 on sale right now)
  • Tripod (~$300)
Total: $4,400 (leaves ~$500)

Combo 3
  • 16-35mm f/2.8 ($1100)
  • Sony RX100 ($650)
  • Tripod (~$300)
Total: $2050 (it'd only take a month to save up for the 5D3 if I decide I need it right away, or if I decide I can wait I can get the 24-70)

Some of the items will have sales tax and some won't, hence the rough estimations that seem inaccurate.

Camera lenses sell for less on craigslist around where I live than they do online, that's how I got my 17-40mm and it was $150 less than ebay and in superb condition. I just make sure to try the lens first. Right now there's an ad for a 16-35 on craigslist for $900 so I may check that out.

The other thing, too, is that I may opt for upgrading my 70-200 into an f/2.8 and adding more prime lenses in. Horse photography is tough business. ;)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 05:20:06 AM by lady »

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 06:07:45 AM »
A tripod that isn't cheap/broken like mine currently is

I'd esp. advise a good tripod *head* that allows for smooth movement even if the camera is held stable - in my case that was more expensive than the actual tripod. And you probably should get some advice on what system to use if you didn't decided it yet (I'm using Arca Swiss, but it's rather uncommon in Germany). As for the tripod legs, do you need max. stability for extra long exposures or just a sturdy version that you still can carry yourself w/o a golf cart?

The real question here is which things I should get now and which can wait until summer. Possible combinations...

I cannot give you any advice here, but one reason for the Canon gear is that the 5d3 has a similar usability to your 7d (which you still might want to use for the 1.6x crop?) and not having to re-think once switching cameras should be a plus for a pro photog.

Also a new 14-24L is rumored to be announced any day :-o so if you've got the $2500+ it'll probably cost that might be a good upgrade over the 16-35L.

A tripod that isn't
that's how I got my 17-40mm and it was $150 less than ebay and in superb condition

You Americans should really appreciate having a working craiglist btw, in Germany there are many smaller different sites but nowhere photog gear is to be found, that's why I just bought a *new* 17-40L (with Canon rebate) because the ebay prices were 85+% of the new lens...

Horse photography is tough business. ;)

But seems to pay, so watch out for envious photogs crossing the street :-p

expatinasia

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 06:13:31 AM »
Velbon makes some nice affordable tripods and monopods. And I agree fully with RickSpringfield that you should try them in a shop, see what you like etc.

The Sony RX100 has some great reviews as has the RX1. Some people here also talk none stop about the new Fujis such as the X100s and X-Pro2. I really like the look of the RX1.

As for a new camera, unless you have loads of cash, why not keep hold of the 7D and enjoy that for a couple more years. I try to make any tech I buy last 5 years or so. You still get great pics from your 7D and there will always be something better so why not hold off on that purchase.

Sell my 7D? Never. It's fantastic for shooting horse shows because of the crop factor and the FPS. But with portraits and landscapes it can start to fall behind. Maybe someday, when I can afford to upgrade to 1D, but not any time soon. I managed to save up $5,200 so that's what we're working with here.

I really am not sure where in my reply to you, you think I suggested you sell your 7D.  :o

Regardless, you really should wait before buying a 5D Mark III to see if Canon are going to release a 7D Mark II and when. Could be a very interesting camera if they do.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 06:18:57 AM by expatinasia »
1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 06:21:15 AM »
I use Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 Tripod with 468MGRC2 Ballhead
The 055CXPRO4 sells for US$ 364 right now ... but there have been deals on it for just under $300 ... it supports 17.6 lbs (8kg).
Its a really good sturdy tripod and its a carbon fiber tripod so it is lighter than the equivalent aluminum ones.
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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 06:21:15 AM »

shutterwideshut

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 06:22:47 AM »
It's more than you intended to spend, but you're purchasing first class equipment, why not continue the trend? This tripod has the greatest weight/rigidity ratio of any I know. The best tripod is the one you have with you :)


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/759477-REG/Gitzo_GT1542T_Series_1_Traveler_6x.html

+1. I also use this tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-30 Ballhead combo. I doubt you can buy a carbon fiber tripod worth $300.00 because it costs more than that. Among the compact, sturdy and travel tripods, the GT1542T is one of the best in its class. If you really want to get a 16-35mm f/2.8, I suggest you opt for Combo 2 and forego with the 24-70mm f/2.8 in the meantime.
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Haydn1971

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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 06:37:16 AM »
Throwing a wild card into the mix, if you are keeping your 7D and don't need the super top flight AF options of the 5DIII, why not look at the 6D, which is great in bad light, offers as good a picture quality as the 5DIII (I'll not get into the tables and charts over which is best), leaving a considerable amount to buy the 16-35, 24-70, tripod and compacts, but also grab the 135mm f2.0 L which will give you some low light reach into an indoor event arena, adding a 1.4x extender for a tad more reach, or alternatively enable you to put some cash aside for the 70-200 2.8 IS MkII six month down the line.
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Re: My next upgrade...
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 06:37:16 AM »