September 20, 2014, 06:34:24 PM

Author Topic: Freelance gear suggestions?  (Read 2075 times)

FreelanceinPhilly

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Freelance gear suggestions?
« on: January 25, 2014, 07:00:21 AM »
Hi everyone,

Very new here but wanted some advice for gear-related purchases. I do some freelance photo and video work and am wanting to make the smartest purchases. I have been using a 70D and 18-135 STM for real estate pics and that lens and the 70-300 f/4-5.6 for some very light portrait/video work. I want to upgrade to FF within next two years or so and want glass that will transition well to a FF body. I anticipate more video and real estate work with growing event and possible portrait/wedding work. Initial thoughts are 24-70 L ii then 16-35 L then 70-200 L ii.

Does that sound reasonable given the above? Smart to get glass first and FF body after glass or before? Anything I'm missing?

Prob can spend $4k or so thanks to tax return but debating factoring in a laptop for more mobile photo processing options...

Should I wait to see new lens announcements?

Any help would be appreciated.

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Freelance gear suggestions?
« on: January 25, 2014, 07:00:21 AM »

sjschall

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 11:17:50 AM »
I suggest renting first. Rent a couple lenses each time you book a job, and try them out. Especially for freelance, since each job is different, you never know what glass you'll want to have access to. Then, if there's one you know you'll want to own, you can purchase it.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 12:46:58 PM »
Buy what you need.  For low light interiors, even f/2.8 is marginal.
 
I would not recommend buying FF lenses because you might got to FF in two years.  By then, we may have many of the current models replaced by new ones.
The 17-55mm EF-s remains a excellent choice for a crop body, and by purchasing a refurbished one when they are on sale, you can usually sell it for your purchase price or more.
 
Even at $700, its a good buy.
http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/lenses-flashes/refurbished-lenses/ef-s-17-55-f-28-is-usm-refurbished

tcmatthews

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 02:51:45 PM »
I would also suggest renting.  Expectantly when you are first starting out.  You can budget the rental fees as an expense when billing clients.  I have actual heard of some pros who only own the 16-35 L ii, 24-70 L ii, 50 f1.4, and 70-200 L. They may may also own a 100mm macro of the 35mm L but make most of their living off of the 2.8 zooms.  All other lens are rented on a per job basis.  Make sure to set aside a percentage of your earnings for needed gear to buy what you can use now. 

Personally if you are considering both video and stills the lack of IS on the 16-35 and the 24-70 may be a deal breaker.  The Tamron 24-70 may be a better option in this case.  So you should really rent both before considering a purchase.  2.8 is not really fast enough on a crop for indoor use with out IS.  Consider a flash if you do not have one. 

I went the buy full frame lens rout when still on crop and bought the Tamron 28-75 right after buying my first rebel.  I was not real interested in wide angle at the time.  In the end I bought the Canon 15-85 for reach and IS a year later after buying a 60D.  I had fallen down and messed up my Tamron.  I actually used that as an excuse to justify  the purchase of the 15-85mm.  I had the Tamron 28-75 repaired and it is still a fantastic lens.  (In fact it is now an exceptional copy of the lens after repair.)

Now I think it is a requirement if you own a crop camera to by a wide angle lens made for a crop.  It does not matter which ultra wide crop lens you buy but keep in mind the Canon 11-22 holds its value and the Tokina 11-16 is optically the best.  In reality there is not much difference in 22 and 24 on crop is it is possible to make do with a Crop ultra wide zoom and a 24-70mm zooms.  I would consider buying the Sigma 18-35mm if I had not bought a 6D.  The range would cover 50-65% of my indoor shooting needs. 

You may also reconsider your order of purchase.  I knew a photographer who freelanced on the side that still had not bought a wide angle for his Full frame camera.  At the time he had bought 3 copies of the  16-35 L I and returned them two copies of the 17-40 and returned them and rented the new 16-35 L II twice.  In the end it did not make sense for him to switch out the 7D/Tokina 11-16mm for wide angle use.  He had a full set of 77mm filters that would have to be upgraded and could not justify the expense of another full frame camera at the time.  He did have a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm lenses and considered them essential.  The uses his photo earnings to pay for his photography hobby. So a camera/lens has to pay for its self in his mind. 

This type of mindset if very important for a freelancer because if you do not think of your gear this way you are not a freelancer.  You have photography as a hobby. 
6D, 60D, Rebel XS, EF-S 15-85,  EF 70-200f4L, EF 100f2.8L,  Tamron 70-300VC,  Tamaron 28-75f2.8,   EF 40f2.8,  EF 50f1.8, EF 85f1.8, EF 24mmf2.8IS  EOS M 22f2, 18-55, EOS M-EF adapter, Nex6,  SEL50f18,  SEL1018,  DN 30f2.8, adpaters and Fd and M42 lens.

Eldar

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 04:32:11 PM »
I´m amongst those who are not too fond of the 16-35. I have actually just sold mine. For UWA I use a Zeiss 15mm or a 17mm tilt&shift. In my opinion UWA does not work with people in the frame, unless they are at the center of the image, due to distortion. The 17-40 f4L is a very good alternative by the way, quite a bit cheaper, but a stop slower.

So I would rather have (order of priority) 24-70 f2.8L II (or consider the Tamron with stabilization to save money for a prime), 70-200 f2.8L IS II and then a fast prime, preferably 35/1.4 or 50/1.4, where Sigma probably are best price/performance wise at the moment (provided it is the newly announced 50/1.4).

But as more than one has advised you already, you need to make up your mind yourself. Rent or borrow, try it out and figure out what suits you. We´re all a bit different from the other nut-cases ;)
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II

gshocked

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 05:03:48 PM »
I suggest renting first. Rent a couple lenses each time you book a job, and try them out. Especially for freelance, since each job is different, you never know what glass you'll want to have access to. Then, if there's one you know you'll want to own, you can purchase it.


+1

I agree that renting is a good way when your starting off. You may even want to consider renting the camera bodies as well, that way your testing out your "dream FF kit".

In regards to the 13-35 f/2.8 - have you considered the 17-40 f/4? I know the buzz for all FF photographers is to get all f/2:8 lenses but (IMO) the reality is that a 17-40 is just as practical. The image quality is till good and if your shooting Realestate work, I don't thing anyone will care/notice that you used a tripod - as long as the images are sharp and look great. This phrase comes up a lot on this forum "get the best gear possible that you can afford."

FreelanceinPhilly

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 05:58:03 PM »
All really good things to think about. Lots to consider and just want to be strategic in what is purchased next.

I had considered the 17-40 f/4 but was unsure if it would be smarter to have the tiny extra reach and extra stop of the 16-35L (have been lusting after the 5D kit with the 17-40 but hard to justify with the recent 70D purchase).  I think for me the big thing is spending the money where I get the most value and the least possibility for gear devaluing/not recouping loss if I grow beyond it. Just wanting to future proof as much as possible, especially at this stage on a more narrow budget. Don't want to put a lot into cropped frame lenses and then not be able to have them transition to a FF should I upgrade sooner than 2 years.

It does sound like renting is a smart move and I'll be contacting one the local shops here to try a few things before I jump in head first.

Anyone else see anything that I'm missing? Given the majority of paid work I'm getting does require a UWA lens it sounds like that might be the smartest option to pick first...

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 05:58:03 PM »

Eldar

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 06:07:14 PM »
All really good things to think about. Lots to consider and just want to be strategic in what is purchased next.

I had considered the 17-40 f/4 but was unsure if it would be smarter to have the tiny extra reach and extra stop of the 16-35L (have been lusting after the 5D kit with the 17-40 but hard to justify with the recent 70D purchase).  I think for me the big thing is spending the money where I get the most value and the least possibility for gear devaluing/not recouping loss if I grow beyond it. Just wanting to future proof as much as possible, especially at this stage on a more narrow budget. Don't want to put a lot into cropped frame lenses and then not be able to have them transition to a FF should I upgrade sooner than 2 years.

It does sound like renting is a smart move and I'll be contacting one the local shops here to try a few things before I jump in head first.

Anyone else see anything that I'm missing? Given the majority of paid work I'm getting does require a UWA lens it sounds like that might be the smartest option to pick first...
Spend your money on lenses. They last Much longer than bodies.
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, 85/1.2L II, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II

tcmatthews

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 06:49:57 PM »
All really good things to think about. Lots to consider and just want to be strategic in what is purchased next.

I had considered the 17-40 f/4 but was unsure if it would be smarter to have the tiny extra reach and extra stop of the 16-35L (have been lusting after the 5D kit with the 17-40 but hard to justify with the recent 70D purchase).  I think for me the big thing is spending the money where I get the most value and the least possibility for gear devaluing/not recouping loss if I grow beyond it. Just wanting to future proof as much as possible, especially at this stage on a more narrow budget. Don't want to put a lot into cropped frame lenses and then not be able to have them transition to a FF should I upgrade sooner than 2 years.

It does sound like renting is a smart move and I'll be contacting one the local shops here to try a few things before I jump in head first.

Anyone else see anything that I'm missing? Given the majority of paid work I'm getting does require a UWA lens it sounds like that might be the smartest option to pick first...

I think getting the Canon EF-s 10-22 or Tokina 11-16 would be a wise purchase.  I would save the full frame UWA for when you buy a full frame camera.  On a side note you can use the Tokina on full frame at 16mm.  The Sigma 10-20 variations are Ok but have almost no resale value.
6D, 60D, Rebel XS, EF-S 15-85,  EF 70-200f4L, EF 100f2.8L,  Tamron 70-300VC,  Tamaron 28-75f2.8,   EF 40f2.8,  EF 50f1.8, EF 85f1.8, EF 24mmf2.8IS  EOS M 22f2, 18-55, EOS M-EF adapter, Nex6,  SEL50f18,  SEL1018,  DN 30f2.8, adpaters and Fd and M42 lens.

gshocked

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 08:26:26 PM »
All really good things to think about. Lots to consider and just want to be strategic in what is purchased next.

I had considered the 17-40 f/4 but was unsure if it would be smarter to have the tiny extra reach and extra stop of the 16-35L (have been lusting after the 5D kit with the 17-40 but hard to justify with the recent 70D purchase).  I think for me the big thing is spending the money where I get the most value and the least possibility for gear devaluing/not recouping loss if I grow beyond it. Just wanting to future proof as much as possible, especially at this stage on a more narrow budget. Don't want to put a lot into cropped frame lenses and then not be able to have them transition to a FF should I upgrade sooner than 2 years.

It does sound like renting is a smart move and I'll be contacting one the local shops here to try a few things before I jump in head first.

Anyone else see anything that I'm missing? Given the majority of paid work I'm getting does require a UWA lens it sounds like that might be the smartest option to pick first...

I think getting the Canon EF-s 10-22 or Tokina 11-16 would be a wise purchase.  I would save the full frame UWA for when you buy a full frame camera.  On a side note you can use the Tokina on full frame at 16mm.  The Sigma 10-20 variations are Ok but have almost no resale value.


+1

FreelanceinPhilly

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 08:52:08 PM »
Great suggestions for the UWA. Thanks to everyone that contributed. In terms of a general walk around lens (assuming I rent these and have good experiences) would it be unreasonable to go with a 24-70ii instead of a 17-55?

sagittariansrock

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 09:00:58 PM »
Great suggestions for the UWA. Thanks to everyone that contributed. In terms of a general walk around lens (assuming I rent these and have good experiences) would it be unreasonable to go with a 24-70ii instead of a 17-55?

My 2 cents- the 17-55 IS has dropped unbelievably so you will get a great deal on it. And it is a fantastic lens. But don't count too much on resale value. There are lots of them out there right now, and I have been having a extremely hard time selling my own pristine copy. The only offers I got lately are trades with guns  ;D (of course, I am in Houston!).
Regarding IQ, I can't see the difference between my 24-70 II and my 17-55 IS on my 7D. Of course, the 24-70 II on my 5DIII is in an entirely different league. No comparison whatsoever.
In fact, you must have just purchased your 70D, or else I wouldn't recommend APS-C to anyone not looking to save on long lenses or frame-rate. For only another few hundred you can get the excellent 6D. The difference in IQ is that huge!
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gshocked

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 09:09:28 PM »
Great suggestions for the UWA. Thanks to everyone that contributed. In terms of a general walk around lens (assuming I rent these and have good experiences) would it be unreasonable to go with a 24-70ii instead of a 17-55?

I guess there are pros and cons with this set up.
The 24-70ii is amazing! Very sharp at wide open across the zoom. This is my dream lens and if I could afford one I'd buy it tomorrow. Although you do loose out on your zoom due to the crop factor of your camera. But if your going to full frame it's a keeper.

I went full frame last year and I've loved it. I've done a number of paid gigs, which I would have found difficult with my old canon t2i/500d. Although, I had to make some comprises going up to a 5D mkIII and had to settle with a 24-105, which I purchased as a white box for $700AUD form eglobalcameras. It's still a great lens but I do rent out the 24-70.
With the money I've made so far, I've purchased a 70-200 f2.8 IS. I guess what I'm saying is that you can always build up your gear over time.

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 09:09:28 PM »

TexPhoto

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 10:51:01 PM »
For real estate photography you need a tripod.  I know, large apature lenses are so sexy, and IS is cool.  But the truth is, you photos will be much better shot froma tripod wwith an aperture of f8 to 11 to get a generous dept of field.

You can still buy the big expensive lenses, but get the tripod...

Hjalmarg1

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 11:10:27 PM »
I´m amongst those who are not too fond of the 16-35. I have actually just sold mine. For UWA I use a Zeiss 15mm or a 17mm tilt&shift. In my opinion UWA does not work with people in the frame, unless they are at the center of the image, due to distortion. The 17-40 f4L is a very good alternative by the way, quite a bit cheaper, but a stop slower.

So I would rather have (order of priority) 24-70 f2.8L II (or consider the Tamron with stabilization to save money for a prime), 70-200 f2.8L IS II and then a fast prime, preferably 35/1.4 or 50/1.4, where Sigma probably are best price/performance wise at the moment (provided it is the newly announced 50/1.4).

But as more than one has advised you already, you need to make up your mind yourself. Rent or borrow, try it out and figure out what suits you. We´re all a bit different from the other nut-cases ;)

I agree with the order of priority with the 24-70 f2.8L II coming first and the 70-200 f2.8L IS II as second as a must in FF. The 24-70 range is a good focal range for arquitecture and the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II is an excellent portrait lens, these are a must have. In addition to the 35/1.4 or 50/1.4 primes, consider one prime in the 85mm range for portraiture and low light (Canon 85/1.8 or Sigma 85/1.4).

FF Body in tight budget there isn't any better than the 6D.
Body: 5DIII. Prime Lenses: 15mm f2.8, 100mm f2.8L IS, 35mm f2 IS, Extender EF 2X III.
Zoom Lenses: 16-35mm f4L IS, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II. Others: Flash 580EX II, 270EX II & MR-14EX II

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Re: Freelance gear suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 11:10:27 PM »