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Author Topic: How do you think we should spend the money?  (Read 5323 times)

Tabor Warren Photography

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How do you think we should spend the money?
« on: February 02, 2012, 12:01:54 AM »
Here's the deal; my wife and I have just begun turning our photography adventures into a business and now it's time to seriously invest, however, we only have the following equipment:

Canon EF 17-40 f/4
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6
Canon T1i
Canon 430EX ii

Our budget is $4,000 and we're willing to sell/swap any of the equipment as necessary. We shoot a lot of portait work such as maternity, babies, family etc. and are just now going into weddings as requested for some of our engagement bookings. That being said, what do you think? Also we plan on purchasing an additional camera here in the next few months and plan on including the cost of the new camera into the $4K. Any thoughts?

-Tabor
Bodies: 5D mk III x2, 5D mk. II, 7D, & 60D
Lenses: 17-40mm f/4L, 24mm f/1.4L, 35mm f/1.4L, 70-200mm f/2.8L ISII, 85 f/1.2L II, & 100mm f/2.8L
Flashes: 600EX-RT & 430 EX II | To see my work head on over to http://photosbytabor.com

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How do you think we should spend the money?
« on: February 02, 2012, 12:01:54 AM »

noodles

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 01:27:58 AM »
For portraits and weddings, the additional camera could be 5D MKII. Since you already have 2 FF lenses (50 and 17-40) I would suggest to get also the 85mm. Could be 85mm f/1.2 if your budget allows otherwise the 85mm f/1.8 is also a very good lens. You also may consider as additional lens the 135 f/2
If you plan to do studiowork, go for umbrella's & additional flash/strobes (with remotetrigger / pocketmax) etc. But, this you can also rent if you do studiowork just now and then.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 01:45:16 AM by noodles »

kev8d

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 01:54:20 AM »
I'm a wedding videographer (shooting with 5Dmkii and 7D), and I've worked with dozens of wedding photographers over the past few years who shoot with Canon.  This is BY FAR the most common set up:

5Dmkii
24-70 f2.8
70-200 f2.8 (often the non-IS model, though I think the IS is well worth saving for - otherwise you may need to bring a monopod!)
Canon 530EXii

Of course this is out of your budget, but at least in western Canada, this set up seems to super popular and quite effective.  Of course everyone quickly expands on this by adding a wider lens and a faster lens (and another flash and a true macro lens...  But 90% of the time this is the primary kit.)

Based on that, I'd recommend looking for a used 5D or 5Dmkii (lots of used mkii's should be available if Canon ever announces the mkiii). Sell the 70-300 and save for a used 70-200 f2.8 mkI (IS).   

IF the rumors are true and a 24-70 mkii is just around the corner, you might be able to get a used mki for a decent price too.

A used 7D would make a good second body.  Maybe pair it with the 17-40 for indoor / closeup stuff, while putting a 24-70 on the full frame camera.

Good luck!  Start off slow, it's a steep learning curve.  Maybe you could assist / shadow a pro?





wickidwombat

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 01:56:20 AM »
Well interesting proposition
can you still get your hands on 5D mk2 bodies for close to 2k?

I think your 3 existing lenses are good enough for a start and give you good platform to build from

I say spend your $4k on 2 5Dmk2 bodies. Then put them to work with the glass you have, sell the T1i and buy another strobe 430 or 580 exii if you can. now you have enough solid kit to support 2 shooters I also suggest grabbing a couple of yongnuo external battery packs for the flashes from ebay (under $40 each).

Once this setup starts bring in some coin maybe the 5D3 will be on the shelves and you can get a couple of those to give each shooter a second body and start adding lenses

a slight variation would be

Seriously consider the sigma 85mm f1.4 on a 5Dmk2 I have found that shooting weddings I love this lens it has taken over most of the duty i used the 70-200 for, at f2 it is significantly sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 is at f2.8
just needs some feet zooming. the other massive benefit is its much lighter than the 70-200 so much less of a drag over the course of a 10 hour wedding shoot. so perhaps consider getting rid of the 70-300 and picking up the sigma 85. I could quite comfortably shoot a full wedding with the 16-35 f2.8 on my 1Dmk3 and the 85 f1.4 on the 5D with the 50 f1.4 that i quite often swap onto the 5D2 at the reception because the 85 is a bit long and the 50 on the 5D2. your 17-40 is close enough to the 16-35 just a stop slower however you will be shooting 2 or more people with this lens more often than not so will be chasing f5.6 or f8 anyway so it will be just fine if the sigma makes it too expensive look at the canon 85f1.8 too as an alternate.

In summary both shooters need a good body (5D2 each) and a good piece of glass each plus a capable flash each look at selling the zoom and the T1i pick up a couple of bargain 5Dmk2's (price might drop more once the 5D3 is actually announced, its a bit of a gamble though and if they can start earning you money right now it outweighs any minor saving on the gear cost) then get a sigma 85 f1.4 and another flash, then you are set with one shooter in close and wide with the 17-40  and possibly changing to the 50 f1.4 as needed with the other shooting longer over the top with the 85. then at reception you have two 1.4 lenses for low light duty (you will still need flash here but the fast glass and high iso lets you expose for the background and fill flash or bounce flash even in a dim lit reception getting nice vibrant shots and often good bokeh

down the track once money isnt such an issue you can pick up a 70-200 if you think you need more reach and look at some more glass as well as the extra bodies

oh i forgot to add if you havent already get yourselves a rapid strap each it will save your necks and backs
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 01:59:48 AM by wickidwombat »
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Tabor Warren Photography

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 02:58:03 AM »
Wow thank you all for your comments!

It looks as though I should open my wallet and at minimum purchase a new/used 5d II as a second body, knocking off ~$2K after that I'm considering selling my 70-300 and buying either a 70-200 f/2.8 or an 85mm Sigma or Canon. Thank you all again so much for your insight and feedback, this has helped me greatly!

-Tabor
Bodies: 5D mk III x2, 5D mk. II, 7D, & 60D
Lenses: 17-40mm f/4L, 24mm f/1.4L, 35mm f/1.4L, 70-200mm f/2.8L ISII, 85 f/1.2L II, & 100mm f/2.8L
Flashes: 600EX-RT & 430 EX II | To see my work head on over to http://photosbytabor.com

briansquibb

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 03:28:18 AM »
When I started doing weddings and chrstenings, I had a 5Dc, 24-105, 50 f/1.8 and 2 580EX on stands plus a 40D for backup.  Amazing what you can do on a small budget.

If I was starting now I would go for 2 x 5DII, with just 4 lens:

16-35
24-105
70-200 II
85 f/1.8

The 2 flash on stands is a great way to get extra pop in the pictures and ensure you dont go above iso200

The difficulty in a wedding is having to change lens, so primes are not such a good thing. By dividing the wedding into phases you can always have the right 2 lens mounted on the 2 bodies.


bycostello

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 04:11:46 AM »
my biggest spend each year is on training rather than kit...  depending on what jobs u take on though a back up camera is probably essential.

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 04:11:46 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 04:29:18 AM »
Just checked through ebay

you could possibly get $400 for the 70-300
and maybe $400 for the T1i

so you have $4800 budget

and still have the
17-40
50mm f1.4
430ex

firstly i assume you will both be shooting so you NEED 2 good bodies
I would say with that $4800 you might be able to swing an extra deal from b&h if you ring them up and see what they can do
see if you can get 2 x 5D2 bodies a canon 85mm f1.8 and another 430ex flash

I think its doeable on that budget

you need both you and your wife to be able to shoot comfortably without feeling they are using the crap camera so avoid problems get 2 the same then just change lens duties have a look on this sit in the lens section at samples of shot people have taken with the 85 f1.8 its a stellar lens for cheap half the price of the sigma

you both NEED flash the long end you need zoom less than the wide end IMO as you are shooting portrait tighter head shots I find the 85 perfect and the wide end zoom gives you some flexability

the other side effect of shooting primes is because you are naturally moving around more you discover different angles that you might miss when depending on zoom

since you are getting into weddings here are a couple of links to start you out with a laugh :)

Judge Joe Brown - Cheap wedding photographer Small | Large

Wedding Photography Small | Large




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Mikedurg

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 05:36:08 AM »
@ wickidwombat thank you for posting the links for those extremely entertaining videos!!


aaronh

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 08:18:27 AM »
When I started doing weddings and chrstenings, I had a 5Dc, 24-105, 50 f/1.8 and 2 580EX on stands plus a 40D for backup.  Amazing what you can do on a small budget.

If I was starting now I would go for 2 x 5DII, with just 4 lens:

16-35
24-105
70-200 II
85 f/1.8

The 2 flash on stands is a great way to get extra pop in the pictures and ensure you dont go above iso200

The difficulty in a wedding is having to change lens, so primes are not such a good thing. By dividing the wedding into phases you can always have the right 2 lens mounted on the 2 bodies.

Hi, I'm just jumping into this conversation now because I'm getting into wedding photography myself...

I'm picking up a 5d mark II pretty soon and I'm debating between the 24-105 and the 24-70. I know many people say the 24-70 is better because of the extra stop; however I'd rather get the 24-105 because I think i'd use it more for other photography work (travel, etc.). I'm just wondering, since you used the 24-105, is the f/4 really that much of a hindrance. If you could only have one of the two, you think the 24-105 does the job?

Thanks

wickidwombat

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 08:33:08 AM »
i use the 24-105 at weddings its a great lens
firstly keep a flash attached, you wont always need it but its there to fill or bounce if needed
secondly when shooting wider ie 24 mm its usually groups and 2.8 is too narrow anyway you want to be in the f5.6 to f8 or f11 range depending on size of group background etc. even couple shots at f4 are pretty safe ie not getting one person oof.
Great value for money lens, great in the studio too, for just starting out when budget is key
a 5D2 the 24-105 a 50mm f1.4 prime and a 580exii and a rapid strapwill have you covered. Ideally having a backup body would be good so on the actual shoot maybe borrowing a friends body would be good and the 50 on a crop is more like 85 on FF which is dynamite for portraits at f2 or even 1.4 if the narrow Dof can work.

Starting out focus on getting all your safe shots first then get creative if you have time.

my 24-105 is an absolute trooper with the stuff its been through and still going strong. tough reliable relatively light good IQ. its a quality package at a respectable price.
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aaronh

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 09:19:06 AM »
i use the 24-105 at weddings its a great lens
firstly keep a flash attached, you wont always need it but its there to fill or bounce if needed
secondly when shooting wider ie 24 mm its usually groups and 2.8 is too narrow anyway you want to be in the f5.6 to f8 or f11 range depending on size of group background etc. even couple shots at f4 are pretty safe ie not getting one person oof.
Great value for money lens, great in the studio too, for just starting out when budget is key
a 5D2 the 24-105 a 50mm f1.4 prime and a 580exii and a rapid strapwill have you covered. Ideally having a backup body would be good so on the actual shoot maybe borrowing a friends body would be good and the 50 on a crop is more like 85 on FF which is dynamite for portraits at f2 or even 1.4 if the narrow Dof can work.

Starting out focus on getting all your safe shots first then get creative if you have time.

my 24-105 is an absolute trooper with the stuff its been through and still going strong. tough reliable relatively light good IQ. its a quality package at a respectable price.

Thanks a lot for your advice!

I currently have a 60D body and a 35mm 1.4, which is great for lowlight if needed. I also have the 70-200 2.8 IS II. When I get the 5d2 I'll have two bodies and between the tele zoom, the 35 and a 24-105 i figured i'd be covered....

Thanks!

wickidwombat

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 09:29:28 AM »
i use the 24-105 at weddings its a great lens
firstly keep a flash attached, you wont always need it but its there to fill or bounce if needed
secondly when shooting wider ie 24 mm its usually groups and 2.8 is too narrow anyway you want to be in the f5.6 to f8 or f11 range depending on size of group background etc. even couple shots at f4 are pretty safe ie not getting one person oof.
Great value for money lens, great in the studio too, for just starting out when budget is key
a 5D2 the 24-105 a 50mm f1.4 prime and a 580exii and a rapid strapwill have you covered. Ideally having a backup body would be good so on the actual shoot maybe borrowing a friends body would be good and the 50 on a crop is more like 85 on FF which is dynamite for portraits at f2 or even 1.4 if the narrow Dof can work.

Starting out focus on getting all your safe shots first then get creative if you have time.

my 24-105 is an absolute trooper with the stuff its been through and still going strong. tough reliable relatively light good IQ. its a quality package at a respectable price.

Thanks a lot for your advice!

I currently have a 60D body and a 35mm 1.4, which is great for lowlight if needed. I also have the 70-200 2.8 IS II. When I get the 5d2 I'll have two bodies and between the tele zoom, the 35 and a 24-105 i figured i'd be covered....

Thanks!
cool well that is some quality glass so half the battle is already won, only thing you will run into is sometimes 24mm on FF is not quite wide enough for some creative shots so you will find yourself looking for a wider option
another option you could consider is get a 17-55 f2.8IS for the 60D and use the 70-200 on the 5D then you have 2 bodies have everything covered at f2.8 and have IS the 17-55 is about the same price as the 24-105 just not weather sealed I Really enjoy the 5D2 and 70-200 together
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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 09:29:28 AM »

Caps18

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2012, 12:52:24 PM »
The 17mm on the 60D is equal to a 27mm on the FF 5Dm2.   The 17-40 could go on the 5Dm2 and get some interesting ultra wide angle shots.

If I were you, I would sell the T1i, get 1 5Dm2 and 1 7D (two 5Dm2's is not bad, but the AF and variety will be better with a 7D).  Buy the set for it's capabilities, not the price.  And don't be afraid to switch cameras between the two of you.

I would also get the 85mm f/1.8.  I have it and it is great.  If I were doing weddings professionally, the 85mm f/1.2 would have to be on the table as a choice.  If the 5D2 was using the primes and the 7D was using the zooms, you might be able to bump up the ISO enough to not need a flash on the 5D while having a quick enough shutter speed.  Although, you don't want to be in the position where 50% of the pictures didn't come out because you tried to use f/1.8 and a 1/30 shutter speed.

Get some type of backpack or pelican case to carry this gear in.  Get compact flash cards and come up with a system to not lose pictures.  Batteries, tripods (I recommend this accessory http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/52783-REG/Stroboframe_300_115_Vertaflip_PHD_On_Tripod_Camera.html ), flash umbreallas,...)  Figure out the post processing to get photos processed quickly.  And have a list of pictures that you will try and get to tell the story.

Once you have this gear, it is important that you know how to use it and find great photos regardless of the conditions.  Be in the right places, use the right settings, and try not to be a distraction.  :)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 12:57:05 PM by Caps18 »
5D mark 2, 16-35mm f/2.8, 17mm TS-E f/4, 85mm f/1.8, 300mm f/4 + 1.4x, 580 EX Flash

Tabor Warren Photography

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 11:59:24 PM »
Wow, thank you everyone for your advice, it has helped me tremendously!

briansquibb,

     I really like the versitility suggested by your set up. Also, its quite encouraging to see that I am not the only one starting ona buit of a budget and looking at your set up it looks like I'll get there one day if I work at it hard/long enough.

bycostella,

     I would like to have a backup, maybe even hold on to the T1i as a back up to the back up. lol

wickidwombat,

     Thank you for checking ebay, that was very kind. Also, you mentioned keeping exactly what I liked about our setup, selling what I could live without, and suggested additional/replacement units for what we already have all while keeping our budget in mind. It would feel awesome to swing a deal with B&H. Lastly, thank you for the videos, those were great!!!

Caps18

     Out of everything you mentioned the 5DII and 7D combo intrigued me the most. I like the idea of the 85 f/1.8 on either (depending on the situation of course). Also, I've taken to heart the advise of listing the pictures that will "tell the story" it's great advice and I just started my list ~30 minutes ago because of it.

Thank you all again!!!

-Tabor
Bodies: 5D mk III x2, 5D mk. II, 7D, & 60D
Lenses: 17-40mm f/4L, 24mm f/1.4L, 35mm f/1.4L, 70-200mm f/2.8L ISII, 85 f/1.2L II, & 100mm f/2.8L
Flashes: 600EX-RT & 430 EX II | To see my work head on over to http://photosbytabor.com

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Re: How do you think we should spend the money?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 11:59:24 PM »