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Author Topic: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated  (Read 3877 times)

kennez

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Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« on: April 19, 2012, 05:26:46 AM »
Hi there,

I'm a first time poster, although I've been looking at these forums for a while now, trying to get a feel for Canon gear.

Currently, I shoot using an Olympus E-410, but I want to move up to something a little bit more...interesting (and bigger). My interest is mainly portrait photography, although I live in a beautiful part of the world (Guangdong, China), so there is a lot of decent landscapes around.

I have been doing a lot of research, and have come to a decision of the gear I want to buy. I would like to run it past you guys for advice, to see if you can suggest anything better.

I've been looking at the 7D (or it's replacement if it comes out before I buy - round about September/October time). I was seriously considering getting just the body, then buying a couple of lenses
- 70-200mm f/4L
- 50mm f/1.4

Would this be a good combination for what I need? I would class myself as an advanced hobbyist, although I have made a little money from doing this.

Thanks,
Malcolm

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Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« on: April 19, 2012, 05:26:46 AM »

swrightgfx

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 05:40:39 AM »
I've been looking at the 7D (or it's replacement if it comes out before I buy - round about September/October time). I was seriously considering getting just the body, then buying a couple of lenses
- 70-200mm f/4L
- 50mm f/1.4
Do it. This is a great combo and will serve you well.

ronderick

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 05:51:48 AM »
If you're interested in landscape, you'll probably need a wider lens than the 50mm. I would probably suggest something like the 10-22mm to handle landscape shots (and there are many places in China with breathtaking scenes).

Hope this helps.
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boateggs

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 06:21:31 AM »
skip the 50mm f/1.4 and get a 35mm f/2 or a sigma 30mm f/1.4 (I have this one and it is a lot of fun)
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swrightgfx

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 06:27:47 AM »
skip the 50mm f/1.4 and get a 35mm f/2 or a sigma 30mm f/1.4 (I have this one and it is a lot of fun)
Why not 35 1.4L? That thing is tasty and in my opinion, much tastier than the Sigma. (Granted, the Sigma is a third of the price, but it is a DC lens so will not prove useful should he wish to upgrade to full-frame in the future and not continue to shoot all that much with the 7D.)

Old Shooter

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 07:29:07 AM »
If you're going with a crop sensor; consider the 17-55 f/2.8 EF-S lens.  People that own them swear they are near "L" quality.  It would give you a 27mm-88mm range of coverage.  Wide enough for some landscapes but long enough for some nice portraiture...
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recon photography

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 08:18:41 AM »
i would skip the 50mm f1.4, i and get the 50mm f1.8 or maybe the 50mm f1.2. the 50mm f1.8 is the nearly as good as the 1.4 apart from build which is terrible. However both are not very good at their largest apertures. The f1.2 on the other hand is very good at f1.2 etc. The 70-200 is also another lens i would not pick as is isn't good for any low light because it has not is or f2.8 i would see if you could get your hands on the sigma 70-200 f2.8 non os which is non longer made as of last year or the canon 55-250 efs lens i do not have, or have ever used this lens out of the store but it seems to produce nice images. i would probably also consider replacing the kit lens with say a sigma 17-50 f2.8 os, that is if your getting the kit :O in my eyes it crazy to a 50mm as your widest lens but some people do...     

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 08:18:41 AM »

kennez

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 01:31:14 AM »
Thanks for the advice!

When I say landscapes, I only mean that if I see something nice, I will take some photos of it. I don't really have a lot of interest in landscapes to be perfectly honest - I just like looking at the scenery.

I will take a look at the Canon 17-55 f/2.8, but I think I'm probably going to avoid non-Canon glass. The main reason being that there is nowhere even vaguely local where I can get them. I have a bit of an issue with ordering things over the internet in China, the the shipping isn't exactly first class either. I can get official Canon stuff quite easily at my local retailers though. As for the 50mm f/1.2, that is WAY over my budget!

Cheers,
Malcolm

swrightgfx

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 03:47:00 AM »
Thanks for the advice!

When I say landscapes, I only mean that if I see something nice, I will take some photos of it. I don't really have a lot of interest in landscapes to be perfectly honest - I just like looking at the scenery.

I will take a look at the Canon 17-55 f/2.8, but I think I'm probably going to avoid non-Canon glass. The main reason being that there is nowhere even vaguely local where I can get them. I have a bit of an issue with ordering things over the internet in China, the the shipping isn't exactly first class either. I can get official Canon stuff quite easily at my local retailers though. As for the 50mm f/1.2, that is WAY over my budget!

Cheers,
Malcolm
See if they'll let you try a couple out in-store. You will know by how it feels and looks like through the finder if it is right for you.

D.Sim

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 05:51:03 AM »
If you're REALLY REALLY into Portraits, I'd say consider the 35 f/2, 50 1.8 and 85 f/1.8.

If you want a 50 1.4, I'd go with the Sigma over the Canon one - despite my personal like for Canon glass over 3rd party. You could always consider the Sigma 85 1.4 as well.

While my personal preference is for zooms as general purpose lenses for daily use, if you're using it mostly for portraits, you wouldn't need quite that versatility that wedding/event photographers need.

If you've got the cash, the L lenses at those focal lengths are extremely tempting. Don't try unless you intend to buy, you'll find yourself wishing you had it.

the 70-200 f/4 L is a nice addition though. But if you don't shoot at long focal lengths a lot, and shoot mostly outdoors in good light, might I suggest the 55-250 EF-s? Cheap as chips, and good value for the money. Nowhere near the L's in IQ, unfortunately, but for the price you pay...

The 17-55 EF-s is really really nice, but if you were to shoot mainly portraits, you might just find it a touch lacking - still a good choice as a general lens though

adebrophy

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 06:49:07 AM »
On the 70-200 f4: I'm assuming you mean the non IS version?

If so, I have that lens and its a real bargain, particularly if you can get a good used copy. It's very sharp (although the f2.8s and the f4 IS are meant to be better) and very very light indeed. You can go trekking all day with this in a loaded camera bag and its comfortable. I'd love to have a f2.8 for the low light capability but at the same time the cost and weight issues aren't inconsiderable so I'd only go there once my lowlight needs (I do occasional paid work) suggest this investment would make sense. Having said that, I recently took some shots for at a conference in a dark auditorium at 200mm f4 and got good results with a bit of patience and careful handholding (made much easier by the light weight of the lens) so don't write this off entirely for low light. Took a nifty 50 f1.8 to the same event - photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adebrophy/sets/72157629348974929/
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elflord

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 07:03:04 AM »
Hi there,

I'm a first time poster, although I've been looking at these forums for a while now, trying to get a feel for Canon gear.

Currently, I shoot using an Olympus E-410, but I want to move up to something a little bit more...interesting (and bigger). My interest is mainly portrait photography, although I live in a beautiful part of the world (Guangdong, China), so there is a lot of decent landscapes around.

I have been doing a lot of research, and have come to a decision of the gear I want to buy. I would like to run it past you guys for advice, to see if you can suggest anything better.

I've been looking at the 7D (or it's replacement if it comes out before I buy - round about September/October time). I was seriously considering getting just the body, then buying a couple of lenses
- 70-200mm f/4L
- 50mm f/1.4

Would this be a good combination for what I need? I would class myself as an advanced hobbyist, although I have made a little money from doing this.

Thanks,
Malcolm

The 50mm f/1.4 is a great choice for portraits. Re the comments that the 50mm f/1.2 is better wide open than the f/1.4, that's not what I've read elsewhere -- take a look at the reviews on photozone.de.

85mm is also nice for portraits but tends to work best when you want very tight framing and/or have a reasonable amount of working distance.

If you're shooting landscapes at all, you'll want something wider as well,  the 17-55mm f/2.8 would be a good choice as would the 15-85mm. If you're using the zoom mostly for outdoor/landscape shots, I'd go with the 15-85, but if you're shooting people/indoors, the 17-55.

I would skip the 70-200mm f/4, it's a fine lens but not that well suited to what you've decribed.

Would also recommend getting a flash for portrait photography.


RC

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 08:36:12 AM »
... I've been looking at the 7D (or it's replacement if it comes out before I buy - round about September/October time). I was seriously considering getting just the body, then buying a couple of lenses
- 70-200mm f/4L
- 50mm f/1.4

Would this be a good combination for what I need? I would class myself as an advanced hobbyist, although I have made a little money from doing this....

7D - yes, excellent choice--a lot to expand into.   Many will say get a rebel (xxxD I guess in your case) or the 60D.  The AFMA, AF system, and ergonomics are worth the additional cost IMO.  I love my 7D.

70-200 f/4 - A fabulous lens.   Get the IS version if funds allow.   I have this lens and love its small size.  IQ is amazing.

50 f/1.4 - I would drag my feet on this one for a little while.  Just maybe this is the year Canon announced upgrades for their 50s.  If funds allow buy one of the following first:

17-55 or 15-85 - this will accommodate your landscapes and portraits.  I use to have the 15-85 but if I were to do it again I'd go with the 17-55 for its IQ and constant 2.8. 

I think 50mm is an excellent focal length for portraits on a crop and a great choice.  I would add this one later, I think you get more out of the zooms for starters. The 35 is also nice for portraits on a crop. 

Once you settle into these, you might add the 10-22 for landscapes. 

Good luck and let us know what you go with. 


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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 08:36:12 AM »

stilscream

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 08:46:55 AM »
A 7d is awesome if you need the speed, but you can use a t2i (if you're not needing the ruggedness either). This would give you more room in your budget for better glass. Better glass is the best investment seeing how you can use them on newer camera bodies in the future if you decide to go FF one day. EF 35L 1.4 is awesome on a crop body and is similar to 50mm on FF. Then start with 55-250 for general walk around use.
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LIsnap

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 09:23:36 AM »

I've been looking at the 7D (or it's replacement if it comes out before I buy - round about September/October time). I was seriously considering getting just the body, then buying a couple of lenses
- 70-200mm f/4L
- 50mm f/1.4

These are excellent lens values.  Lots of bang for the buck with the 70-200mm f/4L.  It's great outdoors.  To use it indoors you will want a flash and/or tripod.  You might consider if you need all of the features of the 7D and maybe consider the 70D if it is out by September/October.  It will have newer technology so should have better IQ (but fewer features).  This would also give you room in your budget for a canon flash and potentially some good lens filters.  I use B&W MRC UV filters and they are excellent.   

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Re: Gear Choice - suggestions appreciated
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 09:23:36 AM »