An introduction and a dilemma

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,314
0
Berlin
der-tierfotograf.de
seqiro said:
Lots of great stuff here. I do think full frame is something that I really want to go for and selling the 7D & 10-22mm might just be the way to go.

+1 for that, though you won't get that much now that the 7d2 is announced. On the other hand, you can now grab a cheap 17-40L since the successor 16-35L/4 is out.

In general, after reading your op, I'd advise you to get a 6d. Yes, the af system is a pita, but I find spending $2500+ on a 5d3 with no fresh money coming in questionable... and struggling with the af results in a lot of learning as I can tell :). Better get other stuff with the money left like flashes, lighting gear (diffusers, reflectors, flash bracket), filters - that will give you much more to do than just owning the latest and greatest camera body.
 

surapon

80% BY HEART, 15% BY LENSES AND ONLY 5% BY CAMERA
Aug 2, 2013
2,957
2
71
APEX, NORTH CAROLINA, USA.
seqiro said:
Hello!

I'm new here and thought I'd introduce myself a bit before getting to my question.

TL;DR - I have $2800 to spend on equipment and need ideas.

I'm an almost 40 former IT engineer who has enjoyed photography since I was kid a with a Kodak 110 film camera. I got my first SLR in the 90s and my first DSLR was a Canon 10D.

I'm currently unemployed having gotten fed up with my former career and I also suffer from bipolar II disorder and chronic insomnia. Through the ups and downs, the one thing I still really enjoy photography. I like wildlife photography, although I'm limited by my equipment and I can't really afford to travel. I also enjoy taking candids of people at parties and such, though I don't think the life of a wedding or event photographer would be compatible with my struggles with anxiety and depression. I also enjoy taking pictures at local clubs where no flash photography is allowed, but my current equipment struggles in low light. My apartment has no windows exposed to light so it's hard to do much indoors. I'm not particularly skilled at landscape photography.

Lately I've felt like I'm in a creative slump. What I don't want to happen is to lose interest. I want to light the spark back up.

My current equipment (from when I had money to buy it):

EOS 7D
EF 100-400L
EF 24-105L
EF-S 10-22mm
EF 85mm f/1.8
430EX II

I recently went on an eBay spree and earned about $2800. I want to spend all of this on photography equipment. I don't have a lot of money, but one thing I do have is a lot of time. I could learn new things.

My biggest dissatisfaction with my current gear is the noise of the 7D. Whether I'm trying to take a picture of a blue heron, a indie musician, or a baseball player at a night game I'm always pumping up the ISO with the equipment I have and the noise and shadow banding is driving me nuts.

Do I keep the 7D and add a 6D? I think the inferior autofocus system would annoy me because I'm used to the advanced 7D.

Do I ditch the 7D and go 7D II? It's tough to say until people have it in their hands for reviews, but what I've seen so far seems better.

Do I go 5DIII? I admit this is a dream body for me. And I could do it with the current rebates, but that would be ALL I could do. But maybe that would be ok.

I also have no macro equipment. I admit the MP-E 65mm intrigues me, but I see so many horror stories about how hard it is to use (and I've done my research and understand the limitations of that particular lens). If I go with a standard macro, there's choices with the 100L, the 180L, and the Sigma. Then I get stuck trying to decide between the ring flash or the twin flash. Focus stacking seems like something I'd be interested in but again I worry that it's beyond me.

Astral photography would be interesting but it's tough to get away from light pollution here in Massachusetts.

A tilt-S___ lens could be fun to learn to use, but since I have a crop sensor body I don't know if that's a wise choice. I wouldn't be able to get much else with the price of those.


So, if you were me what would you do if $2800 (and possibly a little more, as I have more things to sell and birthday coming up) fell into your lap?

And yes, I know that only I can really know what I need, but since I'm feeling so stuck right now I'm looking for ideas to push me in the right direction.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

Paul


Dear Friend Paul.
Well " I'm currently unemployed having gotten fed up with my former career and I also suffer from bipolar II disorder and chronic insomnia. "---Yes With 3 Problems that you have, No Job-Yet, And Chronic Insomnia ( after 2 days with out sleep), that the worst part, to make your BipolarII come back at the peak most of the time---Yes, I know, Because of my son ( 33 years Old) have the same 3 problems as you have---Yes, He have the job that I offer him 1,000 times to work for me ( Yes, He is a great Musician, and Good Photographer And Professional Graphic Designer with Master degree, Who has a better artistic ability better than me), But he do not want to work for me as the AUTOCADD Operator and I already pay him $ 46,000 per year---Yes, He want Money, But hate to work, and do not work, or looking for the job past 12 months----Ha, Ha, Ha.---Yes, The Complete Music Studio with All most Musical equipments in my Spare room 14 X 24 Feet is lock for 12 months, And All Camera Equipment that I let him use never touch with in 6 months---He just stay with me in is part of my home ( Bed room + Bath Room + The Small Den), Eat, Sleep, Play the Video Games, Watch TV, and go to see the Doctors in every 2-3 weeks. Yes, I and my wife/ His Mommy must pay every thing for his needs and his requirement too.

Sorry, To tell my sad story of my son--------
NO, Dear friend, ---You already have a good set of Photographic equipment that can produce the best photos, as your love hobby--Forget about the noise---No one care about the noise, if your great photos are in good composition, Unique point of views and great story teller.= Will creat the best of your ability-----Well , Be careful Your Sickness Bipolar will force you to buy the equipment that you do not need---Please Use your equipment up to 120% of their ability first, And Keep the money that you have for the rainy day, most important in your life, when you need them.

Just my Idea that involve with my dear son similar to your position.
Good luck.
Surapon
 

Hjalmarg1

Photo Hobbyist
Oct 8, 2013
775
4
50
Doha, Qatar
seqiro said:
mkabi said:
All the lenses you own are perfect for Full Frame, not crop.
My suggestion, sell the 7D and get yourself the grey market 5DIII (should cost you about $2600; watch for deals on Canon Rumors).

You could also buy a Sony A7s with Canon lens adapter.

Well one of the lenses won't work at all on full frame. So that would have to go too. At that point, my widest lens would be the 24-105L. A comparable EF lens would be fairly pricey and while I'm by no means great with that 10-22mm lens, I've taken a few pictures I couldn't have taken without it.

I do think full frame is the way to go for 90% of what I want to do, though.

5D3 will fit your needs, specially working in low light. Sell the 7D (I did and no regret at all) and the 10-22mm lens. 24 mm in FF is wide enough for most of your needs.
 
Nov 17, 2013
41
0
www.flickr.com
Just wanted to follow-up on this thread.

I agree with the travel sentiment. Most of my fondest memories revolve around having a new experience usually in a different place a bit outside of my comfort zone. Even if it is just a day trip maybe a change of scenery would help. I had the great fortune to take a trip to Hawaii with my wife for a conference. We haven't traveled that much and Hawaii was not anything on our radar, but since I was there I went kayaking, stand up paddling, snorkeling, and windsurfing on the ocean, went on a hike to a waterfall - all sorts of stuff I don't normally do. Even though we were only out there for maybe 10 days I think of it often and have a lot of my mental real estate devoted to those memories.

On the other hand, your frame of mind does affect so many things and helps you see things differently. Sometimes a good/fun exercise is to give yourself a challenge like try to only use your 24-105 at 24. You can go to the same places you've been and just see things differently based on your mindset.
(I really like this amusing talk about happiness:
http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work?language=en)

On the looking at pictures sentiment, before we traveled to Utah (on our "last hurrah" splurge before our daughter was born) to go on a photography trip I spent a lot of time on flickr just looking at the pictures people took of the area so I could get an idea of what things looked like, what pictures struck me, and how those pictures were taken (at least from an EXIF perspective).

@Surapon - so sorry to hear about your son. To a much lesser extent my brother was in a similar situation - living at home with no job and not really doing anything in particular. It's so hard to relate and figure out if there is anything you can actually do to help. I imagine that I'm like a lot of people here were your reaction is to evaluate, problem solve, and come up with a solution, but it doesn't really help if you can't convince the person to take any actions!

Anyway, best of luck with everything. Please let us know how you make out!
 
Oct 3, 2014
6
0
Many great things here and a lot to ponder.

(You can skip the next few paragraphs to the dashed lines if you just want my thoughts on photography equipment, but I wanted to address some of the really kind thoughts about my wellbeing too!)

To answer a couple of things, I do currently subscribe to the photographer's bundle of Creative Cloud, so I have the latest Lightroom and Photoshop. I also have the (now Google) Nik suite. I shoot primarily RAW. I have a flash, a flash bracket, a diffuser, and a semi-decent ball head (Induro BHD2), though my tripod could probably stand to be replaced soon (Manfrotto 055MF3 that has possibly seen too many trips to beaches and hiking).

I also want to emphasize that buying this camera equipment is not taking the the place of, say, food or electricity. Bankruptcy and foreclosure is behind us, we don't keep high balances on our one credit card, and neither of us has a car payment. My wife's job is a private practice with her parents doing something she absolutely loves. We aren't struggling, we just aren't living the lifestyle we were. I took the initiative to find things that we had in storage or in my parents' basement that were valuable and took the time to list them all on eBay and was successful, so this is kind of my reward and honestly it's the best I've felt in a long time. It was something productive I could do on my own schedule and not have to worry if I had an off day.

The apartment situation is a bit of a bummer on a lot of levels, mostly because in this area it's tough to find a place that will let you have a dog and two cats and I'd sooner give up all of my camera equipment than my pets, who are our family. So we took what we could get. It's a great location in a small town I like, it's just a crummy building. I am very aware of S.A.D. and am quite affected by it, but I plan to get a light therapy box which I think will help.

Surapon I obviously don't know your son's situation and I can understand how tough it is on you, but I will say from my own experiences at least it's not about not wanting to work (though I NEVER want to work at my previous occupation again, which is less about the work and more about the people you have to work for and being verbally abused every single day) but there are days where I either cannot sleep for 48 hours or cannot get out of bed for 48 hours. It's hard to keep any kind of job when your life is like that. My family has been very supportive of me and I've been trying to find ways to overcome it, but it's been really tough. My therapist is actually actively trying to push me to do more with photography and I think she's on to something, which is part of what led me here.

As for classes, I actually wouldn't mind taking some. I've always been skeptical of the online classes and never really sure what they would be like. I'm obviously an amateur, but I know all the basics and have been shooting for years. One thing I don't know a lot about is studio lighting because I've never really had the opportunity. If I had the space, I think that's the type of thing I would be looking into. I don't know much about reflectors either. Again, just not the type of thing I ever had the opportunity to experiment with. I did look to see if there were any classes around here at the community colleges, but they looked terrible. If I lived nearer to my wife's uncle he'd be willing to train me as he actually is a graphic arts/photography professor.

---------

I think the most repeated sentiment that I should be using some sort of full frame body. I can't say that I disagree with this.

The only thing I can say for certain is that a 6D would have to be supplemental to my existing 7D because when I'm shooting birds at the wildlife sanctuary on the shore, the 6D autofocus would just not suffice. From a value perspective, I definitely see its benefits. Significantly cheaper, good IQ, built in wifi & GPS (things I would actually like), great in low light.

The things that have always had me on the fence with the 6D are the autofocus system (which if I'm keeping the 7D, perhaps not a big deal), the different layout (I'm VERY used to and comfortable with the 7D buttons and joystick and the 5D III is very similar), the plastic shell (my camera goes hiking with me when I'm up for it and spends time at the beach), and strangely enough the 97% viewfinder. When I went from the 20D to the 7D, the viewfinder just seemed to make a big difference. Granted that was 95% to 100%. Maybe it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

What I really need to do is try one, but I'm not sure where around here to do that. There's one possible camera store nearby, but they never seem very friendly when I go in there and i would almost certainly not be buying anything from them.

So there's 6D as a supplemental body and maybe some updated equipment and a new piece of glass. There's the 5D III, sell the 7D & 10-22mm and maybe get a 1.4x III. Or there's sticking with the 7D line and getting some new glass with wider apertures such as the Sigma 18-35 1.8 which seems to never be in stock but I've liked what I've seen.

To those who have said that I already have everything I need, I really feel like I don't. For those music club shots where photography is permitted but flash is prohibited, the light is so poor and even with my 85 1.8 I have to crank the ISO so high to prevent motion blur that the amount of detail I lose to noise just makes for an unattractive photo. I have the same issue at night sporting events.

And then the other idea is to go in a new direction, maybe re-enter the world of macro (I once had a Sigma 150 which was fantastic, but it met an unfortunate death years ago) and then I don't have to worry about travel (don't get me wrong, I love travel, it's just tough to do alone right now), I don't need a lot of space, and probably I can get by with what I have and just get a lens and a flash.

A lot to think about and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to give me some input and for all the kind sentiments regarding my health.
 

tayassu

EOS RP
Jun 17, 2014
361
0
500px.com
Hey seqiro!

First of all, my best wishes to you, I hope photography and your kind wife can give you enough joy (please don't see that ambiguous) to lead a happy life despite the lot of challenges!

Second, if you are shooting birds, I think 5DIII +100-400+1.4x is a worse solution than 7D + bare 100-400, because you have more AF points with the 7D, the 5DIII has a lot less with f/8 lenses. I understand your worries about noise, but I looked at the 7DII samples yesterday and they are absolutely amazing, it looks like you could use it thoughtless up to ISO3200 detail-wise, just look at the squirrel shot! :)
I vote for 7DII, sell the 7D and with the rest 1000$ + the money you make from the 7D I'd get a Sigma 35/1.4 for wider low-light shots and a Tamron 2.8/90 VC Macro for macro (best bang for the buck today), a really great lens. The rest I would save or buy small stuff like memory cards etc. with it.

I hope you can make the right decision for you!
 

Rob-downunder

EOS M50
Aug 16, 2014
26
1
Hi

For what it's worth here are my thoughts.

Your main problem is image quality and importantly noise at high ISOs.

Your needs are wildlife, people, clubs, indoors and maybe improving landscapes.

A 7D will not suffice for low light. A 6D will not suffice for wildlife. A 5D MIII will cover all your needs.

The further complication is you go hiking and need to carry your gear with you and extra weight will be a burden.

If the 7D will cover all your needs when hiking (I expect you are out shooting wildlife) and the IQ is OK then keep the 7D, add a 6D for the low light stuff and landscapes, sell the 10-22 (don't shoot landscape and UW with the 7D) and then buy the 16/35 F4 IS which will also improve your IQ as it is sharper than the 10-22. Shoot wildlife with the 7D and telephoto and everything else with the 6D.

If however you shoot landscape, low light or UW when out hiking then sell the 7D, 10-22 and buy the 5D MIII and the 16/35.

If funds allow you can add either a 35 F2 or 50 1.4 from eBay second hand for a few hundred with will give you 2-3 stops over the zooms in low light.

I have recently upgraded from a crop sensor 550D with EFS including the 10-22 to 6D with 16/35, 24/105 and 70/300L and the IQ jump is really significant. I have got the double whammy of body and L series lens upgrades, where some of your glass is already L series so you will only get the sensor upgrade. But 6400 ISO cleans up perfectly in LR with pretty minor settings.

Good luck and best wishes from OZ.
 
Oct 3, 2014
6
0
Rob-downunder said:
Hi

For what it's worth here are my thoughts.

Your main problem is image quality and importantly noise at high ISOs.

Your needs are wildlife, people, clubs, indoors and maybe improving landscapes.

A 7D will not suffice for low light. A 6D will not suffice for wildlife. A 5D MIII will cover all your needs.

The further complication is you go hiking and need to carry your gear with you and extra weight will be a burden.

If the 7D will cover all your needs when hiking (I expect you are out shooting wildlife) and the IQ is OK then keep the 7D, add a 6D for the low light stuff and landscapes, sell the 10-22 (don't shoot landscape and UW with the 7D) and then buy the 16/35 F4 IS which will also improve your IQ as it is sharper than the 10-22. Shoot wildlife with the 7D and telephoto and everything else with the 6D.

If however you shoot landscape, low light or UW when out hiking then sell the 7D, 10-22 and buy the 5D MIII and the 16/35.

If funds allow you can add either a 35 F2 or 50 1.4 from eBay second hand for a few hundred with will give you 2-3 stops over the zooms in low light.

I have recently upgraded from a crop sensor 550D with EFS including the 10-22 to 6D with 16/35, 24/105 and 70/300L and the IQ jump is really significant. I have got the double whammy of body and L series lens upgrades, where some of your glass is already L series so you will only get the sensor upgrade. But 6400 ISO cleans up perfectly in LR with pretty minor settings.

Good luck and best wishes from OZ.

This is a combination I have definitely considered. It would probably be a stretch to get the 16-35 AND the 5DIII unless the rest of my eBay selling goes very well, but not impossible.

Thanks for the insights as you really did manage to sum up all my ramblings rather nicely. :)
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,550
439
54
Isle of Wight
Hi Paul.
One thing I would recommend to help with the creative slump is to find a photography friend! I started walking from home to a local town about 3 miles along the river with my camera, I would meet the other half after her Zumba class and she would drive us home. After a few times of doing this it lost its sparkle.
A neighbour is in to photography too and having told him what I was doing he asked to come with me, well we chat and he stops to shoot something and I look and think yes that's something I would not normally shoot but what the hey! Then the situation reverses and we are learning from each other!
See if there isn't someone around that would like to do something similar?
Now it is getting dark earlier we are experimenting in the back garden (could be a local community park?) with flash, (photography) we both needed to figure out our flash guns, him a bit more than me, and I have some (crappy, they are too loose) macro tubes which we spent an hour or two photographing creepy crawlies and the one or two remaining blooms.
Just a couple of thoughts that may be an option for you.

Cheers, Graham.
 

Cinto

EOS M50
Dec 23, 2012
46
6
49
Vancouver
One suggestion I would make is to give Magic Lantern a try. It will expand the creative possibility's of your camera for free. A used 17-40L can be picked up fairly cheaply right now to replace your 10-22 if you go full frame and want an ultra wide. Your 85mm can be used quite well with extension tubes if you want to go macro cheaper. When I get stuck, I like to try some niche photography\video stuff, time-lapse, Long ND or night exposure, focus stacking(which is quite easy with photoshop), HDR(Magic Lantern dual-iso works pretty good for single shot HDR). Right now I've been doing a lot of scanning of flowers with a Canoscan 8800F, mixing back-lit transparency scans with regular flatbed ones. Next I think I'm going to try some cinegrams.

Good Luck.
 

lb

EOS M50
Aug 1, 2014
25
1
mkabi said:
All the lenses you own are perfect for Full Frame, not crop.
My suggestion, sell the 7D and get yourself the grey market 5DIII (should cost you about $2600; watch for deals on Canon Rumors).

You could also buy a Sony A7s with Canon lens adapter.
I agree fully dump the idea of a out-dated Canon 5D111 body and go for the upmarket Sony body and adaptor
 
Oct 6, 2014
1
0
If you need a FF wide angle lens I really like the Samyang (/Rokinon/Bower) 14mm F2.8. It has lots of 'creative' potential - nightscapes/panoramas/landscapes. It can be bought for a fraction of the price of other wide lenses and has good IQ.
 

jhanken

EOS 90D
Oct 21, 2010
127
0
Northern California
I really want to encourage you here. Pursuing something creative like photography might help with chronic insomnia, definitely can give the mind something enjoyable and positive to latch onto as you are working on yourself.

I highly recommend getting an original 5D, or if you can pull together a few more bucks, a used 5D II or a 6D, but focus on getting some fun lenses, mostly good artistic prime lenses. I also suggest buying used gear carefully. I would definitely suggest the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and a good 50mm, like the Canon f/1.8 or better yet a used Sigma 50mm f/1.4. The Canon EF 35mm f/2 would also be a great lens that could grow with you.

If you don't have a decent tripod, also budget for a good Manfrotto or similar. I wouldn't spent up for other accessories yet, wait till some money falls in your lap. For now, make do with some packing foam and a old backpack or something.
 

ajfotofilmagem

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 23, 2013
2,382
83
Bahia Brazil
seqiro said:
I'm currently unemployed having gotten fed up with my former career and I also suffer from bipolar II disorder and chronic insomnia. Through the ups and downs, the one thing I still really enjoy photography. I like wildlife photography, although I'm limited by my equipment and I can't really afford to travel. I also enjoy taking candids of people at parties and such, though I don't think the life of a wedding or event photographer would be compatible with my struggles with anxiety and depression. I also enjoy taking pictures at local clubs where no flash photography is allowed, but my current equipment struggles in low light. My apartment has no windows exposed to light so it's hard to do much indoors.
I reread your post and realized some important details. Insomnia and depression are strongly influenced by the environment. The biological clock regulates the cycles of day and night. the fact that your home does not have windows to the outside environment, affect the perception of time to feel sleepy.

Recommend leaving home in the morning sun, and physical exercise daily. By nightfall, avoid bright lights and also TV screens or computer, which stimulate the body to stay awake. Search on Melatonin supplements, which can help regulate the cycle of sleeping and waking.

If photography gives you pleasure, practice and share this pleasant pastime with people nearby. If the noise in the images of his 7D bothers you, you should not be very pleased with any other APS-C camera to shoot in nightclubs without a flash. Seems to me that 6D is suitable for your use.

Honestly, I do not recommend investing in wildlife photography. This would only be rewarding if you could travel very often carrying heavy equipment and invest a lot of money. Your GAS (mine too) is a facet of anxiety and competitiveness in this type of photography can be harmful.

When you have a stable job, then think more seriously expensive equipment and travel required for wildlife. However, visits to the zoo unpretentious usually pleasant and without competitive pressure.