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Archive 2012 · Next step in gear upgrade?
  
 
gome1122
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Next step in gear upgrade?


I have about $200 form Christmas money that I got and I'm debating what to do with it. My current gear is as follows: Canon 7D Canon 50mm f/1.8 Canon 70-200mm f/4 Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. I'm 16 and have bought all my gear on my own, minus the 50mm which I got for Christmas as a gift. I love doing sports, which is why I have the 7D(Upgraded from a T2i), and the 70-200. The 70-200 does a good job, but with it being winter time. It is a little dark inside, and I am going to upgrade it to an f/2.8 by summer at the latest(when my job starts again). But I guess I could do it for now. So my main focus is sports, and I'm going to start doing portraits over the summer, and also I'm going to try and become an assistant for a local studio to get some more experience. My next step is going to be either: upgrade 70-200 to a f/2.8, get an ultra wide angle lens, get a speedlight(430 EX II), get a 300mm f/4, get a Canon 85mm f/1.8. It's a big list and I'm not exactly sure what to get. I've always wanted a speedlight, because I heard they can do some amazing things, but I would also love to have some more lenses. Maybe the speedlight can ?improve my 70-200 poor low light performance. I do a lot of landscape and nature shots with a friend, which is why I would like the ultra wide angle lens(Plus I love them, just because I get creative with them), but that's more just for fun. The 300mm is wanted, for sports, and also for bird photography. I do a little now when I can(whenever I see a bird) but the 70-200 just doesn't cut it. Maybe a 400mm f/5.6 instead? I want the 85mm maybe because of portraits that I'm going to start doing, maybe I should just stick with the 50mm. The definite upgrades over the summer are going to be the 70-200, and either a 300mm or 400mm. Other than that I have $200 right now that I'm not sure what I should do, Save it for now or buy something to improve my lens collection. What do you think. Anyone have any other suggestions?

P.S. I was also thinking of maybe getting a cheep body(or a 1D III if I get really lucky with cash by doing weddings as an assistant, and portraits on my own) to take to games so I have a 70-200 and a 300/400 without having to change a lens.

Note: This is also posted in General Gear-Talk. Thought you guys might be able to give me more specific answers because of brand.



Dec 29, 2012 at 11:42 PM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Next step in gear upgrade?


Just save your xmas money. All that L glass you want isn't going to be cheap.

If you must spend the funds, check out the buy n sell forum, the 430EX II would make a good starting flash and your 7D can control it as an off camera assist, just read up on your 7D's master vs. slave flash chapter in the manual.

Happy New Year
Jerry



Dec 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Next step in gear upgrade?


gome1122 wrote:
I have about $200 form Christmas money that I got and I'm debating what to do with it. My current gear is as follows: Canon 7D Canon 50mm f/1.8 Canon 70-200mm f/4 Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. I'm 16 and have bought all my gear on my own, minus the 50mm which I got for Christmas as a gift. I love doing sports, which is why I have the 7D(Upgraded from a T2i), and the 70-200. The 70-200 does a good job, but with it being winter time. It is a little dark inside, and I am going to upgrade it to
...Show more

A few bits of advice:

As a new, young photographer who is figuring out what his favorite sorts of photography might be and where this will all lead... this is not the time to be spending a ton of money on high end gear. Frankly, your f/4 70-200mm lens is a fine piece of gear that quite a few very serious photographers rely on, including some folks whose names are well-known, whose workshops are booked up, whose photographs sell well, and whose books are well-read.

You primary focus at this point is not gear - it should be photography, and you can do quite a fine job of without getting the high end, very expensive equipment at this point.

Your 7D is a fine camera. Put the idea of replacing the body out of your mind for now.

A "lens collection" is not a "collection," like a stamp collection might be. You want to purchase lenses because they are effective, functional tools that let you make photographs, not because you want to "build a collection," or because you want to have the gear that looks like pro gear. It isn't about the gear. It is about the photographs.

A fact: If someone were to hand you every lens and body on your list right now, a) your photography would likely be no better, b) you'd have to start focusing on the important thing, photography, c) you might still find new excuses to engage in gear lust, and d) you can do the most important thing right now with the gear you have, namely develop your eye, your technical understanding, and your style.

Dan


Edited on Dec 31, 2012 at 07:16 AM · View previous versions



Dec 30, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Wobble
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Next step in gear upgrade?


You mentioned doing portraits a couple of times. The 1.6 crop factor on your 7D makes your 50mm essentially an 80mm. 85mm is the "portrait" focal length. Do as Jerry suggests and buy a flash like the 430 EX II.


Dec 30, 2012 at 04:57 AM
kevinsullivan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Next step in gear upgrade?


A good photography set-up requires more than a body and lenses. Here are two ideas for non-lens items.

(1) If you don't already have a good "digital darkroom" consider using a little less than half of your funds for a copy of Adobe Lightroom at the student discount price (somewhere around $80).

(2) If you don't have a tripod/support, you might ask around the forums here to see what you could get at your price point. A high end setup would be over 500 for legs, 300 for a ballhead and clamp, and 150 for an L-bracket. You can't do that, but there are less expensive alternatives. Remember the old story: "Wow, what kind of lens did you use to get such a sharp image?" ... "Oh, it was a Gitzo!"

Good luck!
Kevin



Dec 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Mpking
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Next step in gear upgrade?


Unfortunately, $200 isn't a lot to spend on photography gear. All of the lenses you mentioned are well out of reach . Here's what I would do I was you.

1. Look into a class/workshop/tutoring session. Learn something new. Depending on where you are at in your creative ability, this could be money well spent.

2. Get a flash setup. Easily within your reach are:
Yongnuo YN-560 EX (Chinese manual only flash. more power than a 430EX II though) $68 each. Get two if you can.
Off camera flash triggers. $30
Stand, umbrella, and flash bracket. $35

3. Reflectors can be useful for portraits and are cheap.

Have fun!



Dec 30, 2012 at 03:28 PM
 

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coffeyboy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Next step in gear upgrade?


I agree with the suggestions of a tripod, good software or tutorials/books. These are items which can open up creative possibilities to your ENTIRE existing setup (as well as pictures you've already taken). On a limited budget and experience this is what I'd recommend.

Adding to a 'lens collection' items such as a 300mm f/4 or 400mm f/5.6 for the bird photography you do "now and then" is probably not a good idea and could quickly lead to regrets after parting with a lot of cash on these expensive specialised lenses. As for a 70-200mm f2.8, if you're sure that sports are your thing, then save for a second hand copy for a little more than your cash and money you'd make from your f/4 version. Maybe renting first is a good idea as there is a lot of bulk, weight and handling differences between the f/2.8 and f/4 versions. You say you do "a lot of landscape" photography so if you absolutely have to have a lens, I would invest in a second hand 15-85mm or 10-22mm that you will use regularly. You can also sell your existing 18-55mm for the upgrade



Dec 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Next step in gear upgrade?


I wish I would have started in on photography earlier in my life, so congrats for knowing what you want early on! You have some really good gear lens wise. Your weakest lens, the 18-55 is still a very capable lens. The 70-200 is a workhorse. and the 50 should be in everyone's kit. I know a guy who shoots most of his photo shoots with nothing but a 50mm 1.8. He gets paid really good money to do it too.

An inexpensive, but excellent UWA for crop is the Sigma 10-20...but honestly, the best investment you could make for landscapes is a decent tripod with a ball head. Pick up a trigger for the 7d so you can do some more deliberate (long exposure, HDR etc.) stuff.

My best advice for picking up new lenses is this...buy used. Do your research on what the market price is...and then buy for less. Wait for good deals. You can always re-sell lenses for basically the same price you pay for them if you buy at the right price point.



Dec 31, 2012 at 06:01 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Next step in gear upgrade?


gome1122 wrote:
I have about $200 form Christmas money that I got and I'm debating what to do with it. My current gear is as follows: Canon 7D Canon 50mm f/1.8 Canon 70-200mm f/4 Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. I'm 16 and have bought all my gear on my own, minus the 50mm which I got for Christmas as a gift. I love doing sports, which is why I have the 7D(Upgraded from a T2i), and the 70-200. The 70-200 does a good job, but with it being winter time. It is a little dark inside, and I am going to upgrade it to
...Show more

70-200 f/4 yeah that's kinda rough for indoor sports on a 7D, even the f/2.8 is rough! but the f/4 on the 7D would be kinda beastly goings.

For field sports during the day the 300 f/4 is better than the 70-200s. f/2.8 helps isolate out the junky backgrounds a bit better too. If field sports will matter more than indoors and it's not night HS games then focusing on the long primes is more important than the 70-200 type lens IMO. 300 f/4 non-IS can be had used for like maybe $650 now? The 2.8 stuff is $$$$. Although if you want dual usage, then the 300 f/4 IS is nice since IS can help for wildlife and such. You can also add a 1.4 TC for more reach.

if you went 1D3 or FF the 400 might work better for field sports, although with a dual system I guess you could use the 1D3 with the wide field lens the 70-200, although it feels weird to relegate the 1D3 to the secondary field sports lens. with the 400 you never have the chance to do better than f/5.6 though.

What indoor sports are you shooting? Where? Sometimes the lighting is really bad and you almost need to use some 85 1.8 sort of lens unless you are shooting pro or a good college program (or at least using FF with top high ISO).

What field sports? When? What level?




Dec 31, 2012 at 06:10 AM
corndog
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Next step in gear upgrade?


I'd buy the Sigma EF610 DG Super. Just as powerful as a 580EXII (actually, a pinch more powerful), but not built as well. Treat it nicely and it's a great flash. Buy a couple cheapy Yongnuo triggers and you'll open up a whole new world of shooting.


Dec 31, 2012 at 06:16 AM
robstein
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Next step in gear upgrade?


I would head over to creativelive or some other place that sells good classes and grab a couple of courses on topics that interest you. The cl ones are great value for a few days of videos for each class.


Dec 31, 2012 at 06:21 PM





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