How would you spend $1000 on camera gear?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jay42, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    #1
    I've set aside around $1000 (slightly flexible) for a DSLR body and lenses. If you were to start again with $1000, how would you spend it?

    My only criteria are Canon or Nikon (pretty firm about this), and I would like to be able to shoot sports, so some reach/speed would be nice. Other than that, used/referbished is fair game as long as I can actually find it.

    Should I spend mostly on a body, and slowly acquire lenses, or start with a decent lens and upgrade the body down the road.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    I'll jump in with thinking that getting at least one good lens is probably more important than getting the best body. But of course you have to pick the system you want (e.g. Canon vs. Nikon). I think that if you shop for used gear on FredMiranda and similar sites, you should easily be able to find a body from either Nikon or Canon (perhaps a D50 would be good?) and a decent 70-200 or maybe even a 100-300...
     
  3. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Nikon D50 with th 18-200 VR....for about $1200. That could hold you over for a while....If that is to much, then the D50 with 18-70 with a 2gb SD card, warranty, and bag.

    Way to many options out there....I would hold off until after Photokina.
     
  4. imacintel macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I am trying to get a Rebel/RebelXT for under 1000. They have decent deals at Future Shop and Best Buy.
     
  5. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

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    #5
    from B&H (bhphotovideo.com):

    Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D) kit w/ 18-55 zoom lens (equivalent of 28-90, roughly, not a bad lens) - 719.95

    Canon 100mm f/2 lens (equivalent of 160mm on the Rebel) - fast, sharp, excellent value for casual sports, the limiting factor will be the Rebel's autofocus - 374.95 (import)

    $1094.90, if you can save a bit more or stretch your budget.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    So I don't do sports... to me the 18-200 VR sounds like a very useful lens. But are you really going to be able to do anything useful in sports with a 100mm prime? I love my primes, but....
     
  7. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I would have to agree. 100mm is not long enough unless the players are pretty much in your face.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    I don't think the D50 + Nikkor 18-200 mm VRII is an option. It's over $1000.



    I'd get a Nikon D50 with the same lens I have now......the Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8 macro. I'd get the most bang out of this lens. In fact, I should have bought this before I bought my Tokina 12-24 mm f/4.

    Don't know about American prices, but from what I've heard here, I think that works out to be $1000 (around $500-550 for the Nikon D50, and around $450 for the Sigma lens). :)
     
  9. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I can assume by the budget that the poster isn't working for SI - so we're talking in the stands (in which case, don't bother, that far away you're better off with a wide-standard lens to get crowd and atmosphere shots) or up close and personal in high school or college sports (speed requirement says basketball to me), in which case a 100mm (160mm on Rebel) is plenty long even before cropping.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    That requirement for sports is a killer. Good lenses for sports photography can easily cost over $1,000 just for one good lens. To bad you are not into street photography or portraits where a $200 50 mm f/1.8 lens would do you fine. But with sports the ideal lens is something like a 70-200mm f/2.8 It's the f/2.8 part that makes the lens both expensive and useful.

    So, for a sports photographer $1000 is not really enough but $1000 is a very generous budget for other types of photography.

    WHat yo might do is pick out the lenses you want to buy over the next few years and plan it out. Then buy a body to fit.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #11
    It is but it only an f/5.6 lens. That's slow. Yes the VR helps but VR can not (1) blur out a background by narrow DOF or (2) freeze subject motion. The VR only addresses camera shake. If one has a limited budget it is more cost effective to address camera shake with a mono pod or tripod.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    Crazy. I didn't even realize we were making recommendations for him. :p

    EDIT TO ADD: It's impossible to stay under $1000 for anything decent, but you can get some decent options. :)


    If so, then it'll depend on what type of sports we're talking about. If they're very far away and it's dark outside or inside, then you're really going to need the faster 70-200 with f/2.8 aperture. It isolates the player of interest better.

    A Canon 350D (silver model) at B&H is $610.

    A Canon 70-200 mm f/4 lens is $575 puts him at around $1185, which is over the $1000 limit.

    A Nikon D50 is $550 at B&H. A Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8 lens is $680 (but I can't find the Nikon mount version at B&H). That's $1230, and STILL over the budget. :rolleyes: However, I think this is the best option for him if he wants to shoot sports.

    A Sigma 150 mm f/2.8 macro lens is $599. With a Nikon D50, that's $1150!! :D

    A Sigma with 180 f/3.5 macro lens is $650. With a Nikon D50, that's $1200.

    If he's not using it predominantly for sports, then even the Canon 350D or Nikon kit with with 18-55 mm lens and the 70-300 f/4-5.6 lenses is fine. The 70-300 mm isn't great, but if he's shooting between 150-200 mm the whole time, he can manage to use f4.5 to 5 aperture or something and manage...... :eek:
     
  13. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    If sports is primarily what you shoot then the 70-200mm f/4 L is an outstanding lens. For outdoor amateur sports shooting on a 350d body it is a dream. It is also a great portrait lens. On the 350d it is effectively a 320mm and you can later add the 1.4x converter to give you an effective reach of 448mm for the loss of 1 f- stop.

    You should be able to pick up the body + lens used from fredmiranda.com for a little over $1000. They are a friendly bunch and these items appear quite frequently. If you can push your budget a little bit further, the battery grip BG-E3 will greatly improve the feel of the body. If you are bothered about how your kit looks, get a black body:)

    Enough waffling more pictures!!:) Here is a sample pic taken last week with the setup described above.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    #14
    Thanks for the advice. Keep it coming!

    So far the Rebel XT + 70-200 f/4L seems like a nice combination, but not super fast. That's ok especially for around $1000. Basically, a few hundred won't hold me back if it would make a big difference.

    What about one of these lenses and a D50 or D70?

    Nikon 80-200

    Nikon 180

    Is there anywhere I could find a canon equivalent, because this seems like a good set-up, but I'm thinking I would prefer canon down the road. Other configuration suggestions welcomed.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    The 80-200 f/2.8 is THE classic sports lens. The quality is excelent. Nikon has made many version of this lens over the last few decades each better than the last but even the olders ones are very good.
    I had no idea the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 would be so cheap. Yes it's a push/pull version but still good, very good for the money. I'd be worried a little about the condition but this lens is very well constructed and cn take a beating. I would have expected a used price closer to $600.
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #17
    Wow, yes, I looked at that cursorily but didn't notice it was f/2.8... wow. Very nice indeed. And much cheaper than Canon's 70-200 f/2.8, even before IS....

    That thing paired with a D50 or D70 would be very nice indeed!
     
  18. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

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    #18
    Get a decent camera but put the bulk of the $$ into the lens system. Today's SLR camera's all can take good pictures, but the Lenses can make a big difference.
     
  19. nutmac macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Although XTi is new and commands premium at the moment, I would still spring for XTi over XT. If you can, pickup Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, which combined, will bump the budget to slightly above $1200 range (with XT, should be closer to $1000). 28mm is a bit high on the wide side, but the lens is still an excellent starter lens with very respectable optics. If you can add EF 17-40mm f/4L later and you have most of the key ranges covered.
     
  20. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    #20
    So far the nikon 80-200 f/2.8 with a D50/70 seems like the best combo even if the lens is not a current model. Pretty affordable too. I also noticed that Canon used to make an 80-200 f/2.8L as well, and it's much more reasonable than the 70-200 f/2.8L. So far I've only found it at KEH for around $750 used (I doubt this link is permanent). Does anyone else know where to find these lenses? I think I'd rather have a used 80-200 f/2.8L than a new 70-200 f/4L. By the way, are all of these twist zooms, or did canon ever make a 80-200 push pull? Thanks.

    KEH:
     

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  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    Well you can buy an 80-200 mm f/2.8 brand new, but obviously it would blow your budget.

    The only reason the 80-200 mm f/2.8 is still around is because it's so much cheaper than the 70-200 mm f/2.8, as it doesn't have VR. But if you don't need VR, and use a tripod like you're supposed to with these big, heavy lenses, then no problem. ;) The quality is supposed to be excellent.
     
  22. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    #22
    Well, if anyone is interested, I just ordered a used Rebel XT from BH Photo for $519 and a lightly used canon 80-200 f/2.8L from KEH.com for $750. Over my original budget, what can I say. I'm pretty excited though, my first DSLR!
     
  23. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #23
    Jay, always happy to another Baystate resident (go Sox) - congrats on the order - sounds like it will be a fun setup and way to maximize a tight budget! My sis in London (shooting for over 20 yrs, competitive awards) has the 350D (xt) and loves it. I have a 30D. It's a great system to grow with.

    The Canon digital learning center is a fun site to explore:
    http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/

    If your used XT doesn't come with it, you may want to go and download a copy of Canon Digital Photo Professional V.2 - It's a free Canon program that will allow you to make all sorts of changes to RAW files. I use iPhoto to organize and DPP to make edits to RAW files when necesssary (I shoot in RAW + FINE JPEG, and use the fine JPEG file more often than not). The tutorials on the following site will get you started and make the program MUCH more useful:
    http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/dpp2/index.html

    Scroll down that first page for a link to where to download DPP v.2 for free on the Canon support pages.

    The digital picture has some very useful and interesting lens reviews (quite a vast number)
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/

    Folks have already mentioned the Fred Miranda site.

    Another site that can be unhealthy but somewhat interesting - esp. to see sample photos taken by a given lens are the Canon forums at POTN:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/
    I say unhealthy because there are far too many people on that site agonizing far too much about what body to buy or the next lens. It's better not to get hooked and spend more time out taking photographs, but it can be useful.

    Finally, I pass along the www.ngm.com site. Yes, National Geograpic. Lots of shots each month from professional Canon shooters and others. I find it inspiring and the website lists the gear - including film where applicable - etc. that folks used for a given shot along with conditions and lighting set up.

    You may want to play around with presets a bit - saturation, sharpness. Some folks can be disappointed with their first DSLR if the defaults are set a little flat. Those settings matter in JPEG, you can change them all on a RAW file in something like DPP that I mentioned above or photoshop.

    Good luck and enjoy the set up.

    LG
     

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