Cash Flow, UPGRADE TIME

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MattSepeta, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #1
    So I finally have saved up enough money to start upgrading again.

    Here is what I am currently working with-

    -Canon xTi
    -580EXII Flash
    -70-200 mm f/4L
    -10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
    -the xTi Kit lens, whatever that is

    Know that- I shoot mainly lifestyle shots, including but not limited too: live music in small venues, action sports (wideangle snowboarding, skateboarding, etc), lifestyle, spur of the moment, natural portraits, and some more in depth portraits. I also like shooting in the city, skylines, urban stuff, etc.

    Tonight I am picking up a 430exII to use as an off camera slave, and hopefully another one in the near future.

    After that, I will have about $800 left to blow on camera gear.

    SO

    Should I upgrade my body? The xTi just does NOT cut it when I shoot in low-light conditions, ie: live music with no flash. But I know that this could be worked around with faster, wider glass. The live view function would be nice, as would the non-plastic body, to even out the feel of the camera. It feels plain old silly with the 70-200L on it.

    -Any reccomendations? I am torn between a 40d or 50d. I am not too worried about the high resolution getting murked by my glass, as I have decent lenses already, but is the price jump worth it over the 40?

    Or should I buy another L lens? I really dislike using the 70-200 for a walk-around, as I like wider stuff in general, and I could REALLY use a lens with IS, it seems to work wonders...


    What do you guys think? I need to spend wisely, as its pretty hard for me to abstain from spending long enough to upgrade anything!:rolleyes:
     
  2. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #2
    Save a bit more. Buy fast quality glass. For indoor you're shooting WAY too slow at 3.5-4.5.

    Glass will last, camera bodies come and go. I shot for years on a 10d which is way crap compared with your body and by buying glass I was able to expand much more than with new plastic.

    It sounds like the 35L would be a great addition for you. It's more than you have, but save a bit more and consider.

    The 135L is a peach too (and less expensive), but probably too long on your crop sensor.

    Alternatively, consider the 50/1.4 which is cheap, but not as nice bokeh and image quality as the others, but would still give you much faster shooting indoors. I'd skip the 1.8 version.

    Resist the temptation of the 24-70/L. I infrequently use it.

    Tell me the ONE thing that you feel limits you the most with your current setup, and we can tighten the noose a bit, but first impression is to buy a fast wide prime, based on what you say above.
     
  3. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #3

    THe one thing is low light performance. When I shoot music, I either have to be the bastard who uses his flash, or use my 70 -200L and that still barely cuts it, as well as severly limiting how I can frame shots.

    What is the 35L and the 135L?

    Why dont you use your 24-70L?

    Thank for the feedback!
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    +1 on the glass.

    I have a nikon D70s, its several years old now and while I'd love to pick up a new camera. I have a 28-70 2.8f lens that's absoluyely wonderful. Why buy a new body when your current lenses may not be able to handle low light, or fast action. I'd rather spend a 1,500 on a lens and not buy a new camera body - just my $.02
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    XTi to 40/50D isn't that big an upgrade in high-ISO noise...unless you shoot jpeg, since the noise reduction algorithms have improved.

    start with faster lenses, at least at the wide/standard end. 17-55 IS or a wide (24-35mm) prime.
     
  6. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #6
    Excuse my noobness

    At risk of sounding like a moron, oh well:

    What are the benefits of a prime lens over a zoom lens? Are they faster, generally? Higher quality?

    Another question... The L series... I LOVE my 70-200L, but are L lenses worth the severe price difference? :confused:


    Again, thanks for the help everyone
     
  7. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #7
    Many primes are available around f1.4. That is three whole stops more light than you 70-200 (and roughly three stops on the 10-22). That means your shutter speed can be 8 times faster at the same ISO. You depth of field really gets small that open, but it gives you an idea of the magnitude of change.

    To get three stops on ISO, you would need a camera that comfortably shot at ISO6400 or so. I think some Nikons or maybe a 5D(II?) could do this, but definitely not a 40D or 50D. Heck the 50D will probably not be a lot different than what you have in low light, I think past 800 it starts getting noisy. I think the 40D can go to 1600 nicely, but that's only one stop (ie half the shutter speed).
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    primes only need to be good at one focal length. this means they're (generally) smaller, more resistant to aberrations (distortion, flare, CA, etc), can have very large f-stops compared to zooms in the same focal length range (e.g. 100-400 f/4-f/5.6 vs 400/2.8 or 17-55/2.8 vs 35/1.4), and are sharper and less expensive than any zoom in the same price and FL range. some have bokeh (background blur quality) that no or only a few zooms can match.

    as a rule of thumb, the shorter the zoom ratio, the better the image quality, and primes have the shortest possible ratio of 1:1.
     
  9. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #9
    +1

    If you feel the need for L quality wide-angle zoom, then consider the 16-35mm f/2.8L
     
  10. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #10
    Yes!

    You should be able to tell, since you already have L glass, albeit entry-level model but still it takes wonderful pictures.
     
  11. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #11
    No, granted, I would not choose the bigger version because of the ISO performance. But there are other benefits, size and metal structure to begin with, which make me choose older xxD series over most current xxxD (rebel) series anytime.

    40D feels "like a smaller 1DmkIII" whereas the xxxD (rebel) series feels "like a beefed up PowerShot".

    But not everyone values how the tool feels to operate, most just shoot and don't care. I however feel that using xxxD (rebel) I have to constantly watch what I'm doing instead of letting my fingers operate the thing, just because the small body is too small to my small hands. I prefer larger and heavier body, but maybe that's just me ;P
     
  12. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #12
    Two of the best Canon prime lenses out there.

    I'm actually planning on buying the 135mm f/2.0 in the near future even though I already own 70-200mm IS f/2.8 which takes superb pictures. The 135mm is just very small and tiny compared to "the tank" that I absolutely must have that as a travel lens. It is also highly praised indoor sports lens due to being tack sharp at its fastest f/2.0 aperture.

    But I would suggest you consider 24mm f/1.4L instead of the 35mm version. Those are almost identical lenses, but the 24mm suits crop body better and it has slightly better image quality as well.
     
  13. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    #13
    Cannon 50mm f1.8 - Best deal going since they came out with it.....
     
  14. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #14
    I would agree on the 24L, but it's another 400 more than the 35, which is already stretching the budget.

    to the op: you need to read up on aperture vs. shutter speed. Going from F4 to F1.2 will increase your shutter speed by 8 fold, or alternatively let you go from ISO 1600 down to ISO200 at the same shutter speed, thereby reducing grain.

    If you're shooting indoors with low light and need for avoiding flash, then a fast prime is the ONLY way to go.

    i think you have enough range to see with your current lenses what focal length "works" for you - check 24 vs. 35 and see which seems a better fit for your style, and then buy one of those two lenses. You won't regret it.

    Forget the body, you'll still be too slow with the glass you have, and you'll still be frustrated.
     
  15. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #15
    Thank you thank you

    THANK YOU THANK YOU

    This cleared up pretty much any question I ever had re: lenses.

    On my way home from work I am stopping at Nat Cam to grab a fast prime! :)

    MUCH THANKS
     
  16. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #16
    ...meaning cheapest lens ever.

    Seriously though, it is a good piece of gear to *learn* about photography. It is also so cheap it is almost dispensable. Break it? Throw away and buy new one. (and I should add it is easy to break that piece of plastic).

    If 50mm is the focal length you want/need, then perhaps you should take a look at Sigma 50mm f/1.4 for comparison. Sure, the Sigma is more expensive, but it is still dirt cheap for what you get.
     
  17. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #17
    tamron 60mm f/f prime + 430ex

    Just got home from running around after work...With a brand new tamron 60mm f/2, and finally, a slave unit - 430ex.

    Took a few mess around shots, and, WOW. This lens is great.
    the guy at natcam offered it to let me try it after they did not have any 50mm f/8 in stock.

    I guess it is pretty brand new, as in just released. Although I have never shot with a prime, this thing blew my mind immediately.

    Good advice from everyone, I am going to see how this goes for a few days before deciding whether to keep it though.

    PS I just took my first few multi flash shots, and I already know Im absolutely hooked now. If anyone has any good articles, or stellar examples of some cool/neat multi flash stuff, let me know!

    Thanks again guys
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #18
    If the situation allows, prime lenses will always be best for image quality. Seriously. Some people view them as "limited" but that is crap. Move your feet a little and end up with a breathtaking image every time.
     
  19. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #19
    Don't know how many flash units were used, and certainly not my pictures, but your request jogged my memory when I saw this the other day:

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/799902
     

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