My next steps?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by .mark., Feb 5, 2009.

  1. .mark. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    Jersey, C.I.
    #1
    Over the past year and a half I've been getting into digital photography. First, I picked up a canon G9 to see how I got on with that. I then progressed to a canon 450d and have the following lenses for it.

    kit 18-55 IS
    ef-s 55-250
    50 1.8

    I've been thinking about my next purchases and what lenses I would like. One aspect I'm missing is a wide angle lens and the ef-s 10-22 looks great. Also the ef-s 17-55 2.8 IS USM has caught my eye as it has almost exactly the same focal length as the kit lens (which I find useful) but would be a step up in many ways. The final piece of my jigsaw would be to replace the 55-250 with a better lens and I've been looking at the 70-200 2.8 IS.

    This has got me thinking about future body upgrades and I guess the big question - whether I will ever want to go full frame. The two ef-s lenses mentioned above are pretty pricey and would not be compatible with one of canon's full frame bodies (EF only). An obvious body upgrade would be the 50D (or its equivalent in a few years). I guess where I'm going with this is how much of a jump is it from say the 50D to the 5D. Should the 50D be enough of a body or will I be left wanting a 5D and then either not making the upgrade because of the ef-s lenses I've bought, or buying the 5D and selling the ef-s lenses and wishing I'd have bought differently.

    Any opinions and personal experiences welcome...
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    I see a big red flag here...

    You are talking all about equipment and not once did I notice anything about "subjects". or about why you are unhappy with your images. Nothing about problems that need to be solved either. In short not one good reason to buy a lens

    You buy equipment only to solve some problem with some subject, to fix a deefect in your images.

    OK if you want equipment why not lighting or camera support. Got that covered. Macro lenses too.

    Why upgrade the body? what problem will it solve. Is the current auto focus sensor not quick enough? Are you seeing "noise" that you can't fix even with your f/1.8 lens.

    OK, now a direct answer. The next step is to identify problems and then make a plan to adrress them. maybe it's a lens or lighting or just technique
     
  3. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #3
    Hi. Without knowing what you tend to shoot or what issues you're trying to solve, it's hard to say.

    For me, FF is the ticket. Larger sensor (FF) gives depth of field advantages, lower noise and allows one to use wide angle lenses as they were designed to be used.

    Example: say, like me, you like to shoot "street" at 28mm...AND...you don't want to draw attention(!) by using a big, long heavy zoom....nor lug it around. One should get a Leica, but that's another topic. To get a good 28mm prime is easier than the 18mm needed on APSC sensors. Say you like the 35 fov...on apsc, it's basically a 50...a fov *I* find a bit boring for street photography.

    Example #2: I do a LOT of "creative" (lighting) fashion / portraits shoots. So I whip out my beloved 85mm. On an apsc, it's 127 fov (Nikon)...136 on Canon. Not what I want. I would need a walky talky to speak with my subject :)

    When I do sports gigs, apsc would be fine, but love the D3.

    Do you shoot wildlife? Apsc is cool for that.

    Some random thoughts that I hope help a bit....
     
  4. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #4
    This is OT but just dropping a thought - I don't see a problem with buying equipment just to appreciate it, beyond, obviously, the environmental impact, and the fact that your financial resources could have gone towards charity or whatever. Photographic equipment can be beautiful, and just experiencing it and having it around can be a good experience. I mean, just look at a Nikon or Pentax lens coating, beautiful!

    To me it sounds like the OP is a hobby shooter, like most of us, who shoots what he sees. I might be wrong (and this is not meant as an insult, I do). As such all lenses are fun, useful and a new experience. I personally would get the 10-22 or some other wide angle and use it. It might be a blast. I myself have a bit of a longing for the sigma 10-20 because I like the idea of getting all sorts of mad stuff into the frame which I can't at the moment. I wouldn't worry about full frame, especially if you go for a wide angle - you can't get a proper wide wide angle which is also full frame, especially for a reasonable price. Have fun and take pictures now.

    APS-C sensors aren't going anywhere too soon, and the 450D should last a few years itself!
     
  5. Star Destroyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #5
    Regarding the Sigma 10-20mm, i have been playing with a borrowed Canon digital Rebel and a sigma 10-20mm for a couple days (just had to give it back today) but that lens blew my mind haha

    I just started with a Nikon D40x and some more standard lenses and seeing a 10-20mm baffled me, after playing with it i love it. I can think of so many things i want to shoot with it and places to go.

    Wideangles are great, go get one, and go on vacation. Seriously, travel and then see what equipment you want. A new subject or location to shoot totally opens up your equipment and puts it all to work and you will be surprised what you can do in new places.
     
  6. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #6
    OK. :) but I'm more in Chris' camp. I'm not denying the improvement in IQ from getting say, the 17-55 IS and 70-200 f4. What I believe Chris may be implying..and I'll speak for myself...is one sees a LOT of gear lust (for bragging rights) taking the place of desire to develop photography skills or creative expression. Judgmental of me? yes...but based on blatant and abundant "evidence". The cart is before the horse. What I'm saying is: one has a creative goal..THEN seeks the tools to accomplish that result. If one lacks a tool to accomplish it, buy it. The focus is on the creative aspect versus having toys. You don't need a 70-200 f2.8 IS to have more fun.

    I only bring this up to encourage people and remind myself(!) to seek my thrills in expanding my creativity, not standing in line at B&H or Samy's with my credit card in my hand.
    I'm not denying that sometimes the tool inspires new ideas, but.....

    If someone in Mark's position is looking for more fun in their photography..cool...get a ultra wide or fisheye. Set up some slow sync flash and zoom during the exposure. Guaranteed fun. Don't need to spend $1000's of dollars...unless that *is* the fun part.

    My suggestion to OP....spend the money on a d*mn good tripod and some lighting gear. Go to strobist.com and dive into that stuff. Great opportunity to spend a lot of cash on new toys and *dramatically* impact one's creativity and development as a photographer.
     
  7. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #7
    Oh yes, don't get me wrong. I respect photographers more, good ones multiply so. I really meant if you're honest about what you're doing 'I am buying lens x because I find playing with equipment fun'.

    Not bad advice on the strobes. Very good. Got to watch it though - very easy just to repeat flash clichés or copy other people, badly. There's a big group on Flickr for strobist people, generally it's quite fun.
     
  8. .mark. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    Jersey, C.I.
    #8
    thanks for all the advice guys. I can see 100% where the people saying "don't just buy a new lens because you like buying expensive shiny new toys!" are coming from and I appreciate it. And yes, I can't remember who said it, but I am very much a hobby shooter. I do feel however, I can justify the 2 ef-s lenses quite easily as the wide angle lens would allow me to shoot wider than I can at the moment which would be great for wide scenic landscapes, as well as close up artistc portraits and plenty more. The 17-55 2.8 would let me do exactly what I can do with the kit lens but the 2.8 would bring better low light performance for indoor shots without the flash. I've also been reading reviews of the lens and it gets rated very highly in terms of sharpness amongst other things.

    I feel these 2 lenses would be very useful for me and would not be so hesitant if they were ef mounts. The 70-200 2.8 IS is a bit of a pipe dream at the moment and I can't see myself going for that within the next year or so. That said though, the ef-s mounts are a non issue unless I plan to move up to the high end, holy grail of photography, full frame bodies. I don't think I will ever be needing (or wanting) that kind of kit but I thought I should ask the question. At the moment I'm very happy with my 450d and I can see it lasting a good couple of years, and if I do decide I want more from a body, canon have the range of 40d/50ds which sit nicely inbetween the entry level consumer 4XXds and the top of the range FF bodies. I want to make informed descisions now but with the future in mind.

    once again, thanks for all the advice. I'm thinking that I'll never reach the dizzy heights of needing a FF camera and the APS-C bodies should do me just fine, but if anyone thinks I may regret this then now is the time to speak!
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #9
    Well to me, the only lens you should invest for EF-S mount is the 17-55 f/2.8, forget the rest of the EF-S lenses, and focus on Canon EF mounts, the EF70-200 seems like a must own for all Canon users, another one that might attract future buyers is Canon EF 50 f/1.4, although its a non L lens, its sharpness is just as good as the L EF 1.2.
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #10
    Invest in glass, not a body.
    Crop bodies are here to stay, so you will always be able to sell lenses later on (which depreciate very little over time).

    I'd also suggest you have a look at Tokina's 16-50 f/2.8 which is cheaper. If you're interested in a tele lens, have a look at the 70-200 f/4. It's at least as good as the more expensive models, but smaller and lighter.
     
  11. .mark. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    Jersey, C.I.
    #11
    what about for shooting wide angle? I'm not aware of any ef mount lenses that will give me 10mm?
     
  12. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #12
    Yes, you need an EF-S lens. Something that goes to 14 mm might exist, but at any rate, that's not that wide on dig and it would cost a fortune (unfamiliar with Canon's line up).
     
  13. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #13
    For wide on a crop sensor the only option is EF-s (unless you have $$$$ or ££££ or €€€€ to spend on a 14mm).

    There's a number of different options in the 10 to 20mm range. Quality lenses will always retain a good resell value. (though brands made by your manufacturer will always resell better than a 3rd party lens - but they do cost more to start with!)
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #14
    10 mm on Canon crop corresponds to 16 mm on full frame and there are a few options for that (e. g. a 14 mm prime or 16-35 mm and 17-40 mm zooms). There are also lenses with lower focal lengths, but with the exception of a 12-24 mm full frame Sigma (which, to my knowledge, is not in production anymore), shorter focal lengths are fisheyes anyway, and not rectilinear lenses.

    What do you really want? Buy lenses pretending you have a full frame camera already? You have needs right now and you own the kit lenses. I'm not sure if it's useful to think of equipment that, put together, can easily cost you 7 grand or more (body + flash + 3 lenses). From your initial post it is obvious to me that you don't know yet what and how you shoot (which then would dictate your focal length needs). I'd suggest you to replace the 18-55 mm kit lens with something better (something with an initial aperture of 2.8 at least) and then shoot. Perhaps next up, I'd buy a real flash.
     
  15. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #15
    I HIGHLY doubt you would come to regret building your kit around apsc cams. They're great photography tools.
     
  16. zuma022 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #16
    I'm in almost the exact same position. I have the XSi, the 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 50 1.8 and I also have the Canon 10-22. I've thought long and hard before buying the wide angle and I ended up getting a great deal on a used, but in excellent condition, 10-22. I absolutely adore the lens and it's been on my camera most of the time. I wasn't happy with the kit lens performance at 18mm, so for me that was absolutely the right decision.

    Like you most of my thinking went into FF at some point, but I decided that it's not very likely. The high ISO performance is awesome, no doubt, but I the weight is a major issue for me. I'm not likely to carry around a huge kit of awesome lenses if they kill my shoulder and back in the process. All the lenses I have a very light and easy to travel with. My other half is decidedly anti-photography, which often means I just take the minimum when we go places.
    Plus I can't see myself dealing with 20mb+ files, when the majority of my photos stay on the net anyway. I don't print much and rarely over 8X10. I've decided that for my purpose the lightweight option I have is the way to go and EF-S works perfectly for me. It's just a hobby.
    I'm also thinking I might go for a fast prime and a flash next rather than the 17-55, which in my opinion is totally overpriced. The kit may not be the most amazing lens, but it's doing a good job and producing nice photos for my purpose. I don't see myself shelling out a grand for the exact same reach. I know the IQ is better, but is it a $1000 better? Personally I doubt it.

    Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience/thinking process.
     
  17. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    A very good thinking process imo.
     
  18. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Location:
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    #18
    I figure I should chime in here since I was in the same boat (XSi, kit lens, nifty-fifty, and 100 f/2) and ultimately decided to upgrade the kit lens to the 17-55 f/2.8 IS.

    When I got the 17-55, I decided to pit it against the kit lens in a series of tests and concluded that the 17-55 is from another planet as far as image quality is concerned. The sharpness, contrast, and color rendition are leagues better--no contest. As far as image stabilization goes, I concluded that the 17-55 is about equal to the kit lens, although the very best low-light shot I got came from the 17-55 (I used the same framing, focal length, aperture, and shutter speed and took six consecutive shots with each lens). Of course, having f/2.8 throughout the zoom range makes the 17-55 better by an order of magnitude.

    Nonetheless, the 17-55 costs over a thousand dollars and is one behemoth of a lens. It is BIG! And it is heavy! I had to buy a new camera bag since my old bag was too small to accommodate the 17-55 attached to my XSi. I also had to shell out more money for the lens hood, which Canon is too cheap to include with this very expensive lens. And then there were the filters I needed, which are not at all cheap for a 77mm thread size. In addition, the 17-55 has an IS motor that makes a whirring sound, unlike the utterly silent kit lens. I find my self mildly annoyed by this sound in very quiet settings.

    In short, I think you really should have a specific need for the 17-55 to justify the expense and inconveniences. I have a specific need and am thrilled to own the lens, but I would not recommend it to just anyone. Yes, the IQ is much, much better--really, its optics are wonderful. It's just a whole different beast than the kit lens, so be aware of what you're getting into if you're thinking of buying it.
     
  19. zuma022 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #19
    Thanks for posting! Very interesting to hear your experiences. I would love to see some of your comparison shots if you have the time.
    You've pretty much confirmed what I thought, it's a great lens, but unless you really have a need for it, it's probably too expensive for everyday shooting.
    I wish Canon wasn't so notorious for not dropping lens prices.
     
  20. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #20
    I deleted the original test shots, so I just did a repeat of the IS test. This was interesting. I took six handheld shots in very low light with each lens, using my best form and breathing with each shot. This time I used a different focal length, going for the middle of the range (the last time I did it I was at 55mm). I was at 35mm, f/4.5, 0.6s, ISO 400 for all twelve shots. This is a very slow shutter speed, so none of the shots are tack sharp, but four out of the six in the 17-55's set were decent, and the kit lens barely pulled out one.

    Here are crops from the best photo produced by each lens:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (Click to enlarge)

    The bottom one is the kit lens. In addition to it being noticeably more blurry, you can see that it is quite flat; it can't match the nice contrast and tonality of the 17-55. Maybe if I have some time tomorrow when it's light out, I'll do some outdoors tests to show the color differences. That's another area where the two lenses differ greatly.

    So anyway, the 17-55 destroyed the kit lens in this IS test...for what that info is worth.
     
  21. zuma022 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #21
    Thanks for the comparison shots. Yeah no doubt the 17-55 is destroying the kit lens in this test. Though I tend to shoot at much faster shutter speeds with the kit, if I need low light/indoor then the nifty fifty definitely gets put on my camera. Very interesting to see though, thanks!
     

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