What to buy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Woodrow72, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Woodrow72 macrumors member

    Woodrow72

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    I frequent these forums but dont post too often. I am seeking advice as usual and figured this was the place to come.

    I am have some money and am not quite sure what to spend it on. I in the process of getting my business up and running. I have my business license and a few clients. My website is up and I have invested in some decent equipment. My gear is as follows:

    Nikon D90, 18-105 kit lens, 50 mm 1.8, SB-600 Flash, a decent (not great) quantaray tripod, and a lot of cards.

    In addition to my equipment I am investing in my education and going to my local college for an associates in Photography.

    So here is my question: What do I buy next? I have $200 in Gift Cards to my local high end camera shop and $275 cash for a total of $475. My problem is everything I want is just that, its a want not a need. I have thought about buying the following:

    Manfrotto Tripod
    Battery Grip for my D90
    Light Reflectors
    Bigger Flash - SB-900
    Prime Lens - The problem with this is I am still about $400 away from being able to get one of these.

    So here I am. I would appreciate any advice that you have. I shoot mostly portraits, family pictures, and a few weddings.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    What shop is it? Pixels Foto in Sandy has been good about giving me some really really good deals. I got my 24-70 f/2.8 for less than $1,600.00 brand new from them. You could buy an 85 f/1.8 for what you've got in gift cards and cash, even if it had to be from Pictureline (I hate that place). But if it's Pixels that you have the card to you might even be able to get that lens for less than $400.00. It's really sharp and has 9 curved aperture blades which lends a nice smooth bokeh. I had it, but sold it when I realized that I was shooting the zooms nearly 100% of the time, but it was well built and very sharp!

    I would think you could score a 50 f/1.4 for that kind of money as well.

    SLC
     
  3. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #3
    Perhaps wait and see what you need? You've not outlined what you are actually going to do with this gear, but looking at your website I assume you wish to take people pictures.

    The first thing I would do is check your website for typos, and I'd re-read significant paragraphs to ensure that they make sense.

    For example, on your About Us page is the following:

    "Justin and Mallory Workman are the faces behind J5 Photography. Our main focus is our customers! We want that personal touch, someone that you feel comfortable with, someone that you would trust your baby with. We strive to give our customers what they want and more. Infact, if you are not satisfied with the end product, we do not expect you to pay."

    Obviously, this is is a nice sentiment but it's clunky. The '!' after customers seems flippant and the next sentence is puzzling. You want that personal touch? Or do you want to provide it? Presumably you want your customers to be comfortable with you, currently 'someone that you feel comfortable with' floats. Also, 'infact' needs a space. Obviously photography and copy-writing are completely different fields, but good-quality writing gives a better impression.

    I'm sure that other people will be able to give you better advice on the equipment. Do you need a 'bigger' flash, or are you thinking of using two flash at once?

    When you say 'prime lens' do you mean fixed-aperture zoom? You already have a prime in the 50mm. Saving for a professional zoom may be a good move, or perhaps if you have a second body you could just mount the 50mm on it, and use it when you can.
     
  4. Woodrow72 thread starter macrumors member

    Woodrow72

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #4
    SLC: It is pictureline, I have had pretty good luck with them so far, but as I have learned with retail you never know what you are going to get.

    I have considered both the 85mm and the 50mm 1.4 but my question is what does that get me as I already have the 50 1.8? I realize the 1.4 is sharper but I dont find myself using my 50 1.8 very much. Like you I am using my zoom more often. Thats why I am stuck, I would love the 24-70 (what a sexy lens) but until I book a few more shoots its out of my price range. I think right now I am between a SB-900 and a reflector or both.

    Thanks for the advice though I really appreciate it.
     
  5. Woodrow72 thread starter macrumors member

    Woodrow72

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #5
    leighonigar: Thanks for pointing those out. I do need to change those and a few other mistakes I have noticed.

    By Prime I do mean a fixed aperture zoom lens. And I'm not sure on a more powerful flash thats my predicament. As for a second body I am waiting for the D400 to come out and will probably buy it and use the 90 as a back up.

    Thanks for the advice. Keep it coming
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    So long as the gift cards don't expire soon, save your money up.
     
  7. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    I'd consider selling the 50 f/1.8 and replacing it with the 50 f/1.4 or the 85 f/1.8. Both of those lenses are miles ahead of the 50 f/1.8 for the types of shots you seem likely to do. The 50 f/1.4 is not only faster, but has the 9 curved aperture blades, while the 50 f/1.8 has only 7 straight ones.

    In case you aren't aware of what that means to you, the 7 straight blades of the 50 f/1.8 will tend to cause heptagonal shaped out of focus highlights which most people find distracting. This is because it's difficult to form a perfectly circular shape with 7 straight edges. On the other hand, the 50 f/1.4 (I'm talking the G version) has 9 blades which lends to easier formation of a circular pattern, but not only that, those aperture blades are rounded as well; meaning that out of focus highlights are much more circular and pleasing. It's the kind of thing you might not notice until you see a similar shot with both lenses side by side, but in portraiture it makes a ton of difference. People might not be able to put their finger on exactly what the difference is, but make no mistake it's there! The 50 f/1.4 G has a much more smooth and pleasing characteristic in it's rendering of out of focus backgrounds.

    The 85 f/1.8 has the same 9 rounded aperture blades, and while not as fast as the 85 f/1.4, it's a fantastic lens. Sharp as hell, and great bokeh, the 85 f/1.4 has much better bokeh, but the 1.8 version is fantastic in it's own right.

    Both of those lenses are worthy purchases for anyone who is serious about their images, even if it means you sell one lens and replace it with a pro-grade version, which is exactly what you'd be doing with the 50's

    SLC
     

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