Please help with shopping

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2,055
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Ken
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Based on the fact I know nothing and you are all clued up….I need help spending some money.
I have been invited to cover a number of big dog shows around the north east this year (but will mainly be pet portrait work) and a number of other events including Lanchester show (probably the biggest in Co. Durham). So I think it’s about time I invested some money into my photography and looked the part.

My current equipment which I have managed quite well with is…..
Canon 350d
3x batteries.
18-55 kit lens.
Sigma 28-70 f2.8- whatever
Sigma 70-300 apo dg macro f4.5-whatever
Canon 50 f1.8
Slick tripod and (some make) monopod.
A number of A & P size coking filters with holders.

As well as landscapes which I enjoy, most of the work I have been asked to do has been family/pet portraits and most of that has been outdoors (apart from the family portraits) although there has been some indoor arena work. Outdoors I have noticed I work between 200mm and 300mm with the Sigma 70-300 (even for some pet portraits) indoors I find the 70mm side to be a bit tight sometimes and slow missing some shots even at iso 400. Saying that, I haven’t checked out the venues I have been booked for yet…..and if the places are bigger then 70mm won’t be so bad.
I like the idea of a longer lens for other stuff I have been unable to try yet but realise a faster lens would probably be more beneficial.

I may keep the 350d body, Batteries and the 50mm as a spare…..not sure yet.
My budget (this hurts) £4000 cash but the wife would very much prefer if I kept it to £3000 (which hurts even more).

Okay….here’s my shopping list (which needs narrowed down) any thoughts or alternatives would be greatly appreciated.

All prices based on OneStop
Canon 30d £628.99
Grip £95.99

Sigma 17-55 f2.8 IS USM £545.99
OR
Canon 17-40L IS USM £412.99

Canon 70-200L F2.8 IS USM £997.99 (possibly with 1.4 or 2x converter) or would the non IS Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens do?
OR
Canon 100-400L IS USM £840.99

Canon 580 ex speedlight £229
OR
Sigma 500 dg super £126.99

I’d also like to purchase a good bag, shutter release cable, tripod and ball head and a lee filter system with polarizer, nd grad and grad filters…..help with these items would also be appreciated.

Please help.
Ken.
 
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8,454
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30D is a good start... tho if rumours are correct theres a 40D along "soon" :whistle: :thinking: :woot: .... do you wait or dontcha...?

As you shoot indoors a lot then go for IS models with f2.8 (or faster :eek: ) options throughout.

If you are staying with the 1.6 crop Cam (350,400,20,30,40? D)
then I'd go for the 17-55 f2.8 IS EFS. Indoors the IS will be a massive advantage... and it is VERY sharp (reputed to be L series quality, in an EFS package). I have one and its great.

For the longer lens get the 70-200 f2.8 IS L. There isnt anything better (maybe the IS F4 if you want to save weight and £££). Then get a 1.4X to help with the long shots.

Both of these do tripod sensing (for the IS) and have 77mm filter fitting so one CircPL will do.

Get the 580ex Canon flash. It works and is issue free.

As for tripods. Get a good (carbon fibre manfroto) one that's tall enough for you with a good ball head and 2 plates (one for the cam, one for the 70-200).

Thats my tuppence worth. HTH
 
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30D is a good start... tho if rumours are correct theres a 40D along "soon" :whistle: :thinking: :woot: .... do you wait or dontcha...?

As you shoot indoors a lot then go for IS models with f2.8 (or faster :eek: ) options throughout.

If you are staying with the 1.6 crop Cam (350,400,20,30,40? D)
then I'd go for the 17-55 f2.8 IS EFS. Indoors the IS will be a massive advantage... and it is VERY sharp (reputed to be L series quality, in an EFS package). I have one and its great.

For the longer lens get the 70-200 f2.8 IS L. There isnt anything better (maybe the IS F4 if you want to save weight and £££). Then get a 1.4X to help with the long shots.

Both of these do tripod sensing (for the IS) and have 77mm filter fitting so one CircPL will do.

Get the 580ex Canon flash. It works and is issue free.

As for tripods. Get a good (carbon fibre manfroto) one that's tall enough for you with a good ball head and 2 plates (one for the cam, one for the 70-200).

Thats my tuppence worth. HTH
Forced to agree with the oldgit.

Perhaps, though, if you're going with the 70-200 2.8, you should consider the 1.4x and the 2x tc's. You'll retain autofocus but, as you can imagine, you'll be down to a fairly dark place. No darker though than the 100-400.

For that kit, consider a Tamrac Expedition 4 or 5 - It should have enough room inside to keep the 70-200 attached with a TC. I just bought the expedition 7 and can comfortably carry the 300mm attached with the 1.4 tc. Should be able to get it for between £60 and £90 depending on which you go for. Also has a tripod carrying rig which i'm really benefiting from:)
 
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If the subjects are stationary (portraits) then a Canon 30d/40D will suffice.
However, if you are taking pictures of moving pets then I would suggest going for a Canon 1D MKII / MKIII - release date TBC. The fast focus and rugged build from the 1 Series will be worth the investment.

Cameras
Canon 30D - £700s
Canon 40D - £800 (estimated)

Canon 1D MKIIn - £2,000
Canon 1D MKIII - £2,400 (estimated)


The lenses I would be looking at are:

Canon EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS - £550
An unbeatable wide angle lens for low light and slow shutter speeds.
Clearly if you get a Canon 1D you will have to use this on your 350D

Canon 135 L F2 - £500
This is a superbly sharp and fast lens; perfect for indoor sports and with the wide aperture produces amazing portrait photos.

Canon 300mm L F4 IS - £800
This is a solid telephoto lens; well built, sharp, reasonably light weight, fast AF and good in low light.

Flash
Canon 580EX - £270

Bag
Lowe Pro Nature Trekker AW II - £150
Big enough to hold 2 cameras, all the above lenses, flash unit, memory and comes with water proof cover.

Memory
Sandisk 2GB ULTRA II x 2 - £35 each
 
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4,887
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Carole
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Sure you wouldn't just like to go shopping for shoes? Now, I could really help there.........:D

Lots of folk have recently been singing the praises of the Canon 100-400 lens, saying how sharp it was. Haven't got one ........yet........but whatever you go for......... Happy shopping!
 
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13,286
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You lucky old sausage ... so much to spend all in one hit ... :eek: ... you must be so damn excited ... :D

I am not a Lightsider but it appears you have already been given sound advice about the main components of your shopping list ... ;)

As far as bags go it is as much a personal thing as anything else ... :shrug: ... I have been using A LowePro here > SlingShot 200 AW Awards and Here > Slingshot 200 AW and all I can say is that it is a really superbly comfortable and versatile bag. They have, or are, bringing out a bigger 300 AW 'Pro' version very soon too and this will be worth serious consideration if you need to take all/more of your kit with you ... :thinking:



Good luck with your shopping list KenCo ... :nuts:





:p
 
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4,136
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Tim
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May I just add that whatever you buy Ken, The results from your current equipment have left me speechless in the past..;)

Your work is something I admire greatly.:clap:


Good luck with whatever you buy. I am sure you will make the very best of it.:)
 
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6,830
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Jim
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OK I'll chip in.

I'd keep the 350D. Perfectly capable camera. Although I agree if you are trying to shoot fast moving dogs then a 1 series camera will help. A 1dMkIIN would be a great buy.

Buy the grip for the 350D

Advice on lenses. IS will not help with a subject that is moving. If shooting stationary portraits then fine but otherwise a fast prime may be better.

Here's my tuppence on the lenses you mentioned and some other considerations.

Lenses slower than f2.8 are not great for shooting indoors so you need at least an f2.8 lens or two and a fast prime.

Sigma 17-55 f2.8 IS USM - No such lens it's a canon lens - The Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS USM is a great lens and one I would recommend.

Canon 17-40L IS USM - Again no such lens - the f4L does not have IS and is probably too slow for shooting indoors.

Canon 70-200L F2.8 IS USM £997.99 (possibly with 1.4 or 2x converter) or would the non IS Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens do?

The 70-200 f2.8L IS is without doubt an amazing lens. Buy it now if you have the cash. that price is very good - Who's selling it at that price?

OR

Canon 100-400L IS USM £840.99 - Too slow for what you are looking to do. If you need more range buy the 1.4x converter and use it with the 70-200 f2.8L IS. this gives a nice 98-280 f4 with IS. Don't get the 2x as you lose 2 stops of light and the camera will struggle to focus.

Canon 580 ex speedlight £229 - Buy it yes

Sigma 500 dg super £126.99 - I have both the Canon and this one. It's an ok flash but the Canon is easier to use and the build quality is better.


Now I'd also look at a faster prime for shooting indoors. 85mm f1.8 and a 50mm f1.4 would be recommended but if you can stretch, the 85 f1.2 is probably one of the best portrait lenses ever made.

If you need some length, the 135 f2L is also a superb lens.

So there's my thoughts. You would have the following

350D + Grip
Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS
Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS
Canon 1.4x Converter

Canon 85mm f1.8 or 135mm f2L
Canon 50mm f1.4

Canon 580 EX

Consider the Lowepro Mini Trekker. See my equipment and I have all my lenses in this bag apart from the two Tamrons. Also have lots of other things in there too. great bag. Or a top loader like the Lowepro Nova 5 AW is also a nice small bag that takes lots of equipment.

That should be less than £3k given the prices you mentioned above leaving room for a few other toys.
 
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978
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Mark
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Now we know who won the lottery last week,
green with envey,
good luck.
 

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
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15,998
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Hugh
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Not a huge saving but I'm pretty sure your 350d batteries will fit a 30d as well :)
 
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848
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Not a huge saving but I'm pretty sure your 350d batteries will fit a 30d as well :)
The 350D use : NB-2L batteries
The D60/10D/20D/30D use : BP-511 batteries
 

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
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15,998
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Hugh
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ah! I was assuming it had the same batteries as my 300d, I suppose I should have realised that with it being that much smaller this would not be the case.
 
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2,817
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Robyn
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One thing I would say - my original thought was keep the 30D and buy the grip....then I read on with your thread. If you're seriously considering the 70-200 f2.8 IS then change cameras. I'm sure plenty on here will swear by using a 350D/70-200mm combo but that is one BIG HEAVY lens - I would think the strain on your fingers using it with a 350D would be incredible. Even with the grip - that's not going to help with the width at all.

I think most on here already know how smitten I am with the 70-200 so no question I'm going to say go for it. As a point of interest, in my opinion and experience it doesn't struggle at all focussing with the 2x on it either - I was amazed how quick it was still. It does drop it back to f5.6 of course though which won't be so helpful for the sort of thing you're looking at and in fact will gain you precious little at 300mm over your existing Sigma. (If you try it with BOTH TC's it hunts a bit unless the light is terrific though!) Someone else suggests an EF-S lens - remember if you are ever considering swapping to a 1 series camera you won't be able to take that lens across with you so consider carefully before investing!
 

CT

TPer Emeritus
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I think you've had some good advice on lenses Ken. but the only thing I'd say is if you're going to be doing a lot of paid work, you're soon going to make a big impression on the 50K shutter life of a 350D. A 30D would obviously be better with a 100K shutter life. But a 1 Series camera with a 200K shutter life might be a good investment for you at this stage, if you have to rely on it in all weathers? If you go that route then weather resistant lenses need to be a consideration as well.

We see a fair bit around the forum of problems with 20D's and 30D's but we don't seem to hear of any with 1 Series cameras. (Now I've said that mine will go belly up) The facility to back your shots up to a 2nd card in camera is also an enormous security blanket. :)
 
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6,830
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Jim
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One thing I would say - my original thought was keep the 30D and buy the grip....then I read on with your thread. If you're seriously considering the 70-200 f2.8 IS then change cameras. I'm sure plenty on here will swear by using a 350D/70-200mm combo but that is one BIG HEAVY lens - I would think the strain on your fingers using it with a 350D would be incredible. Even with the grip - that's not going to help with the width at all.
A couple of comments on your post.
When I use the 70-200 f2.8L IS I hold the lens with my left hand and the only weight therefore on the mount is with the weight of the camera (remember a 350D is VERY light. Anyway there's no issues with using heavy lenses on the smaller cameras as far as I'm aware. If you use a tripod, use the tripod mount on the lens and again tghe only weight on the mount is the camera (lighter than my 20D)!

I would not therefore consider this as a negative at all.

in my opinion and experience it doesn't struggle at all focussing with the 2x on it either - I was amazed how quick it was still. It does drop it back to f5.6 of course though which won't be so helpful for the sort of thing you're looking at and in fact will gain you precious little at 300mm over your existing Sigma.
I found the 70-200 AF to slow significantly with a 2x. It was lowish light you get that here in Scotland) :) If you have good light you shouldn't notice a huge issue but IQ does take a hit.


Someone else suggests an EF-S lens - remember if you are ever considering swapping to a 1 series camera you won't be able to take that lens across with you so consider carefully before investing!
There's thousands of users selling these lenses 2nd hand all the time for very little less than they paid for them. Check 2nd hand prices - not low! Use the lens now and if you decide to change to a different camera like a 1 series or FF then look to buy a new lens then. I would not consider buying the 17-55 2.8 IS a bad move unless you know you are going to change cameras away from the APS-C (1.6x) in a very short while.

Cheers
Jim
 
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Like EOS_JD said, focusing with a converter is fine for stationary subjects but once they start moving it won't keep up.
I've tried photographing dogs with my 24-70L F2.8 on my 20D and you can forget about tracking them whilst they are moving. Only a 1 series camera with a fast prime gives you half a chance.
 
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6,830
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Jim
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Like EOS_JD said, focusing with a converter is fine for stationary subjects but once they start moving it won't keep up.
I've tried photographing dogs with my 24-70L F2.8 on my 20D and you can forget about tracking them whilst they are moving. Only a 1 series camera with a fast prime gives you half a chance.
What I was talking about was IS. That works great with stationary subjects at low shutter speeds but once you start dealing with faster moving subjects like dogs, the IS does not make such a big difference as you need fast shutter speeds to stop the subject motion. Obviously trying to keep focus with a converter on will slow down the AF too.
 
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Moving subjects ie. dogs are a little more complex to photograph than just a fast (large aperture) lense and a 1 series body. For example. A dog moving at speed across your position can be followed and kept in focus quite successfully by a mid range body driving a standard telephoto zoom lense (350D + sigma ?-300mm) because the subjects distance from the lense is changing relatively slowly and you have time to pan with your finger on the release to get a few goes at a good exposure. Especially as the camera is re-metering between frames. So slow (small aperture) lense plus average camera = good shot, all else being equal.
The situation changes when the said animal is hurtling towards you at a rate of knots.
Fast lense now means 'Fast accurate focusing', again not necessarily large aperture. In fact given that a dogs eyes can be up to 18ins in front of its chest at full tilt a slower lense or smaller aperture can be your only way of acquiring a fully in focus subject. Basically the fast changing focussing ability of say an L series lense plus an eos 1 type body comes into its own under these circumstances, allowing you to concentrate on the timing of the shot(s) to give the impression required and the composition.
I started with greyhound racing 30yrs ago, then to agility and the rest and I have to say that due to money being tight most of my earnings in thoughs days where from average cameras and slow lenses. I must admit the eos1dm2 + 200mm f1.8 make life abit more flexible though.;)
 
OP
KenCo
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2,055
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Ken
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Thanks very much for all your thoughts and sorry to keep you in suspense but......I injured my shoulder a couple of days ago and I am still in agony, although it didn't stop me from shopping ;) :nono:
Sure you wouldn't just like to go shopping for shoes? Now, I could really help there.........:D
I'd love to go shopping with you and the very next time I need a pair of shoes I will give you a shout.....BUT think i am going to be walking around bare footed for some time after all this.
May I just add that whatever you buy Ken, The results from your current equipment have left me speechless in the past..;)

Your work is something I admire greatly.:clap:


Good luck with whatever you buy. I am sure you will make the very best of it.:)
Thanks mate.

OK I'll chip in.

- No such lens it's a canon lens -

- Again no such lens -
Sorry about that....knew after I wrote it that I got the 17-55 wrong but didn't realise I'd put IS after the 17-40.....head was buzzing reading all the reviews.:D

Now we know who won the lottery last week,
green with envey,
good luck.
I wouldn't be mate, it's costing me a fitted bedroom and the wife still can't believe I am spending £1000's on a lens.

but the only thing I'd say is if you're going to be doing a lot of paid work, you're soon going to make a big impression on the 50K shutter life of a 350D.
Never took that into consideration and something to think about.

Most of the shots I have been doing have been still and the odd time I have done show shots it's all pretty slow running, in fact most of the owners only quickly walk their dogs....That, the fact I want some quality glass and what ct said about shutter life, i've decided to keep a hold of the 350d and save some for a 1series.
So I have already placed my orders and all my stuff should be here sometime next week.

The list is:

Canon grip
2x batteries
4gig cf
70-200L IS USM F2.8
17-55 IS USM F2.8
Canon 2x TC
580 ex speedlight
Tamrac expedition 7 bag
Tripod Manfrotto 055 prob
Ball Head 488rc4 & qrp 410pl
Screen lcd protector.

I am also on the hunt for a 19/20inch monitor and external H/D

That's it! for now.
Thanks again.
Ken.
 
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Sweet.
Good selection, and unless my counting is wayy off you should be keeping the wife "happy".
 

CT

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Nice selection there ken and pretty sensible all things considered.;)

Do you think the missus will ever come back? :LOL:
 
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6,153
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Darren
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Looks like you've done a grand job of narrowing down some tough options there Ken.

I can't agree strongly enough with those saying you need a 1d II. If you need to deliver, every time without fail then you MUST have a camera that is designed to do just that. Hell it's worth the extra money just for the secure feeling you get by starting a job with a 1 series brick in your hand. :D
 
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KenCo
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2,055
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Ken
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Do you think the missus will ever come back? :LOL:
She has to, to collect her stuff (y)
Forgot to mention I am also getting a lee filter set haven't shopped for those yet.
 
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6,830
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Jim
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Don't buy the 2x..... Get a 1.4.x the quality is better and you only lose 1 stop of light. That is very important.

Also SDK - sorry! :) Too slow on AF and speed...... I wrote so much I forgot that!
 
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I had a play with photographing my doggy today, nothing worth posting but interesting all the same. It did occur to me however that by getting down to their level produces a much better portrait type shot but, if I was going to do any amount of this there is one attachment I would by. A 90 degree view finder extension, by god my knees now hurt :(
 
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