$1500 budget - What Camera/Lens?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DevinAllen, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. DevinAllen

    DevinAllen TPF Noob!

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    I am ready to move up from my Canon Digital Rebel Xti. I am starting some semi-professional work mainly doing portrait studio shots and senior pics. Current lenses are:
    Canon 18-55mm kit lens (rarely used)
    Canon 50mm/f1.8
    Canon 85mm/f1.8
    Canon 70-300mm/f 4.5 - 5.6
    I am budgeting $1500 for my next purchase and have settled on the Canon 50D (~$1,000 for body). Question is what lens would any of you recommend? I've seen some nice package deals online. One has the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. Another has the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Another option is to sell my xti and put that money into a lens, possibly bumping me up to the $1800 range for camera and lens. I'm looking to increase clarity and sharpness in my portait work. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    These lenses are not an upgrade from what you have, and IMO, you shouldn't even waste your time looking at them.

    $500 is not much for a lens budget. You're looking a one lens, most likely one prime. (With a few bucks left over.)


    If it were me - I'd keep the body you have and upgrade your lenses first. You really only have one "good" lens (the 85). That 50 is OK, from what I hear - but by all accounts, the 1.4 is miles better.

    $1500 would be a petty good start for lenses, assuming you go with primes. Zooms will eat that budget up fast.


    If you want better clarity & sharpness, get better lenses. If you get a new body, and still only have the lenses you have now (+1), you will not notice a huge difference in picture quality...

    Take that 85 compared to you kit lens - for example... Much better right?
    What if all of your lenses were that good or better?
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I completely agree with Josh.

    An increase in clarity and sharpness will come from better glass and possibly improvements in camera handeling technique, not from upgrading the camera body.
     
  4. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with what has been said. Your money will be better spent on lenses or lighting. Unless there is something specific that your camera can't do, that a new one would.

    That being said, if you are going to do work for money, you should have backup equipment, so another camera body should be in the plans at some point.
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    if you're mainly doing portraits, you should at least wait until you can get a 5D.
     
  7. pbisfun

    pbisfun TPF Noob!

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  8. DevinAllen

    DevinAllen TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the great feedback, everyone. So, what lens would any of you recommend in the $1200 range? Should I look at off-brands like Tamron or Sigma or stick with Canon? I'm thinking something along the lines of 18-70mm or 28-80. Any thoughts are appreciated.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sigma & Tamron do make some pretty good lenses. It really should be looked at, on a lens by lens basis, but for the most part, a top of the line Sigma/Tamron is going to be about 80-90% as good as a top of the line Canon/Nikon lens....but the Sigma/Tamron is usually about half the price.
    So, for many people, the Sigma/Tamron is a great deal....but some people are more than willing to pay twice as much for that last 10% of quality.

    If you want to get the most image quality for you dollar, then prime lenses are usually a good bet. Your 85mm F1.8 is ideal for portraits...as long as you have the space to work. The 50mm should be pretty good too.
    Where you kit is lacking, is in the wide end...as the 18-55mm is a weak link. If you want to replace that lens, I'd suggest looking at the EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS, or the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 or Sigma 18-50mm F2.8.

    Your telephoto lens isn't the best either, so if you were thinking of replacing that, there are several good 70-200mm lenses to choose from. My favorite lens is my Canon 70-200mm F2.8 L IS, but it was expensive. Canon makes three other versions, (F4, IS or non IS) and Sigma & Tamron both make an F2.8 version.

    The more I think about it, you would probably be OK with your 85mm & 50mm lenses (for shooting portraits anyway) so you might consider investing in some lighting. Maybe an off-camera flash kit. Something like THIS.
     
  10. pbisfun

    pbisfun TPF Noob!

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    well if you have 1200 to spend and are looking at a standard zoom lens I go with the 24-70mm f/2.8L or the 24-105 f/4L IS. one of the things about having a constant F stop is you are not having to adust for lighting every time you zoom in and out.
    Personally I would go with a telephoto zoom the 70-200 it a great portrait lens you can get it for 1300 at B&H
     
  11. pbisfun

    pbisfun TPF Noob!

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    I totaly agrea with Big Mike
     
  12. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Six of one, etc....

    If you're going semi professional, a second body sure wouldn't hurt. And neither will a good light set up. If your 18-55mm kit lens isn't up to par, then a wide prime of at least 24mm will also come in handy.
     

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