Bonus at work. What to buy???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CraniumDesigns, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Hey folks, so after taxes, I'm getting about $5800 for my annual bonus from work. Most of that will go to credit card debt and to savings, but I wanna free $600-1000 for camera equipment. You can see what I currently have in my sig.

    Things I'm thinking about...

    1.) Upgrading from my Rebel XS body. I am looking at switching to the XSi. I figure I can sell my XS for about $400 and put that towards the XSi. Or maybe I should wait for the T1i (500D) in May?

    2.) Getting a bigger camera backpack. I currently have the Slingshot 100, and if I get more equpiment, I'm gonna need more space. Thinking about the Slingshot 200.

    3.) Upgrading my main lens. I currently have the basic 18-55 kit lens that came with my XS. I would like another zoom lens for landscape, so at least 17mm wide, and hopefully something sharper. I find my shots with my kit lens arent as sharp as they could be. Any suggestions? I'm looking at the Sigma 17-70 or the 18-50, since they're apparently just as good as Canon equivalents, and much cheaper.

    4.) Buying the Cokin Z-Pro filter holder for more professional landscape photography.

    5.) Buying the Lee soft grad ND filter set (0.3, 0.6, & 0.9) for landscape shots.

    6.) Upgrade to a taller tripod. I currently have the Manfrotto Mini, and I love it, but I don't think it could support the extra stuff I plan to buy, and it also only goes up about 4 feet, so I have to constantly bend over to view through the viewfinder.

    Please share your thoughts. Whatever I would replace would be sold to pay towards the new stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I have a choice, I will not upgrade from XS to XSi. I will go to at least a 40D/50D.

    If you want to replace the kit lens, the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 USM or the Tamron equivalent is a good choice.
     
  3. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    If I were to spend the money for the 40D, I might as well get the new T1i coming out in May, which I might do. Same price and you get almost the same sensor as the 50D.

    and does the sigma 18-50 2.8 come with the equivalent of Image Stabilization like on the canon? is it necessary? what about the tamron?
     
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  4. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    IS shouldnt be a big deal on such a short lens really. Unless you want to spend more than $1000 I wouldnt plan on upgrading your body. The XS is still a very good body.

    If you really like doing landscape stuff consider keeping the kit lens and picking up a Sigma $440 or so. Pick up a Conkin GND filter setup for about $30. You could still pick up the sigma 18-50 f 2.8 for about $360. If you spend the $1000 your thinking about then take the last $170 and you could pick up decent tripod. If you sell your canon kit lens you may also be able to pick up the back pack as well.
     
  5. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    THANKS, but why would I keep the kit lens? I'd rather sell it and get some moneys.

    What do you mean by "Sigma $440 or so"? Wouldn't getting the Signma 18-50mm be enough? Why buy 2 lenses? Maybe I'm just reading this wrong.

    Also, if I upgrade my lens, would you get the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 Macro or the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8?
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For me, I really like the 40D myself. Even it is a year and half old technology, but I will still choose it over XSi nor the new T1i. Personally, I really do not think upgrading from XS to XSi or T1i is an upgrade.

    And that is why I will say put the money on the lens instead. I believe the Sigma 17-50mm do not have any image stabilization nor the Tamron version. However, you may not need it after all. It is nice to have, however, for wide angle lens, you seldom need it. Especially on the shorter focal length range.

    If you are able to shoot at 1/30 shutter speed at 17mm, you really do not need any IS at all. A lot of people can even shoot it with a lower shutter speed even. (practice, practice and practice). With the aperture of F/2.8, I am sure you can in most of the situation. However, for a telephoto lens, IS is nice to have.

    The general rule to avoid blur caused by camera shake is shoot the photo with the 1/(focal length) shutter speed. For a full frame / 35mm film slr camera, if you take a picture at 17mm focal length, then if you shoot it with a min of 1/17 shutter speed, you may not see the blur effect casued by the camera shake. For the 1.6x crop sensor camera, it will be 1/27.

    And for 50mm, it is 1/80 min shutter speed for cropped sensor body. With a wider aperture, usually you can achieve that shutter speed in most of the situation. In low light situation, you may need to bump up the ISO. As a result, IS may not need but ... of course, it is good to have.
     
  7. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    What I was suggesting was the

    Sigma 10-20mm lens which many people love, it runs about $440
    Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 rus about $360

    With those two lenses you cover from 10mm - 50mm focal range which is about as good as it gets when shooting landscape shots.

    If you sell the canon lens it would give you some more cash to pick up a another item on your list. Just remember your not gonna get much for the lens.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with the others - stick with your camera - its a good camera and better glass will give you a far bigger image quality improvement than a new body will. Further a new lens can open many doors on the type of photography you can do.

    As for the $440 sigma I belive he was refering to the sigma 10-20mm lens which is a wideangle lens made for crop sensor cameras (such as you XT) and is very popular for being affordable and yet just as good as (image quality wise) the canon 10-20mm whilst the sigma is cheaper. That sort of lens would give you a very good way into the landscape world
     
  9. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    I also agree with the others...keep your body and use it until it can't do what you need it to do. I've had my XTi for 16 months and I have no plans to upgrade yet...building up my lens collection first.

    Get some fast lenses as well as pick up those other items. Look at some prime lenses.
     
  10. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Cool. I'll definitely get either the Sigma 18-50 or the Tamron 17-50. Not sure if I'll get the Sigma 10-20 yet. I've been doing ok for landscape without it, but might get it eventually.

    What's the purpose of prime lenses? Seems the lack of zoom would be quite annoying, but that's just me the newb talking.
     
  11. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Prime lenses are generally sharper and have larger apertures (good for low light or real shallow DOF)...the fastest zooms have a f/2.8 aperture where primes can go to f/1.2...they let in a lot more light. They weigh less too.

    A lot of my shooting buddies are moving away from zooms and using more primes in their photography, especially for portrait work. A photojournalist I know uses prime lenses for indoor sport photography.

    And prime lenses do have zoom capability...it's called "foot-zoom".
     
  12. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    "Foot zoom". Haha. Nice. True, I have a 50mm prime, and it sure teaches you how to move to get the shot.

    Now, any thoughts on the choice I gotta make between the Sigma 18-50 and the Tamron 17-50?
     

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