Tax Refund?! Need a bit of practical advice..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mrmacedonian, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    Hey all, as I said in past posts I don't have a huge budget and I was only recently able to handle upgrading to a Canon 50D body to use with my previously purchased Tamron 18-270mm. Fun lens far as versatility is concerned, but I've been having some troubles in lower light (f/3.5-6.3), which I have often found myself in.

    Long story short, this is my first year doing my own taxes and well, I didn't even consider the tax refund check O_O. Fiscally I'm pretty conservative soo this amount lies outside of my budget as a decent surplus. I considered investing buut I feel maybe some new glass would be a different kind of investment and would definitely make me happy! :p

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    I primarily enjoy wide angle and portrait situations, so I'm looking at <= 100mm far as lenses are concerned. To that end, I've looked at three lenses in particular:

    Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
    -or-
    Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

    *note* I consider the 50mm 1.4 rather than say the 85mm 1.8 due to comments about what effect my 1.6x body will have on it. please correct me if i'm mistaken.

    Now, whether I purchase the two primes or the L-series, i'm looking at relatively the same cost. I know what people say about L-series glass and their love and addiction to it, so I've been pretty settled on the 17-40mm but I keep reading reviews from individuals who criticize the sharpness of the lens as well as the f/4.

    Here are my concerns:
    I primarily find myself in lower-light situations. I did recently receive a promaster 7500 as a Christmas present but even with that my 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 hasn't been that satisfactory. In another recent thread I read that the f/4 on that lens refers to the maximum aperture..

    so then, what I do not yet understand, is f/4 "wide open" for this lens (B&H.com: f/Stop Range 4-22)? Since that seems to be the case, would the 50mm 1.8 and 28mm 1.4 lenses perform better in lower light than the 17-40mm f/4? I apologize if i missed something in previous posts.


    Things I understand/have considered:
    - the 28mm is obviously not going to be as wide as the L @17.
    - @40mm the L obviously wouldn't be equal to the 50mm prime.
    - i would be be loosing the range in between that the zoom offers.

    Questions:
    - The two primes, not being EF-S, would work on a Full Frame if i were able to upgrade to say a 5DmkII? ::buys lottery tickets::


    Next, what are the opinions on the prime vs. zoom here? I can forsee people saying a zoom L will outperform non-L primes, but I believe its worth getting opinions. I'm by no means selling or marketing my photos but, I would like to get the best I can with this little fiscal surplus I am experiencing :)


    That's about it.. I hope I was specific enough in my questions and concerns, let me know if there are any questions.

    Again, these would be on a Canon 50D body.
     
  2. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    If you get enough taxes returned to be able to pay for buying camera equipment, you had way too much money withheld during the year that you loaned to Unca Sam at 0% interest.

    Trick is to adjust your witholding to where you get back just a little, or even pay, just a little on April 15th.

    Then you have your own money during the year, to save, invest, or spend as you choose.
     
  3. You've pretty much nailed all the photo issues, I will leave unsolicited tax advice to others.

    Yes, that L lens is f/4 - it's a great lens for landscapes, but for shooting people it is a little too wide, and for dark spaces it is too slow. Get the 50mm, and wait. No need to buy both. But the 50 will make you happy, it is well-built lens, the speed of it renders some lovely images, and it will work for portraits as well in low light. For landscapes you might occasionally wish you had something wider, but you can still purchase something later.

    All these will work on a full frame in the future.
     
  4. mom2eight

    mom2eight TPF Noob!

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    I'm in the same boat. I am leaning toward the 50 for portrait work. I've never owned a prime lens so I guess ill have to get used to that. Let me know which one you get. I am really wanting to get something with good bokeh but they seem very pricey.
     
  5. KAikens318

    KAikens318 TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a 50mm 1.8 for my Nikon and I have to say so far it has been a super investment, only $130 too so it didn't break the bank! I would go with a faster glass, low light shots become easier!
     
  6. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the advice all, i was pretty sure the two primes was the way to go; i just wanted to hear it affirmed a few times from the wise voices on this forum.

    I'm going to wait a bit and put the order for the 50mm f/1.4 on Sunday night probably so it'll ship sometime Monday and i'll have it to play with next week :)

    Iron I believe i will take your advice and hold off on the 28mm f/1.8 , even tho i think the 50mm on the 1.6x crop body will be a bit tight for some of the stuff i want to shoot.. i'll keep that out of my monthly budget for later use :p

    thanks all,

    andrej
     
  7. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    quick update: ordered the 50mm f/1.4 :)

    very anxious!! ..wish there were a B&H down the street! curse you Ohio :p
     
  8. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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  9. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    Hey Goontz, thanks for the tip I actually drove down there today and took a look around. Looks like they've got some gear. Bothered me a bit they didn't have prices posted so you basically have to ask for each individual lens/item.

    Nice to know there's somewhere local that also rents lenses, because I previously had ordered one from some site in California and they wanted to charge me more for 2day shipping than the lens rental for 10days >_< I called the guy and canceled my order once I saw the final (ridiculous) price and he was a bit of a.. well I don't use that word here but he left off with "alright, i'll see if i can shove it in an envelope."

    Any way, thanks again for the tip!
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry for the off topic ..
    That's what I'd been telling my friends. But they still don't get it. Someone even think uncle sam treated him pretty good since he got a big check every year. sigh .... People do not realize that the money they receive are their own money they lent to the gov without interest.

    When you owe big money to uncle sam at the time of tax filing for 2 years, they will penalize you, but if the person receive the same amount as overpaid tax back, they don't give you extra ... not fair .. not fair ..


    As for OP, congrats on the 50mm F/1.4.
     

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