Help me spend $650


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Aug 16, 2015
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I unexpectedly have about $650 to spend toward hardware for my hobbies. Currently have an almost new Nikon D3300, Sigma 17-70 2.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8, a Neewer flash with a small softbox, nice tripod, nice monopod, nice backpack to carry it all, nice small bag to carry just a little, polarizer and UV filters for both lenses, an extra battery for the camera, SD cards, and probably other stuff I'm forgetting. In other words, I probably have everything I NEED to learn for quite some time to come. Hate to pass up the opportunity I have and while I could put it away for another day, odds are it will rain and it'll disappear toward some household repair or something else.

Mostly my interest lies in architectural, nature, and landscape photography. I photograph my kid's sports games (middle school right now.) Probably will play around with some still life work, but not particularly interested in portraiture.

Couple thoughts come to mind:
- additional lens or lenses such as a 35mm 1.8g (which would overlap with the 17-70, but would be faster for low-light situations.) And/or the Tokina 11-16 2.8. The two of those together would actually work.
- Some lighting hardware (posted about this but still haven't decided what I want to do.)
- High end monitor for editing (have a 32" LCD TV I can use right now.)
- ???

I generally have budget for classes, books, etc when I get those opportunities.

I'd spend it on a trip somewhere nice that you can photo some of those nice things
Conserving vacation days for a big trip next summer but good idea.

Also considering a refurb D7100. Would probably keep the D3300 if I did that.
I had a d7100. Nice camera, but it won't have better image quality than your d3300. That's not saying you shouldn't buy it, but only if it's features are needed by you. For landscape it's really not going to benefit you.

I do understand though that the money will disappear on a bill. I had a long telephoto in mind and my car decided to die.

However if your not sure but want to buy something,you could get a 650 voucher in a good camera shop and buy when you are more sure of what you need
As much as I think the D3300 is a great camera I would trade it in with the 650$ add a little more and get the D7200
I vote for the Tok 11-16.
I would safe the money until you feel you actually NEED something.
Well, like I said, what I actually NEED will probably end up being basketball shoes for my daughter or parts for the furnace or ???? Which we'd be totally fine absorbing into the budget normally but if there's "extra" sitting around, that's where it will go.

Doing some looking and I'm thinking of ordering the following:
Nikon 35mm 1.8g
Neewer VK750G flash (already have one)
Wireless remote kit for the flashes
Brackets to mount the flashes on the stands I already have using the umbrellas I already have.
Several small miscellaneous storage/organization pieces.
Maybe a(nother) new bag. Not super thrilled with the Tamrac I bought and thinking about a ThinkTank Airport Essentials
I think the second flash and stuff to use the other lighting stuff you have is a good place to spend part, but really if you were doing more portraiture.
I would lean towards the ultra wide and a grip.
I always end up spending money like this on things for the house or kids.
I have that Tokina 11-16 and its great. I recommend it to expand your focal lengths and its just a fun lens. You may find yourself in some tight spots trying to photograph architecture.... this will open things up for you.

Eventually you will want to upgrade your camera body, but I doubt it will make a difference in your photography. As of now (correct me if I'm wrong) you haven't used your current body to its fullest extent so you would just be getting more features that you don't necessarily need right now, and the image quality wouldn't be much better with a better body. (unless you are willing to spend more and upgrade to full frame)

I doubt that getting the 1.8 lens will really benefit you mutch with what you currently have because you aren't going to want that super shallow DOF for what you are shooting.

Lighting equipment would be most useful in portraiture or macro photography, but you don't have a macro lens so I'm doubting lighting is going to up your game right now.... since you don't seem to have interest in areas that lighting would be most effective.

Another thing that you may consider is a good set of ND and Graduated ND filters. Those may have the most impact on what you currently shoot. You also didn't mention what programs you edit with. Technology might be a good area to spend that money.
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A second camera for when the SLR gear is too big and too obvious.
A tilt/shift lens for architecture/landscape.
A good monitor and calibration device.

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