Help with restarting


TPF Noob!
Mar 9, 2012
Reaction score
The Netherlands
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hi everyone. This is my first post here, even tough I've been reading the forum for a while. I'm in doubt right now about my next steps and I'd like to hear your opinions. So far, I was shooting with a Nikon D3100 and the standard DX lenses, nothing really fancy. I then decided that it was time to upgrade my gear, mostly for 2 reasons: 1- I love taking land/cityscapes pictures (actually taking pictures of people is really hard for me, I don't know why) and I'd love to have a full frame body for that; 2- I'd like to be able to use old lenses that I can buy used for a reduced price and the D3100 does not have the AF motor. So I sold my gear and now I have to restart.

I was looking for used Nikon D700 and Canon 5D Mk II but their prices are still a bit above my budget. I would be able to buy the body, but then would not have money for the lenses. Since I expect the prices for these cameras to drop in a couple of months due to the D800 and the Mk III, I was thinking about getting a cheaper body now and some nice FX/EOS lenses and then, once the price of the D700/MkII drops make the move for a full frame body while keeping the lenses. With this in mind, my options would be to get a new Nikon D90 or a Canon 60D or get a used Nikon D300 or a Canon 50D (or 5D MkI). All these options are selling for between 500-600 euros, except for the 60D which is a bit more expensive (but there is no camera bridging the gap between the 600D and the 60D). This would leave me with around 500 euros extras for 3 lenses. This of course, would depend on which road to take, Nikon or Canon. I bought the Nikon D3100 because it felt better in my hands, and this is usually true for the other cameras I have tried: usually the Nikons feel better, while the Canons feel kind weird, specially because the position of the shutter button, which does not cope well with my large hands. Anyway, if it were by ergonomics I'd go the Nikon road again, but the 5D Mark II is so a strong reference on landscape photography that I'm tempted to switch to Canon just thinking about getting a Mk. II in the future.

If you could give your opinions about what should I do (new or used cameras, which of the models listed, maybe suggest some nice used lenses for the setup) I'd really appreciate. =)
I had been playing around on an old 350D that I bought ages ago. It was perfectly fine for what I wanted it to do. However with a change of work scene and moving, I didn't have much time for photography. Now things have evened out and I have more time on my hands, I decided to get back into it. I had a little money lying around so decided to buy a new camera. After a lot of research I knew I wanted Full-Frame, but I didn't need fancy things like movie capture, etc.

I decided to buy an old 5D (MkI) from eBay. I was also able to get a nice deal on a 24-105mm f/4 L IS, from my local camera shop. This is a great combo, and I got it for less than a 5D Mk II body is on it's own. The original 5D's have really dropped down in price over the past few years, and with the announcement of the Mk III, they will only drop further in my opinion. Granted the Mk II-III have better ISO performance, etc. but for what I wanted it was perfect.

With the body being £500 and the lens being £650 (a lot of used lenses were going for the same price as this was on offer for, new), the £1150 I spent on the both was considerably less than the £2450 it was for the Mk II kit with the lens included (and the £3000 it is for the Mk III body new).

The 5D was a great camera when it came out and still is. People have been shooting with it for years and been able to get by with the performance it offers. I told myself that although I can shoot at higher ISO, or have slightly faster auto focus, etc. I can still produce great pictures with the Mk I, the Mk II just makes it slightly easier.

What really made me take the jump, was finding loads of perfectly good 5D Mk I bodies on eBay for around £500, I knew I would save at least £1000 going for this option, and now I have £1000 spare for another L lens. (I'll probably go for the 100mm Macro L lens next).

With the savings I've made, I can buy better glass so that when I finally out-grow my Mk I, I can just get a Mk ?? (whatever is out at the time) and be all set with my great glass already in place. There are loads of people that bought the Mk II, and sold/are selling their Mk I. Now with the Mk II's being reduced to make way for the Mk III, more people are picking up a MK II and selling their Mk I's.

Just my thoughts, and the way I went about it.

If full frame matters to you, go for the 5D Mk I, if you really hate the way Canon feel, then you'll have to think of something else, but remember, It's better to enjoy holding your camera in your hands and using it, than to know that your paperweight can shoot at 256000+ ISO.

For what its worth, I love my 5D Mk I, it does everything I need it to do. (And my penis got at least an inch longer when I got a Full-Frame body)
Hi Rawlings, thank you for your input. What is holding me back from buying a used 5DMkI is:

1- No sensor auto-cleaning. Most of my pictures are taken on the road, during trips. I barely take indoor shots and I am no pro, so I don't use an studio. I have seem people complaining that the 5D sensor gets dirt very frequently because of the absence of an auto-cleaning mechanism.

2- No auto ISO. This is a minor thing, but it is useful in certain situations (specially when you're with other people who are not willing to wait while you work on that photo of the waterfall). I have also see complaints that the settings are hidden in menus and it takes too much time to adjust them.

3- Re-sale price. I see a 5D MkII in the not so far future for me (maybe within the next year). I know that if I buy a 60D I can still get a quite decent percentage of the original price, keep the EF lenses and upgrade to the 5DMkII. I am afraid that in one year, when I decide to upgrade, I won't be able to sell the 5D again.

Maybe you could make comments about your own experience with these issues?
My experiences so far:

1- I've had no problems what so ever with the sensor on my 5D. I've never really heard much on the "grape vine" of people complaining about dust on the sensor. I've had my current 5D for around 4 years and sent it off ONCE for a sensor clean a few weeks ago after lending it to my father so he could take some before/after shots of some DIY he was doing. He MUST have left it de-lensed, facing upwards, while he sanded the ceiling above it. However that was the only time I've had it cleaned, and I've used it everywhere in all types of conditions. As long as you take care of your camera, dust shouldn't be a problem.

I also owned a D300 in my time that came with sensor cleaning. While I take care of my camera's and have never had an issue, I've heard of people finding the Nikon sensor cleaning system OK, but that they still end up getting dust on the sensor. While it's a nice feature, there are much more important things to base the purchase of a camera on.

2- I am not a fan of auto ISO. I know it has it's place, but after using both Nikon and Canon, before you take your shot, you know which aperture you want for the depth of field needed, (stick it in Aperture Priority mode) take a shot, (have a look), then adjust the ISO then take another shot straight after. It takes seconds. On both Nikon and Canon, you hold down the ISO button on the body, and spin the thumb dial a notch or two in either direction. Changing the ISO is not hidden in menu after menu, it's a specific button directly on the top of the camera. I usually find that auto ISO never really get's it right anyway.

I have also see complaints that the settings are hidden in menus and it takes too much time to adjust them.

Holding a button down with your shutter finger, and rotating a dial with your thumb, it takes less than a second to adjust the ISO. No menu's at all!

3- In regards to the resale price, here in the UK a 60D body new is £1049, and average used selling price is around £650. That's around 40% loss? You say you'd love a full frame body but also say you're looking at getting around 3 extra lenses. I'm not sure how many lenses you're going to be able to buy with 500 euros, but your best bet it to look at the slightly cheaper range of EF-S lenses, but then they would not work with the 5D MK II that you say you're looking at getting next year. Getting a full frame now would help you get used to the focal lengths of your lenses without getting the shock of saying, "Hang on, all my lenses are suddenly one third shorter than they used to be."

I don't think you'll have any trouble selling a 5D in a year's time. I just sold my old 350D a few weeks back. and that was OLD! There's always someone that's going to buy it.

To be honest, it sounds like you were a bit hasty in selling your D3100. You were probably best to stick with it and save for a D700. It sounds like your budget it a bit low for a body and 3 lenses. If anything I would have advised getting a D3100 or 550D, and then upgrading later on, had you not already owned a D3100 and sold it.

To summarise, I don't really see these as issues.

The ISO setting isn't in a menu, it's on the outside of the camera. Built in sensor cleaning isn't all it's cracked up to be, and if your careful you won't have a issue anyway, and there's always someone willing to buy everything, and you'll loose a lot less than the 40% value on a 60D (£500 in the UK market) than you will buying a 5D MK1 dirt cheap, and then selling it again for roughly what you paid for it.

Hope this helps!
Hi Rawlings. Thank you for your input, again. After reading them, I think I'll get the used 5D. I found a couple deals around 600-700 euros near me.

About the lenses, when I said I was planning to spend around 600 euros for 2-3 lenses my idea was to go for something like these lenses: Nikon Cheapskate Lenses in case I went for a Nikon or for Canon equivalents.

Now, I am not familiar with Canon lenses and I'd need to do some research to plan on how to spend my budget for the lenses. Could you (or any other forum member) maybe indicate what would be the best way of spending the budget for the lenses? Are there nice Canon equivalents for the lenses of this post, or I'd be better off buying a newer/more expensive lens? My pictures are usually taken during travels, so it's usually urban photography, cityscapes and some landscapes. Thanks in advance.
You do realise that the lenses you were looking at, are all (or most of) manual aperture and manual focus lenses? With those lenses and the fact that you said:
you're with other people who are not willing to wait while you work on that photo of the waterfall
I think that not being able to find the ISO is that last of your worries.

These lenses are fine, and great if your on a budget, but in my opinion, if you don't always have un limited time to line up a shot, having a manual aperture/focus lens is only going to make things worse!

As much as I hate to say it, for a very limited budget maybe look at something like the Sigma or Tamron 18-250mm lens. They're not the best quality but a good all purpose lens on budget. That teamed with maybe a 50mm f/1.8 would be fine.

I would suggest a 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS if you can stretch the budget. It's a great walkabout lens. Especially with IS! If not the above suggestion should see you through. Then save up for some quality glass before you even think about upgrading your body.

I wouldn't get the 5D MK II until you have some decent glass. I don't feel so bad suggesting the budget glass on the MK I as you haven't spent that much on the body to start with.

Anyone else want to chime in with a suggestion?....Nope?....

Most reactions

New Topics