$2000 Photography equipment question/help.

Oklahoma Wolf

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I realize I'm stroking my ego when I say this, but I think primes are the way to go. For speed (both in terms of the actual taking of a picture and fast aperture), cost, and size/weight. He wants to do street photography and entry level videography. Primes have the serious advantage for this kind of work. They also have the advantage in portraiture and studio work.

I'll agree to that. The first new lens I bought after I got my D5100 kit was an old Nikkor AI-S 50mm f1.8. Did in part because I wanted to challenge myself to learn how to use the light without relying on all the digital gadgetry in the camera, but equally in part because those lenses are dirt cheap and have a fantastic reputation.

I've won contests with that lens... it's easily the best one in my camera bag and the first one I go to when I do portraits. I still can't believe what that lens can do for the $60 Canadian it cost me.

Between that 50mm and the 28mm AI f2.8 I got for lightning, I almost never use the kit lens anymore.
 

Zepher

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I mentioned that I had a Tamron Lens for sale earlier.
It's actually a very good lens comparable to the Canon 17-40 F/4 L, the Tamron has more reach and has a faster f/stop @ 2.8. I bought the lens new a little over 4 years ago and it's in excellent shape.
I am just looking for $300+ shipping. You are posting UK prices so I am not sure if it's worth it to you since you may have to pay VAT or customs if you are in the UK.
I am severely disabled now so I am selling things I can't use anymore.
 

rellyrale

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I say start with the nikon D5200 I have a d7100 and canon t2i but this is something I did with the d5200 and a 50mm 1.8

https://youtu.be/4MvBLWJAzpY

get a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 and a 17-50mm 2.8
a decent light 3 piece light kit http://www.amazon.com/LimoStudio-Softbox-Continuous-Carrying-AGG849/dp/B008B8IVK4/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1433207025&sr=8-16&keywords=video+light+kit

a battery grip, 3 extra batteries, and several 32gig fast SD cards
and a stablizer http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-SteadyVid-SV-HD-Stabilizer-Release/dp/B00DRGQETA/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1433207188&sr=8-8&keywords=video+stabilizer

and skip 4k unless you have the computer hardware that can handle it 1080p is A1 and most people cannot even watch 4k on smartphones or their computers from youtube but that little package will put you in the game and can shoot with the best of them
 

madFive

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Ugh, I would definitely steer clear of the Nikon 5xxx & 3xxx lines unless you're on an extremely tight budget (or even then). The sensors in those aren't bad, but I can't stand the nerfed controls. Definitely stick to the 7xxx line, or IMO a used D90 or D80 would be a better choice. BTW, I have a lovingly used D90 for sale; PM me if interested. ;)
 

IdiotInCharge

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Ugh, I would definitely steer clear of the Nikon 5xxx & 3xxx lines unless you're on an extremely tight budget (or even then). The sensors in those aren't bad, but I can't stand the nerfed controls. Definitely stick to the 7xxx line, or IMO a used D90 or D80 would be a better choice. BTW, I have a lovingly used D90 for sale; PM me if interested. ;)

Yeah, D7000+ (or predecessors) and 70D+ on the Canon side. You definitely want to have a twin-dial setup and access to AFMA!
 

SpeedyVV

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These ones are within budget, which one would you choose?
£88.00 Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2
£129.00 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
£203.00 Canon EF 50mm f2.5 Macro
£244.00 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

What does MK2/STM/Macro/USM refer to? Do I need any of those?

(I'm sorry for using photography/camera lingo. If you want a basic lens primer, read below first, if something doesn't make sense in this first part, it is probably explained below)

I'm glad you did! Best way to learn a language, is to hear it and use it. It wont bother me to make mistakes and let others call it out.

I've done it before. I basically ran a 3-4 month long project of shooting street photography everyday and posting everyday. I did it with my 5D2 and a 50mm f/1.4. You can see the 100's of images here.

Those are exactly the kind of photos I want to take!

If I would predict, my main style (don't take this too seriously :D ) would require a "super" sharp focus on the main subject. Like in many of your shots. Love the project work btw.

So if I was going to do Street Photography as my main point of interest, I would get primes, once again not only for speed (not to mention low-light speed if you're going to shoot at dusk/night, because you probably are), but also because they are physically more compact than zooms.

35mm and 50mm primes are the mainstays of the genre. Look into Henri Cartier-Bresson if you want to learn from the master of street photography. I would probably use one of those two lenses.

If you're on Canon the 35mm f/2 IS is a great lens. And the 50mm f/1.4 is amazing as well. In a pinch the less expensive 50mm f/1.8 is also quite good as is the 35mm f/2 (non IS). Any of these primes will meet or exceed any of Canon's best zooms in terms of picture quality.

If you're looking to do some portrait work on the street as well, you could also buy the 85mm f/1.8. With the prime "trinity" in terms of focal lengths (that is to say 35/50/85), you'll basically be able to shoot any type of subject you want. There will of course be other lenses you could buy for versatility (telephoto, macro, fisheye, wideangle, etc), but most usage cases, especially cases on the street, that will cover you.

Is it a bad plan to start with the 50mm (middle of trinity)? Practice that, and then branch out to shorter and longer as the experience pushes me?
These ones are within budget, which one would you choose?
£88.00 Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2
£129.00 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
£203.00 Canon EF 50mm f2.5 Macro
£244.00 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

What does MK2/STM/Macro/USM refer to? Do I need any of those?

It is viable to use a zoom on the street, but it's heavier and bigger. It will have more versatility but you'll have to deal with the rest of those cons (slower, heavier, less DoF/not as wide of an aperture, not as good in low light [especially the 24-70mm f/4 or 24-105 f/4 IS], and physically bigger).

I was looking at a zoom more for the "holiday" scenario ;-)

EDIT: Quick lens primer.

Awesome primer! It helps me understand better what I am looking at in those specs on the purchase pages ;-)
 
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UnknownSouljer

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I'm glad you did! Best way to learn a language, is to hear it and use it. It wont bother me to make mistakes and let others call it out.

Those are exactly the kind of photos I want to take!

If I would predict, my main style (don't take this too seriously :D ) would require a "super" sharp focus on the main subject. Like in many of your shots. Love the project work btw.

Well sharpness is a function of several different things. Yes the lens you use matters, but also what f-stop you're using (that's a camera setting), if you have proper focus (obviously), and of course the amount of motion in either yourself (camera shake) or the subject (affected by shutter speed). Sharpness isn't something that I worry about too much anymore, mostly because optics have been around for 500 years and it's pretty hard to get a dud from a first party manufacturer.

There is a type of person colloquially called a "pixel peeper" that spends all day blowing stuff up to 300% just to see if everything is mega sharp, but if I'm honest I would avoid that behavior. So much art is in the rest of the shot (composition, color, pose, expression, moment, whatever other descriptors you want) sometimes you don't get perfect sharpness, but if you got the perfect moment things like sharpness don't (or at least shouldn't) matter.

That said, all three of the 50mm's that Canon makes are plenty sharp. As are basically all other Canon primes. L-series zooms are generally sharp (although there are some lenses that are only sharp in the center unless "stopped-down" like the 16-35mm f/2.8L II). EF-S lenses and non-L zooms is basically the battle-zone to find something that is more or less sharp.

As you gain experience as a photographer though, knowing your equipment is far more valuable than even the tools you're using. If all I have is a cellphone camera at the time, I can make it happen. And that's generally the attitude you should try to have with any camera in your hands.



Is it a bad plan to start with the 50mm (middle of trinity)? Practice that, and then branch out to shorter and longer as the experience pushes me?

It is absolutely not a bad plan. As a practical exercise, using just the 50mm and a camera body (provided you're on full frame) all day, every day for 3 months would teach you a crazy amount about photography. That's assuming you're thinking about what you're doing and learning things like the exposure triangle and practicing composition.

That's what the Street Work Project was about. It was just about getting out and practicing constantly. Shoot shoot shoot and not worrying about editing. Very "pure" photography. Composition and moment essentially being the only factors (as well as getting the image from a technical standpoint).

I will "warn" you though. At first 50mm will feel limiting. Any prime will feel limiting (since it doesn't zoom). But it's that "constraint" that allows you to push every other artistic avenue. You begin to "memorize" the frame in your mind and it allows you to bring the camera up to your eye and frame the shot and shoot it next to immediately. Speed being a critical skill for street photography. You start to "see" compositions as you look out at the world. I do all the time now regardless of if I have my camera with me at that precise moment. It also helps you focus on composition, because you no longer have zooming as a distraction.

As weird as it might sound, it feels harder at first, but after you understand it, I think shooting primes is significantly easier than using zooms. And I'm doing general shooting all the time. I basically have my 50mm glued to my camera and my camera goes everywhere I do. So I'm telling you these things from experience and I practice what I preach.

Knowing what I know now, I would have never bothered with zooms. Except for an ultra-wide angle like the 17-40mm f/4.0L or the 16-35mm f/2.8L II to shoot landscape and architecture with, back when I was doing that more often (I don't really anymore, I basically only do people photography now). And possibly a 70-200mm if I was going to specialize in events (I just sold mine actually since I'm divesting from event photography).



I was looking at a zoom more for the "holiday" scenario ;-)

Could be good there. But like I mentioned above, I actually use the 50mm for that just so I don't have to drag my heavy 24-70mm f/2.8L around (which is actually for sale right now).

It also depends on how much light you have at holiday gatherings and if you're shooting indoors or outdoors. If you're shooting outdoors a zoom is great; especially if you are trying to shoot kids that run around like crazy. For that I would actually recommend a telephoto rather than a general range zoom. A 70-200mm on full frame is generally perfect for that. Indoors I would rather have a 35mm or 50mm prime to allow more light in. 35mm I would say is generally ideal if you're in close quarters to your subjects.



Awesome primer! It helps me understand better what I am looking at in those specs on the purchase pages ;-)

It certainly helps! But as I'm sure you're finding out there is a ton of information to learn and find out about. Photography definitely a deep field. But if you enjoy learning (which I'm finding out that I do) then it will never be boring. Gear is just a small fraction. Once you get your stuff, feel free to check in and we can start talking basics. Exposure triangle, basics of composition, other technical mumbo-jumbo, etc.
 
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IdiotInCharge

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These ones are within budget, which one would you choose?
£88.00 Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2
£129.00 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
£203.00 Canon EF 50mm f2.5 Macro
£244.00 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

What does MK2/STM/Macro/USM refer to? Do I need any of those?

US put lots of good information above; with regards to this question specifically:

The 50/1.8 MK2 is Canon's second 50/1.8 (the logic that applies here isn't universal)- it has a plastic mount and bare minimum build quality, and should be avoided now that it's been replaced by the 50/1.8 STM.

STM means 'stepper motor', which in Canon lingo means that it's essentially a cheaper version of USM, or 'ultrasonic motor'. STM lenses have by and large replaced micro-motor lenses, which are typically ultra-budget and kit lenses.

STM, like full USM implementations (which the 50/1.4 USM is not, nor is the 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM) provides smooth, generally quiet focus, and is usually quicker and more accurate to focus than non-USM lenses. STM lenses are also 'focus by wire', where the focus ring is just an encoder telling the lens which direction, how far, and how fast to focus when in manual focus mode.

USM is found in nearly every mid-range and high-end lens Canon makes, most of the time with a direct-drive setup that allows for instant manual override of focus. The halfassed USM in the 50/1.4 also allows for manual override, while the version in the 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM does not.

The 'macro' in the 50/2.5 CM means that the lens can focus closer than normal; in this case, the bare lens can focus to 1:2, or 'half life-size'. This lens is also a micro-motor lens, which is loud, somewhat shrill, and requires one to switch to MF on the lens in order to use the focus ring.

Avoiding the 50/1.8 II,

The 50/1.8 STM is a great value- and it's light and unobtrusive; I'm enjoying using mine, as it's fairly well-corrected, fairly sharp, and produces good out of focus rendering. It also focuses a bit closer than Canon's (or anyone else's, really) non-macro 50's, at 35cm versus what appears to be the industry standard of 45cm, and that does make a difference in real world use I've found.

The 50/1.4 USM is also a great value in that it's the sharpest 'entry level' AF 50mm lens produced aside from the significantly more expensive 55/1.8 from Sony and the 50/1.4 Art from Sigma, which is also significantly larger and heavier. It's out of focus rendering is a bit busy, though, and because of it's half-assed implementation of USM, it's not rock solid in terms of focus accuracy nor in terms of build quality- the inner barrel containing the lens elements extends, and if bumped AF tends to stop working. Can be repaired easily, and can be avoided by using a hood.

The 50/2.5 CM makes a great lightweight close-focusing lens. It's sharp with great rendering and AF is accurate (despite the micro-motor it uses). I keep this one because it's good bare and because it works very well when used with extension tubes for greater magnification.

If I had to make a recommendation- the 50/1.8 STM is it. The 50/1.4 USM requires good technique to use and is less effective where you'd want a faster lens in the first place, which is for subject isolation through minimizing depth of field, where the rendering of out of focus compositional elements is important. It's sharp enough for all but the most critical use, and the combination of fairly fast aperture with decent close focusing and pleasing background rendering is sure to impress!
 

UnknownSouljer

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US put lots of good information above; with regards to this question specifically:

The 50/1.8 MK2 is Canon's second 50/1.8 (the logic that applies here isn't universal)- it has a plastic mount and bare minimum build quality, and should be avoided now that it's been replaced by the 50/1.8 STM.

STM means 'stepper motor', which in Canon lingo means that it's essentially a cheaper version of USM, or 'ultrasonic motor'. STM lenses have by and large replaced micro-motor lenses, which are typically ultra-budget and kit lenses.

STM, like full USM implementations (which the 50/1.4 USM is not, nor is the 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM) provides smooth, generally quiet focus, and is usually quicker and more accurate to focus than non-USM lenses. STM lenses are also 'focus by wire', where the focus ring is just an encoder telling the lens which direction, how far, and how fast to focus when in manual focus mode.

USM is found in nearly every mid-range and high-end lens Canon makes, most of the time with a direct-drive setup that allows for instant manual override of focus. The halfassed USM in the 50/1.4 also allows for manual override, while the version in the 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM does not.

The 'macro' in the 50/2.5 CM means that the lens can focus closer than normal; in this case, the bare lens can focus to 1:2, or 'half life-size'. This lens is also a micro-motor lens, which is loud, somewhat shrill, and requires one to switch to MF on the lens in order to use the focus ring.

Avoiding the 50/1.8 II,

The 50/1.8 STM is a great value- and it's light and unobtrusive; I'm enjoying using mine, as it's fairly well-corrected, fairly sharp, and produces good out of focus rendering. It also focuses a bit closer than Canon's (or anyone else's, really) non-macro 50's, at 35cm versus what appears to be the industry standard of 45cm, and that does make a difference in real world use I've found.

The 50/1.4 USM is also a great value in that it's the sharpest 'entry level' AF 50mm lens produced aside from the significantly more expensive 55/1.8 from Sony and the 50/1.4 Art from Sigma, which is also significantly larger and heavier. It's out of focus rendering is a bit busy, though, and because of it's half-assed implementation of USM, it's not rock solid in terms of focus accuracy nor in terms of build quality- the inner barrel containing the lens elements extends, and if bumped AF tends to stop working. Can be repaired easily, and can be avoided by using a hood.

The 50/2.5 CM makes a great lightweight close-focusing lens. It's sharp with great rendering and AF is accurate (despite the micro-motor it uses). I keep this one because it's good bare and because it works very well when used with extension tubes for greater magnification.

If I had to make a recommendation- the 50/1.8 STM is it. The 50/1.4 USM requires good technique to use and is less effective where you'd want a faster lens in the first place, which is for subject isolation through minimizing depth of field, where the rendering of out of focus compositional elements is important. It's sharp enough for all but the most critical use, and the combination of fairly fast aperture with decent close focusing and pleasing background rendering is sure to impress!


Interesting analysis. He added the section specifically asking about lenses after I had posted... but clearly I edited last. I still missed it though.

Anyway, I personally use the 50mm f/1.4. I also at one point had the original 50mm f/1.8 with the metal mount. I haven't had any issues with the 1.4 though, certainly not the issues you're mentioning, but I've always had the hood on it. I wouldn't have a problem recommending the f/1.4. I would also recommend using the 1.8STM if you're honestly in that big of a price jam. I probably wouldn't bother with the macro for general purpose work and 2.5 misses the speed advantages of the other selections.

I have debated upgrading to the f/1.2L or not... it has a half stop advantage, but an additional $800 price tag. It probably won't change my work (or any work) enough to make a difference, but man does it look purdy.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I have debated upgrading to the f/1.2L or not... it has a half stop advantage, but an additional $800 price tag. It probably won't change my work (or any work) enough to make a difference, but man does it look purdy.

I agree on the 50/1.8 or f/1.4; I do like what the f/1.4 lens can do (though not particularly at f/1.4 ;))

As for the L- I've written it off. It has a few advantages- namely, f/1.2, but also a full-fat USM implementation and can be sealed with a filter.

But it's not as sharp as the f/1.4 lens at equal apertures, or sharper than the 50/1.8 STM really, especially when stopped down to f/8-f/11, so for my uses it would be literally for shooting at f/1.2.

And I honestly cannot see myself spending $1500 for that rarely used capability :D.
 

SpeedyVV

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Again, thanks for the help.

So armed with this, I will go into John Lewis (uk store) and check out the

Canon EOS 6D
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

at £1271.00 it leaves me with another £220 to spend on other stuff like "sticks" (Yes, I'm mocking you UnknownSoldier! But do take it as a compliment)

I will then check the equiv competition like Nikon, Pentax, Panasonic, etc.... to see if the "feel" warrants a change in brand.

ASIDE:
Photography definitely a deep field. But if you enjoy learning (which I'm finding out that I do) then it will never be boring. Gear is just a small fraction. Once you get your stuff, feel free to check in and we can start talking basics. Exposure triangle, basics of composition, other technical mumbo-jumbo, etc.

Funny you caught that I enjoy learning. As a matter of fact the learning is more important to me than the art itself. $2000.00 is not a lot of money to learn anything worth learning.

If I don't take a single good picture, but learn about photography it will still be worth it for me.

I picked up the guitar 6 years ago, and took lessons for 4 years. I still cannot play worth shit.

But the fact that I now can listen to music with a new found appreciation and enjoyment for music. Well to quote MasterCard: Priceless!
 

SpeedyVV

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WTF!!!!!

Someone please explain!

Well this Leica V-Lux is "only" £925.00, has 4K video, and comes with a Red dot! Very tempting :p
 
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madFive

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WTF!!!!!

Someone please explain!

Er... Leica is a German camera company. Their stuff is very good but often crazy over-priced - think it's something to do with decades of marking up prices to balance their smaller market share. Comparing Leica & Nikon is a little like Mercedes vs Honda/Acura. They'll both get you from point A to B, but one costs a lot more, and if you're a shitty driver you can still crash them both into the same ditch. :p

It looks like that one you linked is some kind of special edition commemorative model, so it's even more overpriced than their standard gear. I couldn't even tell for sure from the info there if it's a digital or film camera... but I think it's actually a 35mm film camera.

Anyhow, Fuji uses Leica glass in some of their cameras, so that's another entry point that's a lot cheaper. Also Sony makes a few cameras with adaptable mounts that can use Leica glass in manual mode. So if you're just dying to try some Leica glass, those are both options to consider.

Zeiss is another legendary German brand, and luckily they make lenses that are also compatible with Canon and Nikon mounts, so that's yet another option to get some awesome German glass for several times the price of the Japanese stuff.


Well this Leica V-Lux is "only" £925.00, has 4K video, and comes with a Red dot! Very tempting :p

That does actually look really good at first glance, but I think there may be a great deal of deceptive marketing-speak on that page. After examining the specs list, it looks like this is just a point & shoot camera with an optical focal range of 24-75mm effective. It says it goes to 400mm, but I don't see that listed in the specs so it must just be talking digital zoom...

Anyhow, yeah being a Leica I’m sure it’s a killer P&S camera, but I'd look into a lot more reviews on the image quality and usability before putting down that much cash for it. You can get a Canon P&S with those same specs for like 1/3 the price.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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Again, thanks for the help.

So armed with this, I will go into John Lewis (uk store) and check out the

Canon EOS 6D
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

at £1271.00 it leaves me with another £220 to spend on other stuff like "sticks" (Yes, I'm mocking you UnknownSoldier! But do take it as a compliment)

I will then check the equiv competition like Nikon, Pentax, Panasonic, etc.... to see if the "feel" warrants a change in brand.

Please please please listen to me when I say, buy used. Save the money. There is no advantage to buying new. Use eBay, Craigslist, whatever. Just save yourself a pile of money. A new camera operates the same as a used one. The same goes for lenses. As long as it hasn't been dropped or has a manufacturers defect, it'll basically last forever.

(Also sticks is a common slang term by photographers, so trust me, I'm not put off...)



ASIDE:


Funny you caught that I enjoy learning. As a matter of fact the learning is more important to me than the art itself. $2000.00 is not a lot of money to learn anything worth learning.

If I don't take a single good picture, but learn about photography it will still be worth it for me.

I picked up the guitar 6 years ago, and took lessons for 4 years. I still cannot play worth shit.

But the fact that I now can listen to music with a new found appreciation and enjoyment for music. Well to quote MasterCard: Priceless!

It would be pretty hard to learn about photography but not know how to take a photo. Mostly because everything you do in the field is practical. Guitar and photography are similar though in the sense that to really be good you have to practice early and often. Henri Cartier-Bresson has the famous quote: "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." And he was living and referring to the film days when people were more patient with their trigger fingers. It might be 40,000 or 100,000 now depending on how much thought you're putting into each one.

Additionally, you can know nothing about photography and still take excellent pictures. I will totally admit that even luck can play a part, and if you just take enough photos you'll find at least something in there you like.



WTF!!!!!

Someone please explain!

Well this Leica V-Lux is "only" £925.00, has 4K video, and comes with a Red dot! Very tempting :p


What you're looking at is a consumer "bridge" type camera. It's not a dSLR. It does not have interchangeable lenses (that means you can't change the lens). It's zoom range is only in the standard range 24-70mm. And it's chip size is significantly smaller than a full frame dSLR. It's also 12MP. MP isn't the most important thing, but it's still an important to note. Also I will note that it doesn't have a mirror or mirror-box and it's limited to an electronic shutter.

4K is just one tiny spec. I think this camera is extremely overpriced for what it is and what it can do. I'm not 100% completely sure about this particular Leica, but I do know that other low end Leica's were essentially rebadged Panasonic cameras. I would guess, noting that the sensor size is micro 4/3rds that it probably is as well. So if you really wanted it (which I personally wouldn't) you could probably get it from Panasonic for a slice of the price.

I'm pretty sure it's basically this camera: http://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-a...-cameras/DMC-FZ1000.html#start=1&cgid=cameras
or a combination between that camera and this one:
http://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-a...-cameras/DMC-FZ200K.html#start=1&cgid=cameras
(because Leica probably custom ordered the camera from Panasonic. Heck both camera's even have a Leica lens on it... lol.)
albeit with a faster lens. Panasonic gave theirs a superzoom and Leica limited the focal length but gave it a better aperture. I know after the price conversion, this would be something like 500-600 pounds.

In either case, I wouldn't buy it. And I definitely wouldn't buy it if you want to do street photography. I seriously will go with my earlier suggestion of not trying to get into 4K yet. It's just not viable to "do it right" for the budget you have. If the only check box you have is: "it does 4K" and that matters more than anything. Just buy a GoPro. Or if you're actually serious about it, throw out all the suggestions we've done thus far and save up to buy a GH4 and a rig. That will cost more than $2k US to get started though.

I think 4k will be viable in about 2 years. But it kinda depends on what a lot of the manufacturers want to do. There are tons of rumors circling the 5DIV and whether it will have 4k video or not. And of course a lot of companies are going to add 4k to their camera to draw consumers, but like these camera's we're talking about here and now, the implementation will be nothing more than trying to get people looking at a spec sheet (which is more or less the explanation for the megapixel war... spec sheet buyers keep thinking that more is better, or at least that's what the camera companies want us to think).
 
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SpeedyVV

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Aaahhh, marketing at its best!

No, I am not considering this Camera. I was just trying to be funny, hence the tongue smiley!
 

Oklahoma Wolf

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Please please please listen to me when I say, buy used. Save the money. There is no advantage to buying new. Use eBay, Craigslist, whatever. Just save yourself a pile of money. A new camera operates the same as a used one. The same goes for lenses. As long as it hasn't been dropped or has a manufacturers defect, it'll basically last forever.

Good advice. I am constantly finding used DSLRs with really low shutter counts on them, though a lot of these people up north here seem to think they're worth more than the equivalent new model. Considering the 50k+ shutter snaps I have on mine, I wouldn't hesitate to get some of these under 10k actuated cameras being sold simply because their owners don't know how to use them.

I'm not sure I could ever find photography boring myself. It's just way too much fun. I got a lens reversing ring in the mail yesterday, and as a result am having serious trouble staying in the house today. Flowers and bees and spiders and more bees... now I need more macro gear :D
 

IdiotInCharge

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Try getting this guy into the budget.

You'll want to get a UWA and some sort of telezoom later on, but neither of those are even close to budget (and you'll still likely be buying a Tamron :)).
 

SpeedyVV

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Thank you guys for the help.

Here she is...

Lenses later today... Going to the Festival of Speed at Goodwood, so I might need a recommendation for a zoom lens ;-)

 

UnknownSouljer

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Budget?

If this is a racing event, you'll probably want a 70-200mm or some sort of a longer telephoto (70-300mm, 100-400mm) It depends on how close you can get to your subjects, and how much subject isolation you want.
 

SpeedyVV

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Budget? As little as possible, as this is not a main focus of the type of photography I want to get into.

I'll see what I can find used in the 70-200/300mm range you suggest.

Actually, I might try to see if I can rent one.

Is renting ever a good idea?
 
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UnknownSouljer

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Renting is great, but it is generally only done by pros who have a budget to rent or people needing tools for personal projects with specific vision or as a glorified "try before you buy".

If you have the cash to rent, go for it. But it will generally be $50-$100.

If you can borrow a long lens from your brother-in-law, do that.
 
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NoXiN

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If you are looking for a less expensive zoom for racing you might want to think about the Tamron and Sigma 150-600mm lenses. They are both pretty good for the money from what I read and see.
 

bman212121

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I would definitely read through a few of UnknownSouljer's last few posts. If you can get any zoom lens to borrow that should be good enough for now.

If you did get that 50mm, that should work well for walking around the pits taking pictures (If you can) and probably even work for group shots of cars on the warm up laps. Once the action gets going, I don't think it's going to matter too much what lens you have at that point as tracking a moving subject that is doing hundreds of miles an hour might prove to be difficult.

The only way you're really going to know what lens you'll end up needing is going to the venue and taking shots. That's part of where the first 10K are your worst. Until you've experienced it before you're going to make mistakes where it's too low of a shutter speed, missing focus, or not using all of the frame with your intended subject, etc etc. If you're sitting high up and away, you probably will need a longer lens. If you're down near the bottom, you might wish you had something wider than 50mm.

Just take a lens and the camera with you, and go enjoy taking some shots. Make the best out of what you have, rather than trying to do things you can't do. What I mean by that is if you bring only a 50mm lens, concentrate on taking shots that would look good with that setup. If that's what you have don't worry about trying to get far away shots as they likely won't turn out anyway. If you want to get a bit wider picture, you just need to step back more and find somewhere you can get further away from your subject.

If you've only had the camera a few days I can't see needing to rent a lens yet as you'll have your hands full just familiarizing yourself with what the camera can do. Like I said, if you bought a 50mm, take that with you and explore the opportunities it has. Just because you're going to the track doesn't mean you need to have a long zoom to come back with good pictures.
 

NeoMatriX724

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I just recently went from a T4i to a 60D (Canon had a pretty sick deal on Refurb 6D's for Father's Day). I also made a mistake of buying a lot of gear before really understanding it. It wasn't too bad in my case since I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Note the emphasis on wanted. I was very much unable to execute on it regardless of gear. It was frustrating but a valuable lesson. I started looking at my particular pieces of gear and decided "I will not upgrade this piece of hardware until I have mastered it and I can tangibly say how it's holding me back".

That's just a fancy way of saying Practice practice practice. Also invest some time in learning to shoot RAW and sitting down with Photoshop / Lightroom, or Paint Shop Pro / Aftershot Pro, etc. You learn a lot when you are trying to correct exposure and such in your photography.

I'm not very good but you can check out some of my work at tabinahmad.com. Nearly everything there is on a T4I with a 24-70mm F/2.8L
 

IdiotInCharge

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I learned the most when I began legitimately asking myself the question, 'why do my pictures suck?'.

I also bought a decent tripod and ball head :D.
 

UnknownSouljer

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The only way you're really going to know what lens you'll end up needing is going to the venue and taking shots. That's part of where the first 10K are your worst. Until you've experienced it before you're going to make mistakes where it's too low of a shutter speed, missing focus, or not using all of the frame with your intended subject, etc etc. If you're sitting high up and away, you probably will need a longer lens. If you're down near the bottom, you might wish you had something wider than 50mm.

Just take a lens and the camera with you, and go enjoy taking some shots. Make the best out of what you have, rather than trying to do things you can't do. What I mean by that is if you bring only a 50mm lens, concentrate on taking shots that would look good with that setup. If that's what you have don't worry about trying to get far away shots as they likely won't turn out anyway. If you want to get a bit wider picture, you just need to step back more and find somewhere you can get further away from your subject.

If you've only had the camera a few days I can't see needing to rent a lens yet as you'll have your hands full just familiarizing yourself with what the camera can do. Like I said, if you bought a 50mm, take that with you and explore the opportunities it has. Just because you're going to the track doesn't mean you need to have a long zoom to come back with good pictures.


Great post. You're just going to be familiarizing yourself with your camera, getting more gear really won't help you at this level. Don't try to get a million dollar shot. Just try to learn your camera and enjoy what you're working on.

When I first started photography, I was doing primarily landscape/architecture and eventually some travel. Thankfully all my subjects were either stationary or slow moving. I probably would've had a much harder time otherwise. I did force myself to shoot in full manual always, so I did learn, but to know that you're going to need absurdly quick shutter speed is going to be a challenge. I suppose some automatic mode will be fine for now, but the goal is to learn the exposure triangle and shoot things the way you want to, and not the way your camera thinks you want to. Especially since most automatic modes will have the shutter be too slow, unless you're in shutter priority.



Note the emphasis on wanted. I was very much unable to execute on it regardless of gear. It was frustrating but a valuable lesson. I started looking at my particular pieces of gear and decided "I will not upgrade this piece of hardware until I have mastered it and I can tangibly say how it's holding me back".

That's just a fancy way of saying Practice practice practice. Also invest some time in learning to shoot RAW and sitting down with Photoshop / Lightroom, or Paint Shop Pro / Aftershot Pro, etc. You learn a lot when you are trying to correct exposure and such in your photography.


It's hard because at first it's all about: "why can't I do this, or this, or this" and the 'limitations' seem like reasons to buy stuff. It's only later that you find out that photography is limitations and it's all about working within the spectrum and frame that you have.

Another way of looking at purchase decisions is when you're adding as opposed to upgrading. "I want to be able to do ___." The only time that works though is if you have a tangible reason why this piece of gear will help you do that. Few pieces of equipment are really ever required to get most photography subjects done. But we always make excuses with GAS.

I'm glad that I don't really have GAS anymore. Don't get me wrong, I dream of owning a Phase One and a Broncolor setup, but the only way that is going to happen is if I start making a heck of a lot more money. And I know I don't need it either. I'll never put it on plastic. I'll always play the slow long game.

So it's like you said: being able to tangibly say why a piece of gear didn't allow you to get the shot. And you're right, most of the time it's skill and not the equipment.
 

madFive

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Grats on the new gear, Speedy! Very nice choice on camera body!

Plenty of good advice here, but very importantly: shoot with what you have, and learn to zoom with your feet!

Yeah I'd say you should try to shoot the race with the 50mm only. Get up close and see what it looks like. Should be a lot of fun!
 

NeoMatriX724

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One last pro-tip, if you're going to use Flash/Strobes. Save yourself money and go with Yong-Nuo stuff. The quality has come up a lot. and the transmitters and flashes themselves are solid (been using my transmitters for about 2 years now).

Pretty much for Price of a good Canon flash, you can get 2 strobes + 2 Transceivers + 1 Commander unit.
 

Henri108

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With that small budget I would NEVER have gone with a 1000$+ camera (6D). Glass is the most important.
Even as a semi-Pro photographer (having my own studio and 20.000$ in gear) I always choose for the glass first.
2 months ago my nephew asked me what to buy for 2500€. We got a second hand Nikon D7000, new Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, a 50 1.8 and a 70-200 f/4. With a lower budget I would subtract the 70-200 f/4 and witch the 50 for an 85 f/1.8. Having used it with him last weekend, it's honestly the best bang/buck I have ever seen in a camera setup. And something I would even be able to shoot my fashion shoots with.
 

UnknownSouljer

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With that small budget I would NEVER have gone with a 1000$+ camera (6D). Glass is the most important.
Even as a semi-Pro photographer (having my own studio and 20.000$ in gear) I always choose for the glass first.
2 months ago my nephew asked me what to buy for 2500€. We got a second hand Nikon D7000, new Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, a 50 1.8 and a 70-200 f/4. With a lower budget I would subtract the 70-200 f/4 and witch the 50 for an 85 f/1.8. Having used it with him last weekend, it's honestly the best bang/buck I have ever seen in a camera setup. And something I would even be able to shoot my fashion shoots with.


Please read the whole thread. I disagree that given the size of his budget he couldn't get a full set of what he needs in terms of tools.

For $2k, it's more than possible to have a 6D and 35/50/85. Especially for the work he wants to do, prioritizing FF makes sense.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I'd take an FF body and a 35 or 50 over a cropper and kit zoom every day of the week...
 

SpeedyVV

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I have to say that right now I am very happy with the decision to go with the full frame and a 50 lense.

After spending a couple of days with it, mostly at an art auction, the 6D and the 50 gave much of everything that I think I will need for quite some time to come.

I understand what Henri108 is saying. I can see the value of spending more of the budget on lenses.

But for my stated purpose, I have to say that UnknownSouljer was bang on with his advice. I have added to the budget with a 70-300 for the "fun factor" and holiday shots. I think I am set for quite some time now, with lots of fun learning what that 6D and the 50 can to for my urban shots.
 

NeoMatriX724

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Honestly, for his use case, the 6D was important to front-load. In terms of Full Frame bodies, it's one of the more affordable cameras, while being really good to learn on. It's as capable as the more expensive bodies, just without a lot of the bells and whistles. Really forces you to "focus" on your own skills. The used market for the 6D is pretty good as well since people like to start on it and eventually upgrade to the higher end bodies. If Speedy ends up moving up later, can probably find a good home for it.

Spending a few hundred on a Crop with good glass would just be a waste on the money spent on the body.
 

SpeedyVV

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Grats on the new gear, Speedy! Very nice choice on camera body!

Plenty of good advice here, but very importantly: shoot with what you have, and learn to zoom with your feet!

Yeah I'd say you should try to shoot the race with the 50mm only. Get up close and see what it looks like. Should be a lot of fun!

Thanks, and love your line about "learn to zoom with your feet".

On my 1st weekend with the 50, that ended up being the most "interesting" aspect of taking a pic.

I am sure over time, I will be able to mentally frame the shot, but right now, I am doing a lot of walking back and forth :D
 

IdiotInCharge

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I am sure over time, I will be able to mentally frame the shot, but right now, I am doing a lot of walking back and forth :D

And soon after that, once you've added another prime or two, you'll instinctively know which focal length you need for the kind of shot you want to get.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Thanks, and love your line about "learn to zoom with your feet".

On my 1st weekend with the 50, that ended up being the most "interesting" aspect of taking a pic.

I am sure over time, I will be able to mentally frame the shot, but right now, I am doing a lot of walking back and forth :D



Right. This is one of the aspects of shooting with primes that makes it seem "harder" at first. But if you stick with it, it will be invaluable. It will make you an active photographer and not a lazy one. Moving to get the shot seems like such a simple thing, but tons of photographers get lazy and stand in one place, and zoom in and out to do their framing. Being lazy and zooming ignores focal length.

Focal length is hugely important. 50mm will get you started. If you keep shooting that you'll eventually see what 50mm really looks like (this process takes time and reviewing a lot of your own photos). Then like IIC said, you'll start to recognize when you want a different focal length. Then your choice about focal length become deliberate and not decided when you're lazy and zoom in and out. It changes the look of photos a lot, but it's the most overlooked tool in the image creation process. I've thought about writing an article about it, but that's a different subject altogether.

So this is a "harder" path to start with, but I truly believe it's a much better one that gives many benefits to the photographer and will teach you a lot if you stick with it.
 

madFive

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Thanks, and love your line about "learn to zoom with your feet".

On my 1st weekend with the 50, that ended up being the most "interesting" aspect of taking a pic.

I am sure over time, I will be able to mentally frame the shot, but right now, I am doing a lot of walking back and forth :D

It's a fun phrase. :D
But yeah, a very critical skill to master, and it sounds like you're off to a good start. Learning to move around to find the right composition is imperative, not just to zoom in and out, but to find the best angle to show your subject in an interesting and flattering way, and to line up what you want in the background and foreground.
 
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