Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Classic Film RangeFinders & Other Classics > SLRs - the unRF

SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

a great problem to have - help me blow this $$$!!
Old 01-19-2010   #1
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
a great problem to have - help me blow this $$$!!

hi folks.

i got a grant to pursue whatever educational endeavor i wanted... so i chose a digital photography class at the school for visual arts and now i have $3825 to blow on whatever DSLR and lenses i want.

my interests are travel photography and - since i'm tired of SPENDING money on this hobby and would like to try to MAKE some for once - i want to get into portraiture too. nyc is chock-full of people chasing the phantom of fame, so there's tons of opportunity to collect dough for headshots - at least for as long as DSLR's stay expensive.

soooo... here's the big question:
how would you blow $3825... what "kit" would you assemble, considering my interests and plans? among your other suggestions, i am particularly interested in which lens you'd recommend for low light portraits. i have no allegiance to nor any preference for any particular brands.

looking very forward to your responses.
~m
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #2
dof
Fiat Lux
 
dof's Avatar
 
dof is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 725
There are a great many DSLR offerings to choose from, however even as the latest and greatest bodies come and go, lenses are the truly lasting investment. Do some research on them before making a decision.

Also given your interest in portraiture, I recommend that you put some of the grant to use in lighting equipment.

And perhaps most importantly, enjoy! This sounds like a great opportunity for you.
__________________
-J.
---------------------------------------------------------------
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #3
antiquark
Derek Ross
 
antiquark's Avatar
 
antiquark is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 1,477
One important thing to consider is form factor. Are you interested in a more compact system, or are you comfortable lugging around a big beast?
__________________

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #4
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,943
Sod kit. Invest in learning (if the grant allows).

Cheers,

R.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #5
SteveM_NJ
Registered User
 
SteveM_NJ is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Piscataway, NJ, USA
Age: 58
Posts: 270
I second the motion of "take classes with the grant" option,
the gear will come and go - the technical education and experience should provide long term return on investment many times over.
__________________
______
Steve.

Film vs. Digital? -ha- just use everything.
Leica M3, M7, Epson R-D1s, Bessa R, Fed3, Revere stereo, Nikonos IVa, Canon FTbn, EOS1, EOS10s, EOS10D, EOS300D, P&S A590IS, Hasselblad500cm with PhaseOne back, Kiev 88, Seagull TLR, Burke&James 4x5, calumet 4x5
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #6
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by antiquark View Post
One important thing to consider is form factor. Are you interested in a more compact system, or are you comfortable lugging around a big beast?
well, without getting into great detail, i would say my tolerance for bulk is probably greater than most. comes from years of working with old soviet equpment. basically, i am willing to compromise bulk for performance/price.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #7
Frank Petronio
-
 
Frank Petronio's Avatar
 
Frank Petronio is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rochester, NY, USA
Posts: 1,868
Travel and do portraits. Get a used Nikon D300 for $900 and a $200 35/1.8 DX prime, a $100 18-55 DX zoom... a bunch of cards and batteries, a decent laptop maxed out w RAM and full version of Photoshop... a backup hard drive and go shoot your ass off. You should have enough change left over for a nice adventure or two. Try to leave enough cash around so that if your gear fails, you can run to Best Buy and get a $500 Nikon D5000 and a replacement laptop.

Last edited by Frank Petronio : 01-19-2010 at 15:11.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #8
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Sod kit. Invest in learning (if the grant allows).

Cheers,

R.
grant does not cover intellectual development... just "stuff".
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #9
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM_NJ View Post
I second the motion of "take classes with the grant" option,
the gear will come and go - the technical education and experience should provide long term return on investment many times over.
look - i agree with you - the classes are more important - but in the end, i don't have a digital camera - and i need to buy one for this course. that's what the money is for.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #10
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,943
Quote:
Originally Posted by meezy View Post
grant does not cover intellectual development... just "stuff".
Fair enough.

Cheers,

R.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #11
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
Travel and do portraits. Get a used Nikon D300 for $900 and a $200 35/1.8 DX prime, a $100 18-55 DX zoom... a bunch of cards and batteries, a decent laptop maxed out w RAM and full version of Photoshop... a backup hard drive and go shoot your ass off. You should have enough change left over for a nice adventure or two. Try to leave enough cash around so that if your gear fails, you can run to Best Buy and get a $500 Nikon D5000 and a replacement laptop.
while your advice is sound, the way this grant works is that i buy a camera and lenses i want with my credit card, and the school refunds that amount. they won't be refunding things like laptops and photoshop... but your point is taken - and make no mistake - i'm not some fancypants gearhead. i'm a broke-a$$ teacher and have traveled whenever i could over the last 7 years lugging around zenits and minolta beercan lenses... although i've taken some trophy shots and have great respect for my relics, i think i've earned my upgrade!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #12
shadowfox
Darkroom printing lives
 
shadowfox's Avatar
 
shadowfox is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,798
Here, take a pick...


http://www.doobybrain.com/2009/09/17...f-the-rainbow/


Hey, it's their money
__________________
Have a good light,
Will


  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #13
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
i'm not sure i could respect myself in the morning if i bought one of these.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #14
tbarker13
shooter of stuff
 
tbarker13's Avatar
 
tbarker13 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Orlando
Posts: 1,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
Travel and do portraits. Get a used Nikon D300 for $900 and a $200 35/1.8 DX prime, a $100 18-55 DX zoom... a bunch of cards and batteries, a decent laptop maxed out w RAM and full version of Photoshop... a backup hard drive and go shoot your ass off. You should have enough change left over for a nice adventure or two. Try to leave enough cash around so that if your gear fails, you can run to Best Buy and get a $500 Nikon D5000 and a replacement laptop.
I'm with Frank on the used D300. Bought one a few months back for essentially the same reason (portraits and some documentary work). I love the camera. Personally, for a primary portrait lens, I'd go with the Nikon 85/1.4D. Of course, I'm simply suggesting the same course of action I took (like most of the advice you get on these forums).
Follow my flickr link and you can see a bunch of recent portraits I've shot with that lens.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #15
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
thank you for your advice, tim. i'm not at all averse to getting something older or used - i don't HAVE to spend all of the grant - but how often will i get such an opportunity, you know? i'll do some research on the d300 and will consider it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #16
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,943
An older/lower spec body and seriously good new lenses? ZF lenses make my D70 look an awful lot better.

Cheers,

R.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #17
tbarker13
shooter of stuff
 
tbarker13's Avatar
 
tbarker13 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Orlando
Posts: 1,667
Well, those two pieces alone would cost more than $2k of your money. By the time you add another lens or two, you'll eat up that grant awfully fast.
And a very strong argument for getting the best glass you can afford is that you'll be set (barring breakage) in that department. I'd much rather spend the bulk of the money on that part of my kit. And something like the D300 is still a very solid digital camera.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #18
wjlapier
Registered User
 
wjlapier's Avatar
 
wjlapier is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,730
Though I'm a Nikon shooter when it comes to (d)slrs, I'd start with the Canon 85L and maybe the 5D or 1Ds. Plenty of pixels and the 85L is one awesome portrait lens. I wish Nikon had an EOS mount so I could use that lens--I hate Canon bodies.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #19
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbarker13 View Post
...And a very strong argument for getting the best glass you can afford is that you'll be set (barring breakage) in that department. I'd much rather spend the bulk of the money on that part of my kit. And something like the D300 is still a very solid digital camera.
yes, tim - i'm with you on that - i'm definitely more interested in investing in quality lenses that will last rather than the latest, most expensive, and fashionable body. point definitely taken, man.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #20
tbarker13
shooter of stuff
 
tbarker13's Avatar
 
tbarker13 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Orlando
Posts: 1,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
Though I'm a Nikon shooter when it comes to (d)slrs, I'd start with the Canon 85L and maybe the 5D or 1Ds. Plenty of pixels and the 85L is one awesome portrait lens. I wish Nikon had an EOS mount so I could use that lens--I hate Canon bodies.
Have to agree with you. If I didn't find the Nikon bodies to be so much friendlier (to the way my mind seems to work) I might have stuck with Canon. But the Nikon DSLRs just seem to be laid out better, from a control perspective.
I've always wondered about that Canon 85.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #21
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,381
Well, there's the NFL championship games coming up. Always a good opportunity to make a profit on your money.

I'm older and if not wiser, at least more experienced than I used to be. What I"D do w/ the money is forget the DSLR and get a good film camera. No, I'd get a great film camera. Buy a Leicaflex w/ a 90 2.0 Summicron. Maybe $700 for the two. You would be very hard pressed to find a better lens for portraits, and the Leicaflex viewfinder is a joy to look through. When I let people take a shot w/ it, the usual reaction when they look through the focus screen is "Wow". Always nice to see what you're doing when taking a portrait.

If you're heart's set on shooting digital, get a DSLR w/ a big, bright focus screen and put the Leica 90 Summicron on it. Then put the rest of the money in savings. You'll be better off if you take a while to decide what to do w/ the remainder.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #22
tbarker13
shooter of stuff
 
tbarker13's Avatar
 
tbarker13 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Orlando
Posts: 1,667
But it doesn't sound like the OP is in a position to save any of this money. He buys what he wants/needs and then gets reimbursed.
I assume that means he also has a set time frame in which to use or lose the grant money.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #23
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
steve, well, i appreciate where you're coming from - my preference has always been for film. i own a maxxum 7000, canonet 17, zenits E & 19, and a k1000 - and a host of excellent lenses to go with them. i myself just wrote a flippant yet vitriolic rant against dslr's no more than a few days ago - but this is a digital photography class i'm taking - and so, a digital camera is the prerequisite - and that's what the money is earmarked for.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #24
filmfan
Registered User
 
filmfan's Avatar
 
filmfan is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,846
This is easy: Canon 5D mark II.
__________________
Pentax 6x7 w/ 55mm f4, 105mm f2.4
Canon F-1 w/ FD SSC 28mm f2, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.4
Olympus OM1 & OM2 w/ OM 28mm 2.8, 35mm f2, 50mm 1.8
Canon 5DII w/ EF 50mm f1.8
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #25
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,943
Pentax and LOTS of weird old glass?

Cheers,

R.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #26
Biggles
My cup runneth amok.
 
Biggles's Avatar
 
Biggles is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: On a dead-end street in Fist City
Posts: 665
I know bugger all about the digital market. But, in general terms, I'd go with $3800 worth of top-flight portrait glass and a $25, 1-megapixel Altoids tin for a rear cap. That's my philosophy, anyway, for portrait; above all else, the glass.

Why? Because I want to be able to count the flecks in the iris from low orbit. On a 4X6. Might not always use it, might not always need, it, but I'm always happy knowing it's there.

Confidence in one's kit helps make good pictures.
__________________
Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Two Choices
Old 01-19-2010   #27
kkdanamatt
Registered User
 
kkdanamatt's Avatar
 
kkdanamatt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 286
Two Choices

If your are a rangefinder kind of guy, then I'd recommend a factory refurbished and fully warranteed Leica M8 body and some good used glass; a 35mm and a 75mm combo from the C/V stable would be easily within your total budget.

If your are more comfortable with an SLR, I'd recommend a Nikon D700 or a Canon 5D (MK I or II). Add either two fast equivalent focal length primes as mentioned above or one of the fast 28-70 f/2.8 zooms. Also, check out the less expensive Sony and Pentax DSLR bodies, although your lens choices would be less varied, especially with large apertures.

Either way, I am envious of your "problem." Good luck.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #28
gavinlg
Registered User
 
gavinlg's Avatar
 
gavinlg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wellington NZ
Posts: 5,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
Travel and do portraits. Get a used Nikon D300 for $900 and a $200 35/1.8 DX prime, a $100 18-55 DX zoom... a bunch of cards and batteries, a decent laptop maxed out w RAM and full version of Photoshop... a backup hard drive and go shoot your ass off. You should have enough change left over for a nice adventure or two. Try to leave enough cash around so that if your gear fails, you can run to Best Buy and get a $500 Nikon D5000 and a replacement laptop.
THIS.


Only I'd get a canon 5d cheap new or second hand, a 28mm f1.8 and a 50mm f1.4.

From there, spend the rest to GET OUT AND TAKE PHOTOS
__________________
NO PRAISE
@gavinlagrange
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #29
BTMarcais
Registered User
 
BTMarcais is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 623
Since you say you like film... I might look into a system where you can use some of your lenses on a film body as well. And the lenses are definitely where you want to put the money (and maybe some lighting if you're doing portraits)... the camera is going to be the most transitory thing you acquire for digital.
I like Roger's idea about the ZF lenses btw, I've been lusting after some of the ZK's myself for my pentax's (pentaxi? eh. whatever... ), and do have a couple ZM's which I love. The ZF's (or ZK's)will work fine on a manual film body, cheap to pick up. And on a crop sensor, the 50mm f/1.5 makes a nice short portrait lens...

-Brian
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #30
snausages
Registered User
 
snausages's Avatar
 
snausages is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by meezy View Post

how would you blow $3825... what "kit" would you assemble, considering my interests and plans?

~m
What are your interests and plans? 'Travel photography' and 'portraits' could describe almost every photo ever made, in a thousand varying styles.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #31
antiquark
Derek Ross
 
antiquark's Avatar
 
antiquark is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 1,477
Maybe start with a basic kit, then spend the rest on lenses later, after you have a better idea of what your goals are

Nikon D90 + 18-105 lens $1250
Nikkor 35/2.0 $400
Nikkor 50/1.8 $160
--------------------
Total $1810

The D90 has equal image quality to the D300, but isn't as ruggedized and weatherproofed.

You could also throw in an N80 or N90 film camera for ~ $100. That will let you experiment with film and give you a full frame format, and will be compatible with the 35 and 50 mm lenses above.

(Prices are Canadian approximations)
__________________


Last edited by antiquark : 01-19-2010 at 18:47.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #32
kshapero
Starting to get it.
 
kshapero's Avatar
 
kshapero is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Age: 70
Posts: 9,958
Get a Nikon FM and learn the basics. Or a CV Bessa R3M.
__________________
Akiva

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero

Cameras, Lenses and Photos
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #33
Juan Valdenebro
Truth is beauty
 
Juan Valdenebro's Avatar
 
Juan Valdenebro is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Barcelona and Colombia
Age: 47
Posts: 4,354
Right now in your situation I'd get a digital RF and the CV 35 1.2, one of the best lenses in the world...

Cheers,

Juan
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #34
kshapero
Starting to get it.
 
kshapero's Avatar
 
kshapero is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Age: 70
Posts: 9,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Valdenebro View Post
Right now in your situation I'd get a digital RF and the CV 35 1.2, one of the best lenses in the world...

Cheers,

Juan
Leica M8 and that CV 35/1.2 would be sweet.
__________________
Akiva

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero

Cameras, Lenses and Photos
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #35
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTMarcais View Post
Since you say you like film... I might look into a system where you can use some of your lenses on a film body as well.
now THAT'S a good idea...
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #36
Juan Valdenebro
Truth is beauty
 
Juan Valdenebro's Avatar
 
Juan Valdenebro is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Barcelona and Colombia
Age: 47
Posts: 4,354
That's it! M8, 35 1.2 and M2, so you shoot film, scan, and tell your digital teacher it was the M8!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #37
meezy
meezy
 
meezy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 67
lots of votes for the canon 5d, eh? let's see what the boys at b&h and adorama say...

thank you everyone for your ideas. i know that i want to concentrate on getting good glass - especially glass that i can retrofit to film cameras that i already own!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #38
andredossantos
Registered User
 
andredossantos is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NYC
Age: 41
Posts: 1,430
I was at a holiday party a few weeks back and got the chance to play around with a 5DmkII with the 50mm f1.2 L in a very dimly lit room with all kinds of mixed lighting. I have to say that it was pretty impressive (and I am not generally a SLR Or a digital guy in terms of personal preference).

That combo would probably run more than what you have but if it were me I would try to cover the difference. Or, get a 5DmkI to save a bit on the body.
__________________

Website

Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2010   #39
Frank Petronio
-
 
Frank Petronio's Avatar
 
Frank Petronio is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rochester, NY, USA
Posts: 1,868
You don't have to spend a lot to get great lenses, and the cheaper ones are smaller and lighter too.

But for a totally different POV you could get a used Leica M8 and a couple of VC lenses....
  Reply With Quote

Correct me if I misunderstood what you said....
Old 01-19-2010   #40
kuzano
Registered User
 
kuzano is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,952
Correct me if I misunderstood what you said....

I was a little confused by your second paragraph. Your interests are travel photography..... and because you feel the need to make money... also Portrait work. Gosh, it seems as if you are really saying you would have chosen Travel Photography, except there's no money in it.

A huge number of National Geographic photographers and Travel Photojournalists would take issue with the implications of that statement.

Of course the direction you choose to ultimately go is very personal, but it seems to me that you are shooting down your first possible passion and considering that portrait work is much more likely to keep you in gear and paychecks.

I seriously doubt that, since as you stated that's what everybody is doing to make money. Do you hear the contradiction in that.

Before spending the money on gear, nail down the direction a bit more.

However, when it comes to gear, I do have an opinion. Get the best low count canon 5D MkI you can find for $1000 to $1200, a fast canon prime, and a 24-105 L series IS lens. You should be in about $2500 to $3000, and have a versatile kit to get started with.

Just my thoughts, but you really caught me off guard with that second paragraph.

Last edited by kuzano : 01-19-2010 at 20:51.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 19:13.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.