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I need help in a purchasing decision...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

This is my first post here after being just a reader for a while.. Looks like a lot of people have some great advice!  I'm looking for some opinions.

I'm planning on selling my Canon 40D and battery grip for some extra cash so I can purchase one of the following:

Canon 15mm Fisheye
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 II
Nice Tripod (gitzo)


I currently shoot with a 5D Mark II now and I plan on trying to get some good video and some great shots while out on the slopes in Jackson Hole in February. I'm loving the video feature on the 5D and I cant wait to play with it a bit and get some cool shots. I just need some advice on what I should get!

My current gear includes:

- 5D MK 2
- 24-70mm f/2.8L
- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
- 100mm Macro
- 580 EX II
- 430 EX
- Some ND Grads and circular polarizers
- 3 x 16GB CF cards
- 2 x 4GB CF cards

As you can see, photography is more than just a hobby, I actually shoot weddings and stuff too :)   Unfortunately I dont need any more ski gear either.. just decided to get my hands on some Mantras along with some Salomon falcon 10 boots.

Any advice on how I can spend my money is appreciated! :)
post #2 of 15
 Dude, no disrespect, but if you own that kind of gear and use it professionally (or even semi-professionally), you should be able to figure it out yourself rather than ask strangers on an internet forum...  

If you have ND grads, presumably you have a decent tripod already.  Any of the WA will be great. 17-40f4L will be great also and is a lot cheaper than the f2.8 zoom.  One extra stop costs a lot of money....  IMO, I find that the best lens for skiing shots is a good telephoto and you already own pretty much the best one. 5D AF system will be barely adequate for moving skiers.  1D level body is much better, but that's serious cash.Good luck.
post #3 of 15
I'm with alexn on the 17-40 rather than the 16-35. Given the high ISO capabilities of the 5D MkII, you should be able to survive at f4.

If you're wanting video and better AF, then get a 7D (or blow the bank for a 1D MkIV). The other thing you could add to your shopping list is a 1.4x converter (I have a 2x but I'm not overly happy with the IQ of it)

My line up has a few similarities to yours...
- 5D Classic & 5D MK II
- 24-70mm f/2.8L
- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
- 2x Converter
- Sigma 12-24mm
- Sigma DG Super Flash
- Various filters (rarely used as filter glass is not as good as L)
- 5+ 4GB Sandisk Extreme IV cards
- Epson P3000 storage
- G9
...
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both of you - No disrespect taken.  I know that I should probably already know the answer, but for use specific on this, I was thinking more along the idea of using it for photos of skiers.  I already have some creative ideas on shots, etc, but it's always good to get some advice from people with experience.

One other thing - I shoot a ton of weddings - I've thought about the 17-40, but believe it or not, 1 stop is worth the extra $600 to me because of the issues in receptions, etc.  Basically I've spoiled myself with f/2.8 on everything for way too long to change now.  When it comes down to getting 1/100 of a shutter speed at ISO 3200 so I can hand hold, i'd be forced to go to 6400 or 1/50 with the same shot at f/4..

 


With regards to the tripod - I dont have a great one right now, and sometimes I feel like that might be a good area to improve upon.  I have to ask this question though - If shooting stills or video on the mountain, how often do you guys lug a tripod around?  Granted a nice Gitzo with ballhead is probably only around 4-5lbs, but thats still 4-5 extra lbs in addition to the gear that might already be on my back while skiing.  I could see the purpose of an investment in the tripod, but if it would help to be able to go wider than 24mm before wanting to go with the tripod, I'd wait on the tripod.

To sum up the questions:
Would I be better off with a nicer tripod now, or getting the extra 8mm wider on the focal length?
How often do you use a tripod on the mountain, or is it too much of a PITA to lug around?

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Oh, and with regards to the 2nd body.  If I got another one now, I'd get the 7D, but not sure I want to go that route yet.  If I got it, it'd be for a 2nd camera with video, not for the AF.. the AF doesnt work well during video anyway.  With regards to AF on the MK2, I've had some experience with other sports shooting already with the 5D, and the AF seems to work fine for me.  I just think about it from the perspective of:  what did sports photogs do when the AF wasnt quite that fast back when the 1DMK1 was around?  The 1DMK1 and MK2 werent even much faster AF than the 5DMK2, were they?

When I shoot, I also don't spray and pray at 6 or 8 fps.. I just get the good ones at the best moment.  IF i feel the need for a sequence of shots, I might use the 5D at 4pfs, but when I had the 40D, I dont think I ever used the 6.5fps that it had to offer, so thats not a selling point for me on the 7D, nor was it on the 5DMK2.

post #6 of 15
OK, back to the original line up.
Forget the fisheye. You might use it for 1 shot at a wedding, then probably very rarely after that.
I wouldn't bother with a good tripod in the snow, cause it's not going to stay good very long.
So that leaves the lens.
I know you were only giving a "for example" of 1/50th at f.4, but with a bit of practice, it's not that difficult to hold steady at a wide angle slower than 1/30th.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Agreed - holding the lens steady isnt necessarily my largest concern, its just the motion blur from subject movement that might be the concern.

Do you use your wide angle out to 17mm frequently for snow related shots?

Also, call me a complete noob, but what would happen to the tripod in the snow?  Sorry, I guess I really dont like using tripods unless absolutely necessary, so therefore dont use them often :/

post #8 of 15
Nothing happens to tripods in the snow.  For video you really need solid legs and a decent fluid head.  Either one without the other is very limiting.  Hauling around something heavy enough to be worthwhile means your really out shooting and not skiing.  I once made a monopod by screwing a 1/4 x 20 into the top of a pole, then cut the head off and was able to screw my camcorder onto it.  It actually kind of worked. 
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Figured that with the tripod.

I ended up going with the 16-35.  After playing with it for a bit, I've realized that I LOVE being able to go wider than 24mm.  Definitely a good investment. Waiting on the tripod for now.  I might try to do that makeshift monopod thing though. :)
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Figured that with the tripod.

I ended up going with the 16-35.  After playing with it for a bit, I've realized that I LOVE being able to go wider than 24mm.  Definitely a good investment. Waiting on the tripod for now.  I might try to do that makeshift monopod thing though. :)
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Figured that with the tripod.

I ended up going with the 16-35.  After playing with it for a bit, I've realized that I LOVE being able to go wider than 24mm.  Definitely a good investment. Waiting on the tripod for now.  I might try to do that makeshift monopod thing though. :)
post #12 of 15
For video you might want a tripod or monopod. If you are lugging ski poles there are clamps to join those with a monopod. and create a tripod on the go.
Most likely, fast moving subject you are happy with a monopod, so adding a threaded support to my poles grip would be my choice with the option of a small tilt/swivel ball head and a clamp to go from monopod to duopod.

Can not tell you much about the current canon gear, i owned it long time ago so i do recognize what you have and that it is good stuff, now using olympus E-3 with some nice swd lenses and i am very happy with that dust/rainproof setup. But it is not as fast as the fastest canon gear.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude04 View Post

Figured that with the tripod.

I ended up going with the 16-35.  After playing with it for a bit, I've realized that I LOVE being able to go wider than 24mm.  Definitely a good investment. Waiting on the tripod for now.  I might try to do that makeshift monopod thing though. :)

what is the real-world difference between the 16-35 f/2.8 and the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8?  Is it appreciably wider on a 1.6 crop body?
post #14 of 15
It won't be massively wider, BUT the 16-35 is an L lens, so considerably better quality that the EF-S. You might want to look at the 17-40 f4.0L if you want better quality, but not the expense of the 16-35.

(Of interest to camera geeks, the hyperfocal distance at f8 on a Canon crop is 1.7 metres for a 16mm and 1.92 metres for a 17mm)
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude04 View Post

The 1DMK1 and MK2 werent even much faster AF than the 5DMK2, were they?


Believe me, 1d cameras are totally different thing then anything else. 7d which has A LOT better af then any other Canon non-pro cameras, is nowhere near AF capabilities of original 1d (or analog EOS 1v). I would personally love if this would be wrong, since we would need to pay less then half the money we are going to pay for few new 1dmk4 now, but there's just no other way.
Anyway... back to your question... From this I would go with 16-35. I don't like fish lenses, so only option would be 14/2.8 for me, but it's not really in range of your listed lenses. Otherwise most of my shooting skiing is done with long lenses (300/2.8 and 500/4), but then again I shoot mostly WC race, where you can't really be 2m from gate. But nevertheless, I would go for 16-35 or 17-40/4, since they are much more versatile lenses then 15mm fish.
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