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Lens' question - JGarvie and others please look :) #3176
04/23/06 11:59 PM
04/23/06 11:59 PM
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Psycht Offline OP
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Psycht  Offline OP
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Hi All -

Two posts in one evening - must be a record for me! I am getting more and more involved with shooting dogs/dog events and am looking at upgrading my very basic lens collection. I wanted to get some insight from the people on this list as to what lens' they would recommend purchasing.

This will be a slow upgrade and I can't afford 1K+ lens' at this time. Will be shooting some indoor/outdoor portraiture, dog sports such as agility, obedience, schutzhund, etc. I have also been asked to shoot a couple national specialty shows, and while I reluctantly turned them down due to lack of confidence, in the future I am looking at the possibility of shooting small specialities or all breed shows and wondered what people like Jim use for lens' when they shoot in these types of forums.

Right now I am shooting a Nikon D70 and currently have a Nikkor 28-80 and 70-300. While I imagine in the future I will upgrade my camera, I am partial to my Nikons and I doubt I will be switching to Canon any time soon, so becoming lens heavy for a Nikon camera does not concern me too much

Any input or advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Ingrid

Last edited by Psycht; 04/24/06 12:05 AM.
Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Psycht] #3177
04/24/06 12:33 AM
04/24/06 12:33 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
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James Morrissey  Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Ingrid,

Congratulations on the job offers. Even if you turn them down, they are still flattering. Glass is the most important part of owning a camera. While I believe that Nikon and Canon glass cannot be topped for AF SLRs, there are ways to get around the need for their top-end glass. When I first started doing portrait work, I purchased entirely B-Grade lenses and then moved to the top shelf glass.

Specifically, I would start off with fast, 3rd party alternatives. Such as the Tamron 28-75di (less than $400) for a F2.8 constant aperture zoom. Sigma's 70-200 F2.8 is also a solid lens for the money. The sum total for the two lenses should not be much more than $1,000. As your income allows, purchasing the Canon and Nikon top lenses will be to your advantage as they do focus faster and are typically sharper.

James

Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Psycht] #3178
04/24/06 10:09 AM
04/24/06 10:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Florida
Ingrid,
when we started out over 5 years ago, we had Canon D30s and Sigma 28-70 F2.8 and Sigma 70-200 F2.8 lenses plus 550EX flash units.

Since then, I've gone to the Canon 17-40 F4.0L as my primary show lens and added the Canon 50 F1.8 as my portrait lens.

For formals, the short zoom has always worked fine. It allows you to frame as tightly as possible without having to move around a lot. While the image quality of the Sigma 28-70 is not outstanding, it's fine for my primary product which is 8X10 prints. The 17-40 is sharper and goes to 11X14 without any problems. For me, the convenience of the short zoom is essential for the ring shots and podium shots since they always involve a judge, handler, dog and usually some show official or owner.

The Sigma 70-200 Zoom is a pleasant surprise. It's just as sharp as the Canon equivalents and was less expensive. It focuses fast, is pretty easy to handle for action shots and it produces lovely images. At 70mm, it also works very nicely as a portrait lens.

The Canon 50mm is just a wonder. It is the sharpest lens in my bag and it's unbelievably lightweight. I've made 16X20 prints with it and they are lovely. Not bad for a $75 lens!

Sounds to me like you have pretty much all you'll need short-term for camera and lenses. I love the Nikon system and they make great optics. When we opted for the two Sigma zooms, the f2.8 maximum aperture was important. What I find now is that I shoot 95% of my show stuff (including action) at F8 because that tends to be the sweet spot of my lenses and I compensate if necessary by using highter ISO.

My suggestion is to use what you have until (or unless) you find a significant short-coming in your lens arsenal and then add what you need based on your own shooting style and the subject matter you're shooting. Remember, not that long ago, folks were shooting shows with Hasselblad 2 1/4 film cameras and fixed focal length 80mm lenses. Wait a minute; most still do!!!! Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Continued good luck with the shows and congratulations on your work.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Jim Garvie] #3179
04/24/06 11:20 AM
04/24/06 11:20 AM
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Psycht Offline OP
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Psycht  Offline OP
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Thanks to both of you! I will look into getting the 70-200 f2.8 in the upcoming future. My 70-300 is f5.6 I believe (I got it with the camera when I bought it). Jim, I like your advice about using the lens' I have until I find out what I need. I always tell that to people looking at getting the "next and best" digital camera = perhaps I should listen to my own advice!

I am checking in to those other lens' as well. Anyone else have advice? For a novice like myself I like hearing what others use to shoot their photos with.

Thanks again!

Ingrid

Last edited by Psycht; 04/24/06 11:22 AM.

Ingrid A. Rosenquist Psycht Australian Cattle Dogs and Photography http://www.pbase.com/cattledog
Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Psycht] #3180
04/24/06 01:31 PM
04/24/06 01:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Ingrid,
another option is to rent the lens you're thinking of buying either instead of buying it or as a test-drive prior to the purchase.

A new lens rental site has opened up on the web -- www.rentglass.com -- and they are currently offering rentals on Canon L glass and will soon be offering Nikon glass as well. The rental rates are pretty reasonable.

This sounds like a reasonable alternative if you have a need for a lens for a particular event -- like a 300mm F2.8 -- but don't want to invest in ownership of that particular lens.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Jim Garvie] #3181
04/29/06 10:49 PM
04/29/06 10:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Northwest Washington
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Blue Dog Offline
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Blue Dog  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Northwest Washington
Hey Ingrid,

It's me, Jeff! First post here.

If you want more information on lenses, go to fredmiranda.com . The "reviews" section there has user-based reviews on many lenses. Once you find one that looks promising, go to the forums and do a search and see what others have commented on and maybe find a few samples posted.

Another way to improve your photography is to switch to Canon (that was an ongoing joke intended just for Ingrid so please don't flame me).

I have and use the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8. When I first got it I found it to be soft so I sent it back to Sigma for calibration and/or to be rechipped. I now am very satisfied with it. Many others have found it to be just as sharp and fast AF as the Canon 24-70 f2.8 'L'.


Have Fun!

Jeff

Zingpix

Last edited by Blue Dog; 04/29/06 10:58 PM.
Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Blue Dog] #3182
04/29/06 11:51 PM
04/29/06 11:51 PM
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Psycht Offline OP
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Psycht  Offline OP
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Thanks Jeff!

Ha! I'll stick with Nikon, if only to aggravate you <vbg> I will check out those sites. How about posting a link here to your website of fantastic photos


Ingrid A. Rosenquist Psycht Australian Cattle Dogs and Photography http://www.pbase.com/cattledog
Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Psycht] #3183
05/01/06 10:23 PM
05/01/06 10:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Northwest Washington
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Blue Dog Offline
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Blue Dog  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Northwest Washington
Hey Ingrid,

www.zingpix.com

I am shooting the Cascade herding trial this weekend. It is a small one but should be fun. There was sun scheduled but now rain is in the forecast

Jeff

Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Blue Dog] #3184
05/02/06 12:23 PM
05/02/06 12:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline
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Julie  Offline
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TN
What is the template you use on your website?? Looks easy to deal with

Re: Lens' question - JGarvie and others please loo [Re: Julie] #3185
05/02/06 04:11 PM
05/02/06 04:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Northwest Washington
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Blue Dog Offline
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Blue Dog  Offline
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Northwest Washington
Hi Julie,

If you are refering to my zingpix.com site, then this is the source of the template:

AllWebCo Templates
http://allwebco-templates.com

It is almost idiot proof to set up, the instructions are pretty straight forward. I was anticipating putting event pictures up there to sell because it comes with a PayPal cart. However, putting bunches of pictures on the site using the template's naming requirements seem very time consuming and awkward. I may have to use something like Printroom.com .

Thanks,
Jeff

Last edited by Blue Dog; 05/02/06 04:12 PM.
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