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Building a new system


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#1 Jyda

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:46

As some may have read, I recently lost all of my camera gear in a burglary. I thus I have to replace it all. It also means that I have the opportunity to rethink my system from scratch. I haven't heard back from the insurance company yet so I can't say how much money will be available for the purpose, but about 10000€ ($13000) should be in the ballpark.

My main interests are landscape, street, and travel/hiking photography with some occasional portraiture. I used a D800 for everything, but was thinking of a lighter and more inconspicuous setup for at least for my street "work" (I am just an amateur). I know I won't be able to afford the "best" lenses for every focal length and was thinking of this setup.

Landscape, portraits, and travel (by car):
D800(E)
Nikon 16-35/4. Had one and while I wasn't overwhelmed by its performance, it was a very useful focal range and the possibility to use filters (which I still have) and VR made it a very practical lens.
Nikon AF-S 28/1.8. I had a Nikon 28/2 which I liked. Could make use of an AF version, though. The new Sigma 35/1.4 may be an option.
Nikon AF-S 50/1.8. A 50 is a must have. I had a AF-S 50/1.4, but the 1.8 seem just as good.
Nikon AF-S 85/1.8. For portraits and low-light shooting.
Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8. My most used lens.
Nikon AF-S 70-200/2.8 VR II. A 70-200 is also a must have. I probably could make do with the 70-200/4 and will also consider that one.
Nikon SB-910.

Street, hiking and light travel:
I haven't any real experience besides holding one, but an Olympus OM-D with a normal zoom and a fast prime (45/1.8?)should suite my needs.

All that gear will be just shy of 10000€ new, but I will probably try to purchase at least some of it second-hand. I also have to replace spare batteries, memory cards, camera plates, etc. Luckily, still have my trusty tripod.

I'm just curious how you all would think about a system purchase if you where in my shoes. Any thoughts?
/Johnny

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#2 Dallas

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:34

As much as I love the OM-D, I can't do the kind of work I do without a proper DSLR. I need the AF-C focus tracking and optical viewfinder. So, the biggest problem I would have right now, should my kit have to be re-built from scratch, is that there is no Nikon D700 replacement I would be happy with. I would have to get a D3S, or a D4 and that would chew up most of my finances. I would definitely replace the 24-70/2.8 with another, but I would avoid primes wherever I could in favour of the best zoom lens options. Probably opt for a 14-24/2.8 and 70-200/2.8. I would definitely get another Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS.

The Olympus is my personal camera. I have used it on a paid job before, but only as an auxiliary item. I wouldn't rely on it as a main camera. Not because it is unreliable, but because I don't know how to use it properly yet! :)

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#3 Hampus

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:49

Hello!

It looks OK, but I would leave out the 50 and the 28. They don't do anything that the 24-70 can't do, except make your camera look less like a bazooka.

Depending on how much you use your flash and how you use it, I would consider maybe an additional flash and pocketwizards.

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#4 palalaikka

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 13:23

Nikon AF-S 28/1.8. I had a Nikon 28/2 which I liked. Could make use of an AF version, though. The new Sigma 35/1.4 may be an option.

All that gear will be just shy of 10000€ new, but I will probably try to purchase at least some of it second-hand.


If you end up selecting 28/1.8 AF-S, please send me a PM. I have one for sale.

#5 Rags

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 16:01

Looks good Jyda...

We have similar must have needs... 24/70, 70/200 and of course the nifty fifty (insurance) & 85 as second tier. The Siggy is getting good reports.

For a small street, maybe the Nikon V's. I lost my butt on a V1 that was too early for prime time, but they are addressing the issues.

If history is a guide the V2 may be $2.00 in 3 months when they come out with a new version (instead of new firmware)... :D

Rags

#6 Anthony

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 16:25

Your list looks good to me, but I do wonder about getting a lens whose performance did not impress you.

The 24-70 is superb, and with the D800's ability to crop you can deal with scenes which would otherwise require a longer lens. I found this invaluable on a recent trip.

The 50 1.8 is very good, and it is light and fast. These give it a significant advantage over the 24-70 in certain circumstances.

#7 Jyda

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:53

Your list looks good to me, but I do wonder about getting a lens whose performance did not impress you.


It's not that bad. I just wished it had been better. Though I think it was a case of sample variation as I've seen great results from others. My copy was also softer on the right side than the left which always nagged me. In the end it comes down to practicality. I would love to have a Zeiss 21/2.8 or some other great prime in that range, but right now I can't afford both.

palalaikka: I will have that in mind.
/Johnny

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#8 rbsandor

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:45

Jyda: in reading your original post, I note that you list landscape, street and travel photography as your main interests. Given the way that I shoot, which may differ from yours, I find little need for super fast lenses in those types of shooting.
About a month ago, I purchased an EM-5 along with a 12-35 (24-70 in 35 mm terms) and a 45 and 75 mm lens (90 and 150 equiv). I used this system exclusively, recently on a trip to Paris. It fulfilled all my needs for all but fastest of action shots which were few and far between.
As a result of that trip, I would break down my future usage and ownership of extensive amount of Nikon gear and a lesser amount of Olympus gear as follows: when dealing with fast action where Continous AF or an extremely shallow DOF is an absolute necessity, the Nikon gear is a must. All else, in my opinion, can be dealt with by the EM-5.
The upside to this approach is a much lighter kit bag and a less expensive one as well. I don't think many will argue that a D800e will produce incredible files, I have an D800 and know what it can do. But will those differences between it and the files produced by the EM-5 be seen and appreciated at any but the largest levels of reproduction?
Your needs may be quite different than mine, but I found that carrying a very light and capable camera/lens combo with a small extra lens in a jacket pocket or small sack was enjoyable.
Richard
PS-both the 45 and 75 (the latter in particular) will do excellent portraiture service.

Edited by rbsandor, 16 January 2013 - 02:47 .

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#9 Jyda

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:38

I used my D800 (and D700 before that) as an all-purpose camera and was quite satisfied with that. The times I felt the need for a smaller system was mainly when shooting street and for decreased bulk. Not necessarily for lesser weight even though that is nice at times. Especially when flying or hiking.

Very fast lenses is of little need for me also in many cases. I use them primarely for low-light shooting. As for landscapes, the resolution of the D800 may be overkill as I don't tend to print very large (occasionally A2 or larger) and don't crop extensively in those cases. But I do love the dynamic range as well as the sturdiness and size when using gloves. The OM-D may be sufficient in many situations, but I'm not totally convinced yet. :) Also, as I'm trying to do more portraits, the flash system on the Nikon feels much more suited.

That said, if I'm getting a smaller system in addition to the "big" one I'm sure I will be using it extensively and probably expand it beyond just one or two lenses. The 75 seems to be a wonderful lens.
/Johnny

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#10 Jyda

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:48

Rather unexpectedly my insurance company decided that I could replace most of my lost gear with new gear straight from the shop. The "drawback" was that I didn't have the option to chose a different replacement for any item (e.g the redundant Sigma 70-200). I'm happy as a clam either way as I haven't had any camera gear for a month. :)

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/Johnny

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#11 stenrasmussen

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:00

Now that is i pile of boxes any photographer would like to not get rid of :D
Good on you!
Edit: What is that black box doing there???? :devil:

Edited by stenrasmussen, 05 February 2013 - 09:01 .

Machina fotografica necesse est

#12 Dallas

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:31

Hey, that black box contains a very capable lens. Don't let the brand cloud your judgements!

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#13 Jyda

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:18

The Sigma is certainly not a bad lens. It is very sharp in the center, but can't compete with the Nikon in the borders. For landscapes I want good sharpness across the frame, but for portraits and action/sports I think the Sigma has great value for the money. At least that was my impression of my previous copies of the lenses.
/Johnny

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#14 Dallas

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:24

Yup, the biggest thing to bear in mind is that the Nikon lens costs 2x the asking price of the Sigma. Is it 2x better? Doubt it...

I sure wouldn't mind having all those gold boxes in my house right now though. :)

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#15 Erik Lund

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 13:45

... The "drawback" was that I didn't have the option to chose a different replacement for any item....


Sorry to hear that rule... I would definitely return some of these to the shop for a trade in...

#16 Jyda

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 14:16

Sorry to hear that rule... I would definitely return some of these to the shop for a trade in...

Yes, I tried to return the Sigma and the 28-300, but those are the rules. I will have to sell them second-hand. On the other hand I can now sell them as "brand new" instead of used.
/Johnny

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#17 makmanos

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 14:22

Nice pile of boxes :). Just out of curiocity.Why do you keep the 16-35? From a range perspective you have the 14-24 and then you have the 35. Is it just versatility mainly so that you don't have to switch between the others and for the inbetween reach? Or lens characteristics?
-Manos

#18 Jyda

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 14:35

I keep the 16-35 mainly for it's ability to use 77mm filters. It is also a very nice walk-around lens. It is harder to motivate the 14-24, but it's just so darned good. :)
/Johnny

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#19 makmanos

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 14:57

Ah yes forgot about the filters on the 14-24. And I suppose something like this won't help a lot with the motivation part of the story ...

Edited by makmanos, 05 February 2013 - 14:57 .

-Manos

#20 armando_m

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:30

Now you have to shoot all the lenses outside of the boxes for a proper nikongear shot !

Regards,
Armando 
 





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