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KPDX
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Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:04 am

Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:16 am

Hello all,

I'm here to start a thread that has been started many times over the years, but with my own twist. I've gotten into photography in the last year, and the more I take pictures, the more I realize the limitations of my entry level Nikon D3400 and it's 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED zoom lens. It's still a solid camera, but I'm ready to take the next step.

ImageEFD by Dylan Phelps, on Flickr

ImageDFW by Dylan Phelps, on Flickr

ImageEFD by Dylan Phelps, on Flickr

Though I am happy with these photos, I'm not sure they're quite up to Airliners.net standards just yet. In addition to becoming a better photographer overall, I'd like to move on to a professional-level DSLR. First and foremost, I'd like to say I'd prefer a Nikon camera just for the plain fact that I'm rather familiar with the features and interface. That being said, I am open to moving on to Canon. I noticed at least around the DFW area, many of the photographers use Canon cameras. Certainly more than the Nikons. But I've heard like Samsung and Apple, both have their strengths.

I've been looking at the Nikon D750 and multiple lenses such as the NIKKOR 200-500mm. I'm of the opinion I'd rather pay for a good quality lens rather than go cheap and get one that is good, but cheaper for a reason (like the Tamron, perhaps). To add on to that, I'm thinking of going used/refurbished route for the body, but new for the lens.

Anyways, enough of my rambling. I'm trying to get this all figured out. My budget for the body + lens (or two if you guys recommend a short range lens as well) is preferably at $3,000 or less. Do you guys have any personal recommendations with that budget in mind?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Dylan
 
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KPDX
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:04 am

Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:38 pm

After some research, I believe I'm going to go for the following:

Nikon D750
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED

I feel this covers the low and high end very well. Any thoughts?
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4912
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:56 pm

It depends how well you want to cover that combined focal range. I'm a Canon guy, with little Nikon experience, but I can tell you for sure that any lens boasting over 10x zoom is going to be a master of all trades, jack of none. A 28-300 is going from pretty wide-angle, all the way to super-telephoto - physics dictates that, to achieve this focal range with premium results, one would need to go with at least a two lens setup.

I believe the 200-500 is a decent lens (although might be worth looking at Sigma's latest offerings), but the construction is less complicated than that of a 28-300 as you're going from telephoto to telephoto.

I think you need to decide what your primary focal length is going to be (do you really need 500mm?) and whether the convenience of a single, do-it-all lens is worth the inevitable drop in image quality.

Karl
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:39 pm

JakTrax wrote:
master of all trades, jack of none


Or maybe a jack of all trades, master of none? :biggrin:

JakTrax wrote:
I think you need to decide what your primary focal length is going to be


:checkmark:

That's the key at first - decide what focal length range you want/need to cover, then go from there.

KPDX wrote:
I'm thinking of going used/refurbished route for the body, but new for the lens.


Nothing wrong with used equipment. I've had used lenses and used camera bodies over the years (currently pairing a used Canon 6D with a new 17-40, used 70-200, and new 100-400 Mk2). But keep in mind - a lens should last a long long time if properly taken care of, whereas the shutter and various other electronics in a camera body will eventually give out.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
JakTrax
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:53 pm

Yes, sorry, jack of all trades, master of none is, of course, what I meant.
 
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DL747
Posts: 840
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:57 am

Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:47 pm

Hello fellow Nikonian, if you've got the 70-300 3.5-5.6 VR FX AF-P version I would honestly stick with that, it's a quality lens imo. It should be plenty capable of anet. Hell, the majority of my shots are with the cheapo 55-300, I just recently got the above 70-300. There's a lot more involved in skill and technique than in equipment once you hit a certain point. I can vouch that the 200-500 is excellent; its fantastic for airshows. Having said that, be prepared to hit the shoulder machines at the gym, it's a little on the heavy side, but not too bad. If you have the aforementioned version of the 70-300, the 24-120 would serve you well to cover the wide to mid-range and is quite nice as well. You could look at the 16-80 if you really need wider.

EDIT: Those three photos above are quite nice and I am fairly confident that with some decent editing they would make it to the db.
Hey, thanks for stopping by! My photos can be found here: http://www.airliners.net/search?user=17 ... lay=detail
 
JakTrax
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:36 pm

I see some blur in the first image which, given the obviously low shutter speed, isn't too surprising. What I'm about to say may not be the case with you but very often, when people claim to have outgrown their gear, what's in fact happening is that they are scrutinising their images more closely and are actually seeing flaws in their technique. The reason I say this is because even the most basic equipment - if used to its strengths - should easily be able to take the images you've posted.

My point is this: make absolutely sure it's your camera gear you're unhappy with, because newer, more expensive equipment isn't going to negate poor technique. An exaggerated example (for effect) but I've heard things along the lines of, "My Canon 5DIV and 100-400L lens are crap because I took a photo of a 747 at 400mm at midday on a sunny day in July and the quality's poor!". Sometimes physics is the limiting factor, not the camera/lens.

Karl
 
Schmave
Posts: 58
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:53 pm

So I'm going to just say that I don't think your current gear is limiting you at all (unless you are short on reach on the long end at 300 mm). Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) is real and affects all of us. I think the shots you posted above look fine and the gear you have is capable of taking some great shots.

That said, if I were in your shoes I would probably look at getting a new lens first. I'm a Canon shooter but I've heard a lot of good things about the Nikon 200-500. The only drawback to that lens is that it is a little slow but otherwise should be quite sharp. Looking at your Flickr page it looks like you mostly like to do aviation photography so I think the Nikon 200-500 would serve you better than a new body. Bodies change all the time but a good lens should last decades if taken care of.
 
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ajaaron
Posts: 213
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:07 pm

Can I piggyback on your post, Dylan?

I shoot using an a entry level Canon 1200D, with the 150-300mm standard lens which came with the camera, and recently I've bought the Sigma 150-600mm.

Here's my modest contribution to airliners.net - not for want of trying - I only have a 12% acceptance rate! http://www.airliners.net/search?keywords=Arnold+aaron

So, like you, Dylan I am looking to upgrade, and considering the Canon 5D Mark iv, against the new Canon EOS R, the latter which is mirror-less, with an electronic viewfinder, which I'm a little apprehensive about. The reviews of the EOS-R are a little disappointing so not sure which way to go...

Any Canon people out here can make a recommendation?

Dylan, my apologies if I've hijacked your post!

Cheers,

Arnold.
 
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KPDX
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:33 pm

Gents,

Thank you all for your contributions! I went ahead and bought the D750, as I got a great deal on it, and the two afromentioned lenses. As Karl brought up, no doubt I still have lots of improvement ahead when it comes to my mechanics and knowledge, but I wanted to invest in a setup that I'd be happy with for a long time.

The 70-300 lens I have is good, but not great. It's actually a cheaper/less capable variation of the 70-300 3.5-5.6 VR FX AF-P that I got it in a bundle deal at the local wholesale store.

I feel good about the 28-300, as I travel quite a bit. Seems to be a great and versatile lens for travelling with. Actually, there are quite a few shots in the Airliners.net database with it.

Anywho, thank you all for your suggestions and tips! Hope to show you the results soon.

Dylan
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4912
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:07 pm

Don't get too caught up in the measure of a lens' quality being determined by how many images there are in the database here - at the sizes A.net prefers, a multitude of flaws can be easily masked.

Ultimately, the only person you have to satisfy is yourself. As long as you're aware that a 28-300 typically won't be as good as a 24-70 + 100-300 (just examples), you'll be fine.

Karl
 
Schmave
Posts: 58
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:25 pm

ajaaron wrote:
So, like you, Dylan I am looking to upgrade, and considering the Canon 5D Mark iv, against the new Canon EOS R, the latter which is mirror-less, with an electronic viewfinder, which I'm a little apprehensive about. The reviews of the EOS-R are a little disappointing so not sure which way to go...


I've been hearing the opposite about the EOS R. Every reviewer that has actually used the camera seems to like it. Spec-wise, especially compared to some of the Sony cameras, it might come up a little short. But functionality is supposed to be good, image quality is good (basically the same sensor as a 5D IV), autofocus is good. The frame rate is a little low, especially when using servo-AF, but for aviation it's probably fine.

Using an EVF on a mirrorless camera will be different than a DSLR, but it does have some advantages over an OVF.
 
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KPDX
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Re: Time To Upgrade.. Could use some advice!

Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:49 pm

Well, I finally had a chance to use the D750 + 200-500mm lens last night. Super happy with the results! Thank you all again for your help. :)

ImageDFW by Dylan Phelps, on Flickr

ImageDFW by Dylan Phelps, on Flickr

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