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Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-12-2006, 3:15 PM Reply   
Okay, just for chits and giggles. If you want to blow 1.1K of Christmas cash….and your photography equipment consists of a Canon 30D and the 17-85 kit lens…..do you…..

Get the 85 1.8 lens, Bogen-Manfrotto 3021BPRO tripod, BG-E2 & 580EX flash

Or

Pick up the 70-200 2.8 (non IS)

As I think about it, I really don’t know how much I would need the grip and I am still unclear what I am getting with the flash. But the tripod will be useful and the faster lens started this whole thing………
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       12-12-2006, 3:28 PM Reply   
Wake shots = 70-200

Indoor stuff = Flash

What will the primary use of the camera be ?
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-12-2006, 3:34 PM Reply   
It is our everyday camera. We shoot everything with it......and that is a lot. It gets a ton of use, my wife loves photos.

I have "wanted" more length when shooting on the boat. But truth be told, I don't die only having the 85MM out there.

The need for speed comes from the hockey shots. I have rented the 70-200 2.8 locally and that is AMAZING. Though I just wonder if I get it, if I should just spring for the IS version....then another 5-600....which gets me thinking "WHAT AM I DOING" Back to the 85 1.8.......or even the 200 2.8........

Just like boating, this camera hobby gets VERY expensive.

Does the flash do anything for me at the ice rink?
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       12-12-2006, 5:00 PM Reply   
As far as versatility is concerned- get the grip, tripod and flash. They are MUCH more valuable in a wider range of applications than just a 70-200. Then what you can do is downgrade to the 430ex (in place of the 580ex), skip the 85mm prime and pick up the 70-200 f4? Sure, you'd lose a bit of speed so it won't be ideal for hockey, but it'd still be doable...just up the ISO a bit. Dunno if this latter option would be workable, but it's what I would think about doing. That being said I don't know how dark/light your rink is, so maybe you DO need the f2.8?

I own both the 580 and 430 flashes, and there isn't a whole lot of difference between the two if you're just gonna use it to snap shots of friends inside. The 580 is more powerful and has more custom/manual controls, but if you aren't gonna use them then why pay for them? I'd bet that you can't tell the difference between the two flashes in "auto" mode.

That tripod should do nicely, too. I've got a 3001D and love it.
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       12-12-2006, 5:11 PM Reply   
The F/4 is a great lens but sucks for most indoor sports.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       12-12-2006, 5:38 PM Reply   
I'd say you need some sort of telephoto, the 85 f1.8 is a great lens but has more specific uses then a tele-zoom. I'd go for the 70-200 f4, a 50 f1.8, the flash and tripod. For most indoor stuff the 50 would be better then the 85.
Old    Bakes (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-12-2006, 7:38 PM Reply   
These are just my opinions and I am a nobody in the photography world.

Given those options I would get the 85mm combo stuff. The reason I say that is that it seems like most of my favorite boat shots and such with the zoom at at about 85 anyways.

If the question was the 85mm combo or the 70-200 2.8 with IS then I would go for the f2.8 70-200IS.

Just so you know my biases, I am a nikon guy but my next lenses are the following

1. f/2.8 70-200VR
2. 10.5 fisheye
3. 85mm 1.8
3. f/2.8 17-55 (once they make one VR)

I currently have a 50 f1.8, 55-200 f4-5.something, and 24-120 f3.something to something else.

In other words I have my bases covered with cheap consumer level lenses so everything else is going to be pro level from here out. The good thing about the "crappy" lenses is that they force me to learn things correctly since I don't have a high performance lens to bail me out.

Anyways, just another dudes opinion and ramblings.

Later

Bakes
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-13-2006, 7:51 AM Reply   
I wonder if the 50 1.8 would leave me searching for length at the hockey arena….which is the reason for the faster lens. But Jesus that is almost worth just purchasing due to the price.

Almost positive that the 70-200 F4 would not be adequate for the hockey use. Or maybe a better way to put that would be, it would be barely adequate at best. I am sure it would be great for the boat, but being that I need a rink lens, if I did the 70-200 F4 and the 85 1.8…..could just buy the 70-200 2.8 for $220 more….which I guess is the cost of the 430 flash(+$10)….

So a few more questions…. Does the flash do anything for me in the rink? I have never(to this point) needed to switch out batteries, is the grip more for power insurance and the fact that it makes the camera more substantial, thus when having the 70-200 on…it feels a bit more comfortable? Or maybe having the external flash, I will eat batteries?

I guess I did not make that 100% clear in the first post, other than stating that I needed a faster lens. But the whole photography shopping started with the need for a rink lens. I see that the 85 1.8 gets GREAT reviews and a ton of people have it in their arsenal so to speak. I guess it would be considered a high value lens.

So….

First package gives me a fast fixed lens(85 is fine as far as length, as I can stand on the boards and shoot over the glass), a needed tripod and grip/flash. The flash and grip are 400-500 of that package that are throw in’s. I am not 100% sure how much need I have for either.

Second package gives me a fast & versatile lens. Its use translates nicely onto the boat for riding shots….as well as can get me some great close ups at the rink. But it still leaves me in need of a quality tripod at best….grip and flash at worst.

Just thinking out loud, killing time at the workplace....
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       12-13-2006, 12:20 PM Reply   
The 50 f1.8 is worth getting because for the IQ and the speed you get (given it's price it's a no brainer). I havn't shot hockey but let me throw out my thoughts / things I would ponder.

Is 85 enough tele to get the kind of shots you're looking for? Just going from one end of the rink to the other would make a big difference in what you can get given it's fixed length. It sounds too short to me (could you get by with an 85 and a 1.4 TC? You'll lose a stop but the 85's IQ should hold up.)

Can you shoot with a flash at the rink? If you can then you need to get a powerful one like the 550/580 or Metz 54. Remember the flash won't sync over 1/250th and has to go into hi-speed mode lowering your effective usable range. A flash is great to have but I'm not sure it's the answer for hockey. I know the 135 f2 is a popular lens for that but you're back up into the high dollars.

Grip: I don't like the grip for the 20/30D - then again owning a 1D will do that to you. The flash is self powered (except for the builtin) so you don't need extra batteries to power it. If you're shooting portrait (vertical) a lot then you might appreciate the grip.

If you're really going to shoot serious hockey I think you'll end up with a 70-200 f2.8, anything else will just be a compromise.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-13-2006, 12:56 PM Reply   
So if I can get a "like new" 70-200 non IS off FM for 900ish(two VERY good options on there now)....it is worth $100/200 over the Sigma?

Then I get the 70-200 and the tripod......
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       12-13-2006, 2:49 PM Reply   
EJ, great choice on the tripod. i have the 3021BPRO with a 488RC2 ballhead. The Ballhead is my favorite part, so much versatility. The 3021BPRO is also sweet because it spreads the legs out all the way to ground level which can be cool for some nice long exposure river shots.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       12-13-2006, 5:29 PM Reply   
I haven't tried the sigma but I've always heard the Canon has better IQ at f2.8 but the sigma is supposed to be very good. More then likely the USM AF of the Canon will be faster as well.
Old    shelby daniel (oldschoolripper)      Join Date: Jul 2004       12-14-2006, 8:17 PM Reply   
My experience:

1. The 50 1.8 (for the price) is a must have. But it sux for any type of sports. The AF is WAY too slow, but it is def. the cheapest way to get a dependable low light lens. They don't call it plastic fantastic for nothing.

2. The Canon is definitely worth $100-200 more than the Sigma on 70-200's (AF faster and better color). A 70-200 2.8 Canon is the most versatile lens you can own IMHO. It's the one lens I always have with me. It's good for sports, portraits, indoors, outdoors, photojournal, candids, chase boating, etc. etc.

3. 580EX flash. Could not get by without it for indoor portraits. Of course almost any canon speedlight will suffice (a used 550 is a ggod buy). Figure out a way to buy it. You'll be glad you did.

Shelby D
www.shelbydaniel.smugmug.com
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       12-14-2006, 9:29 PM Reply   
in a similar decision situation.... the dilemma is get the legendary 85 f1.8 (fast & nice bokeh, and good for indoor @ $325) or the 70-200 f2.8 for a killer all around zoom....

i think it will really depend on what is important to you... the canon 85 f/1.8 prime is legendary for incredible quality and performance for a cheep price... the drawback is the lack of zoom..

the 70-200 f2.8 is one of the best zoom lens going(high quality nice all around zoom.. fast and good for low light...quality is suppose to to excellent but not as good as the prime..the benefit is a high quality zoom)...

if it was me (what i am going to buy) is the 70-200 f2.8 with the 1.4 extender...gives that little bit of extra reach while taking the f stop to f4 (covering indoor & super long outdoor)
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       12-14-2006, 9:31 PM Reply   
in a similar decision situation.... the dilemma is get the legendary 85 f1.8 (fast & nice bokeh, and good for indoor @ $325) or the 70-200 f2.8 for a killer all around zoom....

i think it will really depend on what is important to you... the canon 85 f/1.8 prime is legendary for incredible quality and performance for a cheep price... the drawback is the lack of zoom..

the 70-200 f2.8 is one of the best zoom lens going(high quality nice all around zoom.. fast and good for low light...quality is suppose to to excellent but not as good as the prime..the benefit is a high quality zoom)...

if it was me (what i am going to buy) is the 70-200 f2.8 with the 1.4 extender...gives that little bit of extra reach while taking the f stop to f4 (fast zoom covering indoor & super long outdoor)

i do plan to pick up a 85 f1.8 prime in the future... it is a good deal at $330...that would give me a 17/40, 85, 70/200 (f 2.8 & f4 w/extender)

(Message edited by clubmyke on December 14, 2006)
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-18-2006, 8:38 AM Reply   
By Rich Dykmans (richd) on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 12:20 pm: If you're really going to shoot serious hockey I think you'll end up with a 70-200 f2.8, anything else will just be a compromise.

Those comments sealed it for me. Though I am sure the 85 1.8 would work, it would leave me with the 70-200 in the back of my mind. Though I would not call my hockey shooting, or any of my shooting, serious.... I want to equip myself with better than average stuff, thus no excuses.
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Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       12-18-2006, 2:39 PM Reply   
It's nice that you get the tripod collar with the f2.8L. Canon get's over a $100 (if I remember right) for the collar that fits the f4L. It kind of brings the two a little closer in price overall.

I can tell from your shot you'll be at f2.8 a lot. The f2.8L I had was probably the sharpest zoom I've owned to date. It was slightly better then then my f4L (but generally most consider them pretty even.) Either way it's a great lens.

Don't be afraid to throw a 1.4 extender on that pup, you'll have a 280mm f4 with excellent IQ. (that's the other big benefit of the f2.8 version!)
Old    Mike H. (mim3)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-18-2006, 5:52 PM Reply   
EJ, Nice to see a fellow hockey nut hanging out on the wakeboard site. I've been struggling between the 2.8L IS and the 4L IS. Looks like you went with the non IS model. Please let me know how your shots at the rink turn out. My son's team has a game this weekend, so I can try my 4L IS.

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