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Thread: Next Step: What to get?

  1. #1
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    Next Step: What to get?



    Hey guys,


    I don't typically post this type of question, but I'm at a total loss for what to be saving my money for right now. To my parents there are logical answers such as a car or college, but those just don't seem reasonable to me when there are photo gear upgrades to be purchased! I'll have $600-$700 within the next two weeks. Money burns a hole in my pocket...


    The Breakdown:


    I love shooting portraits, action sports, and events. I'm a strobist at heart, I love playing with lights. I have the 17-200 range covered with good/professional quality glass Tamron 17-50 2.8 and Canon 70-200 f/4L. My only body is a 20D. I have a Canon 430EXII speedlite, a Vivitar 285HV and a slew of light modifiers. I fire them with cybersyncs. I am second shooting weddings this summer with a local photographer. I am also shooting some promo shots for local skateboard shops this summer.


    The Question:


    What is the next logical upgrade for me?


    My Lineup:


    1 Alien Bee 800 and needed accessories, (light stand, umbrella, carrying case, 48" shoot through umbrella) Vagabond II battery pack. Total: $630(ish)


    MacBook Pro: $1300+


    2 more GB RAM for my current (old) MacBook. Total: $100


    1 TB external hard drive. I currently share an eternal HD with my family and do not have all my system files and edits backed up for space restrictions. Total: $90


    Background stand. I have a mammoth PVC construction that hangs disassembled from my garage ceiling. It'd be nice to not have to use a ladder and teamwork to retrieve a background stand. Total: $100(ish)


    Feel free to add your own suggestions. I'm open to anything, but I have to dedicate something soon or my money will disappear on useless things.


    Thanks so much for your opinions/suggestions.


    -Rodger

  2. #2
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    Might I suggest you explore prim lenses? The good news is that you can start with the fast (f/1.8) & totally affordable nifty fifty. For portraiture the 85mm f/1.8 is also a nice choice. BTW - As a strobist I would think you would want more flash power and units. And while umbrellas are very convenient I think we all eventually seek the control and large area of light offered by softboxes. Have you considered a good used camera body? Maybe get by with the old computer and step up to a newer body.


    Ultimately it is up to you, and higher education is always good - so do both,.. and get fire proof pockets!


    -Shea

  3. #3
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    Thanks Shea,


    I do have the 50 1.8, but I'm not a huge fan of primes in general. Different discussion haha. I do crave the AB 800 setup. I have seen the softboxes, and their 100+ price tag. My line of thought was "get a $30 modifier at the moment until the funds build back up". I actually haven't seriously thought about a newer body, although spot metering on the 30D and more recent models would be lovely.


    At the moment I'm leaning towards spending around $300 total on the RAM, background stand, and external HD. once my final senior portrait orders come in, along with my workplace hours, it shouldn't be too hard to save up for the AB.


    haha I'm mostly kidding about the college thing. I'll be going [somewhere] this coming fall. The only variable is, well... where? haha.



  4. #4
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    I guess that Sean will give you the best answer here - just wait and I'm sure he'll soon reply here.


    For now, my 2 cents would be:


    1. Put the new MacBook at the back burner as this seems like the last thing on earth you need now.


    2. You need more space? no problem, buy more HDs - INTERNAL ones. Why the heck pay more for external ones? (unless you want to easily carry them with you around when you are not at home)

  5. #5
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    I need some proper time to give you my suggestions...I'm pretty sure I'll be able to post at length this evening. ;-)

  6. #6
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    Thanks all!


    Interesting thought on the internal HD! I didn't know they made huge internals.


    Sean, totally fine on the time constraint. I understand!


    Thanks again,


    -Rodger

  7. #7
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodger


    Interesting thought on the internal HD! I didn't know they made huge internals.


    I just put a 320g 7200rpm in my MBP. I could have gone 500 but I was on a budget. The process isn't for the feint of heart but this place has kits to help. I buy all my HDs there. They sell the bulk OEMs so they are cheaper. They don't have the pretty packaging but they are the same thing.



  8. #8
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    Just make sure your pocket doesn't catch on fire until this evening []

  9. #9
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?



    Define "...a slew of light modifiers."

  10. #10
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    Re: Next Step: What to get?




    <div>


    Quote Originally Posted by Oren
    Just make sure your pocket doesn't catch on fire until this evening[img]/emoticons/emotion-2.gif[/img]

    I moved it to an envelope. My pocket is safe... for awhile. haha


    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Setters
    Define "...a slew of light modifiers."

    2 Westcott 43" collapsible white umbrellas (one with a removable black cover, 1 Lumiquest Softbox III, two homemade strip lights (seen here), gels, bounce cards, and I'm working on a homemade beauty dish.


    So it's not a huge "slew" haha. But I find that it gets the job done for me. I also found my speedlites to be rather limiting while shooting snowboarding this winter. That's one of the main reasons I'm looking at the AB's.
    </div>



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