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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Photography gear investment
Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 6:07 AM on 12.14.12
->> Hi all again,

Well, since i get into photography and the addiction of adding and spending money didn't stop, it moved slower since last 2 years but it didn't stop at all, and now i am spending again, so i would like you to be part of my decisions on purchasing and i called it investing to get more gear, i know you are experts and experienced in gear to guide me better.

Well, i was thinking to spend on a computer and 2 lenses and something else if necessary, now here are what i am looking for to get:

1. Mac Pro, i can't wait until next year late of 2013 maybe to see which new update of Mac Pro will come out, and i am not into iMac even it is a great product, i have monitors and i don't want to dismiss them in case of iMac, we can discuss about the specifications of which Mac Pro.

2. Tilt Shift lens, or T/S adaptor, in both cases i need the movements, i do shoot architecture sometimes, and also some landscapes or outdoor and cityscape will need some kind of tilt/shift if necessary.

3. Long primes, in fact this is very expensive spending, and i may do that next year not any soon, but which one, 400 or 500 or 600?

4. Power or battery packs, whether for my camer bodies or MF back or lighting, this may take very long discussion i can see, but we can narrow options later.

5. tripod/head combos, i have Gitzo tripods and happy with them, also RRS ballhead, but i still read there are some another options could be better for some conditions, also monopod is part of this topic discussion as i need to use it in sports for long glasses such as 400 and 600 if i get one.

6. Open recommendations, what things in photography that one need and i don't know about it? I am not sure i have everything needed yet for everything to shoot rather than body and lens [from landscape to portraits to sports to macro...etc]?

We can discuss point by point to have better answers and suggestions/recommendations/advises, i always learn from others, and this will help/guide me for sure to how to buy wisely, i don't buy things without reading and researching about it very much enough time, and when i do then i never regret.


Thanks all, waiting for your reposes/replies
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:07 AM on 12.14.12
->> For someone questioning the value of thier $25 investment in SportsShooter, you sure are getting your monies worth asking us for our time to respond to your detailed questions. Just saying.

We all have the lust for new gear. However, it's difficult to answer your questions because decisions like these are based on what your needs are to take care of your clients. Investing in equipment simply to have it is foolish.

There's also the issue of avaialble financial resourses. For some, that's never an issue... for others... it's a big issue. You can't spend money you don't have and you shouldn't spend money that could create a "fiscal cliff" for your business.

If you are struggling with a true addiction find an empty B&H box, put a piece of equipment you don't use in it, tape up the box, and ship it to yourself. In a day or two the UPS man will ring your doorbell and you can open up the box. I just kidding of course, but the message is that you need to find a way to control your lust for gear and stay focused on meeting your clients needs within reasonable limits of your finanacial resources.

For what it's worth, my SS mentor and sponsor nailed me to the cross 8 years ago on the same issue. One of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me. The worst was to start eating snack bars with lots of fiber.
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James Durbin, Photographer
Midland | Texas | USA | Posted: 8:56 AM on 12.14.12
->> Tareq, let us know what you shoot so we can know what to recommend.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 9:48 AM on 12.14.12
->> Kevin, is a lust or addiction, if i know how to stop or remove it then i will not ask here at all, and until i can find a solution to it i want to get answers, and at the end i will get the answers here no one will send me gear, so i may not buy even if i get answers and i am not in rush, and i asked here to see what is to get or best to get and what is not necessary, i didn't say i want to spend $100k nor $10, so it all depends on what the answers i can get, some will tell me to buy this which costs $2000 and someone else will give me an alternative that may save me around $200-400, this is the beauty of discussion and recommendations.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 9:49 AM on 12.14.12
->> James, i shoot landscapes, cityscape, architecture, sports, portraits, macro, and say nature including wildlife and birds.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 10:12 AM on 12.14.12
->> Tareq,

Let's narrow that down. What do you get paid (most) to shoot?
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Allen Murabayashi, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 12.14.12
->> i would never buy long glass unless you are shooting weekly with it. it's simply not a good capital investment because of depreciation.

if you have an occasional need for long glass, rent it and charge it to the client.

i'm a huge fan of the profoto acute 600. very portable and dependable.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 10:54 AM on 12.14.12
->> Perrone: what do you mean by that? I don't get paid mostly only for that soccer games i do for my local town team, not much, but i don't put that as my main budget, i have another resources of income and i can save something to spend if i want, say $1000-2000, i can add more if needed something very necessary, i shoot that soccer almost every week.

Allen: I agree, but i don't have any friends who have those big lenses to rent, i have one friend who has a company for renting, he using some of me gear to rent and he doesn't have those long glasses such as 400/500/600, he will rent that from someone else maybe to give it to me, i don't like this way, and if i buy that big lens and he doesn't have it then i can get benefit to give it to him for rent, so i may get back some money back, not necessarily above %90 but if i can reach around 60-70% that will be great, but that means i must buy that big lens first to offer it for rent.

Big lenses are not my top priority now, it is just i thought about them more now because of my 1DX, want something longer than my 300mm.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 11:22 AM on 12.14.12
->> Tareq,

What I meant was, it might make sense to purchase things you need to shoot for the clients you pay you the most. If I was getting 80% of my photography income from one client, I would most likely buy gear to serve that company.

If you aren't getting paid much by anyone, then I'd suggest just holding onto the money. I haven't read your other posts, so I don't know what you are trying to do. I invested heavily in gear in 2012 to get my business going. That has put me in a good place and I am earning money back now.

If I wasn't getting paid to shoot, chances are I would not own very much equipment. I just doesn't make a lot of sense. I suspect most pro members here have gear because their job requires it. I know that if I am not shooting a job, I don't even carry a camera. But then, I am not a photojournalist.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 11:42 AM on 12.14.12
->> Perrone: Let's just say that i don't earn money from photography at all but i have budget to buy gear by my own, i mean i don't buy gear to get paid, i buy to enjoy using it and if i get paid that will be a bonus or plus, also i didn't ask what to get as camera or lens to start with, i have a lot of bodies and lenses, but it is only that i want to get something as final kit or final purchase, and if you go back to my questions then you will see i was asking about few things, Mac computer, tilt shift lens, power back and such, not necessary i will buy them all at once, but i may buy 1 or 2 things and the rest later if possible, i didn't shoot indoors architecture because i don't have a tilt shift lens or adapter for example, i have ultra wide or standard wide angle lenses, but those doesn't do the job perfect, for some magazines they want best of the best, and i see many shooters there using high end gear, i may have high end gear for something but not for something else, so i will focus on areas where i feel i need to improve my gear with, i can shoot with kit lens or 24-70 and 70-200 everything, but there are areas and times where you need a dedicated specialized lenses or bodies to do the job.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 1:40 PM on 12.14.12
->> The problem Tareq, is that no one here knows what you shoot exactly, or why you need such gear. If you are shooting for a magazine that features indoor architecture, then by all means, get a lens that allows you to do that work. I guess what I don't understand is you say you are just doing this for yourself. But then you talk about stuff in a magazine. What are you trying to do here? Are you trying to break into different kinds of photography as a business? Are you shooting for your own entertainment?

No one here can offer you any solid advice because we:

1. Don't know what you own
2. Don't know what your goals are
3. Don't know what your budget is.

As an example, you ask about buying a Mac Pro computer. That machine has not been upgraded in over 5 years and probably won't be. No one here could possibly know if buying one is a good idea for you.

You ask about long primes. But we don't know the environment in which you shoot. For me, I use the 300/2.8 nearly every time I shoot. I bought 2. There are MANY times I could use the 400 or 600. But it would take many years for me to make back the money spent on them, so I don't buy them. Your needs may be different.

In truth, it sounds to me like you just want to buy some cool gear. Nothing wrong with that. But also no need to solicit the opinion of a group of professional sports photographers when your questions are about buying a tilt-shift for architecture, or a 600mm lens for wildlife.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. Maybe someone else here has more insight than me on how to assist you.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 2:18 PM on 12.14.12
->> Perrone: Well, i really don't know what to say, about what to shoot i just said what i shoot above, and what do i own i can tell if that will help for sure, and what is my budget, well, this is not fixed, but it is not so high otherwise i will buy anything i asked about without asking about which.

Well, i thought i can get answer about photography related here anything regardless if it is sports photography or not.

About Mac Pro, i just not sure if i should go with this machine or it is worthless, i have many photos that needs powerful system and i prefer only Mac over PC windows based, and only Mac Pro is what i like over iMac, but if iMac is the only option for me then i will go with that.

lenses is a big topic, but i didn't make that much big and narrowed it to tilt/shift and big primes only.

About magazine things, well, here in my area, all or most magazines don't accept or hire until i get high end professional gear even if my work is not that much, so it is like the first impression to get jobs or assignment is to get a gear that is considered as pro, all ask about gear even they look at photos, it is like they want to know the gear more than the skill, so i want to be ready to have that gear, but let's say if i want to buy a tilt shift lens for indoors architecture magazines, well, i will not break and throw this lens if the job is done and i get paid, this lens can do amazing too for another photography such as landscapes and portraits, i am a big fan for landscapes and nightshots, or say, if i get a big prime lens for sports like 400, i will not put this lens in my storage room collection dust, i can use it for birds or wildlife too, sure i love to have things for joy and collecting, but i always can find a use for what i get.

At the end, i want to have answers here then i can decide, don't take it as you will tell me what to buy for sure, depends on your recommendations i can plan my future purchase better, and those are the most things i am looking for to get in the future [computer, dedicated lens, power pack supply, some accessories].

I feel like you don't want to give me any options or recommendations about gear and just telling me to forget getting anything else, it is my money to spend on very cheap or very expensive, but i thought here i can get more experienced answers as i am sure most of you have those gear, if someone don't know about my questions then there are others who know.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 3:00 PM on 12.14.12
->> The best lens for your needs would be the new Canon 200-400, ... when it actually hits the streets. The standard configuration for you would be at least 2 bodies, 16-35, 24-70, 100 macro, 70-200, and a 200-400, and perhaps a 1.4x converter. If you do documentary work, I would add to this a 35 f1.4 and a 100 f2.0. After this I would invest in lighting. I am a great believer in Elinchrom and Profoto because they can stop action. Learn to do portraits using strobes. Indoors and outdoors. If you do not want to get into Elinchrom/Profoto, then research it and get yourself some Speedlights and lighting accessories and learn how to use it.

If you have the money, then come to the SportsShooter Academy X in Southern California, it will help you grow in your photography. Lots of new ideas, a lot to learn about equipment needed for certain types of images. And you will be able to ask top level people face to face about things. You will also be in the States and will be able to purchase equipment while here. SS sponsors will be there as well to buy from. Coming to the SS Academy will be the best investment you can make in your photography career, hands down.

So, if you have the money, I would firstly do the SS Academy, and then think of buying extra equipment!

So, ashufak next year? See you there!
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 4:20 PM on 12.14.12
->> Ok, here is my equipment list, need some changes:

Digital
=======
Bodies:

Hasselblad H4D-60
Canon EOS 1DX
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
Canon EOS 1D Mark III [Blue Dot]
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II [For sale]
Canon EOS 5D [For sale]
Canon EOS 1D MarkII N [For sale]
Canon EOS 30D [For sale]
Canon EOS 350D (w/BG-E3)[For kids]
Nikon CoolPix 8800 [Lost]

Lenses:

Hasselblad HC 2.8/80mm
Hasselblad HCD 3.5/28mm
Hasselblad HC 4/120mm Macro

Canon EF 300mm f2.8L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM [For Sale]
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM II
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Canon EF-s 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II[kit lens]

Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP. HSM
Sigma 8mm F4 EX DG Circular Fisheye
Lensbaby

Film
=====
Medium Format:
Hasselblad 501C/M
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II
Mamiya 7II
Fuji GSW690III
Holga Pinhole 120WPC
Holga 120N Kit

Large Format:
Shen Hao HZX45 IIA
Speed Graphic Pacemaker 4x5
Crown Graphic 4x5


Accessories
===========

Canon Extender EF 1.4xII
Canon Extender EF 2xII
Canon Filter UV[1x] 58mm
Canon Flash Speedlite 580EXII
Canon Flash Speedlite 580EX
Canon Remote Controller RC-1
Canon Extension Tubes 12, 25 II
Gitzo GT5540
Gitzo GT2541LS
Gitzo GT3541LS
Gitzo GT1540T
Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod + 804RC2 Head
Manfrotto 679B Monopod [Would like to change it]
Manfrotto 322RC2 Head
Epson P-4000
VoSonic VP8860 500GB
Epson Stylus Pro 3800
Epson perfection V750 Pro
Quantum Battery Turbo for flash 580EX + CZ cable
Hoya ND Filter 77mm
Cokin UV 77mm
Cokin P-holder + adaptor ring [77mm]
B+W 77mm Kassm. MRC CPL
B+W ND 110 [1000x]
Singh-Ray VariND wide angle
Singh-Ray Reverse ND 0.6 4x6"
Hitech GND filters soft edge [0.3, 0.6, 0.9, 1.2] (P-series)
Hitech GND filters [0.9sft&hrd, 1.2sft&hrd, 0.6sft, 0.3sft] (4x5")
LEE 4x4" ND filters [0.3, 0.6, 0.9] Polyester
LEE 4x4" ND filter 0.6 Glass
Marumi UV Filter 58mm
Marumai Circualr Polarizer Filter 58mm
Hensel Lightings 2x 1000Ws Expert Pro Plus kit [1 softbox + 1 Unmbrella + 2 stands + 1 Bag]
3x Hensel Expert Pro Plus 500Ws
Profoto Pro7-B2 Battery Pack
Profoto Pro Head
Profoto Pro Ringlight 2
Profoto Wide Soft Reflector

Apple MacBook Pro, 2.4GHZ,4GB RAM, 160GB HD 7200rpm, 17" High Res. wide screen[Matte]
Apple MacBook Pro 13" [late 2009] with 2GB RAM
Apple Mac Mini 4GB
Apple Cinema Display 30"
Eizo ColorEdge CG222W
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 5:47 PM on 12.14.12
->> Now that you've told us everything you own, you might want to take your address off your member page now. Like, right now.
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Jeff Gammons, Photographer
Destin | Fl | USA | Posted: 5:51 PM on 12.14.12
->> That and you may want to call your insurance agent to make sure your policy is up to date....
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 5:59 PM on 12.14.12
->> You have a ton of gear. Wow.
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Greg Kendall-Ball, Photographer, Assistant
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 6:06 PM on 12.14.12
->> Damn. I'm moving to UAE and shooting a weekly town soccer league. Apparently they're flush over there...
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 6:25 PM on 12.14.12
->> Well, those are from my job as a civil engineer and also dad was paying for bills and food, but he died, left me with 2 houses that i use both for rent, so i am recovered and trying to keep moving, i see that i need a better computer, tilt shift lens and one of long primes and i will be almost done, anything more than that will be a big nice bonus, so i put the computer and lens as top priority unless something will happen to change my priority.

even the monitors, Apple Cinema Display is not top line, and the Eizo i have is small, but i am not much care about the monitor as first must to get.

Monopod is least important too, but getting one newer is no harm, in fact i added a monopod to my very soon purchase, i now saved a round $1000 to spend next, next month or beginning of the year i may save something else depends on what i will get by next month, i still have some good budget coming my way, but i will not use most of it for gear, but for now i have $1000 and also i am waiting answers to my first questions above so i can put my list and see what i can get/replace/upgrade/get rid of and so on.
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:41 PM on 12.14.12
->> Tareq,

I'm not kidding about taking your address off your member page. This thread will live on the internet forever. You've told the world that you own a camera that costs more than most cars. Don't tempt people.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 6:41 PM on 12.14.12
->> I couldn't decide whether mcnmara's post was funny or informative......but it is certainly a great idea.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 7:29 PM on 12.14.12
->> M. McNamara: I was very jealous and so sad before when i saw others with 1 series and 70-200 and 300, then after that i felt jealous again when i looked at photographers with medium format, so as long i come to the net and photography websites i will be always jealous, but now i feel i don't need to be jealous much because i have some good nice high end gear and some others are looking at my gear, but that doesn't means i am a great photographers and they are not good photographers, i wish if i can live in USA/Canada or Europe, then 2 things:

1. I will keep shooting everyday except if it rains heavily or snowing badly, because you have landscapes and nature and other things we here dream about.

2. I will not have much gear as current i have because of above reason, i will not get more gear when i will be busy everyday or almost in shooting outdoors and indoors.

Well, i didn't want to post my equipment list here, but i did after some asking about what i have so they can tell or recommend me what to go with, but seems it may turn onto how glory is my gear and i "WOW, you have a lot or plenty of expensive toys to play with",....... if that is the case then forget about all the questions i asked before.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 7:33 PM on 12.14.12
->> Forgive my typing mistake, very late here and i was in hurry to type and tired, will sleep and wake up in the morning to see what people will reply here to either my questions, or to my "OH MY...!!!" gear.

Good night!
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 7:38 PM on 12.14.12
->> Sign up for the SS Academy X. Really. You will not look back!
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Patrick Fallon, Photographer, Assistant
Torrance | California | USA | Posted: 7:45 PM on 12.14.12
->> I think you are buying gear for the wrong reasons - I think you need to figure out what it is that your current gear is not doing that something else would enable you to do. That's the important question that applies regardless of someone paying you for any pictures.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | IL | usa | Posted: 12:24 AM on 12.15.12
->> I'm surprised this has stayed so civil.

You've got a ton of gear, more than most working professionals. Some wise advice has been shared here. Figure out what form of photography is most important to making money for your business. Augment your gear to suit that. You could probably downsize as well.

If you just want gear to cover every imaginable situation just for the fun of it, you're on the right track. However a $33,000 camera is crazy for a hobby. You said it was bought out of jealousy?
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Josh Merwin, Photographer
New York | NY | | Posted: 3:20 AM on 12.15.12
->> 1- buy a new MacBook Pro if you need power and can't wait until a 2013 Mac pro comes out. Or even a 4 core Mac mini. The 2010 Mac pros aren't worth the investment at this point if you don't already have one.

2-if you need movements with the hassy gear get the HTS adapter. If you want it for the canon, probably the 17 tilt shift. But I don't know why you wouldn't use the Hassy if your looking for highest quality.

3- 200-400 when it's released.

4-Paul buff vagabond mini lithium

5-manfrotto carbon fiber monopod

6-an assistant to organize and carry all that shit around!!!

Hope that helps!
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Eugene P. Tanner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 3:39 AM on 12.15.12
->> Hey Tareq,

OMG!!! You have more camera gear then some large newspapers have in their pool equipment lockers... LOL!!!
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 5:18 AM on 12.15.12
->> Hi again,

Well, i don't know what to say, i feel i did a mistake to post the questions, but good that Josh at least gave answers or recommendations that may help me.

So i will reply to Josh's post as i am not looking for to discuss about my current gear or if i am doing wrong in my hobby, getting paid or start a business in photography is another story and i don't want to talk about it, i had money before and bought those gear for fun or hobby, it is my money, i know some friends in my country who bought fast or racing cars and they don't drive it fast all the time in the country and they didn't get paid for that and not using the cars for racing, and you all know how much those racing cars or even luxury cars cost, so it doesn't matter how much my gear cost as long i don't regret and no problem there.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 6:15 AM on 12.15.12
->> 1- buy a new MacBook Pro if you need power and can't wait until a 2013 Mac pro comes out. Or even a 4 core Mac mini. The 2010 Mac pros aren't worth the investment at this point if you don't already have one.

2-if you need movements with the hassy gear get the HTS adapter. If you want it for the canon, probably the 17 tilt shift. But I don't know why you wouldn't use the Hassy if your looking for highest quality.

3- 200-400 when it's released.

4-Paul buff vagabond mini lithium

5-manfrotto carbon fiber monopod

6-an assistant to organize and carry all that shit around!!!

Hope that helps!


1. What about a customized Mac Pro? Is that Xeon processor so old and can't beat or be on par with i7/i5 technology? I was going to upgrade with the harddrive [SSD] and RAM and maybe graphics card, i have 2 Macbook Pro old models and i don't want to buy one more or sell my old ones, i want a desktop not a laptop.

2. Yes, i was going to buy that adapter for Hassy, but it is not a great system for some reasons, and that adapter is much much more expensive than one or 2 Canon tilt shift, if i will get a lot of money later from my resources then i will get that HTS adapter for sure. So is 17mm is a better choice or 24mm? I feel i want to go with 17mm too, but i was hoping that some of you used those tilt shift lens to give a better review about which one is suited more for landscapes and architecture, but i can research about it and no rush to get it this month.

3. That lens, is it a great option, i mean is it a fixed aperture from 200 to 400? f2.8? if it is say f4 up to f5.6 then i have 100-400 will do the job even it is older lens, i want to read about this lens if it is out already.

4. Is that Vagabond compatible with my Hensel and Profoto light? oh yes my Profoto has a power pack, but my Hensel doesn't, is there another options? Also which battery or power pack for my DSLRs batteries if i don't have much spare batteries? I think it is better to buy more batteries for my DSLRs than getting a power pack to recharge them, but i was thinking if i travel somewhere where i spend few days far from electricity source.

5. I placed Gitzo Monopod CF one, but do you people use any head with your long glasses with monopod or just direct to monopod?

6. Would you be that assistant for me?

Thanks for your help.
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Nik Habicht, Photographer
Levittown | PA | USA | Posted: 11:10 AM on 12.15.12
->> Hi Tareq,
I con only speak to a couple of items on the list based on experience:
3. That will be a fixed aperture lens all the way from 200-400. From looking at Canon Rumors, it would appear to be an f/4.0 lens with a built in 1.4x teleconverter, that will at the flip of a lever transform the lens into a 280-560 f/5.6.

Almost 20 years ago, I spent a year shooting daytime high school field sports -- soccer, football, lacrosse, and baseball -- with Tamron's 200-500 f/5.6 manual focus zoom. I like that focal length range a lot for those applications, certainly more than a 300/2.8 with converters which I used later in my career.

For an all around newspaper photographer, I don't think the 200-400 should replace the 300/2.8, which I still think is the most versatile long lens, given the diverse assignments one is asked to cover. But for daytime field sports, or for those played in well lit professional arenas, I'd take the 200-400 every day.

5. Yes, I used a simple tilt head on my monopod -- but I also did a pair amount of shooting from elevated positions in my career, and being able to tilt the head down allowed me to have the monopod leg straight up and down, while the lens was pointing down at an angle. That position was less fatiguing than trying to achieve the tilt by angling the monopod -- which would throw more of the weight of the rig onto me to support.

6. Anything's negotiable. If the salary exceeds $1,000,000 per year with full benefits, maybe? :-)
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:27 AM on 12.15.12
->> Nik, I would respectfully disagree with you on the 200-400 not replacing the 300 2.8. I've been using mine for over a month...football, soccer and basketball. night, daylight, arenas. I haven't missed the 300 for a second. the high ISO settings on the cameras make the 2.8 unnecessary. it also saved us a crapload of money because instead of the paper outfitting me with a 400 2.8 AND a 300 2.8 (which they had planned on doing) I suggested the 200-400 after test driving it at the Democratic National Convention (which had some pretty heinous light away from the stages) Cost of the 200-400= $6750. Cost of a 300 and a 400 2.8= $14,300...that's a savings of a whopping $7500. sure it's a bit heavier on the court but I look at is as part of my workout....8) the added benefit is you can avoid the dreaded "ball scramble at mid-court when in between switching lens and the 300 is too tight" scenario.....the 200 is perfect for that distance....plus you have the added benefit of having a 400 ON your camera and not sitting behind you at court side.
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 11:48 AM on 12.15.12
->> Chuck,
Do you prefer the 200-400 over the 70-200? Do you even use the 70-200 anymore?
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 12:52 PM on 12.15.12
->> Well, If i didn't ask questions then i will not know much about this 200-400 lens, now i am changing my plan to 200-400, i have time and no in hurry, i may buy it next year late of 2013 maybe or end of 2013, i can handle to use 300 and 70-200 for a while, i was thinking to get Sigma 120-300 as i heard good things about it.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 12.15.12
->> Tareq, it appears you have more gear than Carter has liver pills. (Old American joke)

Seriously, I lightened up my kit a few years ago because I personally don't care to wag it all around. I have a body, a backup body, and three lenses, two of each are prime, one is a zoom mostly for high school football.

One of the primes is the Nikon 50 1.8g. In my opinion, it's a better and less expensive investment because it has an aspherical element that the 1.4 does not. On a D300, this is equivalent to a 75mm lens. I also have an 85 1.8. Right now, I don't even own a strobe since 98 percent of my work is sports and I shoot with available light.

You have quite an investment in gear. I would seriously consider paring that down, I mean unless you just want to open your own camera store. Lighten your load and invest in education on how to use your kit as effectively as possible.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 3:35 PM on 12.15.12
->> Jeff, i asked about tilt shift lens and long prime, i did't ask to have more zooms and another 50mm or 85mm, i really want to get 85mm 1.2L and 50L, even i want to get 100 macro f2.8L IS and 200mm f2L, but i know all these may not have use for what i do, i have enough glasses, but i need one or 2 more specialized or dedicated lenses, even i don't know if that 200-400 will be a better choice over longer primes, but it sounds from some posts here that it will have a great use for sports and something else.

I also didn't ask to have more lights, i asked about a battery pack, i asked questions about few missing gear, i am happy with what i have now, but we always looking for better, and it is a matter of what to shoot and then budget, i said i shoot everything, even i was thinking to do weddings too, but i hate to take any type of photography if i am not ready with right gear, i quit some sports before because my 300 wasn't long enough at all and they located me or forced me to be very far from the subjects, i cropped a lot and got bad results or so so, this alone making me to hate to shoot anything with just fine gear and doing the job but not the perfect one, i shoot in the soccer games and many of my friends curse me because i have 300 even they have 7D and D3 and 1D3 and even one has 1DX before me and 70-200mkII, he used my 300 and he was blown away and he felt sad that he can't afford 300 even he is happy with his 70-200mkII on his 1DX, and many situations like this, even i gave one landscape photography workshop and many asked me why my shots are way better than them, i was the only one was using Full frame, so for some how some gear can do jobs for some kind of photography, you know when i shoot indoors and architecture i need to correct the lines, most of the time standard lenses can't do that, also i hate to correct with software.

Well, if this thread is going nowhere except that i should sell some of my current items in my gear and don't look for anything more then we should stop here, thanks for all help.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 10:58 PM on 12.15.12
->> Mark, I'm unclear of what you're talking about. Why in the world would you think a 200-400 would replace a 70-200? I must totally be missing something here. Or else I've just been shooting the wrong lenses for the past 20 years.....
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 3:17 AM on 12.16.12
->> You are right Chuck, i don't want to feel guilty or regret that i got 70-200 and upgraded to mkII too, but they said this lens 200-400 is new one, maybe the optical of it is very nice similar to 70-200, i may replace my 100-400 for 200-400 then.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 3:27 AM on 12.16.12
->> Tareq, according to people who have tested it, the 200-400 has better optics than the 70-200, and way better optics than the 100-400. Some who used it in the olympics coupled with the 1Dx said that it worked really well.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 4:18 AM on 12.16.12
->> Wally: I see, ok, this is a good news, i think it will be a good lens to work beside my 300mm, who knows, maybe i will like it even more than 300mm, and it may save me bucks than buying EF 400mm f2.8

Waiting Sigma also to produce something similar or equivalent, their 120-300 was a great lens of 70-200+300, if they can produce another lens say 150-400 f2.8 or even f4 fixed for all FLs it will be a great news, as we know mostly Sigma is cheaper than Canon same equivalent glasses.
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 9:06 AM on 12.16.12
->> Wally Nell,
That's exactly what I heard about the 200-400, but I don't own one and don't plan on buying one in the near future.
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Nik Habicht, Photographer
Levittown | PA | USA | Posted: 1:04 PM on 12.16.12
->> Chuck,
undoubtedly you're right. I failed to consider the capabilities of modern cameras -- I got bought out in 2006, when we were still shooting with original 1D bodies. Where 2.8 used to be essential, it's undoubtedly less necessary now.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 2:42 PM on 12.16.12
->> I got to the bottom of this thread and now have a massive headache.
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 3:21 PM on 12.16.12
->> I did shoot one game with 300+1.4x and got decent results, so i think testing 200-400 at f4 will not be any less quality, i have time to decide on this lens.
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Stan Cochrane, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 4:29 PM on 12.16.12
->> G.J. +1, one closer to 50
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 8:51 PM on 12.16.12
->> How do you carry all that gear on an airplane? I certainly do not want to check that. My back hurts just thinking about carrying all that gear.
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 8:52 PM on 12.16.12
->> One last thing, Tareq. Will you adopt me, please.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:23 PM on 12.16.12
->> S.C. +1
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 11:56 PM on 12.16.12
->> Mark: Who did tell you that i carry all that at once or where did you hear i take them all with me when i travel?

When i travel i carry only 2 bodies, 1 full frame and one fast camera that is before i get 1DX, and 6 lenses [16-35, 24-70, 70-200, 100-400, 100 macro, 50mm], i can take one more small lens such as fisheye 8mm or 15mm.

I wish if you can adopt me to live in USA ;-) please!
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Tareq Abdulla, Photographer
Aljurf | Ajman | United Arab Emirates | Posted: 11:59 PM on 12.16.12
->> Only last travel to USA back in 2009 i took my Hasselblad H3DII-39, that was my first time to carry a medium format, i bought it in Jan 2009, traded in for H4D-60 first hit the market and was the first in middle east to get it, maybe maybe if i travel again i will carry it, but i want to use film this time.
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