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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    $20,000 to spend

    If you had $20,000 to spend on photographic equipment, what would you buy in what area of priority? Value for money would obviously be top priority. This involves digital by the way as well. Just curious to see if I missed anything from the list.

    Ronnoco

  2. #2
    Grandmaster
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I'd get the 1ds mark II for the studio, the 1d mark IIn as the location shooter, then studio lighting, then the WiFi transmitter.

  3. #3
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    If you had $20,000 to spend on photographic equipment, what would you buy in what area of priority? Value for money would obviously be top priority. This involves digital by the way as well. Just curious to see if I missed anything from the list.

    Ronnoco
    I'd get a lower-end camera such as the 20D or 30D, about three L lenses with IS, a portable storage device, a bag to carry everything in, and spend the rest of the money to travel with this camera equipment to get photographs.
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  4. #4
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    If it all had to be spent on photo gear, then I'd first look at gear that won't go obselete as fast as a digital camera body. First would be lenses, then maybe a monolight or two and a pocket wizard system. Since I shoot Nikon, I'd go with some of the newer flashes, then look at a DSLR body with whatever I had left. I guess I'm assuming I can use what I already have with this but if not, a carbon fiber tripod and ball head (worth every penny!) would go high on the list too...

  5. #5
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Give it to charity

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    If you had $20,000 to spend on photographic equipment, what would you buy in what area of priority? Value for money would obviously be top priority. This involves digital by the way as well. Just curious to see if I missed anything from the list.

    Ronnoco
    If I was an amateur then $20,000 is too much to spend on photographic equipment. I would give most of it to charity and keep maybe $5000 to spend on camera, lens, flash and a modest studio setup.

    If I was a professional then I would know what my subjects were and just do the same as all the other pros doing the same thing. I would expect my $20,000 to pay for itself within a year.

    Charles

  6. #6
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    In order I'd:

    1. Upgrade my digital darkroom from the ground up--computer, software, printer---the works.
    2. Get a new bag
    3. Buy a D200
    4. Buy more glass
    5. Get appropriate filters for the glass
    6. Whatever's left would go to the wife to spend on whatever.

  7. #7
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Agree with this

    Quote Originally Posted by swmdrayfan
    In order I'd:

    1. Upgrade my digital darkroom from the ground up--computer, software, printer---the works.
    2. Get a new bag
    3. Buy a D200
    4. Buy more glass
    5. Get appropriate filters for the glass
    6. Whatever's left would go to the wife to spend on whatever.
    1. Upgrade my digital darkroom from the ground up--computer, software, printer---the works.

    - I just got an Epson R2400. At last I can do permanant prints up to A3

    2. Get a new bag

    - Got lots of bags already

    3. Buy a D200

    - Done that. Excellent idea. I still have my D70 which is good enough for most things but the more I use the D200 the more I realise how much better it is.

    4. Buy more glass

    - Got the 17-35 f2.8 28-70 f2.8 and 80-200 f2.8 already. They are really very good. But they're big and heavy (and expensive) which means I don't use them often. Keep your 18-70 and 70-300.

    5. Get appropriate filters for the glass

    - Obviously

    Charles

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Thanks everyone! Some great ideas and some excellent approaches! I had not considered mixing in a travel/shoot into the mix either, but that is definitely an interesting idea as well. The emphasis on super quality lens that won't become obsolete like camera bodies is also very appropriate and mixing studio with location equipment.

    Ronnoco

  9. #9
    Member ekstasis16's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    The obvious question is what area of photography are we taking about? That's going to depend where the money goes. Since I do sports/events the focus would be on allowing me to capture the images. In the wise ways of Rob Hanashiro:

    1D Mark II N (x2) - gotta have 2 capable bodies out in the field
    400 2.8 IS + 1.4 TC
    16-35 2.8
    24-70 2.8
    70-200 2.8 IS

    That's gotta be close to 20K. Luckily I've already got the small stuff - monopod, reflectors, diffusers, bags, a few filters, etc. My ultimate sports setup would require another $4000 for a 3rd 1DMII N. Then with the 3 bodies you strap on the 400+1.4, the 70-200, and the 24-70. Then you've got every focal range you need covered.
    30D, 70-200 2.8L IS, 300 4L IS, 24-70 2.8L, 10-22, 85 1.8, 580EX
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Quote Originally Posted by ekstasis16
    The obvious question is what area of photography are we taking about? .
    Very wide ranging and not exclusively in any one area. To illustrate the range: from hanging out of an open cockpit airplane shooting schools and their local communities to shooting other skiers from skis. In between is a mixture of journalistic and event photography as well as photo work for productions example re: anniversary of a building or institution and of course some advertising, weddings, as well as different things like shooting one accident scene for legal purposes

    Ronnoco

  11. #11
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I think I'd buy a hybrid car (or at least a large chunk of it) into which I can throw all my gear. Then drive it all around town looking for good scenes to shoot.

    I currently drive between 30k ~ 45k miles per year for business (not only photography) so it would definitely help me!
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    a full frame 5D, and as many of canon's best lenses as possible, from widest to most telephoto, and a carrying case - other neccesary stuff too, but needless to say $13-$15k will be put into lenses, $3 in the body, and the other $2-$4 would be put into various neccesities like an accessory flash, vertical grip, carrying case, 8GB CF card, etc.

  13. #13
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I'd probably get some more cards, a 400mm f2.8 USM IS and a good macro lens both TC's and the Think Tank belt setup and probably another MKII N and probably keep the 400mm on it all the time.

    JS
    Canon 1D
    Canon 1D MK II N
    Canon 70-200mm USM IS f2.8
    Canon 200mm f1.8 USM
    Canon 300mm f2.8 USM IS
    Canon 28-300mm USM IS f3.5-5.6
    Canon 50mm f1.8
    Vivitar 19-35mm f3.5-5.6

  14. #14
    Member ekstasis16's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Ronnoco, that's certainly a wide range of applications. I think you can rule out the 1Ds Mark II....I doubt you would need 16.7 megapixels for any of that, and $8000 is a big chunk of change. I'd say a 1D Mark II N and maybe a 5D for a full frame option, and put the majority of cash into quality zoom lenses. I'd say a 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 would cover the ranges that you would most use. Doesn't sound like you would need to divert funds to a lens 400mm or greater, though if you want the the option I'm using a 300 f/4 IS + 1.4TC and it works pretty darn good for a fraction of the price of a 400 2.8.

    Make sure to save about $2K for cards, filters, flash, etc.

    Speaking of aerial shots of schools, you want to do that for the university I work for? I'd kill to have some aerial shots of the campus and our new sports facilities to use in advertising and on the website. What does something like that typically cost?

    And lastly, if you really have $20K to spend on gear, holy crap I envy you. Good luck.
    30D, 70-200 2.8L IS, 300 4L IS, 24-70 2.8L, 10-22, 85 1.8, 580EX
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  15. #15
    Member danag42's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I'd see if I could put together a medium format system, a decent digital 645 back and a body with some used lenes.

    I already have a machine with two dual-core Opterons and 8GB of memory. Photoshop runs like a dream on XP 64 bit!

  16. #16
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I would get a IDsMKII, 600F4IS, 70-200F2.8IS,17-40L, 2X TC, tubes, Gitzo 1348 legs/wimberley and use the rest for computer upgrades and storage.

    The IDsMKII files out perform the IDmkiin files when cropped to the same perspective and shoots fast enough FPS for even sports IMHO. I already have a 8fps camera and lenses to fill the gaps ;)
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  17. #17
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Quote Originally Posted by ekstasis16
    The obvious question is what area of photography are we taking about? That's going to depend where the money goes. Since I do sports/events the focus would be on allowing me to capture the images. In the wise ways of Rob Hanashiro:

    1D Mark II N (x2) - gotta have 2 capable bodies out in the field
    400 2.8 IS + 1.4 TC
    16-35 2.8
    24-70 2.8
    70-200 2.8 IS

    That's gotta be close to 20K. Luckily I've already got the small stuff - monopod, reflectors, diffusers, bags, a few filters, etc. My ultimate sports setup would require another $4000 for a 3rd 1DMII N. Then with the 3 bodies you strap on the 400+1.4, the 70-200, and the 24-70. Then you've got every focal range you need covered.
    A man after my own heart. I agree with everything you've said except since I'm Nikon I'd go with a D2X and (2) D2Hs bodies then lots of fast long glass. I always shoot with two bodies but that third one would be sweet to have just in case..
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


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    "A photographer is known by what he shows not by what he throws. The best photographers have the biggest trash cans." Quote from Nikon School sometime in the early 1970's.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Quote Originally Posted by danag42
    I'd see if I could put together a medium format system, a decent digital 645 back and a body with some used lenes.

    I already have a machine with two dual-core Opterons and 8GB of memory. Photoshop runs like a dream on XP 64 bit!
    i think photoshop runs like a dream because youve got quad core opterons and 8 gigs of memory - lol...

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Wow! Some absolutely great ideas.
    Thank you!

    Ronnoco

  20. #20
    'Calm like a bomb' Gabe's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I'd get a medium format system, but film, not digi, and a really good neg scanner. The system would probably be a Mamiya 645, not sure. Some quality lenses (used OK) for fashion work.

    I'd say studio lighting too, but will be getting that shortly on my current day job salary

    I should have some money left over, so that would go to a Canon 5D body, a wide-angle L and a 70-200 L. Not sure about which wide-ngle as they're so insanely expensive, I've never even looked at them too much!

    Or....Hire supermodel Adriana Lima for a few hours, sell our photos to some notable publications, and let my newfound reputation for "working with supermodels" rake in the clients to pay for the above gear and jumpstart my career ;)
    "It is time to live like the wind and then to die like thunder."

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  21. #21
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I think I may have to keep $10,000 of it to pay for gas so I can keep driving so the oil companies can keep making huge profits

    JS
    Canon 1D
    Canon 1D MK II N
    Canon 70-200mm USM IS f2.8
    Canon 200mm f1.8 USM
    Canon 300mm f2.8 USM IS
    Canon 28-300mm USM IS f3.5-5.6
    Canon 50mm f1.8
    Vivitar 19-35mm f3.5-5.6

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    I think I may have to keep $10,000 of it to pay for gas so I can keep driving so the oil companies can keep making huge profits

    JS
    Yes, and in the summer they are even worse. In Canada last summer it was about $1.37 cents per litre, which for you yanks is probably a little less than one quarter of a gallon.

    Ronnoco

  23. #23
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    I know this post has been around a bit but I'll jump in now. I would get the 1Ds Mark IIn (because I want the 8.5 frames a second), a 70-200 IS "L", 400 IS "L", and the 600 IS "L". I shoot sports action and with that kind of money I could finally make the move to Canon from Minolta.

    Jim
    http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=7705
    Canon 1D Mark IIn
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    580Ex
    Monopod

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer
    I know this post has been around a bit but I'll jump in now. I would get the 1Ds Mark IIn (because I want the 8.5 frames a second), a 70-200 IS "L", 400 IS "L", and the 600 IS "L". I shoot sports action and with that kind of money I could finally make the move to Canon from Minolta.

    Jim
    An article by a guy with a doctorate in physics as well as photography in several museums of modern art, indicated that the top digital combination was a Canon Mark2n with 16.7 megapixels and a Leica to Canon lens converter on the front, and sporting Leica lens. Apparently the Leica lenses (as in R series) are far better than every level of Canon lens.

    Sony is coming out with their Minolta Alpha DSLR in June, by the way. If it is well designed with 10 megapixels or so, it might be worth it for your sports endeavors.

    Ronnoco

  25. #25
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
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    Re: $20,000 to spend

    Well...

    You are both speeking of different cameras The 16mp camera is a 1Ds MKII and the 8.5 FPS camera is a 1D MKIIn.
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