Every few articles I write I feel a little disingenuous. I write about budget friendly gear, and even though I am reviewing budget friendly gear, it is often paired with some higher-end stuff as well. If you’ve read my camera trading stories, you’ll know that for a couple years I have been shooting with a Nikon D600 and a few nice (while still budget friendly) lenses. Even though the D600 has become more available for those starting out, at $1,000 or so, it’s still quite a bit outside the “budget” mindset.
So I sold it.
Not that it’s not an amazing camera, it is. If your budget ever stretches to that point, the Nikon D600, and Canon 5D II are great cameras and can push you to a next level if the features they offer mean anything to you. That’s what it all boiled down to for me… I didn’t need anything this camera offered. I shoot at ISO 100 all day every day, so the extra low light capabilities don’t matter, the larger, brighter viewfinder are nice but not critical to what I do. So why not sell it… pick up a new kit, one that fits the message of this blog a little better? And as a bonus… the new kit would likely be cheaper, so more money in the bank!
Brett – Canon T3 – EF 85mm f/1.8 – Overcast shade
So now I have a completely new kit. Pretty much everything I shot recently was with a Nikon D600 with 50mm f/1.8G, 85/1.8D, and 180/1.8D (God I am going to miss that 180D though…) Now I’ve got a Canon 60D, 5D, Tamron 17-50/2.8 (non-VC) 50/1.8 II, and an 85/1.8 – for what and how I shoot, pretty much all my bases are covered. I may switch out the Tamron for a Sigma 30/1.4, I don’t use that focal length a lot, and when I do a 28/1.8 or 30/1.4 would be a bit more flexible with DOF and whatnot, and I may switch out the 85 for a 100/2, both comparable I just prefer the 100.
This kit makes me feel a little less like I’m cheating when I do reviews. Sure the Neewer TT850s are great flashes… but when I’m using a Nikon D600 and 85/1.8D to showcase them felt kinda odd. The Nikon kit natively produced great shots, so using a $1,500 combo to showcase $100 flashes felt like cheating. Now with two different $400 cameras (one APS-C and one Full Frame) and a few budget lenses and flashes, reviewing gear feels a little more in-tune with the blog. I’ve picked up a lot of lenses lately, all of which would be good budget pairings with either a 60D and 5D. The lenses I have will be good when paired up with the budget cameras that happen to come across my desk. I’ve also got a Nikon D3200 and D7000 that I might try and keep around for when I get my hands on Nikon lenses.
Overall, not much has changed, there’s just going to be a little more adherence to a budget mindset. I have a desk full of gear to test out, and it’s starting to get really nice out – time to get to work.