Help please (kit advice)

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Help please (kit advice)

Postby James » Tue 22 Dec 2009 23:02

Hey all, I have been asked to go to Malawi to take some pictures of the local people at the end of someone else's few month visit. She wants me to get candid portraits and we also need to try and get some video between us.

This is a once in a life time opportunity and I was thinking that it might be a good time to buy myself a new toy. I think that a D3s would be my ideal and would help with the sports photography a lot too but it is probably too much money right now, obviously lessons would be great but time is a big issue for me over the next few months too. What would people think would be the essential kit for this kind of project? I was thinking that probably the 70-200VR or the new version would probably be the kind of thing that was within reach of my budget, would add value to this particular project and would come in useful down the line too.

The reason that I am asking here is that there are some great portrait photographers here and I just want to sanity check - body wise I will be taking both my D300 and my S5 I also have an SB800 (which won't be needed in the daytime!) and lenses that I currently own are the Zeiss 25mm f2.8, Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4, Nikkor micro 105VR and the 70-300VR. I have heard that when it rains there it is very heavy so the other reason I am thinking of the 70-200 is for the waether sealing.

Here's a few examples of the kind of portraits I am being asked to take incase you are not familiar with my portrait style.

(The light was pretty poor so I was shooting ISO 1600 at about a 1/30s at 100+mm

Image
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2525/4207295760_1683d36fe0_b.jpg

Image
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4207291108_2b4a92fb6d_b.jpg

And my little boy Oscar just in case you are missing him :)
Image
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2566/4180032972_9d57310c5c_b.jpg
James
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Re: Help please (kit advice)

Postby Geoff_Roughton » Wed 23 Dec 2009 15:25

I think you will do just fine with the kit you have. You could argue the D700/D3/D3s would give you better high iso performance and control over DOF but for those up close and personal shots you should get some great pics.

My real concern would be weather proofing if you intend shooting in the rain....I have never entirely trusted Nikons, bodies or lenses, and still retain my Canon 1d mk2 for when its raining and I have no choice but to shoot. If you can avoid giving the camera a good soaking I would.

Anyway have a great trip and I look forward to shots on your return.
Best
Geoff
"always look on the bright side of life...."
www.gandsphotography.co.uk
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Re: Help please (kit advice)

Postby James » Wed 23 Dec 2009 16:23

Hi Geoff, thanks for the advice, I'm not going for a few months still yet though :) I was trying to plan in advance.

Like I said in the post I know that I am looking for an excuse - I've not needed anything different so far, why would I just because of geography?

Point taken on the weatherproofing - I've used my D200 in some pretty harsh weather and it was fine as long as I made sure it dried properly once inside again. It's the 70-300 that has not seemed as happy after the rain but it's still very useable (I've not used the other lenses as they don't have the O-ring on) I normally use a big golfing umbrella if I'm in the UK and taking wet pictures - I guess I could do the same there, although I was thinking of an Olympus a while ago just for that reason, I don't want to start growing to systems though!

Anyway, thank you again for the advice - have a great Christmas :)
James
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Joined: Fri 28 Nov 2008 22:43

Re: Help please (kit advice)

Postby Leen Koper » Thu 24 Dec 2009 00:46

I do agree with Geoff. It seems to me you are looking for an excuse to buy some new toys. ;-)
I would not worry so much about the weather. Usually the chances of damaging your equipment, especially if you use your golfing umbrella again are very small. The possibility both your D300 and S5 will stop working at the same time will be minimal. Moreover, replacing a body with the same one will be much cheaper than buying a new D3s.
Although, the idea of owning a D3s appeals to me as well....;-)
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