I think about it this way:
In order to upgrade my camera system and my lenses to FF and L lenses respectively and justify this with the stock photo argument, you will need to sell at least 5000 photos just to break even. Realistically when will this happen? For me it may take many many years.
These monster machines with the even larger and heavier lenses are justified for event photographers, weddings, parties etc. where one is forced to use available light. Also the event photographers need to show he/she has the largest and most menacing looking photo equipment in order to justify taking money for his work.
Don't think stock photos justify all this. One has controlled light, willing and patient models.
Gmargittai - I totally agree with you that the stock photography business does not justify that kind of a large purchase. Maybe back in 2004-2005 but today there are wayyyy too many people doing great work, and many are happy and willing to do it relatively cheap. One thing i have not tried is the 50mm 1.4 prime lens, which may end up being my solution to letting in a little more light to go along with my softboxes and remote flash units for indoor shoots. I do want to try and build a decent income from stock, but i also realize that living off of it is going to become harder and harder with each passing year. Thanks for reading and commenting, i appreciate it !!!!
Cinema Camera for video.
Lenses: Nothing but the best: primes and...
I came up on this dilemma a few years ago... upgrade my camera body or buy a better lens. I concluded that the lens would be the better upgrade at the time, which is usually the case. The f/2.8 vs. the old cheapy I was using has served its purpose 10-fold.
I have sense upgraded camera bodies twice, but that lens has been my go to for almost everything I shoot since buying it. I have used it for weddings, birthday parties, you name it... but especially my stock shoots. The old cheapy didn't shoot bad photos, but low light was a no go with it and anything dark against a bright background was a CA nightmare that made post take forever.
As for the old camera body I had at the time I bought the lens, it's still around, being used by a friend that recently started submitting here. ;)
If you use two different lenses (i.e. 50/1.8 and 70-200/2.8) with same settings (aperture, shutter speed, iso) the exposure will be excactly the same, one photo will not be darker than the other.
Also, a full frame camera do not let in more light than a crop camera allowing shorter shutter speeds. I.e. if you get a correctly exposed photo using 1/100 sec and f/5.6 with a crop camera you will get the same result with a full frame camera using these settings.
If you have experienced something else I think something is fishy.
A camera, a lense and a tripod.
Photoshop, Blender and MakeHuman.
Yeah, but don't upgrade just for the sake of getting a whiter background or something. You'd barely earn back enough from such a huge investment! You will earn back enough only if you're shooting and uploading thousands of photos a year or you're a full time photographer. You already have perfect gear for a wide, WIDE range of subjects.
To get your lighting right, just over expose all photos. You'd get different results with different lens only depending on the peripheral illumination correction settings or the extent of the problem. The L series lens doesn't seem to have that problem as severe as other general lenses, so you may have observed some difference related to that maybe? Peripheral illumination makes a huge difference when the corners and majority of the photo is white.
55-250mm standard lenses. Dual tube macro flash and external speedlit...
Hi Honkamaa: Yes i got very different exposures from my photos between the 50mm 1.8 and the 70-200 2.8 L using all 3 same settings on my aps-c camera. The "L" lens apparently lets in much more light than the cheaper glass is all i can figure ? At any rate, I'm going to try and get great compositions and use Photoshop to make up the difference.
Cinema Camera for video.
Lenses: Nothing but the best: primes and...
Something is definitely odd about that test you did. Exposure wise with the same scene f/2.8 should be the same on any lens, crop or full frame. In terms of upgrading equipment, I would argue that stock photography drives the opposite conclusion - unless your stock photography genre favors available light. There are lots of situations where faster lenses and larger sensors make some difference, but shooting at f/5.6 or f/8 with studio strobes is not one of them. Certainly there is no reason your 50mm f/1.8 stopped down shouldn't be as sharp as almost any lens out there... You have the enthusiasm, but I'd focus on lighting and concepts before upgrading if I were you. And I'm saying this as someone shooting with a micro four thirds camera :)
I would agree with some of the comments here. A few months ago I bought a small $400 camera, with a 2/3 sensor and a fixed zoom. It does however stop down to f/2 and the image quality is very good. It wouldn't be a suitable camera for many people and maybe also not suitable for your needs, but for me it fits just right. It's so lightweight that I carry it everywhere, which is what I want to do. I don't want to lug around a large camera. My AR of images submitted with this camera is pretty good. Not a bad result for such a cheap camera. Example shot.
I also shoot with a mid-range micro four thirds camera and prime lens mostly for stock. Had to ditch the kit lens early on. Stock is about volume so if a smaller camera allows you to carry it around more then you'll end up with more images to sell. But of course it all depends on your view of this as a business or hobby. The people with the most expensive cameras and lens I see in my travels are hobbists who probably never sell any image.
Keep in mind that Yuri shoots with $45,000 medium format camera. That said I did just order a 6D. I shoot for multiple markets and figure the difference between a full frame and the micro four thirds sensor should be significant. I'll probably end up using the 6D for studio work and still walk around with the smaller camera. I had good results with a long lens on the 4/3 thirds which would be ridiculously expensive on a full frame camera.
I like your enthusiasm but also I agree with Bradcalkins comment. Get some lights for indoor and don't spend money on rental expensive lenses, your 50 mm is perfect for now. The lighting equipment is more important. And in this business, on first place is the concept.
After 4 years of stock, this is my short list of IMPORTANCE:
1. concept (having ideas).
2. having human models.
3. a decent place for indoor shoot - I have a 5x3 meter room for this.
4. lighting equipment.
5. a photo camera :)