Help me simplify, too much gear - what would you do?

Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
286
Location
Cape Cod, MA
I have a really bad habit of getting into hobbies and going crazy buying gear I don't need or use much thinking I will use it, needless to say it's a big waste of money I don't have. I'm looking for advice on how to get to a decent setup and put my money in the right place. I plan on selling what I don't need/use and getting to a setup that makes sense.

My background: I am an aspiring photographer who enjoys shooting and would like to start a small business on the side doing children's parties, small weddings, church functions, portraits, etc for fun and extra cash. I also enjoy shooting wildlife and landscapes when I can. I need to learn a lot more and want to start dedicating more time into my investment. I realize the best equipment doesn't make a better photographer but I do often shoot in low light situations.

My gear:

Nikon D300s (love it)
Nikon D2X - recently bought and love the pro feel
Nikon D2H - love the small file size and fps, not crazy w/ white balance but shoot cloudy and works
Nikon D90 - use as a smaller lightweight body for trips and all day events (not often)
Nikon D40 - bought for my wife but she doesn't use, I use on trips sometimes (not often)

Lenses:

Sigma 24-70 2.8
Sigma 70-200 2.8
Sigma 50-500 HSM

Tamron 28-300mm XR Di (light walkaround lens)

Nikon 28-105mm (love it)
Nikon 55-300mm VR
Nikon 18-105mm VR
Nikon 18-55
Nikon 70-300mm VR
Nikon 28-200mm
Nikon 35mm 1:2
Nikon 50mm 1:8

Flashes:
SB-800
SB-600 (2)
Sb-400



What would you do? I think I really only need 2-3 bodies at the most and I need to reduce the amount of lenses and get better ones. I am looking for one setup for paid shooting and one for casual use that I don't have to woory about my really expensive gear. Right now I take everything and have 5 bags of gear and don't use most of it, big waste of time & money! I am selling off all of my Olympus gear which should get me around $2000-$2500 to invest in Nikon. I know this is a long thread and I really appreciate any help and honesty from the experts here. I need to simplify and stop wasting money I don't have.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
619
Location
Corona, CA
Why not just keep the D300s and D2X for bodies, and lenses I would keep the Sigma 24-70, 70-200, 28-105, and the primes. Sell the rest along with the SB-400.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,552
Location
Los Angeles, USA
If you're an aspiring pro, this is what I would keep:

D300S (main body)
D2X (backup body)
D90 (casual body)

SB-900 (sell the rest of your flashes to get a SB-900/800)
SB-800


Sell all your lenses and get:

17-55 2.8 DX (standard event lens)
35 1.8 DX (low light standard lens)
70-200 VR (telephoto lens)
1.4 TC-14E II (for extended reach)
(If you really need more reach get a 300 f4 AFS and pair it with the 1.4 TC)

Get an 18-200 VR or 16-85 VR for your casual lens. Get an 18-70 as a budget option zoom.

That will equal 3 bodies, 2 flashes, 3-5 very specialized lenses. No overlap and very purpose based. :smile: Plus with all your glass sold, this should keep you under budget. Though do plan if you think you may go FX. It will change your lens line-up slightly.

The only reason I mention selling your Sigma glass is that Sigma repairs leave you mainly with Sigma themselves, while with Nikon lenses you can send either to Nikon Repair or third party facilities such as APS which is a Nikon authorized service center. Both are very fast with repairs and you can send both cameras and lenses all to one place.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
2,722
Location
Banff National Park, Alberta
If you're an aspiring pro, this is what I would keep:

D300S (main body)
D2X (backup body)
D90 (casual body)

SB-800 x2 (sell the rest of your flashes to get another SB-800)


Sell all your lenses and get:

17-55 2.8 DX (standard event lens)
35 1.8 DX (low light standard lens)
70-200 VR (telephoto lens)
1.4 TC-14E II (for extended reach)
(If you really need reach get a 300 f4 AFS and pair it with the 1.4 TC)

Get an 18-200 VR or 16-85 VR for your casual lens.

That will equal 3 bodies, 2 flashes, 3-5 very specialized lenses. No overlap and very purpose based. :smile: Plus with all your glass sold, this should keep you still under budget. The only reason I mention selling your Sigma glass is that Sigma repairs leave you mainly with Sigma themselves, while with Nikon lenses you can send either to Nikon Repair or third party facilities such as APS which is a Nikon authorized service center. Both are very fast with repairs and you can send both cameras and lenses all to one place.


That's probably what I would do. Except I'd get rid of the D90 as well. I dunno if I'd want an 18-200 or a 16-85 either.... you already have a 35 1.8 for a light casual lens. If it's gotta be a zoom go find an 18-70 used for much less money.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,552
Location
Los Angeles, USA
That's probably what I would do. Except I'd get rid of the D90 as well. I dunno if I'd want an 18-200 or a 16-85 either.... you already have a 35 1.8 for a light casual lens. If it's gotta be a zoom go find an 18-70 used for much less money.

Edited my post. Forgot to mention the 18-70...which is my favorite cheap DX lens!
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
2,722
Location
Banff National Park, Alberta
Edited my post. Forgot to mention the 18-70...which is my favorite cheap DX lens!

I won a couple of ribbons with mine, it was a work horse for me and it helped me build a portfolio.

Though I just don't like superzooms though. They cost too much and don't do what they advertise. For the price of a 18-200 he could buy himself a very nice prime for portraits. That would be money better spent in my eyes, however lots of people love super zooms, who am I to rain on their parade?
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
286
Location
Cape Cod, MA
I just sold my 18-70 and 18-200, go figure! I have a chance to buy a 17-55 for $850 so I think I will sell the D40 & D2H along with the sigma 24-70 & 70-200.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,552
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I just sold my 18-70 and 18-200, go figure! I have a chance to buy a 17-55 for $850 so I think I will sell the D40 & D2H along with the sigma 24-70 & 70-200.

I've also had bad luck with Sigma glass wide open. My Nikkors handle better wide open. What's the point of shooting fast aperture glass if you can't shoot wide open? :wink:
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,552
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I won a couple of ribbons with mine, it was a work horse for me and it helped me build a portfolio.

Though I just don't like superzooms though. They cost too much and don't do what they advertise. For the price of a 18-200 he could buy himself a very nice prime for portraits. That would be money better spent in my eyes, however lots of people love super zooms, who am I to rain on their parade?

I don't knock the 18-70, that is by far the best DX value I've owned.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
2,722
Location
Banff National Park, Alberta
I just sold my 18-70 and 18-200, go figure! I have a chance to buy a 17-55 for $850 so I think I will sell the D40 & D2H along with the sigma 24-70 & 70-200.

Not a big deal! I think you'll find that as an aspiring pro the D300s, the 17-55 and the 70-200 will be your essential workhorse gear.

If you absolutely must have something light for casual walk around stuff just keep your 18-55. You won't get much for it used anyway.

For my event work my 80-200 AFD is my workhorse. If I was starting out today I'd be watching the for sale forum here, Fred Miranda and craigslist and kijiji like a hawk for a used 70-200 VRI . For all the things you've listed I don't think you can really afford to be without one.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,129
Location
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
...


My gear:

Nikon D300s (love it)
Nikon D2X - recently bought and love the pro feel
Nikon D2H - love the small file size and fps, not crazy w/ white balance but shoot cloudy and works
Nikon D90 - use as a smaller lightweight body for trips and all day events (not often)
Nikon D40 - bought for my wife but she doesn't use, I use on trips sometimes (not often)

Lenses:

Sigma 24-70 2.8
Sigma 70-200 2.8
Sigma 50-500 HSM

Tamron 28-300mm XR Di (light walkaround lens)

Nikon 28-105mm (love it)
Nikon 55-300mm VR
Nikon 18-105mm VR
Nikon 18-55
Nikon 70-300mm VR
Nikon 28-200mm
Nikon 35mm 1:2
Nikon 50mm 1:8

Flashes:
SB-800
SB-600 (2)
Sb-400



What would you do? I think I really only need 2-3 bodies at the most and I need to reduce the amount of lenses and get better ones. I am looking for one setup for paid shooting and one for casual use that I don't have to woory about my really expensive gear. Right now I take everything and have 5 bags of gear and don't use most of it, big waste of time & money! I am selling off all of my Olympus gear which should get me around $2000-$2500 to invest in Nikon. I know this is a long thread and I really appreciate any help and honesty from the experts here. I need to simplify and stop wasting money I don't have.

What I would do:

  • Get rid of the D40 & D2H.
  • Replace the Sigma 24-70 with the Nikon 17-55 or 24-70 for weddings/events.
  • Replace the 18-55 & 18-105 with the 16-85 VR - this will give you a better casual walkaround lens with more coverage at the wide end.
  • Get rid of the 28-200 and Tamron 28-300 - these lenses are limiting your IQ on a 12 or 16 MP body.
  • Between the 55-300 & 70-300, pick a winner and sell the other one.

Cheers

Mike
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
286
Location
Cape Cod, MA
Thanks for all the advice everyone, has been great as always. I am going to sell the D2H and D40 for sure. I will also sell the Sigma 24-70 and 70-200, the 28-300 and probably the 55-300. I want to keep the 70-300mm VR and for the small amount I'd get for the 28-200 I will keep it as a walkaround lens. I have a 17-55mm lined up for $850 in nice shape and will look for a 70-200mm VR II I think, just missed one for $1900. What do you think?
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
2,722
Location
Banff National Park, Alberta
Thanks for all the advice everyone, has been great as always. I am going to sell the D2H and D40 for sure. I will also sell the Sigma 24-70 and 70-200, the 28-300 and probably the 55-300. I want to keep the 70-300mm VR and for the small amount I'd get for the 28-200 I will keep it as a walkaround lens. I have a 17-55mm lined up for $850 in nice shape and will look for a 70-200mm VR II I think, just missed one for $1900. What do you think?

Good plan.

Are you planning on going to full frame? The main reason for the update on the 70-200 was that it didn't do well in the corners at all on full frame. This was exposed when the D3 came out. If you plan on staying on DX for the foreseeable future you could save some cabbage and just get the VR1.

IMHO I'd sell the D90 and the SB400 as well, but that's just me. I don't see the point behind medium sized bodies but lots of people like them. I don't see the point to the SB400 either considering all the other nice flashes you have but alot of people would like to save the weight. Myself I'd just pop on board flash of the D300s. That's just how I shoot though.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
286
Location
Cape Cod, MA
Hahahaha, I need the money to buy more!!!! I'm sure I might go full frame in the future but really like the 1.5 factor in DX but if they keep going with the ISO improvements then I might not have to I guess. I do want to purchase what will be best for both as I don't want to have to buy again if I can avoid it. I have no immediate plans to switch but you never know. I could sell it all and get a D3S!!!!!!
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
286
Location
Cape Cod, MA
I just bought a used 18-70mm from Ebay, so far the plan is backfiring as I have bought more...:)

Any thoughts on the 17-55 vs. 24-70?
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
7,261
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
I stick with a 17-55 because I like the wide end on DX. Many times you can't back up any more, but you can always crop if 55 isn't quite enough. Its a perfect match with the 70-200 IMO.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,552
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Both the 17-55 and 24-70 are excellent lenses. If you find yourself more on the telephoto end, I'd get the 24-70. If you're shooting more wide shots get the 17-55. I've owned both and like them both equally. If you get a 24-70, you could always get a 10-24 or 12-24 for the ultra wide end.

D300S - 17-55
D2X - 70-200
D90 - 18-70

That would be a nice kit overall!
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,959
Location
Australia
Nikon D300s (love it)
Nikon D2X - recently bought and love the pro feel
Nikon D2H - love the small file size and fps, not crazy w/ white balance but shoot cloudy and works
Nikon D90 - use as a smaller lightweight body for trips and all day events (not often)
Nikon D40 - bought for my wife but she doesn't use, I use on trips sometimes (not often)

Lenses:

Sigma 24-70 2.8
Sigma 70-200 2.8
Sigma 50-500 HSM

Tamron 28-300mm XR Di (light walkaround lens)

Nikon 28-105mm (love it)
Nikon 55-300mm VR
Nikon 18-105mm VR
Nikon 18-55
Nikon 70-300mm VR
Nikon 28-200mm
Nikon 35mm 1:2
Nikon 50mm 1:8

Flashes:
SB-800
SB-600 (2)
Sb-400

my $0.02:

keep the D300s and D90 bodies.

for glass, keep the Sigma 70-200/2.8, Nikon 28-105 (only because YOU like it), Nikon 18-55 (these things are cheap and not worth selling off really), Nikon 70-300VR, Nikon 35mm and 50mm primes and the SB800 and 2xSB600s.

sell the rest.

as for what to get, look for something wider than the 18-55 and possibly a teleconverter for more throw.

on another note, as an aspiring professional, this would be a very smart time to seriously consider a shift to FX. the primes, 70-300VR and the siggy 70-200/2.8 and 24-70/2.8 should all be FX lenses. from there, consider a 20mm/2.8D and you're golden. keep the D90 for backup, sell all non-essential DX glass.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
6,530
Location
Rockville, MD
My gear:

Nikon D300s (love it)
Nikon D90 - use as a smaller lightweight body for trips and all day events (not often)
Nikon D2X - recently bought and love the pro feel
Nikon D2H - love the small file size and fps, not crazy w/ white balance but shoot cloudy and works

Nikon D40 - bought for my wife but she doesn't use, I use on trips sometimes (not often)

Ditch the D2X, D2H, and D40 and keep the D300s and D90. The D90 can use the same batteries and it also has the screwdriver in it so that it will AF with the older glass, whereas the D40 doesn't. The D90 is a worthwhile secondary/backup to a D300s for 'pro' events IMHO.


Lenses:

Sigma 24-70 2.8
Sigma 70-200 2.8

replace with Nikon 17-55/2.8dx and Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR1 or 2

Sigma 50-500 HSM
If you're happy with the 50-500 for wildlife then keep it. Otherwise sell for something else.

Tamron 28-300mm XR Di (light walkaround lens)

Nikon 28-105mm (love it) can use this as a macro too

Nikon 18-105mm VR

Nikon 70-300mm VR choose between this and the 55-300VR, certainly don't need both
Nikon 35mm 1:2
Nikon 50mm 1:8
Nikon 55-300mm VR
Nikon 18-55
Nikon 28-200mm

There's still some duplicated functions and purposes here, but overall I think this is a lot better.

Flashes:
SB-800
SB-600 (2)
Sb-400

Keep the flashes as they can be handy for gigs and events.

-------------

That will give you a nice mix of heavier duty pro glass for gigs and events or whatever you might want to do in the more professional realm, and then some decent lighter weight gear for casual use and travel that won't break your back. Will also be much easier to decide what to take with you as well.
 

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