What would you buy next?

So, I started my Photography business last July and did a bunch of free shoots in the beginning to build my portfolio (like 15!) so I haven't made a lot of money yet.  But with the money I do make, I've been using it to invest in better/more equipment.

As of Friday I will have enough to get a 70-200mm f/2.8 which I feel should be my next purchase since the only zoom I have is my kit lens.  I have a wedding this summer and feel this will be a necessity while shooting the wedding.

Here is what I have:

Nikon D3100

35mm f/1.8


2 kit lenses (I only use my kit zoom when needed, but once I get my new lens I probably won't use either)

Lots of memory cards and spare batteries

Remote shutter release


On my wishlist:

Nikon D700 (body only)

85mm f/1.8

60mm f/2.8 Micro

Some sort of lighting set-up....I don't have a studio at this time, but I can do some shoots in my home (I only offer my home to friends that I'm shooting) and I have done a maternity shoot in a client's home with great natural light. 

I'm thinking I should save up for the better camera body--that way I will have a spare (if I don't have enough by the wedding I'm shooting, I will be renting a backup body for that).  The 70-200mm lens is a Macro lens so I'm thinking maybe I won't need the 60mm?  I really want a macro/micro lens of some sort to do close ups for Newborn shoots and some nature photography I do at times.  I know the 85mm is wonderful for portraits, which is what I do primarily, but since I love my 35mm, I'm thinking that could wait.  I would love lighting, but since I don't have a studio and shoot mostly on-location, I'm thinking I should invest in something else?


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Re: What would you buy next?

  • I guess I would start tackling your wishlist by deciding what you could use most depending on what you want to shoot. I agree at getting the 70-200 next, that is an awesome and very useful lens. However, based on what you have, I would think you would also need something in the mid-range. Personally, I would not be comfortable relying on only my 35 to shoot portraits. (It is next on my wishlist, but I use my 50 and 85 primarily for portraits, and also use my 70-200 for weddings and events. The 35 has a lot more distortion in the portrait department though, I am still a little uncomfortable using my 50 for individual portraits due to its distortion.) As far as lighting, can you get by with just an off-camera flash and some pocket wizards? Or were you wanting something more? Or is it possible to just try and primarily use natural light? I did a shoot in a client's home last week and we started at 9:30am and it was 100% natural light, so I was able to stay away from flash altogether. However, I had an indoor evening wedding last month where flash was unavoidable for the portraits, so it depends on what you are shooting. Also, I would definitely want a spare body if shooting weddings, but you also need a few lenses you can use in case of failure as well.
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  • I would:

    sell the kit lenses

    buy the 85/1.8

    buy the 60/2.8 micro

    rent a second body for that wedding

    maybe rent the 70-200 for that wedding

    then sell the 3100

    buy the 700 or equivalent

    then buy the 70-200

    buy a second D700 or better

    buy another speedlight (better than the one you have now)

    What about editing programs?  Do you have Lightroom and PS?

    I would aim for natural light at first until you really get good at studio lighting, then invest in lights, etc.

  • I'd go for the 85mm f/1.8 myself, the lense has more to do with image quality than the body.  I know this because I've put an 70-200mm f/2.8 on my D80, and wow...

    Rent the body and the 70-200 mm for the wedding, or at least the lens...

    Its really crazy, but I use $10 macro filters that attach to the front of the lens for macro photography, you might want to check that out or an extension tube for use until you save up for the macro lens. 

    I pip'd some of what I've taken w/ the macro filters,  don't judge, they are from last year :)

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  • Good idea on the filters for macro. I might do that and put a macro lens on the back burner for now since I don't need one very often. I'll probably hold off on lighting until I get my studio in a few years.

    I think I'll get the 85mm after the 70to200mm. I really want that one the most. And then a new body after that. Thanks ladies!
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  • I think that 70-200 lens is probably what I would buy next, although.  I don't know about you, but I take a lot of pictures of fast moving kids.  I love using my 50mm, but when they are really speedy, a zoom lens would be really nice.  Actually, I think everything on your list is on my list too, except a new camera body.  I just bought a D600.  It's maybe $700-800 cheaper than the D700 but still full frame. So far, I absolutely love it, so if money is an issue, maybe that'd be a way to save a little.  Also, I agree about selling the kit lenses. If you do plan on buying a full frame camera soon, keep in mind that you might not want to use your 35mm lens anymore for portraits.  On a full frame camera, there is more distortion with that lens.   
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