Humm.  Should be working.

Equipment purchase plan.  Impossible on a grad students “salary”, but I can dream.

  • Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 (If they add VR to this I…well…I’m there)
  • Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-f/5.6 VR
  • Nikkor 70-200 f.2.8 VR
  • Some fast ~30mm prime

I’m also drawing up a short list of stuff to sell.  I’ve got to get rid of equipment that’s gathering dust.


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  • Dude, I’m not even sure that’s quite affordable on a new grad’s salary. Ok, I’m not sure how much any of it costs, but I can assume as much ;)

  • Depends on what’s a priority I suppose.

    I figure the list about will cost around $5200 CDN before tax. I’m also looking at a new body sometime in the future and that’ll run at least $1500 CDN before tax.    Another factor is the time over which you buy it all.  There’s also how much tolerance you have for debt.  Then there are tradeoffs you make as a result.

    I know I can’t buy this all in one shot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with 1 or 2 items off this list before I left Waterloo.


    I don’t know – I hope I’ll improve my photography.  I’d feel happier about that than any equipment I buy.

  • Yo Allen, wow, came across your page from a CHINESE forum. They linked your D40 posts cause the german site took the pics down, so surprise to see you here. Anyways, nice page, liked your comments about the D40.
    p.s. I have the 17-55 2.8, I seriously don’t think you need a 30mm prime if you have this lens, unless you are looking for f1.4 for indoor. I bought a 50mm 1.4 recently (along with my new D200, yeah!), its nice, but I only use it for indoor portrait. The bokeh & shallow DOF is barely better than 17-55 at the tele end. But that’s just my view. =P Anyways. Nice page!
    p.p.s. If you just do portrait, you can really take the much cheaper 80-200, you can live without the VR, you won’t push farther than 135 considering the crop factor. ; )
    p.p.p.s. 70-200 VR is $150 cheaper at henry’s right now, check it out!

  • Dave…

    Yes, I’ve had my 5 seconds of internet fame. Now that the news has spread and the initial rush is over, this’ll be a quiet corner of the web again.

    I think of the 17-55 f/2.8 and a 30mm f/1.4 as fulfilling two, very different niches. The 17-55 coupled with usable high ISO gives me versatility in my most used range. It could easily be my standard on-the-camera lens.

    The 30mm on the other hand…

    Well, my desire for that lens is more emotional than anything else. Somehow, using it my photography style changed and I felt more contemplative, more in-control. I suppose it’s because I’m still learning, and using a prime removed the focal length variable when I framed my shots. If I wanted a different framing I had to move. It was also small, light and I could carry it all day through Toronto without problems. The 17-55? It’s one heavy sucker :)

    I guess I just loved the feel of the 30.

    I’m not a big fan of the 50 – at least the f/1.8. The FOV doesn’t work for me and I don’t like the bokeh. I’m told the f/1.4 is better and I hope you enjoy it.

    My gosh – you’re accumulating lenses and cameras at a prodigious rate! The last time I saw you, you had a D50 with an 18-200 VR mounted. Now a D200 and a 17-55 f/2.8? You’re moving up in the world!

    Sadly, I’ll be trailing well behind :)

  • Allen…

    Actually, I think it’s more than 5 seconds of fame, in fact, it probably lasted for the past couple days. =P Anyhow.

    I know what you mean by versaitility and most used range… instead, 17-55 is what I do most of my serious work in… only when I go backpacking do I carry my 18-200, for which VR has been proven to be so much more useful than the larger constant aperture.

    I can understand your reason for wanting a prime, and the reason for wanting the 30mm over 50mm… I debated between the two for a while before I got my 50mm. The difference between you and me? I do a lot of portrait… the shallower DOF is crucial for me. =P

    Having looked over your excellent photography work, I can understand why you want a 30mm. Although a wider lens will most definitely fit your field of interest more… especially in situations like not being able to back up because of the cars on the streets or walls in a room. But anyhow, a prime most definitely train your photography eye. I remember spending a whole week practicing on my zoom, just memorizing how much FOV I need for a specific scope, and using my zoom to verify my guess. (This proves to be SO USEFUL when I was taking pictures outdoor, as the weather gets colder and I just want to spend less and less time adjusting and walking to a good position. =P )

    Actually, the last time I saw you, I had the 17-55 already… that lens was also what I won my photograhpy award with. In fact, 17-55 is the first lens I bought. And no man, I am a poor graduate student, just like all of us. =P I only buy as I feel is absolutely necessary… I wanted the 70-200VR ever since the first day I bought the D50, and here I am… still empty handed. sigh. =P

    I like the style of your photography work. It’s very different from mine, you go for pure aesthetic photos, where as I go more for an expressionist style, trying to convey a message. (You probably know the names and methodology of these 2 classes of photography better than I do, I, being a fob, obviously only know the chinese names for it. XPPP ) I can see you are starting to play with lines and curves, it’s great, it gave me some inspiration on the work I just did in Kitchener downtown. Your skills on post-processing are also way better than I do… the photos are nice, keep it up.