I just saw your post Gordon. I can assure you all that I do not work for Martin’s Camera Shop. They are in North Yorkshire (UK) and I’m in Kent (UK). The first time I found out about them was when I was comparison shopping using:
Martin’s Camera Shop popped up quite a few times but I needed to speak to them as the website inventory is rather sparse: it’s impossible to keep up I guess. I also needed to speak to an expert. It’s a lot of money, regardless of the exhaustive research I carried out to base a purchase like this on, not seeing or feeling any of it before. They did have the main elements of what I was after though. Namely, Canon 40D, Canon 20-70 f/2.8L and Canon Speedlite 580 Mark II. So even with these three items I knew they were worth phoning up.
Because I had no inventory to inspect on Martin’s Camera Shop I searched Amazon.co.uk and the other companies for prices. I know what they cost from the US shop http://www.bhphotovideo.com
but I needed an idea of the price in the UK too. Sometimes the price is close enough that it is worth buying from the UK. Plus I wanted to buy the electronic equipment from a UK reseller.
I showed Martin the price list for the other equipment and he said he would do his best to match them all but could not guarantee that he could until he sorted out his own calculations (I said that was fine). Places that I had a price list created from were from the likes of, Amazon.co.uk (on quite a few of the smaller items), other camera shops or a shop that sold washing machines too (I didn’t like that Idea). I wanted to shop with a dedicated camera shop and once I spoke to Martin I was impressed. It really is as simple as that.
If any one phones Martin they will know what I mean. “Who needs to waste their time with a newbie, I thought?” But he did.
I do the same for newbie’s at Sysopt.com (alias G).
That’s the story – honest.
Gordon, Martin did explain the benefits for and against the two lenses. What he did say was that they were both excellent lenses and either would be a great choice. But after chatting to him I was hooked on the 20-70 f/2.8L.
I’ve recounted most of the conversations we had below, but there was a bit more to it than I can now remember. I just posted to say thanks for all the posts I read that helped educate me.
Hi Bob, thank you for your welcome and kinds words pertaining to my post and camera kit.
Martin from Martin’s Camera Shop, I cannot recommend more highly. I haven’t got loads of money to spend but if I want something special like a plasma TV or hi-fi set for watching DVDs etc, I do my research, a lot of it, and then spend my money.
Now I can honestly say that Martin is welcome to my business and in the future, as is Richer Sounds. Why because they both care about their customers and will bend over backwards to help you make the best choice. They will explain the pros and cons and so worth and explain extra information that will help enhance a setup even though they are not going to make any more money and the deal has already been done. So as with Martin’s Camera Shop, I get my hi-fi equipment from Richer Sounds. I used to have a Linn Sondek LP at £3000 + for playing LPs – the whole setup was over £8000 in 1987. But now I’m older, and need to spread the money around. Richer Sounds equipment is more than adequate. It isn’t necessary for me to pay for a B + W front surround speaker for £1650 nowadays. I’ve got the best Mordaunt Short upright speakers and their amazing Genie subwoofer – that thing goes real low
My point is. Regardless as to whether it is camera kip or any thing in life, e.g., car, hi-fi, one has to make an informed decision, with the help of expertise from others in the business, and with the monetary means available. As I said in my opening post, the camera kit was way more than I was going to spend, but I read so much that was good about the 40D and noticed you guys and girls’ signatures rapidity changing with the 40D included, I reconsider the 40D.
So let me thank you guys and gales of Cameralabs.com and eos-forums.com, for the many interesting and informative posts that I’ve read and used to make my final decision
The reason for my choice of lens is this. I want to get in to portrait and landscape photography. Obviously, ideally one would need quite a few lenses to cover all possibilities. However, as I have said, there was a monetary limit I couldn’t go beyond. I read here on the boards about the Canon EF 24-105f/4L. So I asked Martin about this as opposed to the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L. I said “Which one would you go for as I can only afford one lens but would like to take portraits and landscape pictures?” He said “I would go with the 20-70 f/2.8L as it is a superior lens. But you would expect me to say that as it is more expensive. “Not at all” I said. I have read many great reviews on the 20-70 f/2.8L”. But what are the pros and cons between the two. To paraphrase Martin, he basically said that the 20-70 f/2.8L has a larger aperture (he answered my question about why it was that the 20-70 f/2.8L over the 24-105 f/4L was more expensive, in doing so) and for this reason it is more expensive, heavier and light sensitive. I asked about the 20-70 f/2.8L being a bit short may be for landscape and wildfire shots. He explained that regardless of this the 20-70 f/2.8L lens was the one to go for, besides other reasons to my requirements. He explained that the 40D has a 1.6 Field of View Crop Factor (FOVCF): or smaller-than-35mm sensor so this effectively meant that it was really a 38mm at the low end. I replied “Does this mean that it would not be so good at close ups” but he said it would still do a great job and that the 70mm would effectively be 112mm long. I replied “So it would have that extra range and is one reason some professional photographers like the 1.6 ratio over the 1.0 FOVCF as it makes a 500mm lens 800mm”. He said that this was one reason. I said so the top-of-the-range Canon cameras with a FOVCF of 1.0 are therefore a true equivalent to a 35mm film camera. I did not understand this until Martin explained this was the case and about FOVCF. So the 20-70 f/2.8L in effect using the Canon 40D is a lens equivalent to 38-112 f/2.8.
I wanted a general purpose lens and I read that the 20-70 f/2.8L is just that. Moreover, it was reviewed as an amazing general-purpose lens. Only may be les so that the Canon 24-105 F4L. The 24-70 f/2.8 can be recommended for portraits and landscapes but obviously, you can have 2 to 3 other lenses in each group too. So that’s my reason for the 40D and the 24-70 f/28L lens combination. I only had so much I was prepared to spend but I wanted the new specs that the 40D offered and one general-purpose lens for the time being. I didn’t want to get in to dirtying the sensor due to lens changes. I wanted my experience in photography to grow with the familiarity of using one camera using one lens. If money or needs permits I would decide on another lens at a later date.
So Bob, the reason I don’t have the EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM is down to money and zero lens changes, as mentioned above. Plus I’m new to all this so I need time to become experienced and one decent camera and one decent general-purpose lens will aid me become more technically proficient and creative.
Here is an article on the Gitzo GT-2530EX Explorer 6X Carbon Fibre Tripod Legs (Rapid Column)
I went with the Explorer because the tripod legs can be moved independently but more importantly it gave me extra height. This helps as I’m 6ft.
Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 DP (Double Pan) Ballhead with Quick Release
I’m more than happy to give my personal experience review once I have used it of course, plus other items
Defiant, the reason for the Nikon Camstrap is because it was recommended over the Canon E-1 Handstrap.
See link: http://tinyurl.com/ydflw6
Bart Michiels; it is true that not only is the 24-70 f/2.8L one of the most expensive and best lenses in its range, but without the standard lens that comes with the 40D it does go a significant way to purchasing a lens like the 20-70 f/2.8L. Moreover, if one is able to get the 40D and the 20-70 f/2.8L at the price I did (include a 3% discount by carrying out a money transfer instead of a credit card) and the rebate on the body and the lens then the price does get quite tempting close in going for the body only and dedicated lens route. Sure, I’m a beginner, but as I’ve mentioned above, and as has been mentioned on the forum, the 40D menu is intuitive over the 400D (may be this will change with the 450D) and I wanted to learn with a decent piece of kit from the get go. It does seem an expensive route but in the long term it is the cheapest in cost and quickest in gaining experience.
All the kit I listed in my original post has been thoroughly researched and cross-referenced with alternatives. I think I picked a good mix.
Here is the remainder of the equipment that is non-electronic that I’m getting from the US in April from http://www.bhphotovideo.com/
, another excellent company to deal with.
I got my Nikon Astroluxe 10x70 from them and so you will see the Nikon tripod adapter included below.
They were meant to be used for star gazing but within 3 days of my holiday we got the beginning of what turned in to the floods. Admittedly, it was fun on the far South coast of Wales near (Pendine Beach), watching the Tornado jets carrying out bombing dives, whacking out sonic booms across a blue sky as they went vertical and did a hard left bank ready for the next run – one after the other. Or hovering along the bay, sea out and in front of the river hill about 50 ft above sea level – that was cool to watch as they were really close with the bins.
The rest of my kit:
Bag and cases:
• Rotation 360 (http://www.rotation360.com/
) = $279
• R U Thirsty Pouch (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_RUThrst.php
) = $24.95
• Camera at $25 each (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_CmraStrp.php
) and binocular (2 off) as they also attach to the backpack.
• Digital Holster 40 http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_DH_compare.html
= $69 – fits Canon BG-E2N Battery Grip and 24-70 f/2.8L lens hood open with extender open, or in reverse with extender closed.
• Digital Holster Harness (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_DgtlHlstr.php
) = $25
• Speed Racer (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_SpdRcr.php
) = $160
• Humongous Bazooka (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_HmngsBzka.php
) = $75
• Steroid Speed Belt (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_produ ... SpdBlt.php
) = $47.50
• Pixel Racing Harness (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_produ ... gHrnss.php
) = $35
• Pixel Pocket Rocket (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_produ ... ktRckt.php
) = $16.50
• Lightning Fast (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_produ ... nngFst.php
) = $35
• Big Stick (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_BigStick.php
) = $34.95
Gitzo GM-5540 Mountaineer 6X Carbon Fibre Monopod - Supports 55 lbs (25 kg)
Gitzo GT-2530EX Explorer 6X Carbon Fibre Tripod Legs (Rapid Column) - Supports 26.5 lbs (12 kg)
LensCoat LegCoat Tripod Leg Protector Set (Black) - for Gitzo 1325, 1327, GT3540XLS & GT3530LSV
Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 dp (Double Pan) Ballhead with Quick Release (Requires Plate) - Supports 130 lb (59 kg)
Nikon Tripod Adaptor for Nikon, Swarovski & Zeiss Binoculars with a Central Shaft with a Maximum Diameter of 14mm
Bogen 337 2 Axis Flash Hot Shoe Double Bubble Level
Wimberley P5 Arca-Type Universal Quick Release Plate with 1/4-20" Screw
Wimberley Quick Release clamp for Arco-Swiss Monoball Z1 (60mm)
Camera + Lens etc:
Canon LC-5 Wireless Controller Set for EOS EOS-1D Series, 5D, 10D, 20D, 20DA, 30D, D60, D30, D2000, 1V HS, 1V, 3 Cameras
Dot Line Corp. Dot Line SensorKlear Cleaning Pen for CCD Sensors for Digital SLR Cameras
Econo 1.6x Sensor Brush Cleaning Kit
Giotto Q Ball Air Blower
Leupold LensPen Lens Cleaning Pen – glossy black
Photographic Solutions Pec-Pad Photo Wipes - 4x4" (100 Pack) Mfr# PAD44DCS
Canon 24-70 F2.8 L
LensCoat Hoodie medium
Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe Binocular
LensCoat Hoodie Small
The Small fits lens hoods from 3.25” to 3.75" in diameter.
Price: $12.99 *2