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Lens or workshop?

k8etk8et Member, Moderator
edited December 2011 in general photography
I finally upgraded at the end of November to a Canon 7d, though tempted by a 5d or 5d Mkii, I didn't have the funds for more lenses in addition to the camera body.

I have a little money from Christmas and I'm torn between a lens (most likely the Sigma 30mm 1.4 since I'm still on a crop sensor) or a boudoir workshop - http://onlineboudoir.christameola.com/ The workshop is more money, but I haven't heard any impartial reviews on how good it is yet. Has anyone here heard of her or taken her classes?

(And yes, I saw Neil's one day workshop which touches on boudoir, but weekdays are tough for me as I work full time. This class seems much more in-depth, and I'm not interested in weddings anytime soon.)

I'm actually doing a boudoir marathon with friends on January 7 to build my portfolio, so the lens would be more helpful than the workshop - I believe posing is what I need to learn the most, and it's not covered until after that day.

Any thoughts? Should I avoid the 30 mm for boudoir because of distortion?

If you had about $400 to spend and were specifically interested in boudoir photography, what would you do?

my other lenses: Sigma 18-50m f2.8, Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, Canon 50mm f1.8, Canon 24-135 IS, 430 EXII, 580 EXII



  • Well you can always get a lot of free info on the net. Download images and keep them as as reference. Have you tried you tube yet? If you buy a lens you have it for a long time. Personally if I needed it I would buy gear first. If I did not really need it then I might consider a course. Your 50 1.8 is not a bad lens and may be enough to get your portfolio going. You can put a skilled person behind $500 worth of equipment and the opposite behind $5,000 worth of equipment and it would not compete with the skilled persons work. I have never heard of that course.

    About the lens. I don't see much distortion but the MTF chart shows it is a little soft in the corners. This lens shows a bit of CA and vignetting. People seem to be happy with it but besides reviews I don't know much about it.


    Sorry I could not help more. Good luck on your decision.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    k8et said: or a boudoir workshop - http://onlineboudoir.christameola.com/ The workshop is more money, but I haven't heard any impartial reviews on how good it is yet. Has anyone here heard of her or taken her classes?
    er ... don't.
    Call me and I'll tell you more.

  • k8etk8et Member, Moderator
    Zenon - thanks. I love my 50 mm 1.8, just hoped to get a little more room with the 30. I also heard from someone who has the 30mm that they use the lens correction feature in Lightroom. I do most of my learning online from free sources, but would love an in-depth workshop on boudoir specifically. I also have Ed Verosky's books which are decent.

    Neil - Gotcha. That's why I was looking around for an independent review. I don't need any more details, but I still have that other issue I may need your help on - I'll probably email you over the weekend about it (when I can take a photo of the setup). Thanks!
  • All the tools in the world won't mean a thing if you don't have the knowledge to use them. Education scales as your equipment gets better.

    Going to a small workshop in person is probably the best way to learn, barring the expense. Maybe you can work something out with Neil?
  • I had a look at the Sigma about 6 months ago. I have both a crop and FF so I decided not to purchase anymore crop lenses. I am patiently waiting for the rumoured 24-70 IS.
  • k8etk8et Member, Moderator
    Stephen - this was an online workshop, which I know can vary greatly in quality/worth. I'm NOT taking this one now. I would love to work out a private lesson with Neil, though with my schedule it can't happen before my January photo shoot. (but then most of the online workshop was also after that...)

    Zenon - good point. There were many people raving over the sigma versus the Canon 35mm f2, but I do hope to go full frame one day...
  • Well if I had unlimited funds I would have the 35 1.4. That is one nice lens. For the amount I earn with my hobby I decided I cannot justify several expensive primes. 24-70 and 70-200 (which I own) will cover just about anything. If I need really WA I'll throw my Tokina 11- 16 on my crop. It will also work on my FF @ 16mm. That is a sweat lens.

    If that 24-70 IS ever comes out I will retire my 24-105 to a walk around lens. Too slow and IQ while good could be a tad better. I also own a Canon 50 1.4 if I need speed and/or shallow DOF. I just keep hoping Canon releases it one day.
  • k8et, with your limited budget, perhaps you can rent the lens and try it out first or use it for specific jobs?
  • k8etk8et Member, Moderator
    Yeah, I have no income from photography yet, so I haven't spent more than $400 on a lens!

    Stephen, great idea, the only one available at the place by me would be the 35 1.4. I'm on the fence - if I love it, it will be years before I can afford it. However, it may be worth it just to see how much I like or dislike it for this situation...

    I was in two shops yesterday and neither had the canon or sigma in stock, so desire to impulse buy has probably passed. I may rent the 35 1.4. I may spend the money on a monitor color calibration kit instead. I splurged on a background (pop up frame kind with black and white damask pattern) for a "fun" purchase, so at least there's something new to play with during the session!
  • k8et, I have no income from photography either. Scrimp and save! :-)

    I see an ad for borrowlenses.com in this forum, so that might be a good place to check lens rental prices.
  • k8etk8et Member, Moderator
    Actually, I just found out last weekend that Unique Photo near me rents them out. The 35 1.4 would be about $36 for friday - monday.

    I don't think I'm bothering with it, too many other things going on, but I will probably rent from there in the future since it's close and I don't have to mail things back!
  • I had no idea Unique Photo rented equipment That is good to know. :-)
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