Not sure that there's a forum that fits this so I'll post here since I'm a D700 shooter.
I have $1,000.00 in discretionary funds that I've allocated to some more equipment. After this is gone I probably won't be buying anymore equipment for a while.
I have no real specialty on what I shoot. I shoot sports, landscape, architecture, street scenes, candid event shooting, portraits and family stuff.
I have the following: D700 w/grip and standard batteries. SB-900 17-35/2.8 24-70/2.8 50 1.8D 70-200/2.8 VR 28-70/3.5-4.5D (beater lens) ML-3 remote
Manfrotto w/ RRS BH-55 Manfrotto mono with RRS MH-01 RRS L-bracket RRS Wedding Pro Flash Bracket
I have the bag necessities covered.
So, what am I missing? I'm wanting to shoot macro and am considering a 105 VR. Anything else I should look at before I make my final decision? I've thought about the EN-EL4 w/charger since some of my sports stuff seems to get missed when getting only 5 fps. I tend to overload my buffer sometimes, so maybe some Extreme IV cards are in order? I'd also like to get some studio lighting.
I know that's a lot to digest. I appreciate any thoughts and pros and cons of my wants.
#2. "RE: $1k to spend. What am I missing?" In response to Reply # 0
If you are looking for a macro lens, I would not bother with vr which is not very useful for macro. I just got the Zeiss Makro Planar 2/100 mm zf. This is the best lens I have ever owned and great for close-ups, portraits and night photography; unfortunately it is $1,450 at B&H.
If this is too expensive an option, I concur that a TC would be an excellent addition. I have had good results with a 1.7 TC which gives you a little more reach. If one keeps the aperture below f/5.6, the IQ is still very good.
#3. "RE: $1k to spend. What am I missing?" In response to Reply # 0
If you get 8 NiMH batteries like the Sanyo Eneloops you will get 8 FPS for about $20.00 in batteries and about $60.00 for a charger. Then EN-EL4a will cost at least $119.95 each and about $150.00 or so for the charger. The Extreme IV's have a rebate on them now. Depending on the size $60.00 each or $200.00 on 3. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#5. "RE: $1k to spend. What am I missing?" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 06-Jun-09 07:10 PM by Cookies35
My advice? Buy used, from a trustworthy source. Obviously this doesn't apply to anything with a use-by date (such as color calibration cards), but if you buy from folks who respect photography equipment as much as you do, buying used can nearly double how much you can buy with your money and/or seriously increase the quality of what you can "afford." Personally I'm an eBay junkie. If you follow some basic guidelines you can avoid the obvious traps and get some amazing gear without blowing your budget.
As for suggestions about what to get:
Definitely a couple Extreme IV cards, plus a matchingcard reader. Get this one instead if your computer and/or laptop doesn't support the right kind of Firewire, or if you still use SD cards from time to time. This will make a huge, delightful difference in your transfer-to-computer life.
Also, I'd get an image tank. Two lower capacity cards (4GB) + one image tank in your bag = thousands of high capacity cards for a fraction of the cost. You shoot with one card until it's full, and then shoot with the other one while you transfer the pix from the first one to the image tank. When the second one if full, you switch. I use one from Jobo. They're less well known in the US than other brands, but are great quality with far higher capacity for far less money. I've seen one with 80GB for $99 on eBay.canada with no bids at all, probably because it's not the latest-bestest model, and the brand is less well known. Personally I don't think you need a LCD which displays the photographs, although I do admit that being able to view the pix gives you quite a higher level of assurance that all the pix have transferred correctly. I don't know why; it's surely something to do with psychology; but having a photo-preview capable screen is a very expensive piece of comfort.
I'd seriously recommend you consider putting some money aside for a KatzEye focusing screen, although you might want to wait until they produce the D700 model with Optibrite. Although fellow Nikonian and voluntary guinea pig TomCurious bought the KatzEye for D700 without the OptiBrite and has no issues with the screen brightness at all. As someone who likes manual focus, you'll LOVE it.
I'd get some white-balance accessories. Personally I use the Xpobalance by Lastolite, although it seems to be hard to get in the US. I use it for shots I set up ahead of time. The Grayscale color checker by GretagMacbeth should do the same thing, although it's less portable and doesn't have the three gray's side. The SpyderCube by Datacolor also looks really promising.
Speaking of Datacolor, be sure to look over your software arsenal. Monitor calibrator? If you print your own pix, printer calibrator? Are you happy with your image processing program / RAW converter? Got, or want, something to help you manage your files?
Back to white balance: for shots where I have no control over the set-up ahead of time I use an Expodisk. Get one larger than your largest lens, and when you're ready to use it take it out of your pocket, hand-hold it in front of your lens, and set the WB. It's faster than screwing it on the front of your lens, just as accurate, and you can use one size for all your lenses.
THE piece of kit you're missing IMHO is the 85mm f/1.4D. It would add a kind of amazingness to your photography that no other piece of kit can duplicate. In your case, it would be a choice between adding a dimension to the shots you already get (portraits, low-light, super-thin depth-of-field), and adding a completely new dimension to your photography with access to shots you can't get with your current kit (such as a dedicated macro lens or a teleconverter). And, the 85mm f/1.4D would use up your whole budget. But I tell you, I only take it off my camera when I have to. Otherwise, it's pretty much the only lens I use, I love it so much!
Good luck! And be sure to let us know what you get. It'll be interesting to see how far a thousand dollars goes these days, as well as how satisfied/thrilled/not all that moved by what you end up with. We're all still having that "it's not the gear, it's the photographer" debate with each other and with ourselves. It'll be nice to know from someone with your experience just which pieces of gear really ended up making a difference for you, and hence, for your photography.
PS: For those who are interested, here’s my own personal strategy for buying on eBay. If you keep your eyes open, yes you can still get burned but it’s FAR more likely you'll end up with amazing kit you couldn’t afford otherwise.
_________________________________ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
#7. "RE: $1k to spend. What am I missing?" In response to Reply # 5
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking to make a large purchase. I can always justify low-mid range purchases such as these. I will look into them.
I am now hunting for a 300 f4 AF-S. Just missed out on two in the $1,000-1,050 range. Hopefully I'll find one. I read in one post that it's not a bad macro lens. I'll up the budget a bit and grab a TC17EII to use with the 300 and the current 70-200.