Nikon Multi-discipline Kit Upgrade Path (Feedback please)

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Photon Embargo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Nikon Multi-discipline Kit Upgrade Path (Feedback please)

Hi Everyone,

I used to shoot weddings / commission work semi-professionally/professionally around a decade ago while also selling camera gear in a retail shop. During this time, I also did some trips overseas shooting documentary stuff (unpaid, although I was approached by a stock agency for my collection - which I rejected). Back then I was using Canon gear, from cameras through to a 60" roll printer. Just before stopping, I changed over to Nikon and purchased a D700 and some nice G glass. So in all, it has been perhaps 6 or 7 years since I did any paid photography work.

Since stopping, I went to university (at the age of 33), got a degree and worked a few years in an engineering consultancy. This had me working out of big cities (Brisbane and Auckland). I've now returned to my quiet home town (160k people) in northern Australia, where my current career prospects are a little on the dim side. In juxtaposition to this, I recently rediscovered my love of Photography (starting while in New Zealand late last year). Now my passion extends much more into nature/wildlife as compared to previously. (Also, where I am located, it is lush and green with mountains - a rarity in Australia!! - I can't waste it)

At this point of my life, and following my recent employment experiences, I feel the call of photography tugging at me (both for pleasure and a self-controlled source of income), and I always enjoyed the actual process of shooting weddings/portraits. Actually, I am sinking back into photography deep and fast, and loving it! Coming back with a scientific background has also altered my perspective a bit and has me more determined to master the technicalities of photography or at least my technical understanding.

Returning after this break, I am seeing photography through fresh eyes, and have returned to a world quite changed - a lot more open discussion of advanced photographic techniques and principles are available online, and a plethora of 3rd party lenses and flash equipment is available that often rivals or sometimes beats 1st party manufacturers.

Anyhow, that's my background. I've been researching and have planned an upgrade path (not set in stone and bound to evolve/change). My current lenses are mostly geared towards landscape/nature/wildlife/astro/street, and I intend to flesh the range further and also cover paid wedding/portrait work.

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My current gear is:

D850 (primary)

D700 (second)

Nikkor 24 mm f1.8G

Voigtlander 58 mm f1.4

Sigma 150 mm f2.8 Macro

Tamron 150-600 mm VC G2

Benro carbon fibre tripod

Formatt Hitech 100 mm filter system

Intended purchase path to setup well-rounded/improved kit:

Sigma ART/Tamron 85 mm (very soon - wedding/portrait/headshots/travel)

Canon D500 Closeup lens (very soon - macro to enhance 150 mm)

Godox wireless setup using 2 x VA860II (soon - wedding/macro/portrait/headshots/astro)

Alzo Flip Flash Bracket with Umbrella (soonish - wedding/event/portrait)

Lastolite Joe McNally Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 Plus (soonish - macro/wedding/portrait)

Speedlight stands and umbrellas (soonish - portrait/headshots)

Tamron 70-200 f2.8 (upon commission of first wedding/large event job, maybe earlier)

Tamron 24-70 f2.8 G2 (upon commission of first wedding/large event job/large landscape job/holiday overseas - can I do travel photography with just primes???)

Godox AD360 or similar (long-term acquisition for wedding/headshot/portrait work)

Sigma ART 35 mm f1.4 (long-term acquisition for wedding/landscape work and street stuff)

Sigma ART/Nikkor 135 mm (long-term acquisition for wedding/portrait work)

Kenko Extension tube kit / Raynox Closeup kit for 67 mm (long-term acquisition for macro)

Venus KX-800 macro flash (long-term acquisition for macro)

+ a super telephoto prime one day


At this point in time, I intend to master the Voigtlander 58 mm and Sigma/Tamron 85 mm and flash setups in preparation for paid portrait work while I get things up and running. I also intend to apply the Ezybox and Godox flash to macro work until I purchase the KX-800 at some point down the road (if I find the godox and softbox option does not do enough).

Now that is all out of the way - I'd appreciate any opinions or commentary based upon my intended upgrade path timing and choices. I feel I can't shoot weddings w/out the zooms during the ceremony (at least initially). I feel once I have the 35 mm I could probably get away with the 24 mm/35 mm and 70-200 in a church. To me the 24-70 feels like the weakest link, but is a safety net for unexpected situations/backup and should come before the 35 mm.

I think I can get most of my macro shots while using the D500 close-up lens (on amcro) and Godox flash with softbox. Is the KX-800 or nikon equivalent system going to be day and night better? Until this point I have shot a lot of macro with available light and a tripod and like it that way.

I also feel I should be looking at an LED system, like the ICE light 2 for astro and general handy fill - any thoughts?

If you have read this far, I really appreciate it. Thanks!

Nikon D700
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