Here are some links so I can make some money, lol… I just ordered the 400D and the 50/1.8 for my folks so at least I’m putting my money where my mouth (or fingers) is… It’s a great time to pick up some Canon gears coz they lowered the prices by a little bit with instance rebates.
btw, I just found out if your rss reader does not support iframes (GReader doesn’t), you have to view this post in a browser to see these links.
The 50/1.4 is better, but IMO not over 200 bucks better. The bokeh from non-L lens look like shit to me (but I am really picky and spoiled), I was looking at some pictures from my 100/2.8 USM macro and the bokeh was really harsh. So if you’re serious about photography and you want to go with Canon, I’d go with the 40D with the 35/1.4L, and here are the links (the kit lens is semi-decent too):
If you must need a zoom, go with the 24-70/2.8L, this is the lens I use 95% of the time, because it is awesome but also because I don’t have the 35/1.4L.
But if you are going to stay with 1.6CF bodies, the new 17-55/2.8 EF-S is like the 24-70/2.8L for 1.6x CF cameras, it has IS so it’s even more useful. (Thanks Kevin for pointing this out!). After looking at its MTF graph and images on PBase (you have to click “more” a few times to find semi-decent images, but that’s true with most photo sharing sites), I’d recommend this over the more expensive 24-70/2.8L unless you absolutely want an L lens or you plan to get a 1.3CF or FF body in the future. Looks like the bokeh from the EF-S 18-55/2.8 IS is nice and soft too.
The new Nikon’s high ISO performance is very impressive from the many reviews and 1DsM3 vs D3 comparos I’ve read. If I were to get a top-of-the-line pro setup I’d probably seriously consider the D3 over the 1DsM3, esp for photojournalism-style event shoots. For studio though, the 1DsM3 is king, it almost gives you medium format type resolution. If you shoot Nikon you must get the 105VR.
and if you need a flash, go with the 580EXII coz the price difference between that and the 430EX isn’t much right now…
If you shoot Nikon you’re lucky coz IMO their flash system is better, and the SB800 is absolutely amazing (and relatively inexpensive!), not to mention the D200 and D300 got built-in slave triggering with the popup flash.
If you need remote triggering, you can’t go wrong with the PW+2, I have 2 of these for my Alien Bees and they’re great. 100% reliable, never missed a frame when used with the strobes. (I’m still having problems getting the connection right with the 580EXII sync socket though).