I am looking for recommendation on upgrade path from my current needs to have sharper image quality.

My Equipments

  • Nikon D3200 2 years old.
  • 35mm 1.8 DX Lense (my primary go to lense for everything)
  • Nikkor 50 mm F/1.8 FX AS G SWM AF-S SIC M/A Lens
  • Nikkor 18-35mm f3.5-4.5D ED IF Aspherical Lens (unused because on the frame it manual focus only)
  • Nikon Speedlight SB-600
  • Basic Kit Lense
  • Eye-Fi SD Wireless Card

I have also rented out a 17-35mm lense when in need.

What Do I do

I shoot at events that are typically dark and latenight (clubs, corporate events venues at restaurants, etc). I have also shot at weddings and engagements as a second photographers. I do mostly groups and single (couple) portraits. I have been engaged in day light shots for some fashion bloggers lately, therefore I have been gaining more experience in day shots now.

I do not foresee the type of work I currently do to deviate (more weddings/engagement and night time photography at least once a week).

This is still a "hobby" that I like to do, but It is not my primary job. So I do not expect to spend over 2K worth (body lenses combine) in the near future to accommodate my hobby.

I'm unsure what is my next step would be:

  • Buy more lenses (I don't have zoom, I dont have wide angle. even if I rent a 17-55mm, that lense is sure heavy and bothersome)
  • Buy an upgraded Crop Frame (Current generation up, or last generation closest to full frame)
  • Last generation entry point full frame

Any incremental steps I should be taking for my needs?

Note I am open to keeping the D3200 as a secondary if needed (also if my upgrade, the lenses I currently is not compatible like a full frame with a DX lense)

Update/Response to mattdm

I have read: Should I upgrade my body or lens first?

As per the best/top response with 9 vote - I am limited to my gear. I am surrounded by those who have full frame and work equally to use their photography passion as a second income and passion. So I am getting a lot of practice and pointers in terms of composition etc. I have felt that I have tapped the feedback / group path and it is time for more gears in terms of lense and/or body.

  • @mattdm read the question, I have placed a rebuttal inside the question – azngunit81 Oct 27 '15 at 21:20
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    Can you elaborate on what you want to improve? "Sharper image quality" tells us basically nothing. – Please Read Profile Oct 27 '15 at 21:23
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    I have the feeling this is an XY question. Thank you for putting the effort into explaining your situation and gear, but I think the question what gear to buy is actually the solution you came up with to a more fundamental problem that we don't really know yet. Please explain why you don't like the images you take. Add example images to your question including settings. As far as I can tell, this is your actual problem that should be solved. – null Oct 27 '15 at 22:03

The thing is, if you were truly in need of an equipment upgrade, you wouldn't be asking us what to do. The very fact that you asked this question proves that your equipment is not the limiting factor. I would buy some books, take courses, and shoot more images. You will know exactly what is limiting you at that point and can very easily answer this question.

If you must buy something due to compulsive gear obsession, the obvious answer is to buy what you have been renting so you no longer need to rent it.

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    In case there is any question, this is not intended to be rude or demeaning. We all go through this phase and its part of the learning process! – dpollitt Oct 27 '15 at 21:39
  • I have been shooting more, reading more, playing around with settings, and I have been getting collaborations with other photographers that are primary for weddings. I tend to overshoot and have over 300 pictures with only 30-40 of my liking that I can work with within Lightroom. That is why I tossed out my list of equipments so far to see if sporting a DX frame but higher with different prime lense is better, to invest in a wide lense, or to go full frame will make bring out my satisfaction better. – azngunit81 Oct 27 '15 at 21:48
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    The simple answer is no, a full frame will likely not produce more "keepers". The long answer requires you to actually explain what you don't like about the thrown away shots. We can't assume why you don't like images we have never seen. For example, are your images blurred due to camera shake? What ISO were you using? What shutter speed? Are they too grainy at a certain ISO for you? Show us examples. Your comments here have completely changed the question in my opinion. Your question is "how do I produce more keepers in wedding photography?" Not, "What should I buy?" – dpollitt Oct 27 '15 at 21:50
  • @azngunit81 depending on the circumstances, a low keeper rate is not necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather go for a burst shot at several fps to ensure that I get one usable image from that important scene of a wedding. – null Oct 27 '15 at 21:55
  • "Keeper rate" is usually dependent on photographer skill, but there are points at which it can become gear related (i.e. shooting under flickering lighting in night sports w/out the new Canon 7DII that times the shutter release as the light cycle peaks). If your situation were gear limited, you would likely know how to articulate exactly what about the gear is limiting you. – Michael C Oct 27 '15 at 22:10

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