Basic questions...filters, hoods, flashes????

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by charlestonmom, May 17, 2009.

  1. charlestonmom

    charlestonmom TPF Noob!

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    I have a few general questions....

    I recently purchased a Canon Rebel XT, and I got the kit lens....I am in the process of selling it, but have bought a 1.8 mm f/1.8 and 17-85 mm f/4-5.6.....I am wondering what accessories are important to have....

    Filters?? - How do they affect/ change your pictures - what are the advantages of using them?

    Is the lens hood just to protect the lens?? Does it affect the picture in any way?

    and....Is an alternate flash a must? What are the advantages over the built-in flash? What is the best one to get, for the price (for a beginner)????

    THANKS!
     
  2. Ecas32

    Ecas32 TPF Noob!

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    their are a variety of filters out there..... the main ones you will see though are polarizer filters and uv filters. uv filters basically just protect your lens and improve colors a little bit. polarizer filters cut down on glare ALOT. they also bring out alot of color.

    a lens hood just prevents glare on the lens. glare on the lens will kill your contrast and just flat out make the picture look bad.

    a shoe-flash (alternate flash) allows you to angle the flash so it can be bounced off the ceiling or walls and allows you to have alot more control over it. you can get diffusers to soften it up and you can "zoom" witch changes how the flash is directed.
    if used correctly you can eliminate shadows that would result from using the on camera flash. the on camera flash will give you harsh shaddows and un even lighting
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    UV filters are promoted by camera stores because they are a high profit item, not because they are particularly effective in protecting a front lens element. They are thin, break easily and the shards can then gouge the glass they were intended to protect. However, they are all the rage. I would not recommend spending the money. Get a good lens blower/brush and some good Tiffen lens tissue instead and keep your lens clean.
    UV filters don't enhance colors but they do provide an additional (undesireable) air gap that can promote lens flare.

    Circular Polarizing filters are good to have and can help saturate colors, eliminate glare and make sky's look sweet if the Sun is at the right angle (below 30 degree's above the horizon and at 90 degrees to the lens axis). A CP (Circular Polarizer) filter will decrease your exposure by at least 1 stop. You have to turn the filter as you look through the viewfinder to maximize the effect.


    A lens hood is great protection for your front lens element and will minimize lens flare when shooting towards the Sun or with a backlit subject. Never shoot without a lens hood on when outside. Indoors a lens hood could interact with a flash or speedlight and cast an unwanted shadow. Otherwise use the hood inside too.

    A hot-shoe mounted speedlight is up higher than the built-in flash making the dreaded 'red eyed subject' less likely when making portraits. As mentioned, a good speedlight is adjustable so it can be pointed up to bounced off a ceiling, effectively making the light much larger and softer resulting is shadows that are less harsh (It's sometimes better to bounce off a wall so many speedlights can be aimed sideways). The other big advantage of a speedlight is they are more powerful. They can be used on subjects further away. Light falls off according to the 'Inverse Square Law' which means that if you double the distance only 1/4th (not 1/2) the light will get there.

    The biggest advantage of a sppedlight is the ability to use it off the camera which opens up a whole new world of creative lighting effects. Many photographers have 2 or more speedlights for this reason.

    Check out www.strobist.com .
     

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