Beignner, need Help with Lens and Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mragans23, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. mragans23

    mragans23 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Cannon Rebel XSI with the regular lens. I want to start a professional photography business, although I know it will take years to get everything i need. What is the first step to buying my first lens and flash. I looked at a wide angel and a telephoto lens and also at having IS. I cant spend a fortune yet, any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. EventShooter

    EventShooter TPF Noob!

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    Good ?'s. Backup a step and let me know what type of photography you're looking to get into. Save your money on the IS unless you reaaaaaly think you'll need it. It adds about 50% onto the cost. I shoot canon as well...I dumped a few bucks into the glass when getting started. Picked up a 24-70L F2.8 and the 70-200L 2.8IS. You can do ALOT with those two lenses. If you go non-IS on the 70-200...you're looking at around $2,200 or so. But...you can shoot most anything from sports to weddings. Except....especially for some of the more creative shots...you will want a really wide angle...for you camera you'd need the 10-22. It's not the sharpest lens in the bag...but you can get some great close wide angles with it. A used 580 would be a great start. of course the new 580II is good to...but you can do some great stuff with the 580ex flash. Get a fong or other diffuser and you're good to go to get started with your on camera flash photography.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    More important than the gear you have, is your knowledge, talent, skill, creativity, business sense etc. Of course, having excellent equipment is usually a smart choice for a pro photographer.

    I don't want to sound too harsh, but if someone is asking about which lens & flash to buy...they are probably not ready to start a business. If you are going to start a business, you should already have a good idea about what is needed to do the job.

    How are your business skills? Those will be just as or more important that photographic skills if you want to have a successful business.

    You can save money in the long run by buying good quality gear up front. Many people buy the cheaper gear that they can afford...but then end up having to upgrade along the way. This might mean dropping $5000-$10,000 on cameras and lenses...but that's not really that much if you consider it a business expense.
     
  4. mragans23

    mragans23 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Event Shooter, that is appreciated. & Bike Mike, thats why I said I am a beginner and how I know it will take several years to get started. But thanks anyways......
     
  5. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    DIDN'T READ ABOVE:
    If you are asking what lens/flash to buy then it doesn't seem you are familiar with photography business.
    First steps first (learn how to walk) - LEARN LIGHTING. If you just want to take pics (snapshots) you can do that with P&S. Find an 1d1ot and sell it. If you want to do it RIGHT, learn lighting. My favorite sites that I think are GREAT for beginners are Strobist and David Ziser's Blog Digital ProTalk. Ziser did a series of videos for Kelby's Training on lighting both ON-CAMERA and OFF-Camera. Although they are mostly wedding based and classical, if you can bang those out with ease then you can successfully take any portrait of anyone and artistically LIGHT it.
    There are MANY other online tutorials out there on light and it isn't revelent which you use, AS LONG AS you learn basic lighting technique. Whatever camera, lens, flash you have now, based on the two above you shouldn't have a problem shooting at iso400 1/125 at f/5.6 (and I hope the values mean something to you - b/c if they don't AGAIN you have a lot to learn).
    With that in mind...
    Lenses: think simple & less is more. You need wide angle and close ups. Is it BETTER to have 2.8 vs 5.6 YES but if you are using portrait lights, in terms of lightingother then DoF 2.8 isn't any better then 5.6
    Flash: For portraits, use umbrellas, softboxes. On camera flash is usually too direct and even if modified with omnibounce, Fong, foampaper (my personal vavorite) is still flat that is advantage of multiple light units (give your 2D image an 3D look). But if you just need a flash, get Canon's 580EXII. It is more expensive, but in long run you'll probably be happier with it.
    Good Luck and welcome to photo.
    Post your work for CC (it might be harsh at times, pending who is giving it, BUT it'll give you perspective what someone else is seeing).
    Business: photo business is about 75% business if not more and the rest if photography. You can be a great artists but if you can't sell your work... There are hundreds and thousands of marketing tactics one can utilize and knowing when to use what is IMPORTANT. Craigslist is a 50/50 place - you might get a hit you might not. See if you can get to work with a local photographer, I don't mean sears, and learn from him/her. Many photographers nowadays started out assisting someone and learned various aspects of photography, business that way.
     
  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I will repeat some of above. It really deppends on what you want to shoot. If your looking to shoot in a studio, IS is a waste of money. There is no need for it. Even if your shooting models outside I would also say IS is a waste of money (except if your doing low light / dark / high shadow type shots). Now if your doing indoor sports, or fast moving subjects with long lenses. Then IS will be helpful but still not a necessity. Pro's have done without for decades!!

    Obviously fast glass is always recommended. As is the case if you want to do it right. Start out right. Right now you said you have the standard lens. Well kits come with a couple lenses but I am going to guess 18-55. It's a pretty good basic lens. The longer end (55) is just about long enough for portraits, though in most cases I preffer longer. The wide end is fairly wide, but is limited for interior shooting if you want to get into real estate photography. It's a basic take shot of the family type lens.

    What you want to do deppends on if you should go longer or wider in your next lens choice. Thats a decision you have to make. We can't guess it for you. So, with a little more information, we could give you better replies.

    And welcome to TPF ;)
     
  7. mragans23

    mragans23 TPF Noob!

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    I am looking for a basic lens and flash to get started. I am planning to start with my son and family and friends for outside shots. SHots at the lake, beach, ect. Then I will look into getting something good for inside. I am buying some lights and backdrops.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    50mm F1.8 (or better yet, 50mm F1.4)
    430EX flash (or better yet, 580EX)
     
  9. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Welcome to photography where nothing is really as contrast as black/white :)
    What is basic to you, isn't basic to others. i.e my basic 28-105 3.5-4.5 glass might be considered zoom to someone else.
    Lens Grab your self I believe it is Canon 28-135 3.5-5.6 macro glass. Number of wedding photog colleagues of mine use it 90% of the time - portraits and reception. For ceremony often go wider 17-40 I think.
    Flash 580exII is GREAT flash. 400 series is ok but with time you'll see its limitation, thus extra $100 or so you'll spend now will pay of later on.

    Now that you've seen how weird photography is, be specific ;)
     
  10. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    16-35L
    70-200 2.8
    85 1.2L
    580 EX II
    Pocket Wizard x2 or3
    Tons of knowledge
     

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