better lens vs better flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by just x joey, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. just x joey

    just x joey TPF Noob!

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    what is a better idea to get? a better lens, or a better flash (vs the built in flash)?
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Depends on how you shoot. I don't use a flash at all, so I would go for the lens. Someone else who likes flash use would be much better off with a shoe flash over the built-in, especially if you get a cord with it so you can hand-hold it.
     
  3. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    Get both.

    Or if you can't afford that, IMHO you should get the lens, only because I can think of zero situations where a good lens won't give you big payoffs, but I can think of plenty of cases where your photos won't require a killer flash.

    Of course if you shoot indoors all the time without studio lights or something like that, then the answer is obvious to get a good flash, but even then you'll want a good lens or else who cares if you have enough light.
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    A good question to ask is: What do you have now?
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Seriously. Turn off the on-camera flash and never, ever use it again. It can only serve to ruin your images. Now that that is out of the way you have a fresh situation for making a decision. Do you want a lens to give you more flexibility for shooting with available light or do you want to get into flash photography?
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I'd go for the flash every time. So long as the glass I had was adequate. I go along with don't use your on camera flash unless it is all you have in a back light situation. Never as a main light.

    However I have used on camera (L bracket) mounted flash most of my life and have had only a few complaints. Remember though, I worked in a time when people didn't know about photoshop. Cause there was no photoshop.

    If you go for the light buy at least an L bracket, or learn to misdirect (ie bounce ect) the light.
     
  7. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    the in camera flash is adequate for some things, such as certain kinds of macro photography. It isn't too bad, especially if you diffuse it a little bit.
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Not just for some things for some people all of the time. Thats why they make red eye remove software.... It all really depends on what you are after. I think a person who is thinking about buying lenses probably wants more from his camera but I could be wrong.
     
  9. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i think buying a flash diffuser is also good....i've been using direct flash for many pictures (over 1000)....and i never get red eye problem with my new camera/flash....D80/SB600....is it the camera or the diffuser?.........but yes...bouncing is also good when permitted
     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    There's more to direct flash than red-eye. The light is very flat. There are no modeling shadows on the face. That's fine if you are mainly interested in documentation, but if you are looking for something more, off-axis light helps a great deal. A diffuser isn't going to help with that. It's a nice addition, but it's the size of the light source that has the main impact on diffusion. A diffuser will scatter the light, but unless there are objects nearby for that scattered light to bounce off of, or the diffuser is bigger than the flash, I don't think it's going to do much beyond dimming the light.
     
  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess different people have different standards. But I will mention that diffusion doesn't do anything to help on-camera flash.
     
  12. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    it doesnt dim the light....it actually works really well spreading the light.......i've tried in many situations (indorr) with the diffsuer on and off.....the result is always better with diffuser on (bounce or not bounce)...but of course......different ppl might have different opinion.....

    and yes.....indirect light is always better...why i've been trying to figuoure out how to use the flash off the camera properly from my other post.....but still struggling from my lack of experience..hopefully it will get better soon with more practice

    btw...the diffuser is on an external flash unit (SB600 in my case)
     

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