Lens and Flash Help Please......

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dk_hopper, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. dk_hopper

    dk_hopper TPF Noob!

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    :blushing: I am new to photography. I love taking pictures of my 9mo old son. All I have now is a point and shoot digital camera. I am planning on purchasing the Canon EOS 30D. I am at wits end when it comes to choosing lenses and a flash. My main reason for the camera right now is to take portrait shots. I don't want to take him to a photo studio every time I want his picture made. I want to have the ability to do it myself at anytime. I would also like a versatile lens that I can play around with outside as well. What do you think about the Canon EFS 17-85 IS. I am having a hard time picking a lens. I don't want to make a huge mistake and wish I would have purchased a different one. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. As far as flashes go...that is like a foreign language to me. Should I get the Canon Speedlite 580EX II?

    What I really need is a basic start up need list to get me on my way.

    Thanks
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not knowing canon gear I can only give you tips on what to look out for. The 17-85mm range sounds great. 85mm makes it perfect for close-up portraits such as faces filling the entire shot, and the 17mm gives you the flexibility for group photos or nature shots. My 18-70mm is my most frequently used lens.

    As far as flashes the main thing to look out for is one that swivels and tilts. This will allow you to bounce light from objects as plain as the roof, or as extravogant as a reflector (which can easily be built using tinfoil and cardboard). The indirect light casts much softer shadows, like the giant umbrellas that studios sometimes employ.
     
  3. dk_hopper

    dk_hopper TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for the information. I will put it to use.
     
  4. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    For the flash, if you are not planning on controlling multiple flashes you can consider the 430EX, which is less expensive than the 580. The 580 will allow you more room to grow though if you can afford it.
     
  5. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Regards the lens my thoughts on the 17-85 are mixed. It's a useful lens and pretty sharp however the aperture is pretty small which makes the lens slow in low light. Although the IS helps, it's only useful for static subjects.

    I think you would benefit more from a faster lens. Look at zooms in the f2.8 range like the Tamron 17-50f2.8 or the more expensive 17-55 f2.8 IS or even the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4. These lenses are more useable in most lighting conditions albeit 2 of them do not utilise IS.

    With a kid running around you'll need fast shutter speeds so larger apertures like f2.8 will help with this.

    Also, it's not always good to rely on a flash. Use of a speedlight can both make and break shots. I prefer to use faster lenses without flash.

    Also for a cheap and great fast lens look at Canon's cheapest. THe 50mm f1.8 lens is a great lens useful for shooting indoors without flash so keep that in mind too as a good solution for your lower light shots.

    THere's huge choice and you can spend thousands (I have)!!! TYhink carefully how you want to use the lens and then make an informed decision. You'll surtely get many views on here and you have to weigh up all the pro's and cons. Take advice from people who have been using the lenses for a while as they generally have the experience to help most.

    Good luck.

    Regards
    JD
     
  6. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    Get the ~$100 50mm f/1.8 lens, it doesn't have USM or IS, but it's a 1.8 for $100. If it isn't the best cost/performance ratio piece of glass on the market, it's darn close.

    50mm on a 30d body is effectively an 85mm lens -- perfect for portrait work.

    Use that lens for 6 months or so -- learning how to compose, how to "see" light, how to use natural light, how to use fill-flash, how to use aperture for effect, etc. Stay off the program settings -- use full manual. Make yourself learn.

    Once you really have a handle on the basics of real photography, using a good body and lens, you'll KNOW what you want in your next lens. However, some suggestions:

    For wider angle to normal work: Canon 16-35mm F2.8L USM or the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
    For macro work: Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
    For Telephoto stuff: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
    For serious wildlife work: Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM :)
     
  7. dk_hopper

    dk_hopper TPF Noob!

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    Oh thank you so much for the information. I can not begin to tell you guys how pleased I am with this forum, and how nice everyone is. I have been back and forth for months trying to decide on a lens. I am feeling confident in just getting the 50mm f1.8 for now and working my way up later. So as far as a flash goes....Should I just wait a while and learn the basics of photography before investing, or would a flash help me now?
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I kind of agree with Kingpatzer. 50mm lens is a great lens for the money however I find it somewhat too long if using it indoors and that's where the advantage of a zoom comes in.

    THe 50 will teach you to use your legs as your zoom tool though :)

    For flash, the Canon 580EX is the flash most choose as the best Canon flash available. I have one and I'm now finding it's getting easier to use all the time. Takes time to learn. Do lots of reading.

    JD
     
  9. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    the 28mm 1.8 might be a better choice. The wide angle would be great because even as your child got closer to the camera you could still take pictures. I know with my dogs they always run after the camera making the 50mm pretty much worthless. I dont have kids so the dogs are as close as I can get :lol:
     
  10. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    My preference would be the Sigma 30mm f1.4. Gets great write ups - It's on my rather long shopping list.....
     
  11. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    I've heard a lot of good things about the Sigma 30 f/1.4 as well . . . I'm hoping the Easter Bunny is good to me ;)
     

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