Lense or flash? Bare with me on this one..

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by sincere, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    What should i get next? I know these are two diffrent things but i am sure some of you already have experience here.

    Right now i got the 18-55 kitlens and a 50mm 1.4 and i was thinking about getting me a wide lens that could give me somewhat of better quality pics like i get from my 50mm.

    Then i thought about getting me a flash. Either a small kit with two 150 Watt flash units:

    ADOLIGHT 150 Studioblitz- "Kit DELUXE" | Licht & Studio , Blitzgeräte & Zubehör - DE

    Or a flash unit that i mount directly on the camera.

    Again, i know these are two different things but for the sake of argument, what would you get? Thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    It sounds like you have three choices; a new lens, studio lights or a hotshoe flash.

    A new lens would be nice, but unless you really need a larger aperture, the 18-55mm lens is probably OK for now.

    I wouldn't bother with cheaper studio lights...if you are going to go that route, get some proper lights.

    That leaves the hot shoe flash. I think this is a good idea because it can give you more options. Firstly, make sure you get one that can tilt & swivel so that you can bounce the light when needed. If you get a dedicated unit, you can use some of the technological advancements like TTL metering and high speed sync. With the right accessories, you can use a hot shoe flash in an off-camera way...thus simulating studio lighting.
     
  3. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike!

    The thing that bothers me about the kitlens right is the photo quality (sharpness, color,etc..i think you know what i mean) so i would like to get me a better lens because i cant just back up everytime i shoot with the 50mm because i want better quality (not to mention the crop factor..i got the Canon 400D).

    As far as the hot shoe flash, i didnt understand anything regarding TTL metering and high speed sync(using search function now,lol)..i see the Speedlite 580 and i wonder if that one is okay or better yet, if there is a cheaper alternative.

    What do you mean with "you can use a hot shoe flash in an off-camera way...thus simulating studio lighting." ? i dont think search function will help me on this,hehe..
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Once you see really good image quality from a lens like the 50mm F1.4...it can be a bit of a let down to use something like the kit lens...but it's not actually that bad of a lens...especially if you use it at around F8 or F11. Sometimes we get too close to the images (pixel peeping)...if you print out an 8x10 and hold it at arms length, you might see that the 18-55mm lens is more than adequate, most of the time.

    The 430EX is the little brother of the 580EX...and quite capable.

    The first stop on this topic should be THE STROBIST...specifically Lighting 101. If you search for terms like 'strobist', 'off camera flash', 'radio triggers' etc...you should come up with plenty to read.
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Search for "off camera flash". You'll want to move the flash off camera to get better results than when mounted on the hot shoe. I think with Canon flashes this requires either a cord or you can go down the Pocket Wizard / Cactus remote triggering.

    I think you will get more immediate satisfying results with a flash than a new lens.
     
  6. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    If you start dabbling in off camera flash beware... it's addicting and you'll find yourself doing all sorts of weird things to get cool results :D
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The ST-E2 is also a solid choice for indoor off-camera flash. I've only had on time when it didn't fire indoors so far, and that was because I accidentally cupped my hand over the IR receiver on the flash. :lol:

    If you aren't planning on getting more flashes sometime soonish down the road, and will be shooting outdoors too, I'd highly recommend getting yourself a sync cord.

    Oh, and I say go with the flash. You can still get high-quality pictures from the kit lens, you just have to finagle it a little.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    I'd personally recommend two flash units over one flash and the ST-E2. The ST-E2 is basically the flash control part of the 580EX...but without a flash. The 580EX can act as a master and control other 'slave' units.
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, but it's handy if you want to get both flashes off-camera, or are running around and can't afford the extra dead weight on the camera. (I bought it primarily because I wanted to avoid sacrificing a flash to be a commander.)
     
  10. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    I say get a flash for your camera. You can add a vivitar or something later to use 2 off camera hot shoe flashes. For now, the flash unit with a diffuser will open up more opportunities for your photography.
     
  11. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Depends on what you do - if you only shoot landscapes, you can't exactly light up the mountain you're shooting with a flash, right? =P

    If you're like the rest of us though, go for the flash. There are 4 criteria that make a good photograph, in order of importance: the photographer, the lighting, the glass you're using, and then the camera body you're using (unfortunately, most people get it backwards :lol:) It is more important to have better lighting than it is to have better glass - in fact, if you could get everything to sync up with manual controls etc., you could take a better photo with properly done lighting and a point-and-shoot than you would with a D300 and harsh, pop-up, straight-on flash.

    With that said - like Mike said, if you go the studio strobe way then you want to do it right. If you're a Nikon shooter, that probably means a SB-600, which you'll be able to take off-camera with a hot shoe-to-PC adapter or a PocketWizard/Cactus wireless trigger.
     
  12. blondie621

    blondie621 TPF Noob!

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    Great gear you have. Love the 40D! I put all that on my wish list! :thumbup: :blushing:
     

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