Another Equipment Question


No longer a newbie, moving up!
May 6, 2011
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Minnesota, South Dakota (for school)
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I purchased my camera and lens right around four months ago. Now, I'm wanting a new lens. My question, however, is this: Should I worry about getting a new lens first, or should I get a flash or two?

I find, more often than not, that the on camera flash produces very harsh shadows and gives that "center-of-the-eye catch light." Also, I hate to think of all the creative opportunities that I'm missing out on because of no off camera flash.

That said, my lens's lowest f/# is 3.5 (Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6). I'd like a prime lens that would allow me to go even more open (preferably 1.4-1.8). I'd like to shoot some sports/concerts at school or maybe even a wedding (my step-brother is getting married at the end of the summer) and I'm worried that my equipment is inadequate for these lighting conditions.

If you were in my position, what would be your next purchase?
With $800+tax return, you should have enough $ for a flash and a prime lens. But I don't think that will be enough for shooting wedding on both skill and equipment aspects.
Personally, I have the 18-200mm and 50mm 1.4g glasses. I am learning flash and photoshop. I won't buy any other lens until saving enough for the f2.8 pro lens.
Your lens is sufficient enough for you to improve your skill. The next purchase you should look into ought to be a flash.
A studio, for whom I often work for, the guy uses D300 w/ 18-200 Vr1 lens, mounted with sb900 and demb flash product (Demb Flash Products - Demb Flash Diffuser). Yes, he uses additional lights when he is a primary crew on the job, however, when he hires me to be the primary, he uses his gear for all of the secondary stuff.
Equipment is important and nice to have but knowing how to use it is even more important. :)

Good Luck
Question for you: do you feel that in four months you've mastered composition and exposure? The rules change quite a bit when you throw flash in the mix. If you're ready for it, I say go for it. But it's something to consider.
Saying the I've mastered anything would be nothing more than a lie. I feel that I have definitely improved on these two aspects, but definitely not mastered them.
A shoe mount flash will help with the harsh (miner helmet) look you are getting with the built in flash. A good flash like a Nikon sb700 will cost around $325 or so. You may be able to find some new old stock sb600's for around 2-250 or so. These flashes are made for you camera and will access all of the flash programs. As for a fast prime lens you might consider the 35 or 50mm 1.8. They are fast and tack sharp.

good luck and keep taking those pictures.
I would say to learn your way around natural light with a new lens before you buy a flash. But thats just me.
Get the 50 and a flash. But your not ready to do a wedding professionally. You would need more gear and its a lot more work then you would think.

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