Another Equipment Question

jmtonkin

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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?
 

borisnikon

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A yongnuo 560, the only thing is that it is purely manual but it is cheap and not so crappy.
Just look on eBay they are about £50-£60
 
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hashemi111

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35mm prime lens. If money is no issue, get the f/1.4. If money is an issue, the f/1.8 is the ticket. When you open up the aperture to f/1.8 on the 35mm lens, the depth of focus is super duper slim and even more with f/1.4. It let's you get some focused shots without a tripod that you normally wouldn't be able to at f/3.5. If you get an f/1.4 and take a picture with it open all the way, your depth of focus will be so slim that a little tiny movement forward or backward will blur your focus point. f/1.8 is enough IMO.
 
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jmtonkin

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If money was not an issue, I'd be looking at either the Nikon 85mm 1.4 or the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8...After looking at some sample shots, the 35mm 1.8 looks pretty good. It appears to be very sharp and have a very nice shallow depth of field. If I were to go this route, the lens is only $199 new, which would allow me to also get a flash and a few other random accessories.
 

Jeremy Z

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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? ... If you were in my position, what would be your next purchase?

If I were you, I would make the decision based on what I needed right now. Buying based on something you might do is risky.

It sounds to me like a good bounce flash would be your best investment, as you have already noticed the limitations of the dumpy little built-in flash. With a good bounce flash, your indoor flash photos, with any lens, will improve by 402%.

If you want to do indoor shooting of stationary subjects, then a tripod should be your next investment.

If a tripod isn't an option for your stationary subjects, go for a faster lens, maybe a prime.

But I think a good bounce flash really gives a lot of versatility. Get one that swivels too, so you can bounce it even with vertical shots.
 

davisphotos

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Your budget would be a useful piece of information to give you better advice. I have a 35mm, and it is one of my favorite lenses. If you have about $500, you should be able to get the 35mm f1.8 and a bounce flash. Even without off camera flash, you can do a lot with bounce flash, either off walls and ceilings indoors, or with a bounce card outdoors.
 

sparks017

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My first lens that I purchased was the 50mm 1.4 which works great for low light situations, and then I just bought a cheap vivitar which works fine for now.
 

o hey tyler

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35mm prime lens. If money is no issue, get the f/1.4. If money is an issue, the f/1.8 is the ticket. When you open up the aperture to f/1.8 on the 35mm lens, the depth of focus is super duper slim and even more with f/1.4. It let's you get some focused shots without a tripod that you normally wouldn't be able to at f/3.5. If you get an f/1.4 and take a picture with it open all the way, your depth of focus will be so slim that a little tiny movement forward or backward will blur your focus point. f/1.8 is enough IMO.

I second the 35mm 1.8, love mine

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?

These other posters suggested the 35mm f/1.8... While it is a decent lens for a DX camera, I've also heard that it exhibits a lot of chromatic aberration. Might be something that you look at before you purchase the lens over perhaps a Nikon 50mm lens.
 
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jmtonkin

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I'm planning on using a good chunk of my tax returns to make this purchase. I'm allowing myself not much more than $800 to spend on this. I realize I could buy a flash AND a lens for that much, but I'm wondering if I should should invest it in better lens or if I should buy a flash or two/tripod.

Nikon SB-900 - $422
Nikon 50mm 1.4 - $409

^Thoughts?

Like I said, I can't decide if this is a better route, or if going with a better piece of glass is a better route...
 

djacobox372

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Since you have a d300s, you can use older manual focus AIS lenses. A 50mm f1.8 AIS (series E) only cost around $30-40 on ebay, you might consider one of those.
 

Dominantly

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I'd buy a SB-700.

What about adding a AF-Zoom Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4 IF?
[h=1][/h]
 

maaatter

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Thought of just a 50 1.8 to save a few bucks? If you go that route, you could probably do SB-900, 50, and some smaller accessories you may need for under $800.
 

MrsLittle

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I agree with getting the 50 1.8, since I highly doubt you will be using 1.4 very often- I rarely go wider than 2.8. Accessories add up very quickly and you might need a few things for weddings. You could also pick up a Gary Fong which seems to work quite well in weddings, when you can't set up your own lights everywhere. (I haven't tried it myself, but I love the wedding pictures I have seen with it.
 

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