No substitute for a good flash/light


TPF Noob!
Oct 11, 2007
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I'm still a beginner, but I am learning a lot, especially from trial and error. Last night as the sun was going down my wife and I were taking pictures, she was using her flash and I was using my 50 1.8. Even though it is a fast lens IMO there is no substitute for a flash when taking pictures of things likes children, horses, cats outside in the setting sun, unless your goal is to get the landscape. Her pictures were way better then mine, that and at 1.8 I couldn't focus the entire shot at all DOF I know. I'd have been better with a flash shooting at F8 at least. I see a lot of people recommending the 50mm 1.8/1.4 even to people as a next purchase. In my opinion and experience, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, just explain my error of thought, a good tripod and flash should come before a 50mm 1.8/1.4 unless you are looking for a first lens. The kit lens and a flash will yield much better results in low light then a 50mm at 1.8 for people shots. Again I welcome any explanation of error in my thought process so I can see the light, pardon the pun. Just don't flame me, I'm only trying to learn and become the best photographer I am capable of becomeing.

OH I do love my 50mm don't get me wrong, in the house it's awesome in low light when you don't want to flash, but I just don't like it outside in the failing light.
It all depends on what you take. I do 75% of my stuff today in ambient light becuase I shoot during the day.

When playing with the strobes and what not, yes, I love playing with the strobes.

Flash is a whole other world, and while it is nice, it is not the answer for everything. You cannot flash a landscape, for example.

Order to get equipment I think you did things in the right order. You need a good camera and lens before a flash and tripod. Without the lens and camera, there are no pics... but better pics do come with strobes and tripods.

The 50mm outside can do some nice things... you just need to practice and find out how. It is not the lens for all occaissions, but low light is where it thrives.
but I just don't like it outside in the failing light.
That's the issue right there...if you don't have enough light, it won't matter how fast your lens is.

Also, when shooting moving subjects, like kids, you need a use a fast enough shutter speed, if you want to freeze the action...and you need enough light in order to get a faster shutter speed.

In your situation, adding light (via a flash) was probably the best option.

However, a lot of people don't like the 'direct flash' look...especially when it darker. People can tend to look like 'deer in the head lights'.

What ISO were you using? If you are shooting without flash, and are not able to freeze the action (or get enough DOF)...then you can crank up the ISO which will give you the leeway to use a faster shutter speed or a smaller aperture.

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