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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 May 2012 (Tuesday) 18:34
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50mm 1.8 and/or flash

 
JHenley
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45 posts
Joined Sep 2009
Location: Cusco, Peru
     
May 15, 2012 18:34 |  #1

Hi all,

Apologies for starting yet another 'what should I buy' thread - I've read as much as I can but just ended up getting more confused! My wife wants to buy me a new camera toy for my birthday but I'm undecided what to get. Budget is around £200.

We are due to have our first baby in December, so obviously being able to get some good maternity/newborn shots is a bit of a priority at the moment. For this reason I was thinking about getting a flash - probably something like the 430EX II (which I can get for around £200).

However, we are currently living in a fairly rural part of Peru and as we get to know people I would love to be able to start getting some photos of daily life here. Many of the houses are pretty dark (often with no electricity etc.) so again some way of getting sharp low light photos would be good. Obviously I could use a flash for this but many people here are pretty wary of photos and cameras, and so I wonder if a DSLR with a flash unit on top might be a bit too intimidating, especially for more candid-style shots. For this reason I was also thinking about the 50mm 1.8 (£90). I know there's better quality (and faster) lenses out there, but as far as I can tell this is the only one within budget at the moment.

Another option would be to get a cheaper flash (maybe a Yongnuo or a Metz) AND the lens.

Any advice on what to do would be very much appreciated. Is it worth going for a cheaper flash and the lens or would money be better invested by buying one and then waiting a couple of years for the other. If I do go for a cheaper flash, any recommendations as what to buy?

Sorry that the question had become a bit convoluted, but hope it makes sense.

Thanks in advance for any help.
James


500px (external link) - Flickr (external link) - 450D/XSi - Canon 18-55mm f3.5/5.6 IS Kit Lens - Canon 55-250mm f4/5.6 IS

  
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jfcboum
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May 15, 2012 20:12 |  #2

Definitely the flash for baby pics as most of the time you will be shooting indoors. You can always get the nifty fifty later on.




  
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gordonbb
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined May 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
     
May 15, 2012 20:20 |  #3

The nifty 50 is a great portrait lens for babies as on the 450 it is closer to the 85 mm range. It's a little soft wide open (as many fast primes are) but that just works in your favor for smooth skinned babies.

Shooting it wide open will be frustrating at first. On the 450 you'll have to limit your AF point to the centre one as that's the only one accurate under f/2.8 so you will be focusing and decomposing a lot. If you come from film with a split prism this will seem really familiar ;)

It is a above average lens at an unbeatable price and if you check the resale market you'll see that unlike most other lenses it loses little value.

I use it on my 1Ds Mk II :eek: as I only shoot with it wide open. I'm not a big fan of flash photography and this will help with the indoors shots you mention but you might have to push your 450 past ISO 800 where the noise will start to get really noticeable.




  
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BrickR
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May 15, 2012 20:23 |  #4

A flash will help your indoor photos immensely. My 50 1.8 serves me plenty well. Its not the greatest build quality but for the price, it will be hard to beat optically.


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keenwerkz
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Location: philippines
     
May 15, 2012 20:59 |  #5

50 and the flash...


aps-c, a prime and a zoom...

  
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peabody2468
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191 posts
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May 15, 2012 23:08 |  #6

I bought the 50mm 1.8 back when I had my 350D, and while it's a great bargain, I found it to be a bit long for indoor shots on a crop sensor camera. You might want to try setting your kit lens to about 50mm and see how that works for you for the locations where you'll be shooting.

I've never really used a flash on camera, but found that an off-camera manual flash, with a light stand, umbrella adapter, umbrella and radio trigger, made all the difference in my photography, much moreso than the 50mm lens. But I don't know if all that stuff would be available to you in Peru. In the US that whole setup would be a good bit less than $200.

I guess for baby pics you would find the lens to be more useful, but you might see if your budget will tolerate something like the Sigma 30mm f1.4 for your 450D. I haven't used that lens myself, but have heard good things about it.




  
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arentol
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Joined Jun 2009
Location: Seattle WA
     
May 15, 2012 23:56 |  #7

Flash. Flash. 1000 times Flash.

I tried many solutions with my young daughter (now 3 years old) before getting a flash, including the 50 f/1.8, and I regret all the shots missed or of inferior quality that would have been saved by just having a flash. Get the flash. It is useful indoors, outdoors, low light, overly-bright light. Just get the flash.


5D3 | Rokinon 14 f/2.8 | 16-35L II | TS-E 24L | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | Voigtlander 40 f/2.0 | Σ 50 f/1.4 | MP-E 65 | 70-200 2.8L IS II | Σ 85 f/1.4 | Zeiss 100 f/2 | Σ 120-300 f/2.8 OS | 580 EX II | 430 EX II | Fuji X10 | OM-D E-M5 | http://www.mikehjphoto​.com/ (external link)
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DreDaze
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May 16, 2012 00:00 |  #8

both...


Andre or Dre
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effstop
Senior Member
810 posts
Joined Nov 2007
Location: San Diego
     
May 16, 2012 00:07 |  #9

Yes, the nifty fifty worked well with both of my newborns but as DreDaze pointed out...both is the call


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Hardrock40
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May 16, 2012 01:49 |  #10

I just got the 430EX ii, it should have been the first thing I bought.




  
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JHenley
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
45 posts
Joined Sep 2009
Location: Cusco, Peru
     
May 16, 2012 08:52 |  #11

Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like both is the way to go!

I looked at some of the wider fast primes like the Sigma 30mm, but unfortunately the budget won't stretch that far. I'm guessing that with the baby coming that's not going to change any time soon either!

Anyway thanks again for the help.

James


500px (external link) - Flickr (external link) - 450D/XSi - Canon 18-55mm f3.5/5.6 IS Kit Lens - Canon 55-250mm f4/5.6 IS

  
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Skul
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Location: SE Texas
     
May 16, 2012 13:50 |  #12

The 430EX serves me well.
Try learning to use the head swivel/tilt feature, and bounce it when indoors.
Results are worthwhile.




  
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jimewall
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May 17, 2012 15:05 as a reply to  @ Skul's post |  #13

I agree with what most suggested - the flash. Preferably a body, a lens, flash and something to carry it in - then everything else. After that IMO next should be a good tripod. Then it is what you want.


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
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Steve82
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Joined Feb 2012
     
May 17, 2012 15:20 |  #14

Flash, just got mine and it makes such a difference if used properly.




  
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JHenley
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
45 posts
Joined Sep 2009
Location: Cusco, Peru
     
May 17, 2012 16:04 |  #15

Thanks for all the advice and help. Have just ordered the Yongnuo 565ex. Will let you know how I get on!

cheers
James


500px (external link) - Flickr (external link) - 450D/XSi - Canon 18-55mm f3.5/5.6 IS Kit Lens - Canon 55-250mm f4/5.6 IS

  
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