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Equipment Flash for Canon 650D?

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Aterius Gmork, 5 Aug 2014.

  1. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    Please help me find a decent flash for a Canon 650D.

    My mother needs a better flash to use with a Canon 650D for indoor use such as theater performances. I want to buy one for her birthday next week.

    However I know nothing about photography at all.

    From looking around online I found the Canon Speedlite 430 EX II to be recommended frequently, and I could get it for 240€. However considering the price I would like confirmation that this is the gadget that she is looking for as this is no small change for me. Or should I go for something else?

    Since I know nothing about photography I figure ease of use would be the best i.e. no Chinese replacements without a manual.

    Budget is around 250€.

    Your help is much appreciated!
     
  2. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Flash power falls tails off very rapidly with distance, depend on your distance to subject in the theatre, there's hardly any point in doing so.

    Depend on how usage, a better gift might be a fast prime lens. 85mm f1.8 would be miles better to use at lowly light theatre than a flashgun.
     
  3. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    I probably should have elaborated more.

    The shots will not be taken during an actual live performance as that's forbidden, and rightly so.

    She takes pictures during the last rehearsal which are then used for the website and flyer etc. Some of those shots are of the full stage when the lights are up. There are close-up shots as well though, and some are a lot dimmer. She has been complaining of this and the weak flash.

    There are also celebration shots she does take thinking about it.

    Changing lenses all the time sounds like a bad idea as she would be limiting the scenes in which pictures can be taken.

    Again, this might be something I got wrong as I know nothingt about photography. The pictures she takes otherwise are nature and landscape shots for which she will probably not require a flash art all.
     
  4. Yadda

    Yadda Minimodder

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    Yup. High ISO and large aperture. A flash in a theatre is likely to annoy folk and unless used skilfully will just drown-out the stage lights, resulting in less interesting pictures.

    Edit: post started before OP's response was posted above.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2014
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  5. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Well, if she is happy with built-in flash but thinks it lacks in power, 430ExII is a very nice upgrade.

    In Canon line up, 430ExII is about right for that budget. Any smaller/cheaper you'll be loosing a lot of the features. I have both 430ExII and one level down the 270ExII. Only reason to get 270 is due to my 5D doesn't have build-in flash.

    There are third party flashguns that works with Canon cameras. But personally, I think it's best to stick with Canon whenever possible for reliability.
     
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  6. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    Really appreciate the answers! :)

    Wuyanxu, would you mind linking to a lens you mentioned on amazon? Because I got several results but I don't trust in my ability to pick the right brand.

    Would the lens you mentioned work in brighter lights as well?

    I probably should just get her a coupon or something as I hate returning things to a shop just because I was not bright enough to order the right thing. But then she will just get something for the household instead for herself. Hmm...
     
  7. Yadda

    Yadda Minimodder

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    What lens does she currently use?

    A f/1.8 lens is very nice but f/2.8 or even f/4 should be OK with the ISO set high enough (being fairly modern camera, I assume the 650D should take fairly clean ISO 3200 images, possibly even higher).
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2014
  8. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    My guess is that she uses the bog standard 18-55mm kit lens that came with the camera?

    If this 85mm f1.8 is out of your price range:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-85mm-...UTF8&qid=1407252611&sr=8-1&keywords=85mm+f1.8
    You could try this 50mm f1.8, in fact it's probably better for 650D.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-EF-50...8&qid=1407252771&sr=8-1&keywords=50mm+f1.8+II

    Difference is focal length, aka how much zoomed in. The 85mm will look very zoomed in while 50mm will be a little zoomed in. I thought taking photos from a distance for theatre, a bit more zoomed in is better.
    (also that 85mm is sooooo sharp, I don't use it anymore but still couldn't bring myself to sell it)


    But be warned. Although prime lens are cheapest way to large aperture (in turn means brighter photos), it takes quite a bit of getting use to compared to zoom lenses. It's hard to recommend any lens without knowing the photographer's style.
     
  9. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    She does not use the standard lens that came with the camera, but neither the one you linked to.

    Unfortunately I cannot ask her as she is on vacation this week and took the gear with her of course. I will have to ask my brother to take a look at her stuff I guess, but he is as useless as me.

    In layman terms, what would be the difference in practice between the cheaper and the more expensive lens seeing as I could get the cheaper one and the flash for around the price of the more expensive one for shooting from a distance of let's say 2-15m? Would that be an option too or would you throw the 50mm right in the trash?

    I might be able to cough up the additional hundred but that's my spending money for the next few months so I better get the right thing.
     
  10. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    The 50mm is very good. Just slightly not as good as the 85mm. I have both :)

    What you have to realise is that photography equipments are a never ending money hole, so you can never get enough gear to take that perfect photo. I realised it too a bit too late.....

    To be honest, the flashgun will be a great gift. It replaces the built-in flash with a lot more power. The 50mm might be a good addition, but without knowing what lens she uses, it's a gamble IMHO.
     
  11. Yadda

    Yadda Minimodder

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    As above, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is a great low-cost prime lens and is often people's first "fast" prime lens. If her current lens is fairly slow (eg f/4.5-5.6) then it will make a huge difference in low light.

    The only payoff is its fixed 50mm focal length makes it less versatile than a zoom lens but if she's able to freely to move around, up-close and drop further back, as she's shooting then she should be able to get a good variety of pictures with it.
     
  12. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    Your mum wants more "light" on her subjects in her photos, there are three ways of doing this:

    1. Use a bigger flash to illuminate them more.
    2. Get a lens that can let more light into the camera.
    3. Use a higher ISO to boost the camera sensor sensitivity

    Using a bigger flash will mean that the subjects will be lit more with the flash rather than the stage lighting... this might change the mood of the scene being set by the stage lights.

    A faster lens is a lens with a smaller 'f' number - in simple terms; the smaller the number - the more light that can enter the lens.

    Upping the ISO will depend on the camera as the sensor in lower end cameras adds noise to the photo when this is done.


    Which option is best for her will depend on the photo she wants and what lens she is currently using.

    The other option that has not been mentioned is if she is currently using a f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens, is a faster zoom lens, something like this:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tamron-AF17-50mm-Aspherical-Canon-Mount/dp/B002OED6ZQ
    It will not be as fast as a prime (f number is bigger) but it's another option to mention.
     
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  13. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    Thanks for your answers, I really appreciate them!

    I am still waiting for more info from my brother. However I am really reluctant to get a lens without knowing what she uses right now, so I might come back with more stupid questions on the weekend.
     

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