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So I got my SLR now what?

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Cheap Mod Wannabe, 14 Mar 2008.

  1. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    So I got my Rebel Xti... and now what do I do?

    I really want to get a flash that I can use on the camera and on the tripod, but from looking around it seems I need to shell out either
    1) Flash + ST speedlite transmitter
    2) Two expensive Flashes One on the camera that communicates with the other flash on a tripod.

    Option b seems better as in future when I upgrade camera body I'd have two flashes which would be awesome. But that options seems to be around $900. Which is... well quite fu**ing expensive.

    Are there any suggestions you have? I'm open to learning. I know nothing about SLR's.

    Another thing besides flashes, is obviously lenses.
    I would like to achieve these few goals with lens purchases:
    a) low light photography (can be a non zoom lens) I was suggested to get a nifty fifty.
    b) shallow depth of field.
    c) A most versatile zoom lens. Basically a good quality lens that I can go out for a stroll not knowing what to expect and be able to take various shots.

    I'm still a bit confused with Canon lens groups... What do letters stand for.. L etc.? And what is the magic of Sigma people talk about? Is that a lens company that fits on Canon cameras? What's up with Sigma?

    Sorry for many questions.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. TekMonkey

    TekMonkey I enjoy cheese.

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    Now you take some photos.

    Seriously, start taking some photos to figure out what type of gear you need. Don't start making assumptions based on what you've heard or what people have told you.
     
  3. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    I did. These are the directions I want to excel into. I love night photography and or often find myself in dark situations. Then I would love to be able to have more control and the depth of field of my photos. And additionally I hate face on flash, however I understand the necessity of good flash to expand possible photo techniques. Thus I want a flash. I want to learn and get suggestions on these accessories so I can see what is most useful and affordable so I could see my options and start saving up. I have a lot of people I want to work with getting photos, some skateboarder friends and few bands. And the stock 18-55mm lens that came with my camera is not cutting it.
     
  4. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    Get a cheap old flash
    - Vivitar 285 (non-HV) : 25-30€
    - SB-26 : 70-100€

    And a set of ebay triggers : 25€-30€

    So starting from 50€ you're set for some off-camera flashing.
    And you will be reading strobist.com for day and night.

    Just be prepared to wanting several flashes, flash stands, umbrella's, adapters, pocket wizards, gobo's, filters, etc...

    Have fun
     
  5. BUFF

    BUFF New Member

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    shallow dof you get with a wide aperture (which is also what you need for your low light shots) - your nifty fifty should help.
    Unfortunately at max apertures inexpensive lenses tend not to be at their best for sharpness.

    It's well known that 1 of the failings of Canon's lens system is a good walkabout - still you could get something like a Tamron 18-250mm.

    L is Canon's Pro grade
    IS stands for Image stabilised.
    USM is ultrasonic motor

    Sigma is a third party lens manufacturer (like Cosina, Tamron & Tokina).
    They manufacture lenses to fit all mounts under their own brand (they also manufacture a no. of lenses under oem contract for the major camera companies) & typically are cheaper than equivalent camera company branded lenses.
     
  6. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    sigma also make some pretty decent flashes that seem to play nice with canon's wireless system too. i recently bought a second hand sigma ringflash on ebay that triggers my 580EX just fine.

    i would buy a second hand 580EX and 430EX if you want to go the route of two decent [canon] flashes. the 580EX acts as master and 430EX can be triggered as a slave. should be a lot cheaper than $900 - used 580s go for in the region of $300; 430s go for, uh, less :idea:
    of course, look at sigma as a very, very worthy alternative.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2008
  7. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    Thanks, it's sad times when I get better information on a forum than a pretty decent non-big corporation small camera shop.
     
  8. Vers

    Vers ...

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    Canon makes some of the best walk around lenses in the market today...Canon 17-55, 17-85, 17-40, even the kit (18-55 IS) is a great lens FWIW, 28-135, 24-70, 24-105. Now if what you meant to say was: 'It's well known that 1 of the failings of Canon's lens system is a LOW PRICED walkabout' than I would have to agree.

    Back to the OP...
    As far as Flashes, Fod provides some excellent advice, I'd say go with that.
    If you want something cheap and fast, the nifty will get you by (great IQ, terrible BQ)
    As for a GPZ look into the Canon 18-55 IS (if you want CHEAP), 17-85, 28-135, Sigma 17-70, Tamron 28-75, 17-35, 17-50, Tokina 16-50. The last two are pretty expensive, I know...but they are f/2.8 glass and to some that is indispensable. My personal recommendation is the Sigma since it is the only lens on that list that I have owned and used extensively. Nice color, contrast, sharpness...nice FL w/ macro-like MFD...great build and best of all nice price. Hope that helps.
    And btw, are you going to be in the city at all this weekend? I only ask because I may be down sat-sun.

    -Matt
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2008
  9. BUFF

    BUFF New Member

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    most people would say that 17-55, 17-85, 17-40 etc. aren't great walkabouts due to limited range compared to e.g. the Nikon 18-200mm VR or the Sony 18-250mm (which is an improved version of the Tamron).
    Canon are strong at the tele end but their wides don't seem that highly thought of e.g. I know 1 chap who switched from Minolta/Sony to a 5D & whilst he loves the body he's ended up using a lot of Zeiss etc. lenses via adapter as he was decidedly unimpressed by the Canon glass (& money wasn't a problem).
     
  10. Vers

    Vers ...

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    I guess it depends on what your definition of walkaround/general purpose zoom is. If you consider it to be only in the class of zooms with Fl's from wide to long tele I would have to say that is a little bit ridiculous seeing as though there are few out there to logically consider....ONLY three come to mind, the Nikon 18-200 VR, Sony 18-250 (@ $1000 MSRP) and the Tamron 18-250 and since two of the three are not made with a Canon mount...you are left with one decent option. Many Nikonian's call the 18-200 the perfect walk around but they seem to forget its weaknesses (terrible vignetting from f/3.5-4.8 and distortions at 18-20mm not to mention sub-par IQ in many samples), is it worth what it costs? yeah, would I recommend it to someone looking for optimal IQ...no. The Tammy 18-250 is OK but definitely not the best choice for a GPZ, IMO. As far as "most people" who are you referring to? Post a thread on FM and ask people's opinions on what FL a GPZ is to them...I can guarantee you'll find the results shocking...This may convey my point. As for the chap you know who made a switch to Canon...either he should get his eyes checked or his Canon lenses calibrated...bad copies do exist.

    Anything in the range of 17-85mm (on a crop body=27-136mm FF equiv.) seems about right for a stroll though the city or a walk through the woods...if you happen to need something with a bit more reach, carry a tele with you...the extra 2lb's shouldn't kill you.

    These links may help you out a bit:
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/604076/0#5314094
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/604254/0#5316088
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-253239.html
    http://photos.bahneman.com/tricks/article.php/20051006125836795/print
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=297266
    http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00KmUc

    -Matt
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2008
  11. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    Sorry for a noobish question but I googled around and could not find anything explaining what IQ and BQ means in the terms of a lens.

    Additionally from reading posts on the forum here I am trying to grasp the crop ration thing. So from what I got so far, the smaller sensor size of my Rebel causes it to use only a part of the lens. Thus my 18-55 is actually something of a ~29-88mm. Am I correct with the understanding?

    If it's correct that makes so much difference :O So the Sigma 17-70mm that goes for $390 at B&H is actually a 27-112mm equivalent?
    Do pro cameras with larger sensors then have no, or smaller cropping ratio? Does that mean they have more distortion & vignetting though?

    Cool, I wanted to go to the city this weekend as it is the first weekend I'm off of work this year. That would be so cool to meet up, shoot some photos and stop and B&H so I could learn from you. OMG I might meet a person from THE INTERNET in REAL LIFE in full HD... Even though the weather will be pretty crappy this weekend, according to weather.com, Saturday should be a nicer day with AM showers, 40-53F. So I'm up to it.

    Thanks for the links and replies, I'm learning so much in here.
     
  12. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    IQ = Image Quality
    BQ = Build Quality

    Crop factor is a bit of a distortion of the truth, the 1.6 crop factor of a 300D/Rebel is only when compared to a 35mm film or full frame digital sensor.
    In your example of a 17 - 70mm appearing as a 27 - 112mm is true, but only when comparing it to being used on a 35mm/full frame body.

    The main difference is at the long end, on a cropped body, you will have extended reach, but conversely you won't be able to get as wide a shot as you would on a full frame body.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2008
  13. Vers

    Vers ...

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    In terms of figuring the Full Frame/FF equivilant you must multiply the Focal Length/FL's by the size of the crop factor/CF, in your case x1.6...so you are correct. Canon's pro line ranges from FF (1Ds) to 1.3 (1D) CF... the semi-pro 5D is also FF.

    As for vignetting, it tends to be more prevalent when using a cropbody. Distortion is a different case...you will receive less on your XTi due to the 1.6x magnification.

    Unfortunately Saturday B&H is not open...so I was planning on Sun, depending on what mother nature has in store...looks like 44 degrees with am snow showers but who knows. I will let you know by Sat.

    -Matt

    BTW, DO NOT...I REPEAT DO NOT order from B&H...look into the links I provided for you (Abe's of Maine and or Beach Camera)...NY sales tax will rape you a new one.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2008
  14. Vers

    Vers ...

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    Therefore...you get both :hehe: :D
     
  15. BUFF

    BUFF New Member

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    You forgot the Sigma 18-200mm & the Sony 18-250mm is $499 at B&H not $1000.
    For optimal IQ you are unlikely to recommend a zoom let alone 1 with such a large range - but then a prime doesn't make the best walkaround lens either.

    The problem with a poll like that is it's limited to what is available (although it omits several e.g. Canon 28-200mms, Tamron 18-250mm which is markedly superior to the 18-200mm) not what they would like - I strongly suspect that if you just stuck a range of focal lengths up saying all other things being equal what would you like (& no brand names because some people will always look down on a non-body brand even though some of their body-branded lenses may well in fact be manufactured by an oem rather than the body manufacturer) you would get a different result.
    The most popular lens in that poll was the 24-105 f/4 L IS ($1050) but on a crop body would I want something with the 35mm equiv. of a 38mm bottom end (i.e. 24-) on a gpz ?
    No, I would want something around 24mm equiv. which is ~15mm.

    it's not just him & his eyes don't need checked, he takes superb photos.
     
  16. Vers

    Vers ...

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    Not to make more of an argument but just to clarify a few facts:

    1. I stated "seeing as though there are few out there to logically consider" logically being the key word in the phrase...the Sigma 18-200 is NOT a logical lens choice for someone looking into making good images...for it produces sub-par images at best.

    2. The MSRP for the Sony was $1000, I apologize for not posting the actual retail.

    3. There is no such thing as the perfect general purpose zoom lens but an even more less perfect one includes a FL of 18-200 for its been proven throughout attempts from multiple parties. If you want a good GPZ, its best to target where the optimal quality in one resides...hence a zoom range between 17-85/100. Why pick a zoom range of 18-200+/- if the IQ proves sub standard in every copy in comparison to lenses with 'tighter" focal ranges.

    4. As far as the poll, that is merely one example but it is very relevant...Sure if you go ahead and imagine a lens with a focal range from 18-200 I'm sure it would be a prime FR for a GPZ and would get plenty of votes, OTOH a 10-400 would be nice as a GPZ as well and most likely would get more...unfortunately they don't exist. As for the 18-200's they do and they all fall short as far as IQ is concerned.

    5. Fact: Canon makes some of the best glass ever produced, which includes both primes and zooms. Thats not to say there isn't better glass out there, but there is absolutely no grounds in stating that "It's well known that 1 of the failings of Canon's lens system is a good walkabout" and or "their wides don't seem that highly thought of" both of which are very ignorant statements and have no basis what so ever. Nikon has one GPZ with a FR of 18-200...which according to you would exclude them from failing in the walkabout category. That is a complete joke...actually I find myself laughing aloud at all of the comments you have made concerning this topic so far, none of which have the slightest credibility whatsoever.

    EDIT: As far as the 24-105 being #1 on the list (and for good reason) is because it IS one of the best GPZ made, not so much for crop bodies but as far as FF there is no better choice if you need that range. And as you can clearly see, the EF-S 17-55 came in 3rd on the poll for those using crop bodies. To say because of the omission of the tamron 18-250 the poll is null and void is just as ludicrous as all your other statements. Even if it was on the list it would stand at the bottom.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2008
  17. Vers

    Vers ...

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  18. OleJ

    OleJ Me!

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  19. Vers

    Vers ...

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    Make one ;)
     
  20. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I wouldn't really call the 18-200 a good walk about lens (from any manufacturer). It's a super zoom and a study in compromises. It does nothing well and only sells because lazy consumers want one lens to rule them all, which defeats the idea of an SLR. A walk about lens is one which suits your shooting style. It can be a wide angle zoom for some. Others might like a mid range tele or a prime. For a Nikon DX body, the 17-55 works great for me. It helps a bit if you understand basic lens design, and why a lens like the 18-200 is flawed by design. To make a good zoom in that range, with a good working aperture, build quality, and great optics....would make it the size of a mini cooper. It just can't be done, well not cheaply anyway.

    It would be better to go with a 2 *good* lens set up then waste money on a "OMGitdoeseverything" lens that needs to be replaced later.

    I would recommend sorting all your photos taken so far by what focal length you used, and find a trend there. That should dictate what your lens choice should be. Then look at a longer length lens that would complement it in the future. BTW, I'm not saying that you have to buy all /2.8 pro lenses. There are just better lenses for the money out there, that I know will fit how you like to shoot.

    Have you thought about why that is? Is the lens hindering you? or are you not making this lens work for you? I ask because I know the first impulse it to by stuff with the thought of getting better. I am sometimes that way, but the Accounting Dept *cough* wife *cough* keeps things in perspective for me sometimes. She asks why. Why can't I use what I have? Why is do I feel it limits me? She doesn't ask because she is a cheap git. She asks because she knows I get mentally lazy sometimes.
     
    Last edited: 15 Mar 2008

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