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Thread: Looking for advice on new gear - portrait lens and flash unit

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    Member Tonita's Avatar
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    Looking for advice on new gear - portrait lens and flash unit

    Hi

    I'm a novice photographer looking for some advice on new gear. I have a 400D (bought with a twin lens kit), and an EF 24-105mm (which is the lens I usually use). I mostly take photos of my family (kids mainly), and whatever else I come across at the parks, lakes, and beaches we visit on weekends/holidays.

    I am looking to buy a portrait lens, and am presently tossing up between the Canon 50mm 1.4 or Sigma 50mm 1.4. I'm leaning towards the Sigma as it has a larger filter size - but would appreciate some advice. It's really just to get some great portrait shots of my kids (and any other kids I take a pic of).

    I'm also looking to buy a off-camera flash. I have only ever used my built-in flash, but the tax man was nice to me this year, so thought it's time to splash out. At the moment I'm looking at the Canon 580 EX II or the Sigma 530 Super. As I said, I never used an off-camera flash, so don't know anything about these. Again - any advice appreciated.

    Of course - if there are other options that you would recommend, add these to the mix. Budget is an issue (of course) but the prices of the options I am currently looking at are OK.

    Thanks
    Tonita

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    Id go a 50 1.8 and 580EX

    The 1.4 is faster, but, as a new to slr photography 1.4 is diabolically hard and 1.8 is fine.
    Last edited by kiwi; 10-10-2010 at 4:58pm.
    Darren
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    Tonita's Avatar
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    Thanks. Not having used either the 1.4 or the 1.8, I appreciate the advice. Will I eventually want to upgrade? I guess I had pitched at the 1.4 level, as it was within my budget, and the better of the two lenses. When you say 'diabolically hard' - are you meaning difficult to use?

    Thanks
    Tonita

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    Member NikonUser's Avatar
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    I would also add an 85mm lens into your considerings.... a great focal length for portraits.

    I would stick with the 1st party brands for camera flashes. It's been a while since I was researching them, but I found that they were generally more reliable, had better build quality and more features than the 3rd party ones. (I can only assume that the case is the same with Canon as it was with Nikon).

    Good luck
    Paul
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    (Comments And Critique On My Images Most Welcome)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonita View Post
    Thanks. Not having used either the 1.4 or the 1.8, I appreciate the advice. Will I eventually want to upgrade? I guess I had pitched at the 1.4 level, as it was within my budget, and the better of the two lenses. When you say 'diabolically hard' - are you meaning difficult to use?

    Thanks
    Tonita

    Yesm, hard to nail focus at 1.4.....now...will you ever want to upgrade the 50 1.8 ? probably, always ppl do to a 85 1.2, a 50 1.4. 70-200 etc......but its only $150 or whatever so no big deal to keep it either

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