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 Post subject: Flash or Lens?
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:25 pm
Posts: 54
I scraped enough money to get some new gear for my camera and I'm curious which item I would get the most use out of: a Speedlite 580 EX II or a 100mm Macro Lens. Because I know which is best is based on what it will be used for I should probably say that I'm interested in learning photography as whole and not just one facet of it. I'll admit that I'm leaning towards the 100mm Macro. Mostly because it seems like a lot of fun, but I'm curious if having a decent flash will increase the quality of my photographs. Right now all I have is a my Canon 50D, 50mm 1.8 lens, and 28-135mm lens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 7:44 pm 
100mm Macro, for sure, but that is just my opinion, whats your currrent preffered style of photography?
Cheers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 8:31 pm 
depends on what you want to focus on. Portrait & People photography will benefit a lot from an external flash gun - although I'd recommend to get a 430 EXII + some cactus triggers and lighting equipment.

And a macro lens will obviously be great for... well... macro photography ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 9:20 pm 
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I recommend the flash gun.
I was in the same spot as you last year and I went with the gun. My reason was that I wasn't able to get the indoor shots I wanted (even with a F2.8 lens). It was difficult to get great shots especially group portraits. Using F2.8 for low lighting group portrait is tough because the subject's faces are not always in the same depth of field...often I will get a few people tack sharp and the rest will be a bit out of focus. The flash fun pointing to the cieling roughly 1/40-1/120 with F5.6 will do the trick. I can show you some pictures if you want.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:51 pm 
Depends what you want to do -- I probably would go for the flash gun first, then more lenses.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:54 pm 
Flash gun,my vote also.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:01 pm 
quanger wrote:
I recommend the flash gun.
I was in the same spot as you last year and I went with the gun. My reason was that I wasn't able to get the indoor shots I wanted (even with a F2.8 lens). It was difficult to get great shots especially group portraits. Using F2.8 for low lighting group portrait is tough because the subject's faces are not always in the same depth of field...often I will get a few people tack sharp and the rest will be a bit out of focus. The flash fun pointing to the cieling roughly 1/40-1/120 with F5.6 will do the trick. I can show you some pictures if you want.


He seems to follow my opinion pretty well. I have both of the items your looking at, and IMO, it is what your wanting to do. My 100mm 2.8 macro is my favorite lens, I am disappointed when I'm in a situation that I have to use something else. It focuses excellent and is amazing sharp. However, my flash is becoming more and more valuable to me. I used to try not to use it all the time indoor because it looks so obnoxious, but bouncing off ceiling has become an amazing keeper rate. I'd say before something I'd show or print percentage w/o flash was around %10, now I'd go for 80-90%. Indoor its amazing, I feel like I never want to take it off, it just looks huge for just a few Christmas morning pictures, but it makes a world of difference.


I Love that lens, if your shooting outdoor mainly or interested in bugs, flowers (I found it excellent at the zoo also) out door portraits if you can be far away, then go for lens.

But if you want to force yourself to learn, the flash has a steep learning curve IMO that I have still not figured out much at all. But if you like family pictures, if the wife/girlfriend/family wants more pictures, or if you like to rig up a small studio setup like I've been doing with my wife and newborn, the flash will make a huge difference.

Hope this helped you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:26 pm 
flash gun! but probably 430ex ii will be sufficient.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 7:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:25 pm
Posts: 54
Macro sounds like a lot, but I'm kinda of concern that if I get the 100mm macro I'll be somewhat limited. I pretty much lack a decent natural light source in my home to shoot with. Especially after 11am. Plus, I'll probably have to get a better tripod. Unfortunately, it's one or the other.

btw, thanks for the replies!


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