Do I need another lens or not?


SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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#1
Hey guys..I'm holding a Canon 550D with 18-135 kit lens and 50mm f1.8 prime lens..So far it has served me pretty well but I realise I do have some situations where I feel it's lacking(or issit my skills?)

Primarily I take pictures of people in indoor/outdoor in low/high light environments..eg a dinner party at a restaurant or a walk through nature..so far the 50mm prime has been working ok for me but i find that it's not wide enuff..if I wanna squeeze 4 persons into the frame I'd hafta be standing further away..and it's definitely not wide enuff for a group shot of maybe 20ppl..as for the kit lens it's quite for outdoor pics but indoor pics like in a house or a dim restaurant then it's abit lacking in quality(or like i said it may be my skills)..I do not really need the zoom for my usage.

So I'm wondering if there is a set of lens that can better suit my usage? Lens like 35mm f2 or 28mm f1.8? or 17-70mm f2.8-4.5? I prolly dun wanna spend so much on new lens..prolly $400-$600?

Any comments or suggestions is greatly appreciated guys! Thanks in advance!!
 

Irvine

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2010
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#2
Hey guys..I'm holding a Canon 550D with 18-135 kit lens and 50mm f1.8 prime lens..So far it has served me pretty well but I realise I do have some situations where I feel it's lacking(or issit my skills?)

Primarily I take pictures of people in indoor/outdoor in low/high light environments..eg a dinner party at a restaurant or a walk through nature..so far the 50mm prime has been working ok for me but i find that it's not wide enuff..if I wanna squeeze 4 persons into the frame I'd hafta be standing further away..and it's definitely not wide enuff for a group shot of maybe 20ppl..as for the kit lens it's quite for outdoor pics but indoor pics like in a house or a dim restaurant then it's abit lacking in quality(or like i said it may be my skills)..I do not really need the zoom for my usage.

So I'm wondering if there is a set of lens that can better suit my usage? Lens like 35mm f2 or 28mm f1.8? or 17-70mm f2.8-4.5? I prolly dun wanna spend so much on new lens..prolly $400-$600?

Any comments or suggestions is greatly appreciated guys! Thanks in advance!!
why dun u get a flash + diffuser instead?
 

rocketatw

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2010
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#3
if you get another prime like 35mm, you will still be having problem shooting wide, maybe now you can shoot group of 4, but you will still have problem taking bigger group. Unless you want to carry 24mm, 35mm and 50mm just for group shoots. But not many occasion will allow you to have time to change lens. eg wedding dinner.

my suggestion is get a flash to bundle with your kit lens, you will not regret it.:)
 

SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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#4
why dun u get a flash + diffuser instead?
I was thinking about that..especially in very low light places and I have difficulty getting good pics..but which is more impt for my situation now? Wider lens or flash?
 

SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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#5
if you get another prime like 35mm, you will still be having problem shooting wide, maybe now you can shoot group of 4, but you will still have problem taking bigger group. Unless you want to carry 24mm, 35mm and 50mm just for group shoots. But not many occasion will allow you to have time to change lens. eg wedding dinner.

my suggestion is get a flash to bundle with your kit lens, you will not regret it.:)
Actually the 50mm is a good and cheap lens..but the problem i have is that sometimes I need to be standing further away from subject to fit into the frame and sometimes in a room with 20-30 ppl I do not have the space to maneuver..especially if I hafta fit 3-4 ppl in.

I was thinking if i get better/wider prime lens I will not need the 50mm anymore and it'll be more suitable for my usage? I will get flash at some point but I do not have enuff moolah to get both :(
 

ovaltinemilo

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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Sin jia Po lah
#6
yup, also think that you would need a flash...even if you have a 24mm f1.4, that won't help when you wana take group photos...:)
 

rocketatw

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2010
1,389
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#7
I was thinking about that..especially in very low light places and I have difficulty getting good pics..but which is more impt for my situation now? Wider lens or flash?
if cash is not a problem, get a 17-55mm F2.8 IS and get a flash as backup(optional)
 

ovaltinemilo

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#8
Actually the 50mm is a good and cheap lens..but the problem i have is that sometimes I need to be standing further away from subject to fit into the frame and sometimes in a room with 20-30 ppl I do not have the space to maneuver..especially if I hafta fit 3-4 ppl in.

I was thinking if i get better/wider prime lens I will not need the 50mm anymore and it'll be more suitable for my usage? I will get flash at some point but I do not have enuff moolah to get both :(

The point is a fast lens will have very thin dof...you will need to stop down to get everyone in focus. Thus, your 18-135mm should do the job. What is lacking is flash...:)
 

Dec 12, 2009
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#9
I think 18-135 may not be among the top in terms of IQ but I believe it can still take photos if your skills are there.

My opinion, get a flash and maybe a tripod. As for flash maybe 3rd party ones like Nissin i622 II can be good if you are on budget.

Sometimes even f1.8 won't give you fast enough shutter speed at mid/low ISO to avoid people moving in group photo too.

Like I suggest always: Use your zoom lens to try out 35mm or 28mm (just fix at that focal length) to see if it is wide enough for your purposes before you consider buying. If you are talking about 20 ppl indoors then 28mm on crop might not be enough too.

Also if many people are arranged in rows, you MIGHT need slightly smaller aperture to increase dof to capture everyone's faces reasonably sharp. So a f1.8 lens have to stop down to say f4 and no diff from using, say your kit lens.
 

SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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#10
So I see most of you guys are suggesting i spend my money on a flash rather than new lens..hmm...so I should just stick to my kit lens? I was thinking that maybe something like f1.8-2.8 would be better for me?
 

ovaltinemilo

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#11
So I see most of you guys are suggesting i spend my money on a flash rather than new lens..hmm...so I should just stick to my kit lens? I was thinking that maybe something like f1.8-2.8 would be better for me?
I am using the 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 for usual walkabout. I nv find it useful to shoot wide open for group photos:)
*ot: though this lens is rather sharp;p
 

SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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#12
I think 18-135 may not be among the top in terms of IQ but I believe it can still take photos if your skills are there.

My opinion, get a flash and maybe a tripod. As for flash maybe 3rd party ones like Nissin i622 II can be good if you are on budget.

Sometimes even f1.8 won't give you fast enough shutter speed at mid/low ISO to avoid people moving in group photo too.

Like I suggest always: Use your zoom lens to try out 35mm or 28mm (just fix at that focal length) to see if it is wide enough for your purposes before you consider buying. If you are talking about 20 ppl indoors then 28mm on crop might not be enough too.

Also if many people are arranged in rows, you MIGHT need slightly smaller aperture to increase dof to capture everyone's faces reasonably sharp. So a f1.8 lens have to stop down to say f4 and no diff from using, say your kit lens.
I see dude..thank you so much for the info..it makes me see clearer now..I already have a tripod but that's more for when I travel overseas and taking nice night shots of scenery/buildings..too ley chey to set up and use in a crowded place.

Since we are at it now..maybe some bros can gimme a few ideas on settings(what ISO and aperture) for taking pics in different settings? Mostly I use Av mode to let the camera decide on the shutter speed..

i) Gathering with about 10-30ppl in a house or dim restaurant setting? Sometimes need to take a group photo.
ii) Group activities like maybe at a beach or nature walks? And maybe even in evening or night outdoor scene?

With the gear I have..what setting will be best for the environment I most usually shoot?
 

SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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#13
I am using the 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 for usual walkabout. I nv find it useful to shoot wide open for group photos:)
*ot: though this lens is rather sharp;p
May I ask how much is this lens? Canon or 3rd party?

I'm thinking now I should keep using the lens I have and then replace the 50mm prime with better prime lens in the future?
 

willdoang

Senior Member
Jun 8, 2010
1,556
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east, near dakota MRT
#14
since u mention u don't need the zoom why not sell ur 18-135mm and top up S$150-250 for a 20 or 24 mm prime, i think a 24mm + 50mm prime will cover ur needs just nicely and of course a flash is a good idea for an addition to an indoor or night photo taking
 

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NedKelly

New Member
Aug 20, 2008
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Australia (currently)
#15
if you find that you are primarily having trouble shooting a group of people indoors, due to low level lighting conditions and finding your shots getting blur because of shutter speed lower than 1/20, then a flash will help you

Reason also because usually when you shoot people in a group esp if they are in 2 row or more config, then you want to be shooting at f5.6 and onwards to get all of their faces sharp.
So a prime with f2.8 or f1.4 not really useful. (these will only give you creative edge when you are trying to shoot a single or a couple).

why not borrow a flash unit from a friend, or head over to say Camera Rental Centre and rent a flash to try out? they have sat special pricing.. esp some good deals coming up for CNY. or maybe rent also one of the primes to test out? that will give you an idea.

Plus dont forget having a flash opens up a lot of creative lighting options. :D
 

Irvine

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2010
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#16
I was thinking about that..especially in very low light places and I have difficulty getting good pics..but which is more impt for my situation now? Wider lens or flash?
18mm on ur kit lens is wide enough for event coverage. like wad others had said, u use a wide aperture lens, u sacrifice dof. tat becomes a problem when taking group shots, where some faces will appear blurred.

get a flash, with a diffuser to diffuse the light for more even lighting and u will get gd results. with a flash, u can avoid using higher iso to take pictures in low light indoor environment.
 

xhui

New Member
Apr 22, 2006
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#17
TS,

Like what some had posted, I think a flash would suffice. As you mentioned taking groups, it's not so much on the "big aperture" you need, (smaller f number), but you'll usually stop down to f5.6 or smaller, so even if you've a 17-55 f/2.8, you'll still stop it down, and your shutter speed will drop (depending on your indoor lighting condition), and with someone moving slightly, you get a blur person/picture.

A flash allows you to have a better shutter speed (as you'll still be shooting somewhere f5.6 or so). Of course a fast lens is definitely useful in many other situations, indoors especially, but if the lighting is really poor, a f/2.8 won't help too much also.

There are many situations (and lighting conditions), think thru' them and decide which you'll encounter and your decision should follow quite naturally. If situations allow for flashes, think, would it "disturb" people if you keep flashing, else a fast lens or primes are the way, else, flash to your hearts content. :p

Just my 2c.
 

SmOcKxY

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
236
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#18
Thanks guys for the many comments..look like adding a flash is alot better than adding another set of lens! On a side note..issit ok if I get the flash 2nd? Are there any place that sells used flash/lens? I mean at least they will QC the lens and I have somebody to go to(for a short time) if the item is faulty or something?

I might try renting the lens to see if it suits my usage 1st before I buy..in fact I may just continue renting them since I prolly use them max 15 times a year!
 

brapodam

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
1,672
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AMK
#19
Thanks guys for the many comments..look like adding a flash is alot better than adding another set of lens! On a side note..issit ok if I get the flash 2nd? Are there any place that sells used flash/lens? I mean at least they will QC the lens and I have somebody to go to(for a short time) if the item is faulty or something?

I might try renting the lens to see if it suits my usage 1st before I buy..in fact I may just continue renting them since I prolly use them max 15 times a year!
Try the Buy and Sell section in this forum :)
 

willdoang

Senior Member
Jun 8, 2010
1,556
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east, near dakota MRT
#20
Thanks guys for the many comments..look like adding a flash is alot better than adding another set of lens! On a side note..issit ok if I get the flash 2nd? Are there any place that sells used flash/lens? I mean at least they will QC the lens and I have somebody to go to(for a short time) if the item is faulty or something?

I might try renting the lens to see if it suits my usage 1st before I buy..in fact I may just continue renting them since I prolly use them max 15 times a year!
go to peninsula and the shopping mall beside funan(look more like a shopping centre though just like peninsula) they hve a lot of 2nd hand camera shop and usually come with 1 weeks-1 month shop warranty depends on the shops, if u're planning to go there avoid sunday cos 80-90% of the shop closed on that day

I would personally just go with the one on BnS with a more "reasonable" pricing to me at least :bsmilie:

PS: if u want to buy yongnuo brand or other cheapo flash(tumax, etc....) that cost less than S$150 priced flash i better get it as a brand new with 12 month warrant on stores like on the mass order section, cos the price is usually diff by only S$5-10 in BnS with no warranty(why the heck i wanna buy a non warranty with user marks all over the flash for only such a messly difference :bsmilie:)
 

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