upgrading D80 kit


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May 18, 2007
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Bukit Batok
#1
Hi

I've been thinking of upgrading my D80 kit within this few months.. one of the reasons is that I need to help take pictures at a cousin's wedding.. Its going to be a simple ceremony and dinner at malaysia, wun be going to church and nothing fanciful.. but my kit lens wun be good enough for indoor pictures..

And since I'm on a tight budget, I'm only able to get one of the following..

1) SB 600 Flash
2) A cheap fast zoom lens, either Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 or 28-75mm 2.8
3) Prime lens?

I know that eventually I may be getting all these.. but which one would be more useful to get first? Any advice?

Thanks
 

gymak90

New Member
Jan 5, 2008
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The Far North
#2
SB-600 is important. Get it first. Good use of flash can prevent flat colours. And with sufficient light, a prime lens will be less important.

However it is good to have a wide angle prime lens. Or a wide angle zoom tamron 17-50 2.8 is also a good choice.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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East
#3
Hi

I've been thinking of upgrading my D80 kit within this few months.. one of the reasons is that I need to help take pictures at a cousin's wedding.. Its going to be a simple ceremony and dinner at malaysia, wun be going to church and nothing fanciful.. but my kit lens wun be good enough for indoor pictures..

And since I'm on a tight budget, I'm only able to get one of the following..

1) SB 600 Flash
2) A cheap fast zoom lens, either Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 or 28-75mm 2.8
3) Prime lens?

I know that eventually I may be getting all these.. but which one would be more useful to get first? Any advice?

Thanks
Your kit is decent enough. Just get the SB-600 (about 300+) with a bounce card. If you have more to spare, then get a 50mm f1.8 (about 180)

This should be more than enough. ;)

Practise shooting with flash first before you actually do the event.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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rainy Singapore
#4
yeah SB-600 should be the top of the list, followed by a fast zoom lens.
Spending the $300+ to get SB-600 should yield better results than spending the $500 or $600+ to get something like Tamron 17-50 f2.8
i.e. flash + kit lens better than fast lens alone.

BBB!
 

ortega

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
23,694
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#5
if you decide to get the SB600 instead of the SB800 then i would advise to increase your ISO speed to make your SB600 work less and increase the recycling time
 

May 18, 2007
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Bukit Batok
#6
Thanks everyone for the advices! ^.^

I guess you guys make sense, a flash will definitely be better den a fast lens alone..

At first I'm a little worried that I wun be able to put the flash into good use, afraid I might spoil the pictures since I have not experiment using the flash.. I wouldn't wan all the pictures to be washed out and stuff..

Anyway, found another good site with articles on using flash (other then the strobist blog):
http://planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

is there anything else I need to take note when using the flash in a wedding ceremony?
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#7
Thanks everyone for the advices! ^.^

I guess you guys make sense, a flash will definitely be better den a fast lens alone..

At first I'm a little worried that I wun be able to put the flash into good use, afraid I might spoil the pictures since I have not experiment using the flash.. I wouldn't wan all the pictures to be washed out and stuff..

Anyway, found another good site with articles on using flash (other then the strobist blog):
http://planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

is there anything else I need to take note when using the flash in a wedding ceremony?
PRACTISE, PRACTISE and PRACTISE...

You can only use it well when you have loads of practise with it.

So in the meantime, get one and keep playing with it.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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rainy Singapore
#9
quickly buy the flash, so you can spend time perfecting your DIY flash diffuser and using bounce flash.
Try to get a way to illuminate the subject without the harsh shadows that you usually get with direct flash.
 

May 18, 2007
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Bukit Batok
#10
Thanks you all!

I got my flash a few days ago and I'm really glad I did! I tested the shots with and without flash and saw the difference a flash can make. ^.^

I've been playing around with the flash and trying to understand how it works. Still not very sure though.. the flash doesn't really allow me to increase my shutter speed much.. :confused:

Does anyone noes how i can test the flash power? sometimes i just feel that the flash is not bright enough without the increasing the output level..
and btw is the built in wide-flash adapter the same thing as a diffuser? I haven't got the bounce card or the diffuser dome..
 

Last edited:
Jun 25, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#11
Thanks you all!

I got my flash a few days ago and I'm really glad I did! I tested the shots with and without flash and saw the difference a flash can make. ^.^

I've been playing around with the flash and trying to understand how it works. Still not very sure though.. the flash doesn't really allow me to increase my shutter speed much.. :confused:

Does anyone noes how i can test the flash power? sometimes i just feel that the flash is not bright enough without the increasing the output level..
and btw is the built in wide-flash adapter the same thing as a diffuser? I haven't got the bounce card or the diffuser dome..
you mean the little plastic plate that flips down? don't use it, it limits your flash power to 24mm if i recall correctly. it doesn't allow you to increase your shutter speed? really? i have no problem with my sb600... you do know that the camera does not take the flash into consideration when metering right?
 

h2chng

New Member
May 2, 2006
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#12
The more common type of diffuser are the bounce card or Gary Fong type of sphere. These are important accessories for the flash. It will make a very significant difference. There are tons of information with regards to this on the forum and the net. For bounce card, it is very easy to DIY, as for Gary Fong sphere, you can try getting one used ( if you don't like it, just dispose of it at a small loss). Or better still, borrow from friend, friend's friend etc.

Cheers
 

May 18, 2007
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Bukit Batok
#13
you mean the little plastic plate that flips down? don't use it, it limits your flash power to 24mm if i recall correctly. it doesn't allow you to increase your shutter speed? really? i have no problem with my sb600... you do know that the camera does not take the flash into consideration when metering right?
yup, it actually limits to 14mm..

it allows me to increase my shutter speed and decrease my iso at the same time.. but really not much.. I still have to work with around 1/10 to 1/30 indoors.. thats not going to be good at the wedding's tea ceremony..

Thanks for assuring me, i sort of realised that the camera didn't take the flash into consideration when experimenting with the shots..

when using the flash I use the manual mode and set my shutter speed such that i get a 2 stop under-exposure on the meter..

For example:
At the Same ISO and Aperture,
Without Flash - Shutter 1/4
With Flash - 1/15 (having metered for 2 stops underexposure)
 

May 18, 2007
64
0
6
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Bukit Batok
#14
The more common type of diffuser are the bounce card or Gary Fong type of sphere. These are important accessories for the flash. It will make a very significant difference. There are tons of information with regards to this on the forum and the net. For bounce card, it is very easy to DIY, as for Gary Fong sphere, you can try getting one used ( if you don't like it, just dispose of it at a small loss). Or better still, borrow from friend, friend's friend etc.

Cheers
Thanks, I'll do abit of read up on these 2.. but one question, is the gary fong sphere similar to the stofen omnibounce? are they both diffusers or totally different?
 

Jun 25, 2008
696
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Pasir Ris
#15
yup, it actually limits to 14mm..

it allows me to increase my shutter speed and decrease my iso at the same time.. but really not much.. I still have to work with around 1/10 to 1/30 indoors.. thats not going to be good at the wedding's tea ceremony..

Thanks for assuring me, i sort of realised that the camera didn't take the flash into consideration when experimenting with the shots..

when using the flash I use the manual mode and set my shutter speed such that i get a 2 stop under-exposure on the meter..

For example:
At the Same ISO and Aperture,
Without Flash - Shutter 1/4
With Flash - 1/15 (having metered for 2 stops underexposure)
hmmm how far from the subject are you? indoors, i can usually go down 4 or 5 stops and get a good well exposed shot. i shoot wide open (usually f3.5-4) and with an iso of between 400-800 and i can usually get about 1/50-1/100 with flash.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
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East
#16
Use A mode. And by default, the shutter speed will be forced to 1/60. ;)

This will give u a better speed to work with. The flash will compensate to fill in as necessary. The lowest I would reccomend you to go is 1/30 and only for still shots.

Use ISO of about 200 - 400 and a relatively large aperture to give u more balanced BG and subject.
 

May 18, 2007
64
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Bukit Batok
#17
hmmm how far from the subject are you? indoors, i can usually go down 4 or 5 stops and get a good well exposed shot. i shoot wide open (usually f3.5-4) and with an iso of between 400-800 and i can usually get about 1/50-1/100 with flash.
thnx for the suggestion, shooting wide open helped quite a bit.. now i can get 1/60 with flash at 2 stops underexposure.. earlier on i was shooting at f5.. the 2 stops underexposure gives a really well exposed picture with nice even lighting and colours.. i tried going down a few stops, while i'm able to get a good well exposed shot as well the colour and lighting is not as natural..

I guess theres nothing we can do about that right? the better colour (ambient) is probably from the slower shutter speed and if I want to use a faster shutter speed, I'll lose that better colour right? can't get the best of both world? haha..
 

Jun 25, 2008
696
0
0
Pasir Ris
#18
thnx for the suggestion, shooting wide open helped quite a bit.. now i can get 1/60 with flash at 2 stops underexposure.. earlier on i was shooting at f5.. the 2 stops underexposure gives a really well exposed picture with nice even lighting and colours.. i tried going down a few stops, while i'm able to get a good well exposed shot as well the colour and lighting is not as natural..

I guess theres nothing we can do about that right? the better colour (ambient) is probably from the slower shutter speed and if I want to use a faster shutter speed, I'll lose that better colour right? can't get the best of both world? haha..
haha you can get the best of both worlds, but its gonna be hard to adjust and compensate. so just keep practising, experiment when you can. you'll learn to hit the sweet spots. i haven't managed yet haha.
 

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