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Old Jan 5, 2010, 7:59 AM   #1
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Default Better light or new lens

I recently purchased a Canon T1i with the kit lens. In addition, I purchased the 50mm f/1.8. I really love the 50mm over the kit lens, but have found that I use some wider focal lengths that I have to use the kit lens for. I prefer to use available light, but that may be because I donít have good flash. The main reason why I use the kit lens is for my own family portrait group shots indoors, since the 50mm is too tight for this. However, the kit lens with the cameraís flash is not very flattering. Iím thinking of purchasing a used 28mm f/2.8 lens. Another option may be to purchase continuous lights with umbrellas. I guess a third option could be to purchase a 430EX and bounce the flash with the kit lens. With enough reflective light (umbrella or 430ex), will I be satisfied with the kit lens result or should I start by purchasing a better lens? What route would you go?
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 8:21 AM   #2
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Forget about wide aperture group shots - that's a non starter. You won't have the depth of field needed. I would suggest a good external flash for starters. The reality is for a group shot you're going to be stopped down to f8 and at a mid focal range or so anyway - you'll be hard pressed to notice a big difference in IQ from the kit lens to $1000+ lenses whose benefits are at wide open apertures and wide/long end of zoom.

A bounced flash is always a good start. Here are some bounced flash shots (different camera/lens but results will be similar):





For serious work, then a multiple light source solution is going to be better. But, that's more equipment and less portability/quick shot capability. So it's a matter of convenience vs. quality.
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 9:02 AM   #3
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John is 100% right, flash is the way ahead.
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 2:41 PM   #4
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The problem with flash is that you don't see what the shot will look like until after you've take it. Available light lets you compose the shot you want before you press the shutter button. There are other fast prime lenses available, but you might want to conside the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. I've had a lot of good luck with mine.
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 3:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
The problem with flash is that you don't see what the shot will look like until after you've take it. .
All of which is true, but for the OPs needs - group shots indoors - available light doesn't work very well. For other things it can, but I don't think it's a workable solution for what the OP wants to do.
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