Basic Necessities

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  • 10-07-2008, 11:18 PM
    Basic Necessities
    I'm about to venture into the SLR world. I plan on getting the Canon 40D body only and purchasing a Canon 50mm F/1.8 II lens on the side

    I'm fully aware that I may need the follow:
    -extra batteries
    -Lens Hood
    -Add-on Flash

    My questions are...
    What type of Add-on Flash do I get specifically?
    What type of filters do I get specifically?
    Do I really need a lens hood??

    I am still a major newbie and just want some opinions on what you guys think is appropriate for me to purchase.
    Any suggestions are welcomed!
  • 10-07-2008, 11:45 PM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    Polarizer and UV filter are two essential ones. Neutral densities can be useful at times, particularly the Cokin filter style, where you can use it in a horizon as a graduated density filter. Then of course, a soft edge graduated density filter for a wider tonal shift in exposure. I'd explore other filter options too, theres a ton of filter types out there that offer their own unique application, a diffusion filter can give a soft focus effect that works well in many portraits, for example. You may even like Infrared imaging, in which case you would need an IR filter (and a lot of patience).

    The lens hood can have a benefit in ultra-bright environments, where flare is more likely to pop up. The lens hood is usually sold with the lens, I would expect the 50 f1.8 would come with it as well. Though, the 50mm f1.8 may have great flare control within the elements, the filters will always make your lens more susceptible to flaring (more or less depending on quality of filter, definitely make sure its multi-coated). That said, I don't particularly depend on lens hood for my prime 50, the hood on that is pretty puny, if I see flare I usually throw my hand in the way and block it. Its not essential, but its not worthless.

    Finally I would encourage a zoom range lens, if you want to reduce the weight and load of your equipment, maybe look at the 24-105mm, a decent range, not huge, decent wide and a good start into telephoto. I am curious, do you intend to only use the 50mm prime? Its a great lens, but using it exclusively leaves you with very little shooting options.

    I am not a Canon user my self, so I'll let someone else better explain your flash option. If you could explain how you want to use your flash, in what environments, and what budget you are working with they will be better able to pinpoint the flash specifically suited for your needs.
  • 10-08-2008, 01:58 AM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    What sort of photography are yiou aiming for - the 50mm is an excellent lens but may not work for what you intend to take. This is true for flash as well.

  • 10-08-2008, 06:29 AM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    I don't put anything in front of the lens unless I need to, so I don't use a UV filter.
    If you're going to buy body only, then you may want a zoom lens as well,
    How big is your budget, and do you have any left?
  • 10-08-2008, 10:05 AM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    I want to use my camera mainly for people shots (day or night/indoor or outdoor) and for travelling (scenery).

    wow thanks for all the feedback!!
  • 10-08-2008, 04:37 PM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    You don't need any of those other things.

    I applaud you for starting with a prime lens (better to learn composition and better low light capabilities and generally better image quality).

    Start slow (equipment-wise) but learn fast. Try to digest as much information as possible and you will learn how to get around things (like shading the lens with your hand or book to replace a lens hood, learning how to shoot in low-light situations to eliminate the need for a flash, etc.).

    Don't worry about the little stuff.
  • 10-09-2008, 02:04 AM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    The 50mm on the 40D is equivalent of 80mm so not ideal for landscapes. You need a wide angle for travelling. Depending on your budget consider a wide angle zoom in the 18-55 region.

    Flash again the 580 if you can afford it but the 430 is a good flash.

    Filters - only a good quality polarizer is essential for travel/landscapes. I only use the UV filter when its raining so that I don't have to wipe the lens itself.

    Lens hood - definately I never take it off unless using flash in closeups.

  • 10-11-2008, 08:05 PM
    Re: Basic Necessities
    I agree with readingr. The 50mm lens is less than ideal for landscapes and travel. You wouldn't be able to get many interior shots with it. It would be great for people however. If you like primes (and I agree with Loupey that it is better to learn how to compose with your feet rather than a zoom), I would get the 50mm and also a 24, 28, or 35mm prime. The 50mm is cheap enough it should allow you some budget for a wide angle. You should also look at the Sigma 10-20mm zoom. I own one and absolutely love it. I took it to Prague for two weeks as the only lens on my 20D and it worked flawlessly and I was able to get good interior shots as well as land and cityscapes. It is not great for people (not many can get good portraits with wide angles), but a fine general purpose lens. And it is quite inexpensive. That said, you will be very pleased with the sharpness of the 50mm and it will serve you sell.