Buying advice on Equip

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JustSomeDesignr, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. JustSomeDesignr macrumors newbie

    JustSomeDesignr

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    #1
    What to buy?
    I am wanting to buy a small studio setup. What is the best lens to have? Remote lighting? The camera I have is a Canon TSI with the kit lens 18-55. What additional lens would be good for studio shots. Just getting into studio photography. Budget would be around 700 to 1000. Any suggestions would be very helpful.
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #2
    With a budget like that, I would put your money into lights. By the time you get 2 or 3 lights/stands/modifiers, most of your budget will be gone. If you are shooting with strobes, the speed of the 18-55 will be fine. Of course better glass would have better contrast, but you don't have the budget for that (unless maybe you went to the 18-55 IS).

    If you had double the budget I'd say 24-105 + lights. The other option is a nice prime lens, but it doesn't sound like you have played enough yet to be able to pick the lens that will work the best for you and your shooting style.

    There is no "best" lens, the one I like may be one that someone else can't stand, it is a personal decision based on how you shoot and what you want the finished images to look like. The 24-105 has good contrast and covers many of the focal lengths normally used in a studio (unless you have a huge studio) so it is a decent place to start. I would avoid the 17-85, 15-85 etc as they aren't that much better than your current glass.

    Before you buy anything make a list of what you need and budget appropriately. At a minimum you need 1 flash (or strobe) a light stand and some reflectors (or foam core). The more lights you have, the easier it can be to get the look you want. A lightmeter is helpful and speeds things up, but isn't necessary. Background paper and stands is helpful if you don't have a clean backdrop. Light modifiers (umbrellas, soft boxes, snoots, grids etc) are incredibly handy, but get expensive quickly.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  3. unclegit macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #3
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #4
    what are you taking pictures of?

    I suggest skipping the "strobist" route and getting proper studio strobes (monolights). flashes are better for portability and not much else, so it doesn't make much sense in a studio since the lights aren't going anywhere.
     
  5. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #5
    Questions for OP:

    What do you want to take pictures of?

    Do you want to have a very mobile setup or static?

    Do you want a low weight setup, or don't you care?

    Without further information, I agree that a regular studio mono-block setup is a better one to go for than the strobist stuff. Strobist is all about portability - if you don't need that, then the better controls, better accessories and modelling lights of a regular studio monolight kit is a lot better.
     
  6. JustSomeDesignr thread starter macrumors newbie

    JustSomeDesignr

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    #6
    Mostly On-Location shots of single or small groups for commercial advertising.(magazine ads, brochures)
    Needs to be portable and mobile.
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #7
    OK, with that sort of usage, it sounds like the 'Strobist' way may be best for you. Check out the blog...

    You're going to need a better lens. Locations can have ugly backgrounds which you'll want to hide using a wide aperture lens. The Canon 50 f1.8 is a no-brainer portrait lens for your camera.
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    I would skip the 50/1.8 and just get an 85/1.8 for individual closeups and a Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 18-50 for everything else.
     
  9. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #9
    I think the zooms are a good idea, and I'd add the Tamron 28-75 2.8 into the mix - great value and good performance on a cropped frame camera.

    I mentioned the 50 f1.8, since it's so cheap you have to have a good reason to NOT own it. Could also be useful when taking pictures on client's sites if space is constrained.
     

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