recommendation for a new lens and ext. camera flash?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by backinblack875, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. backinblack875 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2010
    I am planning on getting a new lens for my canon xsi and an external flash....recommendations on either?? i currently have the stock 18-55mm and a 75-300mm...i would like a new lens in the range of the 18-55mm...but one that lets in more light, a lower f-stop.

    and any good flash will do...not too expensive tho
  2. Neous macrumors member


    Oct 9, 2009
    Woodstock, CT
  3. backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2010
    thanks. but i want to keep it under 1000$ :D

    i guess i might not be able to find a lens with a low enough f-stop for 200$-300$?
  4. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    if you're wanting fast and not expensive do the 50mm 1.4USM. Great lens for about $400. As long as you're okay with a prime.

    Flash-wise any of the Canon Flashes are good, but check out the 320 and 430. They'll give you the right combo of range and size without being under-powered or oversized.
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Your best bet would be to get a couple primes. As they will be much cheaper for getting fast lenses. If you look at the metadata of your photos, what focal length you shoot at the most?
  6. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
  7. Dwee8le macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2010
    Amsterdam, Holland

    a fast lens for 300 bucks or less is almost impossible...

    Some people like this one:
    Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD ASP IF

    Some say it's fantastic, others say it's absolute crap. If you do buy one, buy it without the Optical Stabilization (Tamron calls that VC), because it is cheaper and according to many reviews the non-VC version performs much better.

    Again, the reviews of this lens are all over the place, so make sure you check your version in the store before buying.

    In my country (Holland), this lens can be bought new for 290 euros. That is roughly 395 US dollars including 19% tax.

    If you want to save money and are willing to use a prime, the canon 50mm F1/8 is great! It is the cheapest lens around, but it works very well (for the price you pay). It is only 1/3 of the price of the canon 50mm F1/4 and almost as good.

    For a flashgun I prefer the canon 430 EX II. Also 290 euros new here (but second-hand they sometimes go as low as 175-200 euros!).
  8. Xeperu macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2010
    17-55 f2.8 second hand in holland about 500-600 euros (I sold mine for a bit more)

    Don't get a speedlight 580, it's pointless for your xsi. Get a basic speedlight.
  9. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
    some of the sigma flashes like the 530 super DG go pretty cheap on ebay...they are pretty powerfull and have ettl support
  10. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Huh??? Why does the camera body make any difference as to what Speedlite the OP should get? What features of the 580EXII would be wasted on an XSi?
  11. crawler1975 macrumors regular


    Mar 22, 2011

    if you're on the cheap .. you can get the Cactus AF45 by Gadget Infinity ( ... they're about $120US ... I'm using this myself and it works great
  12. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Agree with the above - get the 580EXII. It has the most power, it can point up and swivel left to right, and no significant features (or any at all) are wasted on the rebel series vs a 5D or 1D.

    I think the 430EXII may also allow you to swivel the head (which is useful for bouncing light off walls and ceilings - lets you light up a subject without "flashing" them straight on). Its just not as powerful as the 580. I wouldn't go lower than the 430, as the lower models don't have near as much power and they don't offer the same tilt+swivel options.

    As for lenses, I agree with the posters saying to go prime. You can get a much faster prime than zoom at all focal lengths and price points. A mid tier or even inexpensive prime is likely faster than even the most expensive zooms. They typically have pretty great IQ to boot. On a rebel (crop) body I would say go for the canon 35mm f/2 or the 50 f1.4. The 50 f/1.4 is a bit faster but the 35mm focal length (effective 56mm) is a better all around on a rebel.

    Good luck!
  13. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    In terms of a flash, if you're on a budget, you might want to look at the YN560 on Amazon. It's around $70-$80. It's a decent flash without the price tag of a 430 EX II or 530 EXII.

    As for a lens, might wanna look at the 15-85. Has a little more reach than your kit lens and works pretty well from what I hear. You could also get one of the other kit lenses like the 18-135, 28-135 or the 18-200. All are sub-$1000 and have decent quality. You can probably pick one of these up real cheap from eBay or something.
  14. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    The 430EXII is less than one stop less powerful than the 530EXII; much less than one stop at wider zoom settings (0.2EV at 24mm, for instance). It's major drawback for on-camera flash is not power, but the fact that it cannot swivel 180 degrees in both directions. It also cannot accept an external power pack, but I doubt this matters much to the OP.
  15. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'm interpreting your $200-$300 desired price range to rule out things like the 580EX flash. The 580EX is much more expensive than the 430EX, and for most purposes isn't worth the difference. Read up on the features and see if they're worth it to you. I expect you'd rather have the 430EX and a lens than the 580EX alone, which reflects the price difference.

    The 430EX and the 50mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2, or 28mm f/2.8 would be a good way to go.

    If you're keenly interested in video, the 320EX might be useful as well:

    Keep in mind that reviews are written with professionals and enthusiasts in mind--people who won't hesitate to spend $2000 on a lens if it meets their needs. Most of the rest of us have to make bigger compromises.
  16. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    Get a 2nd hand 430ex v1 and a Canon 50 f/1.8.

    580EXII would be astoundingly useless.
  17. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I have the Canon XSi and love the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. Sharp and a great focal range. It doesn't have IS, though. It's a $450 USD lens on B&H Photo and Video. Here is a link to the user reviews.

    Tamron 28-75 f/2.8

  18. EarlR macrumors newbie


    Sep 29, 2011
    San Diego
    While the Canon XSi does not do video, you may still benefit from the price-point of the Speedlite 320EX. Here is a list of Features from Canon regarding this fairly affordable and very portable flash unit:
    - Built-in LED light can be used to illuminate nearby subjects in dim light - especially useful when shooting video, as a modeling light or as an AF assist beam (with Live View), providing up to four hours of continuous lighting with fully-charged AA batteries.
    - Versatile vertical and horizontal bounce capability provides an extended range of possible lighting effects.
    - Flash release function triggers the camera wirelessly from the flash on a 2-second delay, allowing the flash to be repositioned to illuminate the subject.
    - Wireless Slave function supports three groups and four channels, allowing the flash to be positioned off-camera (with added hardware for XSi).
    - Flash coverage can be switched by extending or retracting flash head, with Normal (24mm full-frame equivalent, max. Guide No. 79 ft./24m at ISO 100) and Tele (50mm full-frame equivalent, max. Guide No. 105 ft./32m at ISO 100) settings.
    - Light and compact body holds 4 AA batteries with a fast recycle time of 2.0 seconds.

    Long, I know. Hope I didn't bore you!
  19. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    I have this setup. I got the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-VC for about $350 USD used and it is amazing. tack sharp and with the fast aperture, I haven't missed the stabilization.

    I also have the 430 EX II and like it. I don't use a whole lot, but I love having it when I do. For me, it wasn't worth the extra money for the 580 and I know that I have a quality product that will last with the Canon brand.

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