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Need help with lens and flash choices!

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Old 06-01-2010, 08:09 AM   #1
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Need help with lens and flash choices!

Hey all, need some help here. I am a very, and I mean very, amateur photographer. I get lucky with some decent pictures, but that is all camera, not shooter. Here is my question:

I have a Canon Rebel XS DSLR. I got the 18 - 55 lens from canon, and the 75 - 300 lens from canon. I would like to get something a little more powerful for some nature shots, animals and the such. I can't spend a ton of money on the high end lenses. I was trying to stay under $300. Any suggestions? Any good aftermarket brands?

Also, as far as a flash is concerned. The little built in one does fine for the most part, but I would like to upgrade. I know a decent flash is going to be around $300. Any good aftermarket flashes for around $100?

Thanks for the help folks.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:00 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, there really isn't any lenses under $300 that will improve upon your existing lenses for nature and wildlife. Stick with your existing for awhile andave up the cash so you can get a telephoto lens with a f/4 or f/2.8 maximum aperture. The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II is an excellent lens if you're willing to go prime:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...mm_f_2_8L.html

It's an incredible L series lens that's actually quite inexpensive for the quality of glass and an excellent performer even at wide open (f/2.8).

I had one and took great photos with it. I sold it after I acquired the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.

Here's a couple of samples taken with that lens on a crop body:





The 70-200 f/4L is cheaper ($650 or so), but you sacrifice one-stop for the 70-200 focal range (compared to the 200 f/2.8L II). I actually had the 70-200 f/4L while I had the 200 f/2.8L II, but hardly ever used the 70-200 f/4L and would resort to the 200 prime and just zoomed with my feet.

After the 200 f/2.8L II, the next lens you'd probably want to go with is the 70-200 f/4L IS. This is an incredibly sharp lens and gets the added IS motor so you can handhold at slower shutter speeds (and hopefully the subject won't be moving).

As far as flash under $100, you'll have to look into the Chinese made Yongnuo flash units. I'm not very familiar with these, but most people who buy non-Canon flash units go with Yongnuo. Recycle times on these units tend to be noticeably slower than a true Canon Speedlite. But you get what you pay for. I have a Quanatray QDC-900WA that I'm looking to sell if you're at all interested. It's the correct voltage for Canon series dSLR and is E-TTL capable. Let me know if you're interested.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocabj View Post
Unfortunately, there really isn't any lenses under $300 that will improve upon your existing lenses for nature and wildlife. Stick with your existing for awhile andave up the cash so you can get a telephoto lens with a f/4 or f/2.8 maximum aperture. The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II is an excellent lens if you're willing to go prime:

It's an incredible L series lens that's actually quite inexpensive for the quality of glass and an excellent performer even at wide open (f/2.8).

The 70-200 f/4L is cheaper ($650 or so), but you sacrifice one-stop for the 70-200 focal range (compared to the 200 f/2.8L II). I actually had the 70-200 f/4L while I had the 200 f/2.8L II, but hardly ever used the 70-200 f/4L and would resort to the 200 prime and just zoomed with my feet.

After the 200 f/2.8L II, the next lens you'd probably want to go with is the 70-200 f/4L IS. This is an incredibly sharp lens and gets the added IS motor so you can handhold at slower shutter speeds (and hopefully the subject won't be moving).

As far as flash under $100, you'll have to look into the Chinese made Yongnuo flash units. I'm not very familiar with these, but most people who buy non-Canon flash units go with Yongnuo.
ALL real great advice.
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