Canon with Sigma 17-70mm to start me off.

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by scharf_10, May 3, 2007.

  1. scharf_10

    scharf_10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Near Dundee, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +83
    I was just reading a thread from March about peoples' opinions on this lens and camera, and the overall opinion looks pretty good. Was looking at purchasing the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro lens and Canon 400D, possibly around October (maybe in New York if it would be cheaper, as I'm going for my birthday?).

    I currently work in a hotel which hosts wedding, so fortunately the manager says he would allow me to do photography at weddings as a second photographer (I wouldn't expect to be paid, just for the experience really). I'll just be leaving school in June, so would like to try and build up some experience early on, so I could possibly prove that I was good enough therefore be the first recomendation for people looking to book a wedding.

    Do you think this camera and lense would be appropriate for this sort of thing? I'm on a bit of a budget being 17 and only working part-time, so this seems like a good deal so far.

    Thanks, Scharf.
     
  2. jonnypb

    jonnypb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,130
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +559
    I have that sigma lens on my 400d and it's very nice, you might also want to consider a prime lens in the form of the canon 50mm 1.8 for indoor portraits. Only costs £50-60 and for the money it produces pleasing results. this one would be better in low light indoor shots than the sigma as it's faster
     
  3. Darkstar_surfer

    Darkstar_surfer
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Messages:
    3,189
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Towcester
    Ratings:
    +200
    Buying from the US is not all it is made out to be. You may save a few pounds but if it goes wrong it is near impossible to get it sorted.

    If you do decide to buy then find a shop on the internet and print off the items you want so you have proof of price before you arrive and contact them by e-mail to make sure they have exactly what you want in stock and reserved for you. Then collect as early as you can so you can try out while over there. A trip to wall-mart will let you print some prints within an hour to make sure all is well. Be aware some of these stores advertise great prices to get you through the door and then try the hard sell to shift some other gear.

    One last point for a wedding you will need a very good flash.

    I arrived back on Wednesday from the US and bought nothing as I could do better in the UK even with a $2-£1 just now.
     
  4. scharf_10

    scharf_10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Near Dundee, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +83
    Ok thanks. About the flash, I really have no idea about this. To be honest i was just presuming the onboard flash would do the trick. I've played around with my brothers Nikon D50 + standard lens and it seems fine, so I'm not too new to the whole DSLR thing.

    If it helps at all, the rooms which the weddings are held in are fairly small. Being a fan of informal photography, would this lens be good for the disco type shots at night as well, where obviously it would be a darker situation.
    Also, how much should I expect to spend on a flash? I'm very confident with Photoshop and I'm buying a Macbook/MPB in October therefore money is a priority with the lens/camera/laptop rather than flash.

    Thanks.
     
  5. salubrious_k

    salubrious_k
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,380
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +214
    Definitely buy from the US, it would be much cheaper.

    I think if you're planning to develope your talents as a wedding photographer you should go for the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 rather than the Sigma, the reason why is that f2.8 is really handy for portraits and low light photography, and that will be more important to you at a wedding than the macro focusing and slightly longer reach of the Sigma.
     
  6. scharf_10

    scharf_10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Near Dundee, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +83
    Ok thanks a lot for that. Although more expensive, it seems like a good lens for the price. In relation to wide-angle lense, how do you compare the Tamron you mentioned and the Sigma? I don't really understand which part of the lens name indicates how wide the lens is. I ask this because I often see people referring to how wide the lense is, and it's good to have 24mm etc etc.
    Sorry if i sound stupid, I suppose you learn from somewhere.
     
  7. allymac123

    allymac123
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    York
    Ratings:
    +435
    Both the Tamron and the Sigma have the same wide-angle. The focal range is dictated my the mm numbers ie the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 is 17mm wide. Because of the crop 1.6x crop factor that the Canon 400D has this actually equates to 27mm. All the focal length numbers are in 35mm equivalent which is why you have to apply the 1.6x.
     
  8. senu

    senu
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    19,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Denham, South Bucks
    Ratings:
    +2,811
    I would strongly reiterate the advice that onboard Flash, Fast lenses and Photoshop skills will let you down if you get underexposed Images or blur due to slow shutter speed.

    By all means save your pennies but I'm not sure the size of the rooms alone counts..
    Unless you will only take portraits I imagine you'll eventually be at a Camera to subject distance where a decent flash will suddenly seem like a really good idea

    I speak as one who casually tried to take some images at a cousins wedding recently and left my flashgun in the car boot.

    No other Photographer there did not have a Flash and I had to boost ISO to get Sharp images .
    It was a struggle...and a lesson as My images were counted on as having a strong family bias and nothing less than "perfection" was expected ( Mind you I had no prior notice)

    Maybe you should do some " trial" dummy run projects to test the truism.. Sometimes even if the Flash Gun is for fill-in, you are less able to achieve that with a direct on board flash
     
  9. scharf_10

    scharf_10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Near Dundee, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +83
    Yeah thanks Allymac that seems to make more sense now.

    Senu - I suppose me doing the weddings as a second photographer would kind of be the "trial" that you mentioned. Is there any chance that you could link me to a decent external flash that would suit my cause, even if it is a little expensive, as I do have time to save. I've read a little more into it and realise the Tamron 17 - 50 suggested above obviously has the advantage of the consistent F2.8. For some reason the further reach of the Sigma is tempting me, and as a beginner how much would I really notice of the Tamron's lower light capabilities. I'm sure that the Sigma would be perfectly capable for my needs.

    Thanks.
     
  10. salubrious_k

    salubrious_k
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,380
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +214
    If you're planning to go for Canon then your three choices are the 430EX, the 580EX and the Sigma EF-500 DG Super.

    The 430EX is the cheapest of the Canon's at around £150 and the 580EX is around £250. The Sigma is the cheapest, at about £140 and although almost as fully featured as the 580EX it is meant to be harder to get to grips with.

    I just decided on getting the 430EX and expect to have it delivered in the next two weeks. I bought from onestop-digital.com who are based in Hong Kong but very cheap!

    EDIT: Here's the thread I started a few days ago about flashes if you're interested:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=517771
     
  11. scharf_10

    scharf_10
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Near Dundee, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +83
    Ahh that thread you linked was very useful. I've never really thought about how important an external flash can be, can't say I'm looking forward to carrying all this about compared to my current DSC-T9 just now :) I suppose I will learn through experience and hopefully as I upgrade equipment I will begin to understand the need for a good flash, lens etc. Thanks for everybody's help, now I just need to see how many times I will change my mind by October. Oh dear.
     
  12. salubrious_k

    salubrious_k
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,380
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +214
    Well I'm not sure if an external flash is necessary to get started with. I've helped shoot two friends weddings and I was just using a 580EX on top of the camera, sometimes bouncing it, sometimes using tissue and an elastic band as a diffuser (don't knock it until you've tried it LOL).

    In fact the most important thing to do is to grow with your equipment - buying everything all at once isn't necessary, and is damn expensive! Maybe the best thing would be to just get the camera and see where you go from there.
     
  13. senu

    senu
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    19,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Denham, South Bucks
    Ratings:
    +2,811
    Probably not.. but I dont imagine it ( like a tripod) will be long in getting to be a " must have"

    True.. which is why I suggested "trial runs" but it shouldn't be on someone's "great day" ( when the images cannot be duplicated) that some piece of kit gets crucial.
    This is a little different from just trying starting out and going out to get 5 different lenses where one will do!
    I imagine you are probably more accomplished in your photography than you give yourself credit for ( or are letting on :)) and can have workabouts from experience

    PS :mad: salubriuos_k I missed your thread on FlashGuns; :smoke:( very unusual I have to say . I get to read most threads) I have use of the Canon Speed light 430EX and Own the Sigma EF-500 DG Super .The Sigma is not as user friendly but it is better VFM in that it does everything the Canon does and more.. for less money
    But the Canon is easier to use .It is almost an extension of the Camera. The Costlier 580... I will get when (if) the Sigma gives up .: see the short post there
     
  14. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Messages:
    4,756
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Christchurch , New Zealand
    Ratings:
    +748
    Sorry if your talking about pro wedding photo's inside you'll need a 580ex, at least just in case.

    Mind you if I paid someone the going rate for a wedding shoot & they turned up with a cheapo consumer dSLR & the sigma (and no flash!) I'd be pretty ****** off.
     
  15. salubrious_k

    salubrious_k
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,380
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +214
    @senu - Thanks for the advice about flashes!

    Back to the thread though:
    I think this is all wise advice about absolutely needing a flash if you are the primary photographer for a wedding, but as the OP was saying that they were going to act as a secondary (unpaid) photographer, then I think they have the flexibility to get started slowly. I wouldn't want to put them off the idea by listing out a set of photography equipment that was going to set them back over a grand! LOL

    In fact I'd say the bare minimum (cost-wise) for getting near professional quality photos would be a 400D and the 50mm f1.8 (which would set you back about £480 in total in UK and probably even less in the states). Yes, you won't be able to get shots in very very low light, and you'll have to do all your zooming with your feet... but... you can still get really pro looking shots.

    Here's an amateur (definitely not pro LOL) shot of mine with a 350D, a 50mm f1.8 and no flash in a rather dark church:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. senu

    senu
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    19,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Denham, South Bucks
    Ratings:
    +2,811
    The 50mm 1.8 is a very fast lens for not much.
    Apart from zooming with your feet , your manual focus skills may be needed a fair bit ( not a bad thing , but something to bear in mind if you find it "hunting":cool:
     
  17. cedmondson

    cedmondson
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,130
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +283
    I may have got the wrong end of the stick here .... but I can't help but wonder whether the "second photographer" aspect might need to influence your choice of gear. Surerly both the primary photographer and the paying client are going to expect you to be inconspicuous - which might mean no (or not much) flash and possibly longer lenses?

    Just a thought.
    Might be worth exploring / discussing further before you buy your kit?
     

Share This Page

Loading...