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Just purchased Canon 70D, any tips?

technoholic

Well-known Member
Hi All

This isn't really a very useful thread I suppose, but i'm new to this section of the forums really, so just thought i'd chip in to say hi and that I've just ordered a new 70D. I was out of the photography game for a while after I felt that I reached the limit of my old Sony a200, plus I didn't want to invest in the system too much as I wanted to move to Canon (I got the Sony originally as I had a family friend get me a discount through Sony).

I haven't received it yet but looking forward to it, I went with the 18-135 kit lens rather than the 18-55, hope i made the right choice.

Any tips and tricks you can give me would be great, as well as any immediate purchases you recommend? With my Sony I had the Minolta 70-210 Beercan (great lens) and a 50mm 1.4 prime, so i'll probably pick up the 50mm 1.8 Canon as I hear its a pretty good 50mm for its price.

Also looking to get a flash as i've never learnt in too much detail how to use flash set ups so I'm looking at the 430 EX II unless anyone recommends otherwise.

Soon after i get to grips with, I have the opportunity to do some food (cakes) photography for a friend starting a business, so while I did some standalone product photography in the past, any direction on this sort of photography would be useful.

Thanks
 

technoholic

Well-known Member
Anyone got any insights?
 

sancho1983

Active Member
430exii is a great flash. If you want to get into doing a bit of product photography then I would look into some extra flashguns, I can thoroughly recommend the Yongnuo 560ii, I have three of them alongside my 430ex and they're great.

You also will want to look into light stands and umbrellas. Here's one I did recently



The 50mm 1.8 seems to get rave reviews, I have had two and wasn't that impressed with either to be honest, if you can stretch to the 1.4 then I would say that's a much better lens.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures from you :)
 

technoholic

Well-known Member
Looks great!

Actually i ordered a Yongnuo 568EX II the other day, along with a pair of YN-622C triggers, so I can do some off camera flash work, im toying up going for another one to able to have 2 light sources.

I received the 50mm 1.8, early testing seems to confirm what you're saying. It's fine, and i'll probably keep it as im sure it'll useful but its not as good as my old Minolta 50mm prime. Instead of the 1.4, I think i'd prefer to get the 85mm 1.8 as my next prime (but then on my crop sensor, that migh tbe too long for product shots?)

I'm not sure what to do about the kit 18-135. I actually think its quite a hefty lens for a kit lens, it feels nice and solid and it really is silent at focussing and the STM does wonders for video, but i'm wondering if I should sell it and replace it with something better now, with a fixed apeture all the way through, while it has some resale value, or whether I should keep it and just invest in another better lens later. If i was to sell it, id probably replace it with the Sigma 17-50 2.8 which ive heard good things about. But that would then rob me of my long range, so i'd probably follow it with the 70-200 L, but that would be a long while in the future as its going to cost me the same as the camera to do that, and while I want to get into this more seriously than last time, it's still a hobby for now, so its a lot of money to spend all at once.

Finally, more than equipment or anything like that, I need to develop my skills and more importantly, my eye so that I can see opportunities or see how to create a picture out of what is in front of me. That has always been my hardest thing to do. Technically I know a lot, and could tell you exactly HOW to take a good picture, my problem is SEEING the good picture in the first place! Any tips for developing that side of things?
 

technoholic

Well-known Member
Also, im looking for some cheap light stands, and umbrellas/soft boxes. Any suggestions?
 

sancho1983

Active Member
I have the 85mm 1.8 and love it, it's rarely off my camera. I found it a little long on my 40d, on my 6d it's perfect though. (I was quite a way away from the coffee in that shot above, on a crop camera I feel I would have had to remove my ceiling!)

I think it's just practice, obviously there are rules for composition etc. (don't want to be teaching you to suck eggs) so just read up and go out there and shoot. Post your shots for critique, take people's opinions on board, but ultimately do it how you want.

I bought my light stands from Amazon for £8 or so each and they're fine. I paid more to get some sturdier ones for my backgrounds from Wex. But £8 jobbies are perfect for Speedlites. Cheap shoot through umbrella from Amazon and some knock off octobox/softboxes from China/eBay
 

technoholic

Well-known Member
Ok, thanks, but unless im being really stupid, or searching for the wrong thing, i cant find any light stands that cheap on amazon, even though plenty of people have told me about them at that sort of price. Any pointers?

With regards to composition, like you say, rules can be learned and I have studied the "rules" lots of times, but its more than rules, its developing the eye for it, but like you say, it takes practice so that's what i need to do. I just see some people taking photos on youtube, or see some pictures on Flickr that, on the face of it, aren't particularly inspiring subjects, yet the way they are photographed makes then look amazing, and I wish I had the eye to see that in the first place. Like you say, practice.

Also, sorry if im asking dumb questions here, but what are the scenarios for using softboxes over umbrellas? Is it just a personal thing or do they serve a different purpose? Like I say, im new to flash photography so would appreciate the help. Thanks for your input so far.
 

sancho1983

Active Member
Softboxes are more directional, umbrellas give a softer light which 'wraps around' a bit more. I have used softboxes for key light and then umbrellas for fill. Although I do like using umbrellas - mainly because I'm lazy and they're quick to set up :)

This one is £11.75, I paid £10.70 apparently Photography Light Stand for professional photo studio: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Processing is a huge part of it also. Remember every photo you see (that's good anyway ;)) will have had some post processing done to it.



I'm a member of a lot of portrait groups on Flickr, so I spend a lot of time looking through pictures for inspiration, I look at a lot of pictures and then analyse what I like about them to then try and replicate the light/angle etc.

Strobist.com has some excellent resources. I watch a lot of great videos on YouTube too, B+H Photo is good, FroKnowsPhotos and Matt Grainger do some good stuff. Peter Hurley is a great photographer and have learnt a lot from him.

Again, apologies if you know all of this :)
 

technoholic

Well-known Member
Thanks, yeah a lot of what you say is stuff i've known or been doing and I guess I just need to continue to do that more. Youtube is providing to be a great resource.

Its interesting what you say about processing. When I was into this before, I use to use post processing a lot to achieve what I thought looked good. But I always felt that I was cheating. But i was often doing "creative" things, things that couldn't be achieved just by the camera. My aim this time was to try and get it right as much as possible 'in camera' so that I didn't have to mess about processing lots on the photos, or at least all I would need to do is just adjust exposure a little etc. How did you process the above photo? It looks good. Also i've looked through your Flickr, I love some of the photos, especially the portraits of the girls in the costumes, love the high key look and that's something i'd like to get good at.
 

sancho1983

Active Member
Thanks, yeah a lot of what you say is stuff i've known or been doing and I guess I just need to continue to do that more. Youtube is providing to be a great resource.

Its interesting what you say about processing. When I was into this before, I use to use post processing a lot to achieve what I thought looked good. But I always felt that I was cheating. But i was often doing "creative" things, things that couldn't be achieved just by the camera. My aim this time was to try and get it right as much as possible 'in camera' so that I didn't have to mess about processing lots on the photos, or at least all I would need to do is just adjust exposure a little etc. How did you process the above photo? It looks good. Also i've looked through your Flickr, I love some of the photos, especially the portraits of the girls in the costumes, love the high key look and that's something i'd like to get good at.

Thanks. The princess shots, and pretty much all of the "white background" stuff is pretty much 'correct' in camera, just a bit of sharpening and possibly lightening the highlights a little.

For that shot I played around with the white balance to warm it up a bit, corrected the exposure, dropped the vibrance and upped the contrast a bit

It's definitely not 'cheating' - people used darkroom techniques in the past, it's just the modern equipment. I like supersharp eyes (too sharp some people say) this can really be enhanced in Lightroom.
 

technoholic

Well-known Member
Sorry, i didnt mean to imply you were cheating! Those sort of effects i agree, they are just the digital versions of what people have been doing for a long time. I was more talking about the more destructive editing that people do, and that I have done in the past
 

spannersatcx

Well-known Member
I read somewhere that to limit the max iso in auto to 3200, not sure why though. One of the CF's you can change so that when you press the DOF button it actually displays a level in the view finder, which is handy for getting level shots. You can also get a level in live view on the LCD, again useful. The touch screen aids in changing set up quickly although I tend to use the wheel, from habit. Again in LV pressing the touch screen for where you want your focus to be helps. The wifi function is great for downloading straight to your ipad etc, this is done through eos remote app for phone/ipad.

I'm still finding my way around as I've only had my a month or so, so there's lots of things I've not tried yet.
 

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