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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3

    Recommendations requested

    OK, I have just read (almost) every thread on this forum going back one year and did not see this question posted yet so hopefully I am not repeating anyone.

    I recently purchase the Sony alpha 350 with a Tamron AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD lens. I already own a cheap (bought at Target) tripod.

    I know I need to purchase a few more goodies before my trip to Ireland and I want to make sure I have everything before I go.

    I am thinking of purchasing the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC (if Don is happy with his) or a similar lens, and then I will also need to purchase a flash.

    Can anyone provide some recommendations for a wide angle lens? A flash? A tripod? Is there anything else that I will need? I am somewhat new to photography and I want to make sure that I get the right equipment.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    Polarized Filter
    Extra Battery?
    220 Adapter...ireland??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    Yeah ... that camera battery's charge will only support around 500 shots ... on a good day and without pop-up flash. Also, pop for at least a 4GB SONY Memory Stick. Maybe two!

    Flashwise: the SONY HVL-F36AM has been reduced in cost to $199.00

    That's great news, but bear in mind it is not the top of the SONY line, but will provide a decent flash for most shots. The flash will only support about 100 shots ... then ... fresh batteries (AA).

    Tripod ... I carry a rather heavy-duty Manfrotto ... and when you are running around, on tour, that would be a major drag. The various tripod costs are all over the place (and it maybe dangerous to say this, with this crowd) but, I am pretty sure that if you spent less than $100 for a tripod ... you are probably putting your equipment at potential risk. Sure there could also be crap for a C-note, too ... but usually, the camera shop you use will advise the proper sized/rated one for your camera system. off-hand, I would say figure on 5-8 lbs ... but, then again, I personally tend to side on excessive support, and mine is in the 8-13 lbs range (I really do have some decently weighted lenses that I use).

    I hope this has been enlightening ... and good luck on your trip.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3
    Sonynut,
    Thanks for the ideas! I am going to purchase a polarized filter, is one better than another? I am also going to purchase a second battery, I think we already have the power converter.

    Don,
    I decided to purchase two extra SanDisk extreme IV cards instead of the Sony memory stick since I can use them in my Fuji camera as well. Is the SONY HVL-F36AM a really good flash or just OK? Are there good third party flashes to look at? As for the tripod, would you recommend a Manfrotto, or a different one?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    28

    350

    >>>I decided to purchase two extra SanDisk extreme IV cards instead of the Sony memory stick <<<

    Good idea, as your camera only has a compact flash slot - no memory stick slot. You would have had to use an adapter...besides which, MS are more expensive than CF.

    The F36AM flash works well and integrates flawlessly...while it's not the most advanced flash unit in the world, I think most people would think it's perfect for everyday use. If you're going to shoot models for high fashion magazines, you might want something else! LOL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    Well, my preference, right out of the box, was the HVL-F56AM. It's a bit brighter ... swivels all over the place and offers some better flash control, has a drop down diffuser lens and can use an external power pack.

    Is it worth the extra $200? WELL, CONSIDERING IT DOES DARN NEAR EVERYTHING ... yeah!

    HVL-F36AM
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Size:  3.4 KB

    HVL-F56AM
    Name:  HVLF56AM.jpg
Views: 56
Size:  4.0 KB

    I like the Metz line of external flashes, but they do not support the SONY footing at this time. I kind of doubt that TTL would be supported through a hot-shoe adapter.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-24-2008 at 05:58 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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