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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16

    To get a lens or flash?

    Hi all,

    I need to get a bit more active on this place, read plenty of threads but dont contribute too much.
    Heres a question I'm certain some of you will have an instant answer for, and maybe even a giggle at me even asking it hehe but non-theless

    I have the A200 with kit lens, tamron 70-300mm and quantaray 18-200mm.

    I find they all do a reasonable ish job for what I want, but I want to start making advances in the quality of my pictures. Take pics indoors from time to time (usually under exposed or blurred - no surprise there) and tennis/karting when I go along to play/race. Sometimes they are indoor and same again. Plus although the quantaray does an ok job (it does take pics) it would be great to have a lens that I can really notice the difference

    I can afford either a flash (HLV42) or a new lens which I am looking at the tamron 17-50mm

    Thoughts? Advice? any other ideas?

    I look forward to improving my understanding
    Last edited by tomr182; 04-04-2010 at 04:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,759
    have you tried a higher iso #

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    tomr182, at this stage I'd definitely recommend the Flash.

    The 17-50mm would be a reasonable solution in the home, providing there was some ambient light but would be too short for indoor events. The A200 has a CCD sensor so the IQ is good but you can't use more than ISO400 without noticeable graining.

    The F42 is cheaper than the 17-50mm so you could put the money saved towards a lens that will really make a difference. If you can stretch to the F58, I'd go there as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I got the flash instead of the lens. The flash has helped me.

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,759
    More light will make graininess go away if you have been pushing the speed down..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16
    Yeah, when I nudge the ISO up, its get grainy and looks like something I could take with my cell phone lol Ok, I over exaggerate, but you will know what I mean heh

    Is there a huge benefit to the F58 over the F42? Battery life? Ease of use? etc

    Ive struggled to find many reviews on the flash guns on line


    I can get a 42 for 189GBP or a 58 for 260GBP, both are pretty good prices! but is the extra 70 worth it? Will I get a massive benfefit etc?
    Last edited by tomr182; 04-05-2010 at 01:52 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    A massive benefit? Define massive! The f58 is 38% more powerful than the F42 which is significant.
    On the plus side, the F58 has more power and the unique swivelling head (why didn't someone think of this before?).
    There are advantages in Wireless function but they don't apply to the A200.
    Downside, it's bigger and heavier.
    Battery wise you won't see much difference to the F42 except when using the F58 at it's maximum output when it will gobble them up but the F42 wouldn't be coping anyway, so what the hell.

    I can't say which is best for you because I don't know how you'll use it (neither do you as yet).
    If you simply mount the flash on camera and point it at your kids, you can no doubt fry them with the F42.
    Name:  blast flash.gif
Views: 57
Size:  12.5 KB (Thanks to Don)

    It gets more complicated when you want to bounce the flash, use HSS and/or change the focal length.
    Being more specific and looking at your 18-70mm (btw I don't have an F42 so I'm interpeting the figures).
    At the wide end the GN is no longer a healthy 42 but drops to around 14, and at the 70mm end drops to 35.
    In practice this means that,

    at 70mm and a distance of 5M, any aperture up to f8 will give correct exposure with TTL
    bounce the flash and you probably need an aperture of f4 which you don't have so you need to bump the ISO to 400 to get f5.6
    with the F58 you could most likely stick with ISO100 at f5.6.

    Lets say the kids are running around and you need to use HSS and direct flash.
    sticking with 70mm, a distance of 5M but a 1/250th shutter, the required aperture is now
    f2.8 @iso100 or in your case with the 18-70mm, f5.6 @iso1600
    and you'd really need a shutter of 1/500th which pushes things further out to f5.6 @iso6400

    The F58 gets you to... 1/250th, f5.6 and iso400 or 1/500th, f5.6 @iso1600 respectively

    By now, you've probably decided that flash is not for you, but don't worry, in the old days we needed to know all this stuff but now the display on the back of the flash works it all out for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16
    Thanks for that, quite interesting to have it explained in a way that means real things for what I may use the camera for etc

    in a nutshell, the F58 helps me to get more out of my equipment, and in future when I buy better lenses it will make them even more useful? Is that a reasonable summation?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Pretty much.
    On a higher end camera like the A700, the F58AM becpmes a master controller with full wireless control of grouped flashes with ratio control.
    With a better (faster) lens like the 28-75 F2.8 SAM you get an extra two stops of light to play with so you have options to extend the flash range or lower the ISO or increase the shutter speed.

    If you already had a fast lens, you could make an argument in favour of the cheaper F42 but as it is, the F58 is the better choice. That's my opinion anyway, feel free to chime in, guys.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Not sure about the Quantaray you have so I would recommend getting at least one decent lens as well.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

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