Sunday, 3 April 2011

self.has(dslr) == true; Now what?

Yesterday I picked up my shiny secondhand Canon 450D:
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I bought it from my father-in-law, who has upgraded to a much shinier 550D. Lucky for me, he didn't want the original bag the 450D came with:
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Yay! New crumpler! I've been eyeing off the crumplers anyway (4 and 5 million dollar homes) but this one will do just fine. I'm thinking about picking out the "EOS" though.

Now that I have my new shinies:
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the observant among you may notice something missing. I don't have a lens - yet. That's today's task - to find and buy my first lens.

The lens I'll probably be getting is the EF 50mm f/1.8 II. I really *want* the EF f/1.4 USM, but can't really afford it at this point. I'm going for a prime lens as I want to learn how to operate my camera well - once I've done that, then I'll figure out all the other fancy stuff that goes along with lenses that do zoom and all that stuff. Also? the f/1.2 weighs 130g, and it's tiny. As someone moving from a mobile phone to a DSLR, small and light are very, very good things while I get used to it.

But where do I buy it?

Currently I'm looking at secondhand on ebay, pickup (so I can test it when I get it straight away, and resolve any issues immediately) or some online retailer sourced via shopbot. Physical stores seem to be relatively expensive - a difference of about $50 on the 50mm f/1.2, which is a lot considering retail is $150. On new lenses, I imagine the warranty is with Canon rather than the retailer - can someone verify this? If there are specific online stores I should be looking at, please let me know - I'm a total babe in the woods here. At this point, I'm not interested in overseas retailers, either - I want the lens NOW. A week is about as long as I want to wait before I have it in my hands. The other consideration is, of course, return and complaints. It's a lot easier to do that for local retailers, online or off.

For my next lens, on the other hand, I would also like recommendations for reputable overseas online dealers. Also for things like filters and lens reversers and mount adjustments and bits.

Speaking of, what should my next lens be? I'm looking at the one the camera usually comes with - the EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I'd be getting this one around Christmas, probably. I'm open to other suggestions, of course, but that one seems to be flexible, reasonably inexpensive, and has decent reviews. On the other hand - I really really REALLY want to do macro photography. I haven't investigated lenses there yet, although I plan to very shortly. Still, recommendations for a macro lens?

Finally, other bits. I would like to get from crumpler the Industry Disgrace as I have noticed the strap on the camera digs in and is uncomfortable after about 30 seconds. And tripods. I'll pick up a gorillapod or knockoff, but for a real one, I still have about no idea. I really need to get into a shop which has a) a large range, and b) helpful staff who are not run off their feet at the time when c) I have time to spend.

Okay, time for me to go read the manual. And do assignments that are due tomorrow ...