After the purchase of the 400D, I’ve invested a few more coins in some extra bits of photographic kit.
Firstly, and after a number of recommendations, I’ve bought the Canon 50mm f1.8 prime lens. First impressions are that it lives up to the expectations and the large aperture really benefits indoor photographs without flash. The shallow depth of field makes it great for portraits. I’m going to a christening in a few weeks so I’ll hopefully get to give it a good run out. I picked it up for £75 from the Southampton branch of London Camera Exchange.
Next up was the Canon BG-E3 battery grip. This attaches to the bottom of the camera and bulks it out a bit, as well as taking two batteries. Not an essential purchase, but it does make the camera a bit more weighty and comfortable in my hands, and really helps with portrait shots thanks to the additional shutter release button. Price was a very reasonable £89 again from London Camera Exchange. This beats the best online price I could find (that actually has stock) by a good £30.
To go with the above I purchased a second Canon NB-2LH battery from Amazon for £34.41. I decided not to go for a 3rd party battery, though they are much cheaper. At the same time I bought a 2GB Sandisk Extreme III compact flash card for £46.21 which was around the same price as mymemory.com, but with free postage.
For my forthcoming attempt to take some photos of the Hursley fireworks this Friday I hit eBay, and bought a 3rd party remote shutter release from a seller in Germany. It is essentially the same as the Canon RS-60E3, but at a much lower price of £5.99 including postage. The build quality isn’t as good, but it works and even has an extra feature for controlling two cameras from the same shutter release switch, which the official Canon one can’t do I believe (not that I will have a use for this particular function I’d imagine.)
Finally, and also from eBay, I purchased a Manfrotto 390RB tripod and 390 quick release head as a second hand purchase from a private seller. This turned up this morning and looks in great nick. I used to own a Manfrotto mount and suction cup for an abortive attempt to take some video on a car track day, and their build quality is excellent. I look forward to trying it out in anger. I won the auction at £59 which was a little more than I wanted to pay, but is cheaper than an equivalent new Manfrotto tripod and head would cost.
It’s fair to say that I’m not planning to splurge much more cash in the near future. This should be enough kit to keep me going, and to allow me to capture the pictures I want to get. The only possible exception is a slightly larger bag to keep it all in! In any case, it’s now time to concentrate on producing some end results.