really enjoy taking photos at night and I just love the way pictures at night look, I'm extremely new at photography in general and I have a Canon 600D T3i with a 18-55mm Lens.
I want to get another lens but I'm not exactly sure which would be the best lens for night photography. Any recommendations or tips?
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With everything you have said etc, Do you think I should buy the Magnus or the Silk Sprint pro II ? Some people are saying to get a ball head Tripod and I'm not sure if that's different than what you recommended.
Ball heads are the easiest tripod head to use, because they are the fastest to re-adjust. It usually involves adjusting just one knob, instead of two, or more.
Not every manufacturer that makes decent tripods also makes decent heads. As i noted earlier, I purchase tripods when they are on sale, usually at clearance discount pricing. I do not think there are any "decent" tripod kits out there that sell for a list price of less than $100.
The "Silk Sprint pro II " that you mentioned has a load rating of less than 5 pounds. Be aware that load ratings are usually measured with the center column fully retracted. Extending the center column only adds to the instability to the tripod. Also, take note of how tall a tripod can be both with and without the center column extended. Not every manufacturer releases data about how tall their tripods are with the center column fully retracted. The head lacks a friction control, and I am uncertain if you can remove the head and replace with a better one. Not good.
Typically, you want a tripod that is rated at least 3-4 times the maximum load that you expect to mount on the tripod. I would advise a tripod rated at least 15-20 pounds. Weak tripods can vibrate in a gentle breeze like tuning fork. A good tripod will be lifetime investment.
A quick check at my favorite online store, B&H, shows a The FVY28AIH1 Velocity Series 2 Aluminum Tripod and IH1 Ball Head from Benro is on sale at close to 40% off list price. It is rated at 17 pounds, and includes a case. One of the best things I like about the Benro brand is that most tripods include a case, and Benro makes very good cases.
Please, do not consider that mention of a particular model as a product endorsement. It is just an example of what I consider to be a "decent" tripod.
A really good walk-around zoom is the Canon EF-s 17-55 f/2.8 Ernie suggested. It retails about $825.00 but you can get deals if you look, and used ones go for maybe $450.00 - $550.00. (I'd sell my pristine copy for $450 actually; I have no crop camera that fits it anymore).
The other way to go will be non-zooming, fixed focal length lenses, called "prime" lenses. A list of affordable ones would include:
EF 50mm f/1.8 STM ($120.00)
So cheap you can excuse the flaws. The newly designed STM version is the one to get. Avoid the older ones. The new one makes up for the flimsy build quality and slow buzzy autofocus of the old version of the "nifty fifty".
EF 40mm f/2.8 "pancake". ($150.00)
Pretty good image quality really, and a very usable focal length.
EF-s 24mm f/2.8 pancake ($150.00)
Read reviews. Not familiar with this one. Useful walk around length on a crop camera.
Sigma or Tamron version of the 17-55 f/2.8 (called 17-50 maybe). I hear they are good but I'd prefer a used Canon 17-55 myself.
I appreciate your help so much, my budget is around $200 but id spend more if NEEDED
Save up your money, and buy a lens that is much better than the 18-55mm kit lens that came with the camera. I think the upgrade in image quality that you're looking is not to be found within your stated budget..
Someone above listed three Canon prime lenses that sell for under $200, a 50mm, a 40mm, and a 24mm. The 50mm is f/1.8, while the other two are f/2.8. Of those three, I think the widest, the 50mm, would be the best buy, which doesn't mean that it would give you the results that you might be looking for. I also think the 50mm is the best lens of the three.
Depending upon the subject matter, almost any qualtiy lens can take qualtiy photographs at night, both with or without a flash. The key word here is "quality". I would recommend a lens, but I do not know what focal lengths you are looking for.
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