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Posted: 4/15/2017 10:50:45 AM EDT
My 16yo daughter loves cameras and photography. She has a Rebel T3 and a G7x mark II for most close in pics. The rebel was a black Friday package a couple years back. It came with a 55mm and a 300mm. Her birthday is coming up (June) and I want to get her some gear to make her older T3 fun again.

I was thinking of these:
polarizing/tinted lens filters
good tripod
and a mid-budget lens

I need advice on where to buy, a good tripod, and most importantly a good lens.

Regarding the lens, what is more fun a good lens for good quality, a long range lens or a fast lens for sports? I know lenses can get pricey, so lets keep the budget under $600.

Any other gift ideas would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:00:43 AM EDT
When I was starting out a few years back, I bought a rebel t3i and had the standard kit lens to learn DSLR photography.

Once I learned the basics, I picked up an EF 24-105 f/4L off craigslist (new in the box) for $550, and that took that camera to a new level.

It is the "kit" lens with some packages with the 6D or 5D series, so alot of times people sell them off when they upgrade cameras and already have 24-70 or 70-200 lenses.

Either that lens or the 70-200 f/4L if youre looking for longer range. Either one will be in the price range you seek and take that camera to another level.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:25:33 AM EDT
I know nothing about lenses. What makes the EF 24-105 f/4L a good lens and what is better than the 18-55mm and 70-300 that came with the camera?
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:00:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:13:14 PM EDT
I figured it was one of those, you get what you pay for, things. thanks for the details.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:29:04 PM EDT
I found a 70-200 f4 non IS on Craigslist in Nashville for $400. Is it worth it? What questions should I ask? If I drive to see it, what should I look for?

how important is image stabilization?

Weight: These are 3lbs, she is a small girl. Would she be better off with a lighter but better quality lens?
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:43:55 PM EDT
I doubt she would see a huge benefit in upgrading the lenses she already has. It's not a bad idea though if you think she will stick with the hobby as a premium lens has a long life and can always be used again on a nicer body. But I would try to get a lens that does something she can't do right now.

If you upgrade the lens she already has i would ask if they have ever held her back? Has she not been able to get a photo with her lens and would upgrading it solve that problem?

Another thing that could help is if there is a specific thing likes to photograph, landscapes, flowers, people, indoors, etc. Specific lenses and their features work better for some subjects.

To me image stabilization is important. Especially in a zoom lens. Without it you will be restricted to higher shutter speeds which means you need more light, or you need a tripod.  To say it another way image stabilization allows you to get pictures in lower light levels, sometimes substantially lower.

Lighter and better quality dont really go together. As lenses go up in quality they get heavier. More glass, more robust construction,  wider apetures all add weight.

Polarizing filters may be a good idea. They are primarily used for landscape or photos with the sky in them. Depending if she edits her photos almost all the other filters can be reproduced with software, usually in a more controlled way.

Mefoto has some good tripods at reasonable prices. I bought the road trip and like it.

I would suggest the canon 10-18 efs lens. It doesnt sound like she has a wide angle lens yet.

Canon also has a 35mm efs macro lens coming out that looks promising if she likes to photograph macro subjects.

For a fast lens the canon 85mm 1.8 would fit your budget. The 50mm 1.8 may be another good option.  They are cheap and people love them. I happen not to like my 50mm but most people do. The 1.8 apeture means these lenses can work with much less light. They can typically take photos in a moderately lit room with no flash.

If she doesn't have one yet a nice camera bag is good to have. I just picked up the tenba dna 13 and really like it.

One last idea would be an adobe creative cloud subscription. It's  $10 a month and you get lightroom, photoshop, and a bunch of other stuff. Enough tutorials on youtube to learn everything. Editing photos with lightroom will allow her to make far bigger changes than any lens upgrade. The program can be a little complex at first because there is so much you can do. But there is a youtube video to walk you through everything.

Bh photo is where i get most my gear. Their prices usually match amazon and free shipping and no tax. Be sure to check the official canon site for refurbished lenses. They are cheaper and sometimes on sale too. They come with a one year warranty.

My last suggestion, i promise. If she isn't doing it already make sure she is backing up her photos. Amazon prime has free unlimited storage. I put all my photos on Amazon, computer hard drive, then a second external drive. External hhd drives are cheap.
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 5:43:52 PM EDT
Ok, I got the 411 on lenses. What about accessories, for ex, sun shades/hoods, filters, tripods, shoulder stap. What is a good online store to buy this stuff?
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