Though I can’t actually use my Canon 350d at the moment (I can’t get my broken right arm up far enough to control the cam) that’s not stopping me from looking around for cool accessories. For starters, I want to have the Starving Student Strobist kit. Strobist is a photography blog about off-camera lighting. After reading a lot of its articles I’m convinced I want to try this.
Purchase #1 is an external flash – which I wanted anyway, since the 350s onboard flash isn’t much use. Though I know about the problems with this particular model, I opted for a second-hand Sigma EF-500 Super DG. For half the price of a Speedlite 430EX I get capabilities similar to a Speedlite 550EX. Can’t argue with that value for money. Strobist recommends getting a cheap old-school flash like a Nikon SB-24 and using it solely for off-camera lighting, but I wanted a flash that could do both off and on-camera. This was the most affordable solution. I might pick up a 24 from eBay later on, when I get more experience.
Next up is the rest of the kit. The Starving Student kit is basically a tiny Bogen lightstand combined with a tiny Westcott double-folding umbrella. The resulting kit is no bigger than your forearm and can be carried with you anytime you take your camera. Setting it up should take no longer than a minute, which means that with this kit you have off-camera light anywhere you go. Want to make it even cooler? Grab this cheap-ass receiver/transmitter from eBay and you can do your lighting wireless.
Now I can get the tripod (sold by Manfrotto in Europe for a lot more money than its American counterpart), but can’t find the double-folding umbrellas here. They need to be double-folding or they’ll be too large to lug around comfortably, but apparently Westcott is the only company that makes them and they don’t sell in Europe. I can buy them from MPEX, Strobist’s sponsor company, but they charge hideous amounts for shipping. And it’s supposed to be the starving student kit, not the trust fund student kit :(…