What should I spend the money on?

Started Jan 21, 2009 | Discussions thread
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tipsinartok
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What should I spend the money on?
Jan 21, 2009

I see lots of threads like this, so sorry for another one, but I have a few specific questions. I have the Canon XS with kit lens and am a very new photographer but really want to learn and love to take pictures. It's been a hobby since I was old enough to hold a camera but this is my first SLR.

Mostly right now I want to take pictures of my 18-month-old daughter and her friends, and pictures of pets. A good friend is having a baby soon and I would love to take some maternity pictures of her and then some pictures of her new baby. My budget is probably $500 max right now, and cheaper would be better. I'm wondering which of the following would be good for indoor and outdoor portraits to complement the lens and body I already have and for learning on:

-a flash (and if so, which one? The Speedlite 420 I can get really cheap used but is it a good flash?)
-50mm f/1.8 ~$130 new
-50mm f/1.4 ~$300 used, is it really worth double the price of the f/1.8?
-Canon 20mm f/2.8, $250 used
-Canon 28mm f/2.8 $150 used
Or should I look at some with more range? Like:
-Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8, $400 used
-Sigma 17-70mm $300 used
-Canon EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 $100 used
-Canon EF 28-135mm IS $350 used

Or should I save the money and just learn with the kit lens for now? I'm having a lot of fun with the camera, but I do feel like I'm not getting great shots inside my house, which has fairly bad light most of the day. But that is probably more a limitation of the user (me!) than the camera.

Thanks!

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