Lets talk equipment today, and I’ll share with you a little peek inside my camera bag at my lenses. Photography is an overwhelming hobby in many aspects. First, you have to figure out what camera to buy, then teach yourself how to use said camera, then there is gear and all sorts of other fun stuff to learn to improve your photography. It can make ones’ head spin. (And not to mention the financial investment)
I remember when I started out in 2012, trying to figure out what camera to buy made me want to poke my eyeballs out …I was so overwhelmed with the options! I wanted someone to just do it for me. Today’s tip: The camera body is less important than the camera lens.
With that said, lets talk bodies. Canon or Nikon–period. Either brand is an excellent option. If you truly want to learn photography, you will want an SLR, which allows you to change your lenses.
Once you decide on the brand, you now have to decide on the model. There are varying tiers with camera bodies. I really don’t know a lot of difference in all of the models, but I suggest starting with a lower model if budget is a major factor.
With Canons the beginner tier is the Rebels/Tii’s. Then you have the 6D range, then the more pro bodies are 5D, 5D markIII, etc. I went from a Canon Rebel in 2011 to a Canon 60D in 2012, and have used my Canon 5D Mkiii since 2013.
I see TWO big reasons to upgrade to a higher level body model: 1) You plan to shoot professionally–you don’t want to have a lower model than the people you are photographing. 2) You plan to shoot a lot inside in dark rooms (live in gloomy winters with little window light). The ISO capabilities are much more impressive, the more pro you go.
What lens should I buy? This is such a tough question as everyone’s photography journey is different. In this post, one photographer breaks it down in the order she bought certain lenses as well as recommendations for different lenses you may want to consider.
Understanding the writing on the lens - Reading the writing on your lens can seem like a foreign language. Don’t be intimated any longer and really understand what you are purchasing. You no longer need to rely on the sales person to explain what a certain lens has to offer.
Picking a favorite lens is like picking a favorite child. But I narrowed it down to outdoor and indoor lens. My favorite outdoor lens is my 70-200mm and my favorite indoor lens is my 35mm
Lenses on crop vs. full frame sensors - Depending on whether you have a crop camera or a full frame camera, one lens will show more or less depending on your sensor. In this post, we do a direct comparison of certain lenses on both camera bodies so you can see what you are getting.
Comparing different lenses Ever wonder what an the range of a 24-70mm looks like? Or maybe a 50mm vs an 85mm.
These additional posts are for you.
The most popular question I get asked is “What lens should I buy first?” I recommend skipping the kit lens and buying the camera body only. I tell everyone the same thing my photography friend (Ashley) told me, the 50mm 1.4. This lens does it all for an affordable cost. I still remember the day I got my 50mm 1.4. I fell madly in love with it.
Reasons to get PRIME Lenses
1. Blurry backgrounds.– Who doesn’t want those sharp photos of your subject with the cool blurry background? Lenses with a lower number aperture like f/1.4 will help you achieve that look. This is not to say a lens with a f/2.8 aperture will not also yield the same affect.
2. Cost – Yes, lenses are expensive! And if you are like me, I almost fell over when I first found out the price. BUT they are well worth the investment if you ask me!
3. Fixed aperture– This is one of the most important features when trying to learn manual mode. Nothing is more frustrating than when you get your settings correct and then you zoom a little on a variable lens. Once you zoom the aperture typically changes depending on your focal point and then your settings are messed up again. It’s a vicious cycle.
4. Focus on one part of the frame – I love being able to focus on one aspect of the image. Shooting with a lens that goes as wide as f/1.4 helps you achieve this look.
Well thats about it in a nutshell, hope this blog with links help you decide as you go about your photography journey.
**Disclaimer some text and pictures are from non-affliated links. Content and images are accurate as I see fit.