January 8, 2013

The Perfect Match! Let's talk Camera Equipment

There are two things we need to consider before you even click on this B and H link. 

(You just clicked on it didn't you? I know you!)

1. What is your budget? Take that number and expect that at least half should be spent on a GOOD LENS.

Camera bodies (the actual camera back) are nice, but a good lens is forever. Photographers take lenses from their old manual cameras and are able to put them on their new digital camera bodies. So although camera backs may come and go, a good lens is forever.

If you have $100. buy a "nifty" 50 lens with a 1.8 aperture (we'll talk about why 1.8 in another post). This lens will give you those magically blurry backgrounds that we all crave in portraits.

If you have $1500. (sorry the jump was so high but I don't recommend the in between lenses!)  I recommend the 24-70. It's very versatile and lets you get wide angle and up close shots with a twist of the barrel. Now you can chase around your toddler, they can go out of the 50 mm range, and you can still catch a photo (not that I'm speaking from experience.) You can also get some very magnified shots at 70 mm range.

Now a telephoto lens is ideal if you want to photograph things that are far away. I haven't tried too many of these lenses so I don't feel comfortable recommending that you plunk down your money on any particular telephoto lens because you will spend a good chunk of change on any quality one. Why? Because while you are magnifying what your subject you are also magnifying any imperfections in the lens. ANY TELEPHOTO LENS RECOMMENDATIONS photography friends? I'd appreciate any advice as I would LOVE one for my husband who seems to want to take pictures of animals that are really far away!

2. Camera bodies, you have to have something to put that lens on! In my opinion, you are limited to two choices, the Nikon and the Canon. So that makes your life simple, just flip a coin right? I know some will argue that a pentax or some other brand are good, but the majority of professional photographer shoot Nikon or Canon so who am I to argue. And a digital Hasselblad is just way too expensive so I won't even mention it's my dream camera. I don't shoot with a Nikon so I have no idea, but both will get the job done. If this is your first camera purchase I recommend the Rebel.  It is a very manageable and affordable starter camera. For a complete upgrade the Canon EOS 5D Mark 11 is awesome. It has a huge screen, better in low lighting, and I'm learning takes good video footage as well. . .which is cool because you can use different lenses and get selective focus (blurry backgrounds which I love!)

Take Aways: 
  • Save most of your budget for your lens. 
  • A smaller number lens (for example 17 mm) means a wider view.
  • A larger number lens (for example 200 mm) means a more magnified view.
  • Decide what you will be photographing most before you choose your lens. 
  • Choose a camera body that fits your budget and your experience. Pick a brand with a good reputation like Canon or Nikon. Lenses are much more resalable in the future should you decide to change hobbies!
  • I recommend making any big purchase from B and H. They are a quality company that has endless knowledge of their products and will take care of you. I have purchasing with them since high school and have been very sorry any time I went anywhere else!
OR you could just do what this guy does and use your iPhone! Let's not forget the camera doesn't make your photos you do.

Kevin Russ | A Traveling Photographer from Max Monty on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Phyl said...

So funny. I placed a little order from B&H late last night - I needed a hood, and I wanted a polarizing filter (a personal favorite) and a rocket blower. I swear, I was ordering stuff from them when I was in college photo in the early 70's so I knew they were trustworthy.

By the way, the basic kit lens coming with the cameras I looked at were all 18-55mm. I'd love a bigger zoom but wouldn't love carrying it around, so when I can afford a lens (which now won't be for awhile) it will probably be a macro.

Looking forward to what you will post next!