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Thread: Essential Extras - and why

  1. #1
    It's all about the Light!
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    Essential Extras - and why

    I have a friend at work who's 17yo is going to get a camera.
    (Canon 550d + lens(es))
    She has been using a 1000D at school and has found she loves photography.

    I've had a quick chat about twin lens kit vs good glass etc. and ask that she give some thought to what types of photography she maybe interested in.
    Obviously suggested she join AP

    But it raises a question: What basic equipment extra's are essential?

    My take is this: (Within budget essentials)
    • Pick one or two decent lenses (maybe a prime and a fast zoom)
    • Pick a decent camera body
    • Get one or two memory cards
    • PP software

    -- Now the nice to haves (depends a bit on Genre)
    1. A decent (read solid) tripod
    2. A remote (cable or IR)
    3. Some filters (ND, Grad ND etc)
    4. A Flash/Speedlight
    5. Wireless remote for flash
    6. Reflectors
    7. Soft box


    What extras do you find essential for your photography and why?
    regards, Kym Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  2. #2
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    An extra battery.
    And a bag of some description.
    Canon 5D MkII | Canon 7D
    Various prime and zoom lenses



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    I'd second a bag, and I'd suggest one that's a little roomier than she needs to begin with, so there's room for extras down the line. Learnt that lesson the hard way...

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    Member Watchamacallit's Avatar
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    I'd third the bag.

    Other than that, depending on the type of shots probably a speedlite/flash of some variety (for indoors) outdoors maybe some filters? (I'm not quite savvy on the outdoor photography parts yet)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    ...
    But it raises a question: What basic equipment extra's are essential?

    My take is this: (Within budget essentials)
    • Pick one or two decent lenses (maybe a prime and a fast zoom)
    • Pick a decent camera body
    • Get one or two memory cards
    • PP software

    -- Now the nice to haves (depends a bit on Genre)
    1. A decent (read solid) tripod
    2. A remote (cable or IR)
    3. Some filters (ND, Grad ND etc)
    4. A Flash/Speedlight
    5. Wireless remote for flash
    6. Reflectors
    7. Soft box


    What extras do you find essential for your photography and why?
    For years I survived with an SLR, a 28-70 zoom, a 100-200 zoom, a low-end flash and a low-end tripod. Yes, I wanted more, but did not *need* more.

    In the current age, I think the prospective entrant needs to have things that make photography easier, but not too complex. Too many bits of equipment means too many things to learn/carry/decide to use - and too many variables to manage and control. By learning with limited kit, your friend can learn the essential skills of photography: exposure and composition.

    Essential:

    Camera
    2 lenses (covering wide to telephoto, although I'd really encourage one prime and one telephoto)
    Tripod
    Ball head and quick-release plate (Didn't have the ball head or quick-release for years, so didn't use the tripod often - it was too hard. Now I use it without a second thought.)
    External flash

    Good computer (too slow and PP won't get done)
    Good computer screen (poor colour rendition makes poor photography IMO)
    Good PP software (I have no recommendations, as they*all* have faults, and most programs are either a - expensive and/or b - hard to learn and/or c - need a really fast computer)
    A couple of good reference books (photography and software - I need a software one)

    Nice to have:

    decent bag (I don't have one)
    spare image cards (I only use one)
    spare batteries (I only use one)
    remote trigger

    Only after they know which way they are going
    more lenses (only after you know what you are interested in)
    more flashes (only after you know what you are interested in)
    wireless flash remote (I just got some)
    reflectors (I just got some)
    softbox (I don't have one)

    I think we rely too much on having everything, when all you really need is something to take photos and something to help display them.

    Edit: BTW, you might want to hold off on the bag and leave it for relatives to give as presents for birthdays and/or christmas.
    Last edited by farmer_rob; 08-06-2010 at 1:02pm. Reason: added later thought
    Regards, Rob

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  6. #6
    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I think the bag is essential, unless you plan on never taking your gear out of the house/studio.

  7. #7
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    Patience.
    Hi Im Darren

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  8. #8
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    Why is a bag essential? I have something that I can put all my gear in (it is NOT designed as a camera bag), but I rarely take all my gear. Most of the time, I'll take a camera with lens and a tripod, and no bag. We are talking here about a beginner photographer, and what is essential to get started.

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    Lens cleaning kit

  10. #10
    Member davesmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer_rob View Post
    Why is a bag essential? I have something that I can put all my gear in (it is NOT designed as a camera bag), but I rarely take all my gear. Most of the time, I'll take a camera with lens and a tripod, and no bag. We are talking here about a beginner photographer, and what is essential to get started.
    Agreed. I wouldn't say a bag was essential either. But you could also ask why you consider an external flash essential? I've been doing photography for a while and don't have an external flash. I certianly don't find it essential.

    Ultimately all they essentially need is a camera (which will come with a battery), a lens, and a memory card.

    When they start to get an idea on what they want to do that's when you work out what becomes essential. Take a shine to action/sport photography, a faster lens might be top of the list, portraiture and an external flash might become a requirement, landscaping and you can't do without a tripod etc.

    Except for the camera, lens and card, it's impossible to say what is essential without knowing what you want to do.
    Cheers,
    Dave



  11. #11
    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    extra battery
    external flash
    a small fast prime (eg 50mm)
    wireless remote
    sturdy tripod

    ...maybe a bag?

  12. #12
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    For me a tripod (not a cheap and nasty wobbly thing like i bought 3 times) is the essential extra. Primary reasons is newbies to photography are going to have enough trouble with IQ and other things re the lens/es they buy initially without having the wobbles in taking the shot as well. It takes out the movement blur issue for most photography.

    Also, you can take the same exact shot whatever it is using several exposures and shutter speeds and apetures etc and get to know your camera faster if you have a solid, consistent base upon which most of your images are taken. I would not advise going without a decent, sturdy tripod unless you can afford a lens with a decent IS and/or fast speed built into the lens.

    Everything else would be guided by the genre you want to follow, so for landscapes you would start collecting ND and GND filters essential for decent sunrise/sunset/waterfall/rainforest results etc etc..for portrait work you might start with a decent flash and reflectors...etc etc.
    Last edited by David; 08-06-2010 at 5:07pm.
    Comments and CC welcome..

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    Depending on the type of photography to be done some kind of filter like a circular polariser can be extremely useful.
    Andrew

    Mostly Canon gear

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    Absolute essentials = camera, 1 x lens, 1 x battery, 1 x battery charger, 1 x memory card. Thats it.

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    Ok I'm new. I have 1x camera, 1x lens, battery and charger that came with the camera. I also have 1x memory card and a bag (but I have to say I'm not using the bag much as it is small and annoying).

    I'm finding this is all quite enough to keep me entertained (probably for some time ). I really like macro but I'm holding off buying a proper macro lens until I'm more comfortable with the camera (plus I'm well confused about different lenses).

    The only thing I'm debating is a tripod, but again I am holding off until I really understand what I'm doing. If I find that everything wobbles all the time, then I'll investigate further.

  16. #16
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    There's two articles on external sites that I think have some (slightly humourous) relevance here - but budget always intervenes. Thom Hogan's take on tripods and Mike Johnstone's "Letter to George"

    davesmith: I'd concede the external flash, but I think a flash is an excellent learning tool for particular sorts of photography, and I have learned to hate the internal one on the camera.

    Darren: pretty much spot on, but I think two lenses helps you learn (at least it helped me learn that I always have the wrong one on )

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    2 lenses does help in terms of getting your head around FOV and lens perspective etc ...

    But I think the best advice for someone getting into DSLR photography for the first time is to concentrate 100% on learning basic fundamentals, camera handling, exposure triangle (SS, Ap, ISO). I really think the gear thing is very much secondary. I think it is good to help people understand that if you work out what you want to shoot and then build your kit, you will be less likely to spend money on stuff that will just sit idle, and more money on stuff that will get used.

  18. #18
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    Only a body a lens a memory card are essential, everything else is on a nice to have basis

    What I think essential to do say professional sport photography at mcg is very different than what say dazzler finds essential for studio work

    Eg, I don't find a tripod essential for me
    Darren
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    Administrator (Site Owner) ricktas's Avatar
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    Lens cleaning cloth. Cheap and very worthwhile.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdazzler View Post
    Absolute essentials = camera, 1 x lens, 1 x battery, 1 x battery charger, 1 x memory card. Thats it.
    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Only a body a lens a memory card are essential
    Yep ...

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