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Thread: Essential lenses & gear

  1. #1
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    Essential lenses & gear

    Well after some knid individual relieved my of all my camera equipment it's time to start repacing it after receiving the insurance payout. I'm also a bit of a newbie when it comes to photography, so i was wondering what are the essentials that everyone carries in their bags.

    Oh yeah i generally like to shoot landscapes and occasionally sport & portraits and have the canon 550D and twin IS lens kit at the moment.

    thanks

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    Well, it really depends on what you are shooting, and a number of other things, in the end though there is no "right" answer as while many of us have the same items in our kits, there are also certain lenses which some swear by and others loathe. I think to get the best idea you probably need to put some shots up in the photos section for C&C, as its much easier to talk about things like this when we know what your photography and skills are like.

    Taking a look at what you have said your main limitations are the speed of your lenses, and the focal lengths you have (18-55 and 55-250 zooms im guessing). In your position, and shooting landscapes/occasional portrait sports I would go for a Canon 50mm F1.8 USMII (one of the bargain lenses on the market, beautiful sort of portrait length and something that makes you work instead of the slackness of zooms for composition plus its fast glass). Yes there are a huge number of other things you could have, but IMHO the best learning tool out there is a prime of around that length as it forces you to think and move to get the photograph you want and allows you to practice the key concepts using DOF etc.

    So get some photos up and hopefully we can help you learn as a photographer. Definitely check out the New to Photography section, its got some great tutorials.
    John
    Nikon D800, D700, Nikkor 14-24 F2.8, 24-70mm F2.8, 50mm F1.8D, 70-200mm F2.8 VRII, Manfrotto 190XB with Q5 PM Head,
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    Stormchasing isn't a hobby...its an obsession.
    For my gallery and photography: www.emanatephotography.com

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    I think you need to look at your images and actually see what focal lengths you use most. This will help point you in a particular direction. There are so many lenses out there and it is easy to overlap and suddenly find you have spent money on a lens you no longer tend to use. I know, I have! For landscapes a wide angle greater than 18 is the go, but a UWA is not a great portait lens. I used to say my 10-22 was my most used lens, followed by my 50mm f1.4 and then my 28-135. But since buying a 15-85 I don't seem to use the others as much. For me, it is now probably my most versatile lens.
    Lloyd
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    Jollie - what Lloyd and John said + you probably already know.

    Of the equipment you had which you sadly lost (I can't imagine how devastating that must have been - I don't have insurance) what were the main items you used the most? That should point you in the right direction.

    Personally, my 24-70 is my most used focal length - I strongly suggest you buy the best you can afford. I rather have one good lens and not a collection of mediocrity.
    .
    Cheers, Mal

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    Canon EOS 5DM3, 7D and a modest collection of "L" goodies

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    If you are serious about landscapes then you will probably want a wide angle lens. There are good reports about the sigma 10-20 which would be advantageous over the 50mm min length you have.

    Having said that I would recommend having a long think about where you are headed. As Mal has said, buy the best that you can afford but also try not to buy the same length twice. If you decide you are serious about portraits and think that you would love the 50mm 1.4 or 1.2 then you don't want to be buying the 1.8 first. The same with the 10-20 length. If your heart is set on the Canon 10-22 then if you buy the Sigma you are risking not getting your money back come time to buy what you really want.

    There will be lots of arguments about better to get what you can afford at the time and this is true in a lot of cases but seriously consider where you want to head and purchase accordingly.
    Vince

    Space; The Final Frontier

    C & C encouraged on all images


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    Thanks for the advice guys, I'd love to put some photo's up but the bastards took my laptop which had all my photos on it as well (I know it was pretty stupid for them not to be backed up somewhere which is a mistake i wont be making again). I'm certianly going to look into the wide angled lenses you've suggested.

    As it's been quite a while since the old high school photography classes for me i'll definately be taking a wander through the tutorials on here and putting some pics up for your suggestions on how to improve..

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    I have found the members here a very valuable resource, they have helped me with my photographic/computer skills so much. And as you probably aware there are so many how to videos on youtube and many other great sites where learning is made so available and interesting.

    Have you learnt to be careful with your gear? Shite, I'd be in trouble if I got ripped off - I don't have insurance (too expensive), so I'm extra careful.

    All the best Jollie with your learning curve.

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