Photography equipment for newcomers..

Photography equipment for newcomers.. and Article by Derek Cummings If you are in anyway serious about your photography you will find equipment does not come cheap. With many wise choices […]

Photography equipment for newcomers..

and Article by Derek Cummings

If you are in anyway serious about your photography you will find equipment does not come cheap. With many wise choices to be made if you do not have bottomless pockets. More so if you are a serious amateur but do not sell any of your work.

The first we will notice is once we have chosen our very first DSLR, we will likely be stuck into our chosen stable for years to come.  We will quickly realise that disloyalty to Canon, or Nikon for example can cost us a huge price as the most vital of our equipment, the lenses, are made to fit our brand of camera only.

To confuse the issue more  though you may have paid for the latest all dancing all talking camera last year. With a promise this will be the only one you will ever need. This year you will have drawn to your attention, from the same maker, another camera that promises more. Many will fall into the trap of believing a new camera is what is needed to improve their photography. That this new promise will lead him or her to taking an image that will make them a star. In reality I have seen very good images taken with a mobile phone camera. Although these would have been bettered with a DSLR such as we have. The truth is it is the person behind the lens that makes that great image we sometimes pine to imitate. Do you remember looking at images a decade or more ago? And thinking how really good they were? The chances are the camera you now possess is more powerful and better than the one that took those very same images you were delighted with.

Quite a while ago I realised there was no need to keep buying the latest body. That the best choice for upgrading was to concentrate on spending money on a good lens or two. After all, when you change your body, all them lens will fit the new one and you will have great lens with which to take that perfect picture. It is wise not to walk into the trap of camera buying. Best to learn all you can about our craft through an excellent site such as the ‘Academy of photography’, and to buy  new lenses.

I have found it essential to have the nifty fifty. The 50mm prime lens. Added to this in my bag is the  canon 40mm pancake lens, which is amazingly sharp and perfect to use in big cities and towns where the size means I do not draw attention to myself. The last to add to my kit is the  indispensable 85mm 1.8 prime from Canon. That lens is very crisp, very sharp, works in low light, and as a portrait lens is invaluable.  Yes we do have to work a little harder with a prime lens. But the benefits are crystal clear sharp images that a zoom just cannot manage,  with the added bonus all these prime lenses will work in low light allowing you to take an image that just is not possible with a zoom or your kit lens in bad light.


An off camera flash is essential to getter better reach with your flash. And to get better images in general. The on camera flash although good as a last resort, will result in much harsher images. An umbrella is essential for diffusion and to stop shadows, especially when making portrait images. This can be put together with an inexpensive flash wireless control.

Don’t forget in many situations you will need a a tripod. An essential item in low light photography and for long shutter speeds. Using a tripod with mirror lock set, and a cable release will give you are far superior landscape pictures than hand held and for that really great sunset or sunrise image essential. You will find that if you choose carefully, and wisely, the cost of much photography equipment is quite reasonable once you have some good lenses.

If you are new to photography do not be put off by some that is written in reviews about the kit lens that came with your camera. In my case it is the 18 – 55mm. Although I accept the optics are not  particularly good. The 18 – 55mm  is not dismally bad either. The image with this article was taken with the 18 -55 kit lens with aperture priority of F11 at full focal length. Far better to learn all you can about photography, and get out with your camera, using manual, shutter or aperture priority, and get lots of practice into what makes a good image.


I look forward to writing another short article soon about my adventures in photography.


Derek Cummings.


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