Greater Gear (part 1)

(c) 2016/

Have you outgrown your kit accessories? Well, today I will provide some insider on what to buy when you are ready to get serious. Like most photographers, you probably began with a crop sensor (APS-C format) digital SLR or  a mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact. And you probably have the kit zoom lens that came with it but you are ready to take you photography further; here are 3 vital upgrades that will allow you to take portraits in any light and new glass will expand your framing possibilities.

The single most important accessory you can buy after your kit zoom is not actually another lens but a shoe-mount flash unit. An accessory flash puts out more light than the wimpy pop-up on your camera. Most flashes let you bounce light off the ceiling or wall and, if you have a model that dedicated to your particular camera, it can adjust the flash exposure automatically. These units can also be used remotely, and most dedicated flashes can be controlled wirelessly via your camera built-in pop-up. You can opt for a high-end, high-power system flash typified by the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT ($500) which has wireless radio control and is powerful enough to double as a studio flash with an umbrella. You could also choose a mid-level model like Nikon’s SB-500 AF Speedlight ($250) which has many of the same features as the “big” flashes and pretty good power. Then there is a fairly inexpensive alternative like the Cactus RF60 Wireless ($175) which has substantial power.

Next time I will talk about fast 50mm lens and lens that you really need. Here is a hint, it starts with Tele.