Greater Gear (part 2)

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So in the last post I shed some light on various of types of flash units. In this second section of Greater Gear, I will talk about some vital lens every photographer needs at some point. So to first start off, acquire a fast prime. A prime is a type of lens with a fixed focal length. This means that you are unable to zoom in or out, so what you see in the viewfinder is what you get. Primes come in various focal lengths but some of the common ones are: 14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm… Personally, I love the 50mm f/1.8 prime optics for Nikon. It comes in for about $100 to $200  but they are really sharp and fast. With its wide aperture, you are capable of shooting in low light situations and perfect to blur backgrounds for portraits. You can also consider an 85mm f/1.8 lens but could run you up to $400 to $500 for Canon or Nikon optics. Similar lenses for Micro Four Thirds (Olympus and Panasonic) are by the 45mm f/1.8 M Zuiko Olympus lens, a 90mm full-frame equivalent for about $400.

Once you have got your kit and your 50mm, it is time for a lens that gets specific to the pictures you want to make. If you are drawn to landscape or architectural interiors, you will want to go wide-angle with a zoom getting to about 17mm (full frame), 11-12mm (APS-C) or 8mm (Mirco Four Thrids). If sports or nature is more your thing, you will want to go long with a lens that gets out to 200mm (APS-C) or 300mm (full frame). Makers of crop sensor DSLRs produce inexpensive kit tell-zooms such as 50-200mm f/4- 5.6 Pentax for about $165. These are light and compact but are dim. On the expensive side, a fast 70-200mm f/2.8 image-stabilized full frame Canon or Nikon optics are around $2,000 to $2,400. If wildlife and sports at long distance interest you, go longer. For lenses, 300mm or longer, many pros opt for single-focal-length lenses rather than zooms. Lastly, if shooting small stuff then a macro lens will let you focus close on tiny things. The 100mm f/2.8 versions of these are pricey, roughly $600 to $1,000 but very versatile they can double as fine portrait lenses. But before you jump the gun to get your new gear. I would advise you to rent the gear from borrowlenses or other rental companies before making a huge investment.

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