………………………and this might come as a bit of a smack in the mouth.
Are you ready for it……………?
Here it comes…………….
**YOU DON’T NEED THE LATEST CAMERA MODEL OR THE MOST EXPENSIVE LENSES TO MAKE A GREAT IMAGE**
Is that clear?
I don’t really like to shout. In fact I’m very softly spoken in reality, but the amount of content out there that’s driven towards convincing people they need the new ‘Mark XXXXIII’ camera body or the latest 900mm f0.5 lens drives me to despair!
NO, NO, NO……………………..
The only gear you will ever need is the gear that enables you to get the job done.
If you take anything away from reading this article, try to remember the above statement. You and your bank account will thank me for it later. I promise.
Let’s be clear though. You ARE going to need some gear………..and despite what you might see and hear online, buying a £5000 camera body alone is not going to miraculously improve your photography. Not one tiny bit.
Now I’m not disrespecting Canon gear, because I do genuinely love it. I’m just citing examples from my own experience and I’m asking you to question whether you actually need that bit of kit or not.
I’ve tested the expensive lenses. Tried the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 it’s a beautiful lens…………I photographed a wedding with it at Chatsworth House and it was great, but guess what? When it came down to it, I purchased the Sigma 70-200 and it’s been my work horse lens ever since. I tried the 50mm f1.2. Beautiful lens…….heavy price tag. Shoot it at f1.2 and what do you have? Tons of out of focus, useless images…..beautiful bokeh though if that’s any consolation! For my own purpose I bought the cheap and cheerful 50mm f1.8 BECAUSE IT’S THE PIECE OF KIT I NEEDED IN ORDER TO GET THE JOB DONE! Purchasing the lens with the red ring on it won’t necessarily provide you with better images. Sure it may be more contrasty than say the third party manufacturer’s equivalent lens but a slight shift of a contrast slider in Lightroom for example (or better still using targeted contrast adjustments in Topaz Clarity or Nik) is no hardship, and it’s not going to cost you an extra £1500 is it? Is the red ring really worth the extra money? Improving one’s craft comes with practice and learning…….NOT NEW GEAR.
I feel like I want to tell you all to go out there and use your Canon Rebel with the kit lens or a 50mm and learn how to use it so well that you can make incredible images in your sleep.
I’ll let you into a little secret………any photographer, who has taken the time to learn their craft and to master that limited bit of kit, could do exactly just that.
When you buy a piece of kit, my humble advice would be to learn it to the extent of it’s limitations before you look to buy something else. For example. I’m a flash photographer. The first modifier I bought was a reflective umbrella and let me tell you I got the most from that thing. I learned it’s uses off by heart. It’s a great modifier and it’s cheap, but when I came to understand that I needed a bit more control of the spill of light, well then it was at that point when I moved on to buying a soft box with a grid. Can you see my process? After I’d purchased my beloved beauty dish, I then realised I needed to upgrade my regular light stand to a C stand with a boom arm in order to use it effectively.
Here’s an image I made when I was just starting out with that same silver umbrella (collapsed) and that cheapo 50mm f1.8 lens.
I guess what I’m trying to say is……yeah, I’d love the medium format camera or the latest Canon/Sony in an ideal world, but I would honestly focus instead on making great images with the kit that you have. Of course you should upgrade when necessity dictates to (and if you can afford to of course), but let’s face it, the major camera companies will release new kit every year, newer and better. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to buy it to make great images.
Thanks for reading.
I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.
Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.