Best Camera Gear to Buy?

Nikon Camera, photo by OV&P

What camera equipment should I buy?

This is one the questions I’m most frequently asked, like yesterday by James, a young university student. I’ll share my response to him, as it may be useful to other aspiring photographers among you.

First off, let me mention that we are die-hard Nikon advocates, having used their equipment unfailingly for fifteen years. Pro photographer friends of ours, though, are equally supportive of Canon, which is the other leading brand that we would recommend – obviously taking into account that your purchasing decision will be determined by your budget and photographic objectives.

Here’s my response to James:

“I admire you for the maturity and patience you are exhibiting.

If you are going to wait, and you are serious about doing photography at a high level, this is my advice.

It really would be ideal to get pro lenses from the get go, as they will last you a lifetime, and you will not have to go through what most people do, and that is slowly upgrading and losing money along the way on cheaper lenses.

Please don’t get me wrong, the consumer lenses are excellent value for money, and they are perfect for hobbyist photographers, but just lack the extra sharpness and colour detail a pro lens will give you, and you do pay a big premium for that.

My list of lenses are as follows:

14-24 f2.8

24-70 f2.8

70-200 f2.8

105 Macro f2.8

200-400 f4

600 f4

1.4 (1 stop light loss) and 2x (2 stop light loss) Nikon Teleconverters

SB900 and SB800 flashes

I would advise you to get the 70-200 f2.8 first, then a flash, then tele-converters, then 24-70, then 200-400, then 105 macro,then 14-24, and then the 600.

If you want to compromise, the 80-400 Nikon lens is a great utility lens, and you can sell it easily when you decide to upgrade.

Finally, the DX/FX sensor decision is based mainly on low light performance.

The DX is great because of the magnification factor for Wildlife and Sport, and works well to ISO 800.

The FX is great and probably the pro’s choice, because it works well to ISO 6400 and beyond on the new PRO bodies, gathers more accurate light and colour detail, is compromised on the zoom end but works brilliantly for wide-angle and landscape type shooting.

I hope this helps in some way to assist you in making the right decisions over time.”

So much the better if it can help some of you readers out too . . . and please feel free to add your own comments or questions below.