Saturday, 22 October 2011

stages of equipment through the years.

i keep getting questions like 'how did you get started in photography?', or 'what lens do you use?' so i've decided to put together a post for those who are interested in what kind of equipment i've started out on and what i use now.

#1 - the cellphone ( ~'06-'07)

this is similar to the kind of camera i used for my first 'test shots'. you know. photos of friends. of my siblings. of cool places i've been. i actually enjoyed having a better than average cellphone camera - back in those days, one could only dream of what you get now on the iphone.

#2 - the glorified point and shoot ( ~'07-'08)

ah, the point and shoot. i used to get particularly annoyed because this camera (the sony dsc v3, made in 2004) wasn't quite small enough to fit in my pocket. but it definitely helped me transition to dSLR's. i shot quite a few photos on this but i never really liked it much- i think it was that i couldn't switch between various apertures.....yeah. you could understand, right?

#3 - the entry level dSLR ( ~'08)

oh boy. i remember this one- i shot my first 'photoshoot' on the nikon d70. my dad was into nikons then (and still is) so i just used his cameras for practice. i was a little happier about being able to play with the various settings (i rarely ventured into manual though) and this is when i actively started asking my friends to model for me. i guess you could say i was in the makes of building a 'portfolio' now. 

i used the nikon d70 with the only lens available, the kit 18-55mm f/3.5

#4 - the dad's really cool dSLR (~'09-'10)

before you ask- yes, i did use my dad's nikon d3 for a couple of years back in high school. i wish i could've had it with me everywhere, but unfortunately parents tend to become protective of expensive camera equipment so i used the d70 whenever i couldn't get the d3. i absolutely loved having this camera. it was quick, sharp, and could pretty much see better in the dark than i could... crazy night time photography. i started approaching model agencies about now, and becoming more active with photography- high school fashion shows, senior portraits, model tests, etc.

my dad got two lenses to go with this camera, the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 14-24mm f/2.8. i was influenced by photographers who shot with a creamy bokeh background, and it was incredibly nice to finally use a lens that could mange such a wide aperture.

#5 - my current dSLR ( ~06/'10-present)

and we have reached the final part of the long line of cameras i've been through. i saved up for the canon 5d mark ii - yes, all of it- for a few years before deciding this was the camera i wanted. i've named mine 'remi' for the character in ratatouille (a delightful movie that you should watch if you haven't already!) i bought remi with the most inexpensive canon lens out there- the 50mm f/1.8. 

but after a year- i kid you not, a year...i decided it was time to upgrade. so i sold the 50mm f/1.8 and bought the 50mm f/1.4.

a few months later, i got the 24-70mm L f/2.8 because i was dying for a lens that had some wide-angle potential.

and then, after doing extensive research. and lots of wishful thinking, i got the 85mm L f/1.2 II.

endnote: i don't think that anyone should start off in photography with the most expensive, high quality equipment (unless you're already pro of course). i can't stress this enough- you cannot rely on your equipment to get you places. 

if you want to improve, study your own work. become your own worst critic. so when you finally splurge on that dream camera of yours, you know that you have your own vision in mind, ready to channel it to the world.


  1. I agree with you it's better to not start off in photography with the most expensive equipment. In digital photography I began with a Nikon D3000 and I kept it during 2 years. It's just after this time I felt it was not enough for what I wanted to do, so I bought a 5d mark ii + 24-70mm L f/2.8. I hope I can soon buy the 85mm L f/1.2... I tried it and fell in love with it :)

  2. love your last few sentences :)


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