17 Jul My Photo Gear
After I posted this portrait of myself on Instagram (taken by my lovely and talented teenager) I got some questions about my favorite len(es). It’s been quite a long while since I’ve talked about my photo gear so why not use this opportunity to share what I’ve got, some alternatives and what I’d like to add to my collection. I’m sharing video of my gear on Instagram, trying out my new IGTV channel if you want to check that out. Keep in mind, talking photo gear usually opens a can of worms (so many questions, technicalities and specifics) and I am FAR from a gear expert but these are the basics of what—above and beyond my iPhone 8—I use to take pictures.
The OG (my favorite DSLR): Canon 5D No link available because it’s ancient. The very first 5D. The Original. A full frame, tried and true tank of a camera body. This thing has been through it all with me. I love it with all my heart.
The upgrade (the next camera body I’d like to get): Canon 6D Mark ii I don’t have this camera and I’ve never used it but I think from what I’ve read, it’d be a perfect upgrade for me (and probably the most affordable). Have you tried it? What do you think I should upgrade to?
My pride & joy (my favorite lens of all time): Canon 50mm 2.5 Compact Macro Finding this lens new is challenging (because Canon stopped making it) but you can find them used which you’ll see in my link. This is what I have shot 80% of all my DSLR images with over the past 15 years. That a lot of years and a lot of images and it was only $299. It’s like a fixed 50mm lens BUT it’s got a macro capability so I can get in super-close to my subject. I love the versatility. Here’s a few shots I captured with it.
The alternatives (these might be good options to try if you don’t want to buy used)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 The nifty 50 is a fantastic, affordable “everyday” lens. Please note: there is NO macro capability with this lens.
Canon EF S 60mm f/2.8 Compact Macro It’s small, light, affordable, easy to use and has the macro capability. This lens will fit only on your crop sensor camera body (Rebel, 60D, 70D, etc).
The EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Not as easy to use, as affordable or as convenient, this 100mm lens does have some major benefits (it’s much better for portraits than the 60mm), it includes a macro capability and it will fit both a crop sensor body and/or a full frame body.
My ‘close 2nd’ favorite lens: Canon EF 24-70 2.8 This is my most expensive lens. I bought it used many years ago and saved some money that way. It’s a professional lens that yields great results. Versatile focal range so it’s good for groups, landscapes and portraits. I used to shoot weddings and family portraits with this lens.
My other body (which I’m holding in the photo above): Canon EOS 60D (this series of bodies is crop sensor). I couldn’t find a link to it so I’ll share the next step up with the Canon EOS 70D. I bought the 60D to shoot video mostly, but it’s got some other merits and I use it more now than I have in the past. This camera doesn’t perform as well for me in low light scenarios (and I love shooting in low light) BUT it’s awesome for bright light, outdoor shots.
My only EF S lens (which I’m holding in the photo above): Canon EF S 18-200 3.5-5.6 I bought this to go with my 60D and went for a focal range that filled in the gaps of my other lenses so I have more of a focal variety to choose from. This lens is ONLY compatible with my crop sensor body (that’s why the “S” is important to notice when you’re lens shopping). It’s a perfect lens for shooting anything from backyard birds to soccer games.
In a nutshell, my everyday photo equipment arsenal is quite small (and I’ll admit antiquated) BUT it’s done the trick for me for many years. That’s the part about investing in good gear…it is SO worth the investment (if you’re going to use it) and it will last a good long time. I’m a pretty good example of that! If there is any gear you’re interested in, I suggest you try renting it to give it a spin. Find a local lab or camera store that rents (Bill’s Camera in Huntington Beach has always been my go-to!) or you can always try Borrow Lenses as an online option.
And just to revisit the portrait of me (above), I’m holding my 60D with my EFS 18-200mm and my daughter was shooting with my 5D with my 24-70mm. Lastly, I edited this shot in Lightroom, which is my editing tool of choice.
If you’ve got any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I’m happy to elaborate or clarify on anything I’ve covered (or forgot to cover) here.