Basic Photography Gear - What Equipment to Have

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Basic photography gear

If you plan on doing serious photography whether you are a serious amateur or just starting then you should considered having the following basic camera gear for photography in your bag.

A DSLR or SLR camera, preferably a 35mm. Get a camera on which lenses are interchangeable from film to digital and vice verse. Having multiple lenses allows you to expand your creativity.

You should also have various lenses; 55mm or 80mm to 200mm for most types of photography, a wide angle lens 28mm to 35mm for landscapes , and a 300mm to 500mm telephoto lens for bringing in close squeamish subjects, such as mammals, birds, insects etc or when it's not safe to get close to your subject, such as an active volcano...no really!. If possible make sure that the lens is apochromatic (Canon makes the best).

Another piece of equipment which will prove invaluable is a good sturdy tripod for low light photography as well as for macro shots, because any slight movement in macro shots will become visible at such close magnifications.

If you can afford it get a Gimbal or ball-and-socket head for the tripod as these afford you with the most versatility. The tripod of choice is one made of carbon fibers, they are much lighter than steel or aluminum and with clip fasteners instead of twist rings.

A portable flash unit that can synchronize with your camera, a shutter release to minimize vibrations from when you depress the shutter, a polarizing filter to eliminate reflections and haze, a lens hood to eliminate glare or hot spots caused by light directly hitting the lens and bouncing inside it.

Don't forget a camera/gear bag, preferably one that is waterproof or moisture resistant. If you want to travel light and more or less know what you are going to photograph, then a photo vest can substitute a gear bag.

Not necessary but very helpful are tele-converters in the range of 1.4X or 2.X which increase the range of the lens to 1.4 more or double, and extension tube(s) that allow super close focusing for very small subjects. A white or silver reflector to bounce light back to the subject can also be quite helpful.

If nature is your photography genre of choice, then consider getting camo fabric to wrap around the legs of the tripod and on your big telephoto lenses. You want to be as inconspicuous as possible when photographing animals.

That's it, although as you become more specialized and creative, you will decide on various other gear that accommodate your style. Do keep in mind that if you're going digital you will also need a computer,software, hardware and the knowledge to use them.

Do you think that you have enough gear to meet your needs?

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

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Comments 4 comments

AvivaModel profile image

AvivaModel 5 years ago from Victoria, BC

Great hub!

Those are definitely essential for shooting. :)


GD Nunes profile image

GD Nunes 5 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

A very helpful hub. Thanks for the tips!


kwongphotography profile image

kwongphotography 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Hi Luis, great Hub. I have a canon t2i rebel along with a telephoto zoom lens and macro which both came in a kit. I also have a tripod, a 58 mm hood lens, and a HD filter :)


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

kwongphotography: thank you. Your set up is quite versatile and apt for many great techniques.

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