Lenses v Speedlights

So you’ve bought your new interchangeable lens camera and ‘kit lens’. You’ve used it for a few months and have read some magazines and blog posts. The shopping list now includes Tele Zoom, Wide Zoom, Macro lens, Possibly Fish eye lens. Having bought a couple of these the kit lens seems a bit plasticky and unpro. So you buy a new mid range zoom. The camera bag is now getting heavier and left at home more often. The macro lens has been used twice on a couple of rainy weekends. Your entry level camera is starting to look basic you ‘need’ a Full Frame camera to take you to the next level.

You would be surprised how many photographers I have just described. It’s mostly due to marketing and consumerism but there is a definite trend of gear ownership peaking after two to three years. The photographer then sells off some lenses and concentrates more on the style/ genre of photography that they enjoy the most. Bottom line you can own all the lenses in the World but if you’re not using them and taking your camera out frequently then you’re just a gear collector.

A few years down the line I now own an APS-C camera, Three Prime lenses and one Zoom. I’m thinking of selling the zoom as I mainly use the primes. They are a 35mm F2 and 60mm F2.4, and a 27mm F2.8 pancake. The 27mm pancake makes my camera pocketable, the 60mm is a great portrait lens, at a push I could get by with just the 35mm. I found a nice compact Speedlight that fits in a pocket. I tend to take this out with me more than another lens now. Make your own light! Think how many times you’ve gone out with your camera and the light has been so-so. You’ve got your trinity of zoom lenses in the backpack and they’ve stayed there. I feel that it’s better to take one lens and a speedlight with you. This opens up more possibilities. So rather than spending hours procrastinating over lenses (believe me I’ve done it), learn to use a speedlight in manual mode off camera. You can start using the built in flash rather than an extra speedlight to build up confidence.

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