I would like to give a few words on my collection of photo gear. Here, is an overview with focus on the camera. Lenses will be touched later. First of all, I photograph more in the studio than outside. My gear works great in a good studio with proper light conditions. But, if you are looking for something like street or sports photography, this gear will not suit you. Food photography is still life. It rarely moves. Even if I capture chef’s portrait or restaurant interiors with people, they still do not move fast. But, even then I have something for outdoor shooting. Here is a short overview.
Let’s start from the set I use for traveling. While I travel, I just need a decent yet not-so-expensive set of gear, which provides me with decent photographs. I may potentially print or use those photographs in my portfolio. Or I may sell them. That mean my camera and lens have to be good but affordable.
Many Years ago, by trial-and-error method I came to this set Canon 550D (European EOS Rebel T2i) + Canon 18-200. I had Canon 450D (Canon Rebel XSi), but it didn’t have the video option, so I sold it out. I also had Canon 18-55 kit lens and Canon 75-300; both were good lenses. But it was difficult to travel with both of them, so I sold them as well. Canon 18-200, on the other hand, also has few disadvantages. Firstly, its maximum aperture is F3.5-5 which creates certain difficulties for street photography, as it requires extremely good light conditions all the time. It moves down if you shoot from top angles. Seeing the bright side, it’s very versatile, focusing relatively good while in decent light conditions, and you need not change it all the time.
But sometimes as food photographer you need this shallow depth of field and f5 is definitely not up for it. For such cases, I got Canon 50mm F1.8. This prime lens is very affordable and creates amazing depth of field with lovely bokeh. The dark side of it is that it creates chromatic aberrations, which may reduce chances of photographs to be sold. But if you use it for yourself it will not disturb you.
For professional work, I use Canon Mark ll and sometimes Canon 60 D. Full frame camera such as Mark ll or Mark lll creates tremendous advantages for photographers who shoot for commercial purpose. The sensor of the camera is big and provides more details. Usage of the lenses is also quite different. For example, full open Canon 17-40 will give you really open angles while on crop sensor cameras 17-40 will be equal to 28-64. And my favorite lens Tokina 100mm macro will be equal to 160mm on the crop sensor. Using both cameras during the shoot give a lot of freedom. By the way, when I making videos of the backstage of the photo shoot, I use my camera and lens from the travel set.
New photographers often ask which camera to buy? They don’t realize that a camera is less important than the lens. The photographer’s creative mind is so much more important than any gear 🙂 But when I have to answer this question I always recommend to put attention on lenses. It’s better to invest on an expensive lens than on an expensive camera. Remember that many lenses will not work with full frames. So think twice if you plan to buy full-frame in future.
Yes and THAT question…. Canon or Nikon? 🙂 The answer is simple. If you will start to build your lens collection with Nikon, fewer are the chances that you will shift to Canon later, and opposite. Both brands are equally good and are developing fast. Photo gear is a serious investment, so plan it wisely.