In Part 1 of our photography class, “A Focus On Gear”, we discussed many different products and how to evaluate what will work best for your needs. As promised, here are a list of products and brands that I’ve used over the years, and some comments on each.

A Good Tripod (doesn’t have to be expensive)

Your class discussed the trade-offs of features-vs-price for a new tripod. You can buy a very light tripod that is very sturdy or one that is useless. The only
way to know if a tripod will work for you is to read the specs and try the tripod out yourself. Here are several brands I have used.

  • Manfrotto – One of the tripods I currently use. The typically higher quality brand sells complete kits or legs and heads separately.
  • Slik – Many years ago, I had one similar to Slik Pro 500HD. Was very happy with it, but the kit did not come with a “ball head”. A good budget tripod if you get one of their good models, they also sell “cheap” pods too.
  • MeFoto – Fairly light, decent tripod. Folds up for travel.

A Trigger / Remote

Triggers allow you to fire the shutter w/out touching the camera and causing unwanted camera shake. Triggers can be complicated or extremely simple.

Search for Trigger Remote on Amazon

Type in the brand and model number of your camera to search for trigger options:


A Good Lens

In class, we talked about “fast lenses”, lenses that have extra-wide apertures to allow in more light. There are several very expensive models on the market, but
a good place to start is the 50mm Prime (in one of our other classes, the 50mm is listed as “a lens everyone should own”). Here are several options.
Note, these are Canon lenses, but all other makers have similar 50mm options.

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L 
    ($1,500) Canon’s best 50mm option, an “L” series professional lens.
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
    ($350) This is what I use. It is preferred by many hobby and professional photographers. A workhorse lens for low light and wide apertures photography.
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II 
    ($100) A reasonable option for low light photography, however, it does not feature the better glass and build quality of the other two lenses. The
    lens body is plastic, making it lighter — but also makes it prone to breaking.

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Joe Lippeatt

Event Organizer at HoustonPhotowalks.com
Joe is a Houston-area photographer and Project Manager for the IT / Software development company 24Moves Consulting.Joe provides software, web development, SEO and marketing consulting in the day, and photography events on the weekends.
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