Get into digital (part 2)

Last time we covered the brand and the body. This time we’ll check out the glass and some other considerations.

Minolta a-7d; beercan; ISO 400, 1/160 f8

I used to be of the mindset that kit lenses are poo and you should buy ‘body only’ and purchase a prime lens (fixed focal length) because the image quality is better. That’s a very selfish way of thinking though. Just because I mostly use a 35mm prime and it’s good for me doesn’t mean it’s what you need. You might not want a prime at all. Keep that in mind as you receive recommendations from various sources. Are they recommending something because they like it or are they recommending something because it would be good for you?

It can be tough to figure out a lens to start with because, as a beginner, you have no idea what focal length(s) you would want for a prime or a zoom. What if in addition to cars, you also want to take pics inside your home (24~35mm). What if you have dogs that you want to take pics of at the park (85mm +)? This brings up the trusty kit lens.

Sony a6000; Sigma 30mm 2.8 DN ART; ISO 800, 1/250 f2.8

A standard kit lens likely covers 16mm-55ish and the quality is adequate. Use it and learn what what focal length(s) you want to hone in on in the future. Unless you’ve got some experience and know what you want, starting with a kit lens is actually a good idea.

So at this point, you should have a rough idea of the camera and lens you want. Here are some things you should consider investing in with any spare cash:

  • dedicated camera bag
  • spare battery
  • polarizing filter
  • LCD screen protector
  • car parts
Sony a900; Minolta 35mm 1.4 G; ISO 400, 1/60 f2

Closing thoughts. The only person that knows what camera/lens combo you need is you. Unfortunately, at the beginner stage you don’t even know what you need. I’m sure at some point someone with more experience than you will recommend a specific (insert one of 2 popular brands 😉) body paired with a 50mm prime. Hopefully, these articles provided enough guidance for you tell whether that makes sense for your intended use.

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