what do you think are the MUST HAVE equipment for a photographer?

Question by vania: what do you think are the MUST HAVE equipment for a photographer?
Ok so I’m a beginner photographer but I’m starting to take it more serious so I was wondering what is some equipment that I MUST have. Like tripods, lenses (which?) etc.. I don’t want to have a bunch of stuff (now) that I will only use maybe sometime in the future (like umbrellas and light stuff and things like that) I have a cannon rebel xsi so it has to be stuff compatible with that camera… THANKS!

Best answer:

Answer by KK [is quite feisty]
It also helps to know how to spell the name of your equipment: Canon! Not Cannon.

External flash, a good tripod, at least 2-3 lenses, and even an extra memory card or two would be useful.

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4 thoughts on “what do you think are the MUST HAVE equipment for a photographer?”

  1. In my opinion f/2.8 zooms and primes are “must have” if image quality is a real concern.

    Other basic things include spare batteries, circular polarizing filter, shutter remote, tripod, equipment bag and media cards.

  2. A litle more to go on would be nice, like what kind of photgraphy you plan on doing, but I will take a stab at it. I study people so my two big lenses I like the most are the 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 made by Canon you can also use the 50 1.8 its less than 100 and sharp as a tack, but if you can afford it the 1.4 will serve you better. I would suggest 2 flashes probably the 430EX2 or a 580 and a 430 depending if you want to use pocketwizards which I would advise once you start using them you will wonder how you lived without em. A tripod I believe to be a must have and if you are going to be doing scenics a cable release should also be in your bag. For scenic s you will want a wider lens also than the 2 I listed above if you have a 18-55 kit lens that will do fine to start, but you will probably want to upgrade it soon. For that I would choose either the Tamron 18-50 2.8 or Canon 17-40 f/4L the Tamron is faster with the 2.8 aperture and is sharper but can not focus near as fast as the Canon and has no where near the build quality, though it will take a beating. The nice thing and deal breaker with me on the Canon lens is it’s a EF so if you plan on upgrading to a full frame in the future the Canon can come where the Tamron can’t. The Canon also runs about 250-350 more than the Tamron at 700-800 compared to 450 so you will need to think about that also. Really that’s all you need. I will be adding the 100 2.8 macro but don’t see myself going higher. You might for wildlife or what not but for the basics of photography you dont need anymore. You can just go with the 17-40 and add a 70-200, but I have had little use for it and prefer primes. There is alot of flexibility and you will need to decide what important to you.

    Oh almost forgot no matter what you use you need a circular polarizer filter. Trust me, never have it far from your camera its has WAY to many uses. Hope this help you

  3. Depends on your skill and interest level. I’m a pro, having been an advanced amateur for years. Assuming you’re getting started but are serious, here are the very basics:

    1) Camera (pardon the duh! factor)
    2) Tripod and/or monopod (depending on what you do). Unless you’re using super-fast shuter speeds and wide-angle, fast (low f/) lenses, your shots will always benefit from low shake!
    3) This one is arcane, until you know how to use it: A Kodak white / 18% grey card. You use either side for perfect white-balance using digital cams and video cams, and the 18% gray for perfect exposure. Making them work that way takes a bit of knowledge, but nothing you can’t Google.

    It fools your sensor into the perfect exposure if you hold it up to your subject and angle it into the lightsource. You don’t even have to focus, just fill the frame. They come with instructions and are circa $ 6 depending on size (mega-great investment!). I have an 8″ X 10″ and pocket ones.

    If you’re more advanced and are using anything but a point-and-shoot:
    4) A flash. Preferably matched to provide TTL or ATTL compatibility with your camera. Paradoxically, it’s not just for nightime. Harsh daylight calls for “synchro-flash” or “fill-flash” to deliver perfect shots (dialing down the flash a stop or so depending on the mood you want for the shot). I hardly ever shoot daylight without flash unless it’s totally overcast making the sky “the GREAT diffuser :)” or at the “Golden Hour”; or under shade (which really benefits from the grey card to balance those cool Kelvins). And then I sometimes use off-cam flash for contrast.

    If you have a camera with threads in front of the objective:
    4a) (this is an after edit) good lens shades for your given lens.
    5) a Polarizer! Preferably a circular polarizer.
    6) Neutral density filters (to obtain the mood and effect you like independent of or collaborating with lighting and ISO settings).
    7) Graduated ND filters (to keep bright skies and subject within the range your sensor or film can capture)… Unless you’re shooting stationary HDR sequences, and even then they come in handy : )

    Pro: I’ll not get into that, but large format cameras, spot/ambient light meters (such as a good Sekonic), stobes and tungstens, battery packs, slaves (both human and phototriggers :þ — and/or RF transmitter/recievers; umberellas, dishes, flags, diffusers, barndoors, reflectors, and on and on. But hardly anyone’s got David LaChapelle’s budget : )

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