I bought my first SLR in October of 2010. It was a Canon t2i with an 18-55mm IS kit lens. I bought a used 75-300mm zoom (no IS) as my first upgrade and quickly followed up with an 18-135mm IS zoom. I also bought the “nifty fifty” (50mm f1.8) and a 17-40mm f4L ultra-wide zoom.
These are all just fine for all-around use. And I originally wanted to be an HDR photographer and do portraits for money. But I found that there wasn’t that much to shoot for HDR in South Florida, and my heart really isn’t into portraits. I found myself shooting less and less. Then I bought a 100mm f2.8 macro lens, and a whole new world opened up for me.
I don’t regret my lens purchases. It’s good to have all the focal ranges covered with some good glass. It’s just that this 100mm macro is practically living on my camera. I am a macro addict. I now shoot almost every single day. At the beginning of the year I upgraded to the “L” version of the 100mm macro and love it for the image stabilization and excellent optics. The IS has enable me to shoot at much narrower apertures, giving me greater depth of field with more of the subject in focus, without worrying about camera shake.
I also upgraded my camera to a Canon 5D MK II. I had always wanted this camera and grabbed one when the price went below 2000.00 at the beginning of 2013. I got a lot of great shots with the t2i, and as a matter of fact, I had over 50 images in Flickr Explore (top 500 most interesting images) using that camera with the non L version of the macro lens. The full frame camera has better image quality and greater ability to shoot at higher ISO, which also helps with getting clearer shots with more depth of field. It’s also great for getting wider field of view with my wide angle lenses.
I also added a 70-200mm f4L zoom lens, and more recently, a 40mm f2.8 pancake lens to my arsenal. At this point I use mostly my primes, though the 70-200mm comes in handy for getting birds and wild butterflies in the field. I personally prefer the image quality of prime lens and the ease that comes from working with a specific focal length.
The primary factor in determining image quality of the image is the knowledge of the photographer, followed by the lens chosen for the job, and last is the camera. The best camera is the one you have in your hand. Gear is very helpful, but I’ve learned not to obsess myself with it. I try to learn something new everyday that enhances my ability to make better images. By ordering from one of the links below, you help support this website/blog as I am an affiliate with Adorama Camera. I don’t endorse anything I wouldn’t use myself.