21 Mar 2013

My Camera & Kit

BEFORE I BEGIN I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE I MAKE A FEW POINTS CLEAR:
1. I AM BY NO MEANS, SHAPE OR FORM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, PHOTOGRAPHY IS JUST A HOBBY AND SOMETHING THAT I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN
2. AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA DOES NOT MEAN YOUR PICTURES WILL AUTOMATICALLY LOOK FANTASTIC, START FROM THE BOTTOM AND WORK YOUR WAY UP AS YOUR SKILLS IMPROVE
The first few photos of my camera & lenses were taken with my compact featured later on in the post, they were obviously not taken with my DSLR - just in case you thought they were!
I apologise in advance for how long and photo heavy this post will be, I hope it provides a bit of help for some people!




My Camera
When taking all of my blog photos, and most other photos in life, I use my Nikon D3100 DSLR. It cost me around £600 at the beginning of 2012 and this was in a bundle containing the body, two lenses, memory card and a camera bag - ahh Jessops, I miss you already. It's quite an entry level camera that is now a year or so old and has been surpassed by newer models, but you can find this model on Amazon here. I saved for a long time to get this camera and it is my baby!
The way I use it depends on the situation, if I have the time and I'm doing product shots I'll shoot in full manual mode but if I'm a bit short on time I tend to shoot in aperture priority mode or just no flash mode, the latter being my go to for outfit shots as it is a lot easier than setting up every shot individually which is really time consuming. I did take higher photography in school however I knew my way around a camera before starting, I'm completely self taught with a lot of help from various magazines, websites and some good old YouTube videos. Pinterest is a pretty good resource for tutorials and inspiration! Also, if you're interested in learning more there's usually a good amount of classes around - Groupon is a good place to grab a bargain.


My Lenses
At the moment I have three lenses, the standard 18-55mm Nikkor kit lens which came with my camera, 70-300mm Tamron Macro lens which was also bundled with my camera and my newest addition is the fantastic 50mm 1.8f Nikkor lens which was a pricey addition to my collection but well worth it. One of the downsides of my D3100 is that it has a slightly different motor to other Nikons (such as my dad's D40) and so requires different lenses which are slightly more expensive which is a pain considering how expensive lenses are to start with! At the moment my go to lens is my 50mm, probably because it's new, but before that I pretty much constantly used the kit (18-55mm) lens as it was easier and had a lot more flexibility than my macro lens. The macro lens is a bit of nuisance as it's quite heavy and the close range makes camera shake very obvious so it works best with a tripod. I use from time to time for super close up product photos such as jewellery.


My Compact Camera
A couple of weeks ago I purchased the Samsung DV90 because it was on offer and I was looking out for a decent little compact to take to Kavos this year, as well as gigs and nights out and things where it's not really ideal to have my DSLR with me. This has quite a nifty little feature in that it has an extra screen on the front which is useful for taking photos with friends if no one fancies volunteering! I've not had a great chance to use it yet but at the moment I'm quite happy with the purchase and I'm sure it will come in handy to have!


My Tripod
Now this tripod was an undeniable bargain. I got this fab little thing for just £3 alongside 3 copies of Digital SLR Magazine! I'm not 100% certain but I think it's this Hama Star 700 tripod which is pretty cheap to start out with, but not quite as cheap as £3. Considering the magazine itself is about £4 an issue I couldn't help snapping it up. Last time I checked they current deal was £3 for 3 issues and a free camera bag but I'd pick up a copy of the magazine just to make sure. Digital SLR Photography is one of my favourite photography magazines at the moment so if you're interested I'd definitely recommend giving it a read.

Comparing the lenses/cameras




Bracelet from Delilah Dust, full post here
As you can see, each piece of equipment produces different (in some cases only slight) results. My personal favourite is the 50mm as it produces a very bright image with a good depth of field and shows a good amount of detail. The kit lens produces quite similar results but are a little bit duller which can quite easily be fixed in Photoshop - the major difference between this and the 50mm is that the 50mm has a wider aperture range which isn't as apparent in this photos. The macro lens shows an insane amount of detail which is fantastic for close up shots, but it works at a very close range which can be quite awkward at times. The DV90 compares quite well to the D3100, it shows a decent amount of detail and the dullness can quite easily be fixed in Photoshop. It's definitely a handy little thing!

What do you use for your photos? Any must have staple items in your kit? Was this post helpful? I really hope it was!

Lots of love,

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7 comments

  1. I have been toying with the idea of a decent camera but just so expensive - I like the top lense he best. I want to be able to blur background etc so think I need a DSLR for this.

    Be great if you could check out my latest camouflage & monochrome outfit post here

    Thanks! Charlie xx LurchHoundLoves.com | UK Fashion Blog

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    1. It's a worthwhile investment - but not always necessary! You might not need a DSLR, if you found a compact with a decent macro mode it could produce similar results xx

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  2. This is such a good post lovely.. I bought the Nikon D5100 back in January and it's the best thing I ever bought. I got the kit lens with it, and I bought the 50mm lens recently.. but I must be doing something wrong, as it doesn't seem to be any better? :( xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The main difference between the kit lens and the 50mm (aside from the fixed focal length) is the much larger range in aperture, so maybe try shooting in aperture priority mode and see if you notice a difference then? xxx

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  3. I have this camera too and my fave lens to use is 35mm or 50mm as it just easier to get bright images on dull, overcast days (which is most days in the UK)! We had photography lessons at uni but i never ever listened as I wasn't interested back then. Have been self teaching myself and have learnt a lot from websites and youtube, and of course handy blog post like this one :-)

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    Replies
    1. It's a cracking camera! The 35mm lens is next on my list, but I probably won't get it for a while unless I find any deals as I can't really justify the spend at the moment! The internet is full of amazing stuff when it comes to learning new skills xx

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  4. It's really great to see comparison photos for lenses.
    I have a second hand Nikon DSLR and i'm slowly getting to grips with how to use it and incorporate better photos into my blog!

    http://oflambsandlace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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