Beyond the Camera & Lens: Equipment list for Photographers on a Strict Budget

February 23, 2015  •  1 Comment

Beyond the Camera & Lens: Equipment list for Photographers on a Strict Budget (essential equipment to have)

I've been asked about a few equipment items lately and wanted to compile a list for those who are interested.  Photographers, Aspiring Photographers, Hobbyists, Students, or whomever else would like to know what to get, where to get it, what to use, what not to waste your money on, etc.  I titled this article, "Beyond the Camera & Lens: Equipment list for Photographers on a Strict Budget" because I didn't want to include Cameras or Lenses, nor did I want to include really expensive equipment or all top-of-the-line equipment to waste money that you could be saving for more or better lenses or even a better camera.  Most everything on this list is what I use or have used in the past.  Some things were expensive and top of the line (because I believed it needed to be) but many items are great values for a much lower price that will still get the job done, and done good.  I would say that once you have paid for all this equipment, purchased a nice Pro Camera (and backup camera) and several Pro lenses then you can evaluate what needs to be replaced or upgraded to Pro quality.  This article is based on my experience and wrote as my opinion.

Most of my research came from magazines, books, and the web.  I tried to get everything I needed through Amazon.com.  I trusted Amazon, knew their policies, expectations from sellers and buyers, and knew I was protected as a buyer.  Several links that I link to in my blogs are to Amazon.com.  You can always check with the seller's website and do your own research.  Amazon does provide users like you and me to rate the items and to review such items.  I find it a good place and a good tool to find decent equipment for (many times) at a fraction of the cost that you would pay for top-end photography equipment.  Do you get what you pay for?  Many times yes.  Do you have to always buy the most expensive equipment to get the job done?  No.  Never. 

Like many people, I try to be budget conscious ALL the time.  I can usually wait for things to ship.  So, if I can find it online, it is more often than not, cheaper than going to the local store to purchase.  A few times is is cheaper to go to your local store.  I invest in Amazon Prime (a service with a yearly fee of around $99/year that saves you a ton of money on shipping.  Once a member of Prime, most items that you buy you can get FREE Two-Day shipping.  Which if you have done any online shopping, this membership could pay for itself in just a handful of purchases.) By clicking this link then you can get a free 30 day trial to Amazon Prime.

Do I work for Amazon?  NO.  Will I get a tiny commission for anyone following these links and making a purchase?  Yes.  However, the monetary gain that I get for you buying through Amazon probably won't cover my time in writing this blog, but it is something.  So to help me out and to hopefully keep these articles coming with valuable information, please click on the links.  AND It does NOT cost you anymore if you do or not.

I do shoot Canon.  Some of the items below are brand specific but many are not.  All are budget specific.  I have found that most of this equipment is not that bad of equipment.  If there is something that I have bought (that was junk) that you should steer clear of, then I will tell you.

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This list is a work in progress.

 

Fotodiox Pro 48" Octagon Softbox with Speedring for Bowens

  • Portable Back-drop Stand(s)

    Three Prism 10x20' 100% Cotton Muslin Backdrops and The Ravelli Full Size 10x12' Background Stand Set (You will want to always get 10x12 Muslins instead of the 6x9 because the smaller ones just aren't enough backdrop for multiple posing angles.)  I have this set and with sandbags (as you will need with any set) it is pretty sturdy.  I have not had any problem with these stands.  Comes with a case and breaks down to a small bag. 

  • Muslins (Cloth material) (You will want to always get 10x12 Muslins instead of the 6x9 because the smaller ones just aren't enough backdrop for multiple posing angles.)

**A little note about cloth (muslin) verses paper: If you are wanting a black background always go with cloth as it is less reflective.  Black paper WILL reflect light.  So unless that is the look you are going for, then black = cloth.  White is opposite.  If you are wanting a white background, then you should always go with seamless paper.  You can blow out the background easy and white cloth always shows wrinkles.  and speaking of wrinkles...

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Beverly Prock(non-registered)
Wow what wonderful information. Things I never thought of. So glad you took the time to get this on the net to help people like me just starting out. I may not get as tech as you but at least I have info on lenses and such. Thanks so much....


(Now all I need is a good pizza recipe)
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