One of the things that new photographers battle with is gear purchasing. Many photographers on a budget, especially while in school have a hard time deciding on how to buy the gear they need.
One of the primary things new photographers need to remember is although it’s nice to have the latest, greatest camera bodies, it’s not as much of a necessity as high quality glass. Whether you are a Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax, or Nikon shooter, each company has different varieties of glass with different levels of quality, but this is where you should be spending your money as a new photographer. This first image I shot on Sunday March 5, 2017 at the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I did NO post processing, this image is straight out of my camera using the older Canon EF 100-400mm F/3.5 – F/5.6 L USM lens.
Camera bodies get updates almost every year, but lenses change less frequently and when it comes to camera bodies, unless the new model has some new technology that you absolutely need for your photography, you are better off spending your hard earned money on high quality glass. The reason for this is although Canon’s L lenses are really expensive, you can keep using the glass for a long time to come as it doesn’t become majorly outdated in just a couple years.
Even though Canon released a newer 24-70mm F/2.8 Mk II L IS or a new 85mm F/1.2 L USM, many pros are still shooting with the original models as they still take fantastic photos. I know when you look at say the 70-200mm F/2.8 L USM Mk II can sell for $2,000, you can often find the original one used in great condition for $900 and it will still work and make great images for years to come so you are going to get more out of that lens than you will $900-$2,000+ for a new camera body. This second image of Dale Jr’s car being pushed from the garage to the pit area for the start of the race I captured with my 50mm F/1.2 L USM lens and again, NO post processing other than the lens profile correction in Lightroom.
There are many sites where you can buy good or even great condition previous model L lenses from reputable companies like KEH, Adorama, or B&H. If you are up on your lens knowledge you can also get good deals on Craigslist or eBay as well. If you want to try out a lens before you buy or be able to use one before you can afford to buy you can go to sites like Lensrentals or Borrowlenses.
If you want to find out more about a lens you are looking to purchase you can check out a review on a site like Ken Rockwell‘s. Ken is a wealth of knowledge and he is always kind enough to answer my emails if I have a question or want his opinion on a lens.So far, he has always been spot on when it comes to giving readers an honest opinion on lenses or camera bodies and Ken has been shooting for decades.