Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More

I get lots of photo questions and many of them begin with “What is the best . . . .” They usually come from photographers or someone who is shopping for a photographer.

Here is my list of “best of the best” of articles recommending the best photo gear, software, books, DVDs, calendars, online photo labs, and a whole lot more.

Posted Nov. 19, 2016. Updated and re-posted May 5, 2017.

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The Best Closeup Photography Equipment

Forget-Me-Nots, Thorne-Swift Nature Preserve, Michigan

Forget-Me-Nots, Thorne-Swift Nature Preserve, Michigan

There are several ways to do closeup photography. Closeup filters, extension tubes, and macro lenses are the most commonly used options. The best gear for you depends on your preferences, how you want to work, the subjects you are after, how much stuff you want to carry, and what you want to spend. I cover your best options.

Posted Nov. 22, 2016. Updated and expanded Dec. 9, 2016.

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Sigma 150-600mm vs Tamron 150-600mm vs Canon 100-400mm Mark II

Sigma 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary Comparison to Canon. Photo by The Digital Picture

Sigma 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary Comparison to Canon. Photo by The Digital Picture

So you want a longer lens and can’t decide which one to get. There are several good options and one of them might be better for you in particular. What about resolution? Do you want to be at 600mm most of the time or just some of the time? Does it matter if the zoom and focus rings turn in Canon’s direction or Nikon’s? What about size,  weight, and cost?

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Don’t get ripped off!

After reading a glowing review you order a set of smart phone lenses and you are billed over $100. You get socked with an additional $85 shipping charge (the ad said shipping was free). Then you find out you could have bought the same lenses for less than $10. To add insult to injury you discover the great review was from a fake review site and the quality of the lenses is disappointing. You’ve been ripped off.

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The Best of the Best: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

It’s the time of year that the number of photo questions I receive increases dramatically. Many of them have to do with “What is the best . . . .” They usually come from someone shopping for a photographer, or photographers shopping for themselves.

So once again here is my list of “best of the best” of articles recommending the best photo gear, software, books, DVDs, calendars, online photo labs, and a whole lot more. I will revise some of these articles in November and December, but most of the advice is good as it stands. The best books on photographic composition or the best photo labs haven’t changed in the last 12 months. As I rewrite articles I will update the links below. You can check the date at the top of each article.

Originally posted Nov. 21, 2015. Updated December 11, 2015.

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Q&A: Recommended Closeup Equipment

Forget-Me-Nots, Thorne-Swift Nature Preserve, Michigan

Forget-Me-Nots, Thorne-Swift Nature Preserve, Michigan

Today’s question came by email. I am posting the question and my answer below. The person asking the question uses Canon gear but the information below also applies to Nikon and other brands.

Question From “D”: I have been looking at a 58mm closeup lens for my Canon camera. I am also looking at closeup filters for my 28-55mm or 55-250mm Canon lenses. What do you recommend I get?

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What to Do When A Lens Quits Working

Electronic Lens Mount

It is an unhappy thing when a lens quits working normally, or stops altogether, complete with some kind of error message on the camera body. The good news is that you can usually bring your lens back to life and it only takes a few seconds to a few minutes to do. Details are here.

The Best of the Best: Recommendations For The Best Photo Equipment, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Software, and Online Photo Labs

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

It’s the time of year that the number of photo questions I receive increases dramatically. Most of them have to do with the upcoming holiday season and gift giving questions: “What should I get for . . . .”

So once again I am revising my list of articles recommending the best photo gear, books, DVDs, software, calendars, online photo labs, and a whole lot more. As I rewrite each article I will update the links below. You can check the date at the top of each article. This is the most recent update to the list (Nov. 10, 2014).

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What To Do When Your Lens Quits

Electronic Lens Mount, Canon EF 17-10mm f4L Lens

Electronic Lens Mount, Canon EF 17-10mm f4L Lens

Few things are more frustrating than having a lens quit, especially when you are on an important photo shoot, or a once in a lifetime trip. If you have a modern camera, the failed lens might also be accompanied by an error code on the camera body. On Canon cameras this is usually Error 99.

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Vegetarian Spider?

Spider with pea in a kitchen sink

Spider with pea in a kitchen sink

I found this common house spider in our kitchen sink, hanging on to this pea which was  suspended from an overnight web. The spider wasn’t moving at all so I touched it gently with the tip of a pen to see if it was alive. It quickly ran up a strand of its web. I left it alone and it eventually came back to the object of it’s interest, the pea. It was time to take some pictures.

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The Best of the Best: Photography Recommendations For The Best Photo Gear, Books, Software, and Online Photo Labs

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

This time each year I put together a collection of articles recommending the best photo gear, books, DVDs, software, calendars, online photo labs, and a whole lot more. The articles are revised every year, some of them extensively. Here’s the list of linked articles.

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Digital Cameras and the “Field of View” Crop

Caribou, image circle, sensor sizes

Caribou, image circle, sensor sizes

What is a “field of view” crop on a digital camera? What difference does it make if your  camera is full frame, or has a field of view crop? It makes a BIG difference, so I just updated my illustrated article on the digital field of view crop. It will help you understand how to work with your lenses and how to chose lenses that will work best with your camera (and a warning about lenses that won’t work with, or could even damage some cameras).

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What to Do When A Lens Quits Working

Electronic Lens Mount

It is an unhappy thing when a lens quits working normally, or stops altogether, complete with some kind of error message on the camera body. The good news is that you can usually bring your lens back to life and  it only takes a few seconds to a few minutes to do. Details are here.

Choosing Photo Gear For Airline Travel

Basic camera gear.

Traveling by plane severely limits the amount of camera equipment you can take with you. As lots of photographers will attest, take everything with you as carry-on gear, NOT in your checked luggage. The airlines will NOT reimburse you for lost or damaged photographic equipment (see my comments toward the end of this article). If your checked luggage goes astray, everything you need should be with you in your carry-on luggage. And you need a backup plan in case something quits working.

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LENS REVIEW: Tokina AT-X PRO SD 12-24mm F4 IF Lens

For some time now, I’ve been recommending this lens to friends looking for a high quality, super wide-angle lens. It’s not quite as wide as the 10mm super wide-angle lenses, but it makes up for it in superior image quality. If I didn’t have a Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens for my digital camera with an APS-C sensor size, I would be using the Tokina 12-24mm lens.

DPReview recently posted an on online review of this lens. The result isn’t surprising:
“The 12-24mm returns extremely good results in our studio tests, with impressive image quality across the range. Perhaps as a result of its more modest wideangle ambitions, it comprehensively outperforms both the Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di-II and the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM. Indeed overall it’s arguably a better performer on APS-C than Olympus’s ZD 9-18mm F4-5.6 is on Four Thirds – no mean feat.”  Source.

Not only is this a great lens, it is on sale this week at Adorama.

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Tokina 12mm – 24mm f/4 PRO DX Autofocus Zoom Lens for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras.

Sale Price $399
$100 price drop
Free Shipping
http://www.adorama.com/TN1224EOS.html?emailprice=t&KBID=57428

LEARN MORE ABOUT LENSES


Downtown Columbus, Ohio at 15mm (24mm in 35mm film terms).
Canon 20D with a 10-22mm wide angle lens.

To learn more about lenses and focal lengths, go here and here.


Downtown Columbus at 185mm (296mm in 35mm film terms).
Canon 20D with a 70-300mm telephoto lens.