The Nifty Fifty, Renting Glass and Life’s Best of 2010


Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens

The Nifty Fifty

The New York Times published its Holiday Gift Guide for Photo Hobbyist. It speaks in very basic terms to the beginner who just got a camera and wants to take the next step in both gear and education.

One item mentioned is a “fast” prime lens, like the f/1.8 50mm for both Canon and Nikon. For about 100-bucks you can get a wide aperture that lets in lots of light. Interestingly, Adorama published an article about whether 1.8 is better than 1.4.  I can tell you I’ve shot with both (Canon) and found the 1.8 produced ghosting and flaring. Just saying.

Whether you’re considering the nifty fifty or another lens, renting is a good way to test drive before you buy; not to mention saving big bucks. “The Complete Guide to Renting a Lens Online” breaks down some things you should know. For my Central Florida readers, it mentions local shop The Lens Depot which I’ve used before.

If you’re not sure which lens to rent or buy, the new site, LensHero.com helps you sort it out. Just enter your camera body, your budget and what kind of shooting you want to do and it spits out a list of lenses with prices, specs and reviews. 

Another thing the Times article mentions is education. You can find a lot of free tips and tutorials online, including YouTube. Here are “10 of the Best YouTube Channels for Photographers.”

Lastly, powerful, moving and sometimes graphic; Life is out with the 2010 Pictures of the Year.

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Gift Ideas for Photographers


Black Friday is almost upon us and if you have a photographer on your list then you probably won’t get them anything they want. Why? Because the things we want include 16-hundred dollar lenses and 5-thousand dollar camera bodies. But no fear, you don’t have to break the bank.

In October, I blogged about stocking stuffers for photographers. I’m still on the look-out for great deals and gift ideas like these cool lens bracelets:

Lens Bracelets

click for link to site

Lance Armstrong’s got nuthin’ on these! They’ll set you back about 10-bucks.

I blogged about this one too awhile back:

This next one costs more, but is still a great deal. Pro Studio Supply is selling Adobe Lightroom 3 for $219. That beats Amazon and B&H by about 60-bucks.

[UPDATE: 11:34AM] Just got an email from Adobe. Great prices on Photoshop Elements 9 and Lightroom 3.

That’s if for now. All the big name retailers (Adorama, B&H, Amazon) are advertising deals and promising Black Friday promotions; but I wanted to give you some options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

If I see any amazing deals, I’ll post them. If you hear of any, let me know. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!