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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Canon Rebates, A Ton of Light and Amazing Images in Today’s Photography News Round-Up.


If you’re still in the shopping spirit, Canon is offering rebates on the 7D, 60D and Rebel camera with certain lens combinations.

You might remember a past blog post about different services photographers can use to check if their images are being used without permission. Well, now there’s an extension in Mozilla that lets you search various reverse image engines with just a couple of clicks of your mouse.

You have got to check out this commercial by Vincent Laforet. He used 225,000 watts of light to shoot at 600 frames per second. Be sure to check out the behind the scenes video too. I wrote more about it on the PetaPixel blog.

I’ve been following the story of New York Times photographer Joao Silva since he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan. When the story first broke, reports said he kept shooting after the explosion. Now The Times has published the photos leading up to the explosion and the frames he shot just after. Amazing.

I saw this last week, but didn’t want it to get lost in the Black Friday madness. National Geographic is holding its annual photo contest. You can see some of the submissions with captions from the photographers.

If you liked that gallery then you might like Reuters Strange and Unusual pictures of the year.

Lastly, I’ve mentioned The Still Image with Crash Taylor [WARNING: FIRST IMAGE NSFW] in a past blog post. I really like the images because the photographers describe the creative process including equipment, settings and post-process techniques.

That’s it for today! Enjoy.