Getting Started in Photography

I wanted to write a blog post about a question I am asked fairly often that goes a bit like this:

“I have $600 to spend on a new camera / and lens, what should I get that will enable me to take awesome pictures?”

I would be lying if I told you that there is not a relationship between a camera’s performance and its price tag, but I can also say that there are many many ways to stretch your dollar into deeply artistic and empowering frugal territory.  The story starts long ago…

In 1959, Nikon first introduced the lens mount that it still uses to this day on its wide range of DSLR cameras.  What this means is that any vintage lens, going back to 1959 can be used on your modern Nikon with only a few limitations.  It also means that you can shop for decades of really cool old used lenses and save a ton of money getting unique vintage and artsy looks from your modern Nikon camera body.

In addtion, Nikon uses sony sensors in its camera bodies these days, and sony simply makes the most advanced sensors on the market today.

A $250 used Nikon camera body gets the same sensor performance as a 2,000 – $6,000 Canon body, as the sensors that sony makes, simply kick so much ass.

So, to break it down.

Nikon D5100 Camera Body – Used, mint condition on ebay for $250.00

Nikon 50mm 1.8g Lens – New $200

Nikon NIKKOR 85 mm F2 Ai-S Lens – Used $200

Here you have a $650 setup that you could rock a wedding with. 🙂