I have spent TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars on gear in the last few years and tried many many many different products that companies have sent to me for product reviews.  Out of many, remain only these recommended products.

While many companies try and convince me to recommend their products, I refuse to be paid by photo gear manufacturers to recommend their stuff.  It’s just not ethical for me to recommend something that I don’t personally use.  So nobody has paid me a dime to recommend these specific products.  Having said that, the links from this page are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage off sales of these items.  However, I get that same percentage no matter what product from B&H or Amazon that I recommend, so I can honestly say that has not impacted my recommendations one tiny bit.  This is the stuff that I personally use day in and day out.

If you’re a podcast listener and you’re looking for our doodads of the week, they can be found here. The doodads of the week is a segment on our podcast where all the hosts recommend a new photography product each week.


  1. Cathy Kaech

    I am presently shooting a D90 Nikon with a Tokina 12-24 F4, Nikon 50mm 1.8, Nikon 70-300 mm 4.5. I am looking for an all around lens. Would a 28-300 3.5 be a candidate or a I am a amateur photographer with a D90 and I am looking for a lense that I can pack around for general use. I have read really good things about the 28 to 300 Nikon, and I have read some really good reviews about the Tamron 24-70 2.8…any thoughts. I will eventually update my d90 one of these days. Thank you for your time and thoughts…love your Podcast…
    Cathy Kaech
    Midvale, Idaho

    1. Jennifer Kelley

      I shoot a Nikon D80 (one step below yours ~ a little jealous), and as for lenses, I have a Nikon Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.8D (love), a NIkkor AF 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5, and my absolute favorite, the Nikkor AF 55-200mm f/1.4. I probably use the 55-200mm more than any of the others, and find it to be a good multi-purpose lens that is not terribly expensive. This is just my opinion as I am an amateur photographer.

      1. Jennifer Kelley

        I forgot to add that I do mostly landscapes and floral macro photography.

  2. Cathy Kaech

    I sent a message with a question on lenses and I forgot to tell you what I like to do… I do some action pictures at rodeos and some senior type pictures. I would like to do more people photography..older people showing their character…Sorry that I forgot to add that.
    Thanks again

  3. David Long

    I purchased your recommended tripod set up of Induro and Surui ball head and am vey pleased with it. I would like to also see what you would recommend for a tripod for times when I travel and I need a smaller tripod that will fit in my overhead bag. I would like to swap the ball head between the two as needed. Does Induro make one or would you recommend another brand more geared to this type of travel.

    Thanks for the great site and podcast

  4. PeteLebow

    You have mentioned in the podcasts on several occasions that you use the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries, they however are not listed in the gear section so I wondered if you could say which capacity you use. 🙂 thanks.


    I enjoy your podcasts and have learned a lot . Thanks
    One frustration I have with your website is that I can’t find things that you discussed unless I remember it and look it up right away. For example, you talked a bout a recommendation for creating a website. How can I find this? There was another for a good place to buy frames. I tried a search but could not find the website information. Some type of a a site map or a list of all speical files would be great.

  6. Vonada

    I enjoy your podcasts a lot. It’s very convenient to listen to them while stuck in LA traffic. Mark Wolff (above) mentioned that its hard to look up information on your website that was discussed on the podcast, without having to listen to the entire podcast again. It would be nice if there was a way to create a bookmark on places in a podcast. Is there any software that can do this? In your last podcast, you mentioned the name of your new website about improving income and home business, creating podcasts, etc, but a Google search did not bring up anything. What is the new site called? I’ll subscribe to that one too!
    Another solution to help ‘find’ podcast info, would be to publish transcripts of each podcast on your site. Why not do that, like many other podcast sites do? It would be really nice if you added that feature, with a text search.

  7. Tabitha Rupe

    I am needing a speedlight with auto and manual mode for a class I’m taking. I was looking at the one you recommended but my instructor said it didn’t have an automatic mode. Do you have any suggestions? I will be using a Nikon D5100 and a Cannon Rebel T3. As an afterthought, between those 2 cameras which one is the better camera for portrait photography?

  8. Catherine Thuaux

    I’ve bought a few things according to the recommendations on this page and generally been pretty happy, thanks for your advice! Have you got any advice on cleaning products? I use a small blower, a lenspen and pec-pads but sometimes I think I may need a cleaning fluid to help get a mark off – any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Ian Cooke

    Jim, for a Canon t3, which grip would you recommend? I want one with dual battery capacity. I have one now, but the shutter release button seems to be going out. I think I went a little too cheap!!

    Thanks for all you do.


  10. Alexander Mavrogordato

    My question concerns prints. Do you make your own prints? If so, can you recommend photo printers. And can you recommend offsite printers and how do you advise forwarding your photos?
    Many thanks for an excellent podcast!

  11. Samantha

    What camera strap do you recommend that doesn’t attach to the tripod … um.. screw hole? on the bottom of your camera (I’m new at this if you couldn’t tell). I like that I can easily slip my camera on and off the tripod and I’m not sure if I’d give that up for a neck strap. Though I do love the pockets on the Black Rapid RS-5.

    Any help would be great. The strap that came with my camera is just NOT going to work anymore.


  12. Rob

    I picked up a Canon EOS D60 kit, came with bad, the camera, a 50 mm AF leans, a 28-200 AF Zoom lens.
    I have also got a manfrotto 190 pro tripod with a ball swivel head.
    A Sigma 150-500 telephoto zoom.
    I shoot mostly outdoors and landscapes.
    I also bought the Neewer remote shutter release (invervalometer).
    I have been taking a lot of mountian shots, sunset/sunrise shots and a lot of moon pictures shooting stars and startrail shots.
    Tubetape.com has a crazy sale on a greenscreen kit so I have that on order to start with some studio work.

    So far these lenses and this setup has been very versatile and there is nothing that I have not been able to get some really decent shots.

  13. Todd B

    Hi Jim,

    I look forward to each of your podcasts. I especially look forward to the Doo-Dad of the week. This item looks like its right up the alley of photographers. Tripod tool/key ring perfect for a bag strap. I don’t know these guys, I was the 35th backer. My only interest is, I want one. I thought it might be a possible doo-dad of the week. Here’s the link to kickstarter.



  14. Matti

    Why does the beginner package include an antelope head? Is it important for starting in photography? Could I buy the rest of the gear now and maybe get the antelope head a bit later?

  15. Jordan

    Hi Jim! I really found your website useful for gear recommendations, but you are missing a couple products I would like recommended. For instance, Can you make a tab on printers? I want to start printing my own photos, but I have no idea which ones are for me. Thanks!

  16. Mark

    Please update to include the YN560-TX model of triggers. If you are recommending the YN560III flash then this trigger is a no brainer because you can now adjust the flash power/zoom from the top of the camera. This is as of 6/14 when the YN560-TX came out.

  17. Holly Heyer

    I am looking for a really nice, and inexpensive low light lens for my Nikon D5100. I am looking to upgrade my camera soon to a newer D5xxx, so the lens should be compatible with that. I try to photograph our goat kids in the barns, but the lighting is just to low to get good pictures. (they are too fast to get non-blurry ones also in the low light) Any suggestions would be wonderful! I have a Yongnuo flash as you recommend above, but it isn’t quite enough. It is either too bright, or too dark. I spent a few hours playing to get the best photo, but did not succeed. Thanks for your help!

  18. Bruce


    Love your stuff. Long time follower. My question concerns crop vs full frame (Chevy vs Ford). I am so confused. Just watched a recent youtube video of yours where you really kind of “poo pooed” full frame, which is fine. BUT while you are doing that, you are holding a D800 and saying “I still love this and use it all the time.” Then I go to your website to look at gear and you recommend the 6D and the 5DMIII both of which are…..FULL FRAME!! Now I am really confused. I am a long time Canon user and not too long ago upgraded from a 40D to a 70D. I really like the 70D but I have a little extra cash and am considering adding the 5DMIII. Like you, I love landscape/seascape photography but I also have three grand kids that I love to shoot.
    Your thoughts

  19. David Coulter

    6d vs d600 lens focal length being the same. Which system will you spend more money on? I currently have a 7d but the only lens that would fit the 6d would be my macro and Nikon, I think has better resolution. So maybe it’s time to switch? I also have a 400 f/5.6 I know Nikon doesn’t have, but I can sell.

  20. Paul Coleman

    I was wondering about photo printers. In a recent portrait podcast, they mentioned they do not print their photos themselves because of the quality. Is there a niche for printing your photos yourself? I was looking at the canon 8720 or 7520. Would you recommend I skip a new printer and send my photo I want to print to a commercial printer?

    Thanks for your help.


  21. Tefnut Min Tum

    Hi Jim,

    I am interested in purchasing a DSLR camera for product photography and I am totally confused by all the brands and types out there. I currently use a SLR camera which does not capture certain shades of blue, red and green very well, so I need to redo lots of pictures and must upgrade.

    I’m interested in a DSLR which can produces clean, clear, crisp close-ups photos of very small
    items I sell. I’m hoping you would help me out with my decision and I would greatly appreciate your recommendation of a DSLR to fit my needs. I am lost in the sea of many DSLR to choose from, help please!

  22. Sara

    Hi Jim,
    Your website is amazing, I just started photography and I have so many questions. One of my questions is do I need a Lense hood and a extra flash if Im doing portrait photography mostly outdoors?

  23. Sara

    And the other question was I find I get a lot of shadows in my pictures and I cant get my subject to be very clear what can i do about that?
    Thanks so much

  24. Fran Chastain

    My desktop has taken a plunge to the dark side and has decided that it no longer wants to work. What type of Windows based desktop would you recommend for a desktop geared toward photography? I have Lightroom, Photoshop CC and Elements 11. I ideally would like a system that will handle having both LR and Photoshop open at the same time. And ideally I would like to have at least 1T hard drive. I don’t play games on my computer, I want it basically to serve my photographic needs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much. I listen to your podcasts all the time.

  25. Alina Bekh

    Hey guys! I have a question about rechargeable batteries for my Canon EOS 500D’s flash.
    What type of batteries do you use (panasonic, sanyo, energizer etc.) and why? I’ve found one good review but i can’t actually decide what batteries should i buy.
    Thank you!

  26. Dick Jones

    Greetings, and thanks for all the info, tips, videos, etc. on your site. I often download podcasts for road trips. In checking your gear recommendations, not finding much re Canon DSLR. I would welcome your advice. I’ve got a Canon 30D, my first digital, purchased back in 2007. (Photography’s been a strong interest / hobby since childhood. Used to develop and print my own black&white photos.) Current lens (all Canon): 50 mm 1:1.8 (on your recommendation), EFS 17-85 1:4-56, and 70-200 1:2.8 IS, the latter my most recent purchase and it is an amazing lens. Heavy, yes, but given results, no complaints from me about its heft. I would like to get another Canon body, probably full frame, and a wide angle lens to go with it, and I would very much appreciate your recommendations. So please send me an email with your suggestions. Thanks.

  27. Jackie

    Hi Jim – was wondering if you or anyone had any recommendations for the best computer setups to start a professional photography business? I prefer apple and didn’t know if I could get away with a laptop or not. There seem to be very few articles on this topic and any help would be appreciated.

  28. Siddhant

    Hi Jim- I was wondering if you could recommend a good pair of tripod legs under $100 that i can hike and travel with as I need a lightweight but sturdy tripod. I already have a very good ball head. I’m going hiking soon in Yosemite and was hoping you could get back to me ASAP.

  29. Bo

    Siddhant Try the Vanguard VEO Carbonfiber tripod. Easily fits in a bag with the head.
    It is always a balance between sturdy enough for landscape but not heavy as you probably have to hike quite a bit before reaching that exclusive spot.


  30. Phillis

    I am currently looking for a good wide-angle lens for a Nikon -D5100. What would you suggest? I am taking group pictures,

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