The Flash Gun: What it is, what it does, and why you want one!

In Gear by Jim Harmer

A flash gun is a term that refers to what most photographers call a speedlight flash. A flash gun is made to attach to the hot shoe of a camera and automatically fires when a picture is taken. Flash guns can also be used for off-camera flash, where the flash is not touching the camera. …

The Best (and Worst) Cheap Telephoto Lenses: A review

In Gear by Jim Harmer

A long telephoto or supertelephoto lens is generally very expensive.  For example, Nikon’s 500mm f/4 lens costs about $8,500.  If you missed it, I wrote a post about a month ago explaining why the “pro” telephoto lenses are so expensive.  Still, photographers want the extra reach of a long zoom lens without needing to sell …

Recommended Gear for Switching to Fuji

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Fuji XT1 Camera with 18-135mm lens  I’d recommend getting this combo of camera/lens because you get a discount on the 18-135.  The 18-135 is a good general all-purpose lens for hiking, going out with the family, etc. Fuji 10-24 f/4 This is the best wide angle lens available for Fuji.  Good lens. Fuji 50-140 f/2.8 …

The Top 17 Most Outstanding Lenses on the Market

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Unlike most photographers that buy either Canon or Nikon and stick with it, I switched from Canon to Nikon about a year ago.  Shooting both brands has helped me to see the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.  It also has helped me to know what the best lenses are for both brands.  Most beginning …

Nikon 10-24mm Lens Review

In Gear by Jim Harmer

The official name for this lens is the AF-S Nikkor 10-24mm 1:3.5-4.5 ED DX lens, and in this review I can offer a unique perspective because, unlike most reviewers, I have shot tens of thousands of shots with this lens. Who is the Nikon 10-24mm lens intended for? To really understand this lens, you have …

8 Photography Splurges Worth the Money

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Splurge #1: A large camera bag. I have used a Lowepro bag for quite some time and it never fit all the gear I need for a shoot.  So I kept some of the gear in the bag and simply held the other stuff or kept it in the manufacturer’s lens bag.  I never bought a …

What Does a Lens Hood Do?

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Everytime I see one of my photography students with the lens hood on backwards, I know they don’t know what the lens hood does.  The lens hood is designed to reduce flare and protect the lens, among other things. What is the purpose of a lens hood? The lens hood is a piece of plastic …

Prime Lenses vs. Zoom Lenses

In Gear by Jim Harmer

I frequently receive emails from beginning photographers who have heard that prime lenses are better than zoom lenses, and they want to know if they should buy a prime.  A prime lens is simply a lens that cannot zoom from one focal length to another; in fact, prime lenses are often referred to as fixed focal …

Canon vs. Nikon: What’s the difference? (Updated for 2012)

In Gear by Jim Harmer

I know what you’re thinking, and I think you’re wrong.  That may be a confrontational way to start this post, but this Nikon vs. Canon DSLR debate is fueled by such passion in 2012 that I have to explain what we’re discussing here. Both Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras provide fantastic image quality and similar …

Sony DSLR Review: How does Sony compare with Nikon and Canon?

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Today’s article is a review of Sony DSLR cameras.  Every time I mention differences between Canon and Nikon DSLRs, I get (often angry) emails from readers (almost assuredly Sony shooters), who want an explanation as to why I do not talk more about Sony DSLRs.  I don’t want to start an interstellar war over petty …

Is It Necessary to Buy the Expensive Lenses?

In Gear by Jim Harmer

John Fares sent in a question via the Ask a Question page in which he essentially asked why some photographers recommend buying the expensive high-end lenses when there are cheaper lenses of the same focal length available.  What’s the difference between cheap lenses and expensive lenses?  You can read the full question at the end …

How Long Will My Shutter Last?

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Aaron Mizzi recently sent in a question asking how long the shutter on his DSLR will last before it bites the dust. It’s actually a very good question and the answer will also teach you an easy way to find out how many total times you’ve pressed the shutter button on your DSLR, which is …