8 Photography Splurges Worth the Money

In Gear by Jim Harmer12 Comments

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 bigger bag until I dropped a …

What Does a Lens Hood Do?

In Gear by Jim Harmer59 Comments

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 that clips onto the front …

Prime Lenses vs. Zoom Lenses

In Gear by Jim Harmer22 Comments

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 length lenses.  A “yes” or “no” …

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

In Gear by Jim Harmer149 Comments

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 features.  Because there are so …

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

In Gear by Jim Harmer67 Comments

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 differences between camera manufacturers, but …

Is It Necessary to Buy the Expensive Lenses?

In Gear by Jim Harmer9 Comments

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 of this article. First of …