In the beginning 2015, I made the big jump to a ‘pro’ body and purchased a Nikon D750. When I first started taking photography seriously I was made my first purchase in the Canon Rebel line (Canon Rebel T1i) before moving to the Canon RebelT3i two years later. These small steps before making the giant leap to a pro, full frame camera was the smart thing to do. Coming off of four years of professional exams for work I wasn’t sure how much I was really going to be using my camera but I fell in love with it and now it is my sole (and soul) release from the day-to-day.
The keys really for me in moving from an amateur body to a pro body has to do with being able to shoot sharper images without cropping. I was finding that the images I was taking on my older cameras were a little soft. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, the ability to shoot in low light situations was nearly non-existent on the Canon Rebel lines. Going up to ISO 800 just destroyed the image. On the Nikon in a low light situation (here we come Paris churches!) I should be able to crank it up to ISO 800 – 1600 and still get usable images.
With the move away from Canon and to Nikon I also needed to re-invest in all new lenses.
I primarily use two lenses – both by Nikon. Similar to my comments regarding the transition to a ‘pro’ camera from the ‘amateur’ camera this was a hefty investment. However, given my love for photography I felt the time was right to start investing in equipment that could handle my additional drive to become a better photographer. The two lenses I use from Nikon are:
Nikon 28 – 300 mm f/3.5 – 5.6
This is my general ‘walk around’ lens. It is the lens that is most frequently on my camera because it can handle almost all possible situations. It is wide enough to capture a vast landscape while having the range to zoom in tight (15x) on things in the distance. In addition, this lens comes with a handy ‘VR’ (Vibration Reduction) system that allows you to shoot at slightly slower shutter speeds by adjusting for shaky hands while still keeping the image sharp. Essentially instead of being restricted to 1/60 second at handheld speeds you can shoot at 1/30 or 1/15 and still have sharp images when lighting conditions cooperate. This is much appreciated for someone who lives in a big city and prefers not to drive so always having a tripod handy isn’t possible.
Nikon 16 – 35 mm F/4 VR
This is my landscape lens and I’ll put it on the camera when I know specifically that I’m going to be out shooting a skyline, vast landscape or for a tight interior image where capturing the full enormity of the scene is what I’m going for. You can use this lens handheld as it does have ‘VR’ built into it as well. However, in most situations – maybe not interior shots – you are going to have the camera mounted on a tripod so you need to make sure to turn off ‘VR’ or you will get unexpected camera shake.
In addition to the two above I do have two other lens that I use sparingly and have kept around to use with my Canon Rebel cameras (since they are Canon mounts). One is a ‘nifty fifty’ (Canon 50mm F/1.8) lens that I bought with the thinking that I’d do more portrait photography but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d prefer to do less of people and more travel/landscape images so this lens often remains tucked deep within my bag. However, I do keep it with me just in case I want to really blow a background out or if I need something for low light situations and the other two lenses aren’t doing a good job. The other lens I keep is the ‘kit lens’ that came with the camera body (Canon 18 – 55mm) that I keep in my bag but with an 8-stop Neutral Density filter on it. I use this lens for instances when I need to blur water or motion but it isn’t quite dark enough yet to do that with my other lenses.