Indy Photo Coach 12:19am, 5 May 2010
The other day I received the B&H Summer Catalog which is 600+ pages of high-end shiny gadgets with an emphasis on photo and video. Looking at their lens selection I noticed more than a few lenses that cost several thousand dollars.

Most photographers I know are gadget addicts and lust over these catalogs. The addiction also makes us look at others equipment with envy and tell ourselves “if I only had that gear…”

Newer photographers are particularly vulnerable to this and it usually only abates after they finally do drop a truck load of money on a lens only to realize their pictures look about the same (maybe with better color and bokeh).

The reality is bokeh that “looks like butter” doesn’t make up for bad composition. Neither can wide apertures or image stabilization make up for bad lighting. Good pictures come from having the understanding of your equipment to make good choices and most people do not spend enough time thinking about what their current gear is really capable of.


1) Select a lens you own that either came with your camera or for which you paid less than $200.
2) Look at its specifications (e.g. focal length, max. aperture) and spend moment thinking about situations where the lens would perform well (e.g. most kit lenses have a minimum focal length of 18mm which can be used to get interesting perspective effects).
3) Use the lens you selected to take a picture in one of the situations you came up with.
4) Post your results here along with the type of lens you chose.


• Lenses you received as gifts worth much more than $200 do not count.
• If you’re not able to change lenses on your camera (e.g. compact point-and-shoot) you may just use that camera. Just post the camera model instead of the lens.

*Pictures submitted by Tuesday May 11th may be featured in our weekly newsletter!

Written by Trevor Warren

moostang78 8 years ago

This was taken with my kit lens (18-70mm) then attached to the end is a little $25 macro thing I bought off ebay.
nathanrhoades PRO 8 years ago
IMG_1684 by nathanrhoades

Getting Ready for Connie's Party! by nathanrhoades

I just bought a Canon FD mount 50mm f/3.5 Macro lens on Ebay for $65, paired it with a Canon FL bellows for $50, and an FD to EOS addaptor for $8. Total of $123 for a macro set-up that takes me to about 3.5X. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this set-up!
Trevor Warren Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Trevor Warren (admin) 8 years ago

Shot with a used Nikon 50mm f/1.8 manual focus lens I paid $35 for.
Hawthorn M. PRO 8 years ago
May Flowers

Shot with an old manual focus Albinar OM 135mm/f2 that I bought for $25.
moostang78 8 years ago
Daisy Crazy

Star Flower

Serving of Bokeh

All with my cheapy macro thingy. I wish there were other 'cheap' lenses that fit sony.........yeah I don't even have to say it :o)
bmdoty83 8 years ago
smoke on the water

This was shot with the kit lens on my Canon.
Helen Indy PRO 8 years ago
This was taken with a Casio EX Z1000 using 3x zoom.

Peony by Helen Indy
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