What's my theory on camera equipment? Well, I'm not a techy guy who wants every lens ever made... and I'm not a pack mule to carry them all around either. I'm just a gal who wants to get the most bang for my buck, optimum performance at a reasonable price, and a non-bulky, light-weight camera bag that will actually get picked up and USED! I also only want to use one lens per shoot... I don't want to look like this guy, hauling so much gear that he needs two bags and has to ice his back when he gets home.
Here's what I use:
Good things come to those who wait! I just got my "dream camera" this year and now am in the process of learning how to use it! I'm a Nikon girl, and I use a D5100 If I was in a position to buy a DSLR sooner, it would have been the D5000, but I'm actually glad I had to wait a couple years to get it, because I love love love the one I got instead! It's fabulous.
I traded in the kit lens (18-55mm) for an 18-105mm VR lens.. I think it's a great all-purpose lens with a handy range that can handle most anything a regular person will want it to. Granted, if you work for National Geographic and you're going to set up a tripod to capture a tiny, fast, flickering bird feeding its young a gazillion feet away from you, then you'll want a telephoto lens. But it seems to me that anything much beyond 105mm is a bit of overkill for normal use and results in a bulkier, heavier lens. And I'd much rather have an 18-105 lens than an 18-55mm plus a 55-200mm lens (which is kindof the norm) because this way I've got ONE zoom that can handle MOST anything. I'm not ever wondering which one to put on the camera, or wishing I put on a different zoom. I put this one on, forget about what I'm using, and just use it.
Though my preference is natural light, I like my SB-400 Speedlight when I need flash, because it's a major upgrade from the built-in flash, plus it will bounce (that's important!). Compared to other flashes, it's light-weight, small, and low-priced, yet it is plenty powerful for my needs. Since I'm not shooting inside poorly lit buildings with tall ceilings (WEDDINGS, museums) then a bigger flash would just be more weight, bulk, and money. If you're a wedding photographer, this won't cut it. Otherwise, it's fabulous.
The ML-L3 remote shutter release is a cool little $10 gadget that allows you to get in the picture before taking it. It allows you to set a delay, so you can adjust positioning, and not be holding a remote pointed towards the camera when it actually snaps the picture. This is especially handy with my camera, which has a tilt screen that allows you to see what the camera sees while you're in front of it.
Here's what's on my wish list:
35mm prime lens to allow for wider aperture & better bokah for indoor shooting. I would love to use this primarily indoors working with my boys, since it'd be super light weight and my 18-105mm zoom is kindof overkill for that. It'd be fine for outdoor too, though if I'm outside w/ room to back up I'd probably grab a nifty fifty for the better bokah.
A "Nifty Fifty"... 50mm prime lens to allow for wider aperture & better bokah for outdoor shooting. I don't know, but maybe I'd get around to this lens when my boys are bigger and I can be a little farther from them when shooting. I think this focal range is probably handiest outside, since indoors I'd be backing into the walls. The primary reason I'd like this lens is that it gives better bokah than the 35mm, so it'd be especially handy on portraits.