How to Choose Your Proper Gear ?
This article is an expansion of my previous article “Your Gear Does Matter“. If you have read that article (I hope you agree with my statement on that article), you may think how to spend money to buy the “suitable/proper” gear (notice that I never mention to get expensive gear). In this article I like to use the term “proper” instead of “best” or “expensive”.This article is written based on my experience (sorry if some statements are subjective ^^).
Previous I have posted statement in my Facebook wall: “you just need to use proper gear instead of expensive gear…..” then there is a comment saying that “the best proper = expensive….”. I just think that it’s not always. Proper is not the same with expensive. In my opinion, getting the most proper gear doesn’t mean getting the most expensive gear.
Now we go into the main topic, how to choose your proper gear?? (note: gear doesn’t mean only the camera, but the whole equipments that I use such as: lens, flash, tripod, reflector, etc….)
In order to choose my proper gear, I have some criteria: (I called them “4P”)
1. Purpose (What kind of photo you want to shoot ?)
If you like to shoot bird then you need telephoto lens, tripod, remote timer, etc…
If you like to shoot insect then you need macro lens, extension tube, diopter filter, macro ring flash, etc…
If you like to shoot landscape then you need wide angle lens, tripod, remote timer, etc…
Of course you can use wide angle lens to shoot insect but I believe the result maybe not good^^. Or you want to use macro lens for shooting wide panorama, that’s just unbelievable (except you want to stitch many photos ^^). You can understand the key is using the right equipment for the right purpose.
2. Personal Style (What’s your preferred style?)
I believe that every photographer has their own style. Because I like to shoot portrait so I will give an example (regarding personal style) in portrait photography. There are 2 on-location photographers (let’s say A and B) ~ A likes to shoot model with wide angle lens (a bit strobist style with fully lighting equipment) and B likes to shoot model with tele lens (a bit natural style, only with natural light and reflector). From this example you can see that personal style gives different opinion about gear selection. I always like to use “gear” that helps me to get photographs based on my personal style.
In order to choose the proper gear you need to separate “what you need” and “what you want”. About two years ago, I confuse to choose the new camera to replace my EOS 5D. There are many options I can choose, but in the end there are 3 options: Canon EOS 5D II, Nikon D700, Canon EOS 7D. I read many reviews and comparisons for those cameras but still it’s difficult to choose one of them. Every camera has their advantage and features. So in order to choose one of them I must have reasons to eliminate the others. Then I ask myself, what I really “need to have” ? Then I choose EOS 5D II without any doubt. Then when EOS 1D mark IV comes into market, I don’t have interesting to sell my EOS 5D II and buy EOS 1D mark IV. I am not saying EOS 1D mark IV is not good, but I have setting my “own priority” and EOS 1D mark IV can’t fulfill it.
Just remember that the proper one is not the same as the expensive one. As I mentioned previous, I don’t have interesting to buy EOS 1D mark IV (proper for me is not always the expensive one.). In other case, I also can buy Leica M9 with Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 but in my opinion I don’t think I need them.
I know there is a case that you need to buy specific camera or lens that you can’t afford…. Previous I also have the same situation like this one, but I just think that “the gear that I have on that time is the best for me”. I know it’s hard ^^.
Well, I hope this article give you some idea how to choose your proper gear ~ comments are really appreciated…