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What was your best and worst photography purchase you ever made?

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The longer you run a 365 the more gear you have. That's applicable for most of us I think. Some purchases are great, some are not. I wonder if you have a piece of gear you really regretted buying. Or maybe you did buy something that turned out to be the best purchase ever?

My best purchases:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 (Mark I) - that's the camera that made me fall in love with photography. I bought it in the middle of my first 365 (before Tookapic) and it just made things so much easier. I loved the tiny size and the quality comparable to the one my Canon 50D delivered. If I didn't buy that camera - it's very possible that there would be no Tookapic at all.

Joby stand / tripod - that little octopus-like tripod is so versatile. I try to have it in my backpack all the time.

Polarize filter - especially useful in the winter and in the summer when we get a lot of clear blue sky. Or on vacation, on the beach. It helps a lot with reflections on the water. The same frame can look totally different depending on how you turn the filter.

A big sheet of paper (different colors) - helps with streak pics a lot. My minimal still life or Red background galleries are perfect examples. I strongly recommend you buy few of those yourself.

Lowepro backpack - Lowepro BP 250 AW II to be precise. Crazy expensive when I bought it. But it's probably the last camera bag I bought. Perfect for short 1-2 day photography trips. Fits the size of hand luggage. And even has a special place for 13-15" laptop.

As for the worst purchases:

Fujifilm X-T20 - which almost killed the joy of photography in me. I'm so glad sold it, switched back to Micro 4/3 and bought Panasonic G80.

ND filter - I used it once, and never put it on my lens again. Probably lost it somewhere in the house.

Lighting set for product photography - crazy cheap set with a white tent, some backdrops and 3 continuous light lamps. Used it twice. I think I even lost two of the lamps now.

White backdrop - I have a huge white wall in my home office / studio. I honestly I have no idea what did I buy a white backdrop for.

What about you?

I'd love to know what were your best and worse photography purchases. Let me know in the comments! Cheers!

Started by Paweł Kadysz Paweł Kadysz on
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  • jokele

    Best purchases:

    The first purchase that came to my mind is not a gear but my best photography purchase ever - my tookapic account 😄 Brought more than any gear and actually I buy far less new gear now but use the gear I have.

    My Sony A6000. I don't think I would have managed my project with my DSLR - too big, too heavy to carry it with me most of the time.

    Rollei Compact Compact Traveler No. 1 tripod: my Manfrotto tripod is great, but too heavy. The Rollei tripod is small and lightwight.

    Yongnuo YN560-III flashs with a remote trigger for strobist shots.

    Samyang 12mm lens - you have to set it manually, but that's no problem with 12mm. This lens is fun.

    Worst purchases:

    +1 for the ND filter. I used it only once as well.

    Some books, which aren't worth the money.

    • Karolina Oksiędzka

      Best ones: Nikon D500 body. And few amazing lanses that I love with all my heart. AF Mikro Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8 D - this is an absolute hit it's perfect for macro, portraits, and landscapes. I use it nearlly every day. Industar makro 50 m42 - it makes those beautifull star bokeh shapes. It's manual so not that easy to use. Next hit is peak design tote bag. It's woth every penny! I use it dailly in the city. Lowepro small trekking backpack. I dont have the model number and it's not available anymore, but I use it at weekends, on my walks or holidays. The worst purchases... Manfrotto tripod - it broke after 3 days... and the guarantee did not compansate anything... I've got another one and it lost a piece after a week... Makro ultra blurry manual lens that I've lost somewhere in my flat, so I can't name it. Joby stand / tripod - I bouth one that could hold my old body and used it only once a loooooong time ago.

      • Łukasz Brożek

        My best purchases:

        - Nikon D3300 + kit 18-55mm - after few months I regretted that I didn't bought D5300 with articulating screen, but I love this camera. Overall it is not the best camera, but it's my own first serious camera and in my opinion for that price it was the best camera I could bought. Big number of lenses I can attach to it, big second hand market with some cheap lenses.

        With my camera and 18-55mm kit I took many pictures in my beggining. My kit lens is broken now, but I learnt a lot with it.

        - Nikkor 35 mm 1.8G - my favourite lens ever. I have it attached to camera all the time.

        - Helios 44m - my second favourite lens. I use it quite often when I want compress background.

        - Tokina 11-16 mm 2.8 - great leans to interior photography and some kinds of landscapes. I like use that UWA lens, but it's too heavy for me and after a long time I use it I can tell that AF/MF switch is terrible.

        - Slik 330DX - It's cheap, small and lightweight but not too ligth tripod I like to use. In my opinion it's the best tripod for that price.

        - Aputure remote control with intervalometer - I bought it especially for timelapses. I took a few timelapses and that's it. It's very usefull when I take night shoots and self-portraits - especially in car when I driving and camera is near the rear window.

        - Filters from HOYA - PRO1 Digital UV, CIR-PL, PROND1000, Infrared R72 - Propably I don't have to write that they are very usefull in my photography. Good quality filters. UV is all the time on my Nikkor 35mm.

        - cheap inverse lens adapter for macro photography - I use it with my helios to shoot macro about a year since I started taking pictures. It's so much smaller than extension tubes so I always can have it with me.

        - 5 in 1 reflector/diffuser - It was very very cheap, but I use it almost every time in home since I got this.

        - a few pieces of paper in black and white - I use it as background for my "product shoots".

        - strapophilia's custom camera strap - the most comfortable camera strap ever woth additional Tookapic logo. 😉

        Not the best, but not the worst at the same time:

        - Praktica 135 mm 2.8 - another cheap manual m42 lens. For that price it's very good lens, but it's little bit sof and has problem with chromatic aberration. I don't use it often, because it's too narrow for me. It was very usefull for me when I was on Przystanek Woodstock Festival.

        - lighting setup with two bulbs and umbrella - It's not big piece of hardware, but I have trouble to use it at home. I can't set up it how I wanted. Plastic of this umbrella and bulbs holders are so cheap and weak. Umbrella going down all the time and I broke one of the switches that turn on the bulbs.

        Worst purchases:

        - cheap extension tubes for macro photography - Well, I don't shoot macro so often so propably it was my worst spent money on photography.

        - small backpack for my camera - It's too small for carrying my camera with lenses so I prefer to bring backpack (made for laptop) rather than this.

        Purchases I wait for deliver to me in a few days:

        - Nikkor 85 mm 1.8G - for (self-)portraits and landscapes - where Praktica 135mm is too narrow

        - Yongnuo YN-685 + Yongnuo YN-622N-TX - I wanted it for my (self-)portraits and to try freeze motion like waterdroplets. I will try something new.

        - RoundFlash Dish - to diffuse light from flash

      • Jakub Szymański

        Best:

        - Fuji X-T1 Camera

        - Speedbooster + vintage lenses

        - Stable Tripod (but I need another for cycling trips, maybe gorillapod?)

        - Peak Design Cuff

        - Sony RX100M2

        Not so so:

        - Canon Cameras (20d, 50d) but maybe it was not so good time for me to buy them

        - Cokin P filters - they are okay but I need 100mm system so If you wan't to buy them... 😉

        - too small camera bag 😞

        • Asia

          I do not know if it also counts, but...

          worst: When I was in high school I bought a UV filter for my lens. In those days it wasn't a small expense for me. And next, I've read somwhere that if you put a cream on the filter, it will have a great effect on the pictures. I've never managed to clean this. And the pictures were ugly. I really don't know what I was thinking 😮 😄

        • Kazziz

          Best:

          - tookapic hero account ❤️

          - switching from Nikon D7000 + 35/1.8 to Olympus E-M10 + 25/1.8

          - 9mm f/8 fisheye with FL-LM3 flashlight (ok, it was a gift for my birthday) - while the fisheye itself is amazing, it's f/8 aperture virtually makes it useless at home - and the flash is perfectly strong enough to bounce it from walls and ceilings to compensate it, so they make a perfect team together

          - Cir-Pol filter two days before flying to Iceland

          - a new addition to the team: Manfrotto Pixi Evo, bought a bit over weeks ago and used to shoot five photos for tookapic since. I don't like to carry my (already lightweight) Manfrotto Compact Action tripod, but Pixi is always with me in a side backpack pocket

          Worst:

          - cheap joby-like tripod, which is all but stable

          - cheap uv filters

          - a no-name battery compartment, that became useless after a few weeks

          - Naneu camera bag for my D7000 - it started breaking after less than 6 months, I've fought for same amount of time to get my money back

          • Kazziz

            I'd add one more thing to "best" ones: Olympus mju. I paid about 30$ for it and it is a perfect companion analogue camera to take if You don't want to be afraid of Your expensive gear (for example, when You go to get really drunk, like riggity riggity wrecked, boooooy). And the image quality is more than enough, it's awesome for a compact like this.

          • craig

            Best purchase Pentax k-r my first DSLR used for a previous 365 project, really loved it and it is still going strong, being used by my cousin. Pentax K-70, I really love the antishake and extra features you get with Pentax. I also love my Pentax MX-1 compact, I took a bit to get used to this but since I lost my Sony Hx50 (another on my best purchase list) I use the MX-1 a lot more. Finally my Lowepro Fastpack 250 Backpack bought in 2011 and used nearly everyday since, it just goes on and on.

            Worst purchase a Canon SX 410is. Bought to replace my lost HX50. It is the worst camera I have ever owned - didn't do enough research. Photo quality is rubbish. It lies in a cupboard enough said.

            • Kamil Kaczor

              Best :

              - Nikon D7200, my second DSLR and now if i will changing for something other it will be full frame.

              - Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 (now in maintenace), amazing lens for small price.

              - I sold SB-910 and bought for it two Stroboss 60 and Navigator X. IMO the best speedlights.

              - Wacom Intuos Pen S, but i bought it a long before i was interested in photography. In photography i'm using it for retouch, masking, and some other tricks.

              - Some stuff for video, like Ronin-M, fluid head for tripod, Aputure VS-2.

              Worst :

              - Cheap Cokin filters from Aliexpress. Holder is ok, but filters are a piece of shit, it's giving ugly colors, low contrast, and others artifacts.

              - Too small backpack for camera. But was cheap, so not bad 😜

              - Mini tripod, something like fake Manfrotto Pixi. My gear is too heavy for it 😜

              • Gogi Golzman

                what a great topic!

                ok so...

                Best Purchases:

                Sigma 35mm 1.4 - one of the best lenses in this market.

                sharp and crispy focus.. definitely my best purchase ever!

                sigma 50mm 1.4 - this ART series are icredible! no words, just amazing

                Prism - it might be sound weird .. but i'm so glad i bought this prism. it gave my photography so much inspiration and versatility. gives you some extra.

                Lowepro Pro Runner 450 AW - some of you might not know, i have a terrible slipped disc issues. sometimes i can't even stand up straight after couple hours of work. before this incredible backpack i had a chip one that gave me hard times. one of my most important purchases for sure.

                Worst purchase:

                Godox speedlite - i had problems with my main speedlite so i bought this godox 860v.

                iv'e used it for like 4 weddings & it just stopped working .. useless product ever.

                Godox tripod for my softbox - this tripod is so light that you can't even put it in a photoshoot because it is so unstable.

                the rest of my gear is good as well, i'm trying to buy only usable stuff for my Business.

                • Ann

                  I buy so little for my photography that I can confidently say I haven't got worst purchase 😄 But the best I guess was canon 24 mm (it was a gift exactly but I chose it)- cheap as lens but still better than kit lens. I also bought Lowepro bag in second-hand and it was awesome because it cost something like 4 zł (1€) or even less.

                  • Kazziz

                    Which lowepro, can You name the model?

                    24/2.8 STM is a great canon lens and I wonder why Nikon still doesn't have a reply for it

                    • Ann

                      It's EX 160, exactly like this one: adorama.com/...

                      About 24 mm- yes, I really like it, especially because it's a pancake, so super lightweight and small.

                    • ultraviolet

                      exactly, I bought 24mm for quick selfies with my baby because kit is too dark and sigma 1,4 is too heavy for 1 hand 😀 very good pancake!

                • Daniel Zaleski

                  Good thread. I am a geek but have controlled my GAS. I value reliability, sturdiness, ergonomy, quality. Therefore my list goes as follows:

                  Best gear:

                  Canon 5D mkII - I use it for so many years and it still makes me happy. I could use the new mkIV but have no money for that and frankly I doubt quality of my photos would improve. I still have much to learn and especially plan my time better to be able to shoot better.

                  Sigma 35A 1,4 - amazing lens (as already reported by Gogi as well). This is my favourite focal length (I have 4 lenses with this exact or very close focal length).

                  Canon EF 16-35L IS f4 - fabulous lens

                  Peak Design Everyday Messenger 15 bag - really great and highly recommended.

                  Peak Design Capture Pro - this is not the last version but I like it most (i have all the versions)

                  ... on a side note: I follow Peak Design from theïr 1st kickstarter, order in each campaing and have nearly all the stuff they made ...

                  High quality polarizer and ND filters (yeah I use 6-stop and 9-stop NDs)

                  Film camera - middle format system Zenza Bronica SQ-A

                  Worst stuff:

                  Sealing o-rings for non-weather-proofed lenses (KS campaign)

                  Quickdraw lens holster (KS campaign)

                  MagMod flash modifiers (I really do not use it)

                  • Joe Fortin

                    Best: Canon XT. Literally my first DSLR and my gateway drug to the world of photography.

                    Worst: A cable release for a 35mm camera. Why... because I didn't own a 35mm at the time.

                    • Marcin

                      -> Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 + 14-42mm refurbished for 900 PLN (~$300) after investigating other options in comment by Kazziz ( tookapic.com/talks/... )

                      -> 7artisans 25mm is lens that made me enjoy being here on Tookapic. It was just cheap on amazon 😛 When I was buying it, I was not aware that it is manual - good for me, I learned a lot 😀

                      Acknowledgment:

                      I am in an eternal dept to @Kazziz for his suggestion in the comment mentioned above.

                      • Mikołaj

                        "Forever in debt to your priceless advice" 😄

                        • Marcin

                          That would be too formal :P. I just wanted to play with language

                          edit: I saw your expression to many times in papers...

                      • Kazziz

                        I really like to be useful, and knowledge is one of those things that multiplies when shared. Although G5 had an old sensor, it was still a great choice over simple DSLR like D3100/1x00D

                        Edit: I love the part about not knowing it's a manual lens. It stole my 💓

                        • Marcin

                          Sometimes clicking the "Buy" button is too easy 😛

                          It turns out that the sensor is not that important for an extreme beginner.

                        • Marcin

                          Actually, there is a more interesting story behind buying the lens that I will share after getting my upload No. 365.

                    • Marta Tomaszewska

                      Best:

                      - Canon 5d + 17-40L + 100L - I've came up to this set a bit too late (and I was advised to buy used 5d instead of new 40d...), but it taught me that I don't need more lenses and full coverage of focal lenghts

                      - Sony RX-100 - literally put me back in photography. There was a time when I spend more and more time in the higher and higher mountains and carrying set of 5d and lenses was to much 😉

                      - cheap lamp and background - it's fantastic how 40eur can change comfort of home photography 😉

                      Worst:

                      - Samyang 8mm - it was fun, but not my style (anyone wants to buy it? ;-))

                      - big Benro rucksack - great itself, but it was quite short time when I realize that I don't want to carry everything with me 😉

                      And I have mixed feelings about all analogue stuff, I used it so little... But maybe I'll return to it someday.

                      • Urszula Stachowicz

                        For me the best equipment is:

                        -Nikon D800

                        -Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (which I almost don't use here, on Tookapic :P)

                        I know their limiation but I also know how to made them do what I want.

                        -Photoshop (I've decided I'll be using this program till the end of my life, so I bought 'box version' CS6 a couple years ago)

                        -Tripod - some old version of Manfrotto - I get it for my birthday long time ago and honestly, I can't imagine my 365 project without it.

                        Fail:

                        -1,70 m blende (I don't know if it's a right name). I used it maybe three times. It's too big. And you can hurt yourself while spreading it. But it's good when you don't have an umbrella. It's that big that it can protect a few people.

                        As for the rest of my gear - I don't think I have anything that is unnecessary. Everything is useful at some point. Or at least I like to say myself that. 😄

                      • Mikołaj

                        No one has mentioned a replacement battery so far? That's my best purchase, I think. I paid less than 10 euros (40 zł) for it and now I never worry about a battery dying, because I always have a spare one with me. Although it's a third-party product, I didn't have any problems with it – and the capacity is is even better than of the original Olympus battery.

                        And the worst one? A cheap, small tripod. I mean, it's great to have a tripod and to be able to put it into your pocket, but not when it falls apart after a couple of months.

                        • Ian Prince

                          Best purchases:

                          Gitzo Crémaillère 2 tripod - been using it for 30 years, and plan to use it for at least 30 more!

                          Olympus E-M5 - my trusty companion at the start of my project here. tookapic.com/gear/cameras/olympus/e-m5/...

                          Olympus Stylus 1 - my "mini E-M5" when I dont know what lens I need tookapic.com/gear/cameras/olympus/stylus-1/...

                          M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 - took it to Seoul and Tokyo with a bunch of other lenses. Ended up taking 90% of my photos with it.

                          Panasonic Lumix LX100 - only had it a few weeks, but we're certainly off to a good start together tookapic.com/gear/cameras/panasonic/dmc-lx100/...

                          ...and my tookapic subscription of course!

                          Worst purchases:

                          I don't think I've ever made any "bad" purchases. It's the photographer not the gear! So this is the gear that didn't really work out ..for me

                          M.Zuiko 75-300MM F4.8-6.7 II - not a "bad" lens but I guess telephoto photography is not me. For now at least.

                          M.Zuiko 17mm F/1.8 - a highly respected lens and liked by many, but 17mm just seems either too narrow...or too wide

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