Ask Uncle Ronnie -March 2017

Camera Bag

Gift for her Brother
My brother is an amateur photographer. His birthday is in April and I want to give him a gift that would be useful to his photography. Any suggestions?

Arnavaz, via email

So thoughtful of you! It would have helped if you had to mention the genre of photography he is interested in and how much are you willing to spend. Here is a list of few gifts suitable for a photographer:

1. Macro lens (if he is interested in photographing details within flowers etc and creepy-crawlies). Depending on your budget, consider a 50/60mm or 100/105mm macro. Ensure that you get the correct ‘mount’.

2. A small flashgun or LED light (again assuming that he likes macro photography)

3. A suitable size ‘diffuser’ to soften strong light from the sun/flash (very useful for outdoor portaiture/macro)

4. A suitable size ‘reflector’ to reflect some ambient light back to the subject (again, very useful for outdoor portraiture or photographing flowers)

5. A pen-drive

6. A harddisk for external storage of his images

7. A camera bag

8. A Circular Polariser and Neutral Density/ Graduated ND filter

9. A handblower to blow away dust that’s settled on thecamera sensor

10. A good sturdy tripod

Nikkor 18-300mm f3.5-6.3
Nikon D5200

Change of Lenses
I am a freelance photographer. I currently own a Nikon D5200. I had 55-300mm lens and 35mm f/1.8 lens. I sold them because I  want to buy 18- 300mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. I would like to know whether its a good choice or I should buy some other lens? I am also planning to buy a 50mm f1.8 after buying the Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3. Please give your suggestions.

Syed Hamzah, via email

The 18-300mm from Nikon is f/3.5-5.6 and not f/3.5-6.3. You mentioned that you are a freelance photographer but what kind of photography do you mostly do? Why did you sell your 55-300mm and 35mm lenses? What is it that you think you will be able to achieve that you couldn’t with the lenses you sold? As I see it, you wanted a wider lens and the 18mm enticed you.

Also, you wanted a ‘one lens does all’. You want to know whether your decision to get a 18-300mm is a good choice. The problem lies at this point; there are many users who find the 18-300mm okay for their work; there are some (like me) who are sticklers for sharpness (one may argue that sharpness is not the only requirement for a good picture and up to a point, I would agree) and a 18-300mm does not suit my particular individual requirements. I am not saying that the Nikon 18- 300mm lens is a bad choice; it’s just that it does not work for me.

I would opt for a ‘faster’ lens (f/2.8 or f/4) but again, I cannot suggest the focal length since I am unaware of the genre of the work that you do. |SP