Lenses Don't Have to Break the Bank

June 09, 2017  •  2 Comments

As a portrait photographer in Central Florida, I am always looking for ways to create the best images for my clients. From finding new and interesting locations, to keeping my skills sharp with practice and studying new techniques, photography is an ongoing and exciting learning opportunity. Unfortunately, the latest and greatest lenses and technology can be prohibitively expensive. But with some bargain-hunting and a willingness to learn, there are gems to be found that don't have to break the bank.

While a fancy, expensive new lens may be out of budget (such as the $2200 NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED that I would love to have), consider an older lens instead. Rather than go into debt for a lens I can't afford, I found an old manual Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AIS lens in a used camera shop. The best part: it works beautifully, and cost me a whopping $19!

As you can see, it produces really nice results! The compression at 105mm is very pleasing, the focal points are nice and sharp and the background has a lovely softness.

No, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the expensive lens, and it is completely manual, which means I have to make all the adjustments and settings on the lens rather than through the camera. This required a little bit of practice and patience. That can be scary at first, because you have to really pay attention and make sure everything is sharp. But I consider that a good thing because it forces me to train my eye rather than rely on the camera, which is how it should be!

The moral of the story is that you don't need the fanciest, newest equipment to get beautiful results if you are willing to look for older equipment that you may not have given a chance before!


If you are looking for a Central Florida family photographer, feel free to contact me here for more information. I would love to create your next unforgettable family portraits.


What an amazing find! You are so lucky. Lovely photos from that lens!
Love that you were able to find such a good lens for a great price! I definitely need to check out my local camera shop for deals!
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