Bringing kinja into focus, one frame at a time

For a variety of reasons, I haven’t used a “real” camera in quite a long time.

And while I’m still thrilled with the iPhone as my everyday camera, and looking very much forward to my Pro arriving soon, I’m also getting a bit of an itch to get something more versatile, especially since I’m having a hard time recovering my old DSLR shots from various drives that have collected dust for many years.

A screenshot of a photo of my niece I may never be able to recover. Pretty sure this is the Canon 85mm.

So maybe it’s time to make some new ones.

However, the game has changed dramatically since the last time I bought a camera, which was long enough that I’m not entirely sure which one it was. I started with the original Rebel, then “upgraded” to a used 1D, and I’m pretty sure I owned a 30D at some point but I think that was a brief fling.

Now the only camera I have left is the 1D that has effectively no value, and I have no lenses for it anyway.

I’m still inclined towards Canon, due to distant familiarity and my strong affection for the 85mm 1.8 lens, but getting a new Canon is far from a certainty.


If I think about what I used a DSLR most for, I come up with these:

  • Family gatherings (hello, 85mm)
  • Closeup shots of insects and flowers (loved my Sigma 150mm macro)
  • Landscapes
  • Birds
  • Abstract, close focus/narrow depth-of-field

Landscapes I’m fine with the iPhone. I wish my photos were sufficient quality to print at a large size, but the iPhone does ok and I almost never print these days.


I bought the Moment macro lens years ago, but rarely used it before they redesigned it. I may get the Sandmarc because it seems to have a greater maximum distance, but in general I’d likely never have it with me when I’d find something interesting. (I’d be even less likely to have my camera bag, in fairness.)

Anyway, for macro(ish) shots I really want that Sigma again but I doubt that’ll happen.


Birds, well, I never had the really long glass to tackle those properly and won’t in the future.

So the photos I’d like to do better than I can with my iPhone, I believe, would be narrow DoF candid photos of family and narrow DoF, typically closeup, nature photography.


And a good, reasonably fast zoom telephoto would probably cover all remaining non-iPhone-but-still-want-the-shot situations.

I’m starting to look at mirrorless cameras for weight/size reasons, but I do miss a viewfinder...although my glasses and older eyes struggled with the crappy viewfinder on the Rebel. A full-frame DSLR would make my eyes much happier but my wallet and my back less so.


If you wanted to buy into a system which gave you something of the same caliber as Canon’s 85mm lenses (I can always dream about buying the 1.2 mac daddy), a pancake fast wide lens, and a good fast but not $1000 70-200 lens... what should I be looking at these days?

Also, my current (but mostly idle) photo blog is on Tumblr. It doesn’t have many of my pre-iPhone photos that I love so much and can’t find, sadly.


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