Which accessories for a newbie?

leeb-1977

Well-known Member
Hi all,

My son wants to get into photography and I've just purchased him a Sony A7iii with 24-70mm kit lense ready for Christmas.

The camera has almost exhausted the budget I'd put aside... but I fancy getting him a couple of accessories.

For context he isn't interested in video and wants to get into landscape photography.

Any suggestions for a few low cost bits to buy?

I'm assuming an sd card, Camera bag and flash perhaps? Perhaps lense filters? If so which ones?

I only want to spend around £150.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

My son wants to get into photography and I've just purchased him a Sony A7iii with 24-70mm kit lense ready for Christmas.

The camera has almost exhausted the budget I'd put aside... but I fancy getting him a couple of accessories.

For context he isn't interested in video and wants to get into landscape photography.

Any suggestions for a few low cost bits to buy?

I'm assuming an sd card, Camera bag and flash perhaps? Perhaps lense filters? If so which ones?

I only want to spend around £150.
Wow, nice camera to get started on. Well nice camera full stop. Just one thing, I assume you mean the 28-70mm kit lens, the 24-70mm is a more premium one?

SD cards absolutely (I would recommend 2 as the camera has two slots so you can have a backup)

A flash isn't necessary for landscape photography, and not used apart from special instances.

A camera bag is handy

For landscape photography I would always recommend a tripod, and I would recommend staying away from the really cheap ones, buy cheap buy twice. Tripods are always a compromise between stability and portability, I always lean towards the latter as there's nothing worse than trekking across the Derbyshire Peaks with a heavy tripod.

Tripods like these should be OK (check the weight, load and height)

Amazon product

Amazon product

Amazon product

Amazon product
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
You don't mention how old your son is which might affect what he needs.

SD cards for sure. For landscape you don't need ultra fast cards but don't buy cheap cards from unknown sources - there are fake cards out there.
This would be worth a proper read - I've skimmed it :)

I'd also recommend this book. It was recommended to me and it's very clear and helpful in explaining the basic technicalities of how to take a good picture.
Amazon product

I'm not going to comment on tripods - I barely use mine twice a year but my landscape shots are snaps when I'm out - I don't go out before dawn to capture the sunrise or take long exposures.

I'd say filters like circular polarisers or big stoppers might be interesting later on - but good filters are expensive and I'd hold back to start with.

Finally I don't know what software you get with the Sony? The biggest leap forward in my photography was when I stopped pretending I could get a perfect JPEG picture in camera and bought Adobe Lightroom to enhance what I'd shot as RAW. It really is a leap forward to be able to post process the pictures.
Lightroom isn't the only game in town and it's now a subscription so an ongoing cost.
If the Sony comes bundled with something decent you might not need to worry but Capture One, Affinity or Lightroom would be worth thinking about - even if you give him a home made "voucher" to buy something after trying the trials of each.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
You don't mention how old your son is which might affect what he needs.

SD cards for sure. For landscape you don't need ultra fast cards but don't buy cheap cards from unknown sources - there are fake cards out there.
This would be worth a proper read - I've skimmed it :)

I'd also recommend this book. It was recommended to me and it's very clear and helpful in explaining the basic technicalities of how to take a good picture.
Amazon product

I'm not going to comment on tripods - I barely use mine twice a year but my landscape shots are snaps when I'm out - I don't go out before dawn to capture the sunrise or take long exposures.

I'd say filters like circular polarisers or big stoppers might be interesting later on - but good filters are expensive and I'd hold back to start with.

Finally I don't know what software you get with the Sony? The biggest leap forward in my photography was when I stopped pretending I could get a perfect JPEG picture in camera and bought Adobe Lightroom to enhance what I'd shot as RAW. It really is a leap forward to be able to post process the pictures.
Lightroom isn't the only game in town and it's now a subscription so an ongoing cost.
If the Sony comes bundled with something decent you might not need to worry but Capture One, Affinity or Lightroom would be worth thinking about - even if you give him a home made "voucher" to buy something after trying the trials of each.

Good recommendation regarding software. Sony's is useless imo, as are most manufacture ones I've used. Lightroom is what I use, but it is annoying it's subscription based.
 

icemanonline

Distinguished Member
You might want to look at Wex Photography used section. Plenty of mint used tripod and extra batteries e.c.t.

Used them plenty. Always worth a call to get some money off. You would amazed at the used equipment that is available. People spenda fortune to get into photography then give up within a short period of time selling gear that is essentially brand new. Crazy!

Ice
 

leeb-1977

Well-known Member
Thanks all. Big help so far.

@snerkler yes you're right it's the 28-70mm.

@AMc he's 23 and is working so will be able to buy himself a few bits along the way. His job isn't great though but I figured I'd get him enough to get him going.

He has a pc which is a decent mid range jobby so the suggestions of software are very welcome.

And I'm more than happy to look at used stuff to, I hadn't heard of WEX so thanks for that.

Silly question... are wrist and neck straps universal? Are they even needed?

I saw a website recommending an amazon basic UV filter for less than a tenner - but it comes in various sizes... not sure what I should look at with that?

On lenses.... is the 28mm -70mm one OK as a starter lense? Or should I consider something else? Are there any budget lenses worth looking at?
 

icemanonline

Distinguished Member
On the question of UV filters! I don't use them but I would recommend a good CPL filter for video and photography. Better spending more on quality though. Don't but cheap, false economics.....

Amazon have good quality leather camera straps.... And I would use them, saved the day for me on more than one occasion...

Amazon product

Ice
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Silly question... are wrist and neck straps universal? Are they even needed?

I saw a website recommending an amazon basic UV filter for less than a tenner - but it comes in various sizes... not sure what I should look at with that?

As far as I know they are universal. The camera will have rings on the body and you can then attach what you like to them. I would expect there's a branded Sony one with the camera.
You can also get straps from companies like Peak that have a quick release system or attach to the tripod socket.

I wouldn't do without a neck strap - even though I sling my camera cross body or over the shoulder rather then round my neck. I find around the neck is quite uncomfortable and the camera bumps against my beer gut :)
As @icemanonline says mine has saved my camera more than once when I've fumbled it - it's also handy having the weight of the camera supported if you're changing lenses.

I personally don't see any use for UV filters - the camera and lens are designed to work in daylight and if £10 of glass were to improve the image noticeably then Sony would have one in the box or built into the lens.
Some people use a UV filter or a lens hood to protect the front of the lens from accidental damage, water spray, rain etc. If your son is going to shoot seascapes in a gale force storm or hiking up rocky cliffs it might be worth worrying about.
You get what you pay for with filters, so cheap may be "OK" but many will introduce slight colour casts, reduce the light etc.

I've bought 2 Circular Polarisers (CPL) - 1 I used once and introduced some weird vignetting to some otherwise good landscape pictures - which was not understanding how it worked (or didn't) on a wide lens with the sun in a particular angle.
The other is the Amazon Basics version which I bought and to memory haven't used once outdoors :facepalm:
It's decent quality in so far as I tested it but I'm sure there are those who'll say you need to spend 10x as much to get something worth while.

To find the correct size you need to look at the front of the lens where it will be shown like this.
Filter Size Φ67mm
Or look it up online like I just did :)
 

two2midnight

Distinguished Member
Silly question... are wrist and neck straps universal? Are they even needed?
AFAIK Sony cameras, like most, come with a perfectly adequate neck strap. In owning 10+ SLRs/DSLRs I've never felt the need to buy a 3rd party neck strap.
I saw a website recommending an amazon basic UV filter for less than a tenner - but it comes in various sizes... not sure what I should look at with that?
For a filter you would want one at the same filter size as the lens has. In the case of the Sony 28-70 that is 55mm. Hoya or Sigma are better filters than amazon basics. I use protection filters on almost all my lenses. I'd rather scratch or damage coatings on a filter than a £1K+ lens.
On lenses.... is the 28mm -70mm one OK as a starter lense? Or should I consider something else? Are there any budget lenses worth looking at?
My Sony 28-70mm is pretty rubbish. OKish in the centre but mushy (unsharp) edges and corners. For landscape where the entire image frame is used I wouldn't consider it ideal.

The 24-70mm F4 or 24-105mm might*** be better but unfortunately don't fall into the budget category. You may be able to find one used. The 24-70mm is currently around £500 after a £200 Sony cashback (used £360-£400 check https://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/Sony/Sony-E-Mount-Lenses/Sony-FE-24-70mm-f4-ZA-OSS-Carl-Zeiss-Sonnar-T-Lens ) ***I've read some bad reviews of the 24-70mm. Seems to be a lot of variation between individual lenses (some good, some poor). Same thing applies to the 28-70mm.
 
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snerkler

Distinguished Member
Thanks all. Big help so far.

@snerkler yes you're right it's the 28-70mm.

@AMc he's 23 and is working so will be able to buy himself a few bits along the way. His job isn't great though but I figured I'd get him enough to get him going.

He has a pc which is a decent mid range jobby so the suggestions of software are very welcome.

And I'm more than happy to look at used stuff to, I hadn't heard of WEX so thanks for that.

Silly question... are wrist and neck straps universal? Are they even needed?

I saw a website recommending an amazon basic UV filter for less than a tenner - but it comes in various sizes... not sure what I should look at with that?

On lenses.... is the 28mm -70mm one OK as a starter lense? Or should I consider something else? Are there any budget lenses worth looking at?
I think goingoingong must have had a bad copy of the 28-70mm as it’s generally pretty highly regarded and sharper (when stopped down) than its price and ‘kit’ name would suggest. Perfectly good enough to get started with and beyond. With regards to other lenses it depends what you call budget? Even third party lenses will set you back a few hundred (and a lot more depending on which ones).

Bundled neck straps are universal but carrying 1kg+ of camera and lens on your neck is not comfortable. Sling straps such as the peak design slide are much better as distributing weight, as are shoulder bags.

Don’t bother with UV filters, for every article showing they can protect your lens there’s one showing that they can cause more damage to the lens in an ‘accident’. The lens hood offers better protection and I never use a lens without one (unless using ND/Grad/CPL filters).

Other good sites for used gear are;-
MPB
Harrisons
Parks
Camerajungle
Castle
Clifton
London Camera Exchange

... to name a few.
 

two2midnight

Distinguished Member
I think goingoingong must have had a bad copy of the 28-70mm as it’s generally pretty highly regarded and sharper (when stopped down) than its price and ‘kit’ name would suggest. Perfectly good enough to get started with and beyond. With regards to other lenses it depends what you call budget? Even third party lenses will set you back a few hundred (and a lot more depending on which ones).

Bundled neck straps are universal but carrying 1kg+ of camera and lens on your neck is not comfortable. Sling straps such as the peak design slide are much better as distributing weight, as are shoulder bags.

Don’t bother with UV filters, for every article showing they can protect your lens there’s one showing that they can cause more damage to the lens in an ‘accident’. The lens hood offers better protection and I never use a lens without one (unless using ND/Grad/CPL filters).

Other good sites for used gear are;-
MPB
Harrisons
Parks
Camerajungle
Castle
Clifton
London Camera Exchange

... to name a few.
Not by these reviewers...
Overall, this lens is a mediocre performer in regards to image quality.
Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens Review


It gets 1.5 to 2 stars out of 5 stars at Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS - Review / Test Report - Analysis
The center quality is up to the task but the quality at the outer image regions leaves something to be desired - at all focal lengths.

The tests there show the same problem I have with mine, soft everywhere but the centre.
As does two out of 5 user reviews at Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870 Review

And my lens was checked out/repaired by Sony so they seem to think that level of mushyness is on spec and to be expected. The problem, as many others have noted re this lens, appears to be a high degree of copy variation. You may get a good copy, you may get a bad one.
‘You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’ ;)

I wouldn't do without a neck strap - even though I sling my camera cross body or over the shoulder rather then round my neck. I find around the neck is quite uncomfortable and the camera bumps against my beer gut :)
As @icemanonline says mine has saved my camera more than once when I've fumbled it - it's also handy having the weight of the camera supported if you're changing lenses.
I dropped an Olympus SLR into a waterfall when I slipped while holding just the handgrip. I watched in slow motion as it bounced off the rocks and then disappeared into the water never to be seen again :eek:
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Not by these reviewers...
Overall, this lens is a mediocre performer in regards to image quality.
Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens Review


It gets 1.5 to 2 stars out of 5 stars at Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS - Review / Test Report - Analysis
The center quality is up to the task but the quality at the outer image regions leaves something to be desired - at all focal lengths.

The tests there show the same problem I have with mine, soft everywhere but the centre.
As does two out of 5 user reviews at Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870 Review

And my lens was checked out/repaired by Sony so they seem to think that level of mushyness is on spec and to be expected. The problem, as many others have noted re this lens, appears to be a high degree of copy variation. You may get a good copy, you may get a bad one.
‘You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’ ;)


I dropped an Olympus SLR into a waterfall when I slipped while holding just the handgrip. I watched in slow motion as it bounced off the rocks and then disappeared into the water never to be seen again :eek:
Like you say, as with all lenses there is sample variation, but another problem is that ‘we’ tend to compare against lenses twice the price and more.

Most users on TP have been more than happy with it, as was I with my copy. It was certainly one of the better ‘kit’ lenses I’ve used. Clearly it’s not as good as the 24-105mm for example, but then you wouldn’t expect it to be.

I’m sure the OP’s son will find it more than adequate to start with, especially as it’s being used on a 24mp sensor which is not as taxing as some :smashin:
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Top of my list would be another battery. CP filter certainly especially if photographing moving water, will help cut out glare. I use a UV filter on my favourite lens as it does help prevent dust and particles landing on the lens glass and is a lost easier to clean.

Neutral density graduated filters are another good investment. Too light a sky can be sorted in software but there are times when NDs are well worth the money. Look at the new Lee Filters range.

Tripods I do like using them as I like to slow down water motion and obviously they are essential for low light photography. I've got a heavy one that's years old, I really should be a much lighter one but I don't walk far from the car anymore.

Software. I'm useless with a computer so I try as hard as I can to get it right in camera, hence the ND and CP filters. Lightroom is probably the best but I think that is now on a month subscription basis.

Amazon product
 

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