I have used many cameras over the years, but I have never made the jump to interchangeable lens cameras like DSLR or mirrorless. I decided to change this and try to build up the cheapest, but most entertaining ‘kit’ possible. My goal is to learn about photography, not spend $4,000 on excessive gear. That being said, here is what I have amassed so far:
Canon EOS Rebel XT, DSLR. Entry level DSLR from 2004. 8 megapixel, APS-C sensor. Came with kit lens, 18 to 55mm, F3.5ish. EF-S mount. Around $70, shipped, from eBay.
Tamron 85-210mm, F4.5 to 22. FD mount, adapted to EF mount, $10, eBay.
JCPenny 28mm, F2.8 to 16, wide angle lens. MD (Minolta) mount, adapted to EF. $8.50, eBay.
Minolta, 50mm, F 2.0 to 22, “Normal” or portrait lens. MD mount, adapted to EF, $15, eBay. My favorite lens so far.
Other miscellaneous stuff: CF to SD card adapter, so I can make the leap into the 21st century. $12, Canon IR remote, $7.99, Camera strap, $15, camera bag, wife was able to snag for free, and ball head tripod, $60.
So far, I have kept it right around $200 for everything. The most fun I have had is with a prime lens, the 50mm. It makes you compose shots differently, since you have to get closer and it makes a fantastic macro lens. All of the photos of lenses above were taken with the XT, with the 50mm, except for the photos of the Camera and the prime lens, which was taken with the kit lens or borrowed from online.
A shout out to Canon, even with this 15 year old camera, I can still download the Digital Photo professional, latest version, just had to type in my serial number. The biggest difference I have noticed between shooting with point and shoots and my phone is the color reproduction is spot on and I can control the depth of field.
I have been shooting in RAW and jpeg and learning how this all works. No masterpieces yet, but I am learning. I plan to be shooting fall colors this weekend. Ironically, the photos I posted last year were taken at the forest preserve less than 100 yards from my new house! I can compare and contrast how the new camera performed and enjoy nature.