Well its been a long, long while since last I posted anything on the blog, but thats not to say I haven’t been busy, to be honest things haven’t really stopped!

Newcastle Quayside Sunset

Newcastle Quayside Sunset

I’ve bought a little bit of new kit over the last couple of months, been on a great holiday with my lovely woman, ran a couple of workshops and even been on a workshop or two myself! Plus, inbetween all this I’ve found a small amount of time to shoot some landscapes and family shots for myself.

Canon 50mm f1.8

Canon 50mm f1.8: Photo from

Right then, first up on the new purchase list is a Canon 50mm f1.8 prime. This is a cracking little lens, despite it’s “Blue Peter” or “Heath Robinson” looks and should be on the top of everybody’s first purchase list when they buy a DSLR. Infact every new camera should come with one of these lenses instead of those terrible 18-55mm kit lenses! This great little lens is sharp and has good contrast and colour even when compaired to its big brothers the Canon 50mm f1.4 at £245 and the Canon 50mm f1.2 at £1045. The best thing about this 50mm is that you can pick them up for around £80-90 or you can do what I did and get a great second hand one for around £45!!

Canon 50mm f1.8, f1.4, f1.2

Canon 50mm f1.8, f1.4, f1.2: Photo from

Now with all this said you might be wondering if this lense has any drawbacks, well it has two. The first is the build quality, its cheap plastic through and through, even down to the lens mount, but its cheap! Then second is the number of aperture blades, or lack of in this case, as the f1.8 only comes with 5 blades. The higher number of blades and their curverture is something you only get when you pay the big bucks and we’re not and this can make the bokeh suffer a bit. But then again its only 10th of the price of the f1.2!!

For the money its a fantastic lense and one that every budding photographer should have, even if its only to get you started! If you’d like a more indepth review of this lense and many others, then check out a great website called “The Digital Picture”



Next up is a simple little thing I should have bought a long time ago and don’t really know why I didn’t to be honest! It’s a padded camera strap to replace those pointless ones that come with all cameras no matter how much you pay, from £350 to £3500. There doesn’t seem to be a huge range of straps on the market, but the Cruppler Industry Disgrace seems to one of the best and at only $30 Canadian dollars a real bargain! It’s light, well padded and has no markings shouting out which camera you have on display. After getting this whilst travelling in Canada I never really knew I was carrying my Canon 40D, with grip and 24-70 f2.8 the strap distributes the weight so well it’s a joy to carry around.

VisibleDust 724 Superbright

VisibleDust 724 Superbright

Another set of products that I picked up whilst travelling in Canada is from the small company Visible Dust, who work out of Canmore, Alberta, and manufacture a fantastic one of a kind cleaning system for your cameras sensor. These guys seem to have quickly become the industry standard and are always pushing the boundarys with their products. I popped into their small office to pick up some gear whilst travelling through to Banff and they were delighted to see me, esp since I was about to drop $200 Canadian on purchases!

VisibleDust Quasar

VisibleDust Quasar

 The two products that I decided on were their two latest updates to the already excellent range and include the 724 Superbright sensor brush and the Quasar sensor loupe, both pictured above. These are the kind of photography items that you have to spend a lot on to get the best on the market but hope you never have to use, a bit like a good fire extinguisher! 🙂 The quality and construction of VisibleDust kit is pretty good, but they really shine whilst in use, they are both simple and efficient to use. A great product and a higly recommended.


One response to “Updates

  1. Enjoyed reading that Simon, might have to get one of those straps myself though there is something on the market which holds the camera differently and allows you to have two cameras round your neck without strangling yourself, great for event work. Also I never realised Visible Dust were based in Canmore. I stayed there for a few nights on my Canadian trip in a B&B my brother and his wife often visited. Great little town, if I’d known about Visible Dust back then I’d have payed them a visit and save a few bucks on my Arctic Butterfly.

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