Top kit for urban photography
Using the right kit can make a big difference when it comes to capturing cities like a pro, but you definitely don’t need a top of the range camera. While it’s nice to have one, the truth is any DSLR or CSC will do.
The most important thing is a wide-angle lens. They allow you to capture much more of a scene, which is a real benefit when working in tight city spaces, and also produce a deep depth of field for front-toback sharpness in your shots. For a full frame camera the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 lens is priced at £579 and offers a good focal range for viewing the city. If you’ve an Aps-c-sized sensor, then you’ll need a lens that matches. The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 has a full frame equivalent focal length of 15-30mm, and costs £329.
You’ll also need a solid tripod to keep your camera steady during slower exposures so you don’t ruin your images with camera shake, the bane of slow shutter speeds. A lightweight set of sticks is ideal, and carbon fibre tripods offer the best solution. Prices start at around £230 which may seem steep, but your back will certainly thank you later on.
A tripod is also a must if you’re using any lens filters, and these are an essential bit of kit if you want access to some truly awesome effects. With a Neutral Density filter (from £30), you can blur movement so much that pedestrians are invisible in your frame, and clouds drift to an artistic fuzzy smudge. With a Polarising filter (from £40), you can control glare and reflections from glass and water and simultaneously boost the blue of the sky. These effects aren’t possible to achieve in Photoshop, so you need to be sure you can capture them in-camera with filters.
“IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO USE A TRIPOD RATHER THAN USING A HIGHER ISO SETTING”
Lens filters modify the light entering your camera and produce highly creative effects.
A wide-angle lens is the ideal optic for capturing a broad view of city scenes and architecture.
Selecting a deep depth of field is essential when it comes to capturing front to back detail in urban or architectural shots.