What’s On Your Photography Wish-List?

013/2009 Year 2 Want! Seven Deadly Sins: Greed
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tyla’75

Most of us probably have at least a short wish-list of photography-related items. My list usually fills up with things that I don’t have the money for, and over time I stop caring about those particular items. But there are a few things that I’ve been wanting for a while — and I don’t see myself losing interest in them.

    I’ve been wanting this camera for quite a while — this thing is freakin’ awesome for an old rangefinder. Some would even argue that this is the best rangefinder ever produced by Minolta. Why do I want it? Street photography. Why am I holding back? Price: they usually go for over $150 (2-3x that for the black version).
  • CANOSCAN 8800F
    This wish-list item is more of a necessity than a craving. I’ve got the Canoscan 8400F (which is more than a few years old), and I’m getting very finicky about my film scans. I’d like to have a bit of extra resolution and possibly better color control during the scan process. Besides… my current scanner could commit suicide any day now.
    This is an item that’s been in the back of my mind ever since I started shooting film. I like the split image focusing screen with the microprism ring that my film SLR has, and I often find myself wanting the same feature on my dSLR. Why? Low light situations, macro, street, etc. Sometimes autofocus just doesn’t cut it, and manually focusing without a good screen is useless.
    This one is on my backburner for now, but I’d like to get into color developing and printing by the end of the year. I’ve had a good experience with the b/w printing, but I also have a growing collection of color negs that I’d love to print in full analog glory. Scanning is okay, but nothing beats a true print. This head I have my eye on will bolt right up to my existing enlarger stand, so it’s really just a component swap-out rather than a whole new setup.
  • SONY 35MM F/1.4 LENS
    Yeah… this lens is way out there for me right now, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having it. I often find that my 50mm lens on the dSLR is too tight for many street photography situations. I like the field of view I get with the 50mm lens on a full-frame film camera (I even prefer my slightly wider 38mm sometimes), and the 35mm on a crop sensor would basically be equivalent to the 50mm full-frame. This thing is spendy though!

Those are probably my top 5 items outside of the low-budget realm. I’ll probably be lucky to pick up one or two of these within the next year, but it’s fun to dream!


Leave a comment and let us know what you crave. I’m always curious about the things that other photographers want when it comes to equipment. And be sure to check out the results of the last poll: What’s Your Experience With Film Photography? Believe it or not, there are actually a good chunk of photographers shooting film today (around 40%). But another 40% gave it up and never looked back.

39 thoughts on “What’s On Your Photography Wish-List?

  1. Janne

    Get the split-image prism. Get it now. I got it for my DSLR and it makes a world of difference. I can’t imagine going back to a "focusing" screen without the ability to actually focus on it.

    Fast 35mm: Hmm. I had the Sigma 30/1.4 for a year. Good lens with some serious drawbacks (big, not too sharp in the corners). But one thing I learned is that while a fast lens is nice for focusing at night, actually using the lens at those speeds for street shooting is difficult to impossible. Basically, you have such narrow DOF that it’s just pure luck if you sometimes happen to get your intended subject in focus. Remember, you usually don’t have a tripod, little time to setup the shot and can usually not ask people to stand really, really still as you try to get the focus juuust right. The cost and weight of a really fast wide lens is a steep price to pay for a bit of focusing ease. I no longer have the Sigma and now mostly use a 35/2 lens or (more and more often) a 35/2.8 lens for street photography.

    My wishlist, in order of most to least realistic or desirable:

    * Pentax 45mm f/4 lens for the 67 mount.

    * A third flash and another flash stand.

    * 67 mount to K-mount adapter (that 90mm would make an excellent portrait lens on a small camera).

    * Pentax 67 *300mm f/4 EF(ID) lens. And a tripod to go with it.

    * A tiny, light bag that nevertheless takes either my Pentax 67, filters, film and a tripod; or my K10D with three or four lenses, tripod, light stand, umbrella and strobes. It should expand to backpack size when full, and fit in my coat pocket when empty. Waterproof and with excellent cushioning but so light that I don’t spend half my effort carrying the bag rather than the contents. With a pocket for a computer and travel documents so I can use it as carry-on. Oh, and while we’re at it, it should produce a pony on demand.

  2. Trevor Carpenter

    Well, I just rewrote my wish list. Since I now have a D300, many of the options that weren’t available with my D40 are now within reach. I now have a camera body with a commander mode, for using multiple Nikon speedlights. Even though I love my Pocket Wizards, shooting with some auto features turned on is always nice.

    * A couple of SB-600′s would be nice.
    * In fact, I’d love a cheap strobe kit, like the ones Adorama sells.
    * I’m drooling over the Nikon 85mm F/1.8 right now.
    * A week off, to get out and play with the camera. I’m finding that with the increased features and options, I’m not getting the desired images. So, I disparately need to take some time to use it more.
    * I’ve also fallen in love with the Kata 3N1 Sling/Backpack. THE next bag I "need".
    * While I’m at it, I’d love a sweet high end tripod and smooth head.

  3. Andreas Manessinger

    Oh my! I have decided to skip the D700 and FF for now, but even so, there is a long and expensive list left :)

    Nikon 16-85/3.5-5.6 VR should be a nice complement to my 70-300 VR, optically better than my 18-200 VR, and although the 18-200 can’t be beat in flexibility, a three zoom lens travel lineup would be nice.

    The third lens currently is the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, but either the upcoming Nikon 10-24 DX or the upcoming Sigma 10-20/3.5 would be nice. No idea yet which one will be better.

    The Nikon 105 VR macro would be a fine lens for about the same uses that I now use the Sigma 70/2.8 for, i.e. street photography combined with very near/very shallow DOF photography. VR should make this much more viable at night, the longer focal length would give more compression and make shallow DOF more dramatic. As much as I like my Sigma 150/2.8 Macro, I don’t use it that often. It’s too heavy and without stabilization not very useful under most lighting conditions, even wide open.

    Hmm … at the moment that’s all I can think of. We’ll see how the D400 turns out, but it would have to be a hell of a camera to make me upgrade from the D300.

  4. Mr. Crinks

    Hey, about that 35mm 1.4 – I eventually got Sigma’s 24mm 1.8 and it’s a great lens. I had been using my old Minolta 28mm 2.8 as on a crop sensor it becomes equivalent to a 42mm (closer to the actual ‘standard’ focal length than 50mm) but wanted something a) a leeetle bit wider b) something with better optics and c) a wider aperture for my obsession with shallow DOF.

    It works a treat, does exactly what I hoped it would do, and will cover full-frame should I ever get me a a900…
    But Sigma also do 20mm and 28mm lenses, also f1.8s, as well as a 30mm 1.4 (crop sensor only).

  5. Steve

    At the moment I use a Canon 50D with a Sigma 8mm fisheye, Tamron 11-18mm, Canon 17-85 IS and Canon 70-300 IS. The body’s a recent purchase, all the glass was bought before and previously used on a 350D.

    In order

    1) Replace the 70-300 IS with the 100-400 L IS. I could definitely do with the extra reach even on the crop sensor, and don’t mind carrying the extra weight. It’s a shame neither lens is a constant f/4 so they could be used with a 1.4x converter.

    2) It would then make sense to replace the 17-85 Is with the 24-105 L IS.

    3) Then to cover the gap at the wide end replace the Tamron 11-18 with the Canon 10-22.

    After step 2 I’d have the option of going full-frame, in which case step 3 would then be the Canon 16-35

  6. Sean Phillips

    My wishlist is a little more expensive than the ones above. Hence it’s a wishlist…

    Canon 500mm f/4
    Canon 800mm f/5.6
    Gitzo GT3540XLS Tripod
    Mongoose M3.5 Action Head

  7. K. Praslowicz

    I want a Fuji GSW 690 III. Something about taking a rangefinder with a 28mm lens and increasing its proportions and focal length up to use a 6×9 negative seems great.

  8. Mr. Crinks

    My wish list:

    Waiting for Sony to announce the replacement for the a700, hopefully with video capabilities and about 15Mp, then that’ll be on it.

    Some sort of battery pack to let me take my studio strobes on location, probably the Innovatronix thingy.

    Sony/Carl Zeiss 85mm 1.4 and 135mm 1.8 lenses. Just to broaden my range of nice primes.

  9. jerry deese

    Mine is pretty simple.

    Nikon D700: Full frame goodness at less of a price than the D3. Hoping to have one in the next few months, but we’ll see.

    Nikkor 85mm/1.4 lens
    Nikkor 105mm/2.8 VR macro lens (backburner until I have the portrait lenses that I want)
    Nikkor 14-24mm/2.8 and 24-70/2.8 lenses

    And basically any medium format camera. I have been jonesin’ to shoot some 120 film, but just lack the funds at the moment to buy something that is more for me than it is for shooting for the business.

  10. Carsten / topfloor

    Thinking about wishes and dreams is always nice. Okay, I’ll give it a try . . .

    - The new to come Leica 50 mm f/0.95 Noctilux to play around at low light situations
    - Time for cool photoworkshops to give the toys room to roam

    That’s it for me, I guess it’s not the cameras / glass only, but time / weather / model / . . . that make the photography wishes for me.

    Have fun :-)

  11. Lorraine Swanson

    I know they aren’t very expensive but since my dh has just been handed his pink slip I’ll keep it on my wish list for the future… Right now I would love a right angle finder. I likely would have picked one up this winter but the market is pretty small and they are a specialty order.

    I wonder if it would be a mistake to buy one of the cheapies on ebay?

  12. Zach Stern

    Rethink the Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Series
    See MTF charts here:

    It’s a decent lens, yes, but not for that kind of price. You’re better off spending the extra $500 to get the 24-70, which blows it out of the water optically (although I guess it’s a stop slower and you might care about that)

    Either way, like so many sony lenses, the 35mm 1.4 G is just a rebadged version of the old Minolta 35mm 1.4G. Wait until they update it, or buy a third party version which should just about match it, optically, at half the price (or possibly even less)

  13. Heather

    The top things on my photo wishlist that I really want include:
    1. Small Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet–precision editing in Lightroom is a royal pain in the butt with a mouse; it’s like trying to use a bar of soap to draw.
    2. Film scanner–while a dedicated film scanner would be really nice, I really don’t want to spend that much money, so I’m giving serious consideration to picking up an Epson V500. If I should ever decide to get into medium format, at least I’d have a scanner that could scan the film. :)
    3. Replace my too-slow PC with a Mac, most likely. Besides being so slow, I’m just tired of Vista and the headache it’s been.
    4. A small camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag–something that’ll hold my Pentax K20D body, Sigma 17-70 and Pentax 55-300 lenses, and a flash. I’m thinking something like a Crumpler 5 Dillion Dollar Home or Tamrac Express 7 should do the job.
    5. A close-up adapter. I’ve already got a dedicated macro lens, but I’d like to have close up ability on my other lenses, so perhaps a Raynox 150 or 250 adapter would work for that.
    6. A second Pentax 35mm film body–I already have a ZX-M.
    7. A waterproof P&S, either digital or film; my husband and I are looking to go on a cruise next year and this camera will go where I’m not willing to take the DSLR.

    I’m also considering swapping out my Pentax K200D body for a smaller K2000 body. I have a friend who’s interested in buying the K200D later on this year when she can get the money saved up, so I’ll most likely replace it with another digital body. Before making a definite decision, I’m also waiting to see what Pentax will unveil in the way of new bodies.

    I’ve also toyed with the idea of getting into medium format someday, but that’s on the backburner.

  14. Ind3r

    A great blog !

    My wishlist?
    To upgrade or to do super-upgrade from a 2mp p&s to D40 with its kit lens !! M saving !!!

  15. Steve Crane

    Like most of us there are many things I want, but only a few that I need to be able to get all the kinds of shots I want.

    The main one is some kind of macro capability. The best I can do now is adding close-up diopters to my lenses or using the macro mode (only 1:2) on my Sigma 70-300. For ages I’ve been lusting after a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro but have also been considering getting my hands on an EOS-M42 adapter and some M42 bellows that I can use with the M42 lenses I have.

    The other need is some way to get my flash off-camera. Sync cables will work as I only have a manual Sunpak flash but some kind of wireless link would be great. Getting one of the dedicated E-TTL Canon flashes has crossed my mind too.

    Getting to things I want but don’t really need. I’d like to get some faster lenses. My Sigma 70-300 is a great lens for the price but it’s slow and I’d really like to replace it with a Canon EF 70-200 L f/2.8. I do have a 50mm f/1.8 but want a faster short range zoom I can use for a walk-around lens. The Sigma 18-125 I have now is horribly slow, both in aperture and focussing terms and becomes almost impossible to handhold in low light.

  16. Laurie

    My gear lust has been sated somewhat with my recent purchase of a Canon 50D and the 10-22mm wide angle lens. I have been wanting those items for a very long time. Most everything else is just a passing thought (new scanner, new camera bag, etc.). One thing on the eventual horizon. I really don’t like my Fuji point and shoot pocket camera and would like to get a Canon version.

  17. Strider

    I have winnowed my list down to an Olympus OM 2n in black. Ok maybe a mint Olympus XA too!

  18. D. Travis North

    My list is extensive. But the key items that I have on my list (some more attainable at the moment than others) are:

    1) Kenko Extension Tube set
    2) A Nikon SB-600 Speedlight
    3) A Nikon Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 ED AF DX Fisheye lens
    4) A Canon 500D closeup lens (it fastens to your filter ring to decrease minimum focusing distance of your lens)

    Of course after reading Jerry Deese’s list above, I feel like I should add the 14-24mm wide angle zoom as well.

    But I guess when you’re into a hobby like photography, the list never actually disappears

  19. Topslakr

    I’m curious about the scanner on your list. I have an Epson V500, it’s a flat bed scanner with film and slide adapters and I’ve been quite displeased with the scans I’m getting, even though I’m able to scan at 6400dpi. The scanner supports higher, but 6400 is it’s highest ‘true’ resolution. I find the film doesn’t lay flat enough to get any real quality from the film. I’m devising a plan to get some glass cut to weigh the film down more, allowing them to lay flatter on the glass. I would be curious to see how you do it and how happy you are with the results. The 8800F doesn’t seem all that different from my scanner so any insight you can over would be great!

  20. SteenT

    My wish list:
    Canon 5D II takes the top, and have done so for….months! Ever since it came out, actually.
    Macro! Canon 100 f 2.8. Today I use an old lens (single piece of glass) hold up front my 50mm as a macro. It would be great to have this not too well working solution replaced.
    Canon 100-400mm f 4-5.6 Replacement for the 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 IS I use today.
    I think these are my realistic wishes.
    In the absolutely unrealistic side would be a Canon 200mm F2.0. What a beauty!

  21. K. Praslowicz

    I find the film doesn’t lay flat enough to get any real quality from the film. I’m devising a plan to get some glass cut to weigh the film down more, allowing them to lay flatter on the glass.

    You’ll want to find some anti newton glass to do this or might end up being very dissapointed. Betterscanning.com already sells some in precut sizes for the Epson scanners. I wrote a post recently about using the glass inserts for my v700 on my showing the results after using one. Definitly made an improvement.

  22. Dick wood

    Well here is my wish list:

    1: A Nikon D300 so my wides will work for Architectural shots
    2: a medium format camera. A Mamiya RZ so I can someday convert it to digital
    3: A 4X5 view camera

    It will take time but I will do it.

  23. the_wolf_brigade

    I’m late to the party I know, but I just got my internet back on!

    Firstly, Brian, the 8800F is awesome.

    Secondly, Janne, the 67 to K mount adapter is brilliant. I’m using my 105/2.4 on my Pentax and EOS film bodies (the latter with a K to EOS adapter) and it’s a really nice portrait lens. I’ve tried it on some EOS digitals as well and the result is impressive.

    My wishlist?

    1. An easel for my darkroom.

    2. Contrast filters for my Beseler 45 Enlarger – I just can’t find anywhere to buy them…

    3.Jupiter 9 85/2. I need a better portrait lens for 35mm.

    And now for my dreams:

    4. 72mm ND110

    5. 72mm R25A both for my 210/5.6 large format lens.

  24. Brian Auer Post author

    @Janne — You may have just convinced me to spring for the focusing screen — I really dig it! And I’m giving 2nd thoughts to the lens… I might settle for a slightly slower lens at a much cheaper price. Truthfully, I can’t even shoot at f/1.4 here in California during the day, so an f/2 or an f/2.8 might be more suitable. But I do like the quality I get from my 50mm f/1.4 at f/2 — shooting wide open generally gives less than optimal results.

    @Mr. Crinks — I might look into that Minolta 28mm… sounds like a good compromise on price & speed. I sort-of want to stay in the realm of full-frame lenses from here out because I don’t know where I’ll be in the future — plus, I’ve recently acquired a Minolta Maxxum 500si and I’d like to be able to use a few lenses on it!!! Right now, I’ve just got the 50mm f/1.4.

    @Jerry — Look into a nice Minolta Autocord TLR!!! I’m so tickled with the one I got, and it’s quicky becoming one of my favorite cameras. Cheaper than a Rollei, but very similar quality.

    @Zach — Thanks! Maybe I’ll check into getting a used version of the Minolta lens… or perhaps a slightly “slower” lens. Seriously — that kind of dough is tough to justify.

    @Steve — Definitely go for a 100mm f/2.8 macro! I love my 105/2.8 and I hardly use it as a macro lens. You’ll get good use from it at any range.

    @Topslakr — Seriously, Newton’s Rings are my biggest issue. I think that’s a problem with scanning medium format in-general. I tend to get better results if I let the film flatten properly prior to scanning… and if I’m in a hurry I’ll stick it in a roll of paper-towels reverse-curl for a while.

    @the_wolf_brigade — Don’t push me! I’m already on the verge of buying that stupid 8800!!! And dude… a good easel is definitely worth the money. I finally gave up on trying to get a 16×20 and I settled for a 11×14. Upgrading from an 8×10 2-blade, the 11×14 4-blade is a HUGE difference. Whatever you do, get a good one and you won’t be disappointed. Oh… and the contrast filters are a necessity.

  25. Gary

    My wishlist has gotten shorter lately because I just picked up an UWA (Sigma 10-20)… Which I love and recommend highly!

    I think a 6 stop ND filter is on the list… and one of those tripod attachments that lets you use your regular tripod with an umbrella and external flash.

    But overall, I think I finally have enough…

  26. Tkaniny Obiciowe

    My photography wish list at this point includes mostly 12 gb worth of memory cards. I’m leaving for china next week and i need a lot of space for pictures.

  27. Mandy

    I got my first DSLR (Canon 450D) a couple of months back, so my wish list is a sliding scale of achievable to dreams!

    At the achievable end we have a Canon 50mm/F1.8 Ef Lens

    And at the dream end of the list is a MacBook Pro! My poor old iMac 400 (9years old!) is struggling on but really needs to retire and take things easy soon…

    What do you think about a lens hood for the 50mm Brian?

  28. Brian Auer Post author

    Lens hood = yes. I use a hood with all of my lenses. It helps improve contrast and protects the front element from bumps against walls and whatnot.

  29. Steve Crane

    I’ve ordered one of these hoods for my 50mm f1.8. Considerably cheaper than the Canon hood and one of the guys on TWIP mentioned this dealer as being OK, so I thought it was worth a try. My order is in the mail at the moment.

  30. the_wolf_brigade

    Perhaps a stupid question, but if I buy a lens hood designed for a different lens but the same focal length, will it still be suitable?

    I’m after a lens hood for a 85mm lens with a 49mm filter thread and preferrably would like a metal hood to match the vintage lens, but I may have to settle for a plastic one.

    Since we’re already talking about them I thought someone might have some suggestions :D

  31. Brian Auer Post author

    It should work as long as the focal length, thread diameter, and intended format are the same. I say intended format because a hood for an 85mm lens intended for a 35mm format camera will probably produce vignetting or even crop the corners if the lens were intended for medium format due to the wider field of view.

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