by damned truths

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"Cheapest" is easy to answer: the Rokinon 500mm f/8.0 (also sold under the Samyang or Walimex brands), and for a beginner, it might even be the best, to gain experience more than to make great photos, because it's really not a good lens at all (is anyone surprised, at a $200 price point?): horribly slow, manual focus, comparatively low optical quality. But ...


It depends if you want to kill your camera. I wouldn't trust the bags, particularly the cheap ones. Fairly reliable ones might work, but they are harder to reliably test since they rely on zippers and velcro rather than o-rings and pressure seals. They are more designed more to protect against surface usage where the camera may get splashed or fall on the ...


A ColorHug might make a great gift for a photographer. For those who haven't heard of it, the ColorHug is a monitor calibration tool (a display colorimeter) that is completely open source. At GBP 60/USD 100, it's a fraction of the price of competing products and has most of the functionality.

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