I am mostly a passion driven photographer and planning to buy Nikon D90 with the kit lens this week.

What other mandatory things should I buy along? At this phase, I only want to get those items which are really must for starting up photographing, as I need to learn a lot.


7 Answers 7


A good tripod is useful in many situations. Basic editing software is also useful, something like Adobe Photoshop Elements (though there are good free alternatives).

Other than this, it really depends on the kind of photography you plan on doing, and what budget you have.

If you plan on doing landscapes, then the aforementioned tripod is a must, along with perhaps a remote trigger, a polarising filter and ND grad filters.

If you plan on doing portraits, then you are better off investing in a good speedlight so you can do some off-camera lighting.

However, if you are only just beginning photography, I would suggest you hang fire on just about all these, except the tripod, until you learn how to use your camera effectively, and get a clear idea of what you like doing with your camera.

  • \$\begingroup\$ i am just entering in this area so i believe i can follow your suggestion,surely will go for tripod but may be next month since i am already going out of budget with some other expenses.one of my friend suggested about polarising filter and lens hood not sure how relevant that is. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 10:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for mentioning software and using "if you…" \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 10:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Umesh - a lens hood is a good idea and they are pretty cheap. Go for a 'petal' shape rather than a round one to stop the hood being visible when your lens is at its widest angle. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 10:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would only add this excellent article on Tripods. Some of the model numbers mentioned are a bit out of date but the information is still spot on: bythom.com/support.htm \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian Lelsie
    Apr 13, 2011 at 14:52


  • Camera body
  • Lens
  • Memory Card

Nice to have, but totally optional:

  • USB-cable (usually, if not always, comes with the camera body; and not even necessary if you have a memory card reader)
  • Camera bag (highly convenient for travel and for storing)

This is all what is needed and it is just enough to start. Actually, this was all what I got when I bought my first DSLR and I didn't actually need anything else for at least the next 6-9 months. There was so much to learn even with these bare necessities. Try to think the photographs first and gear the second. If you'll need some extra gear later on, you will notice it. It is impossible to go to the store and buy the perfect kit (unless one considers body+lens+mc as perfect).

  • \$\begingroup\$ agree and what you have mentioned Nikon is providing it with it :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 10:35
  1. Get multiple memory cards. If you're new and if you shoot RAW, you'll need them the most.
  2. Get an additional battery for D90. You'll need to use the live view most of the times, so an extra battery will help for sure.
  3. Get a tripod and a remote. This will help you to shoot long exposures and I bet you'll love them.
  4. Get 50mm f/1.8. Your kit lens will not perform great in low light situations, not even in mediocre lights. It'll also hunt for focus. If you can manage to get the 50mm f/1.8, you'll get the edge required for shooting in low light, also get used to the concept of walking-zoom.

Welcome to the world of photography, happy clicking :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShutterBug:Thanks for the valuable inputs and i am already getting 4Gb card regarding tripod and the lens i will go this in next month but can surely go to battery \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 10:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why will he need to 'use Live View most of the time'? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 10:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ He said hes new to DSLR. Beginners always use live view and its a good thing which helps understanding the basic controls when you see the them live. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 11:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a bit of a sweeping generalisation I think. An extra battery is always a good idea though. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 11:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Evan Krall: live view helps understanding how ISO/Shutter Speed/Apertures are related to exposure and how you control them. Aperture doesn't immediately change, but I believe there's a DOF Preview button somewhere for this purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19, 2011 at 8:45

First check camera and see what you're getting with it. As you said you're buying with kit lens ( I hope it is 18-105mm ) it will come with a lens hood. I am a D90 owner. If you're very new to this field then take some time understanding the camera and its different settings and do your research about different tripods, tripod heads, lenses, filters, etc.. again it all depends on in what type of photography you are interested in and what type of lenses required.

As of now I would suggest only few things

  • Camera with a kit lens( or a telephoto lens)
  • Memory cards
  • Camera bag
  • Filters - UV filters must to protect your lens ( don't invest in cheap quality lenses)

  • 50mm f/1.8 ( its a very good lens for low light and very less priced) I would also like to include this here because its cheap, good lens, teaches you how to frame your subject, and its a fast prime.

I would say these are sufficient for you to get going.


  • tripod ( must for taking long exposures)
  • remote ( must for long exposures and to avoid camera shake)
  • different filters
  • Additional battery (battery provided with D90 gives a good backup, also if you consider buying a battery pack)
  • more lenses based on your interest

Finally, get to know your camera first and invest later in the right product.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the valuable inputs and they will really help me a lot..well honestly i am more inclined towards nature so my whole focus will be for this side..regarding the lens i will go for it but not at this time..can you give my idea ho much UV filters will cost me so that i can adjust my budget..:) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 14:02

Absolutely Essential for you to love your photography. This is what I did after I bought my D90.

  1. Tripod
  2. A Prime Lens (50mm F1.8 is my pick.)
  3. A Circular Polarizing filter. Try Hoya.
  4. Remote Release.
  5. Cleaning Equipments (A blower, and a lint free cloth)

All others are luxury. And I assume that you are going to buy a cover and memory card.

And what NOT to buy:

  1. UV filters. They are useless.
  2. A telephoto lens. Not now.. the kit lens - 18-105mm is just good for me. I have not used the telephoto lens that I bought.
  3. Additional Battery - The battery life of your D90 is really really good. I have not found myself without Power for the one and half years that I used it.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't use UV filters myself, but I wouldn't call them useless. If your lens is expensive, and you aren't shooting into a bright light or don't mind flare, feel free to use one to protect your lens. On some lenses, a filter is required to complete the weather sealing, and for lenses where the front element moves in and out on zoom but the filters stay put, a filter can help prevent dust from entering the lens. I don't believe that's the case with the 18-105, and definitely not with the 18-55, so you probably don't need one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan Krall
    Apr 20, 2011 at 4:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ every layer you add on, decreases the quality of the pic. And covering an expensive piece of glass with a cheap UV lens, does not cut it for me. Yeah an extra filter protects, but so does the lens cap :) So I would say it is a trade off. I choose not using it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pixelgrey
    Apr 20, 2011 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ well, you can use a 200$ UV filter then. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2013 at 19:12

I would suggest that you hold off on most of your purchases until you get a better feel for what kind of photography you like doing. The only thing I would suggest from the start is to try to get a body only D90 and getting an 18-200mm lens. I own both the kit 18-105 and the Sigma 18-200VR and I haven't seen any noticeable difference in quality between the two, while the 105-200mm range comes in handy a LOT for me (I do travel photography mainly). Keep in mind that the Sigma lens tends to 'slide' out if you hold the camera towards the ground, which is a bit annoying, but it is quite a bit cheaper than the Nikkors.

Also, make sure you put UV filters on all your lens to protect them.

The other things, as mentioned above (but with a few caveats):

1) Spare battery - I've never personally seen a need for a battery kit, but a spare battery fully charged has saved me on a number of occasions.

2) Prime lens - A F1.8 prime is definitely very useful, and can be bought quite cheap. The 'nifty fifty' 50mm F1.8 from Nikon is great, but keep in mind that it's actually more like 80mm on your cropped sensor, which is better for portraiture. For day-to-day use, I prefer the Nikon 35mm F1.8, which approximates a full frame 50mm. Most of my favorite photos are shot with one of these two primes.

3) Flash - the built in flash on the D90 is a bit crap. Even if you're not interested in off-camera flash (check out strobist.com), you still need a flash in a lot of situations. Go for the Nikon SB600 (SB900 is overkill unless you get serious).

4) Tripod - depending on the type of photography you do, this has differing levels of use. I'd suggest a smaller travel tripod to start with, so you can get a feel for its use, then you can look at something bigger (more expensive). I'm happy with my Velbon MaxiL for traveling.

5) Polarizing filter and ND grad filters - these are pretty darn useful for landscape photography, but will put you out by quite a bit. I'd definitely hold of on these until you discover a passion for this type of photography. Saying that, the Cokin ND filters are good value if you really want these.

6) Camera bag - stick with something basic to start with as you will want to chose something later that better fits with your equipment and needs.

All in all, it's tempting to buy a lot of stuff, but your equipment will not make you a better photographer, experience will. Take your time to understand what your priorities are and then look at buying things to suit those, as your budget allows.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the wonderful tips and i do agree with you equipment will not make some one a good photographer.i am a beginner in this filed and starting from "0" so just asking what all i need in the starting. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19, 2011 at 4:41
  1. Used 16-85mm VR lens
  2. SB 600
  3. Used B+W Polarizer filter
  4. Spare Battery

With this outfit you can go for a year, produce excellent pictures, and stop worrying about equipment.


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