The best camera is the one you have with you. I am sure that you have heard that statement before. Usually that argument is made to justify the use of a small point and shoot or camera phone. I tried really, really hard to like my camera phone. I even had a phone with Zeiss optics and an 8 megapixel sensor…. I just never could get behind the (much) reduced image quality and the lack of depth of field. I mean, I really tried hard to like the camera phone. Tried android, iOS, and even windows phone, Instagram or not…. Did’t really matter, the horrible colors, heavy noise and artifacts and other undesirable elements just made it intolerable for me. The real reason for me comes down to prints. I know, I know. I must be a little old fashioned, but the is something special about a big print. Camera-phones just don’t make good prints. IMHO.
Here is a little background: I was primarily a wedding/portrait photographer. I try to use available light where I can. I started of shooting a 35mm film camera, i had a 28/2.8, a 50/1.4, and a 100/2. i spent 3 years learning on that set up and it was good. i found i really could shoot most anything i wanted. Then, I discovered auto-focus zooms. At one point a 24-300 was one of my go-to lenses (looking back, what the hell was I thinking). Fast-forward a few years, I am still using zooms, I am shooting professionally now, so the 24-300 went away. I am shooting 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 at this point. A good friend of mine (we worked together shooting weddings for several years) starts getting interested in fixed focal lengths (mostly for speed). He raves about a 35 + 85 combo. And he is right. I could go to a wedding or portrait session, and shoot with nothing else than a 35mm and an 85mm lens and be perfectly happy with what I walk away with. A zoom lens will make you lazy. With a fixed focal length lens, you end up moving around more, trying to get it just right, *LOOKING* for the image…. If you already shoot a fixed lens you know what i am talking about; If you have never shoot a fixed lens try it. You will see, it makes slow down a little, it also makes you put a little more thought into you compositions.
My everyday kit is pretty simple. I carry a Canon 6d. I really like the full frame camera. I have an 85/1.2 and a 35/2.8 tilt-shift lens. I carry either a MBP 13 in, or an IPad all in a Manfrotto messenger bag. 90% of the time this little kit is all I need. I do still have a little room in the bag so, I will often add either a 55/1.2 or a 14/2.8 depending on what I might be planning on shooting. What I found with the zooms I was using, the 24-70 end up being the choice when I needed a wider shot, and the 70-200 end up being the tighter shoot lens. While this statement is a little redundant, it illustrates the point, that with the 35/85 combo, I have a moderately wide field of view and a tighter field of view. Plus you get a much faster sharper lens, and you can find some real bargains out there. Canon has a 35/2 and an 85/1.8 that you can find for a little more than $300 each. There are no zooms that fast, you will be at least a full stop slower and you will be paying at least a thousand bucks to have the privilege to put less light to your sensor. Go try them. I guarantee you will like the results.