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First camera – LEGO photography specific advice?
I'm completely new to photography and videography, in fact I've never even held a mirrorless or DSLR in my hands. But I've been thinking about getting a camera and a set of lenses for quite a while now. Part of what I want to do is take photos and videos of my LEGO builds. I'm mostly thinking of taking more standard overview pictures of my builds (about the size of a modular building), but I would like to also take some pictures from the minifig perspective. I hope that I've come to the right place and hope it is ok to ask advice on what I should look out for when deciding for a camera and lenses.
I'm actually quite clueless still – I suspect that the camera model might not make a huge difference, but what type of lenses should I be looking at for LEGO photography? I'm currently considering Sony (a6400) and Fujifilm (x-t3 or x-t30) cameras, so any specific recommendation would also be much appreciated!
Thank you very much!
I recently went through this too and based on what I could afford I went with a Fujifilm XT100.
I really like it but it's the only camera I've used and I am still a novice so I'm probably not the best person to help you here. I'll tag some of our mods to see if they can offer any advice.
You can't really go wrong with Sony or Fuji at this point. And you're correct in assuming the lens is more important.
If it's a set of lenses you're after, I would say that a 16-70 would do you well for LEGO photography (builds and minifig). A macro lens or at least a lens with a minimum focusing distance of under 22cm will allow you to get close to a minifig for the minifig perspective.
Note that you don't need a true macro lens (1:1 magnification) as rarely will you want a head-and-shoulders shot of a minifig. A 1:2 is perfect and much cheaper.
There are budget workarounds to a macro lens (extension tubes, close-up filters, reversing rings) but a macro lens is designed for sharpness at a close focusing distance whereas other lenses are not. Any add-ons to make a regular lens have macro capabilities will amplify any flaws (softness, chromatic aberration, etc) that the lens already has.
If you'd like a specific recommendation, I would suggest the Sigma 70mm 2.8 macro or better yet, just buy a vintage macro lens for under $100. You don't need the AF on macro lenses unless you are doubling it as a portrait lens or need to shoot blind (under sun, low to the ground for example). My vintage macro lenses of choice are the Takumar 50mm f/4 and the Minolta 100mm f/2.8.