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Welcome REI Co-op Members!
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Need help with photography?

Hello REI members. 

My name is Stephen Morton and I have been a news photographer for over 40 years and an REI member since 2007. Love, love, love the idea of this forum, and I am here to offer any advice about shooting photos while hiking, camping, traveling, or just walking through your favorite town and gear. I was a Nikon shooter for 30 years, now a Canon guy, and I am quite fond of my iPhone 11 pro. I'm not much of a tech geek, but I have a working knowledge of all of the above. My clients are the major print news organizations around the country.

Work hard, stay humble. 


3 Replies


Welcome to the community!

Thanks for the intro, you've got an impressive photography resumé. We've had a couple of other posts about cameras/photography that you may want to weigh in on:

On a personal note, I have a question: which three lenses do you feel are the most important? In other words, if you were going to purchase lenses for a DSLR, which should be the first three?


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JohnJ As you will read in my reply to one of the links you sent, I use a 16-35mm f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8. 

My simple answer is zoom lenses. They save space in your pack. With those two, you'll pretty much cover most of what you need. Of course, they are expensive and heavy, but the payback is worth it. 

If you don't want to carry that much weight or spend the money, all manufacturers make less expensive wide zooms and telephoto zoom lenses. Keep this in mind; typically, you'll pay more for a "faster" lens. Fast meaning a low f-stop. For instance, you can buy a 50mm lens for either $1,400 or $125. One key difference is the f-stop. My Canon 50 f/1.2 USM is pushing $1,400. Or you can find a Canon 50mm f1.8 for $200. The optics matter, so buy good glass. You get what you pay for, my friend. 

But I think the question is, what do you want to shoot? If you don't need a "fast" lens, you'll save money. 


I just wrote this article about all the camera gear I bring on hikes. (hint, its just a tripod and I shoot on iphone) Glad you're here. Excited to see some of your work.