What’s in your bag, Imageography?
I have an array of cameras. I’m starting to think this is a multi-dimensional array. It is a blessing and a curse.
I started in film, shooting with a Pentax ME that my Aunt handed down to me. I shot that camera to death — pieces were literally flapping in the wind.
When the Pentax died, I moved to a Canon AE-1. On my first “commercial” shoot, I dropped it in a lake. I was knee deep in algae filled water, holding a camera with water pouring out of it. I was both embarrassed and stupefied.
Thus began my “backup” world. I immediately found 2 new AE-1 cameras. Now I could keep different focal length lenses active and shoot between 2 bodies. That meant 1/2 the film replacement time for me.
After over 10-12 years of film shooting, I moved to digital.
Now my addiction is in full effect, equaled by the paranoia of that water drop incident years ago. So, instead of 2 bodies, I have about 25.
I have owned about every camera company’s body from one time or another. I still own and shoot with, Olympus, Fuji, Canon, and Nikon.
My primary gear (the actual bodies I carry with me to shoots) is:
Nikon D600 and a Nikon D700. I moved to full frame bodies first with the Canon 5D MK II, with a 7D as a backup but (because of a more extensive collection of nicer Nikon glass) I have switched to using Nikon for any commercial or serious project work.
Lenses I shoot with are (in order of importance to me):
- Nikon 105mm VR 2.8 — beautiful bokeh, great portrait, and nice on a FX sensor
- Nikon 50mm 1.8G — Yes, not enough dollars to buy the 1.4 and this works great for me
- Tokina 16-28 2.8 — After watching a video I saw linked in the MM forums about the correct use of a super wide angle, I love this lens when both landscape and people come into play
- Nikon 28-70 3.5-4.5D — Old clunker but razor sharp lens
- Nikon 24-120 3.5-5.6D — Another clunker. Soft but great for portraits and a great walk around lens
- Nikon 70-300ED 3.5-5.6 — Non VR zoom lens but great for compressing depth of field on non-critical shots
- Nikon 24-85VR 3.5-5.6 — VR Lens – Basic utilitarian and I use it sometimes, but not often
- Nikon 18-50VR — Meh
I am still old school. I use a light meter (Sekonic LC-358 with the Pocket Wizard Module) – I do not like chimping the screen for my shots as much as I probably should. Plus, I think it looks sexy using one.
Lighting is inexpensive strobes by Promaster. 300WS with Pocket Wizards for the trigger/receivers. They use a Bowens – S mount, which is readily available to buy modifiers for.
I also shoot with 2 Flat Panel lights which are 300WS as well. Great for tucking under a wedding dress for that nice soft glow, and they fit into tight corners.
I also have a host of flashes, including Canon 540, Olympus FL50, FL36, and a couple of old beater flashes. I cannot honestly remember the last time one of my flashes was in my hot shoe. I trigger them remotely with some inexpensive trigger/receivers I got from China.
Modifiers include some of the basic and classics. I have a 40-inch Octabox, 21-inch beauty dish, 2 strip boxes for accent/hair lights, 20×40-inch softbox, a huge 6-foot reflector and many small, hand-held reflectors.
I have a ton of other equipment, but this is the common shooting hardware/accessories I am working with.
Unless I can grow more arms, most of my “backup” cameras are now sitting in the closet getting old.