My GearSeptember 24, 2010
I get asked fairly often about my gear, and I’ve been intending to write this permanent post about it for some time. I’ve always hesitated a little because I think it’s important (especially among new photographers) not to focus too much on the gear, but rather learning how to use what you have to your best advantage (which can often turn out VERY impressive work). My personal rule of thumb is that I don’t “need” an upgrade until I understand the specific limitations of my current equipment, and through a thorough reading of the manual along with significant “field” testing, I determine that I can not accomplish what I want to artistically with what I have. My point is, there are far more important things to taking a good picture than having the best equipment. After coming across this fabulous blog post, I feel like I can safely let you read it, know exactly where I’m coming from, and then continue on with the Gear discussion. Deal? Okay, go ahead and click the link and read the article.
Did you read it? Great! Now, just for the record, I do NOT get offended by people asking what camera equipment I use. I’ve never had anyone make a comment to me in the same context as the writer mentions, but I think the point is a viable one all the same.
So …. here is what’s in my bag:
Nikon D700 w/ battery grip
Nikon D80 (backup)
Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Nikon 35mm f/2
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-600 (for personal use – I’m all about natural light for my sessions)
Combination of 8GB and 4GB CF cards
Expodisc (rarely used)
And the little things: extra batteries, lens cloth, lens cleaner brush, extra model releases, business cards, etc.
As far as bags themselves, I have a Lowepro Slingshot 300 for transport and a Shootsac to use while shooting along with a Pixel Pocket Rocket for cards. During a shoot I keep my Shootsac stocked with my lenses, lens cloth and brush, business cards, wallet, bottled water, a small cloth for client “blotting” as needed (especially in the summer), and bribes/toys for little ones if needed. I also have a custom camera strap with a lens cap pocket – I LOVE it! If you are misplacing those as often as I did, it’s a must-have.
My 85mm is my favorite lens – the bokeh is AMAZING – but I probably use my 50mm the most, it’s my workhorse. The 35mm is fairly new and I really love experimenting with it. I generally use the 24-70mm for family sessions (especially with little ones) to give me more flexibility.
And … I’m a PC! I use Photoshop CS4 and ACR for RAW editing – yes, all of you crazy Lightroom folks, you can Batch Process in ACR too!
Thanks for reading … hopefully somebody will find this useful!