My Photography Equipment
The two best pieces of equipment a photographer can own is a set of eyes and a great imagination.
This section is added with a little hesitation because it is not meant to be a recommendation or an opinion in on the what’s the best camera. It is simply list of what I use to make photographs. If you are a gear head like me, you may want to know what your fellow photographers are using. In reality, it is the talent and not the camera that makes great images. I just happen to use Canon and Lumix equipment.
One piece of advice I can offer for someone willing to carry a bunch of camera gear all day on their back is to look for really good lenses but stay away from fast ones. Most of my lenses have a maximum aperture of F4 which is fine for landscapes. These lenses are lighter in weight and usually less expensive too. For instance i use the Canon 70-200mm F4 L series lens for a moderate telephoto. It is less than half the weight and price as the more popular 70-200mm F2.8 lens and has the same quality optics and build as all Canon L series lenses.
Canon 5d Mark III – My all around camera with awesome image quality. This one is fitted with an L bracket so I can easily switch from horizontal to vertical shots quickly and without moving the tripod.
Canon 7d Mark II – This is my people and critter camera. It can shoot at 10 frames per second and has very good noise control at high ISO.
iPhone – To see why I use this as a camera, take a look at my iPhoneography Gallery.
Gitzo GT2542 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod with Arca Swiss Ball Head – This tripod is relatively light weight, sturdy and easily packs into a suitcase for travel. The ball head is simple to use and is indestructible. The tripod is fast to set up in the field and my non-photographer friends and family often admire the snazzy patterns of the carbon fiber in the legs.
Enduro Carbon Fiber Lightweight Tripod and Ball Head – This tripod weighs about 2.5 pounds and is always in my backpack. While not as sturdy as I’d like, I use a slightly heavier ball head to help stabilize the flexing in the narrow legs.
Induro 5-Way Tripod Head – This tripod head moves accurately in 5 different directions and is ideal for shooting in precise situations. It is ideal for panoramas, macro work, product photography and other types of photography where precision is critical.
Tiffin and B+W Polarizers
Assorted Neutral Density Filters, including a B+W Variable Neutral Density Filter
Lee Graduated Neutral Density Filters
B+W 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter
Yongnu0 Speed Lights
Genaray On-Camera LED light
36″ Light Tent
Various modifiers, reflectors, clamps, etc.
Canon 8-15mm f4 L Series Fisheye – Used for pretty specialized purposes. The distortion this lens creates can make for some dramatic images. I rarely use this lens but when I do…
Rokinon 14mm f2.8 – This is a cheap lens that is not designed for abuse. However, the optical quality is pretty good. I bought it because it was inexpensive and can be very handy for some smaller abandoned buildings.
Canon 17-40mm f4 L Series – This is my go to ultra wide angle lens and is usually in my pack or camera bag when I’m in places that have dramatic foreground elements and when I’m photographing the inside of abandoned buildings. This is a great lens for getting it all in, and for exaggerating space and distance.
Canon 24-105mm f4 L Series – This is the perfect “Go To” lens. Great range, sharp and while it isn’t the fastest, it is pretty light for a lens of this quality. When I’m doing extreme hiking or going to places with limited space this is the lens I take when I can only take one.
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L Series – I use it for my commercial work and for landscapes that don’t require a lot of hiking to get to. This lens is a bit heavier and has less range than the 25-105mm. The sharpness and color of this lens is pretty amazing too and that extra f-stop doesn’t hurt sometimes.
Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro – I don’t do a lot of macro work, but this lens is awesome when I do. It is also a great portrait and product photography lens.
Canon 70-200mm f4 L Series – This is a great lens with awesome sharpness. It is also $1000 less and over a pound lighter than the popular 70-200mm f2.8 lens. The quality is the same and I appreciate the weigh savings and the ability to spend that $1000 on traveling to the great places to photograph.
Canon 400mm f5.6 L Series – This is another lens I rarely use. Mostly for wildlife. It is sharp, relatively inexpensive and lightweight for an extreme telephoto lens. For someone who does not shoot wildlife a lot, this is the perfect lens to get close when I physically can’t be.
Canon 17mm f4 TS-E L Series – This is a “tilt-shift” lens designed to shift and control perspective. It is designed for architectural photography and I use it often in abandoned buildings and sometimes for product photography.
Canon 1.4 Extender – This little thing goes between the camera and lens in order to magnify a telephoto lens’s range by 40%. It’s a good way to zoom in things you can’t get close to like wildlife.
Spare batteries, rain covers, lens shields, extra compact flash and SD cards. Basically, anything that can help avoid an “Oh Crap” moment if the weather changes, something fails or runs out of power or space.