My photo gear : a not very well informed run down
I've been asked countless times what camera I use. Sometimes by people who are photographers and sometimes by people who just feel they should ask a question but don't really understand it when I rhyme off a list of numbers.
This blog is for some of those people mentioned above. I'll leave it up to you to decide which ones. It certainly isn't a cheap bit of SEO content for my site...
So first off, what camera do I use?
I use a Canon 6D. I upgraded from a crop sensor Canon 650D until early this year when I took the jump to full frame with this bad boy. The reasoning for choosing this camera? It's reasonably priced for a full frame camera and though it has fewer focus points, the centre cross-type point is sensitive to -3ev. I did add a battery grip to mine too, which is invaluable for both the extra battery life and having inverted controls for portrait shooting.
When you photograph almost exclusively in low light, that extra sensitivity can go a long way.
There are those who'll say there are better models available for low light. In technical terms there are, but I haven't had a single issue with this camera. It's really easy to use, has a powerful 4.5 frames per second burst rate and always delivers the results. Assuming I'm using it properly that is.
Don't get me wrong, I'd like an extra wheel for apeture control so I wouldn't have to trigger quick menu when I'm looking through the eye piece, but other than that its layout is pretty tremendous.
It also has wifi which is a cool feature now that Lightroom mobile is so good.
My new favourite lens in my arsenal is this Canon 85mm 1.8. In lens terms, it's pretty cheap but delivers great results. I love prime lenses because they're fast, cheaper than a lot of quality zooms and the limitations of them force me to really think when I'm shooting.
This 85mm is my new favourite thing for portraits. As I mostly deal with pretty underground music, it can be hard to find a use for it, but when I can break it out it always helps me capture great moments. When I'm not shooting music it's my favourite lens for candids by a mile.
If it has a limitation, it has to be that its autofocus can be pretty slow. But in situations I can't trust it, I just switch to manual focus. For full control of the bokeh I prefer that anyway.
This my go to lens. The good old nifty fifty. The plastic fantastic. The unstoppable Canon 50mm 1.8 II, a lens that cost a grand total of about £80.
This is the lens you’re told to buy when you get a camera because it’s cheap and versatile. I loved it on a crop but on a full frame, it’s a revelation. In an ideal world, I’d have the 1.4 L or that beautiful 1.2 L but…given the limitations on my resources this has been the best piece of photography gear I’ve ever bought.
Again, it’s not a zoom so it forces you to move and it isn’t as instantly versatile as a zoom lens…but what a wonderful lens for documenting people. Unintrusive enough that people often don’t notice shooting, and the focal length is perfect for a whole variety of subjects.
And as always with primes, it's all about that low light performance and the bokeh. Especially when you use it on manual. If I could only ever shoot with one lens ever again it'd be this one. And I'd do that happily. It is literally all I need.
Though I love toys, so it isn't all I want.
My final current lens is this second hand old Canon 24mm 2.8 that I bought for very little money on e-Bay. Truthfully, it isn’t tremendous.
It isn’t super sharp, it’s really slow to focus and when it does it’s often off and I suspect actually the optics aren’t as in good a condition as the seller told me they were…but I do find a use for it.
The 24mm focal length on full frame is pretty great for scenes where you want to get a lot in. I used to use my Tokina 11-16mm at 16mm on my 6D (because that lens is designed for crops it would vignette at anything less than 16mm) but it was so wide and slightly distorted it started to leave a sour taste in my mouth, this…this is as wide as I need.
Now I’ve sold that Tokina I’m forced to use this a bit more…and I am learning to find a use for it. Realistically I will need to upgrade it though if I want to use it for really low light. When I’ve more light…it’s a great wee lens for the pennies I paid for it.
And that's the gear that comes with me to every show or event I shoot. One camera and 3 prime lenses.
I also have an Aperlite Flash (which I hate using because I hate flash, but it's a great Speedlite rip off for £60), a cheap Neewer flash trigger for remote shooting and a really, really crappy tripod as well as a decent over the shoulder strap. Though I've stopped using that of late.
I edit exclusively on Adobe Lightroom because it's the best on a 13' Macbook Air for portability and power. And also because it's super pretty.
And...I think that's it. I have run out of interesting things ( if indeed there ever was any in the first place) to say about my gear. I'd recommend it all. Except maybe that old 24mm...
Oh! And as for that Canon V Nikon V Sony thing...who cares? It's about how you use the gear you have not what gear you have. A camera is a camera and a camera does not a photographer make.