Photographic Equipment

Photographic Equipment, I currently use.

I thought it might be interesting to share the current photographic gear that I am currently using.

*Disclosure: I am a Sony Advocate Photographer, out of choice, because I love their cameras and lens and they do what I need for the type of images that I want to make.

I’m currently using the a7 series of cameras, for most of my photography work. It took me a little while to get used to the electronic viewfinder and experiment with the settings as Sony (like all camera companies) do not set up their cameras by default to the ideal settings. Once, I got the hang of these and set up the cameras the way I wanted them, I realised that I love the electronic finder, as it gives me reliable exposure information right in the viewfinder, when I am making images. this is invaluable as it speeds up my working process in making images in rapidly changing lighting conditions and the type of photographic situations that I now work in while doing social documentary photography.

My current equipment consists of:

Sony a7r. Gives me large files that I can print with no problems and no resizing for an A2 print. I like the way I can set up the camera to work in both manual and auto focus, the ability to have a live histogram in the viewfinder when I am making images means I no longer chimp to see if I got my exposure correct because I am using a live histogram and if it is not right I fix it before shooting, never have the camera of off manual exposure as it is only three dials to set ISO, Shutter and Aperture setting on the camera.

Zeiss 24-70 f4 Lens. Great all rounder that is not to big and just flexible enough for most uses. I would shave been happy with it being a little smaller and only going to 28mm at the wide angle though and/or going 28 to 75mm as I like this focal length for environmental portraits.

Sony a7s. to use this camera in silent mode is fantastic, as no one hears you shooting the image and its ability to see into low light situations is really cool. This changes the way I can use a camera, you will see the results from this camera soon on the website.

Leica Summicron-M 40 mm f/2. This lens originally came with the Minolta/Leica CL camera and I like this focal length it is how we see the world, it is our angle of view and this lens is wonderful on the a7r . The depth of field scale and ability to zone focus, as the lens has subject distance scales on it, makes this lens really work well for street and documentary photography.

I intend to get the following lens in the order of importance as(or if) they appear on this list.

  • 100mm f/2.8 Macro. For me this is the ideal focal length for portraits as it just ‘works’ for me in how I want to have my portraits look. everyone has their own preference this is mine.
  • 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss if it is made otherwise the 35mm f2.8 Zeiss, as it is small and really light.
  • 70-200mm f/4 G. Light smallish and sharp could really use this lens, I have tried it and want one for my own kit bag.
  • 85mm f/1.8 Zeiss. portraits this is a good length for them but I think on reflect I prefer 100mm.
  • 50mm f/1.2 Zeiss – Maybe if they do this one, though not high on my priorities, or maybe the 55mm f1.8 Zeiss lens.
  • 16-35mm f/4 Zeiss OSS – I don’t really like to shoot much wider than 28mm so this might not be a good choice for me or mostly live at home in the spare lens bag.

I really need a portrait lens and after much thinking and reflection, I have realised that the perfect portrait lens for me is about 100mm in focal length this lens does not yet exist in FE mount but I can get my old Nikon 105mm f1.8 Ai-s lens CLA’ed and get a mount adaptor for it to use on the wonderful a7r or just wait for the macro that is in the road map.

At some point, I need to upgrade my flash to the: Sony Flash HVL-F60M as I have to use my existing Sony Flash HVL F58 with an adaptor, which I will keep as this lets me use it as a second flash via slave mode.

For video, an external monitor would be helpful, so either the  CLM-V55 Clip-On LCD Monitor from Sony or as I have a7s the Atomos monitor that allows me to film 4K video direct on the a7s camera, which would be my preferred option.

I might also be interested in the 28mm-135mm f4 lens, as it is looks like a great video lens and as I now need to do more video for some aspects of my work and this lens is great for working with video.

 

Sony A99  Camera body, I use this more for video and portraits

Zeiss 24 – 70 f2.8 lens

Zeiss 85 f1.4 lens

Zeiss 135 f1.4 lens

Sony Flash HVL F58, which I use with a Gary Fong diffuser.

I use this camera system mostly for my portrait photography and I really love the focus peaking and electronic viewfinder. With the electronic finder, I also got to have a live histogram in the viewfinder when I am using available (ambient or continuous) light which I really love as it gives me confidence that I am getting accurate exposure for those times when I can not redo the exposures or want to work quickly with confidence.

I also own old Broncolor studio lights and Arri Tungsen lighting, some of which I am tempted to sell, as I don’t use these so much these days. It all depends on the subjects that I am photographing as to which pieces of camera equipment, I use to make my images.

I am trying to make my equipment smaller is size as I can now do what I want to with the a7 series of cameras, so unless their is a compelling reason to keep the A-series cameras when Sony announces the A99 replacement I will move increasingly to the FE mount cameras and be able to carry a range of equipment that suites my needs without breaking my back, shoulders or anything else.

I have increasingly realised in my photography that I only need a small range of lenses and that anything else invariably gets left behind at home, or if I do take it with me it does not get out of the camera bag. This in my opinion is a sign that I

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