Here, I have listed the spotlight equipment of my kit. This is by no stretch of imagination the entire list of gear I maintain. All of the boring BTS support kit that takes up the bulk of my equipment shelves has been left off the page – things like support stands, modifiers, grip equipment, clamps, clips, tape, filters, gels, backdrops, throw cloths, tether tables, cables (oh the cables!!!), remote triggers, batteries, …. You get the idea.
In any case, people were asking what camera equipment they should get and what equipment I shoot on, so I took some time to list the essentials – bodies, lenses, lights – from my kit, for you to see what I use to make my photography. If you are interested in knowing more about my kit or my workflow, or you have some new piece of equipment you’d like me to test out or review, please get in touch with me. I look forward to hearing from you!
The Sony A7R2 is my current go-to camera body. This camera was launched during in the summer of 2015 and I picked mine up direct from Sony in Hong Kong. More insight into how the camera handles plus some samples are on the way. In the meantime, check out the unboxing video straight from inside the Sony store on my Youtube channel.
This is the Sony A7 – Sony’s more robust ILCE (interchangeable lens camera) with the full-frame sensor; a follow-up to their popular entry into the [then] mirrorless market – the Nex 7. This became my go-to camera when I decided to go all-in on the emerging form and stopped investing in my DSLR kit. Click here for my early impressions and some examples with this camera.
GoPro Hero 3+
This is the GoPro Hero 3+ Black. I use this camera for Point-of-View shots, Over-the-Shoulder, and other first-person vantage shooting for behind the scene looks while I am photographing a project or assignment. It’s also a great little time lapse recorder and a good little selfie grabber. I picked this up before a big trek into Cambodia in 2014 and its been an awesome little companion on just about every shoot since that trip. Click here to see a few of the videos I’ve created with this camera on my Youtube channel.
Zeiss Batis 2/25
prime wide-angle lens
This is the widest camera lens I use in my kit – 25mm. The new Batis line of lenses direct from Carl Zeiss were made with the new Sony A7 series interchangeable-lens cameras in mind. They’ve included complete lens control from the camera – including auto-focus and aperture adjustments. The lens body itself is very stark – simple with one single rubber grip ring for manual auto-focus, and in place of a traditional design using hyperfocal markings which would relate to aperture settings on the barrel, Zeiss has included a LED distance indicator, displaying hyperfocal measurements, which engages when the camera is set to manual focus. This lens, paired with the new A7R2 yields obscenely sharp and well defined images. The weight, balance, speed, and overall craftsmanship of this lens all make this a top-choice lens for the Sony e-mount line. A gallery of image samples is coming soon.
Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens
prime wide-angle lens
This is my go-to lens for general shooting. I’ll typically keep this and my A7 with me almost everywhere I go. It’s a great lens for street shooting, wide environmental portraits, product, and assignment shooting. It’s fast-enough f/2.8 lens makes it extremely useful in any lighting conditions and the soft shallow depth of field – even for such a short lens – looks terrific on Sony’s full-frame sensor.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens
standard prime lens
Every photographer is supposed to have a 50mm prime lens in their kit – or so I’ve heard. I get why this lens was nicknamed the “nifty fifty”. It is nifty – meaning it does handle the most general set of circumstances in a good or skillful way. It doesn’t do any circumstance awesome – there are more specifically tuned lenses for each specific situation, however, if you went with the perfect lens for each and every scenario you would need a huge sturdy bag (and brawny shoulders) or only shoot in the studio and have a tremendous bank roll. This lens will handle just about anything and come away with a decent composition. So I keep it. And since the Sony A7 series cameras will shoot Canon glass with an adapter, it’s a win/win.
Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens
macro / portrait lens
This is my macro lens. The speed of its auto-focus on the Sony A7R2 make this capable of being a great portrait lens, also. The speed and shallow depth of field at f/2.8 make some amazing portraits that just pop off the background. It is clear that a lot of thought went into the details on this lens – from the three focus range options to the speedy mechanism to switch from auto to manual focus built right into the focusing ring. And between the in-lens image stabilization and the 5-axis in-camera stabilization, this beauty will capture a great detail shot handheld in ordinary lighting. Click here for some examples from this lens.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS Lens
portrait lens / action lens
This is my portrait / action lens. The only setback to this being a fine standard lens is the slow f/4 limitation – other than that, this lens is a rock solid second lens for my kit. Skin tones look terrific and if I have an assignment where I can not be right there in the thick of things, the 200mm zoom can reach from the sidelines for most of the situations I’d be in. I just wish Sony and Zeiss would have dropped a few more lens elements in there to get this thing to f/2.8 – for the speed sure, but more for the shallow depth of field.
Lights & modifiers
Godox Witstro AD360 Flash
bare bulb flash
My location flash lighting kit is based around the Witstro AD360 flash. This flash fires a 360 w/s flash at full power, giving me plenty of light for most any lighting needs I have on location. Godox crafted a heavy-duty Bowens mount adapter they call the speedring, which provides excellent adaptation for every type of light modifier on the market – making this a very flexible lighting solution in and out of the studio. Click here for examples of this light at work.
Modifiers for the Witstro lighting set
- Medium (60x90) softboxes
- Strip boxes (35x160)
- Large 180cm umbrella
- Medium 90cm deep octa umbrella
- 60cm pop-up beauty dish
- 45cm beauty dish
- standard reflectors and grids
Sony HVL-F43M flash
There are times when big manual studio light is not practical and TTL flash sync is desirable. For those times, I keep this dedicated flash unit on-hand. Sony’s own on-camera flash line does leave something to be desired, however, with very few options in third-party support for Sony TTL or high-speed sync there are times when this little guy comes in handy.
Sirui 2205N w/ K20 ball head
This is my flat-folding tripod. Going with this alternative form-factor is a new direction for me in 2015. Prior to this, my tripods were of the typical sort – three independent legs fixed around a center column or tripod head. I went with the new, flat, design as a way to save space when traveling – and it excels at this.
Bags & Haulers
- LowePro Pro Roller x200 – Roller case
- Kata 3N1-33 – camera backpack
- Thinktank Retrospective 10 – shoulder bag
- LowePro Stealth Reporter 500AW – shoulder bag
Interested in knowing more about the gear I use, or do you have a product you’d like reviewed?