February 19, 2020
I promised last week over on the gram that I would share what is in my camera bag. I had planned on sharing this last Friday. I forgot it was Valentine’s Day. Yes, I totally forgot! I’m horrible. Dustin reminded me a few days before with flowers. All is well friends.
I’ve learned a lot over the years about photography. Learning what I actually have to have, and what I don’t in terms of the right equipment to perform the best results for my clients. I want to share a little insight on that with you today.
I get this question asked a lot about equipment. What camera body do I need? My response is always. What lenses do you have? It is and isn’t really about the camera body. Yes, camera bodies play a role for sure, especially in low lighting conditions without the use of flash, but it’s not everything.
I’d rather see a new photographer invest in lenses first. If you can imagine a lens to be like glasses. Let’s say you have really bad vision and you need glasses to see. You would never go get the cheap readers at the drugstore, because they aren’t going to serve you well.
The same goes for glass and optics in camera lenses. Why put a cheap lens on an expensive camera body? You are not going to see the full potential of the camera that way.
A $3,000 lens is 3k for a reason. TRUST ME! A $200 crop sensor kit lens on a $3,000 camera body won’t allow you to see the full potential of the camera. My strongest advice is to invest in lenses first. Know what your camera is capable of before upgrading to one that has all the bells and whistles.
I do photograph a lot with film that I have developed and scanned digitally. Much of my photography work is film. There is a lot of overhead to use film, due to buying, shipping, developing, and scanning. One of the plus sides of film photography is that the camera bodies are relatively inexpensive. Pair that with a really good quality lens investment and magic happens! Many of the images in this post were taken with a 35mm camera that I paid $45 for on Ebay. It’s important to note that I did have a $3,000 lens on the body. See what I’m getting at here? Lenses matter!
Sorry I got off topic for a few. I just felt like that needed to be addressed before I went any further. Now, that I feel better, ha ha. Let’s continue.
What’s in my camera bag?
Here is an in depth description of the lenses, flash, and camera bodies I consistently use and why I choose to use them.
Yes, TWO! One is auto focus and one is manual focus. I really love the quality of Zeiss lenses. It is worth it for me to slow down and manual focus for the quality it produces. The only time I won’t use a manual focus lens is during a wedding ceremony or reception first dances. If I do want to use a manual focus lens I will make sure I have an autofocus lens on a separate camera body and use both. This insures I don’t miss anything.
I love this lens! I use it a lot on my 35mm film camera for portraits. The creamy texture this lens produces is phenomenal!
I love this lens for wide angle shots with a lot of subjects in the background. This lens is great for tight spaces, but I don’t like it for portraits. The lens can distort somewhat close up in range, so that is why I don’t like it for portrait or detail work.
I love my macro lens! I use it for all my close up detail work. I sometimes even use it for portraits.
2 Full frame D810
1 d7100 crop sensor
1 d3100 crop sensor (this was my very first camera and i still love it paired with a good quality lens)
Pentax 645N medium format
Pentax lenses – 75 2.8 FA If you don’t want to manual focus you’ll want an FA lens.
Modified 80 planar contax lens. When you modify this lens it is fixed at 2 aperture and is only manual focus. I really LOVE this lens, and I really LOVE my Pentax. In my opinion it was worth the $3,000 investment and the 6 month wait to get it. I love the images this lens produces!
Nikon n80 35 mm
I’ve also owned a Nikon F5, and F100 and have really enjoyed all of them!
I have 3 nikon sb700 flashes. I like the recycle time and they are powerful enough for what I need to produce quality images. I also use an Alienbee 400 strobe. I bring this to every wedding with the softbox, the cords, all the things! I want to be prepared for anything just in case.
I’ll be the first to admit that I may be a little crazy bringing 6 camera bodies to a wedding with everything else, but I like to think that I’m just conscious and sensitive to the fact that weddings are really special. The same crazy mentality may be true for family sessions. I bring almost as much to a family session because that’s just as important in my opinion.
I hope you guys found this helpful. Please let me know what you think in the comments. As always if you have any questions feel free to contact me or comment below.
Click here to see more personal posts.
Want to be the first to know when I blog helpful photography posts? Be sure to sign up for the ” photography & mentorship” newsletter below!
I want to stay in the loop about...
I adore Instagram, and Insta- stories even more! I share the good, bad, and ugly. With real life talks, to products and clothes that I love, and of course everything related to photography!
Crafted imagery for couples and families in love