Post your photography kit

Created by stenchlord on Dec. 17, 2013, 8:17 a.m.
  • @YoThatLimp: Yeah the 5d's are defintely a brick, but you know that well sealed Magnesium body is nice, compared to the plastic body on the 70d that feels like you could crush it in your hands and a grip that is rather small and plasticy.

    If your really on a budget or looking for a good small lens the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is a nice lens. Its loud as crap but it pairs well with the 70D. The glass quality is good too. Its generally the lens I have used when dabbling in astrophotography. Its only a 67mm front element though. But most of the large front element lenses are pro glass and 2-3x the price.

  • @perilator: Are you doing a daylight lab or an honest darkroom? I shoot 4x5 slide and then scan to edit. I don't make enlargements so I've been pretty happy with my barebones daylight setup.

  • @clovenlife: I'm converting a room in my apartment to an actual darkroom. Not too sure what a daylight setup is. My plan to start is to do black and white 4x5 and medium format contact prints. I don't really have any plans to enlarge or edit too much. Really I'm just looking to teach myself the practical process and stay off the computer.

  • @perilator I just go from film holder to a lightproof tank inside a blackout bag. Then take the tank out and run my chemicals through. All while never having to turn off the lights. As all I need is to just develop the slide film, I don't need to black out a whole room.

  • So I am going to be placing an order for a D5300 18-140mm kit and a 35mm 1.8, I am still doing research on a small decent flash and what I want to do with my wide angle fast lens.

  • So the d5300 came today and man, I'm glad i didn't end up going with the 70d. I don't think I would like traveling with something any bigger than this. Really nice but man, I feel like a complete noob, all of my experience thus far has been mirrorless. getting used to a viewfinder is going to be rough. The 18-140 kit lens actually seems super sharp, excited to try it out.

  • @YoThatLimp said:

    ...getting used to a viewfinder is going to be rough...

    Really? As crazy as you sound, you could always just use Live View on your D5300.

  • @mclaren777 said:

    @YoThatLimp said:

    ...getting used to a viewfinder is going to be rough...

    Really? As crazy as you sound, you could always just use Live View on your D5300.

    I think it is just because live view is all I have had. Use the View Finder actually feels pretty good now, I like that it makes me focus on composition more.

  • Canon 7D

    • Canon 18-55 EFS II
    • Canon 50mm 1.8
    • Canon 75-300mm EF
    • Canon 40mm 2.8
    • Sigma 10-20mm

    Minolta 404si

    • 35-80mm

    iPhone 5s

    • 180 deg Fisheye
    • 0.67 Wide angle

    GoPro Hero3

    • Egg Timer
    • A bunch of mounts and clips
    • Helicopter Hat

    Stuff

    • Battery grip for the 7D
    • Pixel TW-282TX Timer
    • Yongnuo YN560-II Flash
    • Futal Raincase
    • Weifeng WF531BT Tripod
    • GlideGear Slider
    • Homemade Steady Cam with Manfrotto 357PLV Quick Release
    • 3 Energizer Chargers + 24 Rechargeable AA

    And bunch of filters for the Minolta

  • Actually I'm probably of the lowest tier on my camera, but i'm happy with it, I don't have a lot to spend on this type of stuff but I've gotten some really good shots, Nikon L120

  • Update: Just purchased a Rokinon 8mm.
  • (The newest lenses and a lot of lighting equipment was bought relatively recently to practice for my friend's engagement shoot. Actually all my gear was bought in three separate waves.)

    Camera: Canon EOS 70D (First DSLR)

    Lenses (In purchase order, all refurbished):

    • EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens
    • EF 40mm f/2.8 IS STM
    • EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
    • EF 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
    • EF-S 50-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II (Accidentally bought the non-STM version)
    • EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
    • EF 100mm f/2.8L macro
    • EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

    Camera: EOS-M

    Lenses:

    • 22mm f/2 STM
    • 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

    Tri/Monopods:

    • Manfrotto Befree Tripod
    • Manfrotto 562B-1 Monopod
    • Manfrotto MH054M0-Q2 Ball Head
    • Joby Gorilla Pod

    Lighting:

    • 600ex-RT Speedlite (x2)
    • ST-E3-RT Transmitter

    Modifiers:

    • Stofen Omnibounce for 600EX-RT
    • Magmod basic kit (Kickstarter purchase)
    • Rogue Flash Gels
    • Rogue FlashBender + Diffusion Panel
    • Rapid Box Octa 26" + Rapid Box Strip set w/Wescot Tripods
    • 7' Diffusion Umbrella
    • Lastolite 30" 8-in-1 Grip Reflector

    Printing:

    • Canon PIXMA PRO-100 (100% rebate with purchase of paper)
    • ColorChecker Passport
    • Spyder4Pro

    Bags/Strap:

    • Tenba Large Messenger Bag
    • ClickElite Probody Sport Backpack
    • Blackrapid Sport strap

    Other:

    • Lens Pens and Bulb Blower
    • UV Filters
    • Circular Polarizers
    • Neutral Density Filters
    • Canon Remote Switch
    • Batteries and Cases

    Future Purchases:

    • A full frame Canon camera if needed to get hired as a second shooter, but will look for gigs without that requirement first.
    • One of the 70-200mm lenses if I need it (With the latest round of purchases, I've eliminated all lens lust that's I've had).
    • A future Canon mirrorless camera that is rumored to come out "some day" since they're still working on EF-M lenses.
    • Miscellaneous lighting gear.

    Future Plans:

    • If the engagement shoot goes well, start asking more of my friends to model for me and build up a portfolio.
    • Try my hand at second shooting as a method of making enough money just to pay for my gear within the year.
    • Perhaps pick up miscellaneous Craigslist gigs, also to help supplement buying gear.
    • Continue going out to various parts of SF and taking whatever shots pique my interest. I've been having fun scouting spots for my friend's shoot that I think I'll just keep on going out on my own. The very touristy area of the Embarcadero has felt pretty safe with so many people around and so many other people with camera gear. It's been a great starting point.
    • Start hiking more on my free time and take advantage of where I live.
    • Learn Photoshop and Lightroom better, start messing around with compositing.
  • Congrats on your purchases, especially for being smart enough to buy refurbished gear. It's probably the best way to save money in photography.

    However, I can't help but notice that you don't seem to have a clear direction with your gear. You have eight EF/EF-S lenses with tons of overlap in the focal range and only one of them is faster than f/2.8. Two 600EXs are surely overkill what for you need and you bought a ton of additional trinkets.

    Could you elaborate on your thought process for some of these acquisitions?

  • lol. Yes, I can see how it looks that way. I could give some explanation.

    • Pre-DSLR:

    I backed the Veronica Mars movie kickstarter and got to be an extra in the movie. I bought a Sony point and shoot without knowing much of anything about photography and cameras, because I wanted something better than my phone when I took pics with Kristen Bell. Playing with the camera before my time on set really opened my eyes to how amazing photography could be, how much more the camera can see beyond what our eyes can see, and how bad phone cameras are/were, and that sparked my interest in getting a DSLR.

    • Purchase Phase 1:

    1st Camera & Lenses #1 and #2 - As I was getting close to purchasing the Canon 650D, rumors and then reports came out about the Canon 70D (a crop sensor camera for those unfamiliar with Canon) coming out fairly soon, so I decided to wait for that. Ended up getting the 70D with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens over the 18-55mm because of the wider range (and turned out to be the better choice in terms of image quality according to what I hear) and picked up the 40mm f/2.8 IS STM at the same time because everything I read and listened to always talked about how zoom lenses always sacrifice on image quality. Primes is where it's at if you want the best. (And primes help force you to learn more by forcing you to work within its limits.) So I wanted to have a zoom and a prime.

    I also picked up the strap, some cleaning stuff, UV filters, and the backpack at this point. And probably the gorilla pod. And reflector and the stofen omnibounce diffusor cap.

    That seemed reasonable.

    (Thesaurus for non-Canon people: IS = image stabilization. STM means STepper Motor, for their new silent auto-focus motor that is great for video. USM = Ultra Sonic Motor, their other auto-focus motor.)

    • Lens #3 - 50mm f/1.4

    But also I'm always reading and hearing about how everyone should own a 50mm. Even though that advice was usually in regards to the cheap 50mm f/1.8. Blogs, forums, reddits, podcasts, were always bombarding me about owning a 50. Yes, some people were often saying you don't need the 40mm f/2.8 and a 50mm, but night photography was definitely one of my goals and I wanted to see for myself the difference in depth of field between the 40mm f/2.8 and the 50mm f/1.4. I was never going to buy the 50mm f/1.2 because it was too expensive just to test it out, and the 50mm f/1.4 was both within a reasonable enough price range and further away from f/2.8 compared to the Nifty Fifty f/1.8. So I picked that up.

    Renting was not an option. There was no way I could learn enough in a rental period to satisfy my curiosity. When you need to learn everything about photography all at once, it's overwhelming, and I knew enough to know I wasn't experienced enough to really understand the differences between the two in such a short time period. It would take an experiment here and there, and gaining knowledge in between for that to happen.

    I also justified the purchase by 1) always hearing that lenses hold their value fairly well and I could sell it if I wanted (which I knew would be unlikely in the near future) and 2) that if I ever picked up a full frame camera (which wouldn't surprise me, knowing me), I could always have the 50mm f/1.4 for that camera since it was an EF (fits both Full Frame and Crop) lens and not an EF-S (Crop only).

    • Tripod - Project #1

    My first actual event, I volunteered to take pics of a sandcastle building contest, and I asked for advice here. I did end up renting a 55-250mm lens to try out (which I decided I didn't need), and from discussing the event here in these forums, I ended up buying the Manfrotto BeFree tripod (which I'm very happy with, although now they have a carbon fiber version and I do feel some gear lust into wishing I could switch out for that one.) The tripod was especially useful in just raising the camera up well above my head and using that in combination with the Android EOS app to remotely trigger the camera to get more height when photographing the sandcastles. I also rented the 600EX and ST-E3-RT transmitter, it was way too complicated for me to learn in such a short time period.

    • Wide Angle - Project #2

    I've been wanting to take pics of the new Bay Bridge and pics while they're tearing down the old span (which was determined to be unsafe after the 1989 earthquake.) So I bought the only real choice available in terms of wide angle lenses, the EF 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. (Then what do you know, Canon releases a 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens at half the price, that everyone knew about but me because I hadn't been keeping up with the news. I figured I'd use the 10-22mm for the first trip out, then return it and wait for the cheaper 10-18mm to arrive. Only after I used the lens did I find out that as soon as I open the refurbished box from Canon, I couldn't return it, unlike if I bought it from amazon.

    Why didn't I immediately return my 10-18mm unopened? I figured I'd sell the 10-22mm and keep the cheaper lens, once again, I heard that you can usually get most of your money back on lenses since they hold their value, but I ended up liking it and not wanting to sell it. So I took out both lenses and tested them both out and... while I do like the 10-22mm... it's a huge lens, and the 10-18mm is so small and the STM motor will work great if I ever experiment with video (probably unlikely). It's getting hard to carry my stuff with me and I could see myself sometimes wanting to take the 10-18 for space reasons... and I could sell it later if I wanted since it seems to be getting a lot of praise.

    So I kept both. (Forgot to add the 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, to the list up there.)

    • Canon EOS-M plus both lenses

    With all the rumors for the M3 maybe finally being revealed, I finally gave in to the temptation and picked up the full EOS-M kit of camera, two lenses, and the 90EX flash (also forgot to list this) for $400 during one of the many sales for it. I do want to experiment with mirrorless eventually. I, perhaps foolishly, am hoping Canon knows what they're doing and will do well at competing in that space before its too late. I figured I'd pick up the lenses early while having a camera to beta test the third party Black Magic software that I've heard so much about. If/When it becomes available for my 70D I would have zero worries because I would have already had some other camera to test it out on.

    I'm happy with the purchase.

    • Lens #6 - The mistake

    During one of the refub restocks on Canon's website, I impulse bought the EF-S 50-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II on my phone while at work. I had no reason to get it besides thinking that maybe, someday, I'll want that focal length, and I'm a collector at heart and it was the one STM lens I didn't own. To my horror, I found out it wasn't the STM version that I thought it was, and it being refurbished, bought direct from Canon, and it now being opened, I couldn't return it. If I could take it back I would absolutely unpurchase this, and never even attempt to get the STM version. I don't need it.

    After all I heard about lenses keeping their value and being fairly easy to unload, I put this lens up on ebay and it kept on not selling. I kept on lowering the initial price, and it just kept on not selling. So I still have it.

    • Flash #1 and Remote Trigger

    Got these during some refurbish alerts. The 600EX seemed to always go out of stock fast the other times I got the alerts, so I picked one up and the trigger. I knew I did not want to have to bother with IR and pocket wizards and all the extra (although cheaper) alternatives. I just wanted my radio trigger enabled stuff and picked them up while on sale.

    • Printer

    Canonpricewatch told me the $350 printer was on sale for free (after $350 rebate) if I bought a pack of 13"x19" pack of 50 sheets of photo paper for $48 dollars. That seemed like a steal so I bought it.

    • Project #3 and the Final Three Lenses

    The EF 100mm f/2.8L macro is something I've wanted from the beginning. It just happened to be restocked as refurbished at this time, so I picked it up at the same time as the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. Now the 17-55mm I picked up because about a month ago my friend asked me if I could get her just one good engagement shot to display at her wedding. I was going to be doing a lot of studying and learning and experimenting. I've gone out scouting various locations a couple times a week each week since she asked. I've been watching videos, and trying things out. The refurbish restock popped up and this became available, and I wanted to try something out that was better than my 18-135mm kit lens. I bought this 17-55mm f/2.8 and figured this was going to be the main lens I would use for the day of. It would also give me a relatively similar field of view as the 24-70mm lenses that a ton of wedding photographers use on full frame cameras (The lens a lot of interviewees say is the lens they would choose if they could only take one else to a wedding/desert island), so I could see what that was all about.

    Then I found this weird sculpture that was ugly during the day time, but lit up all pretty at night. And I really understood how focal length changes the relative compression of a scene. With the 18-135mm I could make it so the lit up Bay Bridge seem to fall right under the lit up arch of the sculpture, and place my subject, sculpture, and bridge all right on top of each other if I backed up to the island areas between the two opposing flows of traffic. 55mm wasn't good enough. 100mm was too long.

    *Click*

    I bought the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.

    Additionally, while the engagement shoot is tomorrow, I'm also going to Europe for ten days starting this weekend. I could (and will now) also use the 24-105mm for the Europe trip. It also has the honor of using one of my first justifications in that it's an EF lens and not just an EF-S lens. So I can use it on a full frame camera if/when (75% chance) I get one.

    • The Other Stuff

    Since I had the printer, I picked up the monitor calibrating and color correcting stuff, so I could try my hand at printing out the chosen engagement shot.

    I picked up the lighting gear one at a time and tested them out for the o, and just kept on buying more, until finally getting the rapid boxes. I'm pretty confident they'll all get some use. I do have one friend already who wants to go out and practice modeling with me if I ever ask. I haven't until this point, but if all things go reasonably well with this shoot I already have a second subject which will only lead to more.

    • Conclusion

    That should cover most of it.

    Most of my purchases were fueled by my various projects that I've picked up when I saw a need (excuse) to pick up more gear to try out. I've definitely been having a blast going out a ton this past month and have been learning a lot. Probably the most concentrated and consistent amount of experience and learning I've had since picking up the 70D. I just hope things go well tomorrow. At minimum I just need one shot she's happy with.

    And I'm fairly certain that most of my gear lust when it comes to lenses has been satiated. All of my initial check marks have been scooped up. I have no desire for a tilt-shift lens, and until I need a longer lens I'm not going to be picking one up. (Oh, and I just got and tested the EF-M to EF/EF-S adapter today with my EOS-M and I love it! It's so much easier having a second lens already attached to a camera. I'm for sure taking it with me to Europe.)

    That's not to say I don't have some other gear I'm eyeing. But when it comes to lenses. I'm pretty set.

  • Excellent write-up. Thanks for spelling that out. Here are the two primary thoughts I'm having...

    1. Don't be afraid to buy modern lenses from Sigma or Tamron. It's easy to believe the lie that Canon cameras should only use Canon lenses, but that's certainly not the case. My recommendation to all crop-sensor photographers is to get the Sigma 18-35mm. It's unlike anything else on the market and it isthelens to own, IMO. Because of the crop factor, it behaves like a 28-56mm FF lens and it has an f/1.8 constant aperture.
    2. You've talked a lot about hardware but not a lot about software. It's my firm belief that the single best thing a photographer can purchase is Adobe Lightroom. Nothing else will elevate your images faster. No camera, no lens. Lightroom is the key to achieving professional-looking images. That said, I noticed you're a CreativeLive watcher so I highly recommendthis seminar. In fact, if you would like me to help you edit the engagement images, feel free to send me a private message.
  • @mclaren777 Yeah, I've been a bit hesitant about looking at Sigma and Tamron lenses. I'll keep that lens in mind though. (But I do think I'm at a good stopping point on lens purchases. I don't want to start looking at the Sigma and Tamron lenses because it may be too tempting for me.)

    And yeah. creativelive is fantastic. So far I've found it's been the easiest way for me to learn. Their marketing method by allowing you to watch for free while it's live has gotten me to purchase quite a few classes from them. (Because who has time to watch 8 hours a day for three days straight?) That Lightroom one was one of the first that I saw live and did end up purchasing it. I've very much due a rewatch though. I've probably absorbed 5% of the info she puts out.

    New purchases since I made that post:

    • Canon EOS-M adapter for EF / EF-S lenses

    I love this thing! Oh wow my EOS-M is so much more versatile now.

    Interesting note, because the EOS-M is so small compared to most of my lenses, it usually feels like you're holding the lens with the attached camera as an afterthought, the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM actually feels like it was meant for that camera. The lens is small and light enough that you can hold onto the camera and it doesn't feel excessively front heavy. It feels like I've found a third EF-M lens and this is the lens I'll probably leave it attached to it most of the time. (But of course I'll actually just use whatever best suits the situation of any particular outing/shoot.)

    I did use this with my EF-S 10-22mm f/2.8 lens for the engagement shoot I just did. (

    • Click Elite Trekker Small Waist/Shoulder Bag
    • Manfrotto Compact Monopod and Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ballhead

    For my first trip to Europe, which is going to be a guided tour to various cathedrals and stuff. I want to pack light, so I bought this small pack and monopod.


  • everyone has so many collectoins!