Cameras and lenses
Nowadays, it really doesn't matter what brand name you go for. Choosing a brand is maybe 1/5th emotion and 4/5th practicality. Hence, I started building my gear around Canon
all those years ago, simply because my father owned a Canon camera. And that was a good decision, because fast forward to today Canon continues to provide excellent quality camera's and a huge range of lenses. That being said I always enjoy reading what other people use, hence this article. My current setup looks like this:
- Canon 5D mark III
- Canon 70D
- Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
- Canon 400mm f/5.6L USM
- Canon Extender EF 1.4x III
Don't forget the bag itself folks! Please don't be stingy here: your valuable equipment deserves a good and safe home. I currently have a Gura Gear Bataflae 26L to encompass my expanding gear. Very lightweight, good padding, durable and loads of space. I have a Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW for more travel oriented trips where weight and flexiblity are key.
Photographers often tend to collect a ridiculous amount of gear over the years. To prevent my studio from getting swamped – or my lovely wife kicking me out for that matter – I try to invest wisely and sell on equipment I don't really use.
- Batteries: always bring extra batteries. For example: for my trip to Ethiopia I brought twelve spares, as AC power sockets where far and wide in between. For now this is still more reliable and cheaper than a high capacity power bank or solar panels;
- Battery grips: I regularly use Canon battery grips on my bodies for double battery life + easier vertical shooting;
- Battery holder: I love the dsrl battery holder of Think Thank. And what about this simple but great hack: put a red and green sticker on opposite sides of every DRSL battery you own, this way you can see on a glance which are still full. Saving valuable time during those action packed moments;
- Beanbag: offers a stable platform for your camera if you use your car as a mobile hide, like on safari’s. They pack away easily and every travel destination sells beans or rice as filling;
- Extension tubes: great value to focus even closer. Don’t buy the big brand names as extension tubes contain no optical elements, but make sure autofocus is still enabled;
- Flash: I use a Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Canon OC-E3 Off-Camera Shoe Cord, often with a Westcott Micro Apollo softbox;
- Filters: I prefer using filters in the field compared to post-processing. Filters are used in situations like long exposures with moving water, or in situations with a higher dynamic range. I use a Cokin pro Z holder with Cokin and 84.5mm Ultimate Line Gradual gradual ND filters. I store them in a MindShift Filter Hive Mini;
- LensCoat: overpriced but they do offer good camouflage and extra padding. The white large super-telephotos of Canon might be easily recognizable during a sports game, it's terrible when photographing wildlife;
- Memory Card Holder: I use Caruba and Gepe card holders to protect my CF and SD cards against shocks, dust and moisture;
- Mobile hide: when working in a fixed spot or set-up, you can bring a mobile dog blind that sets up in mere seconds;
- PocketWizard: for remote photography I use two PocketWizard Plus III, which are very reliable and have a wide range.
- Recharger + power strip: having multiple batteries and only one recharger is a definitive no-go. You don't want to have to set your alarm for the middle of the night in order to wake up and change your batteries while on assignment. I always bring a travel adapter, a power strip and two Canon rechargers;
- RocketBlower: I love this simple but effective tool from Giottos to clean my camera bodies and lenses of pesky dust;
- The Plamp: if you are into macro photography, I recommend The Plamp by Wimberley. Excellent for keeping flowers or other subjects steady in front of your lens.