Gear; a Rundown

Here’s the photo equipment I have and use on a regular basis. This is a scheduled posting (since I’m some place on the road at the time this is going live), but it’s appropriate, given that this is the equipment you might see some of my future content on.

Cameras:

  • Oneplus 3: Had a decent enough camera when I bought it. Not truly competitive in the current crop of phone cameras, but the point is to have something. When I need the best, I’ll bring an SLR.  It takes RAW when I’m in a pinch.
  • Nikon D5100: My long time trusty partner. I bought it in 2011 when Nikon just introduced the flip-out screen. It works almost perfectly, but I am looking to upgrade to something that can do 4K video (this can’t even really do 1080p).
  • Nikon F5: A film camera I bought used. F5’s have great compatibility with lenses across Nikon’s lineup, and are nowhere near as pricey as F6’s which are still in production. Since this is a full 35mm camera I do have to use my lenses differently, but it’s way better built than the D5100, and a pleasure to handle.
  • Future purchases: I’m probably going to replace the D5100 with another camera sooner rather than later. I’m still debating getting a full frame or crop sensor camera (and for that matter, whether I should wait for Nikon’s future mirrorless), but I’m likely to stay in Nikon’s yard for this.

Lenses:

  • 18-55 3.5-5.6G DX – I don’t really use it that much anymore, but it is a great starter. I have this zoom range entirely covered by my primes though, and it’s developed a nice crack on the front. As the lens with the best magnification of my current set, I might be using it for scanning negatives/slides, but it stays home most of the time.
  • 55-200 DX – Another lens I don’t make extensive use of anymore. I used to take a lot of pictures with it, but I’m not particularly proud of any of my early work with it, as focusing close to infinity is a bit iffy. That being said, I do make casual use of it as a portrait lens.
  • 35 1.8G DX – my first prime and a “normal” lens. I use it a fair bit as a normal lens on the D5100, but it (along with the other DX lenses), but it’s not usable on the F5. It typically travels with me!
  • 85 1.8D – super fast and quite good at bridging distances – I love this lens. I love it so much I don’t even care that it’s manual focus only on the D5100. It makes a great whirring noise when mounted on the F5, and focuses super fast, but the FOV gets just a bit wider and a little bit less useful for me. I almost always take this with me.
  • 20 1.8G – wide angle and fast – this a great lens on the D5100, but a transcendental lens on the F5. Straight lines stay straight, and sharp angles you didn’t even know existed come into view. I’ve been bringing this with me consistently too.
  • 50 1.8G – the full frame “normal” lens. I didn’t have much use for this until I bought the F5 since the field of view was a little tight but not different enough from the 35 to be useful. At this point, it stays on the F5 full time.
  • Future purchases: The main thing I feel I’m missing is a real 200mm. The proper full frame equivalents are all pretty pricey, so it’s probably going to be a while until I pull the trigger on one of those.

Bags:

  • Lowepro Compuday Photo 250: a small camera bag that holds a relative ton of gear and still will carry a laptop and tablet. I’ve used this for years now, but recently have felt like I’ve outgrown it
  • Wandrd Prvke 31 – my large camera bag for all my gear and more when I’m travelling. The bag is well built so far – time will tell where it ends up.
  • Peakdesign 5L Everyday Sling – for day trips/non specialized usage. It fits the dSLR and smaller lenses, but won’t take the larger ones. It won’t fit the Nikon F5 in any way, shape, or form.

Tripods:

  • Some random Sunpak tripod: this thing barely holds my dSLR. It likely won’t support the F5. It was dirt cheap and got a fair bit of mileage when I first bought it, with my point and shoot.
  • Another random extremely tall Bower tripod: it holds more weight than the Sunpak, but it is still entirely plastic, and feels thoroughly flimsy. I’ll use it if I need to get to a high view.
  • MeFoto Globetrotter CF: Mefoto is a chinese off brand, but their equipment is solid. This one holds heavy duty equipment and folds down tiny to travel. I did take their ballhead off and replace it, but it was perfectly serviceable.
  • 3 Legged Thing Airhed360: a nice little ballhead that also incorporates an easy pan function with the top plate for easy panoramas. I also bought their L-bracket, but that is expressly to enable better alignment with the focal point for panning.

Filters:

  • Formatt Hitech Firecrest Holder: A well built holder that ships with a good sealing cover that stamps out light leakage, and integrates a CPL while enabling you to rotate
  • Firecrest CPL: came with the holder – it works pretty well.
  • Firecrest 10 stopper: also works pretty well
  • Firecrest 3 stop ND grad: also works pretty well

Other stuff:

  • Sekonic spot meter/incident meter: I bought this relatively recently for use with the 10-stopper as well as for some of the film work I have planned
  • Yongnuo Speedlite: I use it to take pictures of people indoors. It’s great, but I haven’t figured out how best to really use it.
  • Selfie stick: I have yet to find a better way to extend my reach a good 3 feet. Don’t @ me.
  • Peakdesign equipment: I use their anchors and keep a base plate on the cameras. Sometimes I use their capture clips too.

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