Photography Kit

Kit

The photography kit I use has been composed of several Canon DSLR cameras and lenses. I slowly added more lenses and bodies over the year where my focus was on high quality and high reslution sensors and lenses for mainly nature and landscape photography. Nature includes both insects, so macro, and other animals. All the bodies I own are full frame bodies from the Canon 5D serie. The lenses are all L-series Canon EF lenses. 

Apart from cameras the kit also contains many other items like ND/GD filters, flashes, tripods, batteries, CF and SD memory cards and bags. I also have an EPSON WF-7610 photo printer to print some of my images.

Finally when using bodies with large sensors also means you need powerfull computers and extensive backup storage for all you photos (I use a 16Tb NAS server a number of separate hard disks, which in total exceeds 30Tb of data storage).

Bodies

My current photography kit is based on Canon 5D bodies. I originally started with the classic 5D and later upgraded to the 5D II, III and finally to the Canon 5D IV. The Canon 5D IV is very good for action and low light and I finally added the Canon 5DsR to enable me to take 50 Mega pixel landscape photos. The quality of the photos is now almost on par with quality of my medium format 6 x 6 cm roll film photos, but now with added speed and flexibility. Compared to original kit, the 5D based kit is much smaller and lighter than my old medium format kit, but not as small as the newest mirror less cameras. I do not see a lot of benefits with the newest Canon EOS R, as it does not yet give me a better quality than I get from of the 5D IV and 5DsR. I also like a solid body for most of my photography work (with battery pack installed) and do not like folding screens as I doubt their durability and robustness.

 

 

 

 

Lenses

Maybe even more important than the body are the lenses. The Canon lenses which I use (and which very well match the 50 Mpix of the 5DsR) are the:

- Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM - wide angle lens

- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM - wide apperature general purpose lens

- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM - general purpose zoom lens (and as backup an EF 24-70mm f/4.0 L USM)

- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM - short tele zoom lens

- Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM - tele zoom lens

- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM - macro lens (very sharp)

- Canon 65mm MP-E macro lens (very special macro lens where Canon is still unique as a vendor)

 

Although it is not a super sharp lens, I still use the 50 mm f/1.2. It is not as sharp as the newest canon lenses but it gives that special character and beautiful bokeh. When using the 5Dsr instead of the 5D III or IV you can notice the extra pixels also need good technique, similar to the way of working when I still shot medium format roll film. Because of the smaller pixels you need approximately two time faster shutter speed to make sure the picture will be sharp. It is a good practice to use sturdy tripod if you want to get really sharp images.

Tripods

Although I really like the quality of Gitzo tripods, I decided to go for the Benro C2980T and C3780TN tripods. They relatively light and very sturdy. I combined it with a nice Gitzo ball heads and it also gives me flexibility when I want to do macro photography with difficult to reach insects or flowers.

Photo bags

I experimented with a lot of different photo bags, varying form large shoulder bags from Lowepro to smaller sling bags. The bag I use the most are the Think Tank retrospective series bags. The are many different sizes but the 30 and 40 version are capable to carry a body and several lenses (including the big ones) and do not attract too much attention.

 

Flashes

Although I do not use a lot of flashlight in my work,  I use the Canon 580EX flashes (now superseded by the 600EX) every now and then. For Macro you really need flashes and I often use the twin Canon MT-24EX flashes (now superseded by the almost similar MT-26EX-MT), which combines well with the Canon 65mm MP-E lens.

 

Other stuff

Apart from bodies, lenses, tripod, bags and flashes, there is a lot of additional stuff in my kit. This stuff includes CF cards, batteries, battery grips, macro rails, macro rings, extender (1.4x), filters (especially the LEE graduated (GD) and  neutral density (ND) filters used for landscapes) and cleaning material.

Rolleiflex

Before I switches to digital I used both the twin lens Rolleiflex and single lens SL66 Rolleiflex medium format roll film cameras from Rollei. The Rolleiflex twin lens had a beautiful 80mm Zeiss f2.8 Planar lens. For medium format 80mm is the standard lens (equivalent to 50mm on a full frame DSLR). The SL66 could be equipped with many different Zeiss lenses (I used the 40mm f4 Distagon wide angle, the 80mm f2.8 Planar standard and the 150mm f4 Sonnar tele lens) and had a unique build-in tilt mechanism in the body (instead of the tilt mechanism included in some more recent lenses, like the TS-E series lenses of Canon).