Photography Kit

Body

My current photography kit is based on Canon 5D bodies. I originally started with the classic 5D and later upgraded to the 5D II and Canon 5D III. As I do not need speed of the latest Canon 5D IV and I really liked the 5D III, I 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 the quality I get from of the 5DsR. I also like a solid body for most of my photography work (with battery pack installed) and really do not like toch screens.

 

 

 

 

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 ange lens

- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM - general purpose lens

- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM - short telelens

- Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM - telelens

- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM - macro lens

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

 

Apart from these lenses I still use the 50 mm f/1.2, which is really special lens. Not as sharp as the newest lenses but it gives that special character and beautiful bokeh. When using the 5Dsr instead of the 5D III 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 tripod. It relatively light and sturdy. I combined it with a nice Gitzo ball head 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 graduated LEE neutral density filters used for landscape) 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).