The infamous photography gear post!
I have had many people ask me the question: what gear do you use? I'm finally here to answer that for you, and hopefully shed some insight on how I operate.
The first thing I should point out is that high-end photography gear is extremely expensive. A single Canon 400mm 2.8ƒ lens can be upwards of $10,000. But do not worry. I would never suggest buying that lens unless you are shooting a documentary for three months in Africa. That being said, even my gear has gotten up there in cost over the years.
I am going to run through my entire list of lenses and cameras giving tips on each.
Here is my livelihood all in one photograph:
- Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ2.8 L II USM Lens
- Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ2.8L IS II USM Lens
- Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera
- Canon EF 11-24mm ƒ4L USM Lens
- Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR Camera
- Canon Extender EF 2x III
- Canon EF 24mm ƒ1.4L II USM Lens
- Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ2.8 L II USM Lens
This lens is by far my most essential. I would say this lens is on one of my cameras 95% of the time.
You'll likely take a majority of your photographs within the 24-70mm range. The ability to go from wide angle to almost portrait is an invaluable tool, and this is what makes this lens--or at least the range--something you cannot pass up.
I chose to go with the ƒ2.8 because I believe in investing in incredible glass. The sharpness of the photos from this lens, for this price range, is unparalleled. If you are printing professionally with fine art quality work, you will be able to see a noticeable difference between this lens and others in its same class.
The fixed aperture set at ƒ2.8 also gives you the flexibility to capture incredible photographs at night. You would not be able to do the same with a ƒ4.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
My second essential lens. This lens combined with the range of the 24-70mm gives me almost the entire range that I need for photography. Again, I went with the ƒ2.8 because of the sharpness and speed.
Speed is necessary at this range because if you are photographing at 200mm, you need to be at 200 shutter speed. If you are photographing at sunrise or sunset, this can be problematic if you do not have the capability to get to ƒ2.8.
For me, I never want to be in a position where I missed a moment of pure beauty because of my gear.
There is another reason I went with the ƒ2.8, but I'll get into that when I talk about the 2x extender.
Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera
This was my first camera body. I love this camera. The color that it produces is strangely much better than my 5DSr. It is substantially less expensive than the 5D Mark III but produces the same quality images.
The only reason I would say you need a 5D Mark III over this is if the autofocus is precious to you. The 6D only has 11 autofocus points compared to 61 on the 5D Mark III.
I have run into instances where it would have been nice to have 61 points of focus on my 6D, but once I bought my 5DSr it has been an afterthought.
Canon EF 11-24mm ƒ4L USM Lens
This is my newest addition to my lens line up. I waited for a couple of months to see how the reviews were before I picked it up, and they were stellar.
I recently took it to Peru to test it out for the first time, and it is a spectacular lens. I was able to capture some incredible photographs deep in the Andes as well as some stunning photographs of Machu Picchu. It has changed my entire thought process when it comes to capturing images.
The dynamic range of 11mm without a fisheye effect is just mind blowing. It can almost capture your entire eye site. It is one of the best interior photography lenses on the market.
Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR Camera
The beast. Sitting at almost 51 megapixels this camera body can compete with medium format cameras at a third of the price.
I use this camera for when I am shooting professionally in a studio and for my daytime landscape photography. For professional shots, it works like a charm and can provide your clients the ability to paste the image onto the side of a building if necessary. For daytime landscape photography, it works well because it gives you the capacity to crop and not compromise the picture quality.
I will say that when the sun starts to set, this camera goes straight into my bag. For nighttime photography and low light situations, this camera is terrible. This may be expected, but keep this in mind if you are looking into this camera.
Canon Extender EF 2x III
This is the solution to not buying a 200-400mm ƒ2.8 $10,000 lens. The reason you invest in a 70-200 ƒ2.8 is that when you apply the Canon Extender EF 2x III to it, it turns it into a 140-400mm ƒ5.6.
I use this primarily when shooting wildlife. Besides the cost of a 200-400mm ƒ2.8, the other problem is the size and weight. You cannot use it without a tripod, and it would be ridiculous to try and travel with it for short periods of time. This lens solves both of those issues for me.
However, using the ƒ5.6 when trying to get night images of wildlife while using a high beam flashlight is not ideal, but it is a challenge worth overcoming.
Canon EF 24mm ƒ1.4L II USM Lens
My single Prime lens. The only time this lens comes out is for nighttime photography. It is the entire reason I purchased it. Great lens, extremely sharp, and the best night photography lens I own.
Leave this to one of your last purchases if at all. The ƒ2.8 24-70 works well, and this isn't an essential lens.
Canon EF 28-300mm ƒ3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens
This is a fun lens! It's unnecessary for me unfortunately, but I could see it being useful as a starting high-end lens that has the incredible range for photographing sports.
I do not use this lens often because it is not as sharp as I would like it to be. It works well, but I am particularly picky with my image sharpness.
- If you are serious about photography, don't skimp out and buy the cheap stuff. You will regret the decision later.
- If you are going to shoot professionally on location you absolutely need two DSLR's. I found this out the hard way when I broke my camera in Alaska and had to shoot for a week without being able to control aperture or shutter speed.
- Glass, or lenses, last for an incredibly long time and is a worthwhile investment.
- A DSLR combined with a 24-70mm lens should be your first purchase.
- Your second purchase should be a 70-200mm lens
- Top of the line gear isn't going to instantly make you a better photographer, but it can elevate your photographs from great to professional.
I'll be doing an accessory post in the near future to answer any and all questions about those items. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter so that you don't miss it!
If you have questions about anything, feel free to leave a comment down below and i'll answer as soon as possible.
If you think your friends will enjoy this, feel free to share it with the link at the bottom of the post!
If you're looking for gear check out BackCountry (Link Below) anything that I need I end up grabbing from them