Before I get into my blog, I'd like to give a shout out to all members of the Military as we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend. Both my Mom & Dad are Korean War Vets. So to all who serve or who have served, Thank You for Your Service.
Thought I'd share the gear and accessories that I use.
Like most photographers, I suffer from Gas (Gear Acqusition Syndrome). Though my case, is moderate at best. I've never been one that felt I needed to rush out and buy the latest and greatest. In fact, I've got a couple of lenses that I've had for nearly 20 years and they work as well as the day I bought them. I also subscribe to the notion that the best camera is the one in your hands.
I've been a Canon shooter since I first got into photography way back when. I started with a Canon 1D and then over the years upgraded to a 40D then a 7D, then 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV and just recently I made the leap to a Canon R6 mirrorless.
I've considered going mirrorless when I bought the 5D Mark IV 2 years ago. At that time, Canon had just recently released the R. I went back and forth before going with the Mark IV. My logic at that time was wait until Canon released their next generation of mirrorless and then make the switch to mirrorless. I'm so glad I waited.
This camera has truly been a 'game changer'. In addition to taking just incredible photos, it has functionality that I could never have imagined.
Specifically, the animal tracking / eye detection is some kind of voodoo magic! The auto focus system will lock onto the eye of an animal or bird and then stay locked on as it moves. This results in absolutely tack sharp images. Something that I always struggled with previously.
The focus peeking when using manual focus is also incredible. I use a couple of manual lenses, primarily when photographing flowers and getting a sharp focus was always a challenge. With focus peeking, the Electronic View Finder (EVF), highlights what is in focus and I'm able to dial-in exactly what I want.
The low light capabilities are also top notch. Shooting with a high ISO has become a non issue. In fact, I've shot photos with ISO as high as 12800 with excellent results.
One final comment about the R6. Don't let the 20 megapixel sensor concern you. Unless you're planning to print enormous prints, this should be a non issue. I've already printed 14x17 prints and the resolution was perfect.
You'll also notice in the photo above, that I have an L bracket mounted on the camera. I do a lot of photos where the camera is on a tripod or platypod and I like the convenience of being able to flip back and forth between portrait and landscape orientation quickly.
The full name of this lens is the Tamron sp 150-600mm f/5-6.3 di vc usd g2.
I decided earlier this year to get into bird & wildlife photography and after much research as to what lens I'd need, I went with the Tamron. For a lens of this size, it's very affordable. B&H sells it for $1,199. I bought mine used and paid $900 for it.
I've been very happy with it. I find the images to be very sharp even when zoomed out to the full 600mm.
The only downside to this lens is that it's heavy. I prefer to hand hold the lens and my arms definately feel it after a while.
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L
This is my oldest lens. I've had it for close to 20 years. I used to use it for shooting indoor ice hockey. Truthfully, I don't use it a lot anymore. It does make a great portrait lens. At f/2.8 it creates some amazing bokeh.
Canon 16-35 L f/2.8 L
This wide-angle lens is another lens that I've had for close to 20 years. It's probably my favorite lens in my bag. I primarily use this when photographing landscapes and architecture
Canon 24-104 f/4 L
I've had this lens for about a year. This is my 'walking around' lens. If I want to travel light and carry a single lens, this is what I go with. I love the versatility of having a bit of wide angle at the 24mm end as well as a bit of telephoto at 105mm.
Canon 100mm f/2.8 L
Another lens that I've had for about a year. I photograph a lot of flowers and this is the perfect lens for that genre. The most appealing feature to me is the image stabilization (IS). With the IS engaged, I'm able to hand hold very tight close ups and my photos are tack sharp. I owned the non-IS version previously and I was never able to hand-hold close ups and get good results.
Lensbaby Velvet 56
This is a specialty lens that I also use for photographing flowers. It produces a soft velvety 'glow' around the perimeter of the image while maintaining a very sharp center region.
It is a manual focus lens. Until I had the R6 with the focus peeking, I had a hard time getting good focus. Glad to say that this is a non-issue with the R6.
Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II Flash
I don't do a huge amount of flash photography but this flash is excellent. It's also a value. I think I paid about $125 for it.
I pair it with the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT remote transmitter to get the flash off the camera.
The only filters that I use with any regularity are a 3x and 10x neutral density (ND) filters. I use these for doing long exposures where I'm trying to soften the clouds or moving water.
This is probably my favorite accessory that I have. If you're not familiar with a platypod, it's essentially a small plate of high strength metal that can be used as a tripod anywhere you have a flat surface.
The best part about it is while lots of places do not permit the use of tripods, I've never once been told I couldn't use a platypod. I've even had security guards come over to check it out. It uses a standard ball head.
Beyond that, there's really nothing else unique that I use. I like to keep things pretty simple and again, travel as lightly as possible!
I'll stop there. In my next post, I'll cover my equipment for post-production processing.
Enjoy the Holiday Weekend and be safe!
Until next time, keep shooting!