A friendly phone chat with a Brit In Bermuda prompted me to write an article about my recent interest in photography and what gear I have accumulated in the last year or so. I have had little to no time to update my blog in the past year so apologies for anyone out there who has been waiting. Noticed a very old article still waiting to be published today, so did that as soon as I logged on. That’s how long its been. Anyway, since I have not mentioned photography at all up till now I will do my first post to cover how I got interested and what gear I currently own. I will then follow up with some cool photos that I have been able to capture so far.
I bought my first conventional SLR in 1999. It was a Nikon something something with a kit lens. I thought it was quite cool and I loved ruining almost all of my ISO 200 films on it. It was eating into my expenses heavily so had to take it easy. I used it off and on and brought it with me to London.
I used this camera a few times in London and burned into about 20 films before I got bored and stuck to cheapo digital point and shoots, the last one being a Panasonic LX3 Leica 24-55mm f/2.0 lens. Now, the LX3 wasn’t a bad camera at all but I just wanted to get back into those lovely out of focus background shots like this one I took of my wife in 2007 with the Nikon SLR. Not the sharpest of shots, but I didn’t really care back then.
Watching my mates jumping onto the DSLR bandwagon one by one, I decided to try my hand on something that would be a DSLR-esque compact, unique camera with lots of good reviews and a healthy user community. After spending hours on end and much research on sites like DPReview, I purchased the Sony NEX-5N with a kit lens arrangement in late 2011. This camera is certainly a slick little number and has been pivotal in my sudden re-initiation and love for photography. I have discovered that legacy lenses still matter and that manual focus is so much more fun. Here is a shot of all the gear I accumalated with the Sony NEX 5N with some lenses from the 50s and the 60s.
I started buying lenses and accessories and adapters left right and centre, enjoyed it thoroughly, but it was short lived. I discovered (too much forum reading) that I need something better, something worthy of being called a DSLR. I started considering Canons and Nikons again. Looked at all their APS-C range but was drawn to full frame and went for the top of the line in the enthusiast category at the time and splashed out on a brand new Canon 5D Mark II in Jan 2012.
Its been a few months since I got this and have been buying accessories and lenses to compliment the impulse purchase. Here is a list of all the kit I have right now:
- Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105mm L USM Kit lens
- Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime
- Canon 15mm f/2.8 ultra wide fisheye
- Contax Carl Zeiss Distagon 28mm f/2.8
- Contax Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7
- Contax Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonar 35-70mm f/3.4
- Olympus OM 50mm f/1.4 MIJ
- Minolta Rokkor-X PG 58mm f/1.2
- Canon 430EX II Speedlite
- Yongnuo 603C wireless triggers
- B-Grip, hand grip, tripod adapter
- RedSnapper RS-283 Tripod & RHS-12 Ball Head
- Targus Monopod
- Edelkrone Pocket Rig
- All lenses with B&W MRC UV filters
- A whole lotta various accessories
- Kata 3N1 22 DSLR bag
I am still learning how to use this puppy and discovering new things almost every day. For instance, I can install a custom firmware on the 5D to literally explode the movie making abilities of the camera. Check Magic Lantern and you will see what I mean. I now also want to calibrate all my lenses with the camera using Reikan Focal. So much to do, if only I could find the time.
With all this fancy gear, I have realised I am lusting after equipment more than I should be and should really be concentrating on things like composition, lighting, shapes, generally the art of photography (someone stop me). I have already been accused of being a pixel peeper and a gear junkie in a few forums. I am happy to admit that I am but I guess a little bit of pixel peeping doesn’t hurt. Currently I am happy with only about 1% of all the photographs I have shot so far. Thats an awfully low number and I am hoping to improve on this. If only someone can slap some sense into me so I can stop running after the best most recent gear and concentrate on real photography. Anyone?
I am looking for a catchy moniker to put on my photos as a watermark. Any ideas?
Here’s one I came up with:
Some of the better pictures that I have taken will be coming up in subsequent posts. Watch this space.2