February 5, 2011

My Kit...

I thought I'd introduce you to my camera gear. Maybe you're interested, maybe you're not. But I thought it might to nice to show you I'm using.

Here's a bad photo of most of my kit (I was forced to use my old point-and-shoot! How I ever lived without manipulating my settings I'll never know!)

So I have a:

~ Nikon d5000 body - I have found it to be a wonderful camera to use and to learn the basics (and some not so basics) of DSLR photography. It's a really great camera even though I have been not-so-secretly lusting after the new d7000 body. But that's another story.

~ Nikon DX 35mm 1.8 lens - I cannot give this lens high enough praise!! It's a fantastic little lens. Great in low light settings. Easy to produce smooth bokeh. The ability to have a super sharp, shallow depth of field makes this a great every day lens

~ Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro lens - This lens is great if you're into macro photography. True it sometimes has to 'hunt' for the focal point in low light conditions. Having said that it still performs admirably well. In my research though I've found most macro photographers suggest manual focus is the way to go regardless of the lens. Another huge point for this lens was the price - it was more than half of the Nikon equivalent. Being a student on a budget made this lens the obvious choice and I haven't regretted it.

~ Nikon 18-55mm & 55-200mm VR - These are the kit lenses I got with the camera. I found them really good to start off with. Really great for someone just starting out. But as I started to get more serious about this photography stuff and learning more about apature and the like I started using these lenses less and less. In fact they haven't been on my camera in over 6 months! I simply don't use them. So they permanently stay at home.

~ Nikon 18-105mm VR - I brought this lens to take to Europe with me as I didn't want to have to constantly change lenses and it performed great. It does suffer from slight barrel distortion at the lower and higher ends but that's easily fixed post-processing. This lens is always in my camera bag (replacement for the 18-55 & 55-200). On very rare occasions I attach it to my camera body and snap away. But this really doesn't happen all that often. I find I work almost exclusively with my prime lenses (35mm & 90mm). I just like them better is all and I think I tend to get better photos with them. Using them has really taught me the importance of framing and appropriate use of depth of field.

~ Third-party external flash - I don't use this often but I always have it in my bag. It works really well and can move and tilt every which way allowing me to bounce light. I'm still trying to work out this flash business to be honest. I find I tend to try and use as much natural light as possible.

~ Fotobestway tripod with ball head - really a must have for most night photography. Plus I tend to use it a lot for my macro shots as well. In fact I's say I use my tripod 90% of the time. The thing I love about this tripod is it packs up small and is quite light yet strong enough to hold my camera at odd angle with the heaviest lens. It's really easy for me to carry and I find the ball head so versatile. I also own a gorillapod zoom which can handle the weight of my kit but is still small enough to shove in my bag.

~ Instax Mini 25 - That's right! I brought it!! It is so fun to use. A completely different experience to working with the DSLR but it has amazing sharpness and clarity for an instant camera. There's something so fun about holding a actual photo within a couple of minuets of snapping the shot. Because of it's lens and settings you can get a beautiful vignette with vivid colors. I'm having so much fun exploring a different side to photography. So expect a few scanned instax photos in the future.

~ I hold all this kit in one of two bags... well except for the tripod. I own a Vanguard Up-Rise 45 backpack (pictured below) for when I go out for a full day shooting. The thing I like about this backpack is it has space up the tip to hold some food, a water bottle, or whatever else you need for a full day shooting. Plus it has quick access to your camera if you need it in a hurry. (For a full description click here)

BUT when I was thinking of starting project 365 I knew I didn't want to be hauling around a big, bulky, black backpack everywhere I went. So I got my hands on a Tenba Messenger Camera Bag in Plum (pictured below). Finally a bit of COLOR!! I use this bag about 95% of the time. It can hold loads of kit, plus all my daily bits and bobs (keys, wallet, id, etc), and it neatly holds my Kindle and/or my netbook! I just like it because it doesn't look like your everyday camera bag and it's super comfortable to wear. (For a full description click here)

So that's my photography kit. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Note: I have not been paid for my review of any of these products.

What's in your bag?

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