Stuff I Use.
Sony A7 - My Main Workhorse
The bulk of my work has been shot with this small, but incredible camera. I love the full frame image quality and high-iso abilities that allow me to shoot in darker condition. I've happily shot at 8000 ISO and got usable photos. Autofocus could be faster, but in good light and with a good lens, it's focussing performance is more than acceptable. Although not a sports camera, 5 frames per second bursts are more than enough for wedding and fast paced events. I've paired my A7 with a generic Meike camera grip that gives me double the battery life and a more comfortable grip for vertical shooting.
Zeiss 55mm - My Most Used Lens
This lens is glued to my camera body 80% of the time. It is, by far, the sharpest lens I have every used. Bokeh is nice and autofocus is quick and silent. Expensive but worth every penny!
Zeiss 85mm f/1.8 Batis - My New Portrait Lens
I've very recently taken ownership of this beautiful lens after three months of waiting. This lens is in high demand for good reason. From my limited shooting, the images it delivers are super sharp and have amazing color accuracy. The manual focussing is much better than I was expecting. Compared to other Sony FE-Mount lenses, it feels much more linear. The stabilization is a little noisy but allows me to shoot at 1/50 - 1/80 comfortably. The OLED screen is honestly just a gimmick for me. I also this lens with a B+W Multicoated 0.9 (3-stop) ND Filter. Using a ND filter will allow me to get my shutter speed below 1/200 sec outdoors to sync with my off camera flashes. Cannot recommend this lens enough!
Sony Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 - My New All Around Lens
I was initially skeptical as to whether or not this could replace my beloved 55mm for the majority of the work that I do. It's large, heavy and extremely expensive. The majority of my work is editorial and portraiture gigs. The fast aperture is the fastest in my kit and it no doubt produces wonderful images. But is it worth the tradeoff in size? The color and contrast are right up there with my 55mm and with the added benefit of more character. This makes a perfect pair with the Batis 85mm. Now what do I do with my 55mm?
Yongnuo Flashes - My Strobist Kit
I picked up a single Yongnuo YN560-III last year and some cheap flash triggers to experiment with off camera flash. This single purchase has opened up so many new creative opportunities. Off camera flash can add depth and drama to boring scenes and take your photography to the next level. I use these Yongnuo flashes (I now have three) hard and have never had a misfire. I have dropped one and that broke the battery door, but it still functions with some tape around it. Pair these flashes up with the wonderful YN560-TX Remote transmitter and you'll be quickly adjusting flash power on the fly. I have no need for TTL, so these work great for me on my Sony. Highly recommended and a great value for the money.
Flash sync on the Sony A7 is only 1/200th of a second, so in daylight when I like to shoot, I have to use an ND filter on the lens if I want a wide aperture. I recommend using Eneloop batteries inside all of your flashes as this brand has the highest capacity and longest lasting AA batteries on the market. Full power flashes require about 2 seconds to recharge.
Stuff I've Reviewed.
Stuff I Used to Use.
Sony 70-200mm - Telephoto Sports Lens
I've used this lens to capture mainly sporting events. It has very quick single shot autofocus, but continuous autofocus is not amazing or on par with a 70-200 on a Canon or Nikon DSLR. Steadyshot built into the lens works very well and the build quality is fantastic. Image quality from 70-160mm is supurb, but corner sharpness degrades towards 200mm. Another hidden issue i've found is that the minimum focus distances abruptly lengthens at a point near 180mm. This means your maximum reproduction ration is found near 170-180mm. I've since sold this lens because I rarely need a telephoto lens for my current work.
Canon FD 85mm - Bokeh Machine
I purchased this lens in hopes of it being my go to portrait lens for my A7. In all honesty, I never used it for paid gigs. When shooting faster than f/2, it requires so much time to fine tune the focus that it slows down the flow of a portrait shoot. However, image quality is sublime and is very sharp even wide open. This is an amazing lens, but one that I've sold to fund a Zeiss Batis 85mm. Make sure you find a well taken care of copy. These can be found for around $800 used in good condition.
Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 - Compact Everyday Lens
Just picked up one of these guys used for a big discount off new. I'll share my impressions of the lens once I get the chance to play with it for a little while. I'm interested to see if I can pick up a new lens hood to replace that ugly inward facing hood that is included. Stay tuned...
Canon 1D Mark II - Gone But Not Forgotten
This was my old workhorse camera for about two years. It is built like a tank and is also as heavy as a tank. Although it only packs 8.2 megapixels, the images it delivers are sharp, punchy, and nicely rendered. I loved selecting continuous high drive mode for a machine gun like 8 frames per second. This came in handy for fast sports and events. File sizes were small but detailed albeit with limited dynamic range. Biggest drawback for me was the poor low light performance. I was unhappy with images above ISO 1000. It's highest native ISO was 1600, but in that range, color noise and detail made the already low megapixel images very muddy. An old camera, but still a great value at around $300 used.
Canon 85mm f/1.8 - My Old Portrait Lens
This was my do it all lens for my Canon 1D. My copy was very sharp stopped down to f/2.5, but wide open it was soft in the corners. Also, focus was fast but inconsistent on my camera body. A great value and a bargain portrait lens.
Canon 70-200mm - Telephoto Zoom Lens
I owned this lens briefly while I was using the Canon 1D and 5DIII. I was always extremely happy with the image quality, autofocus speed and background blur at f/2.8. The only negatives when using this lens were the insane weight of it combined with the 1D and relatively loud and clunky image stabilization. This is the version two of the lens so the stabilizer is supposedly improved over the previous generation. Since I primarily shot daylight sports, the additional stops of image stabilization were little to no use to me. I see used copies of this lens going for about $1,600.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art - Great General Purpose Lens
I picked up this lens about a year ago to work with my Canon 1D. It worked out to be about a 45mm lens with the crop factor. This lens is exceptionally sharp even wide open and creates beautiful background blur. This lens is extremely well built and also, in my opinion, good looking. It feels rock solid. I didn't like that the lens barrel was easily marked and the slower than average autofocus. It's quick, but its not in the same realm as a good 70-200mm. Highly recommended, but just not my favorite focal length.