Photography Gear

Being a photographer I love to check out the gear that other photograhpers use to capture their images. I am often disappointed in reading their bios when there is little to no mention of the equipment they use. So I thought I'd showcase the gear that I use. Not exactly top of the line digital meduim format Phase Ones or Hasselblads, but nevertheless they get the job done. I do try and use the very best in glass at least, mostly using prime lenses of the highest quality I can afford.

Today I use a combination of film and digital, though I held off using digital for a long time, I now conceed it has its place and can produce excellent quality prints with the right post production and of course using a high quality printer, ink and paper combinations.

I'll start back at the beginning with my camera gear mentioned in my bio. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic way back in 1970 when I was 9. My second camera I purcashed in 1978 was the Nikonos III underwater camera. Both of these cameras I no longer have, but I do intend to purchase another Nikonos III when I get the chance, for old times sake.

I then purchased a Canon A1 with motor drive and collected a number of sweet lenses in the early 80's and I used that a LOT!
As mentioned in my bio, the Canon A1 was stolen late in 1986 and didn't have much in the way of camera gear for many years apart from a small Canon "Snappy" underwater 35mm. I then purchased a Canon nF1 in 2001. It turned out to be a very well used camera and had some issues with the shutter. I recently purchased another Canon nF1 that is in very good condition. I have also recently picked up a Canon A1 and my father has given me his old Canon AE1 and Canon EF. So that's about the set.

2004 I finally ventured into digital. Not having a lot of cash to splash, I settled for a tiny Canon IXUS, I liked that model as Canon made a water housing for it, so I got that too. It was only a 4 megapixel camera, but I found it took ok pictures and loved the idea of not paying for film or prints, so I was able to take more pics to experiment. I used it a lot for my product shots to post on my web site. 2008 I travelled overseas, picking up a Canon G9 in Hong Kong. 12 megapixels, a decent zoom, and able to use it on full manual really opened my eyes to what this little baby could do.
My eldest son was keen to get into photography back in about 2010. I suggested he save up for the just released Canon 5DmkII, which he did, but has since given away using digital and is using all my old Canon 35mm film cameras. He has since sold his 5DmkII, but i was nice to use while it lasted. In 2011 I purchased the Canon 1DmkIV. I use that for sport and nature as the high 10 frames per second frame rate is great for sport, surfing and skateboarding snowboarding etc and fast moving subjects such as birds.
I managed to aquire a few sweet prime Canon L series lens's 14mm F2.8L, 35mm F1.4L, 85mm F1.2L, 100mm Macro F2.8L and recently bought the new 100-400mm F5.6II and the 1.4III tc.

2012 was a good year in business for me and I had some money to spash on a few, for me, dream cameras. I found a very nice early model Linhof 617s Technorama camera, couldn't afford the 617sIII, but it's still nice... I've since picked up a top quality Heliopan 105mm Linear polarising filter, Schott glass, special order from Germany. I was also able to purchase an Aquatech housing and dome port for the 1DmkIV and 14mm lens. I also set up a dark room finding an old DeVere 4x5 enlarger and picking up a sweet Horesman 4x5 camera. Not long after that finding a very nice Nikonos V in excellent condition.

My eldest son also has a very nice Hassleblad 503CXi which I intend to start using a lot more. He also has a nice 4x5 Crown Graflex.

Early 2015 I found a bargain Phase One 645DF+ with a P45+ digital back, 39MP, it came with two lenses an 80mm LS Schnieder and a 35mm Phase One. I use this often with a set of LEE filters, graduated ND and the Big and Small Stopper along with a polarising filter.

Just a few other extra goodies to mention, recently I made a motorised time lapse rail, it's powerfull enough to climb vertical with a large camera and lens on it. I use a manfrotto 303+ panorama head for my digital panos, so much better than trying to hand hold, they DO make a difference.

So in summing up the gear I use. My main cameras of choice now are, The Phase One for landscape, I usually use it with the 303+ pano head to combine images into what ends up being huge image files of medium format panoramas. The Linhof 617s, with either Fuji Velvia 50 or Kodak Ektar 100 film, though the light has to just right to pull that out, as film has a small DR especially the Velvia film. I use the Canon 1dmkIV mostly now for "Birding" wildlife with the 100-400 + tele converter or for water shots with either the 14mm or 35mm lens. I still like to get the 4x5 out for B/W film, having recently taken a darkroom refresher course, I'm keen to start doing a lot more B/W film and traditional B/W printing.