It’s not the camera that makes a great picture, it’s the person behind the camera.
As an photographic educator, I’m often asked what gear I use or recommend. Cameras have a job to do – capture what I see and reproduce it accurately. I rely on my gear to accurately reproduce what I am trying to capture and not need to be babied. Many of my students often become frustrated they don’t have the same equipment that I do. When this occurs, I simply remind them that I’ve been shooting pictures for over 30 years and have amassed a lot of equipment in that time.
Items listed below will link to a full product description on the Roberts Camera web site or the product manufacturer. For the best prices make sure you call and ask for Jody Grober at Roberts (800) 726-5544. Jody is a good friend and he will take good care of you. I buy almost all of my gear from them. They are competitively priced, quick and efficient.
Camera bodies and lenses – from start to today
I have one bag I carry everyday (EDC) – to work, shopping, traveling, etc. The other sets are the equipment I use to shoot assignments.
For over 40 years i used Canon gear as my primary equipment. I learned photography with a WWII vintage Canon rangefinder and from there I was hooked on Canon. That’s not to say that other camera manufacturers are not just as good, it’s simply that I’ve grown up using Canon cameras. About 20 years ago, I began using Leica M4P rangefinders and a couple of Leica lens for street shooting and some projects. Leica is known for their small size and extremely sharp lenses. As I got older, I had problems with my eyesight and couldn’t focus as fast manually, and began my search for an autofocus rangefinder-like camera system. I have considered the newer Leica M9 digitals, but simply couldn’t justify the cost of a Leica body.
As I was preparing to take a sabbatical and do a three week project traveling on Amtrak, I realized I needed to examine my equipment choices. I needed to find a small system that could shoot excellent stills and video. And so my evaluations began …
A camera I never thought I’d own
Three years ago if you had told me I would be shooting Sony as my camera system, I’d have told you you were crazy. Enter the Sony a6000 body. A close friend of mine Patrick Murphy-Racey had been using the Sony system and suggested that I consider trying their cameras and lens. I got hold of an a6000 and the the 16-50mm kit lens. I was amazed at the quick autofocus and I knew the video ability was excellent. I ordered a Zeiss Touit 32/1.8 and a Sony 50/1.8 and have been amazed at the images it captures, the focusing speed and the quality of the images. Add all those to the ability to shoot better than 10 frames a second and I was sold. I have since added a variety of Sony bodies – a6500, A7R iii, and a Sony A9. to the mix along with several other lenses.
The Sony a6500 and Touit 32/1.8 have become my everyday carry (EDC) camera in my bag
Everyday Carry Bag
Here’s what I carry in my EDC bag – Vertx Commuter Sling bag with Premier Body Armor backpack plate
Sony A7Riii w/ Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm/2.8 ZA
extra NP-FZ100 Sony battery and charger
iPad Pro 10.5″
Leatherman OHT utility tool
Nitecore P12 flashlight
I like to work quick when I’m on assignment, so I utilize two pieces of equipment depending upon the assignment. I love the ThinkTank Shape Shifter 17 v2.0. Although it’s marketed as a bag for full size DSLRs, I’ve modified it for Mirrorless cameras. Thinktank makes great bags and I love modifying them for my different uses.
For sports assignments I use the Thinktank Glass Limo. It holds all of sports lens – Canon 400, Sony 100-400, Sony 70-200, a short zoom and two bodies easily. I can carry it on my back easily or it fits in my Zuca All Terrain Cart when I’m shooting Disc Golf or outdoors.
My other choice is when I need a belt bag style and hands down, ThinkTankPhoto makes the best. I pair the Thinktank Speed Freak and the Hubba Hubba Hiney for the Sony system. Light and easy to move with.
My travel roller bag is the Thinktank Airport Advantage rolling bag. After I get to an assignment, I can load the Thinktank Speed Freak and have a shoulder/waist bag to work out of for assignments.
Sony A7Riii (full frame)
Sony A9 body (full frame)
Sony VG-C3EM vertical Grip
Zeiss Batis 18/2.8 (full frame)
Zeiss Batis 25/2 (full frame)
Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 (full frame)
Sony 24-105/4 G FE Mount (full frame)
Sony 70-200/2.8 GM FE Mount (full frame)
Sony 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM FE Mount (full frame)
Sony a6500 body (APS-C 1.5 crop)
Zeiss Touit 12/2.8 (APS-C crop)
8 Hoodman Steel UHS ii SD cards I rely on Hoodman for cards
8 NP-FZ100 batteries (A9 & A7Riii batteries)
Sony NPA-MQZ1K battery charger (A9 & A7Riii charger)
6 NP-FW50 batteries (a6500 batteries)
BC-TRW battery charger (a6500 charger)
This gear can be used for my Sony kit.
2 Dynalite Baja B4 battery powered monolights
portable light stands
Phottix Mitros TTL Flash
Phottix Odin II Flash Trigger
Velo Wireless Shutter Boss III remote transmitter
Honl Speed Strap
Honl Shorty Speed Snoot
Honl Gobo Bounce Card
Honl 1/4 Speed Grid
Honl Gel Kit