What am I using now?

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As much as I dislike the ‘what should I buy’ type emails – just buy whatever feels good for you – I realize there’s one other question I’ve never really answered anywhere else on the site; that’s the question of what do I use for what. I did get featured on Japan Camera Hunter’s ‘what’s in your bag’ spot a little while ago; some of that is still current, some of it isn’t. In any case, I’m going to rectify that omission forthwith. These lists/ load manifests are current for the purpose as of the posting date, but I may of course vary them from time to time depending on the objectives of the shoot; they cover core equipment only. Yes, it’s a lot of stuff; do I wish I could get away with less? Absolutely. The problem though is once you’ve used the right tool for the job, and you can tell the difference in the output, it’s almost impossible to go back afterwards. Contrary to popular opinion, we pros don’t actually like to change our gear too often: it introduces uncertainties in the technical and creative processes, and when you’re on assignment, this is a risk that might make the difference between fulfilling the brief or losing a client. Before we take a new bit of gear out, it’s thoroughly tested in a non-critical environment first so we can at least get the measure of it.

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On assignment – commercial work on location with artificial lighting
You might think my lens choices odd – but since we’re working stopped down most of the time, and there’s an excellent ACR correction profile available for the 24-120, it makes little sense to carry around an entire bag of primes. The zoom is versatile, sharp, and allows for fine tweaking of composition if your tripod position is fixed (which it can be under some circumstances). I’d like to add something longer to this in the future – perhaps a 70-200/4 VR – but so far have not had the need to. The wide is in there in case we’re working in tight confines, and a fast short tele is versatile for any available-light grab shots clients might ask for (happens more than you might think).

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On assignment – commercial work on location with available light
Here I’ve swapped out the zoom for fast primes; there’s a 50-mm hole because I’ve pretty much never needed it. The perspective tends to be a bit boring to most of the clients I work with. If we can work at a slower pace, or if higher image quality than the D800E is required (almost never), I’ll use the Hasselblads with a CFV-39 digital back.

  • Nikon D800E and D600 bodies
  • Nikon AFS 28/1.8 G
  • Nikon AFS 85/1.8 G
  • Carl Zeiss ZF.2 2.8/21 Distagon
  • Carl Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 Distagon
  • Carl Zeiss ZF.2 2/100 Makro-Planar (sometimes)
  • One SB900 speedlight and SU800 commander for fill, though rarely used
  • Gitzo GT5562GTS tripod with Arca-Swiss C1 Cube geared head
  • A lot of spare batteries for everything
  • WhiBal neutral grey card
  • Ricoh GR on a belt holster for grab shots, documentary, B-roll, on-assignment article illustrations etc…

And/or

  • Hasselblad 501CM and 501C bodies
  • Hasselblad 4/50 CF FLE
  • Hasselblad 2.8/80 CF
  • Hasselblad 4/120 CF Makro
  • Hasselblad 4/150 CF
  • Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back
  • One or two A12 film magazines and a mix of Fuji Acros 100 and Ilford Delta 400; you never know when you might find something suited to 6×6 black and white film…
  • Spare sync cables and batteries, cable releases
  • Voigtlander VC-Meter II
  • Gitzo GT5562GTS tripod with Arca-Swiss C1 Cube geared head
  • Ricoh GR in a holster

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On assignment – watch photography
This is an extremely specialised kit that I’ve developed over the years; there’s a lot of stuff in here, but inevitably I’ll use every bit of it on a shoot.

  • Nikon D800E and D600 bodies
  • Nikon AFS 60/2.8 G Micro
  • Nikon PCE 85/2.8 Micro
  • Nikon SB900 speedlights x4
  • Nikon SG-3 IR blocker panel
  • Gitzo GT5562GTS tripod with Arca-Swiss C1 Cube geared head or Gitzo GT1542T Traveller with Arca-Swiss P0 head, if flying
  • Manfrotto macro positioning rail
  • Manfrotto nano 5001 light stands and DIY diffuser panel kit
  • Plenty of clamps, clips accessories etc. for mounting speedlights
  • C-stands for mounting watches
  • A lot of spare batteries for everything
  • WhiBal neutral grey card
  • Set of backdrops and white/black card panels for light control
  • Watch cleaning kit – lint-free and microfiber cloths; blowers; the sticky goop used to clean computers
  • Ricoh GR in a holster

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On assignment – food
Here I substitute the flashes with some low-temperature LED panels; they’re a lot more friendly to anything perishable, and the extra working time can often make the difference between a crisp, fresh-looking ice-cream sundae or a blob that’s beginning to melt and lose definition at the edges. It also helps the clients to visualize the shot and lighting and suggest any required changes. Reality is that we don’t really require that much resolution for food, so I quite frequently use the OM-D kit. The Hasselblad and digital back should deliver excellent results too, but in the current commercial environment where more often than not we’re shooting ordinary food straight out of the kitchen, I find myself rushing and simply having to work as fast as possible.

  • Nikon D800E and D600 bodies
  • Nikon AFS 60/2.8 G Micro
  • Nikon PCE 85/2.8 Micro
  • Zeiss ZF.2 2/28 Distagon
  • Zeiss ZF.2 2/100 Makro
  • Fotodiox 1000-bulb LED arrays, x2
  • Gitzo GT5562GTS tripod with Arca-Swiss C1 Cube geared head or Gitzo GT1542T Traveller with Arca-Swiss P0 head, if flying
  • Manfrotto light stands
  • A lot of spare batteries for everything
  • WhiBal neutral grey card
  • Ricoh GR in a holster

Or, if I’m going light

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On assignment – reportage
This combination gives me fast, responsive, light and more than enough image quality for the purpose; when you’re running and gunning, there’s no way you’re going to be able to extract maximum image quality out of say a D800E anyway. Depending on what’s going on and what range the action is happening at, I’ll usually have one of the teles – typically the 45 – on the OM-D, and the GR in a holster ready to go – that way I’ve got wide and long in two bodies without a lens change, and great image quality on both.

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Travel and workshops
The aim of the game here is light, small and versatile, to be able to shoot under as many different conditions as possible; all of this fits handily into either the pockets of my winter shooting jacket, with the OM-D around my neck, or everything inside a Billingham Hadley Digital. I cut a pocket into the lining of the bag to hold the iPad mini, and the two extra lenses for the OM-D are held back-to-back via two lens caps glued together.

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH with M-M4/3 adaptor
  • Olympus 75/1.8 (sometimes)
  • Olympus 12-40/2.8
  • Ricoh GR and GW3 21mm converter
  • iPad mini 3G
  • Spare batteries
  • Lightweight tripod – usually the Manfrotto 345 tabletop

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Personal work and film
Pick any combination of the following, depending on the day and mood:

  • Hasselblad 501C, 50, 80, 120 or 150mm lenses – never more than one or two because of the size and weight. Spare A12 magazines; usually two, one loaded with ISO 800 film, one with ISO 100. Sometimes the CFV-39 digital back, too.
  • Nikon F6 or F2 Titan with 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor or AI 45/2.8P
  • Ricoh GR
  • Plenty of extra film – I like Fuji Neopan Acros 100 for low speed (ISO 100; good results with rich shadows at 200 and 400 with some pushing) and Delta 400 if I know I’m going to use 400 as a base; pushes well to 800. I really need to find some good ISO 1600 film, too.

If you need a full indexed list of what I currently recommend, links to reviews and where to get it, check out the Recommended Gear List here.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Having this much of equipment, I’m sure you insure all of it. Are the premiums high? Any companies in Malaysia that do camera-specific insurance that you recommend? Thanks!

  2. Michael Tibbott says:

    The opening shot I am pretty sure shows a Sony RX100. I don’t see that mentioned in your list.

  3. Kathleen Bowers says:

    I’m interested on how you utilize the iPad mini you take along for workshops.

  4. Kristian Wannebo says:

    By the way…

    http://www.zoerk.com/

    …in case you have not heard of this.

    I got a Zoerk tilt adapter for my SLR many years ago and had a lot of use for it, although it decoupled the lens from the camera, i.e. sometimes I had to set/reset aperture when focusing.
    I got me some nice photos of structures on the ice of frozen lakes – with infinite DOF!

  5. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Yes…
    I find small size seductive…
    I like my pocket-XF1, but I hate some of it’s limitations – and quirks … and it’s not weather sealed.

    And thanks for your article!
    I think readers with less experience of different gear (like me) can get a better understanding of what different gear can and can’t do by comparing with your choice of subjects.

    • You can shoot anything with any camera – the limitations are creative/ convention-set rather than technical. The problem is convincing your client :)

      As for compacts – I find weather sealing actually matters less since you can just chuck it in a pocket, cover it with a hand, and they’re physically smaller anyway so there’s a lot less area to get wet…

      • Kristian Wannebo says:

        Yet some limitations are technical:
        E.g. the price we pay for a pocket-zoom – often too slow at the tele end indoors.
        You can’t make frost, snow and ice “sparcle” with just any camera.
        You have found out which lenses do capture the texture of the metal in a specially polished watch housing…

        “…with any camera…”
        I was thinking of focal lengths.
        With my SLR (after many years with a compact rangefinder 6×6) I was excited by the possibilities and got quite a few used lenses.
        It did take me some time to learn what they were more – or less – good for.

        Agreed about compacts and weather sealing,
        except for shooting in a pooring rain,
        or this spring lying on my stomach catching waves breaking over broken ice on the shore – wet enough.

        • I think you’ve just talked yourself into an E-M1 :)

          • :-)
            Not yet though..
            This 12-40 zoom is tempting – considering your verdict.

            ( I’ve been sceptical of zooms when I want sharp results – and I want to go light, which is contradictory.
            That’s why my Superikonta Tessar 75/3.5 was so satisfactory, the large format permitted some cropping which gave me some “zoom”. But close ups were difficult… )

            When I find myself seriously going out on photo excursions again I’ll probably dare to invest.

  6. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Under “Travel..” you don’t mention the Panasonic _compact_ zoom (Panasonic Lumix Vario PZ 14-42/3.5-5.6 X G) you gave such a good mark.

    Perhaps because you bring the better Olympus 12-40/2.8 anyway?

  7. Interesting and pretty rational setups. I don’t shoot for a living, but when I do a gig, I tend to basically have a priority list of gear that I want and bring as much as I can carry. But I have two questions:

    1) You mention in the commercial available light section that there’s a hole at 50 mm, yet you list the Otus 55. A typo or should it be read that you currently happen to use the Otus, but in general don’t carry a 50?

    2) Do you ever need a fast normal-ish lens for m4/3 or is the 12-40 zoom sufficient? I’m considering to get the zoom, but frequently deal with low light so feel that a faster lens is good to have around. So if you don’t use a fast prime then either we have a difference in style or in available light.

    Thanks,

    • 1) I generally don’t carry a 50.
      2) No, for the same reasons as 1. Slower wides are fine because you can use lower shutter speeds, and I’ve also got the GR whose sensor has a stop on the E-M1. There’s also the 45/1.8 and 75/1.8.

  8. Very interesting to see how much equipment is required and how hard the work would be for professional photography. Most of us enjoy seeing what it would be like, but find ourselves in the “go light” or “travel” categories, which overlap. I was not surprised to see the new E-M1 there because you’ve mentioned many times that it’s useful for training. I was surprised to see the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH with M-M4/3 adaptor in there, however. All the issues about using Leica M lenses on m4/3 or other new EVF cameras that can take them now focus on problems with wide angle M lenses, which makes sense. To me that always meant the 50mm lens would make a great short 100mm equivalent travel and/or portrait lens on the E-M1 with zoomed manual focusing which works quite well for me. But right now I’m struggling to decide to keep or sell either the 50mm Lux asph or the 50mm Lux pre-asph which bought first, simply to acquire the funds another camera/lens. I vaguely remember you saying somewhere that you had issues with the 50mm Lux Asph, but I cannot remember what they were. Could have been back-focusing which would not be a problem on the E-M1. The 100mm equivalent is a nice, but empty sweet spot for a prime lens on the E-M1 for me. Would you care to comment on this combination one more time? [And I guess I have to ask if you kept any other Leica M lenses.]

    • None of the other M lenses worked that well, to be honest. And I’ll be getting rid of it soon, because I prefer the 75/1.8.

      It took six attempts to get a good 50/1.4 ASPH due to QC issues. Soft optics, mechanical defects, broken aperture rings (!) – by that stage, I’d very nearly gotten out of the M system and I use this far less than I thought I would. Back/front focus can be fixed on the Ms (recalibrate RF) and isn’t an issue at all on the E-M1. The problem is that for the price of that lens, I can buy every other M4/3 lens that’s worth having…

  9. Frank Murphy says:

    You have the Olympus 60mm Macro labeled “Micro.” That’s Nikon-only terminology, I believe.

    Thanks for these posts. The mix of gear with great (!) photos is almost unique online.

    • That’s what happens when you spend too much time in one system. Either that or you’re more concerned with making images than whatever the marketing people are calling things on any given day…:P

  10. I was wondering why you bring the SBU800 commander. Any other advantages beyond having 4 channels instead of two with in-camera commander mode?

  11. What happened to the Leica M camera? Did you completely replace it with the Olympus … And would you recommend this meaning you do not miss the rangefinder experience?

    • I was testing the M. I didn’t buy one, because a) they weren’t available when I needed one, b) there were reliability issues, c) the rangerfinders required constant calibration – and finally, the price was far too high for all of these headaches.

  12. Rain Santiago says:

    As always thanks for sharing your gear Ming :) btw any comments or thoughts on the retro styled Nikon Df :D??

    • Nothing good, I’m afraid. I just got sent the press release. It’s a marketing person’s messed up dream, and an ergonomic disaster. A missed opportunity, in my mind.

  13. Hi Ming,

    It looks like the Oly 12-40 f2.8 replaced a lot of the primes. Does this mean it is pretty darn good? Or it is more of a trade-off in terms of flexibility vs. image quality? From a value standpoint, my guess is that it would be a little bit less than two primes.

    I’ve heard a lot of people like the Nikkor 24-120 f4 in your kit; however, I can’t bring myself to sell my 24-70 f2.8, even though it is darn heavy. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • It’s pretty darn good, convenient, AND weather sealed. As for the 24-120 – I use it at f8 most of the time with lights for the set-up studio type stuff; at that point there’s no benefit to the 24-70’s extra stop of aperture, and the 24-120 gives you 50mm of extra reach. The trace CA and distortion are easily cleared up with the PS profile.

      • I sold my 24-120mm for the 24-70 pretty much only for my concert photography and in some ways I’m tempted to rebuy it for its versatility, but it would be redundant I guess as I also use 58mm and 85mm primes. I wanted that extra stop to keep me shooting at a stop or so less in the ISO dept and it focuses a little quicker. I was sad to see it go as far as a travel lens went.

        Stopped down a bit the 24-120mm the was rather nice…pretty much in the ballpark you’re using it. I was never a real big fan of it at f/4 though.

        • It’s not great wide open, but I’ve got much better primes for that.

          • Aside from that you mentioned the 70-200mm f/4 that one is noticeably better than the 24-120mm wide open. I had originally been hoping for an updated 135mm prime for headshots, but I’m finding the 70-200 is more that adequate and cheaper(in theory) than that lens would probably end up being.

        • The way i see it, the higher resolution brings awareness to another factor: post-production cropping. Distortion and noise are controllable and so is handshake in case you are beyond 60mm or so (even more with VIs, OSs, etc). But yes, i do prefer to see the final composition straight from my view finder a be closer to the action.

  14. Ed Chuchaisri says:

    Hi MT, I am curious what your takes are on the new Sony A7/A7r full frame as opposed to the OMD EM1. The prices are fairly close, so does it still make sense to dive into m4/3 system now?

  15. David Grossi says:

    — and, of course a couple of Sherpas :-)

  16. Sigmund Krøvel-Velle says:

    Can’t see no Canon here. What a pity…..

  17. Michael Matthews says:

    Is that a bit of humor sneaking into the second image?
    Doctor displays out-of-focus brain scan to out-of-focus patient, saying, “Basically, this is the problem.”.

  18. In an older article (or replay to a comment) you stated that the RX100 was your take-everywhere camera. Has the GR replaced this spot for you or is it simply the “wide-angle body” complementing your other gear? Thanks for the great insight anyway!

  19. In following you for a while, you seem to advocate 1 lens for 1 camera (for the most part) and this lists support that (do you have post specifically talking about that?). Is using the GR in a holster no shoulder strap, the key to working with 3 bodies (Wide/normal/tele)? I’ve been thinking of moving to 3 smallish cameras instead of 1 body and 3-4 lenses and seemingly always changing lenses, but running into obstacles to practical use. Any suggestions for carrying & handling logistics?

    • GR in a belt holster, one camera over a shoulder and the other one in hand. Or I’ll have a small sling bag to hold own camera, a lens change or two and spares.

  20. You can open a camera Store….:)

  21. Hi Ming. Thanks for sharing. I see you use the 58mm Noct. What do you think about the release of the new 58mm 1.4. Is it something you are interested in and plan on trying out?

  22. Between – I always find your food photos to be a cut above the rest. You really make them look delicious. which brand of baby oil to you use ;) … ok kidding

  23. Hey mate – which camera strap are you using. I have got the carry speed strap and its pretty ordinary. What are these NPS branded straps ?

  24. Hi Ming,
    I figured the prices in Nikon d800 were dropping too quick and the files sizes were not
    as necessary as I thought, so I sold it and got a adapter/booster for a nex7.
    I’m so impressed with the quality that comes out of it, although sometimes frustrated with the
    learning curve with menus and controls. It’s easy for sure, but it’s NEW, and that’s the problem.
    if I need more than 24 mp I just rent a d800. It didn’t happen so far.
    I have got a blue shadow at the center of images with the 50mm 1.4+adapter on it. The dp1x
    is one great tip you gave me. Your tests shows to me me better images than your d800e… And way lighter. 😊

    • I think you must have misinterpreted the Sigma tests…there is no way a 5MP DP1x (which I didn’t test) outperforms a D800E on anything other than physical size. Not even close.

      • The way i see it here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/9056427876/ the center images are from DP3 (you’re right, you did not review dp1, which i am assuming has the exact same qualities except for the lens mm) and the details in the leaves and bricks are better than the ones on the right (d800). There is more contrast on d800 and color accuracy i guess, but you can’t get details where there is no details. In the other hand correcting color and contrast can be done even directly in the camera. Since you took all native images to compare, i concluded DP (1,2 or 3 – although i’d be careful also to assume these 3 would work all the same way) gives a better output. Just my opinion, without considering everything else (i didn’t consider anything like physical size, ergonomics, controls, noise on high iso, speed, etc – only the image). I use it for landscape and exterior architecture, therefore my time waiting for it to record is not an issue.

        • Firstly, flickr images are only 800px wide. Everything – iphones included – will look the same.

          The DP1x and DP1M are not the same – one has a 5MP 1.7x sensor, the other a 1.5x 14.5MP sensor. Are we talking about the same camera?

          • whoops… ok… I have the 15mp (5+5+5). But still, the bricks and leaves details you see from the Merryll images are not visible on the d800. The later is better many other ways but when I open a file at the end of the day, i want to see those details, and work with the other issues on a software (all images have to be post edited anyway)

  25. Peter Boender says:

    Thanks for sharing that look into your kitchen! Best tip I got out of it? “… and the two extra lenses for the OM-D are held back-to-back via two lens caps glued together.” Now, why didn’t I think of that?

  26. William Jusuf says:

    All I read is :

    Ricoh GR is always with you
    :)

  27. Wonderful Article Ming! Nice to see what you use for each job. Best Wishes – Eric

  28. Thanks for this article. Very informative. This was the blog that turned me on to the Ricoh GR. Since I bought it I use nothing else for street photography. I am grateful to you for that. It’s such a fine piece of equipment.

  29. Sikan Chen says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ming. Good to know that we can expect a top-notch review on Otus 1.4/55. Btw, you seem to have made a typo on the F-number of that Otus lens.

  30. Thanks for sharing, Ming. Do you use filters at all in your shooting? I currently only have an ND one for my M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 for when I want to shoot at f2 but find the 1/4000 not fast enough.

    • Almost never, only polarizers; you can’t duplicate that effect in PS. Stacked, they also make handy variable NDs. That said – ISO 100 and 1/8000s of the E-P5 and E-M1 solve the shutter speed problem…

  31. Thanks for sharing, Ming. How’s the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55?

    • I’ll review it once it arrives…I’m told any day now. :P

      • Looking forward to it. It feels better than the Nikon/Canon of the world since Zeiss put so much efforts into it and almost totally sacrificed the convenience side of it. It would be nice if your review could raise the bar and compare it with Zeiss’ own best-in-class, and MF lens, if possible. Thanks Ming

        • And in order to do that, somebody will have to a) send me those lenses, and b) clear my schedule for a week…sometimes, I don’t think anybody realizes just how much work good reviews are (and consequently why there’s so much crap online). :)

          • Understand and can totally imagine that. You’d need to use it for a while, be able to test it in different environment before writing a good review. I’m sure this one is worth it though, plus you could possibly be the first to review it in depth since I haven’t seen any yet.

            • Worth it for the readers, because it’s free as always! Reviews are NEVER worthwhile for me because I know what I need to use and how it performs. I don’t need to spend the time to justify it to somebody else. I do them if I feel like it, no other reason. I’m sure you wouldn’t work for free either.

      • Hi Ming, I can not wait for your zeiss outs review, I saw most of the online image samples and shot wide open the clarity, sharpness really blown me away. Much appreciate all your hard works.

  32. Looks like you bit the bullet on the Cube … And the Otus?! Are those even available?

    • I just couldn’t send the cube back. Haven’t used a head that was both so precise, easy to position, and rigid. Makes my work a breeze. As for the Otus – very soon, I’m told. :)

      • I am glad you’re using and writing about these things, so I can live vicariously! It’s not unlike reading about Ferraris …

        • Haha, the big difference is that Ferraris are an expense, these earn your living…

          • Dump trucks earn a living, Ferrari’s are for play. You seem to be dividing your gear warehouse along similar lines with the D800 and CFV-39 on one side and the OM-D, Film, and Ricoh on the other. In the end there is as little to lust for in the truly high-output large formats (Full Frame and Medium Format, as replacements for medium and large format film) as there is in other heavy industrial machines, Fitness for the highest purpose necessarily loses the fun factor.

            • Kinda, except I don’t think the CFV-39 is quite in the dump truck category :) I certainly find the MF gear rewarding to use; though admittedly film is more ‘fun’ than digital – which is just demanding.

  33. Reminds me that I should write down what I have so I can organize better. At the moment I have three small bags, one medium bag, one light backpack, and one heavy backpack. Then there is a grip bag, reflector bag, and a lighting bag. I’m still trying to figure out how to travel lighter. ;)

    • The other nice benefit is to figure out what you’re not using and can liquidate…

      • Much of the redundancy is a form of insurance. It has been rare to have a failure, though when it happened it was good to carry the extra gear. When I am training or tutoring, I have sometimes slimmed down what I carry, but even then there is some form of back-up gear.

        I’m still recovering from a bad shoulder injury, so at the moment I cannot use the large backpack at all. I just hate the idea of selling the large format kit, even when it does not get used that often. All my gear is already monetized from previous projects. I do sell things from time to time, but usually when they have been sitting for too long.

    • Peter Boender says:

      That’s the photographer’s burden, Gordon, right there: finding the right bag. In my experience: ain’t gonna happen… ;-)

      • I haven’t talked about bags because as you say – no perfect one. I’m pretty fond of Billinghams for day bags, but they don’t make a large roller for traveling with lots of gear; I use a Think Tank for that.

  34. MIng, you have a lot of kit. I have some of same or similar items, D800, Nikon 28/f 1.8, 24-120 f/4 VR. I use those two lenses a lot. I found in some circumstances, tree limbs against a white sky, the 24-120 would produce purple fringing, but ACR would get rid of it with a bit of tweaking. For ultra wide, I use a 20 year old Nikon 20mm f/2.8 AF (not D). Perhaps I have to check out the alternatives. I depend heavily on AF, but on something like that, I could probably go old fashioned.

    One of the things you said a couple of posts back about planning shots as B&W or color, has stuck with me. I am wondering if I am doing that after the fact, or on a planning ahead on a subconscious level. Fact is I shoot a lot of street style shots with crazy backgrounds, and B&W scrapes this stuff clean. It isn’t about right and wrong, the benefit is you force me to think about this stuff. That is what a teacher is supposed to do.

    • Most of it is special purpose stuff for commercial work; no excuses and no compromises there. Especially not if you’re playing at the top end.

      • Ming, some of those items work amazingly well outside the commercial realm. It should not be as surprise, it was good stuff to start with. Time to dive into the sack here, enjoy your day half a world away.

        • Oh sure, that’s not what I mean. It’s good stuff, but just too much of it for my personal liking. Complete overkill for personal work…

          • Some say the D800/e is overkill for anything. What I like is major crops are possible and blown highlights are less of a problem. What me worry, I am just a hobby photographer with a following.

            • Depends; for fine art and large print commercial, it isn’t. I don’t carry it around for my own entertainment though; part of the reason is because I just don’t like the camera that much; the other part of the reason is that I don’t need the file sizes or the weight.

              • The D800 works for me, as for weight and size, I am kind of large, so I don’t mind it. I use lossy compression on raw files to cut the file size, but i have to admit, it is kind of big. I just flub through all of this and hope someone just looks at what I shoot.

            • Iskabibble says:

              With a following Ron? I watched you get run out of DPR something like a year ago. You were able to get pretty much the whole Nikon forums pretty much set on banishing you from there forever.

  35. The key message from your article is as you mention in the ‘travel and workshops’ bit – unless you have a specific requirement keep things simple/minimal (again another useful article).

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  2. […] post. Normally Japan Camera Hunter is known for his ‘In your bag‘ posts and recently Ming Thein covered what he was using now. Unlike many bags though there isn’t much really to see in my […]

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