April 4th, 2018

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

As a full-time pro for over 25 years, the gear I take on assignment depends on what is needed. Contrary to what it might look like, I prefer to work with the minimum amount of equipment.

Being familiar with the gear is most important to me. To that end, I’ve always carried some form of Leica in my kit – a camera I’ve used since 1979. After Leica’s R cameras were discontinued in 2009, Canon’s EOS system became my SLR of choice.

Today, I carry a minimum of three camera bodies for my professional work, each with its own lens attached. Leica’s Q with 28mm 1.7 lens is always nearby. My Canon DSLR cameras are normally mounted with Canon EF EOS 16-35mm f/4 IS-L, 50mm f/1.4, and 70-200mm f/2.8 II IS-L lenses. A Canon 250D close-up lens converts the 50mm into a usable macro. A 1.4X extender III makes for a longer and closer focusing telephoto.

Specialty lenses like Canon’s 14mm f2.8 EF-L II, 15mm f/2.8 fisheye, 24mm f/1.4 L II, 35mm f/2 IS-II, 24-105 f4 IS-L, and 500mm f4 IS L are also enlisted as needed. Leica’s discontinued 80mm f/1.4 R-lens has the best bokeh around and was adapted to my Canon cameras. The Leica 180mm f3.4 APO-R lens continues to be one of the lightest solutions for a longer telephoto with outstanding rendering. One or more Gitzo tripods come along with a pan head and cable release. DJI drones and GoPros are employed for specialized filmmaking and unusual still angles.

The Profoto B1 500 AirTTL has proven ideal for flash. A pair of Canon Speedlites with modifiers provide supplementary light. A Zacuto Z-finder and a Rode microphone handle basic video. My Apple Macbook Pro and Lacie external hard drives are carried in another Pelican case.

Photography equipment is simply a tool. Seeing and having something to say are MUCH more important. That said, I look for gear that is not only of the highest quality and easy to use, but also produces characterful rendering.

Note: The following list is constantly being updated

**

I. MAIN KIT:

#1 DP Carry On – Pelican Case

Leica Q camera with 28mm 1.7 Asph-IS lens – on person
Canon EOS 5D Mk III cameras (2)
Canon EOS 1DX camera
Canon 16-35mm f4 EF-L IS lens
Canon 24mm f1.4 EF-L II or 15mm f2.8 EF lens
Canon 35mm f2 EF IS-II lens
Canon 50mm f1.4 EF lens w/ 250D close-up lens
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 EF-L IS II lens
Canon Tele-Extender 1.4X III
Extra CF cards, batteries, chargers
Zacuto Z-finder, Rode microphone
Polarizer, ND filters, remote release
Sensor cleaning kit

DP Additonal Carry On Pelican – Phone, wallet, computer & external HD, headphones, music, sunscreen, eye drops, papers

#2 Asst. Carry On – Pelican Case

Canon EOS 5D Mk II camera with Canon 24-105mm f4 EF-L IS lens – on person
15mm f2.8 EF or Canon 24mm f1.4 EF-L II lens
Leica 180mm f3.4 APO-R lens converted to Canon
GoPro and mount
VarioColor LED
Zacuto Z-finder, Rode microphone
Portable 8-track recorder
Extra CF cards and batteries
Gaffer tape

Asst. Additonal Carry On Bag – Clothes / Dopp kits

#3 Checked Bag – Pelican Case or Rolling Cooler

Bogen fluid head
DJI Mavic Pro 2 w/ spare batteries
More GoPros, batteries, chargers, mounts
Super clamp and ball head
Charging accessories

#4 Checked Bag – Pelican Cases in Duffel Bag

Gitzo 320 or 400 tripod w/ Micro-D 360 ball head or
Gitzo 226 tripod w/ Leica ball head
DJI Mavic Air drone w/ spare batteries
Profoto B1 500 AirTTL portable lighting kit
Canon 600EX-RT flash, remote, chargers
Interfit battery
Leica SF20 flash, batteries, remote
Softbox, light stand
Rhino slider
Tenba or backpack shoot bag

#5 Checked Bag – Pelican Case (Optional)

Canon 500mm f4 EF-L IS lens w/ walkie-talkies
Extra clothes, everything else

**
II. SECOND KIT: BIGGER PRODUCTIONS

As needed. All of the above, plus another assistant:

Canon 14mm f2.8 EF-L II lens
Canon 17-35mm f2.8 EF-L lens
Canon 50mm f2.5 Macro lens or
Leica 60mm f2.8 R Macro converted to Canon
Leica 80mm f1.4 R lens converted to Canon
Canon Tele-Extender 2X III
Marshall monitor, cables
Rode Blimp with Sennheiser shotgun microphone
Mathews suction cups and Bogen Magic Arms
Larger soft box for ProFoto, flash adaptor ring
or A/C Flash, soft boxes
Tungsten Lighting: Lowell Tota-light kit
Daylight Lighting: LED lights, Westcott 150W Ice Light
Manfrotto Avenger C stands, sand bags
Camera Car, Harness
Broom, ladder

More for Production Video:

Gitzo 400 or 500 tripod and large Bogen fluid head
KenLab Gyrostabilizer
Roxant Pro camera stabilizer for GoPro
Wimberly head
More Leica R fixed lenses converted to Canpn
Zacuto eyepieces, Marshall monitors and hoods
Hasselblad Pro lens shades, filter adapters
Leitz table tripod with ball head, dolly roller
Handgrip, roller table, light meter

III. THIRD KIT: BIGGEST PRODUCTIONS

As needed, All of the above, plus two or more strong assistants:

More Gear for Stills (All Rented):

Canon EOS 5DS R Camera
More portable ARRI and AC flash systems
More light stands, soft boxes, umbrellas and grids
Extra Canon lenses
Leica S, Phase One, and/or Hasselblad digital kit as required
Analog: Leica M system Leica SL/R system, Canon EOS, Hasselblad V system, Fuji G617, Nikonos IV
Budget

More Gear for Video (All Rented):

Canon C300 latest cameras
Ari Mini, Alexa or Red Epic with Leica lenses
Bron Kobold or Joker Bug HMI
Marshall monitors, audio rigs
Various handgrips, rigs, sticks, sliders, rollers & dollies
More Drones
Chase Car
Budget

**

Note that there is back-up redundancy throughout. After the shoot, the used digital cards stay in a secure holder inside a zippered vest pocket on my person. As soon as I return to my hotel, the RAW files are backed up on my computer, Dropbox, and two hard drives. The drives are kept in different locations, or one is FedExed home. I love what I do, but I’ve also learned not to assume anything.

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