What Gear Do I Use & Why?

A question that I am asked more often than most is what gear I use. Now I want to state from the beginning that gear really doesn't determine how well your images are going to turn out entirely. I know many photographer who use entry level gear who churn out fantastic images. The thing that is separating these photographers from the pack is composition and post processing. That being said, having good gear allows you to really push your limits in my opinion. Let's dive in.

Body

I use the Sony A7RII and have since February 2017. This was Sony's second rendition of their flagship full frame mirrorless camera. The main reason I chose this body was because of how lightweight it was. Since I travel a lot it was important for me to minimize the amount I carry when traveling. I also fully believe mirrorless is the future, so I decided to jump on board earlier rather than later. The camera cranks out 42MP files which are just bonkers in size and often unnecessary but it never hurts for when I print my work. The camera is also super ergonomic and fits in my hand like a charm.  

Now this being said the body isn't perfect and here a few critiques I have. The battery life isn't stellar. I previously shot Nikon and never had battery issues. With the Sony I carry 3 batteries at a time. Only having one SD card slot isn't ideal either. My final critique is that the body isn't weather sealed which is my biggest concern since I often shoot in harsh conditions. Now with all this said, all of these issues were solved in the A7RIII. I will NOT be upgrading anytime soon. 

Lenses

I have three lenses in my arsenal which all serve their unique purpose: 12-24 f4, 24-70 f2,8, & 70-200 f2.8. This set isn't exactly cheap unfortunately but I believe in the phrase "buy once cry once." All my lenses are the Sony branded ones. Let's get into each.

The 12-24 f4 is the lens I currently find myself using most. This is mostly a product of living in Singapore. I use this lens to shoot architecture and any tight cityscapes I am shooting. I find this lens to be pretty versatile and almost a necessity to shooting in Asian cities in general. The one thing to remember when you have access to a lens like this is that it's not always necessary to be shooting things at 12mm. Six of my last twelve posts on Instagram were shot with this lens. So you can see this lens gets a lot of use.

By far the most versatile lens in my set up that I recommend everyone has is the 24-70 f2.8. The lens can be used for ports, cities, general daily shooting, etc. This lens is the best investment I ever made. For those wondering if f4 is ok, I would strongly recommend against it. The 2.8 is a must for portraits and weddings. If I could only own one lens, this would be it. Four of my last twelve Instagram posts were taken using this lens. If you are a beginner I don't recommend dropping the amount of money on this lens though until you know you are serious about photography. 

The final lens in my set up is the 70-200 f2.8. Also known as the MUST HAVE lens for wedding photography. I can't much speak to this since I have never shot a wedding professionally. The one thing I can attest to this lens is that it is the sharpest lens I have ever used in my entire life. The image quality is absolutely incredible. I have used this lens for portraits, city compression shots, nature, etc. The compression this focal length creates always fascinates me. The one thing to note with a lens of this size is that on a tripod even with a timer you may struggle to get sharp images.

Drone

I also do a bit of drone photography as some of you may know. Currently (although out of commission) I own a DJI Mavic Pro and its fantastic. The image quality isn't amazing since it's a locked f2.2 aperture and 12MP, but its a camera that flies and fits in my bag like a charm. Not really much more you can ask for. I have considered moving up to a Phantom 4 Pro eventually when I stop traveling, but that remains to be seen. The best thing about this drone is its portability like I said previously. It folds up nicely and slides into my bag. For those curious about drone photography I would strongly recommend this drone.

Extras

One item in my bag I find out many photographers don't know about it is a L Bracket. This item attaches to your camera and lets you mount your camera on your tripod in portrait mode without moving your ball-head. For me this is essential, it makes switching orientations a breeze. On top of that it makes me not have to worry about my tripod being able to support the weight of my camera on its side, which makes me uncomfortable. 

On a final note, always carry extra SD cards. You never know when yours is going to fail, run out of space, or even misplace/lose it. I always carry four with me just in case. That being said I also always carry three batteries with me. You can never be too prepared.

I hope this was helpful and let me know in the comments if there is any questions you might have.

Stay true to you.

Jordan