Stuff I Use

I spend a lot of time thinking about this junk. I figure I might as well tell y'all about it.

Last Update: 2021-01-17



Photography Gear

I've been a serious photographer since 2007. For years I've read and researched constantly about photography cameras, lenses, and accessories trying to figure out what is the right gear for me. It's only this past couple of years where I've honed in on the tools I like best.

One thing that always frustrates me when photographers talk about gear is when they'll say something like "the gear doesn't matter." This is wrong, privileged, and silly. I've never once heard someone say this who doesn't already have multiple thousands of dollars invested in gear. Better gear doesn't necessarily make you more creative, but there are all sorts of shots you simply cannot make without certain gear. Get the right gear for you. Whatever works best for your budget what you want to shoot. The rest is just noise.

Sony α7R III Camera

Sony α7R III Camera

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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I bought this camera immediately after it was released in October of 2017. I was concerned it would be too many megapixels, but it turned out to be a perfect choice. I've made so many photos with this camera that I'll cherish for decades to come. Being a full frame mirrorless camera gives it so many advantages for the way I like to shoot. After getting this camera, several of my friends commented how my work had "leveled up" and it was very nice to hear that feedback. I shoot a mix of prime and zoom lenses. I tend to use primes for travel and personal work and zooms for shooting weddings.

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 Lens

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I love the size and speed of this lens. It's usually the default lens I have on the camera. This lens and the 55mm lens are what I most commonly shoot with. The lens is so compact and light. I'm very pleased with the quality of the images that it products. I was pretty sure I was going to love this lens. I pre-ordered it as soon as it was available and I'm so glad I did.

Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T ZA Lens

Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T ZA Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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If you do any research on this lens you'll quickly read about how sharp it is. It's thought to be one of the sharpest lenses on the. market today. I agree with those assessments—it's a fantastic performing lens. This is my go to lens for portraits. If I had to only own one lens, this would likely be the one.

Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Lens

Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Each of the 85mm lenses for Sony cameras were very costly, large and I couldn't justify buying them. This lens is a much better value for my purposes. It's light, small, and the value for the price made it a no-brainer. I'm really happy with the images I've made with it. I'll often take this lens whenever I'm mostly shooting the 35mm so that I'll have a longer lens or if I want to do portraits. Really solid bokeh and it focuses very quickly.

Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM Lens

Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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This lens is a versatile workhorse. During a wedding day, I use this for probably 80% of the day. Whenever I'm traveling I also tend to use this lens quite a bit as well. Especially for shooting landscapes. The lens has great bokeh, autofocus speed, and close focusing distance.

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Lens

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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This is a very costly lens, but it's well worth it's cost if you need it. The quality of images it produces is absolutely wonderful. I don't often use it for portraits, but when I have, the bokeh is magical. I use this lens most often at weddings during the ceremony—especially in poorly lit churches.

Voigtlaender 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar III Lens

Voigtlaender 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar III Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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I bought this lens because occasionally I'll want an ultra wide lens. I keep this lens in my bag because there's a shot that I like to take with my family. I use this as a "selfie lens" because it's so wide. This lens is manual focus which is a bit annoying at times. Not a bad lens, but not something I pull out very often.

Voigtlaender 40mm F1.4 Nokton Lens

Voigtlaender 40mm F1.4 Nokton Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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This lens has more character than any lens I've ever used. The images it makes are at times magical and at other times a bit peculiar. It's a manual focus, Leica mount lens that I use with a Leica to Sony mount. I love the feel of the lens and how incredibly light and smooth it is. It's not something I use often, but when I do, I'm often blown away at the images it creates.

Nikon 50mm F1.2 Lens

Nikon 50mm F1.2 Lens

  • Category: Digital Photography
  • Rating: 2/5 Stars
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This lens is on "permanent loan" from a friend who had it given to him. It's a rare lens. The only f/1.2 lens that Nikon ever made. It's pretty smooth to focus, but it's very soft wide open. You really need to spot down to nearly f/2 for the images to begin to get responsibly sharp. This is a very fun lens. It makes a bit funky images, but the bokeh is at times spectacular.

Godox AD400Pro Strobe

Godox AD400Pro Strobe

  • Category: Lighting
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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For years I used Paul C Buff's Einstein strobe for lighting but there was always one feature that was missing, high speed sync. Every once in a while I'd look around to see if there were other strobes available with HSS, but they were usually much more expensive. In 2019 this strobe was released and after a ton of research I bought this whole new Godox system. It isn't as powerful as the Einsteins, but it's much more portable and has a trigger inside of the strobe and a removable battery on the body of the strobe. I makes building and striking the setup so much faster and enables me to travel lighter.

Profoto RFi 36-Inch Octa Softbox

Profoto RFi 36-Inch Octa Softbox

  • Category: Lighting
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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I purchased the Creative Light 3ft Octa Softbox and used it for 5-6 years until it basically fell apart. Profoto purchased Creative Light and eventually created a product that was basically equivalent in quality, but a bit more expensive. It's well worth the money because of how portable and packable this modifier gets. I've taken these soft boxes on dozens of trips and it's been a work horse for hundreds of shoots.

Peak Design Everyday 30L Backpack, Ash

Peak Design Everyday 30L Backpack, Ash

  • Category: Photo Accessories
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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This is a very costly bag. I was tipped very generously at a wedding I photographed and it's the only reason I bought this bag. That said, this is by far the best camera bag I have used. It's well thought out and has several different ways it can be configured to best fit your gear. I got the 30L because I needed the extra space. I use this bag for my daily commute on my bike and traveling for photography or personal work. The 30L *just barely* fits under the seat on an airplane.

Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L, Ash

Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L, Ash

  • Category: Photo Accessories
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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This is my quick trip day bag. If I don't need too much gear or if we're only going for a short time, this bag is perfect. It fits a camera, 2-3 lenses, accessories and a water bottle inside.

Peak Design Capture Clip

Peak Design Capture Clip

  • Category: Photo Accessories
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I used knockoff versions of this clip for years and nearly had a catastrophic drop and decided it was time to purchase the real thing. I own two of these. One stays on my backpack and one stays on my sling bag. They're very strong and convenient for hiking or traveling in general.

Nanuk Protective 935 Case, Graphite

Nanuk Protective 935 Case, Graphite

  • Category: Photo Accessories
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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I'm really thrilled with this case. I'm thrilled with the value and performance it's given me. I use this to haul my lighting gear and I'm able to fit my AD400Pro, triggers, batteries, soft box mount, and monopod comfortably inside.

SIRUI K-10X Ball Head

SIRUI K-10X Ball Head

  • Category: Photo Accessories
  • Rating: 3/5 Stars
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I wanted a small, simple ball head that wasn't too complicated. I was thrilled whenever I saw this in person. It isn't cumbersome to use and doesn't take up very much room in my bag.

Polaroid 250 Land Camera

Polaroid 250 Land Camera

  • Category: Instant Film
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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I began shooting Polaroid Land Cameras a few years ago when I wanted to find a type of film that I enjoyed shooting. The Land Camera film is a peel apart film that creates an instant photo that is unlike any other kind of film. It was the first instant film and it's still striking to see one peeled apart today. Sadly, this film has been discontinued in recent years. I keep this camera to shoot the few rolls I have remaining and to be a piece of decor in my office.

Polaroid SX‑70

Polaroid SX‑70

  • Category: Instant Film
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
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The SX-70 creates some of the best instant film photos you'll ever see. This camera still goes for hundreds of dollars used and the film is still available from Polaroid. It's best shot outside because of it's very low ISO (125 asa). The quality and sharpness is unparalleled.

Polaroid OneStep 2

Polaroid OneStep 2

  • Category: Instant Film
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
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A few years after I began shooting instant film there was a renaissance in people shooting Polaroids again. The company had began creating the film again after deciding to discontinue all instant film. This camera was their first new instant camera in over 30 years and I love it. I shoot as much film with it as I can because I want to help preserve instant photography for years to come. This camera is one of the last hopes to ensure that film photography won't die.

Polaroid OneStep Land Camera 1000

Polaroid OneStep Land Camera 1000

  • Category: Instant Film
  • Rating: 2/5 Stars
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I wouldn't say that I collect instant cameras, but I do accept them whenever they're given to me. This camera was given to me from a friend who got it at a garage sale. I've never even shot with it, but it's a lovely piece of history.

Polaroid OneStep

Polaroid OneStep

  • Category: Instant Film
  • Rating: 2/5 Stars
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This is a basic 600 speed Polaroid camera that I used for a while before the new Polaroid OneStep 2 was available. It's a solid camera, that I bought on eBay.