Photography Gear

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My Current Photography Gear

When I talk about “marrying into camera ownership” in LLC001, I’m talking about the Nikon D7000 and first two lenses below. This is what I’ve been using since March of 2016, and while I would love to upgrade a lot of it, I’ve still created some great images with what I’ve got.

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

This camera and the two Nikkor lenses were part of my wife Nicole’s graduation gift from college from her parents. Eventually, after we married, I found the kit in the closet and start figuring out how to take photos, starting a whole new creative journey that I’ve really loved! [Buy on Amazon]

Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR

This was my main lens for about a year and a half after I started photography, until I bought the 50mm f/1.4 lens below, and it’s still my favorite walkaround lens. I love the range of focal lengths, and it covers about 90% of what I need. The narrow maximum aperture is a bummer, and being a kit lens, isn’t going to blow you away on sharpness. But a good all-around lens without a huge price tag! [Buy on Amazon]

Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Gotta say, I don’t use this lens a whole lot. I do most of my shooting indoors or within 30 feet of myself typically, so a long telephoto zoom doesn’t make a lot of sense most of the time. Where I do like to use this is in doing event photography; then the long length really comes in handy. Again, the narrow max aperture and sharpness is a big drawback, but the price balances that out, if you don’t have $1500 to spend on a f/2.8 lens. [Buy on Amazon]

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 from way back

Nikon-50mm-AIS

This is a REALLY cool lens. I don’t know much about it, but it’s an old Nikon lens, maybe from as early as the 70’s? I bought it as part of a film camera kit for just $60, including two other old lenses. I really love this lens because it’s the best low-light glass I’ve got so far, and it’s taken some truly beautiful shots for me. On the con side, it’s so old that it can’t autofocus, even if I had a camera with internal focus motors.

Peak Design Leash

Peak Design Leash

I believe I first found out about Peak Design from photographer Jeremy Cowart, who listed one of their straps on his own gear page. That led me into investigating Peak Design’s products, which are pretty cool, and eventually getting the Leash. I would love to get their Everyday Backpack, listed below. [Buy on Amazon]

Random canvas diaper bag with a hacked up shoulder bag inside

Dylan's green canvas DIY camera bag

This bag is a bit of a story! I originally bought this bag to use for school when I was in college. I didn’t know until later that it was actually a diaper bag! But I still liked the look so I rolled with it. When I was looking for a bigger camera bag a couple years later, I remembered I had this bag. Since it doesn’t have any padding, I dropped a standard camera shoulder bag in it, after cutting the top and one end off the shoulder bag to make it fit. Now it works great with all the extra pockets and way nicer look than a regular shoulder bag.

Amazon Basics tripod

Not much to say about this tripod. It’s my first tripod, it works well enough, and I don’t really need anything fancier because I don’t use it too much. If you’re looking for a basic starter tripod, this is a fine choice. [Buy on Amazon]

Altura Photo flash kit

Altura Photo flash kit

I asked for this flash kit as a Christmas gift last year. About the kindest thing I can say is that it’s better than nothing, or better than the built-in flash, which is almost worse than nothing. The wireless trigger is pretty unreliable, even with a clear line of sight, and I just haven’t had a lot of luck with it. It’s the only wireless flash set I’ve ever used, so I don’t know if this experience is typical or not. [Buy on Amazon]

LensPen set

Pretty basic lens cleaning kit. I like my LensPen set because it fits in my camera bag very easily and they’re simple to clean lenses with quickly. Nuff said. [Buy on Amazon]

My Dream Photography Gear

This is the stuff that I can only dream of purchasing one day! Of course, by the time I save up the money to buy it, there will probably be something newer and better for the same price. But hey, let this section inspire you!

Sony A7 III

I’ve only become aware of mirrorless cameras since late 2017, so I’m relatively late to the game. But as I learned more about the new tech and what Sony’s doing in particular, I’ve gotten really excited, especially about the A7r III, despite its price tag (about $3200 as of this writing). When the A7 III came out, I was completely sold on it being my dream camera.

I don’t do high-end commercial work that would require the A7r III’s 42 megapixels; the A7 III’s 24mp are just fine by me, and I like the price a lot better too ($2000 at this writing). I’m also really excited about the great noise performance (especially compared to my eight year old Nikon) and the eye autofocus. [Buy on Amazon]

Sony 85mm f/1.8

Currently, the lens I use the most with my crop sensor Nikon camera is the 50mm, which works out to about 75mm on a full-frame camera. So if I switched to Sony, I’d want to get a close equivalent of that lens, this 85mm lens. It’d be a touch tighter in than the 50mm, but close enough that it would sub in quite nicely. Plus it’d be nice to actually use autofocus! [Buy on Amazon]

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8

This is a dream camera kit, right? So I can put pretty much whatever I want here? Then yep, I’m definitely putting this G Master lens in! Great for wider shots to mild telephoto length, essential for events and weddings (if I ever got up the bravery to shoot a wedding!), and good for just walking around. [Buy on Amazon]

Sony 70-200mm

A BEAST of a lens! Huge but fantastic. Nicely complementary to the 24-70mm to round out a wedding or event kit. Also there’s an f/4 version for a thousand bucks less, if you don’t need f/2.8 (or need the thousand bucks, like me). [Buy on Amazon]

Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3

Yeah, yeah, I know, dream camera kits probably shouldn’t include variable aperture lenses. So sue me, this is my dream. One thing I would miss about the Nikkor 18-105mm lens would be the wide focal length range, and the Sony 24-240mm would have that in spades! Even more range than the Nikkor by a long shot. It’d be compromising somewhat on image quality, but just the ability to walk around town or go on vacation with one lens would be amazing. The aperture thing kinda stinks, but with the fantastic noise performance of the a7 III, I’m willing to live with it. [Buy on Amazon]

Peak Design Slide strap

Back to Peak Design. Gotta say, overall, I’m a fan. I made a bit of a mistake when I got the Leash, it’s not designed for as large of a camera as the Nikon D7000, although it’s held up fantastically so far. The Leash would probably be fine for the Sony a7 III as well, but with that much investment hanging off my neck, I want something a little bit heftier to make sure it doesn’t crash to the ground, thus the Slide. Comfy and versatile, and I really like the Anchor link strap system. [Buy on Amazon]

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L

This backpack holds a ton of gear, probably more than even in this dream kit. Like all of Peak’s stuff, it looks good with high quality. Call me a fanboy, but I’d love to have this backpack. [Buy on Amazon]

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