Journal

Photography, photoshop, and the philosophy of taking pictures by photographer Bill Wadman, co-host of On Taking Pictures.

My Current Kit

As you've noticed, I've been cleaning out my shelves of gear. Trying to get down to a nice tight setup that does everything I want it to do at least 95% of the time.  Or course there are time when I'll need something special, but usually jobs like that will have budgets that I can rent.  

So when I get the call to shoot and I grab my bag.  This is what I currently grab.

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm/1.2L
Canon 35mm/1.4L
Canon 28mm/1.8

Crazy, not a lens longer than 50mm and I call myself a portrait photographer. How dare I!  <grin>   I used the 85mm/1.2L on an ad shoot a couple months ago.  It was amazing and I totally want one, but I think I'll have to save up for it or try to find one used. $1800 is a little too rich for my blood at the moment.  

The new 50 is great so far.  The bokeh on it is better than the 1.4 and the overall contrast on the images is better.  Though you're paying for that in 4x the cost and about 3x the weight and bulk.

I still love the 28, but it's not quite sharp enough to use wide open on a 21MP sensor, or at least my copy isn't, so I tend to stop it down to 2.2 at least.  

I bought the 35 recently to take the place of the 28.  I figured it's faster, sharper, less distortion, etc.  At first I didn't like the focal length, somehow I just didn't see that way, it didn't fit.  But I've come to start appreciating it now. Getting use to the 'not quite so wide' look.

On top of the lenses I usually grab some accessories:

Canon 580EX speedlight
Gary Fong Lightsphere (the original hard bulky one)
Coiled flash cable
36" 5-in-one reflector

I shoot the speedlight through the diffuser section of the 5/1 as a make-shift softbox a lot.  With an assistant holding that stuff obviously, I've only got 2 hands.

So all of this fits into my small Crumpler backpack if you do it right.  Very small, very tight, very flexible and amazing image quality if you get all the technical stuff right.  You can trade the reflector for a little laptop if you want too.  Usually there are two bags going along under those circumstances though.

Finally I've put in an order for the ProFoto AcuteB pack and head, so that'll be the optional bag when I don't want to pack up an Alien Bee when I need a real strobe.  That'll open up the option to shoot outside too which is kind of exciting.

If anyone's got any questions, let me know.