What camera do you use for your photography? Does this lens work for streets? wildlife? These are the kind of questions that i have been asked several times, and there is no end to it. While i do say that gear is an integral part of photography but there is lot more to the art than just the gear. This topic is debatable and incessant, however let me explain by giving you an example.
A common man fancies to buy a Ferrari, expects to find its true potential by driving it on his daily commute from point A to point B. There are two things that can be inferred out of this:
If he wants to enjoy the full potential of a race car, it has to be driven on a race track.
Had his thinking been right, he would have understood the fact that the street was crowded, and under such circumstances, a Ferrari is equal to a Toyota more or less. And he needs driving skills more than a specific car type.
The same theory applies to buying camera equipments. Not everyone needs to buy the latest and the greatest to deliver excellent results. Every genre in photography has its own specifics and sometimes a modest combination can give equally good outputs. For example, we can use a relatively cheaper equipment to shoot streets, while shooting wildlife, sports, demands a lot more. It would be foolish, to buy a high resolution top of the line camera for shooting streets.
Again, please note, i would love to own the best in the market (who would not like to own a Ferrari), however, we should analyse the clear difference between "need" and "want" before taking the plunge.
Let us get into my gear, and the reason i have them in my bag.
I do wildlife and Street (people) predominantly. I have used different cameras with time, upgraded when possible. Below are the cameras that i have owned in the past few years,
Nikon D810(2015) - The best i have ever owned, loved the image quality. Never had a need to upgrade. (Update Jul'23- I upgraded to D850 after my Nikon D810 crashed in an accident. The D810 is still in my bag for a backup camera.)
Nikon D750(2014) - This is again the best camera for the money any one can have. Love the low light capabilities, fast autofocus, and the image quality. I still recommend this camera handsdown in 2020, although it is 5-6 yrs old as of date.
Sony A6000(2017) - I bought this in 2017. To be honest, there was no particular reason to go for this specific model. I needed something to shoot 1080p video, compact and that i could carry on my bike trips for some casual shoots. For the budget i had, the internet was all ga-ga about this one, and i opted for it. (No longer own this)
Nikon D7100(2012) -This was the camera i started wildlife with. Loved it, but eventually i upgraded and had to sell it off. (No longer own this)
Nikon D90(2012) - A loaner from my uncle, which was the first digital i ever used.
Ashican - This was the first chinese film camera (point and shoot) my father bought me when i was a kid.
Fuji XT30 (Update 2020) - My first Fuji Camera, love it for my street work. (update 2023 - l no longer own this)
Fuji xpr03(Update 2021) - The top of the line Fujifilm crop line up has to offer, love every bit of it. There is a long story behind this, an article i wrote. Do give it a read, worth your time!
The Glass is an important investment in photography. There should be no compromise in buying good glass. Below is the list that i have owned in my years of photography. Please note, i have not collected it overnight, not everone can, because good glass is expensive.
Nikon 500F4G VR(2015) - My past love for wildlife! needless to say about it! (update 2023 - I no longer own this, had to part with the lens because of my spine injury)
Nikon 500 pF(2021) -My new birding lens exceptionally sharp, love the weight reduction over my last owned 500F4. Review is on the cards. Can't reccomnend it enough.
AF-S Nikkor 200-500MM F/5.6E ED VR(2017) - My primary safari lens at the moment, does amazing results.
Nikkor 300 f4 AF-S prime coupled with a 1.4TC(2014) - This was another lens in my arsenal, amazingly sharp comparable to its bigger brothers (500F4 G)
Nikkor 24-120 F4G(2017) - For my street and genral purpose
Nikkor 85mm 1.8 G(2016) - For Portraiture
Nikkor 50mm 1.8 G(2012) - The Nifty-Fifty is always in my bag no matter where i go.
Nikkor 35mm 1.8 G(2012) - Great for street and portraiture.
Tamron 15-30 2.8G2(2019) - An amazingly sharp lens better than the Nikon equivalent.
Tamron 90mm Macro(2016) - For macro work
Sony Emount 16-50 kit lens
Sony Emount 50mm 1.8 OSS
For all the investment we do in the equipments, its always advisable to invest on a good case to carry the above. Gear gets beaten up badly in transit, on the field, hence to safegaurd it should be our utmost priority. I have owned a number of bags, and use three bags currently.
Lowepro Prorunner 350AW(2014) - I started with Lowepro with this particular model . Lowepro is sturdy, takes a beating and will last you for years, i can vouch on that. (very old image below- use the LOWEPRO 450 aw now)
Lowepro Promessenger 180AW(2017) - Loved this one, a very unobtrusive messenger bag. I mainly used it for my street and portraiture work.
Lowepro Tahoe BP 150(2018) - A perfect bag that can work as a daypack. Do check my review on this one. I currently use this.
Lowepro Passport sling3(2019) - A sling bag perfect for travel and can be used as a genral bag as well. I love the design of this bag. A review shall come soon. I currently have this in my arsenal.
Lowepro Prorunner 450AW(2015) - The bigger brother of the 350, carries all the stuff for my wildlife expedition. very ergonomic and comfortable when packed with bigger primes. A review is on the cards. I currently have this in my arsenal.
Tripod - Vanguard Altapro 263AT
Monopod (update 2020) - Sirui P series
ND Filter - Hoya 10stop 77mm
MacbookM1 13inch 2022 (Update 2022)
External Monitor - Dell Ultrasharp U2415 100% SRGB