Today, I wanted to talk about my gear! I enjoy seeing what other photographers use or what their must-have gear is so I thought I'd share what my favorites are!
Back in my pre-DSLR days, whenever I dreamed of what camera I’d buy Canon was always what I pictured. I didn’t always know what model I wanted; I just knew I wanted a Canon! After much research, because I research things to death, I purchased the Rebel T4i. This camera has served me well for almost four years now! I love the vari-angle screen because it allows me to hold the camera at odd angles and still be able to see what I’m shooting! Also, it’s pretty lightweight which is nice for this noodle-armed girl. ;)
The one major con I have with this camera body is that I can’t really push the ISO past 3200. Anything past 3200 is just too grainy for my taste.
To go with my Rebel is my favorite lens: the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. It’s a cheap little lens that gives you the really soft background (aka: bokeh). Before getting this lens, I’d, once again, done a lot of research and kept reading about the “nifty fifty”. I loved the price tag on it, especially when compared to what most lenses go for! And I wanted to try out a prime lens because the idea of using a lens that couldn’t zoom in was so foreign to me.
This lens is great for low light scenarios, which I face a lot at my church where the sanctuary is pretty dark, and it’s great for portraits. I love how, in portraits, it just pulls the subject away from the background so that they’re all you focus on.
Right now, this is the only prime lens I have and I like the challenge of working with it. It forces me to think differently than I would when using a zoom lens to set up my shot. It’s the lack of options that inspires creativity. I know for me at least, when I’m presented with too many choices I get really overwhelmed! So the 50mm is perfect for the K.I.S.S. philosophy. ;)
There are, of course, cons to this lens. The chromatic aberration and ghosting are pretty rough. And let’s not even talk about the loud and slow autofocus on the lens. (99% of the time I’m using manual focus when shooting with this lens.)
I also use my kit lens, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. The autofocus is fast (and quiet!) and I like how versatile this lens is. I took it with me on a trip a few months back (usually, I just take my 50mm because it’s so lightweight) and the 18-135mm ended up being the best choice for that trip. I didn’t know what kind of situations I’d find myself in so it was nice to have the versatility of that zoom lens for all kinds of scenarios!
The biggest downside for me is the how small the aperture is, especially when you zoom into 135mm… f/5.6 just doesn't cut it a low-lit room!
Alright, now let’s get to the girly stuff!! There are so many pretty camera bags out there and the best part is that there are a lot that don’t look like camera bags. I have two that I use regularly: the Mimi by Kelly Moore Bag * and the Siena by Jo Totes.
The Mimi was the first real camera bag I ever bought. I was so stinkin’ excited when it arrived in the mail! I love the color and style of it and I also like that it can be carried by the handles or the strap. For shoots, I usually lengthen the strap and wear the bag crossbody-style. Or sometimes if I don’t feel like toting it around during the shoot I’ll just sit it on the ground as it is a bit on the heavy side. The Mimi is my workhorse bag. ;)
*sigh* The Siena…I’d been looking for a nice, brown leather camera bag (I’m not much of a purse girl but brown leather bags are my weakness!) for a while and when I saw this one I knew it was it! I wanted my bag to have structure and to have a classic look to it. Not to mention I didn’t want it to look like a camera bag! I also wanted something that was smaller than my Mimi and that would work better for traveling (I say that like I travel all the time. I don’t. haha!).
What I love the most about this bag, besides the awesome color of the leather, is that it works great as a camera bag and as a purse! It’s about a 50/50 split between camera bag and purse usage. When I’m using this as a camera bag, it’s typically loaded up with just my T4i and my 50mm so that I’m not weighed down by lots of gear!
I have had trouble with the clasps scraping away the coating on either side of the flap to reveal the leather beneath BUT I still love this bag.
- Bug spray—a must for Georgia summers!
- Pelican 0915 Memory Card Case—keeps all my cards safe and neatly organized.
- Giottos Rocket Blaster Dust-Removal Tool—so handy!
- Chamberlain’s Leather Milk—I use numbers 1 and/or 3 every so often to clean, condition and protect the Siena bag…I’m big on waterproofing my leather goods!