For those of you who are interested in the technical side of photography (more so than just looking at the pictures) I want to share some of what I have learned along the way with you! People often ask me what kind of equipment I use when shooting. Four or five years ago, I would have said something completely different, but after working in the field a while, I have come to realize the significance in quality equipment. And by that I mean, unfortunately, very expensive. After using a variety of different camera bodies and lenses, I have witnessed the extreme difference in quality. I feel much more confident with the work I can produce with a quality set up. It’s kind of like going into a big math exam with a TI-83 versus a four-function calculator. You just feel a little more capable with the TI-83. Of course, you can’t completely rely on the calculator itself, you must understand it fully and your knowledge must extend that of the calculator. Regardless, you just feel a little more confident with the result it will produce and the likeliness it will give you more flexibility and options in order to get your final result. For those of you just starting our or those that do not intend to use photography as a main source of income, this equipment list is not practical. However, if you are shooting weddings and quality is of most importance, then this may be something you eventually will work towards. When I first started out, I would get frustrated when my favorite photographers would post their equipment list but not say why they liked that particular lens or what they used it for, so hopefully this will help some of you out!
– (2) Canon 5D Mark III’s, (1) Canon 5D Mark II (backup camera) – Both of these camera bodies are pristine! The 5D’s have full frame sensor’s so that no cropping occurs inside the camera. You can achieve wider perspective with this camera body than you can with Canon 50D and below. This full frame sensor allows for a higher dynamic range providing lower noise at high ISO levels. There are so many other features about these cameras that are amazing, but the sensor is my main selling point. You can scope out the other specs at www.amazon.com or www.adorama.com
– Canon 24 mm 1.4L – Wide! love this lens, great for big bridal party shots and the dance floor shots at the reception! It is also a great lens for wide shots of architecture or landscapes.
– Canon 35mm 1.4L – A standard must have! Pretty much great in all circumstances. I use this lens a lot indoors especially in smaller rooms as well as for group photos. This is my go-to lens in most situations.
– Canon 50mm 1.2L – Crisp, creamy, fast auto-focus, super shallow depth of field, perfect for low light, portraiture and details!
– Canon 85mm 1.2L – Same features as 50 but you can be a little sneakier with it. You can snap further away from the subject; it is less intrusive, great for wedding ceremonies and low light; especially wedding ceremonies where you can’t use flash. I am really beginning to love this lens for receptions as well. It pulls in beautiful ambient light. Sterling’s fave lens.
– Canon 100mm 2.8L IS USM Macro – The best macro detail lens! Beautiful fall off for ring shots and anything else you want to get super close to. Also, an exceptional portrait lens!
– Canon 70-200 mm 2.8L IS USM – Most unobtrusive. Subjects can act themselves when you aren’t all up in their grill (although I do get up in your grill every once in a while.) Perfect for ceremonies from way far away. I can catch you picking your nose in the crowd and you won’t even know it…
– Canon 24-70 mm 2.8L – Good all around zoom lens. Not as pristine as the prime lenses, but great if you don’t feel like swapping lenses all the time. When I photograph church camps and have to walk around in the heat all day, this is my lens of choice. It gives me a good close up and a good wide angle. I’ll switch to a prime to get the low-light feel during worship time in the evening, but for the day shots, this is a good lens. It is also a great travel lens, because I can just throw one lens in the bag and get almost everything I could possibly need.
The pics below can give you an idea of how wide or zoomed in each one is.
Please email me if you have specific questions or things you would like for me to share about. If any of this is over your head, don’t be afraid to ask anything, I will try my best to explain it as best I can.