What's in My Bag (And Studio)

Not a day goes by that someone doesn't message, tweet, post, or email me about gear. I guess that's because I have quite a bit of it. OK, lots of it. At one time, probably more than most photographers out there. I've started selling off gear like crazy the past year, opting for a smaller, lighter kit. For example, I dumped my big heavy studio packs and switched over to battery powered heads. I've also started using DLSRs more often than my medium format camera. They say that it's not about the gear, which is partially true. Having a great camera doesn't make you a great photographer any more than having a great stove makes you a great chef. On the flip side, knowing limitations of shitty gear and how to use your tools well can yield better results. I've carefully chosen each piece of gear I own through extensive testing and experimentation to decide what works best for me, my workflow, and my style of shooting. Don't ever buy gear just because someone else uses it, ALWAYS try it out and form your own opinions based on the results and functionality. What do I use? Here's a partial list . . .

STABILIZATION:

  • Foba Asaba Studio Stand
  • Gitzo Carbon Fiber G5510SGT Carbon Tripod
  • Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Carbon Tripod
  • Really Right Stuff TVC-23 Carbon Tripod
  • Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head
  • Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head
  • Arca Swiss Cube C1 Head
  • Manfrotto 535 Tripod w/504HD Fluid Head
  • Manfrotto Tripod w/502 Fluid Head
  • DJI Osmo 3-Axis Gimbal
  • DJI Osmo Mobile 3-Axis Gimble
  • GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead
  • SunwayFoto T1A20 Tripod
  • Kessler Stealth Slider
  • Rhino Slider EVO Carbon Motion Slider
  • Really Right Stuff and/or Kirk Arca Swiss style plates

CAMERAS:

  • Phase One DF+ w/PhaseOne IQ160 Digital Back
  • Arca Swiss RM3Di
  • Cambo Ultima D
  • Canon 1DX
  • Canon 5D Mark IV
  • Canon 80D (x2)
  • DJI Mavic Pro Drone

LENSES:

  • Phase One 120mm f/4 Macro MF
  • Phase One 80mm f/2.8 LS
  • Phase One 45mm f/2.8
  • Schneider Kreuznach 47mm f/5.6
  • Schneider Kreuznach 35mm f/5.6
  • Schneider Kreuznach 120mm f/5.6
  • Schneider Kreuznach 90mm f/5.6
  • Canon 70-200 f/2.8L Mark II
  • Canon 135 f/2L
  • Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro
  • Canon 85 f/1.2L
  • Canon 50 f/1.2L
  • Canon 16-35 f/2.8L Mark II
  • Canon 24 TS-E Mark II
  • Canon 17 TS-E Mark II
  • Canon 1.4x III Extender
  • Canon 18-135 f/3.5-4.5 (x2)

LIGHTING:

  • Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery-Powered Flash (x4)
  • Profoto Air Remote TTL-C
  • Neewer TT850 Speed Light (x3) - These are junk
  • Yongnuo 560 IV Speed Light (x2) - These are also junk
  • Fiilex 360EX LEDs (x3)
  • Profoto StripLight S

MODIFIERS:

  • Profoto Zoom II Reflector (x4)
  • Profoto Grids (5, 10, 20 degree) for Zoom II Reflector
  • Profoto Softlight Reflector (Silver)
  • Profoto 25 degree Grid for Softlight Reflector
  • Profoto 5' Octa Bank
  • Profoto 4' Strip Bank (x3)
  • Profoto SpotLight
  • Profoto XL 60" Deep Umbrella
  • Impact 60" Satin Umbrella
  • Impact 45" Satin Umbrella (x2)
  • Impact 7' Parabolic Umbrella (White)

STANDS:

  • Avenger 40" Century Stands (x4)
  • Avenger 20" Century Stands (x2)
  • Matthews Hi Hi Overhead Roller 21.5' 
  • Matthews Med Overhead Roller 14' (x2)
  • Matthews Low Boy Roller (x2)
  • Red Wing Standard Boom (x2)
  • Manfrotto Alu Master Air-Cushioned Stand 1004BAC (x4)
  • Manfrotto A526B (x3)
  • Manfrotto A615B (x2)

COMPUTING:

I'm not going to itemize this stuff b/c it changes often. But in general, we like:

  • Apple MacBook Pro Computers
  • LG 27" Ultrafine 5K Display
  • Eizo ColorEdge CX271 Monitor
  • G-Technology Drives
  • Wacom Intuos Pro Tablets (Small)
  • Epson Photo Printers

OTHER STUFF:

  • SmallHD 701 Lite Display
  • DigiPlate Pro
  • DigiPlate Lite
  • DigiShade
  • DigiHub
  • DigiCables
  • Black Rapid Straps
  • f-Stop Rolling Bag
  • ONA Prince Street Bag
  • Think Tank Photo Airport Security V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag
  • Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials Backpack
  • Pocket Wizard Plus II (x4)

I have two pieces of advice I offer to every group I speak to . . .

  1. Don't go into debt over this (at least not when starting out). It's hard to be creative when you're worried about how you're going to pay for your gear.
  2. Buy a good Tripod & Head. Spend the money once and you'll never have to buy another one. For photography, I recommend a large carbon fiber model by Gitzo or Really Right Stuff with either a RRS or Arca Swiss head. Yea, they're expensive . . . buy once, cry once.

I get my gear at B&HCapture Integration, and sometimes Amazon.