Equipment to Bring | Transcription

When it comes to equipment, we like to travel as light as possible, bringing only the tools necessary to pull off the look and the shots we want. Again, since this first couple photography DVD focuses on natural light and lifestyle portraiture, we really don’t need to take that much equipment to our shoots. We’re going to leave behind all of our off-camera lighting, as it’s beyond the scope of this first workshop. Natural light portraiture is also more forgiving that other areas of photography. You can get professional results without necessarily having the best lenses and camera bodies. While we’re going to go through out setup, we’ll also be giving you some less expensive equipment alternatives as well.

For our camera body, we’ll be using the Canon 5D Mark III. The Nikon equivalent of this would be the Nikon D800. Not really an equivalent because the Nikon’s kind of a little bit better right now than the 5D III. Really, any DSL body will work. On the table here, I have actually the Canon 6D, which is their entry level full-frame DSLR, simply because we’re recording all this video on the 5D III’s. While we will get better detail on a 5D Mark III that a D800, we can still create professional images following these exact same techniques with even an entry level DSLR.

Our first lens is going to be the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II. If you are a Canon enthusiast, you’ll know that this is actually the Mark I. Once again, because we’re filming with the Mark II. The Nikon equivalent to this lens is the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 G Nikkor. This is an extremely versatile lens which is primary going to be used for wide angle use. At least that’s what we use it for. It also has some zoom flexibility. As you’re shooting wide, if you notice some great reactions and expressions, you can zoom in and capture some closeup candids from time to time. There are many inexpensive alternatives to this lens. I wouldn’t necessarily choose the 24-70mm Mark I. The optical quality on the Mark I is not nearly as good as the Mark II. The Mark II is far sharper and it gives it a better bokeh.

When I had the Mark I, I actually preferred to leave it behind. I took in place a 16-35mm f/2.8, or a 17-40mm f/4. They gave me the primary focal range that I was using. I was primarily using it for wide angle use. Those are better wide angle lenses. The Mark ii is a beautiful lens and it has great uses. That’s why its replaced those two in my kit. If you are a Nikon user, another lovely alternative lens is the 14-24mm f/2.8. that’s it for the wide angle lenses.

Our second lens is the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. Nikon doesn’t have a 1.2 version of this lens, so the nearest Nikon equivalent is the 50mm f/1.4 G Nikkor. This lens is going to be our bread and butter lens for creating that super soft bokeh-liscious, shallow depth of field. It’s a great versatile focal length that we can use for semi-wide environmental portraits, as well as three-quarter portraits. I wouldn’t quite recommend this lens for going too close up. At least not for traditional close-up portraits because with this focal length, it can still have a bit of distortion at the edges of the lens. There are some much less expensive versions of this lens, including the f/1.4, which is around $400.00. The nifty-fifty, the f/1.8, which is, I think, around 100 bucks. They’re both great alternatives and both will provide a really nice look with that 50mm, super-soft bokeh in the back. Both those lenses are significantly less expensive than the 1.2 version.

Our third and final lens is the 70-200mm f/2.8L Mark II. The Nikon equivalent to this is the 70-200mm f/2.8 G Nikkor lens. This lens is going to be our bread and butter portrait lens. Why? Because it creates beautiful bokeh in the background. It’s amazing for isolating our subjects, for compressing and pulling up backgrounds. It’s really the best lens for candid natural imagery because we can focus in tight, and really place emphasis on our subjects and their expressions. Once again, other alternatives to this lens includes the mark i version, which is the one that I have right here, which is quite a bit cheaper currently than the mark ii. Another great alternative is the f/4 versions of these lenses. Although, the f/2.8 versions are going to give you a little more pleasing bokeh, and it’s going to give you a little bit better low-light flexibility.

Our last accessory is going to be our light modifier. It’s just going to be a simple Westcott photo basics 5-in-1 40″ reflector. Generally, I like to carry around two of these because I like to have one that’s prepped with the silver-black side, and also one that’s opened with the scrim, just so it’s ready on the go. We don’t have to do any zipping, unzipping while we’re out on the field.

As far as our bags, we carry everything within the Undfind 1 bag. This is a designer bag that we created ourselves to serve as a quick change lens back, while also looking stylish. Something that’s kind of important for us as wedding and even photographers, we feel like it looks very unprofessional to show up to a high-end venue carrying all your photography gear within a backpack. It doesn’t look that nice. This bag actually will hold two full-sized lenses. This is the 10-inch version. We also have a 13-inch version that holds 3 full-sized lenses and zips up. You can actually have different covers to basically accessorize based on your clothing, the event that you’re going to. This is the hounds tooth. We have leather and tons of other covers too.