Emin Kuliyev

I decided to update my old Shotkit from June 2014 because I’ve completely switched from a Canon-Nikon system to the Sony Alpha 7 series.

Now I have the Sony A7R II, Sony A7 II and Sony A7 (converted to infrared).

Why did I do it? Here are my reasons:

1) I can see exactly in the electronic viewfinder what I finally get (I can control for 100% white balance, over or under exposure)

2) I can see in black and white when I shoot in black and white – (RAW + Jpeg). I also have two versions of the photo to choose from, one in color and one in black and white.

3) Small and light weight (especially with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 and Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lenses)

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4) I can grab a still from the video file in 4K (on a Sony A7R II) (All examples above I took from the video file. They are not pictures, they are stills from the video!).

5) Cost lower that Canon-Nikon (especially for Sony A7 and Sony A7 II).

6) Now (Finally) I can use lenses with bayonet M (Leica).

7) I can shoot freelensing (holding lens in my hand not attaching to the camera) and get a tilt effect.

8) I can use any projection (or any other camera system created on this planet for the last 150 years).

9) Sony A7 II and Sony A7R II have image stabilizer in camera and it really works especially on a lens longer than 85mm.

Why do I have so many lenses on my Shotkit?

I use my lenses as brushes. Every lens has its own bokeh and character. I choose one depending on the situation and my mood.

Why do I use so much yellow sticky tape on the lenses?

These are projection lenses without any mount. With sticky tape and metal rings, I’ve adapted them to a Canon or Sony bayonet, then I use them with a helicoid adapter for smooth focusing (on a Sony A7 it works very well because it has a focus peaking (with 3 levels).

So  I can be focusing manually faster than in an autofocusing mode!

When I shoot video I use only lenses with autofocus because it’s easier to catch my subject, especially if they move.

When I shoot photo I do it only in manual focus mode because it’s easy to control the whole frame if somebody is in the corner and I want to focus on that subject – with manual focus mode and focus peaking, it’s very easy to do.

I switch to photo mode only when I shoot portraits or when my subject stays still. Then when I shoot a moving subject, I switch to video mode.

Cameras:
Sony A7 II
Sony A7R II

Lenses:
Canon 85mm f/1.2 II
Nikon 58mm f/1.4
Helicoid macro Adapter from Nikon  EF to Sony E
Helicoid macro Adapter from Canon EF to Sony E
Helicoid macro Adapter from Leica M to Sony E
Teachart adapter from Canon EF to Sony E
Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8
Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2
Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 II
Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8
Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 III
Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 II
Voigtlander 40mm f/1.4
Canon 50mm f/1.2 Rangefinder
Jupiter 3 50mm f/1.5
Canon 35mm f/3.2 Rangefinder

Sony FE bayonet:
Zeiss 35mm f/1.4
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2
Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8
Sony 10-18mm f/4 for E bayonet but it works on a full frame from 12mm to 16mm
Zeiss 135mm ZF2 f/2
Industar 22 50mm f/3.5 (Leica copy)
Lensbaby with sweet 35

Ricoh theta M15
Sony action camera FDR-X1000V with 4K
Wired remote control with extender for Sony
Yongnuo YN560 III Flash with transmitter

 

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Projection Lenses:
Leitz 90mm f/2.5
Russian lenses 120mm f/1.8, 140mm f/1.8, 160mm f/2
Visionar 109mm f/1.6
Kipronar 70mm f/1.4
Super Kiptar 110mm f/1.7
Schneider kreuznach 80mm f/2
WOLLENSAK 44mm f/3.2
Petzval lens 135mm f/4
Bausch & Lomb 1891(125 years old) 160mm f/8
Hektor 85mm f/2.5
Emil Busch NEOKINO 90mm

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Inside Emin’s camera bag:

 

2014

Shotkit_Emin_Kuliyev_12

I got the first camera in my life when I was 30 years old. Before that day I never had any experience with any kind of photography. For the last 10 years I’ve been shooting only weddings and engagement sessions.

I think that equipment is very important but a photographer must imagine the whole scene of shooting in his mind before taking anything from his bag. Before starting, I estimate what time I have to shoot, what the distance to my subject is and what time I have to play with different angles and lights.

I’m always trying to imagine my result before I press the shutter button – even if I shoot in a photojournalistic style without contact with my models, I estimate time, distance, light and the behaviour of people in particular situations. I shoot a lot of pictures during the day (sometimes more than 10,000 during 12-14 hours). Most of them are out of focus or don’t have good composition and framing because usually I’m not looking through the viewfinder and shoot holding the camera over my head or from the floor.

I try to imagine the whole scene in my mind and go to wherever it is possible to catch people’s emotions or a good interesting source of light.

I like to use any source of light and any reflection which I can find around, and in addition, I bring some of my filters and other glass things (see above). I collect any piece of glass with an interesting reflection and use creative filters from Cokin.

I have two camera brands Nikon and Canon. My first camera was Canon and till 2008 I shot only Canon. Then, when the Nikon D3 came out in 2008, I decided to try it. At that time, the Nikon D3 had a better ISO performance and so I decided to keep both brands.

Today I can notice the difference between these two brands – some cameras can focus in the dark better than the other. For the last 6 years I know almost every single aspects about each brand, I know which will focus faster in which light condition, by combining one cameras with another lens.

I have a few bags with my equipment and I bring everything to each wedding. For me lenses are like brushes for a painter. Depending on my mood and situation, I will shoot on manual focus with a Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 or on a Nikon 58mm f/1.4.

List of my gear:

Cameras

Nikon D3s, Nikon D4, Nikon D800E, Canon 1DX, Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 5D converted to Infrared, Sony NEX 5N with Canon tilt adapter.

Lenses

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikon 24mm f/1.4, Nikon 58mm f/1.4, Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G, Nikon 70-200mm VR2 f/2.8

Canon 8-15mm f/4, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 II, Canon 24mm f/1.4 II, Canon 35mm f/1.4, Canon 50mm f/1.2, Canon 85mm f/1.2 II, Canon 100mm f/2.8, Canon 135mm f/2, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 IICanon 50mm f/2.5 macro

Sigma 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 20mm f/1.8, Sigma 24mm f/1.8, Sigma 28mm f/1.8, Sigma 35mm f/1.4

Lensbaby LBO35 Sweet 35, Lensbaby Double Glass Optic, Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic, Lensbaby Macro Converters

Manual lenses: Trioplan 100mm f/2.8, Primoplan 58mm f/1.8, Olympus Zuiko 55mm f/1.2, Zeiss 50mm f/1.4, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2

Every time I try to use a different lens because I want to give my mind some exercise,
I don’t want to stick with some favorite focusing distance and angles but at the same time I use a logic,
if I don’t have time and space I will use a flashlight with a zoom lens like 16-35mm or 24-70mm
but when a have a chance to switch my lenses I will do it.

I feel like I’m painting with a light. I can shoot the whole event with one or two lenses, without any inconvenience because I know how to manage my time and space.

www.em34.com

Inside Emin’s camera bag in 2014:

PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK