Adrian Borda

Landscape | Last Updated: December 31, 2020

landscape photographer camera gear

Hi, my name is Adrian Borda. I’m a painter from Reghin, Romania, and I have a huge passion for photography. I started photography mostly to capture textures and subjects that I could use in my paintings, but it rapidly evolved into a passion of its own.

I’m not a purist by any means, one who thinks that what’s straight out of the camera is untouchable. Painting taught me that nature is just a starting point to make expressive and meaningful images. Maybe Photoshop is my most important tool. The camera and the lenses just help capture different focal lengths and depths of field.

My first camera was a Canon 550D, then upgraded to 60D. Then I had a huge bad luck with an old Canon 5D that had scratches on the sensor and focusing problems. A few months after I sold it, the shutter failed.

I travel and hike a lot, so due the small size, weight, dynamic range, and the revolutionary technology added, I was seduced by the Sony mirrorless. I have had NEX 5N, NEX-6, and A7. Soon I realized that the Sony lenses are too expensive, and there isn’t a mature second-hand market to buy affordable ones. Also, it is frustrating that the camera needs to be turned on every time you want to check the frame, so I returned to Canon, and bought a 5D Mark II. I don’t recommend shifting so much, because it is an expensive and frustrating process. Better decide what are your needs, and buy quality gear that will last.

My current kit is fairly simple. Usually I have 2-3 lenses with me, depending what I’m planning to shoot.

Canon 5D Mark II

Sigma 150-600mm F/5.0-6.3 Dg Os HSM Contemporary – my latest acquisition, it arrived today. After a few test shots I wonder how I survived until now with only 200mm! It’s huge and heavy, but the extra reach makes it worth carrying around.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM is one of the reasons I returned to Canon…yet after buying the Sigma 150-600 I feel that 200mm is not enough. Most of my photos are taken at the 200mm end.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is a nice one. Not the sharpest, but I believe was the best option for the price.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM was the biggest disappointment so far, due the inconsistent focus. So many out of focus shots that it is almost unusable, but maybe I just have a bad copy. When I was on Sony mirrorless, I used a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 for portraits, and thanks to the fact that I was able to magnify the image on the electronic viewfinder, the focus was very precise.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM a huge improvement from the previous versions, incredibly sharp, I use it mostly for portraits and macro photography combined with the macro tubes.

Samyang 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye is a superb lens, but I rarely take it with me.

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro is always in my bag, so small, compact, and versatile due the macro capability. So sad that other manufacturers don’t add a macro option to ultrawide lenses. Is a totally new territory, offering such interesting new perspectives, and being able to integrate the subject in the scene. Yet even if it has a shallow depth of field, you still need to focus stack around 10 photos.

Macro extension tubes, 2 sets
Macro slider

Canon 430EX II Speedlite
Nissin Di700A

ND and CPL filters – I use them rarely, and didn’t invested in best quality due the high price.
Replacement batteries

USB OTG cable – my body doesn’t have wireless or a tilting screen, so I use it to view on the phone when the camera is on the ground, or other places where I cannot see the screen.

Slik Mini GM II Tripod – essential for landscape photography, this one is very small and light.

Inside Adrian’s camera bag:

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