The gear I own that is shown here is only a fraction of what I use on jobs. When medium format is required I’m renting the entire kit, cameras, backs, lenses – I usually go with PhaseOne. For strobes, I use Profoto most of the time. I have a small kit that I expand with rented equipment specifically required for the job. Sometimes I also need to rent cameras or lenses for the 35mm system. I prefer renting over owning, especially when your work requires different equipment a lot of the time. However, the gear I own is key to my work and I know it inside out. Here it is:
Top left is the Fujifilm X-E2 with the Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens, which is 40mm full-frame equivalent. It’s a pancake lens which makes it a small and lightweight combo. This lens is on the camera a lot, followed by the ‘real’ fifty – well, equivalent to full-frame, the Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4. The most recent lens I got for the Fuji system is the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2, which translates into an 85mm on a full-frame. I got into Fuji with the original Fujifilm X100, then later got the Fujifilm X-Pro1, sold both and ended up with the Fujifilm X-E2. There are some nice lenses on the roadmap – which is by the way very cool of Fuji to let you know what’s coming up – it’ll help you plan your investments.
Let’s move on to the Nikon section. I’m a Nikon shooter from day 1. I still own the Nikon F5 for sentimental reasons or probably rather because selling it makes no sense. A few times a year I shoot the second Nikon film camera I still own, a Nikon FM, (both not pictured).
In the lower left corner is the workhorse camera, the Nikon D800 and three primes, Nikon 35mm f/1.4, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon 85mm f/1.4. I’m using the D800 a lot these days. By the time this article is published, I will have upgraded to the Nikon D810 which received the speed and focus updates this camera has been missing to be close to perfect for me.
(Editor’s note – Christian’s Nikon D810 review for Shotkit is here!)
While the Nikon D810 is an incredible camera for lifestyle, a camera with 9 frames per second or faster is hard to beat when shooting sports. In the lower right corner is my Nikon D3, which I use for personal projects or as a backup body when I’m shooting sports. My main camera for sports is a Nikon D4s. I rather rent this camera for specific jobs than owing it. For the price of the camera body you’ll get a lot of rental time. The main features I use this camera for are fast shooting and fast autofocus.
For sports, I also rather use zooms than primes. The bread and butter lens is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 tele. With only a second lens in your bag, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 – normal to wide angle, you’ll cover quite a range. Sometimes you want to go extreme wide angle with the Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye or to the other end and extend the tele with a 2x converter that will give you a 400mm lens at 200mm on the 70-200. Also pictured, although I very rarely use this lens, is a Nikon 85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt/shift, which I like for subtle effects.