Interview with Jay Cassario

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If there’s one guy who has an interesting photography gear setup, it’s wedding photographer Jay Cassario. As a photography gear reviewer for both SLR Lounge and Shotkit, he gets his hands on all the latest gear, and it seems that a lot of that gear winds up eventually in his own camera bag!

Jay’s been doing great reviews for Shotkit for a while now, (ONA Astoria, Nikon 58mm f/1.4, Nikon Df, Sony a7ii)  so I thought it was about time to get to know him a bit better via an interview.

This year will be an exciting one for Jay, embarking on a merger in his photography business amongst other things, so we chat a little about what this entails and the challenges that lie ahead. For anyone starting out in wedding photography, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.

The majority of the interview is to do with photography gear, a subject that we are both passionate about. We talk about the varied cameras and lenses he used to shoot his portfolio images, then focus on Jay’s latest toy – the full frame, mirrorless Sony a7ii camera.

Due to the current lack of Sony prime lenses, Jay chooses to shoot the a7ii with Leica lenses, producing some amazing results. We discuss why Jay thinks the Sony a7ii used in conjunction with Leica glass is such a great combination for his style of photography.

I hope you enjoy the interview. If you have any questions at all, leave us a comment below and I’m sure Jay will be more than happy to help. If you’d like to read more about Jay’s kit, check out his Shotkit submission here.

Inside Jay’s camera bag:

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  1. Jay Cassario on May 3, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    John, I haven’t tried the 35mm1.4 or the 55mm1.8, only because those are focal lengths that I currently already own for the Sony in Leica lenses. So far I have only tested lenses that I have personally been interested in. The new Batis lenses on the other hand are a different story since they will be releasing an 85mm f/1.8 right off the bat, a focal length that could use and would love to have in my bag as an option. I received an email last week from Zeiss that they will be shipping me one at the end of May for me to test, looking forward to that one.

  2. John on April 30, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for sharing. It’s definitely interesting to see how you’re using the strengths of each camera/lens combination that you use.
    I’m interested to see your thoughts on some of the Zeiss primes that are specifically made for the a7 series…the 35mm 1.4, the 55mm 1.8, and the new ones recently released under (yet another) new name: batis.

  3. David Olsthoorn on April 29, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Awesome Mark.. Really enjoyed this one! Thank you!
    Irish Dave..

  4. Jay Cassario on April 29, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Joel, thanks for watching the interview and for following my reviews, I appreciate it. My post processing style is very similar for all of my work, no matter what I shot it each image with, and that is from years of tweaking to get it where I wanted it to be. When I say that the colors are better from Canon and Leica, etc, it is easier for me to get those images to the end result than it is for me with Nikon. Its also the flare of the 50L that I love when shot on my 5D Mark3, and the extremely unique flare of my Leica M9 and 50mm Summilux, something that I cant get with Nikon lenses. So even though the color you see in my end result is the same across the board, it needs to be, I don’t want all my images looking different and it being noticeable that I shoot with tons of different gear. That is actually the tough part, taking a wedding or shoot when using 4 different systems and getting uniformity across the board, but its gotten to be an easy task. In regards to your last question, at this point, there is still a need to autofocus during fast paced events where taking the time to manually focus isnt there. Right now, the DSLR still has the total package, so I dont see the DSLR going away anytime soon. But, with that being said, if Sony keeps at their current pace, releases some killer lenses to go along with their A7 series mirrorless bodies, and delivers us an AF system that is as good or better than Nikon’s…there will no longer be a need for the DSLR, at least for photographers like myself. I cant speak for everyone.

  5. joel on April 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

    First of all great interview and I really find Jay’s reviews helpful both here and on SLR Lounge. My question is in regards to shooting with so many different systems. You mention how each system has different things you enjoy, skin tones on Canon, color of Leica, dynamic range of Nikon, etc… but at the same time, your post processing style is very distinct and cohesive. So does it really matter which system you use to shoot with when in the end they’re all going to have your own unique look when your product is ultimately delivered?

    Also, do you feel you’re getting close to the point where you won’t need DSLRs?

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