Mitchell Stather

Hi! My name is Mitch, and I am a photographer from Brighton, a busy little city in the South of England.

In the past, my gear has been like my genres, all over the place. I started with Sony, I switched to Fujifilm, I switched back to Sony and now I have moved on again.

Whether that is going to be a permanent fixture, or not who knows!

The first camera I ever bought was a Sony NEX-5 in about 2010/2011. I remember seeing the advert on the TV and being amazed at the photos it could take while being so small. Were my photos like that? No not in the slightest. So I gave up fairly quickly and the camera gathered dust for another six years.

In about 2018 I decided to give it another go, although I couldn’t possibly use that old camera, how could I? So, I picked up its younger brother the Sony A6000, and this is where things kinda started. About a year later I picked up an A7ii, and then an A7Rii.

The A7Rii is fantastic, I am a strong believer that not everyone needs the latest and greatest and this had more features than I ever used (too many for me, but I’ll get onto that later). I have taken most of my favourite images using this particular camera.

Although the body is small the fast lenses I wanted were massive, which bothered me. I’ve been through a lot of lenses for Sony while experimenting, buying/selling almost monthly.

Because of its size, I decided to give the Fuji X-Pro 2 ago. This is a brilliant camera, but for me it just didn’t match the Sony, taking a lot of portraits at the time I had become so used to having a full-frame camera with the extra depth it can create, so I switched back.

Talking about the features of the Sony, I actually wanted less. I don’t use video and I don’t need trillions of autofocus points. I sold lenses because they missed focus in certain conditions, but I would never focus them manually as it’s an autofocus system, it should do it all itself, right?

So I sold everything that I had and made a decision my bank will never forgive me for, to buy a Leica. A camera that I had lusted over for quite some time, but just too pricey. Luckily, I got a killer deal on a used one, at least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

Cameras

Leica M10 – I love this thing! With no-frills, it forces me to slow down and think about what I’m doing rather than just using the ‘spray and pray’ approach assuming the photos are in focus because the camera should have done it.

Lenses

Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 – tiny, sharp, contrasty with horrendous flair control, but to me, that’s a positive.

7Artisans 50mm f1.1 – I have to admit I had no expectations at all for this lens when I bought it, mainly because of the price. Purchased as a bit of a stop-gap as I needed something longer than 35mm and this was really cheap. It’s very well built, a little soft and very dreamy at f1.1, and sharpens up really nicely past f2. It’s a great little lens that I can recommend, especially considering the price point.

Lights

Generic constant LED panels.

Bags/Straps

Wandrd Prvke 21L – I think that’s how you spell it but just a great bag that suits me and my gear.

Peak Design Leash strap – I am a massive fan of the Peak Design system. I hate having a strap on when shooting but hate having to either constantly hold or constantly put away the camera. I previously used their Capture Clip for when I begrudgingly had to walk somewhere and it was a game-changer but it just doesn’t work so well with the Leica.

Tripods

Manfrotto something or other, gathering dust in the corner.

Hardware & Software

MacBook pro-2017 – slow. Oh so slow. Photoshop is painful but I’m a real technophobe so have no idea how to fix it and make it work faster.

Lacie rugged hard drive.

Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

Final Words

I would like to thank the team at Shotkit for the invite to be featured. I’ve been a frequent visitor to the site for years (which certainly fuelled my GAS) and this opportunity is an absolute honour.

I think the realisation for me with photography was that unfortunately even after I had spent thousands of dollars on buying and selling gear to improve my work (I call this the NEX-5 effect) time spent behind the camera is the most important element to advancing your photography. Whatever camera you have, even if it’s a trusty iPhone, just use it to improve.

Another thing is finding a niche and sticking with it. Don’t be like me, swapping and changing as it can all get very confusing!

www.mitchellstather.co.uk | @mitchellstather

mark-shotkit

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