The Essential Photo Kit?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Andrew Boyd, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Andrew Boyd

    Andrew Boyd TPF Noob!

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    Can you make a list of what you consider to be your essential photo equipment? The gear you really couldn't live/shoot without? I made such a list and it's interesting to see what ends up on it....I found it really helped me think about what is essential, what's nice to have but maybe not completely needed. What would be on your list?

    Andrew
    The Discerning Photographer
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm still working on building my essentail photographic kit - I have some big gaps in my current setup. However I have also come to the conclusion that I can't simply make up a standard basics kit that easily - partially as I have such a wide range of interests that require very different lenses to achive good results in (unless I cave in and go for a two lens superzoom setup).

    So what I consider essential changes depending on my mood and what I expect to photograph when I go out.

    If it a macro day I would strip down to:
    MPE65mm macro
    Sigma 150mm macro (changed to the sigma 70mm macro if I wanted to travel really light)
    sigma 1.4 teleconveter
    580EX2 flash with lumiquest softbox + offcamera flash cord and flash bracket (I would change this to the canon twinflash if I had it)
    Canon 400D

    Tripod might or might not be added depending on my mood and if I have a set theme in mind - flowers and fungie then probably yes - if more insect minded probably not
    Tripod would be Manfrotto 055XPROB with Manfrotto Junior Geared head

    I could also probably add a lot of other little things to that setup like circular polarizers, reflectors and clamps but the above would be the bare basics.


    If its a wildlife day where macro is the backup/secondary:
    Don't really have the lens for it yet.....
    Currently 70-200mm f2.8 IS L + 1.4 teleconverter (canon)
    I'd probably throw the 2*TC in for fun as well
    Canon 400D
    Canon 580EX2

    I would really change the above a lot in terms of lenses if I had them to hand - a superzoom like a 50-500mm OS/100-400mm for a light walkaround whilst something like a 300mm f2.8 IS L + teleconverters for a more serious walk around setup. With longer glass I would also add in a monopod for stability and better beamer for the flash.

    If its a day with family I'd probably strip down to the 24-105mm f4 (also another lens I have yet to get)

    ps I'd throw an OPTech rain cover in my pocket with all those setups - just incase! Plus if I'm out I'd probably bring a lot of other thingies with me not directly photography relaited (poncho, food, water etc)
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Camera w/Lens
    Battery (charged)
    Memory Card

    Absolute minimum, disposable camera. :)
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was thinking the same thing... Essential for what? a job? wedding? or just to create an image?

    99.99% sure that 2 cameras is not needed to create an photo. In fact, there are cases when that much equipment actually gets in the way.
     
  5. Really, minimum for what?

    The way I shoot now, the minimum is:

    1 FF Canon body
    70-200 f/2.8
    2 Profoto D1 heads, one beauty dish, one big softbox
    D1 Air trigger
    A model with some clothing (to be removed in stages)

    Memory cards and relevant battery / power-sources are a given.
     
  6. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I am not at this long, and I have seen some images on this and other sites that have caught my eye...hence my interest.

    I will continue shooting what I have been shooting, with some jumping into those other areas to see what is what.

    So, I cannot even think of what equipment I may or may not set myself up with. I am one who easily has a hole burned in my pocket when money is placed in it for more than a moment. :mrgreen:
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's my list:

    - SLR body w/ shake reduction
    - 28-80 equiv. lens
    - 50-200 equiv. kit lens
    - 50mm f/2
    - A good bag
    - A good full height collapsible tripod
    - A good pocket-size tripod (Bogen makes a good one for $40)
    - Spare memory card
    - Two spare sets of batteries/packs
    - High quality bounce flash
    - High quality point & shoot camera
    - Microfiber lens cloth
    - Computer & software for post-processing. (I use a Macbook Pro and iPhoto)

    This is a good, affordable kit that can do most things well. Nature or sports photographers will want a long, fast, telephoto. Architecture photographers will want a PC lens. Bug & flower photographers will want a macro lens.
     
  8. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Worth pointing out is the caliber of photos that can be had from a simple 35mm rangefinder camera and zero accessories. Check out the galleries at rangefinderforum.com for inspiration. Works for me!
     
  9. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends on what you need it for.

    Personal use:
    camera, flash, lens, batteries, cards, DONE.

    Weddings:
    2bodies, 2-3 lenses, 2 flashes, batteries, cards, radios for strobes, pc-cords, strobe lights, umbrellas, lightstands, latter, posing stool/latter, posing cloth, pen, contract, job card, copy of insurance policy, did I miss anything?
     
  10. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just read your list Andrew.

    That is a serious kit. I would argue that two bodies are not necessary for those of us who are not making our living through photography. Ditto with the fast glass. It is nice to have, but unnecessary most of the time, except for pros.

    The tripod, I think most of us would do well with a $50 Slik collapsible tripod. I've been using one for years with great success. To me, the main features are: sturdiness, light weight, comes up to eye height, detachable base plates.

    Your kit would require a huge loan or a huge amount of time to come up with that kit.

    I'm not sure, but I bet at least 75% of us are just hobbyists, with the occasional inkling to make money from it.
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    2x 1Dmk2 1x 1Dmk1(remote camera when needed), 5D if shooting bands 300F2.8/70-200F4/50F1.4/1.4x/ 2x/ 580ex/ monopod/ tripod / remote camera trigger/ batteries and cards
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How do you ever fit the model in your camera bag? I guess sans clothing helps .. a little..
     

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