Three years ago I bought a SONY a 7 II and with it my addiction for gear has started. In the beginning I used to shoot with manual lenses from Minolta (with an MD MC adapter) because I couldn’t afford any other lenses. I still don’t thousands of €’s for lenses but I now do appreciate what a good lens does and set priorities on how I spend my money. A fast, good lens is more important than the camera you shoot with (said a teacher in the first day of my photography class I’m not attending). You want to start photography and need a camera for a reasonable price? Read my article on equipment for beginners.
Since some years I’m in a happy relationship or should I call this a partnership (?) with my Sony a 7 II. We’re super buddies, no joke. I used to have a Sony a 55 before so I’m a super Sony fan since quite a while.
Going full frame and mirrorless was the perfect choice for me. I love that this camera body is so small and light weight, which makes it perfect for traveling. The 35 mm sensor finally allowed me to create that depth of field in my photos (I was always wondering how all those photos with blurry background I used to save on my Pinterest were made). BIG sensor = greater depth of field!
After two years of shooting with Minolta lenses, which work only manually I decided to go for SONY native lenses which cost loads but the expensive camera with shitty lenses (they totally did a great work in the beginning but they can’t beat the new lenses which are now available) was not an option for me anymore.
I bought lenses, tried them and sold them after one week. One of these lenses was the Sigma 24-105 mm F 4 (with an MC-11 Adapter) and the SAMYANG 14 mm F 2.8 I used a lot for Astrophotography. Great lenses but I have to admit I prefer fixed lenses over zoom lenses because they allow me to create that blurry effect I like, also I now prefer a lens which works with Autofocus as well.
The 85 mm is a portrait lens – I currently use it for festival photography. It does a great job and the 85 mm are a great focal length for capturing people in natural moments without getting to close (getting too close always distracts people and their reaction changes but I’m too shy for it anyway).
Wide angle | Landscape, Streetstyle, Interior
The 28 mm is my current ‚always on the camera‘ lens (most phones have a focal length of 28 mm.) I bought it months ago because a friend recommended it to me (before that I was never considering it) and I love it! The 28 mm give every shot a urban look and besides that I love that it’s super small and light weight with the camera – always on!
Classic | Reportage, Travel, Landscape
The 35 mm F 1.4 is the fastest lens I own at the moment. The quality is extremely good and it’s field of work is very versatile. It’s a bit big on my SONY a 7 II therefore I mostly use it for client work.
This is the newest gadget in the Gypsee tribe. It was my birthday gift from me to myself, haha … Because I want to do more video but somehow I don’t like to film with my camera when I’m traveling I got the DJI Osmo Pocket. It’s super small and the video quality in 4 K is (for my needs) ideal.
Memory cards & Batteries
I have several SD memory cards with different memory capacities (64 GB and 128 GB). I mostly have them in my camera bag, worst thing that can happen while shooting is to have a full memory card!
First things first: the battery life of my camera sucks! I have eight batteries which I have to change in very little distance. Three SONY original batteries and the rest are cheap alternatives which work fine but the quality is still not as good as the original ones.
When I’m photographing at night at Festivals I always have my video light with me/ on the camera. I don’t like to use flash (I still have to sometimes) and the light is a great alternative to create more light in the scene.
Does one ever find the perfect camera backpack? I currently use the evecase bag, it’s quite nice and the gear is safe but I’m still not 100 % satisfied with how handy it is for traveling (I like to travel only with hand luggage where everything finds it’s place). Time will come when I can afford a WANDRD backpack, check them out in case you don’t know them!
Laptop & Hardware for editing
Ladies and gentleman, this rad thing here deserves special attention. When I got it for my birthday I did not even know this existed. Loupedeck + is a huuuuge help in editing photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. It makes work so much easier and faster. I could not live without it anymore!
Side note: If you calculate all prices together and see how expensive photography is you may rethink before asking a photographer taking photos of you for free 🙂