People often ask me, what kind of equipment I use for my photos. My usual answer starts with: "taking a good photo is not just depending on having expensive equipment at hand!" A good picture is usually the result of different factors. At least one third of the quality of a picture depends on the photographer's eye and the mental and technical planning of his shot. Another third of the fineness of a picture, that will be looked at for more than just a second, depends on your skills in post-production. And just the last third might actually be affected by the equipment used for the shot.
Nevertheless, in this section of my homepage, I will show you most of my current equipment, split up into the following sections:
Why showing off your equipment?
You might ask yourself, why I am doing this. Well, I would probably explain it like that: As an ambitioned hobby-photographer, you will not just go to the next shop, look around and buy what looks nice on first sight. Usually the things you 'need' are quite expensive and therefore you will have to take your time, do some research, check your account's balance and then order - or wait until you have the needed money. :)
Research is sometimes quite hard, especially because you can find many oh so positive reviews on every new technical item available in the depths of the internet, but in the end, these reviews are also part of selling strategies and almost every review tells you to buy the tested product, if it fits your needs... haha. Exactly that leaves you almost always alone with the questions a) what you ‘really need’ and b) what would fit nicely together with the other gear you already have.
In my opinion, taking buying decisions gets much easier, when there are other photographers I can compare with, who had similar ideas and ambitions before and who shared their thoughts and decisions with others on their websites or in public forums. By showing their combination of equipment, they let me check if my own thoughts were right. When you’re lucky, you can even learn from other people’s mistakes with this kind of cross-checking and it will prevent you from spending big money for equipment that won’t fit together. On the other hand you might also find other people, who came to the same conclusions like you and this will give you the certainty of doing the right thing. I thank all the people out there, who show off their combination of equipment and I want to do the same thing here. Possibly this might help you…?
If you want, you can just click on one of the links up there and check out my gear, if you want to know more about my photographer’s history first, feel free to read the article below.
My photographic background
When I was 16, I bought my first SLR, a Minolta Dynax 8000i, which I mainly used for shooting slides. Later I additionally bought Photo-CD's while developing my slides, so I started to have digital photos.
My first 'real' digital camera was a Minolta Dimage 7i which I bought in 2002. Unfortunately the batteries were not really powerful or maybe the camera simply used up too much energy, I was able to shoot 15-20 photos before I had to recharge the battery for hours... I could not take more than 36 slides, which was less than before when I had to change the film roll after 36 slides with the analog camera. But the pictures were digital and so I did not need to wait to have them developed, in fact all was good for the moment :-)
Two years later, in summer 2004, I had the necessary funds for the next big step. I guess that was the moment when I decided to become a Nikonian rather than a Canonian. I wouldn’t say that this decision was really one about a future with Nikon or Canon at that time. I simply bought what was within my budget and what seemed to be a good choice at the time. And wow, what an improvement, my brand new Nikon D70!
In winter 2009 my car was broken up and parts of my D70 equipment were stolen. This was just days before I was planning to leave for a holiday and I had to take a quick decision on what camera to bring with me. I went to the shops and everyone was talking about Micro Four-Thirds instead of DSLRs. I was shown the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1, she looked sturdy, compact, ready for a nice holiday and smaller than what I was used to have before. I thought that I would be able to carry her around much easier and more often than my D70, just because of the convenient weight and size. I bought it without much further thinking and went off on my Christmas' holiday.
The Lumix GF1 was a nice camera. The HD-video feature was nice and new to me and even without the DSLR features, I was able to exchange my lenses and use either my 20mm pancake or my tele-zoom. And compared to my 6 years old D70, the Lumix picture quality was another big improvement. But either way the GF1 was not able to give me full satisfaction. First of all it was not a DSLR and also the smartphone cameras got so much better and all of a sudden my iPhone was able to deliver almost the same image quality as my ‘big’ camera. To be honest: my smartphone offered more custom settings and filters within the apps... In 2011 my iPhone4 became good enough to fully serve as a point-and-shoot camera on holidays and for the everyday use. The GF1 got more and more obsolete. But I still wanted to have something more. I wanted to improve in shooting better photos and make videos to show and share with others to look at.
So in spring 2012 Nikon got me back and meanwhile (April 2014) both of my Nikon D800's count more than 120’000 shutter releases altogether… And there will be many more, hopefully. Right now I am more than satisfied with these "beasts" of cameras!
Thanks for reading and now have fun checking out my camera gear! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me using the contact form!