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  • Erik Weiss

What do I have in my bag?

One of the most common questions I get when people see my images is what type of gear I use to capture my images, so I thought I'd take a moment to describe some of the stuff I currently am using.


For the most part, I'm a Nikon shooter. While I started with a Canon Rebel T6 (a great starter camera!), I quickly outgrew it and wanted to find a high quality used camera that fit my budget at the time as a college student and offered higher resolution for larger prints. And I happened to stumble upon the Nikon D800 which offered an impressive 36 megapixels! I was sold and that became my first full frame camera. I've hauled that body around the US, Canada, Germany, Austria, and France photographing a number of different subjects and it still delivers awesome image quality despite being fairly old.


This summer, I splurged with my stimulus check to set myself up for more serious portrait work. One of the golden rules of photography is to always have a backup camera and I was in dire need of a quality second camera. So enter the Nikon D750. While it boasts less megapixels, it offers great low-light performance and can take more images in rapid succession, making it great for weddings where you can't afford to miss a shot!


The lenses I currently own and use are a Nikkor 24-120mm f/4, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, and lastly a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8.


The 24-120mm f/4 is my landscape workhorse and was my first lens for a full frame camera. So as you peruse my images, any daylight landscape was likely taken with this lens. However, the major shortcoming for this camera was that it's aperture is comparatively slow, meaning it doesn't take in as much light as either the 50mm or the 70-200.


Subsequently, my next lens became the Rokinon 14mm. By purchasing a lens with a wider focal length and a faster aperture, it allowed me to take the many milky way images you see on my profile. This lens is used almost exclusively for night sky photography and I'm thrilled with its performance for a budget (and by budget, I mean still $300+) full frame lens.


The next lens I acquired was the 50mm for increased quality in portrait work. I mentioned earlier that the 24-120mm had a slow aperture at f/4 (apertures usually range from around f/1.2 to f/22), this relatively high number also causes less bokeh or pleasing background blur. So by shifting to a lens with an aperture of f/1.8, it allowed me to separate people from the backgrounds to create more professional images. However, the 50mm does have one major weakness, it's a prime lens meaning it has no zoom.


For this reason, once I had finally saved up, I purchased the 70-200mm lens which has become my primary portrait lens when I'm shooting in variable conditions where I want to quickly change the composition. One added benefit of the extra zoom is being able maintain a little more distance between myself and my subjects for less awkwardness.


I also have various other equipment which helps me capture my images. I have several filters which include a variable neutral density filter and a circular polarizer as well. These, along with my tripod and remote shutter release allow me to take crisp long exposure images even in broad daylight.


The last piece of equipment that comes to my mind (although I'm sure I'm missing something), is an Akaso V50 Pro which is an off-brand GoPro. This camera is waterproof and was allowed me to capture the image of the Manatee and the wave image. While the image quality is definitely not the same as the full frame Nikons, I've loved the versatility it has provided for creativity.

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© 2020 by  Erik Weiss Photography