The Eleven 11 Standard Equipment List
This will be my shortest blog ever. I get a lot of questions about what equipment we use and why so I figured I'd make a standard equipment list and then I can easily send that along when asked for it. This list will go into just enough detail, because I don't want to overwhelm anyone. If I had to mention every single doodad and whohah we own this would take forever.
This list is specific to items we use for weddings. I've left the purely commercial focused equipment off because it never even gets taken to a wedding. The italicized items are backup items. And typically whenever you see a quantity more than two some of those are backup
I guess we should start with the big guns, cameras.
Three (3) Canon 5D Mark III
One (1) Canon 5D Mark IV
Camera wise I'm a Canon guy. I can't tell you that I think Canon is better than Nikon, or Sony or Panasonic; In fact I'd tell you Canon and Nikon are probably about the same. Maybe Sony is a touch behind those two. I'm just used to Canon because thats what I learned on. For me I still use my Mark IIIs as my main camera simply because I can adjust that camera to the picture I want in total darkness with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. I won't move my 5D Mark IV's up to frontline cameras until I have two of them and I've taken the time to get beyond comfortable with them. But that's just me.
Besides the improvements in the Mark IV are mainbly video based and I only shoot pictures.
Two (2) 24-70mm f2.8 (one backup)
Two (2) 70-200mm f2.8 (one backup)
One (1) 85mm f1.2
Two (2) 90mm macro f2.8 (one backup)
One (!) 150mm-600mm F5.0-6.3
The 24-70mm and the 70-200mm are my main workhorses.
I'll take a second to address the fact that for sharpness prime lenses are petter than zoom lenses. Thats just a fact. However in an environment where you don't have a lot of time to get the shot AND you want to be able to get that shot yet not be so close that you become part of the shot zoom lenses are far superior.
I also want to address the fact that with very few exceptions lenses with variable apertures are trash. They aren't suitable for professional work. And the 150mm-600mm can be one of those exceptions. Emphasis on CAN BE. I originally bought this lens to shoot my daughters track and fields events. If your kids do track and field you know it's an incredibly long day. Because of that I shoot thousands of pictures on track days and I've had an opportunity to find this lens has real sharpness from F5.0 to F8 through it's entire length. So if you want a really sharp long range lens so for example you can stand on one side of a lake and shoot a loving couple on the other side of the lake this is your lens.
Anyway as I said my 24-70mm and 70-200mm do the majority of the work. I take probably 90% of the pictures with those lenses. The 85mm makes for great bridal portraits with a unique feel and the 90mm is just for detail work. Ring pictures, cake shots, flowers, that kind of stuff.
Six (6) Profoto B2 250 Air TTL heads (four backup)
Three (3) Profoto B2 Packs (one backup)
Six (6) Profoto B2 batteries (three backup)
Two (2) Profoto B1 500 Air Heads
Four (4) B1 batteries
Three Profoto TTL-C Air Remotes (one backup)
26 Profoto modifiers
I love Profoto lights. I absolutely love them. They have 7 stops of dynamic range, can be controlled via TTL or air remote and each stop has 10 steps in it. You can light anything, anyway you want with these babies. I use the B2s as my main lights for weddings. The B1's I bring as back ups and because every once in a while you need a bigger, more powerful light for a shot. I used to use the A1 in shots in the church if they allow flash during the ceremony and I used it to easily move through the crowd during the party part of the reception. But I'm in a transition period where I'm just using my B! on a bracket. We'll see if I revert.
I also bring about 8 modifiers (softboxes, umbrellas etc) I own about 30. Which ones I bring come down to what the space is like, how big the wedding party is etc. And I bring a fan and a small personal generator for the fan so I can create my own breeze. But all the extra little things would be difficult to list here so I don’t.
So I think that gives you everything you need to know about my equipment. See you next week.