Like most photographers, Mike loves shiny new gear! Here is what he is currently using:
Leica M-P 240 (black paint)
I love the Leica M. I spend almost all day working on computers doing 3D animation so I decided I wanted a camera that took me back to basics and removed as many of the menu’s and digital feel of a digital camera. The Leica answered that for me. The build quality, size and look of the photos from this camera really speak to me. It is a joy to use and it’s all manual, which really slows me down and makes me think about the exposure and composition a lot more.
What can I say… this camera is just amazing. A huge hit for Leica, the Q is a fixed lens full frame camera with one of the best semi-wide angle lenses ever. At f/1.7 and sharper than my Mother-in-laws prickly personality, its the camera I grab on a day when I want great images with minimal fuss. It’s also the only camera my wife enjoys using, it gets out of the way, makes it fun to take photos and opens up great possibilities with the macro functions. Love it!
Fuji TX-1 XPAN
After getting a chance to play with this camera, and being totally blown away by the very unique field of view, I had to have one! I purchased mine a few years ago in Japan before the prices got even more out of hand. It creates such a cinematic image and couple with my renewed love of film, has fast become a favorite and constant companion on all travels.
Over the last few years I have become more and more interested in shooting film over digital. I love the look and the whole process from the shooting through to developing and scanning the images. I was poised to update my digital Leica M to the new M10, but instead decided to pair it with Leica’s latest film body. This has been such a great combo of digital and film mix whilst still being able to use all the same lenses and accessories.
Hasselblad 503cw & 80mm Planar f/2.8
They say once you shoot film the medium format bug will eventually bite and this very much happened to me. After scanning some old 120 film negatives of my Dad’s and his trip to Yoesmite almost 20 years ago, I was blown away by the detail, grain and overall look of this film. I had always loved the look of the Hasselblad and their waist level viewfinders and liked the idea of a totally different shooting experience from the rangefinder cameras I already had. This is one of those cameras that I will never part with.
Canon FTb with 50mm f1.7 lens
Inherited from my Grandfather, I received this old Canon film camera as a gift which I am only more recently rediscovering the fun of film. Similar to the Leica being all manual, but with a prism based focusing window instead of a rangefinder, I love the disconnection and surprise of getting the developed film back. Expect to see lots more photos from this camera as I play with different film types, developing and printing methods.
Leica 35mm Summilux 1.4 FLE lens
I’ve never been a big fan of zoom lenses, to me creativity comes from restrictions. The challenge of a fixed focal length is something that I really enjoy. The 35mm focal length is perfect for me, not too wide, but wide enough to capture the subjects surroundings, which suits my style of photography. A fast lens with shallow depth of field, while staying super sharp, is a signature of Leica that gives images a 3D pop and depth which I love. I use this lens about 70-80% of the time exclusively.
Leica 21mm Super Elmar lens
The Super Elmar lens is not overly fast at f3.4, but makes up for it with incredible sharpness from corner to corner. Very small and lightweight, it’s a great lens for both architecture and landscape photography which makes up most of my photo endeavours. Since the rangefinder on the Leica M does not support 21mm, I tend to use the EVF2 to help frame my shots.
Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0
A lens of pure magic, I purchased this used version 3 lens from the Leica Shop in Vienna in mint condition after wanting to pair the more modern look of the 35mm Summilux with something that would give me a totally different look. Many of my favorite images have been taken with the lens, the prints from it are stunning. At night its amazing, capturing so much light and during the day produces images that look like nothing else.
Leica 75mm Summicron f/2.0 APO
My most recent purchase, I wanted a lens with a little more reach. Paired with a 35mm, you have a two lens setup that covers everything for a day of photography. It’s taken me the longest to get used to framing wise, as a normally prefer wider lenses, but I love the color and sharpness of this lens and can’t wait to really put it through its paces and get to know it properly.
Canon 5Ds R
A reasonably new addition to my arsenal, this is a camera that is making a massive difference for me. Using 50mp gives me the ability to crop into images with the same quality of a normal 22mp camera. So shooting sport it’s effectively more zoom. For stock imagery, it makes for sharper images that pass critiquing. This is my go to camera for high quality imagery.
My workhorse for some 5 years, and now my backup camera. Solid and reliable, it does a great job being swung over my left shoulder walking thru crowded festivals.
How could I not include this? It was my first DSLR and a gift for our wedding from my beautiful wife. Rarely used now, except for a second shooter at weddings. It’s worth nothing on eBay, compared to how good it is in the hands of a good photographer. Plus obviously sentimental value.
– Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
– Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens
I love my primes. I’d like more in fact. It’s the simplicity of them as much as anything. The 50mm on a 5D with a grip has a beautiful balance and weight that makes you feel like you’re guaranteed a great shot. I’ve had some days travelling where I have forced myself to use this. One might think that you would end up missing shots, but for some reason I’ve never regretted it. Shooting around F2 in a busy Balinese St is great fun and very unobtrusive.
I have kept my 100mm for the rare occasion that I might end up in a butterfly house or I may want to shoot a flower. It’s useful to have around and is possibly the sharpest lens I own, especially when you nail the aperture and light.
– Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
– Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Lens
– Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
– Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
I am happy with my zoom lens collection, with the exception of a dedicated sports lens such as the excellent Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS. My Canon EF 100-400mm is a superb value zoom lens that does very well at sport in brighter light. I have taken this lens travelling and have been able to pick up wildlife in the distance beautifully and easily.
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L is my current favourite lens. It is the sharpest lens I have used and is quite stunning corner to corner for landscape photography. Shooting with this lens on Canon 5DsR is something to behold. A 1×1 crop contains a superb amount of detail that for some can make images look almost 3D.
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L is still my go to event lens. Low light, quick focus and sharp, it’s been my work horse for 8 years now.
Everyone should own a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. A supremely versatile and robust lens that is extremely sharp. I literally use this in some way for all genres of photography. Great for travel, great for sport, great for events. It is for portrait that I use it the most. A lovely zoom range and great bokeh with lots of sharpness in low light. What isn’t there to love?
I insist on using battery grips. I love the feel, the balance of the camera (especially with 50mm prime) and double battery life. What’s not to like?
– Manfrotto 190XProB
Sure I’ve lusted over carbon tripods for years but for some reason I’ve never bought one. This tripod is strong and sturdy. It compacts down to my suitcase and extends to my 188cm height. This tripod has literally been across the globe 10 times.
– Hoya Pro1D Polariser, ND 4 and UV filters
– Hitech 100 Filter System ND Grads
I don’t get too much into filters other than buy the best you can afford. I believe the cheap filters are poor and the expensive ones are a rip off. So find something in between. There is no point buying thousands of dollars of glass to then put poor filter in front and lose sharpness. I have never had issues with Hoya Pro1D filters.
– Canon 600EX II RT
– Canon 580 EX
– Cactus V5 Duo Wireless System
Flashes are hugely important so don’t compromise. They are workhorses. They need to be reliable and long lasting as they cost a lot. I use these two flashes for any corporate work.