Gear

Gear is in my experience and for most, if not all photographers, a long story. If you're here to know what I use now I'll get straight into it. If you'd like to know why I use what I use and why I don't think that it really matters, you can continue reading after the list.

On an average trip, I will have the following gear in my Bag.

Camera - 

Fujifilm GFX50s

Smallrig L-bracket

Tilt Adapter

 

Lenses

GF45-100mm

120mm

250mm

1.4 teleconverter 

Tripod

Gitzo Systematic Series 2 - GT2542LOS

FLM CB-48 FTR II

3 Batteries

Why I use the gear I use is as I wrote, a long, long story. If you have the time I'll take you through it, starting with the history.

My journey into photography started during a hike along the Pembrokeshire coastal path in 2011, the landscape was fascinating, and I took a lot of pictures, but I couldn't capture it in the way I wanted. Not wanting to miss these opportunities on the next hike, I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D5100.

I was very happy with this camera and the 2 lenses that I had with it if I remember correctly they were a18-55mm and a 55-200mm. I took so many images with these, but I was eventually tempted away by the Sony full-frame and mirrorless system.

I thought it would be lighter, it was advertised as such, but in hindsight, it really wasn't. Yes, the body was smaller than other full-frame cameras, but the lenses were slightly larger than the Nikon system as they are for a full-frame system. Also looking back at it now I can say that a system change to full-frame wasn't technically required, I was far away from being restricted by the capabilities of the Nikon 5100, but it did trigger something in me. There was something about the Sony system that just worked for me, it fit the way I wanted to take images and I believe that it helped me to advance a lot quicker than the Nikon D5100 would have done.

Apart from a short interlude with the Olympus OMD-EM1 MKII, I remained with the Sony A7 system for many years, all the way to the A7 mk3 as well as using an A6000. Although I absolutely loved the EM1, the size, the ergonomics and the adaptability. Unfortunately, there was something about the image quality that I couldn't get to work for me.

Then things changed.

In June 2018 I was invited to an event hosted by Fuji to show the GFX50s. From the very first moment I held this camera, it fit, it felt as if it belonged in my hand and it felt as if it was an extension of me, and the image quality was amazing. Although this was the case, I was still very happy with Sony and I felt that if I was to get another camera, then the pixel shift on the A7r would be equal to the quality of the GFX50s, and overall cheaper as I wouldn't need to buy new lenses. I decided to stick with Sony.

Two months later, I sold one of my Sony cameras, several lenses that I either rarely or were ones that I only used for landscape images and bought a GFX50s with a 32-64mm lens. I kept one Sony camera a wide-angle and the lens that I used most for wildlife images. 

My love of this camera grew and although there are limitations which I go into in several of my blog entries, the pros heavily outweigh the cons, and I have come to use this system for everything.

This journey has taught me one very important lesson, design and ergonomics are as important in my choice of gear as technical specification are. In fact, as most cameras today have equally excellent image quality, it probably more important. I've come to see that if you enjoy using a device, you will use it more.

I've gone through the same experience with tripods, tripod heads, camera bags, outdoor gear, filters and everything else I use.

I'm not saying that learning from what other people use is not valuable, of course it is, there is a reason that they chose their gear, but this is a personal choice based on their needs. Thinking that using the same gear as a photographer that you admire will make your images better, is wrong, it won't. Being comfortable with the gear that you use will.

Unfortunately, I think that this lesson can't be taught, it's one that has to be experienced. As you learn more about photography and find your main area of interest, your equipment needs will change. What suits your needs when starting out, will be very different further down the line.

 

After my experience, there is only one piece of advice that I think can make a difference. That is to not buy the cheaper option.

Other Gear

Gitzo Fluid Gimbal

Gitzo Series 4 Systematic

Tragopan V6 Hide

GF32-64mm - I plan on selling this lens as I favour the 45-100mm lens due to the OIS

GF23mm - I bought this due to the appeal of a wide-angle lens on the GFX. After studying my shooting style over the past couple of years, I now see that I do not need this lens, I prefer to shoot long, I very rarely shoot this wide. I plan to also sell this lens soon.