The Photo Gear I Own and Use!
I have had many requests to add a page that lists all of the gear I own and use, and why I chose a particular camera or lens. So, here it is! A complete listing of what camera gear I own and use on a daily basis. When and if it changes, I will change it here. I will also list my bag, computers, hard drives, and anything photo related that I use in my daily shooting adventures! Can one man own too many cameras? NEVER!
But remember, I run a review site and my gear changes often as I have to keep up with the times, it is what I do. If I did not run this blog I would probably still only be shooting my M9 and 50 Lux. :) But just because I buy a camera and add it to this list does not mean it will be with me for years. I only reserve that for my #1 spot which is always the Leica M. The #2 and on cameras are always rotated in and out after 6-12 months as this is how it has to be done when running a review site such as this.
The Leica M-P
The M 240..already a classic in my opinion. It’s such a fantastic camera and honestly..it is indeed a better camera than the M9/M-E…well, FOR ME it is. I know many prefer the M9, and that is 100% cool as the M9 is legendary and has a way of rendering images that the M 240 can not. But I have grown quite fond of the Leica M, and now have graduated from the M 240 to the new M-P. What’s the difference? Not much. Cosmetics..the M-P does away with the blaring huge red dot that is on the M 240. It also coats the camera in black paint and provides a 2GB buffer (vs 1GB of the M 240). We also get Sapphire glass for the LCD (The M uses Gorilla Glass, which is NOT scratch proof, not even close) which is what Leica says makes the camera more expensive than the standard M.
I usually stray from my Leica 1-2X per year. I take a break and use other cameras but I ALWAYS come back to Leica. Always.
Thanks to Ken Hansen as always. He is the one I bought my M-P and Monochrom from. You can e-mail him at [email protected]
The Leica Monochrom - Chrome
The Leica Monochrom. For the third time in life it is back in my hands. I had one when they came out and adored it. Then the M 240 arrived and I said “I don’t need no stink in’ Monochrom”! Then a few months later I said “Damn, I miss my Mono”! So I bought another. Many months go by and I was falling harder and harder for the M240 and even another Sony camera as well as Olympus! I then said..”WHAT AM I DOING”? Why do I need a B&W camera was what was going through my head, especially one that costs a small fortune? I sold it. A year goes by and the Ralph Gibson version comes out and sells out within an hour. In chrome it just has a beauty about it. I then realize, the MM is timeless. I loved and adored it for a reason. It was a classic the day it was announced.
I broke down and promised myself…”this time, keep it for the long haul” and use it when you get the MM itch. In silver chrome it is one of the most beautiful digital cameras I have ever laid my hands on, if not the most beautiful. Some of my closest friends own this one and they would never ever sell it. Some own more than one. I know why and have I learned my lesson? We shall see, but all I know is that for me the MM stands for more than just B&W, it is pure photography - or photography in its purest form. A classic and a beauty, and for some, worth the outrageous costs.
Thanks to Ken Hansen for my MM in chrome. You can email him at [email protected] for a price quote if you are interested, he will treat you right. I stake my reputation on it.
Lenses I use with my M? Zeiss 50 Planar f/2, Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton ASPH, Leica 50 APO, Voigtlander 15 (for the MM) and a variety of vintage lenses. I am a 50mm fan so that is my goto FL on the M series.
The Sony A7s
MY NEW #1. Yep, for the 1st time ever in 5 years a camera has come along to replace my Leica M for my daily shooter, or the camera I grab 1st when heading out.
My AF/Super Low Light workhorse and all around crazy versatile camera: The Sony A7s is a revolutionary camera in so many ways. With many companies just releasing evolutionary cameras, Sony comes along and offers something that is so outstanding in so many ways, it really threw me off. The sensor in this camera, while only 12MP, is quite special. It has the ability to shoot in any light imaginable. It will also focus in almost complete darkness. Like a cat eye, the camera is a king of the night. It is also mighty fine for daytime work, and will fill the needs of 99.5% of those out there. If you want super high res, or shoot detailed landscapes or need super high res for magazine work then look elsewhere (A7r, or DSLR). For everyone else this camera can do things no other can do. The size is small, the build is superb and the performance is outstanding. New lenses are on the way for 2014 and 2015 which will only strengthen this camera. Leica M fans? You now have a body to use for your Leica glass as even most wide angles will work well with the A7s. I recommend this adapter at cameraquest for your Leica M glass. It’s a win/win. I use Leica out of passion and love of the brand, the design and the function/form/feel and IQ. There are times when the Leica M doesn’t work well (near darkness or close focus or when AF is needed) and the A7s is the perfect 2nd camera to the Leica, and it can also use those Leica M lenses!
LENSES: I shoot the A7s with the Sony/Zeiss 35 2.8 and 55 1.8 as well as the Voigtlander 15 4.5. FOR ME, the Sony A7s is one hell of a camera that has excelled in any situation. Truly Outstanding for non pixel peepers ;)
The Wotancraft RYKER
I have had many bags in my life (Fogg, Artisan & Artist, Think Tank, Billingham, Crumpler and more) and have lived with an Artisan and Artist 7000 for years. Think Tank rocks. But I took it up a notch and now have amazing style WITH quality AND functionality. This is the best bag I have ever owned or used. Beautiful. You can see my review of the bag HERE. HIGHLY recommended for Leica users or Mirrorless users.
I also own the ONA Bowery, which you can read about HERE.
COMPUTER, Hard Drives, Accessories, Audio, etc
3.4 GHX i7 processor
3 TB Fusion Drive
2GB Video card
The iMac I bought from B&H Photo and the exact model I bought is HERE. I can not recommend it enough…best, fastest and coolest computer I have owned in my entire life. In fact, if anyone wants a computer for photo or video editing, this one will do it for you and do everything in super speed. It is easily 4-5X faster than my old iMac in all applications from editing huge files to importing and editing video. I have always used iMacs or Mac Pros and no, I have no issues editing photos on them whatsoever. I do not stress about insanely super calibrated displays as 98% of what I shoot if for my own personal use or this web site/reviews. Every photo ever posted by me online in the past 15 years has been edited on an Apple display.
The External Hard drive storage/backup and video/photo editing solution I invested in at the end is the LaCie 5Big 10TB Thunderbolt drive. This thing is a monster and after having a G-Raid fail after two days with the result being me losing 1 TB of video/photo data (that was not yet backed up as it failed so quickly) I decided to go for a solution that will be fast and reliable while never needing more space. Expensive but a long term solution that should last me many years. It also goes to sleep when my iMac does, which is nice. Not a backup solution in itself but I back this up nightly to another drive. This thing is fast, solid, beautiful and so far, reliable. It tackles my video editing, photo editing, storage needs and is cool and quiet. Gorgeous external to own.
It is quiet, stable and bad ass looking. I recommend this if you need massive space. If you only need 4TB, go for this one.
The speakers I bought for my desktop are HERE and the DAC that brings them all together is HERE. The Speakers are Audioengine Bamboo A5+ with a NuForce HDP Icon Dac. I tried the Audioengine D1 but the ICON is better, much better IMO. This sound setup ROCKS!!! I am a former audiophile who used to own a $25000 2 channel system and this little setup for $900 is about 75% there, all on my computer desk. Perfect for music, youtube, video production, etc. Best setup I have had EVER for my computer desktop.