Gear

I’ve collected various posts that discuss specific lenses in any kind of detail. It’s sorted in alphabetical order by brand and then by focal length…though there’s not much there. It’ll get filled out a bit more over time.

Current gear set up:

I had been shooting with an Olympus E-M5 for travel, hiking, and backpacking and a Canon 5D Classic for a variety of other (mostly manual focus) shooting activities. Now with the advent of the Sony A7, it’s been possible to replace my 5D and bring either the Olympus or the Sony on larger trips. The A7 has also opened up more opportunities for using unique lenses on the format that they were designed for. So the 5D is gone and the A7 is in its place.

Olympus μ43 Kit:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M5
  • Olympus 75mm f/1.8 ED
  • Olympus 150mm f/2 ED

Sony Alpha Kit

  • Sony A7 & A7rII
  • Leica M Mount:
    • Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6
    • Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton II
  • Canon FD Mount
    • Canon FDn 20-35mm f/3.5L
    • Canon FDn 85mm f/1.2L
    • Canon FDn 135mm f/2
  • Contax G
    • Contax Zeiss Biogon T* 45mm f/2.8
    • Contax Zeiss Planar T* 45mm f/2
    • Contax Zeiss Sonnar T* 90mm f/2.8
  • Nikon F Mount
    • Nikkor 200mm f/2s AI-S
  • Olympus OM Mount

Right now I have too many lenses, but I’m still trying to find a balance. So in time this will change…as it always does. Trying ‘new’ old lenses is invariably a lot of fun. Some lenses I’ve posted about in the past, for example, have been sold & replaced.

Of course, I also continue to shoot film with an OM-10 and two large format cameras (a Graflex Speed Graphic and Eastman View Camera No. 33A from around 1935.

8 thoughts on “Gear

  1. Yeah, I’m using the E-M5. I was using a Panasonic G2 before that. Micro four thirds attracted me with the size and weight. I do a lot of hiking, camping, & backpacking and don’t have space for the extra bulk of a dSLR.

    We’ll miss you in Chicago this year. But you’ve got a superb reason for not showing up.

  2. Hi . First let me state that I LOVE your photography. It has so much character and it is clear that you enjoy it. Second, may I ask for a piece of advice? I recently bought an A7 with the kit lens and I am considering options for a second lens. Of course the first option was the Sony 55mm 1.8 that everyone talks about but since the A7 allows me to attach other lenses as well I was wondering what would be best for me. Things I like are portraits, street photography and maybe landscapes on that order. Can you recommend me one? I don´t mind manual focusing and I really like sharp pictures. I would like, if at all possible that de lens send the exif information to the camera.

    1. Hi Juan,

      I’ve been wanting the Sony 55mm myself for quite a while–I love normals.

      Between landscape, street and portraits, that’s a difficult one. In terms of MF glass, a nice 24, 28, or 35mm might cover you for street & landscape (and perhaps environmental portraiture). Of the old lenses, I spent a lot of time digging through the archives of old issues of Modern Photography at my local library for reviews of a good 24mm (which you’ll note, I don’t have in my list yet). And what I found was that the Olympus 24mm f/2.8 was the best reviewed prime in the 24-28mm range–even better than the faster f/2’s. I actually have one in the mail right now that I’m really looking forward to receiving. So I can’t officially say how sharp it is wide open, but I’ve heard good things about it.

      The Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 is an incredible lens–dreamy wide open and pin sharp stopped down to f/2.8 through f/11, but of course it’s expensive (used you can get one for as low as $750 sometimes). That might be your best bet for covering all three of those genres, but I don’t know what your budget is.

      I love the Canon 20-35mm f/3.5L, but it’s more about practicality. It’s fine in the center wide open, but it really needs to be stopped down to f/8 and the mustache distortion can be an issue for architecture. I used it a lot this past weekend and was generally pleased.

      At the telephoto end, you can’t go wrong with the Contax G 90mm f/2.8 for a compact short telephoto. I’ve also heard good things about the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 (from this fellow) and, of course, the FD 85 f/1.2L is simply amazing (competitive with the EF version, in fact).

      I have albums on flickr for all my lenses (below), but I really should do more write ups for them.
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/albums

      I hope that helps.

  3. Hi Mike,

    Are you using the Desmond DCF-432 tripod? If so what is your impression of it? Thanks!

    1. I only just got it last week, but my experience so far is just superb. The rigidity and stability are superb. The caveat is that my other tridpod is a ultra compact travel tripod–a Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber tripod. It’s excellent for backpacking, but too small for most things. Since that’s all I have it compare to, it makes things a bit difficult. But I did mount my heaviest combo (Nikon 200mm f/2 & A7rII) on the tripod and was really pleased by the results. The leg diameter on the tripod is amazing.

  4. Hi there,
    do you use the Desmond DCF-432 in combination with the ballhead Desmond Dlow-55 ?
    If so, is it a good combination?
    Because there is a package with these two on amazon and since I want to buy my first tripod, your opinion would help me.
    Thank you and have a great day!

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