My Equipment

HEY! This page is out of date! I need to update it. I will try to do that soon.

Hi! Whenever I stumble across a photography blog, I always start wondering what equipment the author uses, and why. Maybe I’m the only one that feels that way, but just in case I’m not, I figured I should share with you what *I* use.

Eventually I’m planning to have this page show not only the equipment I *currently* use, but also all the equipment I have used in the past (and posted pictures from). Also, I’m planning on showing the list of point-and-shoot cameras I’ve used (and still use), as well as some of the accessories (like filters and stuff). So, depending on how much stuff you actually see down there, you’ll be able to tell how far along I’ve gotten.

For most of this stuff, I put up a link to Amazon. I get a small kickback if you buy anything after using one of these links, so if you’re in the market for any of it, it wouldn’t hurt to do me a little favor, right? Yessss!

Okay, enough self-promotion. Ready?

Cameras (SLR):


Canon EOS Rebel T1i

This is my current workhorse, the EOS Rebel T1i. Amazon says it’s got 15 megapixels, and it takes HD video, although I’ll admit I’ve only dabbled with that so far.

When I was buying it, the decision came down to either this one or the XSi.  I ended up choosing this one, because while both have the same size LCD screen, this one has 4 times as many pixels (twice the resolution in each dimension.) Since one of my biggest pet peeves is taking images that appear to be in focus on-camera that aren’t really, I figured that would help.  Also, I saw a couple photo tests where the T1i appeared to have marginally better high-ISO performance than the XSi.  It should also be noted that the XSi does NOT shoot video, but that wasn’t a deciding factor for me personally.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon EOS Rebel T1i

Canon EOS Rebel XT

This was my first Digital SLR, and it served me very well for quite awhile. Near the end, it was definitely starting to show its age, but buying it was absolutely one of my better decisions. Plus, now it’s nice having it around if somebody needs to borrow a camera for weekend, or if I want to take some pics without risking the newer one.

It’s only got 8 megapixels, but that’s plenty for most purposes. The screen is almost shockingly small after using more modern cameras, but at the time it was just what you’d expect. And while I was never comfortable going above ISO 200 with this guy, after playing around with the newer bodies the thought of doing so makes me feel physically sick. But you served me well, XT, you served me well.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon EOS Rebel XT

Lenses:


Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

This is my primary lens, that I keep on my camera about 75% of the time.  It’s got a nice range for most normal use cases, although it’s clearly not trying to be a do-everything lens.  Before this one, I used the Tamron 28-75, which is essentially the same lens just with a different range, but I found that it’s not a very severe crop if you take the shot at 50 and want to simulate a 75, but the difference between 17 and 28 is HUGE.  This lens is WAY more flexible.

Sample picsAmazon

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Super wide-angle. Almost fish-eye. For a long time (*years*) I decided that I didn’t need the wide end of the spectrum, and all of my lenses started at 28. Last summer, I realized I was stupid. I rented the Canon 10-22 for a weekend and LOVED it. Everybody I talked to seemed to recommend this one instead (saying it’s sharper, and it opens up to 2.8 through the entire range), and plus it’s a couple hundred bucks cheaper. I think I’m happy with that decision, but I got some GREAT shots with the Canon. I think it was just one of those times when the light was just perfect and everything just came together. But, I’ve gotten some great ones with this guy too, so I’m content.

Since I got this lens, I also moved my primary lens back from a 28-x (first 28-300, then 28-75) to a 17-50. Since I can get pretty wide with that one, I don’t find myself reaching for this as much. Had I already had the 17, it’s not clear that I still would have bought this one. Now, we’ll never know.

Sample picsAmazon

Quantaray 70-300mm Macro

Quantaray 70-300mm Macro

This was the first lens I ever bought for a digital SLR. When I originally got my Rebel XT, it of course came with the 18-55mm kit lens, but I wanted a telephoto, and something that would also cover my budding macro obsession. This does a reasonable job at both, which explains why I still have it. It’s good enough, and there aren’t any other choices that are cheap enough, light enough, better enough to justify replacing it. I’ve had my eye on the Canon 55-250, but for the price (which isn’t THAT much) I don’t think it would give me enough of a jump. Besides, I’d be losing some macro (this guy claims to get as close as 1:2 – definitely not earth-shattering, but not too bad).

The focus can be ponderous, and the sharpness won’t cut the skin of a tomato, but as long as you take a few extra frames just to be sure, the results are generally passable enough.

Sample picsAmazon

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

I picked this lens up last summer, shortly after completely losing confidence in my 28-300 super-zoom. I only had it for a few months, but WOW what a lens. It’s essentially the same lens as the Tamron 17-50 that I use now, it just covers a different range. After using it awhile, I decided that covering 17-28 was more important than 50-75, and after picking up the 17-50, I’m extremely happy that I made the switch. Both of them are fantastic though.

Sample picsAmazon

Tamron 28-300mm VC

Tamron 28-300mm VC

Here it is, the much maligned 28-300mm VC. (VC is Tamron’s two letter acronym for image stabilization – Vibration Compensation I believe.) Obviously I didn’t lose faith in Tamron lenses in general, but this lens (and it’s non-VC cousin) resulted in a couple years of frustration for me. It was not sharp at all, which really hurt my confidence, and many times it couldn’t even get the focus right. The versatility was nice (not having to change lenses ever), but in the end I decided that quality was more important than convenience.

Sample picsAmazon

Tamron 28-300mm

Tamron 28-300mm

This is the non-VC version of the lens immediately above. This was my first experience with a superzoom, and for awhile I was so happy with the convenience of only having to carry one lens that I overlooked the fact that my images weren’t sharp, and that I was missing out on a lot of great pictures not having the 18-28 range. This one wasn’t as bad image-quality-wise or focusing-wise as the VC version (in fact, when I lost confidence in the VC I actually went back to using this one for a short time), but it was still clear that I needed a change.

Sample picsAmazon

Cameras (Point and Shoot):


Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS

This is the my current point and shoot, although it does double-duty as my wife’s point and shoot. We just picked it up before our recent Jamaica trip, and WOW, I’m impressed with this little guy. It’s the most awesome point and shoot I’ve ever used, and I don’t toss out that compliment lightly. Also, it was CHEAP! Less than 200 dollars!

However, at the time I’m writing this I haven’t actually posted any pictures to the blog yet from this camera, but I’ll leave the “Sample Pics” link there in case I do someday.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS

Canon PowerShot A1000 IS

I still have and occasionally use this one. We bought the 1300 because I bought a cheap underwater case to use in Jamaica, but in case it failed I didn’t want to be without a point and shoot. This one was even cheaper than the 1300, coming in around 129 dollars I think. Totally serviceable, nothing fancy. A bit bigger than other point and shoots these days, and it takes AA batteries, which is both a good thing (battery availability if you forget your charger) and a bad thing (batteries don’t last as long). All in all, a solid choice.

I also haven’t posted any pictures from this camera at the time I’m writing this.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon PowerShot A1000 IS

Canon PowerShot SD850 IS

Just another camera in a long line of Canon point and shoots. I love the size, I love the image quality, I love everything about them. They tend to wear out since I carry them in my pocket every day. But you can get great shots with these little guys.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon PowerShot SD850 IS

Canon PowerShot SD700 IS

Yet another Canon point and shoot. Sort of notable because this is the first one that I owned that had image stabilization (the “IS” in the name), although at least with the point and shoots, it doesn’t appear to make a whole lot of difference to me. You’re still not going to be getting any award-winning low-light shots with a point and shoot. Or maybe you are, but I’m certainly not.

Also, this camera welcomed me back into the Canon family after my brief, disastrous foray into Fuji territory.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon PowerShot SD700 IS

Fujifilm FinePix F30

When my S500 was finally wearing out (as they all do when you carry them in your pocket every day), I decided to see if anybody else other than Canon had any decent cameras. Fujifilm’s F10 and F30 had gotten some great reviews, so I decided to give them a go. What a disaster. I only used it for a few months. It was aweful. Aside from a horrible design (zoom rocker?? Really??), it sucked at focusing, and while they were famous for low noise at high ISO, they were able to achieve that mostly by extremely aggressive noise removal during processing. Which meant that people’s skin in low-light or flash pictures would look like plastic. Sounds weird, but it’s true. Very very unhappy with this camera. Also, the shutter speed choices it would make would result in blurry pictures, even when using the flash. Very very odd. I couldn’t take it, I had to run back to Canon with flowers, chocolate, and an apology for straying.

Sample picsAmazon

Fujifilm FinePix F30

Canon PowerShot SD500

I went through quite a few of these little guys, and when you toss them up here all right next to each other, you can easily see how consistent the styling was for the longest time. Crazy. Note that there is also an “SD500” (SD, not S), which just goes to show how confusing the whole naming scheme has been over the years.

Sample picsAmazon

Canon PowerShot S500

There’s more coming! Check back later!

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5 Comments

  1. avatar
    Reply
    Mike December 24, 2010

    In the “Canon PowerShot SD500” section, you write: “Note that there is also an “SD500? (SD, not S)”, and your Amazon link is to the “S500”

    Did you mean to switch “SD” and “S” somewhere in there? Maybe in the section header?

  2. avatar
    Reply
    Will January 20, 2011

    You need to get into prime lenses. I have a 35mm f/1.8 that I really enjoy. Great for the kid pics. WTF would look good with that bokeh. I’m trying to suck it up and spend the cash on a 10-24mm. I love those pics.

  3. avatar
    Reply
    Will January 20, 2011

    Speaking of prime, looks like you need to add your Tamron 90mm macro lens to this page.

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