It seems that we (and when I say “we” I am referring to us photography geeks as a whole) simply love to talk about gear. I know I do. I have always viewed photography as a beautiful fusion of art and technology, using these amazing instruments capable of controlling light to capture moments in print or screen. Images often say more, and without words.
People often ask “What gear do you need to shoot a wedding?” Well, the simple answer is “a lot.” To do it correctly, you need to choose the best lens for each shot. Some people use a single zoom lens the entire day. I don’t like that approach. You can’t really make a motion picture with one lens. You need to mix it up in order to create a certain mood or look. That’s my opinion at least. I use at least 4-5 lenses every time I shoot a wedding. I might use 3 to do a simple family session.
So, above is an iPhone shot of my gear tonight. It was time to clean out my bag so I felt inspired to organize these tools for a formal group shot. Enjoy…
Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 70
Nikon FE (35mm film camera from the late 1970s)
Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 A workhorse lens.
Nikkor 70-200mm VR f/2.8 Pure optical perfection. My favorite.
Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-D Mostly used as a backup.
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G The “Cream Machine.” Great portrait lens.
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Inexpensive, but classic.
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 ai-s Old manual focus lens.
Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D For wide shots.
Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 AF-D Micro Macro lens.
Nikkor 70-210mm f/4-5.6 AF-D Back-up telephoto lens from 1980s.
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight
Vivitar 285-HV Speedlights, 2 of them (re-issue tanks from the 1980s)
Phottix Strato II Multi 5-1 Triggers & Receivers
Lexar and Sandisk Compact Flash & SDHC cards
Powerex and Eneloop AA & AAA rechargeable batteries - These are a must
Hoodman Loupe - Great to check the LCD in bright sun (and feel like Spielberg)
Rocket Blower - To get rid of dust and keep sensor clean
If I need to use a studio strobe, I take my lighting bag, which has an Alien Bees B800 320 watt strobe and Lithium Battery Pack. I use a large Paul C Buff Soft Box all mounted to a Manfrotto light stand. It is a simple set-up for portraits in the field. If I need another light, I will just use the Nikon SB-910 with a diffuser.