what's in our camera bag
UPDATE :: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN AUG. 2016. WE ARE WORKING ON AN UPDATED BLOG POST AND WILL BE POSTING IT SOON (SPRING 2018)
Honestly, I feel weird writing this type of post because I don't want anyone to assume that I'm saying what works for us will work for you. I think gear choices depend completely on the photographer/adventurer and while there can be some healthy debate of which is better, it always comes down to what is best for YOU. So, with that out of the way, here is what works really well for us. My hope for this post is to give you as much information as possible so you can make your own decisions about gear! I always enjoy reading what other photographers use, so here is our version.
This post will be dedicated to our favorite photography gear. In case you missed it, here is my post about my camera bag and why I love it!
Canon 6D: We have two Canon 6D bodies (one is a back-up) that we use as our primary cameras for weddings and portrait photography. We love this camera! It's a great size and is pretty light compared to other competitive DSLRs. We also love the wifi feature, which allows us to connect to the camera using an iPhone app so we can get photos directly to our phones and use the iPhone as a remote for shooting long exposures or tripod family photos.
Sony A7ii: Callen shoots with a Sony A7ii 90% of the time. He loves the size/weight (it's mirrorless, so it's tiny!) and the performance is seriously impressive. We've compared both cameras head to head in different environments (weddings, outdoor lifestyle, action shots) and the Sony definitely out-performs the canon when it comes to night photography, outdoor/landscapes, and action shots, but doesn't even come close when shooting weddings/people. Our epic photo of Callen doing a back flip into Moraine Lake was taken with the Sony and it's incredibly sharp (much better than the Canon would've delivered), but the photos of Kristian + Amanda at Moraine Lake on the same day were primarily taken with the Canon 6D (and the Canon ones are much more impressive than the Sony) so it really depends on what you're wanting to shoot! Hince...why we have both :)
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L ii USM: If I had to choose one lens to never take off my camera, I would first cry about leaving behind my 50 1.2, but it would 100% have to be this lens. When we are traveling, this lens barely leaves my camera. It provides so much range and performs incredibly well in so many scenarios. It's definitely the most expensive lens (maybe even single piece of equipment?) we own, but it is definitely worth it for what we do! Primary uses: outdoors, wedding ceremonies, action shots, wide landscape for scenic portrait sessions
Canon 50mm f/1.2L: This is the lens that really makes you feel like a photographer. It's just so good. I have shot quite a few weddings without taking this off once. I never do it on purpose, but I just don't feel the need to change lenses and before I know it the day is over and this little workhorse has powered through all of it! Whether you're under the veil right up in your couple's grill, or standing far off shooting the landscape, it just delivers beautiful photo after beautiful photo! Primary uses: portraits, wedding details, anything wedding, anything involving humans looking beautiful
Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4: In my opinion, this is the best lens on the market for under $1,000 (if you're shooting weddings/people). I used it for 95% of Katie + Rayan's wedding (I couldn't NOT pull out my 50mm when that post-storm sunset happened) and am so happy with the results! This is the lens I suggest for photographers starting out on a budget! It is absolutely beautiful and incredibly sharp. Also, the focal length makes it my go-to for short hikes with nice lighting if I am feeling too fancy for the 24-70 :) Primary uses: portraits, wedding details, anything wedding, anything involving humans looking beautiful, landscape shots
Sony Ziess 16-35mm f/4: This one is relatively new to us, but we have been extremely impressed so far. Callen actually bought this lens on our last trip from a photographer in Jackson Hole and we were SO glad to have it by the time we got to the Canadian Rockies! This lens on the Sony A7ii blew my Canon 6D + 24-70 2.8 rig out of the water every time! It has barely left Callen's camera since we bought it and we haven't looked back. Primary uses: outdoors, action shots, wide landscape for scenic portrait sessions
Canon 70-200mm f/4: I almost never shoot with this lens, but Callen flys it during wedding ceremonies and for some outdoor shots when he wants a better zoom. We feel it's a necessity because when you need it, you need it, but it doesn't make it's way on to the camera enough to justify buying the 70-200 f/2.8. We'll probably upgrade one day, but we've been perfectly happy with the f/4 for now. Primary uses: wedding ceremony, sometimes outdoors
Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3: "The Megladon" as Callen calls it. So, you know when Dads get a cool toy that seems pointless but they freaking love it so you just let them have it? That's Callen's megladon lens. It's MASSIVE. We have never and probably never will use it professionally, but it wasn't super expensive and he loves it. He has snagged a few awesome photos with it, like a glacier on Mt. Rainier from miles away or the actual summit of Mt. Rainier. But, as you can imagine, it's not suuuuuper applicable :) Primary uses: shooting glaciers from miles away, wildlife photography, extremely condensed zoom shots