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Thread: What was your starting gear?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb What was your starting gear?

    when you decided to be a full time or freelance photographer .. what was your starting gear?

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    the minimum which you can start shoot your first assignment, then slowly build up along the way.
    the bottom line is buy only what you need, not you want.


    the strange thing I always see here is many people recommending or using the most top end gears but shoot weddings for 500 bucks.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    You can rent gear if you can't afford the initial cost.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    FWIW, I started 3 years ago with a 40D, Tamron 17-55 + 50 1.8, a Sigma flash and a 4GB CF card.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by mackie8 View Post
    when you decided to be a full time or freelance photographer .. what was your starting gear?
    It really depends on the type of photography that you do.

    A starting photographer who shoot wedding will have different gear to what a commercial photographer in advertising line will have.

    If you want to know a specific.... I started with a second hand Mid-End Film SLR (Dynax 7) plus one backup (Dynax 7) with second hand Minolta 28-70mm f2.8 and a second hand 50mm f1.7 lens doing mostly weddings and portrait.

    As many would agree, start with what you have and comfortable with then build it up.

    I still shoot with a FF DSLR with 24-70 f2.8 and a 20 years old 70-210 f4 for most of my portrait work, which I find it works well.

    Having top end gear may not be necessary if you don't do very demanding work, such as sports, specialised food, advertising, etc, but of course, they are object of desire.... Its more want then need. But then again, I buy gear as a form of reaching a milestone as an encouragement to myself.

    Waiting to hit my next milestone, which hopefully by end of the year... so I can splurge on something I WANT!!!

    Regards,

    Hart
    Last edited by Agetan; 20th December 2011 at 01:19 AM.

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    Senior Member oracle0711's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Pre-DSLR days .. RZ67 for architecture stuff and EOS Iv for sports
    DSLR days ... started off with a 10D and 17-40f/4 lens when not doing architecture stuff. For architecture, clients still want film (glad they did not demand the use of digital MF) and thus I am still sticking to the Mamiya.

    In my personal opinion, the choice of equipment is important for as along as you know how they work best ... otherwise, we are just wasting our time lugging them around.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    My story...

    I started off with an EOS 66 film camera as a hobbyist, then got a EOS 300D for freelance. After a few assignments with built in flash & kit lens, I bought a EX420 and then another EX420 plus EX550. After some time, I saved up for the old 70-210 f4. Those were during my school days. After graduation, I got a 30D and then 5D, then my 2 L (EF16-35 f2.8 L USM mk 1 and EF70-200 f 2.8 L USM ). After some time, sold off my 16-35 due to financial issue and 5D to fund my wedding. After my marriage decided to go shoot professionally, thus I got an EOS 1Dmk2 and 1Dmk3 and 7D for most jobs.

    Currently I am waiting for my Panny AG-AC160 to arrive. I am expanding into moving images and I seek the best for my clients and personal interests. We slowly built up, now looking back it was already 10 years (almost) in this profession.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    It really depends on the type of photography that you do.

    A starting photographer who shoot wedding will have different gear to what a commercial photographer in advertising line will have.

    If you want to know a specific.... I started with a second hand Mid-End Film SLR (Dynax 7) plus one backup (Dynax 7) with second hand Minolta 28-70mm f2.8 and a second hand 50mm f1.7 lens doing mostly weddings and portrait.

    As many would agree, start with what you have and comfortable with then build it up.

    I still shoot with a FF DSLR with 24-70 f2.8 and a 20 years old 70-210 f4 for most of my portrait work, which I find it works well.

    Having top end gear may not be necessary if you don't do very demanding work, such as sports, specialised food, advertising, etc, but of course, they are object of desire.... Its more want then need. But then again, I buy gear as a form of reaching a milestone as an encouragement to myself.

    Waiting to hit my next milestone, which hopefully by end of the year... so I can splurge on something I WANT!!!

    Regards,

    Hart
    What do you want? EOS 1DX???

  9. #9

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    He's probably past that - more likely a Hassie or Contax now.

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    What do you want? EOS 1DX???
    Nikonian since 2003
    F55 | D700

  10. #10

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    the strange thing I always see here is many people recommending or using the most top end gears but shoot weddings for 500 bucks.
    It is crucial to look pro mah. The look may get one foot in the door.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkgoxplore View Post
    It is crucial to look pro mah. The look may get one foot in the door.
    That would be quite heavy going , lugging all the camera bodies , lens , flash to go meet a potential client

  12. #12
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by lobsterkia View Post
    That would be quite heavy going , lugging all the camera bodies , lens , flash to go meet a potential client
    I saw my friend's wedding photographer using 2x 5Dmk2, a, 50 f1.4, 17-40 f4 L and 70-200 f2.8 L and brought only one flash. Throughout the wedding, that particular photographer shot with 50 f1.4 mostly in low light. By right the 5Dmk2s are already a good tools but most of the pictures (saw them after the wedding) becomes way too yellowish. I like warmth colors but still the pictures are very yellowish. The banquet table to table becomes too bluish! The flash failed to fire many times. Luckily, as his brother gang member I had much of the morning session covered so at least he got more pictures. I pity his case the same as mine, luckily I willing to help him covered a bit although he engaged that particular photographer.

    Asked my friend did he reviewed his portfolio, the couple did interview him. But didnt expect to turn out like 'that'.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    What do you want? EOS 1DX???
    IWC Portofino will be nice.

    Hart

  14. #14
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkgoxplore View Post
    It is crucial to look pro mah. The look may get one foot in the door.
    just need to remember this,

    the clients/customers are keeping the images that photographers shot for them, not the photograph of photographers holding their most awesome camera in their hands.


    if any of my potential customers only interested of knowing what camera and lenses I use than what can I produce, I will very willing to refer them to come here to look for what they want.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  15. #15

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    I started shooting events with a D80 on 17-55 and SB600.

    Years later I have equipment that would easily make most hobbyists' dreams (and their wife's worst nightmares.) It was partly work related but also partly gear lust, its hard not to admit.

    But I am not proud of my gear.

    I see many people listing their gear in their forum signature and that always makes me think they do not understand photography. They understand their camera's specs and resale value maybe.

    What I want to list is a list of photography techniques, skills and experiences I am amassing. That would be a list that I would be proud to have.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  16. #16

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    This is a great example of inexperience; thinking good gear is all he needs. He had allowed the gear to control him instead of making a photographer's decision. So what if he have 1.4 and iso6400? Ambient light and flash color temp differs way too much that no matter how he correct in post, raw or not, is not going to help. He messed up someone's wedding photos. There are times to capitalize on available light and there are times to override it with flash. Photographer make exposure decisions. Camera owners make purchase decisions.

    I think in this case he must had thought he have high iso cam and fast prime he can shoot more ambient and this is his downfall. And the couple's too.

    Don't discount the Ah Pek photographers, the old timers shooting old school methods can often trump any inexperienced wannabes calling themselves 'photojournalistic'. Seen many 'photojournalistic' portfolios without even a single photo worthy of real wedding photojournalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    I saw my friend's wedding photographer using 2x 5Dmk2, a, 50 f1.4, 17-40 f4 L and 70-200 f2.8 L and brought only one flash. Throughout the wedding, that particular photographer shot with 50 f1.4 mostly in low light. By right the 5Dmk2s are already a good tools but most of the pictures (saw them after the wedding) becomes way too yellowish. I like warmth colors but still the pictures are very yellowish. The banquet table to table becomes too bluish! The flash failed to fire many times. Luckily, as his brother gang member I had much of the morning session covered so at least he got more pictures. I pity his case the same as mine, luckily I willing to help him covered a bit although he engaged that particular photographer.

    Asked my friend did he reviewed his portfolio, the couple did interview him. But didnt expect to turn out like 'that'.
    Last edited by JasonB; 21st December 2011 at 01:26 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkgoxplore View Post
    It is crucial to look pro mah. The look may get one foot in the door.
    Sure, look can get one foot in the door, BUT and it is a big BUT, the end results has to speak louder than the look.

    Funny thing is, my clients book me without even knowing what I use, almost 99.9% of them actually book my work without seeing me in advance, they just email pay and I turn up for the shoot... and most actually surprise to know I shoot with Sony A850 + Minolta 70-210 f4 for outdoor which a combo less than $3000 for what it worth... they rarely impressed by the gear to be honest. I don't even bring flash or second body nowadays. Sure, I will buy Leica but that's for me... and not to impress anyone other than myself and there isn't a need.

    A photographer is a visual artist and we are responsible to every picture that we show to the audience.

    Regards,

    Hart

  18. #18

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by mackie8 View Post
    when you decided to be a full time or freelance photographer .. what was your starting gear?
    rental gear mostly. Have camera rental centre to thank for that.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    I started with a Nikon film slr F100 back in year 2000. Did mostly portraits work for a friend's model/talent agency. Then moved on to Nikon D1 in 2001.

    In 2003, I moved to shanghai and stopped photography totally.

    Came back in 2006, picked up photography again when my friend approached me to do portraits for her model/spent agency again in 2007. Then I bought a canon 5d ii

    In 2010 I bought a canon 50d as a 2nd body when I started some wedding photography work. The 50d drowned and died when I was doing a beach shoot(I tripped on a rock and fell into water), so bought a 60d as replacement

  20. #20
    Senior Member oracle0711's Avatar
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    Default Re: What was your starting gear?

    That is a good piece of hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    IWC Portofino will be nice.

    Hart

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