My Land Camera
You know, I would probably be a millionaire if I didn’t spend so much money on my cameras. But hey, you only live once, right? Photography is what I love, so I figure why not just get the best equipment I can afford? I don’t want to look back on my life with regrets.
My first camera was a Pentax K1000 back in the early 70’s. I then moved on to the Nikon FM2, then several professional Nikon cameras up to the F5. I jumped on the Nikon D1X when it came out. I was robbed a few months later, and lost my D1X. I replaced the D1X with the D70 and the D2H, then bought the D2X, then the D300, the D700 and then the D800. The D800 was my last Nikon camera. I still own it, but only use it to photograph sports.
A few years ago, I made a drastic move. I sold ALL of my Nikon gear (except for the D800), and bought the Leica M9 and two lenses…the 35mm Summicron (f2), and the 18mm Super Elmar. I went from carrying a gigantic camera bag full of Nikon gear to carrying my Leica and one extra lens. Talk about freedom!! Travel with the Leica M9 is pure joy. I love the simplicity of the camera, and shooting with fixed lenses. It is a challenge shooting with the Leica, and I must “think” before every shot instead of the camera doing the thinking for me. The image quality is incredible. There are things I don’t like about the camera, but overall it is the finest camera I have ever owned.
Then Sony came out with the A7R. It was a small camera, full frame, and 36mp. Wow! I bought one, and used it side by side with my Leica. The Sony can use Leica glass (with an adapter), so I added a 50mm lens to my arsenal. Then, as it normally happens, Sony came out with even a better camera…the A7R2 !! Still a small camera, full frame, and now 42mp. But also a much better camera overall…better in high ISO’s, faster focus, etc. So, my old A7R moved to a new underwater housing (Nauticam) to be used underwater, and my A7R2 is now my main workhorse. I still shoot the Leica as well, but less and less often as the Sony A7R2 is so good.
I have also bought a few Sony/Zeiss lenses. I now own the 90mm macro (for underwater), the 16-35mm, the 35mm f/1.4 prime, and my newest toy, and probably the best lens I have ever owned…the magical Sony 85mm GM f/1.4. The 85 is one seriously good lens!! Highly recommend it !!
My Underwater Camera
I have been diving for over 30 years, and have over 5000 logged dives. Being underwater with a camera is my passion. I started off in the early 80’s taking photos with the Nikonos V and a single Nikonos Strobe. I shot with the Nikonos for many years before finally buying a Nexus housing for my Nikon F90. I continued to shoot film until the Nikon D70 came out. Back in those days, a 6MP camera was as good as it got. I sold my Nexus housing for the F90, and bought a new Nexus housing and ports for my D70. The D70 served me well, but died a few years ago. I replaced the D70 with the Nikon D800 and bought the Ikelite Housing for the D800. The D800 served me well, but it is HUGE. So, I now use my Sony A7r underwater with the Nauticam housing.
An extra bonus using the Sony underwater is that I am able to use my old Nikonos 15mm lens with the camera. The 15mm is one of my all time favorite lenses for underwater.
I have dual Inon Z240 strobes with Ocean Brite Strobe Arms. I use the Sony/Zeiss 90mm macro for macro photography, and the 15mm for wide angle shots.
What is a photographer without all of the other toys that make our profession so much fun?
A good tripod is essential…after trying several (they are not cheap), I have finally found a tripod I really like…it is light-weight and perfect for my Leica and perfect for traveling…it is even strong enough to support my new D800…it is the Gitzo GT 1541T..the traveler…with a Really Right Stuff Ballhead.
My computer: I have a 29-inch iMac with the i-7 chips. It is fast and sleek. I also have a 23-inch Apple HD display that I have calibrated to my printer. I put my photo I am processing on the 23-inch screen, and all my Photoshop tools on my iMac screen…nice to have lots of real estate when working on photos. Along with the Mac, I use a Wacom tablet…the medium sized one. Once you use a Wacom tablet, there is no going back to a mouse.
My Favorite Software: Without a doubt, Light Room and Photoshop are my most used software!! I also use the old Nik filters (now owned by Google, and are FREE). Other software I use are AutoPano Giga (for panoramic photos), Aurora Pro (for HDR), and MacPhun software is also pretty cool. For portraits, I use OnOne’s software.
If there is one purchase I am really happy with, it is my printer. Yes, it was expensive…but I’m telling you, there is nothing like printing your own work, and printing it BIG!! I have learned a ton about printing, and enjoy it almost as much as taking the photos to start with. With the prints I have sold and the prints I have made for other people’s photography, I have already paid for the printer!! This machine is priceless!!