At the end of the day these are tools, and people far more talented than I can achieve amazing results with the most basic of cameras. But I’m always interested in what people are using, and what they like, so for anyone else who shares my interest:
This camera is just brilliant. The high ISO performance of this thing is incredible, extremely low noise up to 8,000, and even photos shot at 25,000 are useable, which is handy, as I like to avoid using a flash as it’s a little intrusive. Having a large and bright viewfinder is also a great perk of a ‘full frame’ DSLR. In my book it’s certainly a really viable alternative to a 5D MkIII, and the difference in price allows for an investment in lenses.
So fond of this camera, been using it for 8 years and it’s not missed a beat. Beautifully built, tough, and delivers great photos. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced used camera you could do a lot worse than one of these with a nice lens. Great control layout too.
Canon 16-35 f/2.8
My favourite lens, and a fun focal length to use but also quite a challenge. Forcing myself to stick with it has really helped my composition. Watch James Nachtwey working in the documentary ‘War Photographer’ to see a master adhering to the Robert Capa maxim that ‘if your photos aren’t good enough then you’re not close enough’. Wide angles force you to try and be more creative with composition and perspective, and are really useful in crowds. This Canon one is built like a tank, fast, and produces absolutely stunning bokeh. It is bloody massive though.
Canon 50 f/1.8 Mk1
An excellent little compact prime lens, and very sharp for its price. 50mm is a nice focal length for street photography and also for portraits. The Mk1 is a useful find on the used market as it offers a metal lens mount over the newer MkII version of this lens, as well as a nicer manual focus ring, and focus distance scale window.
Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS
Useful and very versatile. Not the fastest, but it’s reasonably priced, and the IS can be very handy in low light. It’s a nice lens to use as a general purpose ‘walk about’, with different characteristics on full frame (semi wide to medium) and aps-c crop cameras (normal to telephoto).