I’m a photographer. I love looking at pictures. I love taking pictures.
So for this blog post I thought that I’ll take a look at what inside my bag. It’s not a lot, and there are loads of gear that I would love to acquire at a later time, and I’ll mention a few of those in here as well, but for now this is what’s inside my camera bag.
I got my first DSLR around 8 years ago. It was a Nikon D50 – it first released in 2005, as a starter/midrange camera. It sported a 6 megapixel CCD sensor which could go up to a blistering ISO 1600. Not that I’d ever recommend using ISO 1600 on it – images on that setting were pretty much unusable. I eventually figured out to stick to around ISO 400 or 800 at most. Compared to today’s cameras, image quality and resolution are almost laughable, but under ideal conditions it can still take pretty amazing shots. I used that sturdy little camera until 2015 – the workhorse had seen the better part of 10 years by that time. I still have it and it still works, but it’s mostly confined to the top shelf of a lonely cupboard nowadays.
That leads me to the reason for my old camera’s sad fate – the Nikon D750. I upgraded to this one in 2015, after much contemplation and research. Originally I thought I’d jump ship to Canon (gasp) and their 7D Mk II, but eventually due to my Nikon lenses I stayed with the yellow and black. Originally I was planning on getting the D7200 – Nikon’s best DX camera at the time (the D500 was still being a dream at that time) – but through a turn of events I ended up going full frame. And I’m glad I did. The D750 is a marvelous piece of gear. It has 4 times the resolution of the old D50 so image detail and clarity was amazing. And the ISO comfortably goes to a usable 12,800. ISO 51,200 exists although, that’s definitely not something you’d want to use. I could go on about the camera – the autofocus, dynamic range, etc – but this isn’t a review, so I’ll digress.
And so, moving on to the lenses.
- Nikon 50mm f/1.8
- Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8
- Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6
So first of all the 50mm. A 50mm if pretty much a must in every photographer’s kit – that’s just the way it is. Almost every photographer you ask will explain the merits of the lens and why you must have it. It is without a doubt the sharpest lens I have and the large aperture makes it a boon in low light situations. However, I don’t like 50mm. That’s probably just me, but I find it too tight for wide angle shots, and not tight enough for the portraits I take. This is just personal preference, but I’m more inclined to a longer or wider focal length. If I were to replace this lens I’d probably get a 85mm f/1.4 – it has a more useful (for me) focal length and an ever so slightly faster aperture.
Which leads me to the next lens, the Sigma 28-70mm. For some reason there isn’t a lot of detail about this one online that I could find – no reviews, nothing for sale. It’s like it almost doesn’t exist. It’s a general purpose lens, but it’s probably the one I use least. This is due to my shooting style, I don’t often shoot wide angles, it’s reserved for rare occasions or places where space is at a minimum. Quality wise, at f/2.8 it’s not ideal. Images aren’t sharp and there’s significant chromatic aberrations in photos. Stop it down it f/4 and things are significantly better. The main reason I use this lens is for its wide angle of view, so if I were to upgrade it, I’d simply go with a wide angle prime such as the Sigma 20mm f/1.4.
The last lens on this list is the Sigma 70-300mm. According to the Sigma website this is the cheapest lens that they currently sell. However that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It has great quality and sharpness, and I prefer longer focal length compared to my other lenses. This is without a doubt the one lens I carry around with me the most. Although due to the aperture and the lack of any image stabilization means, it’s less than ideal in low light – that’s where a 70-200mm f/2.8 would really shine.
And that’s it for what’s in my camera bag! There aren’t any accessories such as tripods, stabilizers, flashes, etc. because due to some reason or other I currently don’t have any – any that work at least. So for now I’m slightly limited by what I currently possess. But that doesn’t create an excuse for bad photos – after all it’s not the camera, but the person behind it that matters.