When I started the journey to becoming a professional photographer, like most of us, I started with the cameras and lenses I owned as a hobbyist. Nearly 38 years into this lovely profession later, the tools I use do the same exact functions now as then…Oh, I might be using digital cameras instead of film the past 20 years, but the creation of an image worthy of my client has always been the goal.
That said, there is no doubt that my tools have evolved; not just to digital cameras, but in terms of the glass I purchase and the accessories employed. Actually, many of the lenses (glass) are compatible with the film bodies I was using in the ’80’s and ’90’s. They’ve just been updated and improved as the astounding sharpness of digital has revealed design characteristics that were not as apparent in film days – for reasons I won’t get into now. With almost no exceptions I’m using lenses today that I would probably not have purchased had I remained a hobbyist. They’re expensive and heavy, but oh so worth it.
The same is true for accessories such as the Passport Colorchecker (accurate color in the final image), the Camranger (viewing to an iPad or computer in real time). This certainly includes the Flashpoint/Godox battery driven, remote controlled strobe lights that rival the AC powered studio strobes of only a decade ago. These are so versatile, that I now have a lighting kit for location work that weighs only 17.6 pounds, including stands, lights and accessories and fits in one shoulder bag. There was a time that same lighting required one case the size of a large suitcase for the lights and cables and another case resembling a large duffle bag for the stands.
So a glimpse of just some of the tools I use.
Specialty items, like a tilt-shift lens for product work, jewelry and food especially.
A soft focus lens (not used as commonly today, but useful for some portraiture.