Back in June 2016, I wrote Part 11 of this series, talking about the gear I use. A few things have change since then (primarily lenses) so I thought I would write an update.

So this is what Part 16 is: more of an update.

I’m not going through everything I carry around with me, you can check that by reading Part 11 and then coming back here to see what has changed.

Also, instead of photos of the new gear, I’ll post the links to them. I’m still homeless in Cairns and most things are in boxes, so I couldn’t be bothered!

Featured photo: Sony A7R III, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART, ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/800s.

New Strobe

Becoming a Photographer – Part 16 – The one about changing equipment
Kiara Snitch

Earlier this year I was teaching a studio workshop and when I got to the part where I show how to use 3 lights to get a pure white background, my third light wasn’t working properly. So I decided it was time to stop buying only cheap lights and get something a bit better.

So even though I didn’t specify the lights I use in Part 11, they are all cheap Jinbei studio lights, and this time I got myself a Godox AD 400 Pro and I love it. I don’t usually take strobes outside but having a battery powered light in the studio is great, one more cord to have around.

And I got some new modifiers: a Newer Octabox that I would not recommend, it’s already breaking all over its clips; and a white small beauty dish (if you haven’t noticed, in the past year or so the beauty dish became my favourite modifier).

I was also given a very nice C-Stand by a friend and it’s my favourite ever light stand!

Cameras

Becoming a Photographer – Part 16 – The one about changing equipment
Nikon FM, taken with iPhone 11 Pro Max

Nothing really changed in the camera front, I still shoot with the Sony A7 III and Sony A7R III.

I did though got myself a 1956 Mamiya 6 Foldable, which I love. And a 35mm Praktica (L I think, not sure the exact model as I haven’t used it yet other than running a roll of film to see if it was working).

Becoming a Photographer – Part 16 – The one about changing equipment
Mamiya 6 Foldable – Medium Format

Lenses

Becoming a Photographer – Part 16 – The one about changing equipment
Grace Ronnfeldt – Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART DG DN

Here’s where the big changes happened!

Let me start with what’s gone: Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM, Sony 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss, Sony 28mm f/2 and Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. And what stayed: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART and Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART. You can probably see where this is going, but not quite.

The Sony 70-200mm f/4 was never used. It was literally a backup lens. Amazing lens, don’t get me wrong, but not something I would use for my type of work. So that was sold and I bought the then brand new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART DG DN. A long time ago I had a problem with my Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM and sent it to repair. It took them 3 months to return my lens and being that my main lens, it was complicated. So I was getting the cheaper Sony 85mm f/1.8 to be my new backup, but the new Sigma looked amazing so I got that instead.

Then, the Sony 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss, which most people I know love, was replaced with a Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro. I wanted a macro lens for a personal project and that was the most affordable option. Considering I never really liked the 55mm, that was the exchange.

A few months ago, I decided it was a bit silly to have two expensive 85mm f/1.4 (even telling myself one was a backup) and also, some times when shooting for the agency, I would have to swap from the 85mm to the 50mm to get full body shots. That slows me down and brings “dust on the sensor” to the equation. So I decided it was time for the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM to go (because I love the Sigma) and add the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 to the collection. And that’s the lens I use at the agency now, as it makes my life easier.

The Sony 28mm f/2 was a lens I bought second hand and never liked it, so I just sold it.

So now I own THREE Sigma lenses, ONE Sony lens and ONE Tamron lens.

All these changes were only possible with the help of my friend Michael, from Ted’s Cameras in Brisbane CBD! Thank you Michael!!!

I also grabbed a few more vintage lenses but haven’t played with them yet. That’s for a later post.

Other Stuff

Becoming a Photographer – Part 16 – The one about changing equipment
Kiara Snitch – Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART

Other than that, my MacBook Pro died and Apple had to give me a brand new one, newer model and WAY better specs than the previous one.

And since that last post in June 2020, I moved out of my studio in Gordon Park into a new studio in Gordon Park and now out of that too, to be “studioless” until I find my next one here in Cairns!

If you’ve been following this series, you know that my personal life also changed a lot, but that’s ongoing!

As usual, I’ll leave you with some of my latest photos!