Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My Canon Camera Kit

Well it's now complete - and it's (mostly) all Canon. And with winter on its way, it will give me time to get to grips with all the gear, to see if I've made the right decisions or whether I need to tweak lens selection etc.

Here it is - the whole Canon kit.
Running down the list we have:

1)   Slik PRO700DX Tripod. Although listed first, this is actually my last acquisition. I have had a set of dodgy Chinese knock-off tripod legs for a few years, and have finally got sick of tightening legs or struggling with locks constantly. So the Slik Pro700DX is a much needed addition to my new kit.

2)   Lowepro Slingshot 200AW. A bit of an impulse buy when a local store was having 30% off camera bags - although I'm very glad that I bought it. Will carry my back-up body, lens and flash easily, with room for a couple other lenses. Well designed 'slingshot' style backpack that I will also use as a day-pack when I don't want to carry around the full arsenal with me.

3)   Canon 20D with EF 28-105mm f3.5/4.5 USM. My back-up body. 8MP shooting at 5 fps. I will also use this for sports when I need the faster frame rate and the extra x1.6 reach that the smaller sensor gives. Has a vertical grip attached with two batteries and is loaded with an 8Gig Kingston card.

4)   Canon 5D with EF 28-135mm f3.5/5.6 IS USM. My main camera body with a full-frame sensor. Will use it for everything from portraits and weddings to landscapes. The 28-135mm is an image stabilised lens that should make a perfect 'walk about' lens for the 5D. Both the 5D and 20D have a near identical menu system and button layout which will make a for a seamless transition between the two cameras.

5)   Canon EF 20-35mm f3.5/4.5 USM. Purchased as my landscape 'ultra-wide' angle lens for the 5D. Makes little or no sense to use it on the 20D since with the x1.6 factor it becomes a strange 32-56mm lens? Will also get some use at weddings when I need to go wider for larger groups and family formals.

6)   Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II. Everyone needs a fast 50 in their kit. The 50mm will get a lot of action on both the 5D (where it makes a great low-light 'normal' lens) and the 20D, for an amazing telephoto portrait lens (equating to an 80mm f1.8).

7)   Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM. Picked this up for a crazy good price, and is another lens that will get a lot of action on both camera bodies. I will take it with me on weddings to use with the 5D, especially for individual head shots and images of the couple together - but it will also go with the 20D as my 'sports' lens for netball, hockey, speedway etc - where the effective focal range becomes a 112-320mm. Later I may even consider picking up a 1.4x extender to use with this lens to give me a 450mm f5.6 optic!

8)   Phottix Strato Wireless triggers. With the 5D and 20D I don't have the same 'wireless' flash capabilities that I had with my Nikon gear, so the Phottix wireless trigger system fills that gap. Although they are a Chinese made system, they get rave reviews from eveyone who uses them - even when compared to the likes of Pocket Wizard.

9)   Canon 420EX Speedlite. Got this pretty cheap. It was actually the first item I purchased when I knew the 5D was going to be fixed - since the 5D has no in-built flash. It's an ok flash, but will only work in full auto (ETTL). Does have a slave mode though. Will stay in the bag with my 20D as a back-up flash.

10) Canon 580EX Speedlite. The 'daddy' of Canon flash units (although it's been replaced by the 580EX II), this will be my main flash unit. Although it can work as a Master, it needs to be attached to the camera to do so. Mostly it will be used with the 5D, together with the Strato's triggers, for both off and on-camera flash at weddings etc.

11) Canon RS80N3 Remote Switch (not shown). Forgot to include this in the image, but this remote release rounds out my Canon kit. Works with the 5D to facilitate hands-free triggering of the shutter. Got it for an insanely low price on Trademe. Don't think the guy selling it even knew what it was for?

And there you have it. My 'new' Canon Kit. All that remains now is for me to get out there and use it! I'm actually looking forward to this winter :-)

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