Although I have a great bond and a sincere connection to the tools which I have picked over the course of my career, the fact of the matter is that none of these matter in themselves. When combined together, these tools create a hand selected kit of paint brushes which I know intimately, know how they respond, and know what I will get before I put them to use. I could not fully do what I do without my equipment, because it was hand selected for a purpose, and to help me capture what my minds eyes see. And so here is what is in my bag!
I will always have these with me.
Fujifilm XE-1 Camera Body (Silver) - This camera was given to me by my beautiful wife as a Christmas present before we got married. It has literally changed my photographic life, and forced me to drastically turn my mindset around. To this camera I owe much of my "mind's eye" taste and a lot of the look that I have developed as an artist. It forced me to slow down, analyse, taught me to pre-visualize and taught me the importance of manual focus. Through this camera I learned the importance of hand picking lenses and how important that is. It is a camera that I will never part with!
Fujifilm XT-1 Camera Body (Black) - This is a more recent acquisition for me, and a trade in purchase after the XE-2 which I bought recently as well. Due to some weird issues with the XE-2 that I had, I decided that it was time for me to get what I really wanted, and so the XT-1 was born. I am extremely happy with the performance of this incredible camera, and more so the fact that it has greatly extended the capabilities of my beloved XE-1 while providing fantastic support for my shooting style. It allows me to greatly increase precision and response with manual glass, which is what I use exclusively. I am a happy camper with this camera!
Leica M Mount Glass
Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm F/2.0 ZM Lens - I will NEVER sell this lens! It is the lens I used in most of my photographs, and it has literally defined my mind's eye more than anything else! It is one lens, paired to the XE-1 that I will absolutely never sell. It is DRENCHED in character, mojo and pixie dust magic, and it is literally what I consider an ideal lens. It's sharp, very contrasty, it has amazing bokeh and falloff, and it has a 3D pop to it unlike anything else I've ever seen. It is my favorite lens in the world! Its no wonder that it is considered a legend.
Voigtlander 28mm Ultron F/2.0 - Another Leica M mount lens that is fantastic and offers what I need in a package I like. It's not as good as the Zeiss 50 F2, but it does the job, it's reliable, plenty sharp for me and has great color contrast - probably even more than the Zeiss! It's one lens that is just a tool and I don't have necessarily an addiction to, but for the price and the character it's a fantastic choice. I had to go through a couple of copies to find a good one, so It's a love - hate relationship at this point. Although I'm not selling it any time soon, maybe ever.
Voigtlander Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III - This lens is another great example of what the underrated optical company Voigtlander is capable of. This is a short flange, ultra wide, full frame lens which has astounding performance all the way to the corners. It is SHARP, it has a ton of contrast, it has all the character which is so crucial to me, and it won't break the bank! I love the insane perspectives I can get with this lens, and have fallen in love with ultra-wide photography because of this lens.
I have the privilege and honor of being lucky enough to own a dream-team of Leica lenses. For any photographer that knows anything about photography, Leica stands as the clear "king of the hill" of camera and optics manufacturing. Leica glass represents the very pinnacle of human ingenuity in optical design and has as its primary mission for the last 7 decades the absolute best in design, optical superiority and manufacturing in the world - Leica rules supreme, and I pick their lenses because they are the best. It takes a discerning mind to understand delicacy, and so I will leave it to the reader to discover the answer to "why Leica" for themselves. For me, its about representing the soul of how I see, and Leica is the ONLY one that does that!
Zeiss ZF Lenses!
I also have invested in a very solid set of modern Zeiss glass in the ZF mount. I use these almost exclusively for photography, but they are also fantastic motion picture lenses and occasionally use them for various cinema projects as well. Zeiss, I've found gives me more pop, and more attitude and aggressiveness, while Leica is more subdued, richer, finer and more gracious and smooth. Both have their purpose!
Hoodman RAW Steel SD Cards - I use these exclusively because they are bullet proof, fast, and reliable. They are a bit more expensive than the rest, but quality costs and I am willing to invest in them. These give me the peace of mind that my photographs are safe, regardless of whether my cameras wind up in the water, rain, mud, under a truck, etc. They are professional tools for professionals!
Ona Brixton Leather - For many, many years I had been searching to find "the one" that fit my character, matched my esthetic needs, build to quality standards and met my physical needs, and Ona has done it! I've owned this bag for a while now, and it is "it". That's all I've got to say about that!
My lighting bag, to match the wonderful Ona Brixton. Although this is not an Ona product, and the fact that it is literally the most abused, thrown around and mistreated bag, it matches my Ona Brixton and is a marvelous addition to haul around all my lighting kit.
One Bowery Bag (Gray + Brown) - I had searched for a bag this ideal for years! And although there are other alternatives on the market, I never found one that really fit. I needed small, compact, high quality, well thought out, long lasting and stylish at the same time. And that is a hard cookie to crack! But One Bags have done it, repeatedly. I am in love with their bags, and one cannot appreciate them unless one possess an appreciation for quality and great design in a fully functional product - that's what this is! I will be buying more, for sure!
Lens Pens - I have a variety of them, and they are indispensable for keeping my optics clean, oil free and as clean as possible.
ProFoto B1 and B2 Strobe System - This is a godsend! An absolutely ingenious lighting system which allows for power, flexibility, nimbleness and unwavering creative possibilities. Its expensive, and its worth every penny!
Bottle Holder Clip - I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have this. Its a clip that holds a bottle of water by the cap and lets it hang off the side of the bag itself. This allows me to always have hydration for those long days at work, on the streets or travelling. I realized I had a real need for something like this when I was shooting abroad in Mexico. It was a pain to carry a bottle in one hand and figure out where to place it when a shot came up. So, I came home and found this solution. I love it
Of course there are thousands of dollars worth of equipment which are not with me every day and in my bag, which I will not include here. But this list provides a basic idea of what I choose to shoot with. I can get any camera I want within reason, but I choose the kit I have because it is the only equipment that shows who I am, how I shoot and captures what I see.