Gear

Context

Many areas of photography and video necessitate a lot of equipment.  Getting the best results requires technical skill, creativity and, unfortunately, a small car load of kit.  The cost of which can run into 5 figures.  Below is a summary of the equipment I use.

Clients

Take comfort from knowing that not only is the very best equipment used for your work but that it is also the correct equipment for the job.  Architectural, video and portrait work has seen particular investment.

Item What Current New Value Thoughts
1 Muslin backdrop £40
2 Nikon SB-900 x 3 £900 Generic flash units can be bought for a fraction of this price.  However these units work with the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS).  In it's simplest terms the flash output will be controlled automatically.  Just turn on and go.  Only real disadvantage is range as they work on line of sight.  Addition of some Pocket Wizard hardware will remove this challenge.
3 Pocket Wizard TT1 £150 Transmitter side of the system.  Takes signal from camera and broadcasts it to the TT5 recievers.
4 Pocket Wizard AC3 £50 Invaluable module that allows adjusting power of each flash from the camera.  Having 3 simple dials makes this even easier than the built in options for flash on the camera unit itself.
5 Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 x 3 £450 Reciever side of the system.  Sit the flash on top, set the channel and you're done.
6 Generic flash snoots x 3 £45 Rubbish.  eBay purchase.  Includes filters but doesn't fit well and is just a pain to use.
7 Woton video lights x 2 £120 High output lights for video.  Run so hot that they are unusable for some areas, uses.
8 Flourescent video lights £150 Lots of light and run reasonablly cool.
9 GoPro Hero 3+ Black, acessories £500 This is what a GoPro looks like when you buy the accessories to use it in a variety of scenarios.  After a point you have so many pieces that a case of some sort becomes necessary.  Before you know it you're lugging your 3 inch GoPro around in a suitcase!
10 Westcott Apollo Medium Apollo, Mega Apollo £350 Really nice large soft boxes designed to take small strobes.  This is the smaller of the two.  The mega Apollo is, well huge would about cover it!
11 Cam Ranger £270 Hooked up to an iPad it provides a means of remote near full control of your camera.  Live view, camera mode, shutter release etc.  It seems to be a bit unreliable, comms with the camera regulary breaks down.  Not sure why.  The iPad screen gives a huge area to allow checking focus.  Most expedient workflow option is to shoot raw and basic JPG.  JPG's are a fraction of the raw file size and with a combination of the large D800 image sizes and relatively slow wifi means waiting for a raw image to transmit is a real pain.  Overall it's a nice unit, good features but it's regular comms breaks are a real nuisance.
12 X-Rite colour checker passport £70 Again a lot of money for what it is.  I know there will be a fairly exacting manufacturing process but really!?  A necessity if you need to be sure of accurate reproduction.  Use it without fail for product work, for most other things I'd say hard to justify.
13 H4n Handy Recorder £130 Great mic unit.  Don't use the majority of it's features.  Sound isn't an area of expertiese for me so I have to say I've been equally impressed with recording audio on a standard iphone.  The phone is light, always with you, can be put in your pocket etc.  The H4N is very well regarded but in honesty I could get by without it.
14 Sekonic Litmaster Pro L-478DR £270 Light meters are another thing I use very rarely.  This model can control Pocket Wizards too so it makes for a nice multi-purpose unit.
15 Clamps & brackets £100
16 Colormunki Smile monitor calibration £65 In theory a good sensible buy but in honesty the tolerances involved between screen/print really don't make significant difference for most applications.  I bought for product photography.  If you need to be sure that your colour output matches the thing your shooting then this and a white balance reference card are necessitiies.  Otherwise, don't bother.
17 Tamron 90mm macro 1:1 £250 A macro lens is mandatory for good quality close up photography.  At 90mm you can be sure of not weird distortion effects.  Image quality is fine and I would have said the same about build quality.  However despite infrequent, careful use autofocus doesn't work.  
18 Nikon 24mm ED PC-E Tilt Shift £1,400 Only used for property photography.  Eliminates effect of converging lines.  Can be rectified to a lesser degree in post.  At 24mm it's wide enough to give decent coverage but not so ultra wide that it will distort interior shots.  Very well made and a joy to use.
19 Nikon 18-200 AF-S DX VR £580 If I could have only one lens this would be it.  Sure, it's not the best quality or do well in low light but it allows you to take one lens, one body and get great shots in any situation.  It's not quite up to the quality of some Nikon lenses, point the lens downwards and the barrell will creep out.
20 Nikon 70-200 AF-S 2.8 VR £1,580 Another beautiful lens.  2.8 from 70-200 gives a beautiful soft background and a very sharp foreground.  It's fantastic for quality candid portraits.  Lets you hang back and get natural close ups without the intrusion required with a much shorter focal length.
21 Various UV and circular filters £60
22 Pivothead Durango recorder glasses £160
23 Nikon D5100 £300
24 Nikon D800 + MB-D12 battery grip £1,880 Compulsory purhcase for me.  Convenience, ergnomoics, higher frame rate.  Allows AA battery use.  Expensive but good.
25 Stand £50
26 Kata medium bag £50
27 Manfrotto 410 junior geared head £150
28 Manfrotto 055 tripod £150
29 Car mount £150
30 Cables £50
31 Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 video monopod £195 Mandatory piece of kit for video.  Fairly nice to use and flexible. 
32 Black Rapid Dual strap £80 Really can't remember which specific model this was.  Had a specific use for it some time back but now doesn’t get used.  Dual setup is nice for giving access to two bodies but most people will end up using only one for the majority of the time.  Well made and does its job well.  Setting up is a pain, I use so infrequently that I can never remember and end up giving up sometimes!
33 Hoodman H-LPP3 loupe £95
34 Steadicam Merlin £500
35 Nodal Ninja 5, RD16 (discontinued) £330
36 Nikon Lens Pen x 2 + Giottos Rocket air blower + Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly sensor cleaning brush £85 Another necessity when cleaning lenses, glass.  Being able to blow material off a surface rather than wipe is a crucial initial stage
37 Joby Gorillapod £30
38 Glidetrack 1m + video head £400
39 Manfrotto 241FB suction cup £100
40 Nikon MC-30 cable release £60 Ridiculous price.  Totally reliable but so would a £20 generic in this case.
41 Manfrotto 776YB monopod £40 Not used in a long time.  Sometimes only a monopod will do but I would now always use the Manfrotto video monopod.  Much more flexible (but a lot heavier)