Photography Dream Gear

Pretending that you have all of the money that you could want to buy camera gear, what would you buy and why?

Here is my dream list of photography gear:

  1. Canon EOS 1Ds MarkIII – 21.1 sweet megapixels of full-framed photography goodness! This is the current must-have Canon body for professional photographers without stepping up to some of the redonkulously costly German brands. I have Canon gear already, so I’d stay with what I’ve got. List price is a staggering $7999
  2. Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 for Canon – remote flash triggering and Canon TTL light metering. Hottest and newest remote on the market currently and weighs in at only $219 per tranciever ($657 for all three that I’d want with this setup). This is the new item to have for strobists photography.
  3. Canon EF L 14mm USM f/2.8 – mega fish-eye goodness! One of Canon’s fastest and widest angle lenses to help twist the reality as you see it. It will set you back just under $2000 as it distorts the reality around your wallet.
  4. Canon EF L 70-200mm IS USM f/2.8 – high-speed zooms lenses dream of growing up to be this lense. It’s amazingly fast and amazingly veratile to get those hard-to-shoot nature pics from afar . This lense is another $2000 that wants to be set free from the bonds of your bank account.
  5. Canon 530EX MarkII Speedlight – the perfect strobe master for a multi-flash system. When paired with the 1Ds body, the flash settings can be updated from the camera for faster setting updates. It’ll set you back $700 according to the list price.
  6. Canon 430EX MarkII Speedlight – a second slave flash for strobist photography. It costs $320 msrp and is worth every penny.
  7. Gitzo GT2531 Tripod – If I’m dreaming, I should dream big. This is a middle-of-the-road (as far as cost goes), lightweight Gitzo tripod and it still comes to $638 without a ball head mount.
  8. Gitzo G1378M Magnesium Ball Head Mount – Sticking with the same brand as tripod, this is a good center-mounted ball head that will run $350 on top of the tripod.

Ouch; that’s around $15k without taxes and shipping/handling. I can keep dreaming, but the likelihood of that gear ending up in my bag is still minimal. Now, back to reality, the world of limited income and land of other monetary obligations; here’s my list of gear that I’m saving up to purchase one of these days:

  1. Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 for Canon – remote flash triggering and Canon TTL light metering. I’d only buy two (one on camera and one on remote flash), so it’ll only cost $438. I kinda fancy trying out strobist photography and this would get me in the door without all of the added cabling.
  2. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM – great mid-range IS USM EF-series lens from Canon that would be perfect for anything from landscapes to action shot, while only setting me back $650 (while still expensive, it’s significantly less than the lenses in the “dream” list). This lens would go far to augment the lenses I already have and would be perfect for far-off shots.
  3. Tripod with ballhead mount – I haven’t settled on a new and “affordable” tripod yet, but they appear to run around $250 or so with a decent ball head. I still have more research to do to find the one that suits my needs, but a good tripod is very important with long exposures (I’ve been playing with IR recently) and landscapes.

My wife thinks I’m crazy for wanting all of this gear; I just call it “enthusiastic.” I really want to get better at photography and will, if I get good enough one day, start a side-business with my photos. For now, though, I’m going to settle on reading the books I’ve borrowed from AJ and bought from Amazon on lighting and photography techniques and work at getting better through good-old-fashioned hard work and practice.

I was talking to my dad about photography and buying gear over the weekend and he told me this joke:

Q: How do you make a small fortune with photography?

A: Start with a large fortune!

Note: all prices above are list prices, I typically shop around for the best prices and have never paid MSRP for gear as of yet. Amazon, Adorama, and Cameta are typically much better deals than MSRP.



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