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Gear - Does it matter …. for me?

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

Gear does matter! So, it’s out.I just said it. Let me explain why I think so.

Gear is one of the most talked about topics in photography. For some it is essential to know every detail and feature of their own or upcoming gear. For others it's the hope of bringing their work to another level. With all this being said, I want to share my thoughts on this.

First of all even the best gear can’t turn a boring scene into a masterpiece. Sorry for being so straight forward. Whereas the other way round works easily. A great moment captured with the cheapest or worse camera or lens can still become a classic. If you compare the technical performance of cameras that legends as Saul Leiter or Ernst Haas had to deal with, with the specs we can utilize today you will see the point. So gear isn’t the holy grail. You still have to develop a feeling and vision for great scenes and interesting light.

Nevertheless, there are situations where gear does matter or at least helps. At the time I started with photography I used the m43 system from Olympus. First I owned the OMD EM 10 II and later the OMD EM 1 II. I loved both of these cameras and they did a great job in most situations. Especially, as I started to know how to use them effectively. But there were situations in which the small sensor reaches its limit: Low light! Those of you who are familiar with my work (if not, check it out on @street.nomads1605) know that I love to shoot in moody and dark conditions. To overcome the weaknesses of m43 in such situations I invested in fast prime lenses like the Olympus 25mm 1.2 (50mm FFE) or the Panasonic Nocticron 42.5 1.2 (85mm FFE). This helped for a while. But since Hamburg isn’t as lit up as New York for example and I started to use pro mist filters more often (those tend to slow down your lens a least a bit), I decided to switch to a system that is more reliable regarding ISO sensitivity and auto focus in low light situations.

After trying out Fuji for a very short period of time I decided to go with a full-frame camera from Sony. A move I haven’t regret so far. I now use the Sony a7c for over one year now and it really lifted my photography to a higher level. Without getting paid for this, to me Sony cameras have the best low light performance in the industry. Compared with the right lense, the autofocus is reliable in literally every situation and ISO performance is outstanding. If anybody has a better suggestion, I am very eager to hear it and try it out.

To summarize it here, gear does matter to me. Whereas it has not to be the most expensive gear but the most suitable gear for your type of photography. But keep in mind, the gear does not find the decisive moment or groundbreaking scene for you!

For all of you that’s interested here is my current go-to setup:

  • Sony a7c

  • Samyang 35 1.8

  • Sony Zeiss 55 1.8

  • Sony 85 1.8

  • Not shown in the picture: Tamron 28-75 2.8 Zoom (my main travel lens)

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1 Comment

Feb 11, 2022

Exactly what I wanted to know ^^ You're a big inspiration on a daily basis. Ever time I see a picture or carousel by you on Instagram I am blown away! And of course I asked myself what kind of gear you are using ;)

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