The Frustrated Photog:Gear

December 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

In case anyone is wondering...and, well, even if you are not...

Here's a quick list of the gear that I currently use. 

I have given links to the manufacturer's page where possible.  This is not used for advertising, no one is giving me any sponsorship or anything - but please contact me if you would like to sponsor me and give me money!  It's just so you have an idea of how I get the images...



Canon 70D This is a 20mp fairly decent enthusiast model.  I've been using it for almost four years without any grumbles. I've used it for all kinds of photography and for my requirements it does all that I need.  On US websites I've seen this called the 70D, doesn't it have a Rebel name?


Canon 15-85mm   For me this lens if a life saver.  When travelling it gives me a fairly decent zoom reach, albeit not that long, but gives a decent wide angle too, even on a crop sensor.  It's pretty sharp too, with not too much distortion.  

Canon 50mm  I have the 1.8 old version of the lens, a real noisy focusing but nice images.  It would probably be good for portraits...but I never shot any.  Something on the 'to try' list.

Sigma 105mm macro  I have to admit it, I love this lens too.  It's wonderful sharp and has the f/2.8 aperture, bokeh is extreme at this fixed focal length so often for macro work I need a wide aperture to get most of the subject in focus.

Sigma 10-20mm I have the non stabilised version, that was to save cost.  I must admit I don't take this lens out as often as I should.  I normally find myself shooting with the 15-85mm that allows for a bit more variation.

Tamron 70-300mm I bought this after good reviews in Photoplus (the Canon Mag, from the same stable as Digital Camera Magazine). It's a good lens for my needs.


MEfoto Roadtrip Another one purchased after a review in Photoplus.  I'm not a hardcore landscape professional, so this travel tripod suits my needs perfectly.  It's a good compromise between weight and height, maybe lacks some functionality that could help with macro work, such as a pivoting centre column, but all in all, very happy with this!


I use the Lee Filter system, a selection of soft grads and the Big and Little Stoppers.  I used to use variable ND filters for getting long exposures, but with a wide angle I often got the X-pattern and strong colour casts.  I tried a couple and was never happy with the results.  Yes, Lee might not be the cheapest, but after using them I can see why so many professionals do. Shooting raw, if there is any slight colour cast it's easily fixed, but I must admit, I have not yet noticed any!  As you will see in my galleries, I do quite a lot of long exposure work, the Big and Little Stoppers have been great.

I currently use a Hoya polarizer for the 15-85mm and 10-20 lenses, and then screw the Lee holder onto it.  Very fiddly.  I've had no problems with the Hoya polarizer, but for ease of use I plan to buy the Lee polarizer.  It's a bit pricey, but should make setups much easier.  I recently had to fiddle with the small screw threads in sub-zero temperatures...the gloves had to come off.  Not nice!


Canon 430 EXII The 70D can trigger this remotely so for macro work I can use both the pop-up flash and also this speedlite.  Again, sufficient for my needs so far, but I have the feeling that a second speedlite could be needed in the near future for more creatively lighting setups.  Especially if I venture down the portrait route.

Camera Strap:

Yes, a camera strap! Trust me...this fella was a wonderful purchase and well-worth mentioning!

I use the Black Rapid RS-7.  Sadly, I have a horrible feeling it has been discontinued, but here is a review that I found from the folks at WexPhoto.  I think Black Rapid have a similar updated product now.  This strap changed my travel photography, holiday photography, tourism wandering, call it what you will.  I hated the camera bouncing on my stomach while walking around a city...I also never liked to hook the strap over just one shoulder. 

This strap allows for comfortable carrying and very quick access to shoot something with no fiddling! 

Combined with special fastener I found on Amazon, called the Sirui TY-LP40 quick release plate, I can easily switch from the RS-7 to a tripod, just by unscrewing the the catch on the strap and sliding the plate onto the tripod.  Wonderful!  I take the extra precaution of having a second basic strap from the camera onto my belt, just in case someone decides to try and cut through the back of the RS-7: or I forget that I unfastened the camera from the strap and was just holding it in my hand - what a Muppet Moment that would be!  It has nearly happened once or twice...

Post Processing:

Processing is mostly done in Lightroom, very few edits in Photoshop.  I use On1 Raw for some filters, their Dynamic Contrast is particularly effective at grabbing details, especially in rough textures like stone walls.  For HDR and Panos I usually use Lightroom and Photoshop respectively, some HDR I process in Photomatix if I am looking for a more stylized output.

Please comment and/or ask any questions.  Let me know what kit works for you!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog


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