My name is Dave Evans and I have been a professional photographer for about 15 years. During most of my career I have worked as a sports and commercial photographer, while having done just about every type of photography under the sun. My studio Six Visuals specializes in macro and close-up work but this is not the only type of work I do. This section “What’s In The Bag” includes the gear I use for all manner of assignments and types of photography. I like to include macro images in my body of work regardless of the subject matter I am working with, so as I talk about the different gear I use I will try to point out how I use it specifically for macro where possible. A photographer’s gear is his toolbox and like any toolbox you need the right tools to get the job done.
My cameras take a lot of tough use as I work. Anything you can think of I have probably put a camera through in one way or another. I need my camera to be rugged, dependable and durable. They don’t need to be able to win beauty contests and they won’t after I am done with them. They travel a lot and they get used in all types of weather. I need them to be workhorses that will perform day in and day out.
The 7D is a great camera. The auto focus will take a little practice to perfect using but the effort is well worth it. It is built on a metal chasse and sealed for weather resistance. The camera will deliver 8 shots a second, which is great for sports work and insects. It has a 60% magnification effect also great for sports when you need a little extra reach. This reduced sensor size can be helpful in filling the frame when working with very small subjects at 1:1 since magnification is independent of sensor size.
The canon 5D II has been a workhorse camera, with a full frame sensor making it great for both commercial work and macro as well. It is professionally built with great auto focus and rugged construction. It has good color reproduction and is a stellar camera to shoot video with. The full frame sensor is very useful for wide angle and fisheye close-up work. I like to be able to take the extended grips off of my cameras when I am working with focusing rails and similar devices.
Lenses are the heart of a photographer’s tools box. There is nothing that can replace great glass and lens coatings. My lenses need to be fast, sharp and durable. When ever possible I want lenses to have constant aperture as well. Some of these are everyday lenses and others are for specific purposes. Regardless of their use there is no substitute for great optical performance.
The Canon 70-200mm is one of my everyday lenses. The short to mid range telephoto is useful for many different types of assignments and jobs. I can cover a variety of subject matter from sports to product photography. For indoor sports work this is my go to lens. For macro work it is very useful when used with extension tubes or the Canon 500D close-up filter.
This is the second of my three everyday lenses. It is indispensable for many commercial types of shoots and full body sports portraits. It makes an excellent walking around lens if you are not sure what pictures you might want to take at a new location. You can use this lens for wide-angle close-up work with a full frame sensor camera.
This is the third of my everyday lenses. I love the effects you can get when using a wide-angle lens at close focusing distances. When I want to get wide this is my lens. I use this lens frequently on sports sidelines as well as just about any other job. There are countless ways to use this lens for close-up work. With its close minimum focusing distance you can get right on top of flowers and other subjects.
Having a set of fast primes is always a good idea. You never know what kind of lighting conditions you may encounter especially when working with high school sports facilities all over the place. This lens is the classic 50mm prime every photographer should have in the bag. Even in the age of great high ISO performance fast primes still have their place.
Although not an L series lens it has optical performance right up there with them. This is a great lens for indoor sports; I use it for volleyball especially. It also makes a great portrait or product lens. For macro photography it can be paired with extension tubes to produce some nice looking close-ups.
The fast aperture on this lens makes for some incredible low light shots. Like the other fast primes I often use this lens for low light sports work. I have also used it for low light wide-angle close-up work as well.
This is one of the best lenses canon makes. I use it for almost all of my sports assignments. When paired with the 1.4x or 2x converter I can get the reach needed for most field sports. For macro work you can use extension tubes for close-up of small bird, reptiles and other animals.
The 100mm is the macro lens I use more than any other. You can shoot just about any subject with it. It is extremely flexible, easy to handhold and doubles as great portrait lenses with its excellent out of focus blur. This lens is extremely fast focusing and has built in image stabilization. If I could only have one macro lens this would be it.
The 180mm macro lens is perfect for times when you want a longer working distance from your subject. This lens has great optics and overall performance. Insects and industrial work are two of its strong points. When photographing welding, soldering and the like this lens really shines.
This is the lens to pull out of the bag when you want a wider angle of view. One of the strong points of this lens it allows you to do 1:1 images without accessories. The lens will also work with full frame sensors. It is always useful to have a 50mm prime lens whether it is a macro or not.
Teleconverters allow you to increase the focal distance of your lens. For sports work the 1.4x is my favorite. I lose a stop of light with my 300 2.8 but get a 420 F/4, a good trade in my opinion when the extra reach is required.
The 2x converter is an awesome tool for the macro photographer. Teleconverters work by changing the focal length of your lens through an optical system. They will also change the magnification from 1:1 to 2:1. Having the ability to make my macro lenses into a 2:1 reproduction ratio is nothing to sneeze at.
Extension tubes are used to increase the distance between the lens elements and the camera sensor, which increases magnification. You can use them individually or stack them. The Canon tubes allow you to retain auto focus function as well as auto exposure.
The 25mm tube has the same features as the 12mm above. They preserve auto focus and auto exposure function. These tubes are solid, well built pieces of gear. I have used them with lenses handheld and had no problem with them bending or otherwise moving.