My Equipment

As photographers, most of us love to talk gear, specs, tech. Its inevitable that the question will come up from time to time of what gear I use. Because of that Ive put together a… somewhat comprehensive list of my most used gear, as well as some thoughts about each. Ive also done the leg work for you in finding good deals through various sites in case your interested in picking something on the list up for yourself šŸ™‚ . I did not list everything, so if you have any questions, or would like to me to expand on my thoughts for any of the items, feel free to reach out with your questions or comments. If an item is listed it is because I would recommend picking it up for yourself. I specifically left out a few items that I am dissatisfied with.



Canon 7D

  • Currently this is my full time camera body, and I absolutely love it. Currently its the top pro-sumer crop sensor body and definitely packs a punch! I love the rock solid Magnesium Alloy body that will take all the abuse I choose to put it through. Noise performance is decent, an improvement over the Rebel below, but will suffice until I upgrade to 5D.

Canon Rebel t1i

  • Before upgrading to the Canon 7D, I worked this baby to death! A wonderful camera for any amateur or hobbyist. Boasts an awesome 15mp crop sensor that makes for some wonderful images. To date most of my favorite images were shot on this body. If your looking for an entry level dslr, I would highly suggest picking one of these guys up. (with the latest release of the t4i, you can find some good prices on these)

Canon AE-1 w/50mm 1.8

  • I have a special love for this bad boy!! From time to time a break from the ease and accountability of digital is more than a good thing. Shooting with a old 35mm slr like this brings you back to the more relaxed roots of our fine art. From the manual controls and focus to the solid feel of the body, to shoot with this canon is a pure joy.

Canonet QL17 Gii

  • Ive just recently added this beauty to my bag-o-gear, and have loved the uniqueness the rangefinder format brings to the table. Called the poor mans leica, this cam has been regarded as one of the best street photography classics. The leaf shutter system is incredibly quiet and the super sharp lens is quickly becoming one of my fav toys to play with.
iphone 4s
  • I know I know, not really a full on camera. But man is the camera on this thing kickass!! I would say the point and shoot will soon be extinct due to how awesome these guys are at taking pics. I use it so much, whether it be for instagram or full on shooting some conceptual photography (See what I mean here). I recently made a 10×10 print of the “Up Up and Away” pic and you would be hard pressed to be able to tell that it was shot on the iphone. On top of that with awesome apps like snapseed, light meter, instagram and so many more this is my all time favorite phone!! (and yes I have owned the android equivalents prior, and the iphone kicks butt šŸ˜‰ )



Sigma 70-200 f/2.8

  • Ive been looking for a 70-200 2.8 ever since renting the Canon version a little over a month ago. However with the Canon name comes the Canon price tag. I ended up going with this awesome Sigma version that still sports the 2.8 aperture, and crystal clear optics, but for a fraction of the price. Ive been extremely impressed with this guy so far!

Canon 50mm 1.8

  • The ol’ Nifty Fifty or Fantastic Plastic! Don’t its size or pricing fool you. Although it may be Canon cheapest lens I would have to say its on my camera a good 75% of the time, especially when out shooting street photography. The fixed focal length is great for making you truly think about what your shooting. An excellent investment to say the least!!

Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

  • Every bag of tricks should have some sort of wide angle, and currently this is the lens Im shooting with when I need to get up close an personal. Eventually I will be upgrading to a 24-70, however until then despite being a “kit lens” this guy does a rather decent job.

Canon 55-250

  • Before upgrading to the Sigma 70-200 this was my telephoto zoom. With the IS it works great for getting in close when you dont have the ability to… well get in close. Definitely worked great for concert shooting and other situations where I wanted to capture the action. I am currently selling mine (if your interested shoot me an email ‘’)

Lighting and Grip:

Yongnuo YN560II

  • I wasn’t too sure about this flash when I first ordered it, but when it came in I was quite impressed. When working on the fly at photo shoots things can at times get pretty hectic, needless to say my flash has taken a few spills and has made close acquaintances with the pavement. Regardless of the multiple accidents this flash is still running strong (sporting some manly battle scars along the way). I would highly suggest these guys for anyone looking to get into flash photography. I plan on adding a few more to my lighting kit.
light stands
  • Currently Im working with a few 7ft light stands from various makers. Mostly cheap economy versions right now, make sure you have sand bags with these guys!!
sand bags
  • Sand bags are essential when working with light stands! (I found out the hard way šŸ˜‰ ) Currently I use these PBL bags, which work fantastic. They have a double zipper setup to prevent from spilling your sand all over. Very solid design with double straps to ease on wear and tear.
  • I have two of these Westcott umbrellas, 1-convertable (with removable black exterior) & 1 plain white shoot through. Great modifiers, and very versatile! Definitely suggest you pick one up if your getting into off camera flash situations.
umbrella bracket
  • I have a couple of these Cowboy Studio’s cold shoe umbrella brackets. These are great for either mounting your shoe mount radio triggers (Im not going to be mentioning my triggers as Im not satisfied with them and will be replacing shortly) or your flash to your light stand. These are great if your only working with speed lights, thus not needing to get multiple bracket parts.
5in1 Reflector
  • An extremely versatile tool for any photography arsenal!! I love this guy for both naturally lit and strobe lit photos. With so many options to choose from in one little bag it makes for one of the coolest modifiers around. I use the Neewer 43in version, which is one of the cheapest on the market, but performs exceptionally well.
A Clamps
  • The only thing I have to say about these guys is… You can never have too many A-Clamps! I literally use for everything!!



Apple I-Mac

  • This is the beast of a computer that crunches through all my photo files!! Absolutely LOVE my i-Mac for both my graphic design and photography. Ive been called an apple whore, and I would say they were probably right. I love the ease of use and wonderful ecosystem the mac products have. My i-phone communicates beautifully with it, as well as the i-pad I will someday own ;). If your asking me whether you should go mac vs pc, I will undoubtably tell you Mac!

Wacom Intuos4 small

  • I have no clue what I would be doing without the Intuos4! This thing works magic when retouching and designing!! Ive had so many people ask my opinion of tablets and my only answer is YOU HAVE TO GET ONE! Productivity and efficiency goes through the roof with one of these! I use the small right now, which is perfect for a single screen, however when I run dual monitors I find myself wishing I had the medium size or larger. Either way one of these should definitely be in you office or laptop bag!

Photoshop CS5

  • I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for this wonderful program!! Right now Im working off of Photoshop CS5 Extended an although I would like to upgrade to CS6 soon, 5 is suiting me perfectly fine right now. Great thing about photoshop is it comes with Adobe Camera Raw so if you don’t have a program like Lightroom you can still make your raw adjustments just as well in Camera Raw. This program paired with the wacom tablet above is an unstoppable force!!

Adobe Lightroom 3

  • Although Photoshop has its own Camera Raw editor, I still prefer to use Lighroom as my workflow management tool and initial editor. Again I have Lightroom 3, and although I would still like to upgrade to the new version(4) soon, this version is working just fine for me. I absolutely love this program and dont know what I would do for organization without it!

iphone dock

  • Anything I can do to keep the workspace clean and organized is a plus! Love this docking station for keeping the iphone under control!

Card Reader

  • With the increasing types of memory cards, having a multi card reader like this is a lifesaver!


45 Comments My Equipment

  1. SL Schildan January 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    My bag holds similar stuff (except I only have three lenses) and can never find the bag I want/need that also holds my Sony camcorder and gear and stuff I would normally have in a small purse (women’s clothes don’t always come with pockets). I just got a mini camera Olympus PEN and it is tiny by comparison, the results are great, except so far I have not been able to figure out how to get it into manual focus mode…a huge frustration for me. But it takes 1080i HD at the touch of a button and eliminates the need for a big camera and camcorder. It certainly does not replace it. But so much lighter for the daily about town stuff, family gatherings, and an upcoming trip.

    1. Nick Mayo January 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Hey Shez! Yea Im looking for an additional bag right now to suite my needs when walking downtown. I really just want to get a canvas messenger bag and modify it with dividers to make sure everything isn’t crashing around in it. I like to change lenses on the fly so an easy to access bag by my side is a must! As far as the Olympus Pen do you have the manual focus lens for it haha, may be a silly question but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I know they have a good deal of lenses for it and Im not sure if all are manual focus enabled. I do like those cameras though, the fact that they have an adapter to work with any lens is unreal!

      1. sunny, bright & shining January 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm

        I usually do not do this….My Etsy account is where my other creative side comes to life. I sew camera bags, lines and wrappers. That’s right, use any bag and I create a custom made removable liner for your specific needs and camera gear. Try a wrapper for a lens less frequently used. It will add padding and protection to the lense and everything else in the bag.
        Brenda/abostonbean photographer by day…..hippybabe/bag maker, seamstress by night. Lol

        1. Nick Mayo January 31, 2012 at 6:23 pm

          Hahaha Thanks for sharing Brenda. Any chance you could do a canvas (tan, grey or black) messenger bag style camera bag? Kind of like the thinktank bag over here. It needs to be manly though šŸ™‚ If so I would definitely be interested!

  2. incidentallearner January 30, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I have bag envy! I wish my camera bag was as bountiful! I had a peruse through your work and love it! Thanks for viewing my blog and for the follow..I’m always open to learn new things and your photography is inspiring. Will be seeing more of you I hope as I am now following your blog as well.

    1. Nick Mayo January 30, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Thanks! I appreciate your kind words! Thanks for following šŸ™‚

  3. Bella Remy Photography January 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    This truly shows it’s not what’s in the bag, but how you use it. Isn’t the Lowepro bag just awesome ! I love mine.

    1. Nick Mayo January 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks Bella! Yea I like the lowepro, but Im really looking to get a ThinkTank over the shoulder bag. It would be so much easier to access my gear!

  4. Black & White Photography by Lawrence Perkins January 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Nick, thanks for following my blog today. I’m glad to see you have some sense when it come to your choice of camera gear.
    I too shot with a canon. I have a 1d mk2n and a 5dmk2, I have to say since I got my 5dmk2 its never out of my hand.
    Thanks again for the follow, I will do the same for you and will look forward to reading your blog.


    1. Nick Mayo January 31, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Hey Lawrence! I appreciate that! I would love to step up to full frame soon, but also enjoy making the most of what I have right now. I hope to inspire others who can only afford starter equipment šŸ™‚

  5. Fluffy Tufts February 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Wow! I’m envious!
    What’s in my bag? A Canon A3200IS and a Gorilla Pod! šŸ™‚

    1. Nick Mayo February 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks Rachel. But Im a firm believer its all in the photographer to make the magic happen. The only reason I have so much gear really is because Im a Craigslist junkie haha. I love finding ridiculous prices!

        1. Nick Mayo February 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm

          Awesome thanks for the recommendation Bella!

  6. Robyn G February 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    HI Nick, thanks so much for your interest in my work.
    I very much enjoy your photos and your work šŸ˜€

  7. sunny, bright & shining February 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Nick, I make the inside only. You go and find a regular messenger bag, or any bag. Send me themensioms and details of what you want. Ie three dividers, pocket ah each end, (INSIDE). On the outside of th insert I can put more pockets ,a hook for your keys, etc, it’s up to you to find the right bag. Maybe it’s already in your closet?

    1. Nick Mayo February 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Alright, Ill keep my eyes peeled for the perfect messenger bag šŸ™‚

  8. sunny, bright & shining February 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    iPad have their very own dictionary. ;(

    What wrote should have said demensions. Or a link to it a website. When youre ready please email me abostonbean _at_ Comcast dot net šŸ˜‰ We can talk details etc? Thanks Brenda

    1. Nick Mayo February 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Sounds good! Thanks again Brenda šŸ™‚

  9. Ari de lucia February 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Ewe… Canon!? J/K, I shoot with Nikon but would buy a Canon in a heart beat if I had the chance. BTW, Thanks for following my blog that is awesome! I am following yours as-well šŸ˜€

    1. Nick Mayo February 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Hahaha Thanks Ari! I love my Canon, but also find benefits in owning a Nikon, mainly focusing and extended bracketing. Thanks for following šŸ™‚

  10. wittypixaday February 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    nice. šŸ™‚

    1. Nick Mayo February 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Haha thanks šŸ™‚

  11. abracole February 11, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I’m in the market for a tripod, and one that I was considering is a vista explorer, so I’m curious to see what you think of yours!
    I have a Nikon D5000 that probably weighs about the same as your Canon.
    Have you had any notable problems with it?

    1. Nick Mayo February 11, 2012 at 1:21 am

      Hey Abra! One of my biggest regrets when initially buying my equipment is in not spending the money for a better tripod. I was in the thinking that any old tripod would work just fine, but am now unsatisfied with mine. Although I did get it for a measly 10 bucks off craigslist. But I am not pleased with it at all. The tilting head is very weak allowing the camera to continue to shake for at least 30 seconds anytime I touch it. When its tilted to shoot in portrait its even worse. I would highly recommend investing some money into a much better tripod, even if that means holding off on getting one while your saving up. It is on the list for upcoming investments as well. Hope this helps šŸ™‚

      1. abracole February 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

        Ah! Yes, this helps LOADS. Thank you! I was afraid it would be as you are saying it is. I will happily spend more on something nicer.
        I’m also considering a Sunpak, with a pistol grip head. I’ll look more into that range. Thanks for letting me know!

        1. Nick Mayo February 11, 2012 at 3:12 am

          Your welcome! šŸ™‚ Look for something that is extremely sturdy, like a carbon fiber body and invest in a nice ball head when you can too.

  12. amaryllislog February 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm


    Thanks for sharing what’s in your bag, super helpful and insightful. If you get a chance I’d love to hear your thoughts on your lens.

    Let me know if you ever find the perfect tripod, I too struggle with mine.

    Love what you are doing here on your blog. Your photography is fantastic and very inspirational!


    1. Nick Mayo February 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Hey thanks Cathe! I may do a blog post about my thoughts on my lenses. But in a nutshell my two favorite lenses in my bag right now are the 50mm and 55-250mm. I really don’t like my 70-300 and may be giving it away to someone who can get more use out of it. Im looking to upgrade to some better glass soon, which will still be a longer zoom, probably a canon or sigma. Thanks so much for your kind words šŸ™‚

      1. amaryllislog February 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

        Very cool! I have a 50mm that I too love…until I ponied up and bought a 24-70 which I also love. Both lens have wonderful optics that make images glow. They are a real joy to use. I’ve been dreaming about an 85mm but for now, that is just a dream.

        It would be great if you did a post on lenses. I’d really appreciate your insight.

        On another note I’d love more thoughts on tripods. I use mine often but I find so many limitations with it, or maybe the limitations are with the operator!

        Thanks Nick!

        1. Nick Mayo February 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

          Yea I have yet to get a good tripod, but I need to. Mine is getting weaker and weaker at the camera mount. Thats what I get for buying a cheap one! Im considering doing a post on my lenses. Be on the look out šŸ™‚

  13. Gilly Gee February 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Awesome kit, I’m deeply jealous of course!

  14. jrush22 February 25, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Hey Nick,

    Great page and posts, per usual. With Canon, is there any distinction between lens compatibility for their full frame and APS-C sensor cameras? Said another way, is your 50mm really a 75mm on the T1, or was it made for a crop sensor. I always have to do the math with Nikon’s line…

    1. Nick Mayo February 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Jay, good question. You are correct, my 50 is a 75 on my T1i. To get close to a true 50 in my crop I would have to get a 35.

  15. sunny, bright & shining February 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Nick, I love the vintage bag. I have a similar bag that I am going to dig out. Now that you mention it the open top makes better sense than most bags… Film you have stirred up the photographer within. I was just toying with my Minolta Maxxum thinking it is a better fit in my hands. Comfort behind the camera…..

    1. Nick Mayo February 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Yea Ive been shooting with my Minolta SRT 202 until I repair my AE. The open top makes so much sense when on the go!

  16. bradysbungalo7 May 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Whoa!! You shoot with a rebel t1?!! That’s awesome I have a a rebel t3. I always thought I was disadvantaged because I had a “lower level camera” but you take some GREAT pics! Do you do alloy of photo editing on the computer? What program do you use? And do I understand that you take daily photo walks? Do you just walk around your town and shoot random stuff? =)

    1. Nick Mayo May 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

      Hey Brady! Its as the say the photographer and not the gear that makes or breaks a picture. I love my t1i, and it works perfectly fine for capturing stunning images. I do spend a good amount of time in the ol’ digital darkroom adding my own flare to the pics. I use Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5 and Photomatix Pro for my HDR work. A majority of my editing is done in Lightroom. And yes I try my hardest to get out each day and do a photo walk, typically around town. I try to take day trips on the weekend to cities across the state as much as possible, but Im always forcing myself to approach each day in a new creative sense. Glad you enjoyed my pics, feel free to reach out with questions or comments at any time. And if you havent done so head over to the Nick Exposed Facebook page to keep up on all the news and be the first to hear about contests and projects šŸ™‚

      1. bradysbungalo7 May 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        So I am just now starting to get into the whole photo editing world. Do you suggest going ahead and getting photoshop CS5 or starting with Lightroom 3?

        1. Nick Mayo May 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm

          Lightroom is a powerhouse when it comes to editing, and will do a lot more then people expect. I would say less then 20% of my photos get opened in photoshop.

          1. bradysbungalo7 May 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            Thanks for all your help I truly appreciate it. But one more quick question, when you do your HDR’s do you manual set the exposure or do you have a setting on the camera that does it for you?

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