KAI HORNUNG PHOTOGRAPHY
KAI HORNUNG - PHOTOGRAPHY

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What´s in my bag - my gear

 what was in my camera bag when I went to Lofoten in Feb. 2018

what was in my camera bag when I went to Lofoten in Feb. 2018


(I have included some links to the gear I talk about that will take you to Amazon. It is to help you find more information about it. And they are also 'affiliate links'. This means if you use these links to purchase any item from there, Amazon will give me a small commission. Doesn't do anything for you but helps support my work. So thank you!)

„What camera are you using?“. “What lenses do you have?”. I have stopped counting how often I am receiving these questions. I know it is a common question when you are looking for gear yourself. So it might be a good idea to write about it to let you know.

 shooting with my Sony a7riii

shooting with my Sony a7riii

So camera first: I am using a Sony a7riii as my primary camera and a Sony a6000 as backup. My switch to full frame came when I rented the Sony a7rii for my phototour in the Alps in September 2017 and realized how much more dynamic range and better ISO performance the images have compared to my crop camera a6000. By that time I had felt that I had squeezed out about every detail I could get from the raw files from my a6000 in post processing. Working the highlight and shadow sliders for raw files of the a7rii for the first time felt like a revelation to me. Editing images went way faster. Bracketing was only needed for most extreme light conditions like facing the sun straight, for example. From that moment on I knew I would upgrade. When the a7riii got announced key features that I thought were important for me were upgraded: better battery life, better auto focus when using it aside from landscape (where I actually don’t really need it) and the pixel shift function (which I never really use how it turned out) that really got me interested. And of course an improved usability with the joystick and touchscreen. Which turns out to be the best upgrade for me aside from the way better battery.

I am not a techie. And I am really bad in discussions about technical specs. I just need my gear to work and enable me to be creative! The less I have to think about gear, the better.

Since I have just upgraded using a full frame camera some months ago I don’t have much ff glass, yet. My main lens is the Sony gmaster 16-35 2.8. It is a bit heavier than I would like it to be when hiking around for a while but I love it´s incredible sharpness, the detail and it´s beautiful sunstar. It´s very pricey but it is also an unbelievably great lens. Since I like to shoot my landscapes mostly wide I prefer the 16-35 over the 24-70. Eventhough I would like to add that range some time in the future.

The long lens I am using is the Sony 70-200 4.0. It is a huge lens (especially when you are used to the small compact lenses for the a6000), but I need that length to go for more intimate shots and capture mountain peaks, for example. By the time buying it I felt a bit sad that my budget limited me to the 4.0 version instead of the faster gmaster 2.8. Looking back I have not missed the 2.8 on that tele for one second. When I shoot in bad light where I need a faster lens, I shoot wide anyways. And nightshots I haven’t tried with my tele, yet. So I am happy for my decision to save money and weight while carrying my gear with the great 70-200 4.0.

 when I am outside shooting in the arctic I need to trust my gear

when I am outside shooting in the arctic I need to trust my gear

I also have a vintage 50mm Minolta Rokkor 1.7 lens that I bought on ebay to have a manual glass with character for portraits. I have to admit I hardly ever use it though. My go to lens on the a6000 was my Samyang 12mm 2.0. It´s all manual but I love it for landscapes and low light. Having it work all manual is something I like for night shots, really. Not so much its sunstar though which cannot compare to the smooth ones of my other lenses. Also it is really soft wide open. But it´s awesome for a small budget. In fact when using my a6000 I had that lens on about 90 % of the time. If you are looking for a great value for money lens look no further. Close the aperture and at around f8 you will get tack sharp images and enjoy a great catch for a price of 300 €.

Then I also have a Sigma 30mm 2.8 (which is a good budget lens to just go and shoot street photography) that I have started out with when getting the a6000. And the SEL 55-210 is in my arsenal, too. But actually, its days are over for me since I own the 70-200. That SEL55-210 provided me a tele when I needed one on my a6000. But it isn’t a sharp lens at all. Something that had bugged me ever since. And it doesn’t stand what I expect from a good lens for me anymore.

As for other gear of course I have to name my Sirui W2204 tripod which is providing me stabability that I definitely need in the field or at times inside the ocean to shoot. I have a Sirui T2204 also which replaced my Rollei ci-5 that I started with when getting my a6000. I had used my Rollei on all kinds of situations, too. And it did not fail on me. I decided to go for Sirui because I got recommended doing so when looking for a stable tripod that can take a beating and salt water splashes. I collaborated with Sirui on designing their new L-bracket for the a7riii. They were so kind to support me with the w2204 which is now my main tripod. 

 on set at Elbsandsteingebirge

on set at Elbsandsteingebirge

I am using a f-stop Ajna backpack (with the medium ICU that you have to get extra). And I love it. It has travelled with me and has never failed on me. A bit bulky for just a little shooing and therefore not what you are looking for when photographing in the city. But its a great shelter for a longer shoot outside. I have carried this backpack fully loaded for an entire day and it felt alright for me.

Lastly, the filters I use are Haida filters. I have several circular filters but having become an official Haida ambassador enabled me to test and use their 100x100mm filter system with ND Filters (3-stop, 6-stop and 10-stop) as well as different soft GND, the polarizer and night filter. I have always used Haida filters. So it was a no brainer for me when they asked if I liked to collaborate with them and become a brand ambassador. 

To round things up: I use a Wacom Pro Intuos M tablet for editing on my Macbook Pro and plan on adding an iMac to the family.

Is there other gear I use? Sure, small things like cleaning gear and of course outdoor gear. But I might safe that for another time.