CANON GEAR LIST | CAMERAS & LENSES
This Canon gear list includes the camera bodies and lenses that I use on a weekly basis as well as some items that I’ve rented over the years in special cases. Although I first made the jump to DSLRs with Nikon, the last few years have made me a big fan of Canon gear.
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Canon 1DX Mark II
This is my new workhorse and it’s a beast! I called the 1DX a prize-winning stallion, then the 1DX Mark II must be Secretariat (I’m going to run out of horse metaphors soon…)!!
The improvements to sensor noise have been incredible and I can get clean looking shots at high ISOs when there is decent light and can push images when underexposed without much penalty. It’s excellent between ISO 200-1600 and really good at ISO 3200-6400 and can surprise me at higher ISOs.
I also love that it shoots up to 14 frames per second and I have yet to hit the limit on the buffer in real work shooting (which make such a big difference). I’m able to customize the buttons to speed up my workflow and the new CFast cards transfer data much faster than the old CF standard. The addition of 120fps slow motion video has made me fall in love with creating short little videos for social use.
This is a highly recommend camera for people who need these features. It’s probably too much camera for most people, but there isn’t a better Canon camera out there at the moment for shooting fitness like I do.
Canon 5D Mark III
This was hs been a workhorse for me on commercial shoots over the past 5 or so years, before I got the 1DX Mark II. It gives me enough custom settings to get to the shot quicker than any other camera I own. It’s excellent between ISO 200-800 and surprisingly good at ISO 1600-3200 for what I do. I can highly recommend this full frame camera as most of my fitness work has been shot on this camera.
This model has been replaced by the Canon 5D Mark IV.
If the 5D is a workhorse, then the 1DX is a prize winning stallion. Blazingly fast at 12 frames per second (it sounds like a machine gun), even more consistent autofocus performance and weather sealing is what sets it apart. If those things aren’t important to you, then skip this and stick with a less expensive camera. I’ve rented this camera for a few specific shoots and always enjoy what it brings to the table.
This model has been replaced by the Canon 1DX Mark II.
Lenses for Canon Cameras
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
This lens has seen a lot of use over the years and I continue to use it in situations where changing primes isn’t feasible. Since it goes from a decently wide 24mm to a somewhat tight 70mm, you get a nice range including the classic 35 and 50mm focal lengths. Having an aperture of 2.8 means that you can use it in various lighting situations and get some good depth of field isolation. The only issue I’ve had with mine is that the rubber zoom ring has come loose. I’ve never had this happen on any other lens I own.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
If you like depth of field isolation and need a quick focusing lens for fast subjects, this is an amazing lens. It’s very sharp and has a really nice bokeh. If i ever need to control my background, this is a go-to lens. I prefer having f/2.8 primes because I often work in low light at fast shutter speeds, but it is heavy. If you don’t need such a large aperture, I’ve heard great things about the 70-200 f/4, and it is a lot lighter.
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
It was a tough decision on whether to go with the Sigma or Canon 24mm f/1.4 lenses, but I ended up going with this one and am glad I did. Although I may not use this as much as some of my other lenses, it is extremely handy in tight spaces with low light. As someone who enjoys the shallow depth of field look, I tend to shoot between f/1.4 and f/2.0 to get that look.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
This is by far my most dependable lens – it almost never misses focus. Being at the classic photojournalist focal length of 35mm means that it’s a great lens to have when you’re in amongst the action. There is an intimacy that can be created using this lens which is rounded out with a beautiful bokeh. I highly recommend this lens if you’re looking at buying a 35mm prime.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
The 50mm focal length holds a special place in my heart as it was the first prime that I bought. This f/1.2 beauty is the gold standard. It has beautiful bokeh and the images just sing when you get it right. The only negative is the price. If I was just starting out, I’d get the f/1.8 “nifty fifty”, save a bunch of money, go travelling and shoot photos. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of this lens.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM
This piece of glass it a work of art. The quality of the bokeh when shooting a shallow depth of field is amazing. If you like blurry backgrounds, you’ll love this lens. The drawbacks are that it’s heavy, and the focusing is a bit slower than the other lenses on this list. That said, it can still track moving subjects that I shoot unless they’re erratic. It’s a great lens to have in the bag for situations where there’s not much light and you need to control your backgrounds.
Canon EF 135mm f/2L IS II USM
An exceptional lens if you’re looking to isolate subjects. Its fast focusing and super sharp, which is important for what I do. A bit long for a lot of indoor applications, it shines in big spaces. If the 70-200mm f/2.8 is out of your range, or you prefer primes (which is the direction my photography is heading) this is the excellent buy.
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
I don’t own this lens, but have rented it for special applications. Although it’s an expensive and heavy lens, it’s the lightest of the f/2.8 telephoto exotics. Out side of weight (and price), there’s nothing that would stop me from buying one if I knew I would use it regularly. I do own a couple tele extenders that get me to 300mm that I’ll use in a pinch, but if I know I’m going to need a long lens, I’ll go with this one.
Canon Extender EF 1.4X III
Not much to say about this other than it’s a great addition to anyone’s bag on the off chance you need a little bit more reach. You pay a bit of a quality penalty, but sometimes that tradeoff is worth it. I don’t use this as much as the 2X tele extender below, even though the image quality is better because it just doesn’t change my focal length enough to make a huge difference in my images.
Canon Extender EF 2X III
Another great, lightweight addition to you bag that might save your a** in a pinch. You can turn your 200mm into a 400mm lens. Sure you’re losing 2 stops of light due to how it changes the aperture, but you’re probably shooting outdoors and could use a bit more depth of field on such a long lens anyway. The real negative is that compared to a dedicated long lens, the quality penalty is noticeable even though the sharpness is acceptable in most cases. Thing is, the weight penalty of a dedicated telephoto lens is even more noticeable than the quality difference.