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David Clapp Photography Kit Photograph

Equipment

It has to be said that I love photographic technology, whether it’s cameras or computers. I often get a lot of emails about the kit that I use, as my approach became somewhat unorthodox when I started delving into the world of adapted lenses. Although I own an array of auto focus lenses, they are still not necessarily the right tool for the right job, so I my kit bag changes all the time as I shoot with different purpose.

I have always been a long term Canon user, as the bodies have always felt right in the hand. Being rather sentimental, I have never brought myself to sell the original Canon 5D, as looking through my library I am always reminded just how excellent the images are that it produces, and instead have converted it to infrared. The 1Ds3 was a huge step up in quality and now remains my number one choice of camera in literally all circumstances.

Although this looks like a goldmine of equipment, it’s all come about from one very important rule that I set myself at the start - I will not buy equipment unless it is earn’t from photography. Ok, the bags are the result of company sponsorship (to which I am so very grateful) but all the lenses, camera bodies and computers are bought with money generated from my business. It was ridiculously difficult at first.

Hover over the equipment to find out more.

Canon 1Dsmk3 - My main body, for both landscapes and travel (due to its audio recording). Its literally waterproof and delivers the most incredible imagery with the right glass in front of it. I cant see myself upgrading it for at least another five years. Canon 5Dmk2 - The backup body, but also used exclusively for moonlight as it has around a 1stop noise advantage over the 1Ds3. I had a duff one fist time round, which had excessive banding and shadow noise. This one is far better. Great for lightweight hiking trips and making videos. Canon 5D IR - Converted to infrared, which allows a completely different take on black and white imagery. My original 5D, which was the making of my photography. Gitzo GT5540 - Its the most solid platform available. Easy to clean and maintain, there is nothing to touch it, but its heavy. Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT - The ultimate lightweight travel and hiking tripod. Used for 80% of my shoots, its removable centre column and super low versatility make it a leader in its class Kirk BH1 - Bullet proof but it looks like a hand grenade to airport scanners. Incredible strength but somewhat heavy.  A perfect match for the Gitzo. Nikon 14-24 f2.8 - The most incredible wide angle lens at this time, super sharp at all apertures and focal lengths. Nothing to touch it made by any manufacturer. Canon 17-40 f4L - Now somewhat in the shadows of the 14-24, but I do use it when I require polarisers. Not great at 17-21mm, but has AF when needed its hard to beat. Canon 24-105 f4L - Poor performance at either end, chromatic aberration and distortion that can be fixed in PT Lens, but these problems are eclipsed by image stabilisation and AF, making this an essential tool when travelling. Canon 24mm TS-E Mk2 - We shall never be parted. Its the most versatile lens on the planet. Ridiculously sharp at all apertures, make panoramas, huge 39mp square shots and use tilt for huge DOF effects. It is used for landscapes, seascapes, architecture, travel, in fact I cant think of any application it cant be used for. Olympus 35mm Shift f2.8 - Incredible, compact optic. It’s a superb lens, super sharp at f11 shifted to the extremes. Canon has no 35mm shift, so it’s become a firm favourite in my camera bag. Zork MFS - the ultimate tilt lens. The lens is a Rodenstock Rodagon APO 90mm dar room enlarging lens, capable of 20degs of tilt, perfect for  miniatursing the world. I use it for macro work too, making it the most portable and versatile 90mm macro ever. Also works with extension tubes. Contax 28mm f2 - The most incredible prime I own, a true gem of wide angles. Sharp at f4 edge to edge, with superb micro contrast and that unmistakable Zeiss look. Just brilliant for moonlight photography Contax 35-70 f3.4 - The ultimate calendar lens. Not too wide, not too long, it makes you really think about composition. Prime sharp at all focal lengths, with amazing contrast. It’s the best lens in its focal length by far. Canon 70-200 f4L IS - A total gem, razor sharp and light. Distortion at either end, but easy to fix. Superb IS, great range. It’s just incredible Canon 300mm f2.8L - My version is the non-IS version and its still doing exceptionally well some 15 years on. Super sharp wide open with good contrast. Canon  1.4xII and 2xII - Essential tools for the 300mm, 70-200 and 24mm TS-Emk2, the 1.4xII is used on all these lenses whereas the the 2xII turns the 300mm into a 600m f5.6, perfect for long range landscapes. Canon  1.4xII and 2xII - Essential tools for the 300mm, 70-200 and 24mm TS-Emk2, the 1.4xII is used on all these lenses whereas the the 2xII turns the 300mm into a 600m f5.6, perfect for long range landscapes. Vanguard ABh140L - Superb Arca Swiss mount ballhead, super smooth machining, it’s the ultimate travel and lightweight hiking ballhead, matching the Alta Pro perfectly. Apple Macbook Pro - Although I have never been an Apple user until this 13inch Mac Book Pro bought nice and cheaply, I have to say its a killer piece of kit. Upgraded to 4gb, I can process masses of images whilst on the move, as well as write articles, send hi-res imagery to clients and run my mobile office. 320GB Portable Hard Drive - All RAW files / processed work is stored on the MBP and backed up onto each of these drives. I leave one in my camera bag and the other I give to whoever I am shooting with. 320GB Portable Hard Drive - All RAW files / processed work is stored on the MBP and backed up onto each of these drives. I leave one in my camera bag and the other I give to whoever I am shooting with. Canon 580EXII Speedlite - Used for photographing interiors and lighting up rocks when shooting in moonlight. A neutral flash with lots of power. Apple iPhone - The portable office and entertainments machine -  Email, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, weather, music, films, games... I couldnt function my business without it LEE Filters - Stores polarisers and NDs, but I now own a 0.9Grad and a 0.6Grad, both soft step, to help me cut down on processing stock work. They are also good for adding drama to skies (certainly not for controlling extreme light levels!) RRS Pano Head - Superb piece of engineering, its extremely usefull for making rotating panos, especially with shift lenses. Think Tank StreetWalker Pro - Superb low key backpack that holds pro-series bodies without compromise. and up to seven lenses, yet it remains compact and extremely comfortable Think Tank Airport Acceleration - The taridis, it can hold all the camerugh airport check-in. Super manufacture, it’s in a class of its own. It gets used as a travel safe and equipment hold all, buy locking the zips and wrapping the whole bag in a PacSafe wire mesh bag. This in turn gets padlocked to the hotel toilet. Vanguard Upriser Messenger Bag - Amazing reporter style travel bag, brilliant when shooting daytime cities. Used as additional hand luggage on every travel trip. It also gets used as a laptop bag when at home, as well as carrying equipment when DJing.