Here’s Why I’m Not an Equipment Snob

by | Apr 15, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

I’ve said this before (on this post and my photography how-to blog) but it’s worth repeating for any new readers to this blog; I am not employed, under contract or personally sponsored by a camera, photographic, software or any other kind of company. The ads that you see below are from companies I know and trust and all of the income from them goes to pay part of the cost of producing this blog and does not affect what I write about.

The cameras and lenses that are used to make the photographs that you see on this blog is gear I bought and paid for with my own money. Some of my cameras were gifts from my wife Mary, although I am given to understand that not all wives share their husband’s passion for photography. Occasionally some of these images were made while testing equipment for product reviews for this blog or Shutterbug but that’s the only exception. You may be surprised to learn that equipment is sent with a legally binding loan agreement and after reviewing all of this equipment I must return it to the manufacturer. There are no freebies, at least not for me.

Since I pay for all of my own gear you’ll probably notice that some of the cameras I use seem “old” and occasionally I’ve received an e-mail from readers asking, “why are you using that old thing?” Let me answer those two questions at once: I’m not an equipment snob for good reason: I can’t afford to be.

My cameras include Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless cameras and Canon EOS DSLRs. You can see the specific gear that I own in the Gear section. With my Canon DSLRs, I use the (no longer available) Pro-Optic Teleextenders and when a  reader asked if I liked them better than Nikon or Canon’s I responded, “They work great and it’s what I can afford” and his reply indicated that he understood. The best bet on 2x telextenders these days seems to be the $399 Sigma TC-2001 2x Teleconverter. If anyone knows of a better deal, please click Contact and tell me about it and I will update this post.

How I Made the Above Shot: For some of my infrared work, such as the image of a Beetle convertible above, I used a 16mm f/2.8 manual focus Russian-made Zenitar that was purchased on eBay and recently sold in an effort to streamline the amount of equipment that I own.

Heck, I even have a Holga lens for my Micro Four-thirds system cameras and this lens was cheap and fun to use. And when it comes down to it, that is the main reason I’m a photographer. When I sold my studio many years ago, my goal was to only shoot the kind of photographs that I wanted to make and write about the process, sharing what I’ve learned with others. That’s the purpose of all of my books and especially of my blogs.

I’ve found that Life Pixel does a great job with IR conversions and they have done most of the conversions for my Canon DSLRs and all of my Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras. This is not a paid or sponsored endorsement, just my experience.

My out-of-print book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is available from Amazon with new collector copies selling for $51.39 and used copies starting around ten bucks, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon for $20.09 with used copies starting around two bucks. No Kindle versions are currently available.