Hey, it’s been a while! I’ve still been taking photos as usual, but this website hasn’t seen updates in a long time. A lot of my updates go on my Photography Banzai Facebook page due to convenience. Personal websites, in my experience, don’t get much traffic with articles like this. Most of this site’s traffic are my old Pentax equipment reviews.
Here are a few photos I took at a local cosplay photography meetup. The meetup is usually centered around photos with horses that we have available, but we still mostly just take photos of the cosplayers by themselves. It’s really just a big group of friends hanging out and enjoying a mutual hobby (while we also eat, drink, and have a bonfire). Stuff like this is what it’s all about!
Now on to the equipment talk. The equipment I pull out when I’m serious is still Nikon DSLRs.
Cameras and Lenses (use both at once most of the time):
Nikon D600 with a 50mm f1.8g lens:
This was attached to my backpack’s strap lugs directly across my chest.
An easy to use setup with that great normal focal length. It’s extremely dependable and easy to get nice portrait or full-body photos.
Nikon D750 with a Sigma 100-300mm f4 lens:
This was attached to a shoulder strap by the len’s tripod mount.
I had bought this lens to see if it would give me a certain look I was going for. For the most part it did. Both the camera and lens were pretty unfamiliar to me. I’ve had the lens for a decent amount of time, but didn’t have any big uses for it until this event. The camera body was a last minute thing due to a local shop that had a good deal on it used. Auto-focus was at time hit-or-miss, which I’m not too surprised about given the age of the lens (It doesn’t even focus in live-view). Excluding how many photos I had to discard due to auto-focus, the sharpness and qualities are pretty great. Zoom it out to 300 at f4 and you will get some unique isolation of subjects. I just wish there were current 100-300mm f4 lenses being sold, because I’d probably consider one in the future. I know Sigma has a 100-300 f2.8, but it isn’t cheap and it’s probably too big to easily handhold (not cheap compared to what I paid for this used lens). Overall, I’ll probably keep it around, but still wish the auto-focus was more consistent. Part of it could be my technique that I will be working on. The lens is pretty front-heavy.
All I had with me were reflectors (5-n-1 with diffusion). The photo above with the vibrant blue sky was using the largest one for diffusion of the sun and the smaller one for fill light. It worked out nicely thanks to the help of two friends than held them while I took the photos. Huge reflectors are a challenge to use, but do things that are hard to accomplish with anything else. My 5ft tall reflector worked out nicely, but I’m thinking I should have gone even larger.
A few improvements I’d make:
I’d like to pick up a quality double camera strap. It would make it easier to manage the two cameras I think. The issue is that good ones are not cheap! I’d also consider a larger 5-n-1 diffuser/reflector. Blocking out daylight sun is a great use for them when I perfect spot is not in the shade. I also need to work on properly using that Sigma 100-300mm lens. As I had mentioned, it isn’t ideal due to how old it is, but I think some of my issues were due to how front heavy it is (that’s one think I can improve on).
The nice thing about this photo meetup is that I can take my time and try to grow as a photographer. Conventions are usually not ideal for that.