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David&Jessie photo gallery | profile | all galleries >> Others >> my_gears_2006 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow
Below are the photos of my current photography gears. These are all 135 format gears. I tried medium format twice seriously but they are probably too troublesome to me, not to mention large format.



My SLR system is a Canon. I primarily use a Canon 20D with grip, and a Canon Elan 7 serves as a film backup. 20D has been satisfactory in almost every aspect, except that it is not a full frame. Should it be a full frame, I would probably not consider upgrading for quite a few years. The lenses that I have are Canon 35mm F1.4L, 17-40 F4L, 70-200 F4L, 85 F1.8, Tamron 28-75 F2.8, Carl Zeiss T* 50mm F1.4, and a Canon 1.4x II teleconverter. I only purchased the 35L recently, but I became immediately addicted to it. I used a Sigma DC 30mm F1.4 prior to the 35L, but the sigma was less consistent and slower in focusing and had lousy corners & harder color redemption. 17-40F4L is a very nice wide angle lens, F4 is a little bit insufficient but for its money you canít expect more. On the other hand, 70-200F4L is absolutely the most affordable L lens with best quality/price ratio. Coupled with or without a Canon 1.4X, it consistently delivered stunning pictures. The build quality and focusing system is also second to none. 85 F1.8 is a very handy portraiting lens, with beautiful bokeh and great resolution at full open. It also renders fast and quite focusing, which is lacking in the big brother 85L. Chromatic aberration is pretty obvious at wide open, though. The Tamron 28-75 F2.8 is a great lens for the money. Resolution wise it is on par with the Canon 24-70F2.8L, while it is even smaller and lighter than the Canon L (67mm vs 77mm). However, the quality control of Tamron is not quite good, so there is a chance of you getting a bad copy. My Tamron never had a problem with my 20D, while the Sigma had numerous problems. The color redemption of Tamron is slightly yellowish, so in that perspective it is not as good as the Canon L. The last lens that I am mentioning here is my Carl Zeiss T* 50mm F1.4. The SN starts with 59, which according to rumor is made from glass shipped to Japan from Germany, and has the best bokeh and resolution. The transition of texture is indeed smooth like silk and the bokeh dissolved in magarita, but the resolution is not as impressive as I thought it would be, which I do not need that much, anyway.



The film system that I use is a rangefinder system, which composes primarily of Contax and a few others. The Contax G system is the system that I enjoy the most. Although ppl has been complaining about its not so bright viewfinder and the lack of manual focus, but the G system has been a very practical and handy system to me. The fast AF allowed me to capture a lot of moments which are almost impossible to capture with a Leica M system: there was simply not sufficient time to adjust focus in any matter. So, I love the system. What I have are Contax G2, a new Contax G 21mm F2.8, which is arguably the best wide angle lens of 135 format, a Contax G 28mm F2.8, a Contax G 45mm F2, which is one of the sharpest norm lens of 135mm format, and three Contax G 90mm F2.8, which is one of the best portraiting lens of 135mm format. I have a contax G leather system bag, with which I can easily carry the whole G system in it.





The three G lenses that I do not have are G16mm F8 hologon, G 35mm F2, and G 35-70mm zoom. I am not a fan of zoom of RF system, so that one is out. The G 35F2 is controversial, in the sense that it does not delivery as much resolution as the G45, while it has a special color redemption, bokeh, and resolution transition from center to corner, which attracts a lot of ppl. Its price on ebay is gaining a lot of momentum due to the relative small number of it on the market. For this lens, I have a perfect alternative, a Contax T2 with 38mm F2.8 sonnar. The T2 was my major film P&S for a couple of years, as its saturated color and beautiful details could always take my breath away. This is actually my second T2. My first one was a Contax 60Year Gold Special Edition, which was covered by gold and had a total of less than 1000 units released in North America. What is more, mine had a serial number of USA010! Unfortunately, it was stolen when I was in Wuhan. I was very sad and lost my appetite for about two weeks. Later I got this silver copy and have been using it through the last couple of years. T2 has sturdy and beautiful constructs, which is way superior to T3. The focusing speed is also much faster than T3. As a result, I have never been a fan of T3. The third G lens that I do not have is the hologon, which is a fixed-aperture ultra-wide prime. The design and make of the lens is just stunningly beautiful and elegant, and if I would have to vote for a best made lens on this planet, I would not hesitate in voting for G16. However, its F8 significantly limits its application, while the price is also intimidating. The alternative that I have is Voigtlander Bessa L + 15mm F4.5 Heliar Ultra Wide. One more body, one more millimeter, almost two more steps of aperture, 1/3 of the price, similar image quality, you canít beat that! Beside this system, I also have a Rollei 35s with Zeiss 35mm F2.8 Sonnar, and a Rollei 35 with Schneider 35mm F4. The Schneider version of Rollei 35 was only produced for a total of 30k units as a transitional phase. These two cameras were made in 1960s-70s, while they are still working properly and look like new. Feeling hefty in palm, they are excellent examples of manufacturing achievements at that stage. The two tiny lenses deliver crisp sharp images with unbelievable colors. Another rangefinder that I have are a special version of Konica S2 with red lizard leather, the Hexanon 45mm F1.8 lens was said to be on par with Leica 50mm Summicron, which is probably not true but reflects its superior optics. The last camera is a Olympus mju II, with a 35mm F2.8 lens. The camera has been extremely popular among traveling photographers. The lens has very strong and appealing color redemption, tasty!



The gears described briefly above are my current collections, with a lot of others sold and unmentioned. Gears are like friends, and I could write stories between me and them for the whole night. The best stays in the heart, though.
Canon Gears 1-small.jpg
Canon Gears 1-small.jpg
Canon Gears 2-small.jpg
Canon Gears 2-small.jpg
Contax G outfit-small.jpg
Contax G outfit-small.jpg
Rangefinders 1-small.jpg
Rangefinders 1-small.jpg
Rangefinders 2-small.jpg
Rangefinders 2-small.jpg
Contax G Regime.jpg
Contax G Regime.jpg
IMG_9822.jpg
IMG_9822.jpg
2008_Leica.jpg
2008_Leica.jpg