So my camera gear family got bigger. I mentioned on a previous post that I got a new camera strap/sling and monopod during the holidays. Last Friday, I got a used Benro BH1 ballhead from a referral by a fellow Reese Intern. I got to try the setup, Benro BH1 ballhead + Benro A28T Monopod + Canon EOS 60D + Canon Shutter Release Cable, in the field last Saturday! I got to raise my camera much higher for different angles with the monopod/ballhead. Things were a bit difficult at first since it’s the first time I used that setup, but I like the outcome. I like the different perspectives. It spiced things up a bit because, honestly, I was getting bored with my shots. That’s a good thing, right? I get to experiment. I get to challenge myself.
As you can see in the photo above, there are a couple of new additions to the family. A Canon Speedlite 430EX II and a Phottix Odin Twin Pack Wireless Trigger. I’ve had every intention of buying a flash and wireless trigger for months now. I thought it was time already to level up. Just had to figure out where I’ll get the money for it. I could save up…but…hehe. Anyway, when I decided to sell my vintage Guild acoustic for 20k, I already knew where the money from that would go. Kind of.
I was debating between two things. A. Buy a used Canon EF 85mm + cheap flash and cheap wireless trigger and B. Buy a sort of expensive (higher quality) flash and sort of expensive (higher quality) wireless trigger. Obviously, I went with B. I figured that using an 85mm for bar gigs (where I usually find myself in,) would be overkill, especially for a crop sensor DSLR.
Over the holiday break, I was routinely checking OLX for the gear I need and saw an ad for a Canon Speedlite 430EX II + Phottix Odin Twin Pack being sold as a set. It’s exactly what I needed. I mean, yeah I only need one receiver since I only have one flash, but for what I have in mind, I’ll eventually need another flash. Anyway, the seller was selling it for 16k then. The seller also lives in BF Homes so the meetup wouldn’t be far. Last week, I was checking the ad again and the price was down to 13k. I knew I had to get it immediately! I jumped the gun and bypassed the intended plan I had of selling the guitar first then buying the gear I need. Hopefully things would work out in my favor.
My 50mm 1.8 STM would suffice for close-ups and portrait work. At least for the time being. I mean, I can crop now without much noise thanks to the flash. I still do want that 85mm, though!
Speaking of wanting lens…shit. After the meetup for the ballhead last Friday, I went to Henry’s at Glorietta just to look around and hopefully find a lens hood for my 50mm (didn’t find any.) I looked around and saw a Sigma 30mm Art Lens for crop sensor DSLR (about 50mm full frame equivalent.) The 50mm range is just perfect. It could be my second walk-around lens, with my 24mm (38mm full frame equivalent) being the first one. I tried it on my camera. I immediately lusted for it. I think I even had a dream about it after. I read the reviews online and saw that it has focusing issues. It can be fixed by the Sigma USB lens dock. Small price to pay for something that good. And sort of inexpensive at 23,500. It has a 12 mos. 0% interest on almost all credit cards. Save for two. Sadly, the only credit card I have with that high a limit is not included.
Okay, so I know that I should invest in lens that are designed primarily for full frame DSLRs so when I upgrade to that, my lens would be compatible. But short of selling my car, I can’t foresee me making the jump to full frame in the immediate future. I have at least two years to save up. Besides, that’s the only lens I want that’s designed for crop sensors. Unless I decide to drop primes and go for zoom lenses (there’s a Tamron zoom lens that’s perfect for what I do) but nah…I love them primes.
Oh, and because the family is getting big, I pulled the trigger earlier on a Gouache Camera Bag. I’m currently using Gouache’s Harvey Bag, and while it fits my camera w/ the 24mm lens on + Speedlite + triggers + 50mm 1.8 STM just right, I need more space. Before the flash and triggers came, I could fit my power bank and other small things (cigarettes, pill box, etc) in there.
I did a computation of my finances for January and February and…holy shit I’m broke. Sorta. I have 7k in cash for this month. And fuck, the month isn’t even halfway done. For February, I have around 5k. I knew I went YOLO on my credit card, but didn’t realize it was that YOLO. That’s even with the sale of my guitar (that will hopefully push through before next week ends.)
At least by the next credit card statement that’s coming on February, I’ll be done paying for my DSLR. That should make things lighter. And I dunno, maybe by March, I’ll be able to buy a ticket for Wanderland. Then maybe the universe will be kind to me again and have a magazine or website get me to shoot the event. A man can dream.
It’s actually worth it – getting sorta broke. Unfortunately, living costs money. Sad truth, I know! Lol! And besides, most of my purchases have been camera gear. Things that I actually need in life. Things that would make me a better photographer. Things that would really help in accomplishing the shoots I’ve envisioned. And it’s sloooooowly paying off. I have a paying gig scheduled for the 30th. It’s not much, really. 1,500 pesos. But it’s a start. It’s gonna be my first paying gig, too!
I might also have another paying gig on February. Mike Unson, the headliner of the stand-up comedy gig I shot at Checkpoint over the weekend loved my shots that night and wants me to shoot at his anniversary event on February. A friend also contacted me and asked for my rates for a band photoshoot for promotional purposes. Hope both paying gigs push through!
Here’s a full rundown of my camera gear that’s pictured above. Do take note that my camera takes shitty photos. I also take shitty phone camera photos. From top to bottom:
- Black Rapid Curve
- Benro BH1 + Benro A28T Monopod
- Canon Remote Switch RS60 E3
- Canon Speedlite 430EX II
- Phottix Odin Twin Pack
- Canon EF 50mm 1.8 STM
- Canon EF 24mm 2.8
- Canon EOS 60D