Currently (it is always on ongoing change process) I am using modified Micro Four Thirds cameras, given the significant advantages mirrorless cameras have with LiveView, their small portable travel size and relative inexpensive availability of second-hand cameras and lenses. For more explanation as to why see the Things Learnt page.
In addition to the cameras and lenses, I use a number of external screw-in filters to isolate specific sub-ranges the cameras capture. These are necessary when working with a full spectrum camera; however, I also use a small set of these filters with my 660nm modified camera to further isolate 720nm and 850nm (and longer).
Finally, post shot processing, primarily from RAW, is done on a MacBook Pro (occasionally an iPad) using:
- Adobe Lightroom – tagging, managing, general image tweaking, workflow control
- Adobe Photoshop – colour-swapping and panoramic building
- GIMP – colour-swapping
- Google’s Nik Collection – sharpening, denoise and some colour work
- HDRsoft Photomatix – HDR processing
Current modified cameras:
- Sony a7ii modified for full-spectrum
- Olympus e-PM2 modified for 660nm
- Olympus e-M5 modified for full-spectrum
- Canon Powershot SX240 modified for 660nm
Previously modified cameras:
- Nikon J1, 720n modified
- Olympus e-PL1, 720n modified
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2, Full-Spectrum modified
- Olympus e-PL2, 590nm modified
- Canon Powershot n modified for 590nm
The lenses I use regularly are:
Sony NEX E-mount:
- Zeiss FE 55mm
- Sony 24-70mm
- Voigtlander 20mm (with adaptor)
- Nikon AS-s 135mm (with adaptor)
- Olympus 9-18mm
- Olympus 45mm (rarely, and carefully, as it will produce hotspots)
- Panasonic 12-32mm
- Panasonic 20mm
- Samyang 7.5mm fisheye
Note: information on Hotspot issues and lenses is here: HOTSPOTS
My commonly used lens filters on full-spetrum:
- Schott BG3 (bandpass UV+IR)
- 590nm infrared
- 720nm infrared
- 850nm infrared
- Schott S8612 IR absorption hot-mirror (for normal visible light images on full-spectrum)
Others, not frequently used:
- Schott UG1(bandpass UV+IR)
- Schott UG5 (bandpass UV+IR)
- Schott BG39 IR absorption hot-mirror
- Wratten 47B (bandpass UV+IR)
- 660nm infrared
- Hoya UV+IR Cut (reflection)
The following is a general representation of the frequency coverage from these filter. Note it does not show transmission levels at set frequencies and can not be used to predict an overall image colour balance.
Often overlooked in equipment terms, carrying all the gear is the bane of every photographer’s life (that and poor light). I personally don’t like carrying specialist photography bags that say “expensive gear – steal me or mug me”; hence, I like to carry my gear as inconspicuous as possible.
Most of the time I carry my mirrorless cameras and lenses in a soft insert, inside a normal utility/metro shoulder bag. Which works really well and also allows my gear to be easily portable between bags.
When working, and needing something more suitable for work (occasionally dressed in a suit), I use a satchel/messenger bag for my laptop, papers and enough space for a camera (usually my small modified Olympus e-PM2). This type of bag was hard to find, which surprised me; they are either two big or small enough, but with no handle to use like a satchel at meetings. Thankfully I found in Australia (but supplied around the world) the STM Velo 2, which works great.