Equipment Reviews

I go through a lot of equipment. I’m hard on it. I bash it against stuff, I roll around in the dirt with it … and I just sell it whenever it has no more use to me. I don’t take photos of brick walls, I don’t do studio tests, but what I do is take hundreds of thousands of photos in real-world conditions, and it tells me a few things about the real character and reliability of gear. So here I will be collecting some of my old reviews through the years and updating them with my new experiences as I can. I will keep them as timely as possible, but I spend most of my time (and make about 99.99 percent of my income) from being out there, using this stuff until it turns to dust.

And I will NEVER, EVER review a piece of gear that I haven’t put through the paces on an actual shoot. Ever.

41 thoughts on “Equipment Reviews”

  1. Wow! Thank you, that video was very informative. :-)

    Two things happened when I watched that:
    1. I became very jealous of your gear.
    2. I realized that in order to do weddings well I’m going to need a lot more stuff than my 50mm f/1.4, my 24mm f/1.8 and my Speedlite 430 EX II.

  2. Your site is a real find for me! Fantastic reviews! Cheers for that!
    You should check Nikon’s 14-24mm f/2.8 – it’s not a typical wedding lens for sure, but it’s really great. So great in fact that it’s my favourite lens of all times. Even for wedding photography!

  3. Ryan,

    I noticed you use a 35mm F/1.8G, although you shoot FF.

    Any advice on DX shooters who want/need this lens today, but may eventually move to FF?

  4. Really nice reviews on what’s in your bag, give me a lots of idea.
    currently I have 2 SB900, do you think I should get more of these?
    for now I have one D700 with MB-D10 on it, I have 6 lens now, which is 14-24,24-70,70-200,35 1.4G, 50 1.4D and 200-400, do you think these equipment is enough for a wedding? I never shot a wedding before…


  5. Frank: I have shot hundreds of weddings with much less gear than that. Apprentice with someone before you dive in and get yourself sued when you cannot deliver due to lack of experience. Get the experience and you will then know what equipment you need to shoot how you want to shoot.

  6. hey ryan

    how are you ?

    can you plz give us a tutrial for 135mm ( defucos thing ) i had many problems with it .. :(

  7. Hey Ryan,

    I wanted to buy a 24-70 f2.8. However, Nikon is way above my budget. Could you help me decide between the Sigma 24-70HSM and the Tamron 28-75 Di?

    Thanks in advance,

  8. Thanks for sharing your review site with us. Your video of what’s in my bag is very informative and nice. Thanks again and keep sharing.

  9. I’m super excited to be taking your class tomorrow at Adorama.

    Your work is beautiful.
    I hope to soak in everything tomorrow.


  10. Love your reviews – however I was wondering why you didnt want to put your laptop inside your Airport international? I recently went to Sierra Leone and took my macbook inside using the lower dividers and the laptop bag Thinktank do. it works really well.

    Any chance of a UK workshop?


  11. Hi Ryan, would love your opinion…I am wanting to buy an 85mm lens and was thinking of the nikon 85mm 1.8 AF-D as its got great reviews and is a really good price. The other option is waiting a bit to save for the 1.4 but would love to know if that extra bit makes a real difference for the price?
    thanks fiona

  12. Ryan –

    I’m more interested in what gear you use to carry everything – a cart? 3 assistants ? Also light stands and brackets? The gear is great but I’d like some ideas of things that make your life easier…


    – todd

  13. Hello Ryan, I am a huge fan of your work. I have a hypothetical question. Lets say you have a D3s and a D800 as your two bodies which body would you use for portraits vs group shots and which would be your main lens on each camera?



  14. Ryan,

    I notice you’re not shooting with the Sigma 85mm 1.4 anymore. Instead we’re seeing the Nikon 85mm from what I can tell. Any reason for the switch?

    Thanks for your time…You’re a good story teller.

  15. Thanks for the reviews of the TG-1. I purchased one last week and have been looking for a good review from someone like yourself who has actually “used” it.

  16. Hi Ryan.
    I Love your work. Just heard about your workshops.
    Anything planned for 2013? Would love to attend.
    Are you going to be at the WPPI in the city in October? Speaking at some point?
    Hope to hear back from you.
    Best regard,

  17. Just wondering, do you ever use 70-200mm 2.8? you don’t have it on your list of lens review and if you do, do you use it a lot?

  18. Hey Ryan,

    I’m Jonathan, nice to meet you. I was wondering, have you ever considered branching into reviewing Canon products? I’m not sure if you shoot on them or not, but I find your reviews very informative. Thanks! -Jonathan

  19. Ryan. thank you for inspiring a lot shooters and even sharing your passion and knowledge. I think Nikon and Sigma should support you and your site. You deserve it just like the other ambassadors. Sigma lens ambassador would be a great title XD. God bless you and your team.

  20. Hi Ryan, Have you thought about reviewing the new Sigma 35 1.4 yet? I’m debating on trading my 24-70 2.8 in for one of these. Thoughts?

  21. I’ve a question. Given how surprised you say you were with the Sigma 85mm 1.4, have you had a chance to review either sigma or tamron’s 24-70 2.8 equivalent of the reviewed Nikon?

    Any thoughts?

    Pictures are amazing



  22. Ryan, have you got your hands on a x100s yet? I think the combo of my D4 with a small mirror less camera would be perfect for reportage wedding coverage but im stuck between the e-m5 and the x100s I would want it as small as possible so the fuji is pulling me (I could shoot 35 all day) but the focus seems to be better on the e-m5 and id love to know if the S made it at least a draw :) real world experience is all that matter and you are my go to guy for this!

  23. (1) What do you think of the Sony mirrorless gear, either a6000 or A7 series?
    (2) You come down on the Nikon side of the eternal Nikon vs Canon debate. Is this a strong preference and if so, why?
    Great web site BTW.
    Art M. Altman

  24. (1) What do you think of the Sony mirrorless gear, either a6000 or A7 series?
    (2) You come down on the Nikon side of the eternal Nikon vs Canon debate. Is this a strong preference and if so, why?
    Great web site BTW.
    Art M. Altman

  25. Have you had a chance to see the Sigma 18-35 1.8? Im thinking about getting it. What are your thoughts?

  26. I was curious if you’ve tested the D750 by chance? I have a D4 and looking to buy another, but I’m hearing of some photos using their D3 as “backup” now to the D750

  27. Hi Ryan, I see trhe Olympus but I’m wondering if you have you used the Fujifilm X series yet? X-pro1, X-T1 or X100/s/t? I’m shooting Nikon for 20 years but I got totally hooked and I know a lot of pro’s are switching systems. What are your thoughts on it? Many thanks.

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