Some people are adamant in their belief that its not the gear you carry but the shooter’s eye. True, you could buy the most expensive camera but if you are lacking in experience you won’t be producing good results anytime soon. While I do agree to an extent with the former statements, good cameras and lenses go a long way in achieving the results you envisioned and/or to fill in gaps. When you reach a level where you consider yourself a step-up from beginner, it might be worth your while investing in a good body and lens. Every camera, lens or equipment I own fills a purpose. Here is some of the gear that I am currently using.
w/ 110mm 2.8
This camera produces large 6×7 frames which is beautiful for magazine spreads and editorials. I love the precision focusing with two focusing knobs, bright matt screen, interchangeable and rotating film backs and ease of use. The only downside being that it is huge, bulky and heavy; almost a large format camera and best for the studio. (Actually I haven’t used this much at all since I had my hasselblad LCA’d and fixed)
w / 17-40mm F4, 85mm 1.8 , 24-105mm 2.8 F4, 50mm 1.4
I use this camera for assignment and portraiture work and since it is a digital, it is obviously more cost effective, convenient and timely. I also use it sometimes for a backup when I shoot film portraiture work. Needless to say it is the body of choice for many pros. However, some I’ve had some autofocusing issues with it and some photos come out out of focus. The only other Canon body that tops it is the 1DmarkIV but that’ll cost an arm and a leg (since replaced by the 5dMarkIII).
w/ 150mm , 80mm , 60mm
I have fond memories of using my Hasselblads but after costly CLAs (cleaning, lubrication and adjustments) and a myriad of off-focus frames wasted, I have fallen out of favor for the more reliable Mamiya RZ67s. You can’t expect everything to be perfect with 30-40 year old vintage cameras; it’s the luck of the draw when purchasing online. I’m sure others have had more luck with purchasing a good quality vintage Hasselblad and I do suggest buying in person or to buy one which has been CLA’d recently to check that everything is in order. Having said that, I still love the Hasselblads and I occasionally shoot street portraits with it. (I changed my mind, I still love my hasselblad over the bulkier Mamiya RZ67II)
For years, I’ve carried around my cameras in ordinary shoulder bags and backpacks with no camera or lens partitions. Needless to say, it was a welcome change when I got my Domke canvas shoulder bag. It comes with two lens compartments and can fit a medium format camera in between the partitions. What I like most about it is the several zippers and side pockets it has to keep my film, batteries and other accessories separate and it’s stylish enough to use as a regular bag that I carry around on a daily basis.
These days, I don’t shoot a whole lot of long exposure but when I do, I can bring along my lightweight carbon fibre fotobestway tripod which was given to me by my brother.
Other cameras I own include a 35mm Minolta film camera w/ Rokkor 58mm 1.2 , Polaroid sx-70, Polaroid Land 250, Pentacon Six w/ 80mm 2.8, Holga 120, 35mm Nikomat EL w/ Nikkor 50mm sc 1.4.
Flash equipment: Canon 430EXII and Orbis Ringflash with mount which I just bought and will use for portraiture and event work.