JAY – One of the best all around cameras I’ve shot, and the dynamic range capabilities are the best I’ve seen. You can read my review here on the Shotkit site – D750 REVIEW.
JD – This camera, well sensor, is spectacular. Outside of the quite shutter not really being quite and the overall build quality barely qualifying for prosumer use, this camera is perfect combination of size, quickness, and overall ability.
JAY – Having owned the D800 and D800E in the past, this is the camera that I feel is what Nikon had in mind all along. It’s an excellent camera that I use as a back up only because of the unnecessary file size.
JD – Although I can’t say I enjoy the larger files sizes, or find them necessary for that matter, I use this camera for almost the entire day leading up to the reception. The silent shutter reminds me of my Mark III days and it really allows you to just blend into the surrounds more than with the D750.
JAY – Since I have a deep love for shooting film, the Df is the perfect combination of film and digital. It has a body that is made to look and feel like the old Nikon 35mm film bodies, and with it being small and light, its a joy to shoot. It also has the same sensor as the $6k Nikon D4, so it has amazing low light capabilities and excellent dynamic range. Sandi has recently started using it as her main body, so I may be purchasing a 2nd one soon. It’s a fun camera to shoot, while being able to provide professional level performance. It’s also the perfect combo with the Leica M240.
JAY – Neither Nikon or Canon have put a camera out that does everything perfectly, and for that reason alone, I still shoot both systems. I previously had two 5DMark3’s, but once I tried the 6D, I sold them and bought a 6D. It’s cheaper and does everything that the 5DMark3 does, some things actually better. Only downside is the single card slot.
JAY – It’s my favorite camera for everything, and for many reasons. I’m a sponsored photographer by Leica and often get the unique opportunity to test pre-released cameras and lenses. To learn more about why I love shooting with a Leica rangefinder, you can read about it HERE.
JD – When it comes to Leica you either love it or hate it. Either way though, before you shoot one, you should have a lot of money set aside because if you love it, there is no going back. I learned this lesson the hard way as I used to be a hater before I met Jay. There is definitely something about the IQ you get from Leica Glass that is just 2nd to none for me. Even though I can honestly say, it’s nothing a non photographer client would notice, I do notice. So why do I shoot it??? Because to me the experience of creating an image with my M is immensely more enjoyable than that with my DSLR’s.
JD – My main film camera. It’s small, light, super quiet, and the 35Cron/50Lux fit oh so nicely on the front of it. This is and my M are my main cameras for personal work as well.
Jay – My go-to film camera for many reasons, biggest one being reliability and great lens selection. There really isn’t anything like shooting film, and being a hybrid shooter has helped give Twisted Oaks Studio the unique look to all of our imagery.
JD – I love using this camera, I bought it for personal work but it is making it’s way into some of my wedding work. I get the perks of medium format film and when the clients see this camera come, they immediately become engaged in the process which makes for some great images! My go to lens for this body is the 80mm F/2.8 Zeiss Planar. I also have the 150mm F/4 Planar. Also, for being what it is, it’s really not all that big or cumbersome.
*Update, this whole kit was stolen so not currently shooting with it but will add it back someday to have the MF film option again.
Sigma 24 Art for Nikon
JAY – One of my favorite lenses, and another Sigma Art lens that puts its Nikon equivalent to shame for the price difference. Here is my review of this little gem – SIGMA 24 ART.
JD – This is glued to my camera when the lights go down and the dancing begins. I love to be in the middle of the party and deliver images to my clients that puts them right back in the middle of their reception. This lens does just that for me. I also use it occasionally when I have a little less space during the prep part of the day.
Sigma 35 Art for Nikon
JAY – A lens that rarely sits in the bag, and is my 2nd favorite lens I own for my Nikon bodies. My review – SIGMA 35 ART.
JD – When I shot canon I hated this lens, it delivered way too many soft shots for my liking, and yes it was calibrated about a dozen times. When I switched to Nikon I had to give it a second go considering it was half the price of the Nikon version. Well I can tell you it is now one of my two go to lenses, the other being the 58 1.4. This lens is tack sharp and the IQ it renders is truly something else.
Nikon 45mm F/2.8 TS
JD – I love this lens. Be careful not to overuse it but I use it at least once a wedding, because it doubles for me as my macro lens haha. I do shoot quite a few actual Tilt Shift shots with it every month though. They are good to sprinkle in here and there.
JAY – I actually own the Canon equivalent of this lens, but for all the same reasons JD loves his Nikon version.
Canon 50mm f/1.2L
JAY – This lens is one of the biggest reasons I still shoot Canon. Im a sucker for artistic lens flare, which most of you reading this know, and the Canon 50L has a very unique flare to it, as well as a ton of character to its image quality.
JD – Pretty sure I had a bad copy of this lens back in the day, I never could fall in love with it the way almost every other Canon shooter has.
Nikon 58mm F/1.4G
JAY – I’m a sucker for a good 50mm lens, and when the 58mm was released by Nikon as a specialty lens, I was a little skeptical. Now, having owned it since it first starting shipping, it’s a lens that never comes off my Nikon Df. They make the perfect combo. It has character like no other lens, and a look to the images it creates that resembles the old manual focus lenses of Nikon’s past. Here is my review – NIKON 58G.
JD – With this and a 35 I could shoot an entire wedding, it is not sharp, at all, but the IQ it renders just oozes character. Remember, your wedding clients aren’t going to load your images into Lightroom and zoom in to 200% :).
Nikon 85mm F/1.4G
JAY – Excellent for portraits and my go-to lens for ceremonies. This is the longest focal length lens I own, and rarely feel the need for anything more.
JD – 85 has always been an interesting focal length for me, I can’t fall in love with it as I’m not a tight portrait shooter and that is where this lens excels. I’ve actually picked up an 85 F/1.8G that is what I use for 99% of my weddings. It’s smaller and does just as good of a job at ceremonies as the 1.4G.
Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8
JD – I go back and forth on this lens. I love having 200mm in my arsenal, it gives me that extreme compression option to have in my back pocket when I need it. For example, shooting the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn. However, this lens got stolen when my 500CM was acquired by someone who apparently needed them more than me. That said, I’m not sure how much I want to lug it around with me anymore anyway……
JAY – I see no need for this lens, I have owned it and sold it because it rarely left my bag. Funny since it’s one of the most popular lenses for wedding photographers.
Leica 35 F/2 Summicron Pre-ASPH V.4
JD – I sold my 28 Lux and opted for a much less clinical and precise lens. Yes it is very soft and not a lens made to pixel peep. But see how Jay and I feel about our Nikon 58/1.4’s to see how much we care about clinical sharpness that seems to be so important to so many photographers these days. Without the ASPH element this lens creates RAW files with that film feel I love while still giving me the flexibility of digital when mounted to the M. I have not used Pre-ASPH versions 1-3 but I have used the ASPH v5 and prefer this pre ASPH hands down. Would I call it the King of Bokeh….. No probably not, would I say it is a lens that is full of character though, 100%! Is the V4/King of Bokeh nickname worth the extra money on the used market over versions 1-3, well that is debatable but for me I personally love this lens and it is one that will never leave my bag.
Voigtlander 35mm F/1.2 Nokton
Jay – Because I’m smarter than JD and am taking a few vacations with what I saved over the Lux versions of the 28 or 35. There is something special about a 35mm lens and a rangefinder. While some like the 24mm focal length, the 35mm seems to fit the rangefinder best. After owning the very popular 35mm Summilux ASPH, I tried the much cheaper Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 II and fell in love. It’s just as sharp wide open at f/1.2 and there is less chromatic aberration.
JD – I tried this lens after I sold the 28 Lux and before I picked up the much smaller 35 Cron Pre-ASPH. It was just too big for me on the M and they didn’t feel like a good fit in my hand. If that is a reason not to like a lens or not is debatable but for me I just didn’t love it. IQ is amazing like Jay says though and if you don’t mind the size go for it.
Leica 50mm F/1.4 Summilux
JD – I love this lens, everything about it is beautiful. Enough said. And I don’t know why the heck Jay hasn’t written a review on this yet as I’m almost positive if he could only have one lens for the rest of his life this one would be it.
Jay – Flare, Flare, Flare, Flare, Flare, did I mention I love the Flare from this thing! While many Leica shooters make a big deal about the 50mm Noctilux, I prefer this lens by far. It has everything I could ever want in a lens and would be my choice if I had to choose my all-time favorite lens. I surprisingly haven’t written a review on it yet, although it needs to be done.
JD – For dancing pictures I’m on camera bouncing with my Nikon SB-910. The AF assist is a must. For OCF work throughout the day I have a small army of Yongnuo Speedlites that work perfectly, and I can buy 5+ of them for what it would coast for another 910. Plus I can’t justify not having radio control capabilities with my speedlites…… Earth to Nikon on that one….. In the past I’ve also owned, Elinchrom’s & Profoto’s, they are amazing lights and worth every penny, not too mention the oh so beautiful modifier’s that both of those companies make. However, being I only shoot weddings professionally, I don’t justify owning them anymore as I personally don’t find them practical for the fast paced world of wedding photography. Just my personal opinion, know what you need and what fits you. Big bulky lighting setups don’t fit my style.