Skai's Photography Equipment

I may not have the best photography equipment and accessories on hand but I do make good use of everything I have. I'm satisfied enough to own the essential gears for professional portrait, event, interior, product photography but I'm saving up for more equipment in order to be more creative in photography. I'm always glad when my work turns out better than others' who are using better equipment.

Current Equipment

Camera and lenses

- Canon 6D (full frame)
- Canon EF 24-70 F2.8L II lens
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L USM lens
- Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II lens
- Canon EF 50mm F1.4 lens
- Canon 650D (1.6x cropped)
- Canon EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 II lens
- Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 VC II lens
- Sony NEX F3 (1.5x cropped - Mirrorless)
- Sony SEL50F18 (50mm F1.8 lens)
- Sony SEL1855 (18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens)
- Sony SEL16F28 (16mm F2.8 lens)

Lighting

- Cononmark i6M
- Cononmark B4
- Canon speedlite 600 EX-RT
- Canon speedlite 430 EX-II
- Yongnuo speedlite 560 EX-IV
- Yongnuo speedlite 560 EX-III

Light modifiers

- 40" inches 2-in-1 Shoot-through/bounce umbrella
- 43" inches 2-in-1 Shoot-through/bounce umbrella
- Parabolic Umbrella Silver 75"
- Parabolic Brolly 60"
- Brolly Reflective 40"
- Selens deep Parabolic/Hexadecagon softbox 190cm
- Selens quick setup Parabolic/Hexadecagon softbox 120cm
- Softbox 80 x 80cm with grids (for speedlite)
- Softbox 75 x 100cm with grids
- Strip Softbox 30 x 120cm with grids
- Strip Softbox 30 x 120cm
- Beauty Dish 21" Silver + Honeycomb grids and diffuser
- Flashbender
- Stofen for Canon 600EX-RT (also 600EX, YN-565EX)
- Stofen for Canon 430EX-II
- Stofen for Yongnuo 560
- Speedlite Honeycomb x 5
- 2-in-1 Reflector 120 x 90cm
- 5-in-1 Reflector 200 x 150cm
- Selens magnetic speedlite Honeycomb Grid + Gel holder + Band

Tripods and lightstands

- Sirui T-1004X tripod stand
- Velbon CX 460 tripod stand
- Lightstand
- Lightstand (nano)
- Lightstand HeavyDuty 2.8M x 2
- Meking Heavy Duty 5M 16'4" M-3 boom stand
- Bracket x 6
- Clip Clamp C / U Type

Backdrop

- 20" (50cm) Light tent cube Soft box with 4 backdrops
- 3m x 2.8m portable studio backdrop
- 1.5m x 2m (lowest 76cm) backdrop
- 6m x 3m white backdrop cloth
- 2m x 3m white backdrop cloth
- 3m x 4m black backdrop cloth
- 70cm x 130cm PVC backdrop paper - Orange, coffee, ash, white, pink, red, green, blue, black

Carriers / Bags

- ThinkTank Production Manager 40 (High-capacity rolling gear case)
- ThinkTank Airport Essentials backpack
- Manfrotto light stand bag MBAG90PN
- Prowell Shoulder Bag DC21439
- Light stand bag
- Mini hand truck

Memory cards

- SanDisk Extreme SDHC UHS-I card 32 GB class 10 60MB/s
- SanDisk Ultra SDHC-I card 32 GB class 10 30MB/s
- SanDisk Ultra SDHC-I card 8 GB class 10 30MB/s
- SanDisk Ultra SDHC-I card 8 GB class 6 30MB/s
- Sony SDHC card 8 GB 15MB/s

Others

- Photoshop CS 6 portable
- Connonmark radio triggers transmitter x 2
- Connonmark radio triggers receiver x 1
- Yongnuo RF-603 C II transceiver x 3
- Digi-Cabi 30 litres Dry-Cabinet
- 16Ft (5M) USB 2.0 A Male plug to Mini B 5-Pin Male leads cord cable
- 5Ft spiral coiled USB MINI 5-Pin right angle Male to USB 2.0 A Male plug cable
- IR Wireless Remote Control
- 3-in-1 White Balance card

Computer

- Intel I7-6800K (2011) CPU
- ASUS X99A II (LGA2011) Mainboard
- G.Skill Rijaws V 19200/2400MHZ 8GB x 2 (16GB Kit) LT
- Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD
- W.D 3TB Black 64MB 3.5" SATA3 HDD
- ASIS 24X SATA OEM DVDRW
- MS WIN10 PRO 64Bit
- MSI GTX960 4GB Twin Forzr V O.C Gaming PCI-E
- Seasonic M1211 Evo Edition 850W MOD PSU
- Corsair 300R Compact PC Gaming ATX Casing
- Cooler Master Hyper 212X CPU Cooler
- Samsung S27D590PS/XS 27" LED
- Logitech K360 keyboard
- Logitech M585 Multi-Device Wireless Mouse (Graphite)
- Logitech MK200 Media Desktop (retired)

Wish List

- Permanent studio
- Canon EOS 1DX II
- Canon EOS 5D IV
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
- Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
- More studio light and modifiers
- C-stand
- Maha PowerEx MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger
- Impact Fresnel

Donation/Sponsorship is always welcome!

History of My Equipment

First digital camera - Samsung Digimax 50 Duo

In the early 2000s, coming from a very poor family background, I paid $180 for my first digital camera. In fact, I hesitated for a few weeks and was worried that my mum would nag at me for spending the money. The neighbourhood shop owner must have thought that I was very pathetic. The camera could only produce 0.3 megapixel photos and it came without a LCD screen. A digital camera with a LCD screen would cost around $100 more during that time.

Semi-pro cameras

When prices of digital cameras started falling, my elder brother got an Olympus 10x optical zoom camera. I put it into good use for many years. Then my younger brother got a second-hand Sony compact camera later, which was eventually drown during an overseas trip when the third party water casing decided to play punk. Later on, we got an Olympus Tough, which was shock and water resistance. I last bought a Fujifilm semi-pro 20x optical zoom camera during an IT fair and regretted due to the quality and sold it away soon. After many years of photography experience, I had only worked on composition (framing of the photo).

Mirrorless camera - Sony NEX F3

My real photography adventure started in year 2012 when one of my buddies, Nat Neo, who was working in Sony persuaded me to get a better camera. I decided to live my life more meaningfully by striving towards my passion and thus I bought my first DSLR, which was using the mirrorless technology. I started shooting my friend, ET, on the stage during the Sunsilk Academy Fantasia competition. I did my first portrait test shoot with my buddy, Wanling, when I knew nothing about photography technique. I continued exploring by watching more Youtube videos and eventually got a hand of it. My ex polytechnic classmate, Benson Lin, was far ahead in the trade and kindly guided me along. However, it was not easy to communicate when our levels were too far apart. Often, the toughest problem was that I did not know what was the problem.

DSLR with speedlite - Canon 650D, Canon 430 EX-II

After doing a few photoshoots with very nice girls who did not mind working with a new photographer without a solid portfolio, my thirst for photography knowledge grew more. I learned to use depth of field and shutter speed to play with mood. My knowledge in post-production work also increased. As I started to learn more about lighting, I began to realize the limitation of earlier technology of mirrorless cameras - slower in autofocus - while my NEX F3 did not come with a hot shoe to attach external speedlite (flash) on. I knew I had to do something about it in order to progress further. With the encouragement of Benson and Nat Neo, I bought my Canon 650D, also known as Rebel T4I. I also bought a speedlite (Canon 430 EX-II) and other equipment for portraiture shoot.

"Every step is a learning progress. Even though I do take a longer route sometimes, I have actually experienced and learned more."

Canon 650D was the most popular model in year 2012. It was great except for in certain aspects, it was a "downgrade" of equipment after switching from Sony NEX F3. Canon's entry level cameras have only 1.6x cropped factor while others, including Sony NEX, have 1.5x cropped factor, making Canon slightly "lousier" for body of the same range in term of image quality. Sony's NEX portrait lens 50mm F1.8 was designed by or made of Carl Zeiss glasses, which shamed Canon's 50mm F1.8 lens badly. Sony's LCD screen was sharp and beautiful, and thus it was difficult to get used to Canon's LCD screen. Besides, Mirrorless camera's electronic viewfinder was a great privilege when dealing with constant changing lighting.

Right after switching of the gears, my event photoshoot improved tremendously as my photos became so much livelier with the aid of light by my flash. However, portraiture shoot started wrecking me. At first, I suspected my new camera was faulty, but soon, I realised my new gears' limitation. I also realised it was easier to learn to see light by playing more with indoor shooting. By then, my expectation of quality of photos, autofocus speed and accuracy had increased so fearfully that I knew I had to really upgrade my equipment in order to progress further but money was a wall of fire...

As my photography skill improved, time became more tight but I tried hard not to reject friends who did not give me big problems during the previous photoshoots. I also continued to do voluntary event photoshoot when I was available. Through all these non-profit shooting, I benefited as well for I got to test my equipment and different styles of shooting. However, I soon realised after being lectured by many friends that I had to stop being too soft-hearted when my saving and equipment were draining and wearing off. I knew I needed better equipment in order to bring me to higher levels.

Professional photography - Canon 6D, Canon 600 EX-RT

Not long later, I upgraded to a fullframe camera - Canon 6D - to begin my professional photography journey. The low light capability and faster focus speed were much needed. A friend lent me his Canon 580 EX-II speedlite and soon, I purchased my own Canon 600 EX-RT when I thought it was necessary. Using all these equipment and Canon's sharpest lens (24-70mm F2.8L II), I managed to cover most jobs, although more equipment was required for me to be more creative. Meanwhile, I also purchased and upgraded other equipment and accessories.

Incredible lighting - Cononmark B4, I6

Striving to improve on my photography, I started playing with strobe like Cononmark B4, which was more powerful than speedlites. At the same time, the cost, weight and bulkiness of my equipment increased a lot. My ability to battle with the sun increased and I could also produce softer light to make people look nicer. Cononmark was not the top brand for strobe, however, was more than sufficient to produce the light that I needed. Eventually, for a large corporate group shoot, I needed another strobe and thus I bought a more powerful one. I started purchasing even more light modifiers.



You may like to read:
Tips on Buying Second Hand Camera and Equipment in Singapore