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  📸 Skai Chan Photography

Skai Chan's Photography Equipment / Gear

Introduction

There are many gears that are required to create various creative photography work. As lighting is one of the most important parts of photography, lighting equipment do occupy a huge portion of a professional photographer's inventory list.

It took me quite some time to generate fund, through photoshoot, to purchase and upgrade the essential gears for professional portrait, event and interior/ real estate photography. I could hardly make ends meet and had to tap onto my saving at times.

There were equipment that I could purchase only after confirming a project, and then it took a few more projects in order to cover back the expense. For example, I bought my camera tripod right before my first interior photography project and the project fee wasn't even enough to cover the new equipment entirely. I also bought my second portable studio strobe right before an indoor corporate (large) group photoshoot; similarly, the expense wasn't covered.

I may not have the best photography equipment and accessories on hand but I'm glad that the limitation has not stopped me from producing the work that I've produced so far. In fact, my experience proves that great work can be created without using the top-notch brands or equipment in the marketing, although may come at the expense of more time and effort.

My Photography Equipment

I. 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)

II. Lighting / Strobes

- Godox DP600III
- Godox SK400II
- Godox MS300
- Godox AD600BM
- Cononmark B4

Speedlite
- Canon 600 EX-RT
- Canon 430 EX-II
- Yongnuo YN560 EX-IV
- Yongnuo YN560 EX-III
- Godox TT685C
- Godox V1C

Retired
- Cononmark I6M

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
- 2x Godox Softbox 80 x 80cm with grids
- Godox Softbox Octagon SB-UE 80cm with grids
- Godox Softbox 80 x 120cm with grids
- 2x Godox Softbox 30 x 120cm with grids
- Fomex Strip Softbox 30 x 120cm with grids
- Fomex Softbox 75 x 100cm with grids
- Beauty Dish 21" Silver + Honeycomb grids and diffuser
- Neewer 7" (18cm) standard reflector with 20/40/60 degree honeycomb grid
- 2x Godox 7" (18cm) standard reflector
- 3x 7" standard reflector's sock
- 7" Spherical diffuser ball
- Photo Lite 5-in-1 Reflector 120 x 80cm
- Selens 5-in-1 Reflector 200 x 150cm

For speedlite only
- Flashbender
- Stofen for Canon 600EX-RT (also 600EX, YN-565EX)
- Stofen for Canon 430EX-II
- Stofen for Yongnuo YN560
- Speedlite Honeycomb x 5
- Selens magnetic speedlite Honeycomb Grid + Gel holder + Band
- Selens universal rubber gels-band x 3

Retired
- 2-in-1 Reflector 120 x 90cm

IV. Tripods and Light Stands

- Sirui T-1004X tripod stand
- Manda light stand
- Manda light nano stand
- 2x Manda HeavyDuty 2.8M Air cushioned light stand
- Meking L-2800FP 2.8M Air cushioned light stand
- Selens SLA-2800 Air cushioned light stand
- Meking Heavy Duty 5M 16'4" M-3 boom light stand
- 4M light stand with cross arm
- Selens FL-240 nano light stand
- HPUSN B5 nano light stand
- Selens 78-138cm boom arm
- Heavy duty clip clamp C / U Type
- Godox SA-01-BW 144mm Diameter Mounting Flange Ring Adapter for Bowens
- Xiletu MT26 + XT15 mini metal tripod with detachable ball head
- Zhiyun Smooth X Gimbal

For speedlite only
- 6x speedlite bracket
- S-type bracket handheld grip
- Godox S-type bracket S mount holder
- Godox S2 S-Type Speedlite Bracket

V. 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
- 2.5m x 5m brown backdrop cloth
- 1.5m x 2.1m nature green grass backdrop
- 70cm x 130cm PVC backdrop paper - Orange, coffee, ash, white, pink, red, green, blue, black
- 6x Andoer plastic clip clamp

VI. Carriers / Bags

- AD600BM PB-600 carrying case
- AD-H600 split lamp
- ThinkTank Production Manager 40 (High-capacity rolling gear case)
- ThinkTank Airport Essentials backpack
- Trolley bag (internal: 74 x 24 x 20cm, external: 83 x 33 x 29)
- Meking 109cm light stand bag
- Manfrotto light stand bag MBAG90PN
- Prowell Shoulder Bag DC21439
- 125cm Light stand bag
- 90cm Light stand bag
- 75cm Light stand bag
- Mini hand truck
- Tripod shoulder strap

VII. Memory Cards

- SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card 64 GB class 10 170MB/s
- 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

VIII. Other Equipment

- Godox X2C transmitter
- Yongnuo YN560-TX Manual Flash Controller
- 3x Yongnuo RF-603 C II transceiver
- 2x Cononmark radio triggers transmitter
- 2x Cononmark radio triggers receiver
- 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
- 3-in-1 White Balance card
- PowerEx MAHA MH-C-401FS Class 2 battery charger
- Nitecore D4 4-slot battery charger
- 12x PowerEx 2400MAH AA battery
- 12x Panasonic Eneloop 1900MAH AA battery
- 8x PowerEx 950MAH AAA battery
- 3m black wedding veil
- 1.5m Lace edge bridal veil
- IR Wireless Remote Control
- RC-6 IR shutter remote control

IX. Computer

- Intel i7 11700F 8C/16T LGA1200 Processor
- MSI MAG B560M Mortar LGA1200 MB
- G.Skill Rijaws V 19200/2400MHZ 8GB x2 (16GB Kit) LT
- 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 212 Black Cooler
- 2x Cooler Master Sickleflow 120mm LED 1x Fan (Blue)
- Samsung S27D590PS/XS 27" LED monitor

Accessories
- Logitech K360 keyboard
- Ugreen 1m USB Hub 4 port with micro USB charging port
- Ugreen 2 in 1 card reader USB 3.0 SD TF OTG Type C
- LS7-1200Mbps long range AC1200 dual band 5GHz USB3.0 WiFi Adapter
- Logitech G102 Prodigy Gaming Mouse
- Chuyi vertical ergonomic mouse (black)
- Pen mouse (red)
- Wired condenser microphone audio studio microphone

Retired
- Intel I7-6800K (2011) CPU
- ASUS X99A II (LGA2011) Mainboard
- Cooler Master Hyper 212X CPU Cooler
- Logitech MK200 Media Desktop
- Logitech M585 Multi-Device Wireless Mouse (Graphite)

X. Harddisk

- Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5" SSD
- Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5" SSD
- 4TB WD My Book
- 5TB Seagate Backup (Blue)
- 5TB Seagate Backup (Black)
- 10TB Seagate Expansion Desktop USB 3.0

Retired
- 3TB W.D Black 64MB 3.5" SATA3 HDD
- 3TB W.D Elements

Wish List

- Permanent studio
- Canon EOS 1DX III
- Canon EOS R6
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III
- Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
- Godox V1C
- C-stand x 4
- Maha PowerEx MH-C980
- Impact Fresnel
- Logitech MX Ergo

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 cropped body camera, 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, Constance Huang, 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 friends 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 indoor event photography work improved tremendously 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 tighter but I tried hard not to reject friends who did not give me big problems during the previous photoshoots. I also continued to do volunteering event photoshoots when I was available. Through all these non-profit shooting, I was 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 depleting and wearing off. I knew I needed better equipment in order to bring me to higher levels.

Professional photography - Canon 6D, Canon 24-70mm F2.8L II, Canon 600 EX-RT

Not long later, I upgraded to a full frame 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, especially for lighting.

Incredible lighting - Cononmark B4, I6M

Striving to improve on my photography, I started playing with portable studio strobe like Cononmark B4, which was more powerful than most speedlites. At the same time, the cost, weight and bulkiness of my equipment increased a lot. My ability to battle with the sun improved 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 (Cononmark I6M). I started purchasing even more light modifiers.



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