Fine Art Photography by Frederick M. Stevens

Fred's Camera Bag (Equipment List)

It's customary among many photographers to provide list of their camera gear as part of their web blog, forum profile or social media presence.  I think this practice has been useful for beginners as a partial guide to photographer's thinking and creative process.

My evolution in equipment choices over the years has been guided by the type of work I do, technologic development and and the ever-present considerations of budget.  The interplaV of these three factors creates a unique journey for each photographer as these factors take turns influencing the decision-making process.

My first camera was a box camera that my Mother gave me.  I had started a Cub Scout project to start a hobby for one of the rank badges (I think it was either the Bear or theLion badge).  Anyway, Mom's camera was the first. It used 620 roll film, had no adjustments, a peek-down viewfinder and a shutter button.  A simple start to a life-long involvement in photography.

Fred and Ralph in the Back Yard - c1963 - Salinas, California
Photo b
y Fred's Sister Susie

As my photography hobby was growing, I relied upon the use of my Dad's camera gear and darkroom.  I used his Rolliflex twin-lens reflex camera, his Graphlex 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 press-style camera for most of my photography up through my Junior year in high school.  In 1969, Dad gave me an Agfa Sillette 35mm rangefinder camera with two lenses.  The portability of that camera (and a driver's license) started to shape my movement towards outdoor, scenic and nature photography.

When I graduated high school and moved to New Mexico, I began acquiring a Minolta 35mm kit revolving around two SRT-101 bodies, 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 135mm f3.5 and a heavily used Soligor 300mm telephoto.  These served me well through my first few photo jobs and until well after I mustered out of the US Air Force, when Eva and I began doing weddings and portraiture. we bought a Mamiya RB-67 with lenses and accessories.  This camera was in my line-up until just recently when the Nikon D810 camera was able to equal the image quality of the RB-67's film output.

I moved from Minolta to the Nikon 35mm SLR system in 1994.  I don't engage in the never-ending Nikon vs. Canon debate.  For me, the Nikon systems approach, ergonomics and quality optics were the keys to my choice.

So, over the years, our Nikon system is built up/evolved to the following primary components:

Camera Bodies:

D810 DSLR 36MP Full Frame Format
D800 DSLR 36MP Full Frame Format
D700 DSLR 36MP Full Frame Format
D7100  DSLR 24MP DX Frame Format
FM2n 35mm SLR


Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D AF
Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D AF
Nikkor 35mm f/2D AF ED-IF
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D AF
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF ED-IF
Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D AF ED-IF AF-S
Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC AF
Nikkor 300mm f/4E AF-S PF ED VR
Nikkor 500mm f/4G AF ED-VR
Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D AF Zoom AF-S ED-IF
Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D AF Zoom AF-S ED-IF
Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VRII ED-IF
Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S

TC-14E II, TC-17E II, TC-20E III

Eva's Kit adds:

D7100  DSLR 24MP DX Frame Format
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G AF Zoom ED-IF AF-S DX
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D AF VR Zoom ED

Of course, we have bags full of accessories, widgets and gizmos to meet different needs and situations.

Many of my friends and colleagues in photography ask why I don't use any of the "flagship" camera bodies such as the D4 and F5 in my work. The answer is that these fine cameras don't fit my work style and subject matter as well as what I have chosen.  For the added cost of these machines, I don't get any increase in utility or value.  So, I have tried to stay current with the best of the "pro-sumer" models.

We are selling the RB-67 system and our Toyo 4x5 View Camera system as we no longer do weddings and commercial studio portraiture.  The high-resolution digit cameras are more than adequate for such projects.


~φ~ Fred Stevens


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All photographs, text and web page design Copyright 1968-2014 - Frederick M. Stevens
No use, no copying, and no derivative works are allowed.
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