TONY’S GEAR

Fuji X-T3

Many photographers these days are adding a mirrorless camera to their bag. The Fuji system is so good that it has actually replaced all of my Full Frame Nikon Gear and has become the only camera I own. The X- T3 has amazing picture quality and is small and light to boot. Its high ISO performance and sharpness rivals any DSLR out there. Compared to full frame mirrorless cameras, Fuji gives you Image Quality which is equal or better but with much smaller lenses and at a much more affordable price.  A no brainer in my mind.  I find myself photographing more often than I ever did because the Fuji takes the pain out of photography and brings back the fun.

Fuji XF 16mm 1.4 WR

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this lens! A 24mm equivalent that really suits my vision. Be it street photography or landscapes this lens really gives me the perspective I want. Its f1.4 maximum aperture and 5 inch minimum focus distance can give you amazingly soft backgrounds. Super fast focusing and Weather Resistant design means it never lets me down.

Fuji XF 23mm 1.4 R

My most used lens in the Fuji line up. Great for street photography and environmental portrait although I use it for general photography as well. A great all purpose lens with no compromises. Insanely sharp (even wide open) and fast AF make it a really versatile and dependable lens.

Fuji XF 35mm 1.4 R

Fast lens with great contrast and color. Sharp in the center but slightly soft toward the corners when shooting wide open (which is a quality that I actually like). Performs better than any 50mm I owned from Canon or Nikon. Pretty fast focusing but not quite as fast as the 23mm. Oh….and a cool lens hood as well.

Fuji XF 56mm 1.2 R

Gotta have this as a portrait photographer. Its f1.2 maximum aperture renders beautifully soft backgrounds without giving up any subject sharpness. Its narrower angle of view makes this lens a little less versatile than the 23 or the 35 in my mind but when you’re in its wheelhouse there’s nothing quite like this lens.

Fuji XF 80mm 2.8 OIS Macro

Tack sharp, stabilized macro lens which actually has a very effective auto focus system which is almost unheard of in the macro world.  Sure it’s on the big side but its 1:1 reproduction ratio and amazing Fuji optics make it an easy choice for anyone who likes macro.  Buy this lens!

Zeiss 12mm 2.8 Touit

Love, this lens! It’s WIDE, which is why I chose it over the 14mm Fuji. It’s really sharp and the 18mm equivalent angle of view sees the world in the most unique way.

Used and HIGHLY recommended!

SHORT ZOOM LENSES

FUJI XF 16-55mm 2.8 WR

A 24-70mm equivalent for those who love FAST, SHARP, WEATHER RESISTANT zoom lenses.  Okay, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that? Not as compact as some of Fuji’s other short zoom but it’s still considerably lighter and more affordable than comparable lenses from Sony and Nikon and Canon.  This one should be the very first lens you buy if you need a 2.8 zoom.

FUJI XF 18-55mm 2.8-4 OIS

This is the sleeper of the bunch.  It’s positively tiny compared to the 16-55 and gives you super sharp optics and throws in Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to boot!  I own it and it stays on my camera for explorations in both urban and natural environments.  The best part?  Buy it with your X-T3 and you’ll get this $700 lens for only $399.  Click the link below to see the X-T3/18-55 kit.

Used and HIGHLY recommended!

LONG ZOOM LENSES

FUJI XF 50-140mm 2.8 OIS WR

A perfect companion to the 16-55 2.8 zoom above.  This lens covers the 70-200mm equivalent and does so with ruthlessly sharp optics and fast auto focus.  I love the OIS and weather resistance.  It’s one of the bigger lenses from Fuji but it’s much smaller and lighter than the Sony/Canon/Nikon equivalents and it’s one of the sharpest lenses Fuji makes.

FUJI XF 55-200mm 3.5-4.8 OIS

An 80-300 equivalent that won’t break your back or your bank.  Like the 18-55, this lens is a sleeper.  Much lighter than the 50-140 and with 100mm more reach this lens is easy to bring along and a joy to use.  It gives up a little sharpness compared to the razor sharp 50-140 but not all that much and there are times that I’d gladly trade that for more reach and more portability.

Used and HIGHLY recommended!

DO-IT-ALL ZOOM LENS

FUJI XF 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 OIS WR

This is Fuji’s one lens solution and it’s much better than any other do-it-all zoom that I’ve tried.  It covers the 27-200mm equivalent and does so without sacrificing much in terms of image quality.  Add Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and weather resistance and you’ve got the perfect lens when you just want to bring one lens along.

HIGHLY recommended!

SUPER WIDE ZOOM LENS

FUJI XF 8-16mm 2.8 WR

Big, heavy and irreplaceable!  There’s nothing quite like a super wide lens if it suits your vision.  When I shot Nikon, I loved my 14-24 and this is (FINALLY) Fuji’s answer.  Not petite by any means but it’s almost 1/2 lb lighter than the Nikon. For those that love the perspective and flexibility it gives it’s easy to justify.

everyone loves a great set of legs

TRIPODS

Oben CT-3561 with BE-117 Head

Although billed as a travel tripod (folding down to 16”), it’s sturdy enough to be used in general situations as well. It’ll easily hold 17lbs and if you’ve got a small DSLR or mirrorless camera it could be all the tripod you’ll ever need. You can even unscrew one of the legs and convert it into a monopod.

Oben CT 2381 with BE-126 Head

My “Big” tripod. This thing stands at 70” tall and is barely 4lbs with the head attached! Rock solid and it can easily go from a worm’s eye view, (inches off the ground) if you remove the center column to standing height.

The BE-126 head holds 26 lbs and uses Arca stlye plates, which I think are a must. It comes with a generic plate but you can go to Kirk Photo and get a plate that’s custom made for your camera.

Kirk BH-3

The gold standard for Ball Heads. I’ve had one that has seen close to 10 years of hard use and have never had a problem.

Kirk FR-2 Macro Focusing Rail

This little contraption really reduces the frustrations of fine-tuning your focusing without effecting your macro compositions. A macro must…I won’t shoot close up without it!

Kirk mounting plates

I like mounting plates that are made specifically for my cameras. Kirk designs them so they won’t spin once they’re on the camera and they are slim and light enough to remain on your camera even when you’re not using a tripod.

for those with great style

Accessories

Watson NP-W126 Batteries

OEM batteries cost too much in the first place and my suspicious mind believes that they’re probably all made in the same factory as the non name brands anyway. I’ve had great success with Watson batteries for my Fuji and at $19.95 vs $65 for the Fuji brand it’s like a 3 for 1 sale. I get the same life from the Watsons that I get from my Fuji batteries and haven’t ever had reliability issues.

Watson Dual battery charger

GAME CHANGER!  I know that it’s silly to say that but at the rate you’ll go through batteries, it sure is nice to charge two at once instead of swapping out batteries on the charger constantly.  The Watson has a great readout as well so there’s no guessing as to the charging status.

Vello cable releases

Let’s face it, you’re going to go through a few cable releases in your life time…I’ve lost count of how many I’ve “misplaced” or broken. These only cost $9 so bring on the catastrophes!

Vello remote release

If you’re the type to break cable releases or if you don’t like those small, fiddly connectors then this is your answer.  It fits on your hot shoe and allows you to fire your camera via a hand held (cable-less) remote.  I’ve found this little device much more convenient to use than the cable releases.  It takes a little longer to set up and requires 4 AAA batteries but once you’re done it’s much more convenient.

Vello Extension Tube set

Put these little beauties between your Fuji XF60 or XF18-55 and your camera and you’ll be at 1:1 magnification. Very simple to use and no reduction in sharpness, these are a must when you want to get closer with the XF60 or with any Fuji lens.  All of that for only $79 make them easy to justify!  NOTE: They don’t work on the XF80 macro so if you want a set of tubes for the 80mm then stick with the Fuji set.

Tiffen Variable Neutral Density Filter

I love long shutter speeds and this is the filter I use to get them when I’m not shooting at night. This filter can block from 2 to 8 stops of light when you rotate it, giving you a lot of flexibility with your shutter speeds. It’s sharp and reasonably priced with less vignetting, and color casts than even its more expensive competition.

Circular Polarizers

B+W Kaesemann polarizer’s are awesome. Free from color casts, brass rings so they won’t get stuck on the front of your lens and multicoated for higher image quality.

for those who wander

Portable Lighting

Impact 5-in-1 reflector

With built in diffusers and reflectors, this is perfect for creating soft light or reducing shadows for Portrait or Macro photography. They come in various sizes but I use 42” for portraits and 32” for macro.

Impact 16-80 transceiver

Fire the LiteTreks (or any flash) remotely using this set of transceivers. Reliable, consistent and a real value.

Impact Medium Luxbank Duo Softbox

Great, soft and even light from this 24” x 32” softbox. Durable and reliable.

Impact Speedrings

No way around it, if you’re using a softbox you’ll probably need one of these.

Impact Reflector adapter

This adapter couples a speed ring to the LiteTrek 4.0. A necessity but not an expensive one.

Saddlebags SB-20O

Great for stabilizing stand mounted lights or reflectors outside or in a place where they could be knocked over. Simple, effective, affordable and orange!

Brighten up

Lighting Equipment

Impact lightstands

Not glamorous but you can’t do without stands if you’re using lights. These are heavy duty, have a wide base and are air cushioned…and they’re cheap. ‘Nuf said.

Impact Casters

Let’s face it, rolling your light stand is easier than lifting it. These casters work perfectly on the Impact air cushioned stands.

Impact C-Stand

My “go to” stand for my main light when working indoors. Allows me to easily position a light anywhere. Great for positioning the light right above the camera for portraits. Heavy duty and a real value.

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Impact Octacool 9

Bright, cool running and constant fluorescent studio light. I use it for still life and macro in studio but it’s great for video as well. I’ve used two to light smaller video scenes or for a headshot when needed. The two light set is a great way to learn the basics of lighting without worrying about strobes and flash metering.

Bolt Macro Ring light

This light fits on the front of your lens to give you the perfect soft light for macro. It’s dimmable so you can change the brightness and you can even change the output left and right.


Vello battery grip

I’ve used these for years on my SLRs. These vertical grips make it much easier to hold and control your camera while shooting vertically and hold more batteries. Much less expensive than those made by Canon and Nikon and they work flawlessly.

Revo DS-3K table dolly

Creating effective video shots relies so much on movement. Effortlessly add movement with this slick little device.