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Photo Gear

This page shows the camera gear that I've used over the years. Starting with my first camera in 1983 to the system that I'm currently using.

(Click on the pictures to see a larger (1024x768) picture)

On my birthday in 1983 I got my first camera. With this camera, an Agfa Optima Sensor, I made my first train pictures.
My first SLR was an East-German Praktica LTL. This was my dad's camera but he had bought something newer so I could use his Praktica. The Tokina 28mm was a birthday gift (can't remember what year). At one time this also included a 200mm lens but that broke down. So in the end I had a 28, 50 and 135 mm lens system. The typical line-up at that time.
In the summer of 1991 I switched to use slides with this camera. I still used the Agfa for traditional color film.

Around Christmas 1992 I bought a Canon EOS 1000FN. I wanted something new and both my dad and some friends were using the Canon EOS system so I decided to switch to that as well. At first I only had the 35-80mm lens that came with the camera but later I bought a 75-300mm Sigma lens. Around this time I retired the Praktica, the Agfa was still in use for film shots, the Canon was used for slides.

Somewhere in the mid-nineties I added another Canon SLR to my gear, this time a 500N. I also bought the BP8 battery pack so I could use AA batteries, which you can get almost everywhere. Also a 50mm prime was added.
Around this time the Agfa started to fail so I stopped using that camera. The 500N was used for slides and the 1000FN for film.
The 500N kit lens (28-80mm) had some problems shortly after our move to the USA. I replaced it with the 28-135IS lens.

The digital era started when I bought a Canon G3 for my birthday in 2003. For the first few photo trips I carried both the 500N and the G3 but I started to use the G3 all the time. So it was the end of the film era for me.

The G3 is a very nice camera but has some issues that make it harder to use when making train shots. The shutter delay is quite bad so because of that I've missed some shots. Also because this isn't a SLR the view finder doesn't really show you what the final picture will look like. I noticed this after chasing some butterflies for a few hours and while reviewing the pictures I noticed I didn't see that many butterflies on the pictures.
The G3 is used for almost all my model train pictures.

In October 2003 I bought the Canon Digital Rebel (300D). All the issues that I had with the G3 (while railfanning) were solved. I retired all my film cameras and sold the Canon 1000FN.

The Digital Rebel was a fine camera but had some issues. One is the slow startup. I missed a few shots because of that. Another issue was the lack of selectable focus mode, which makes bird photography a problem.

So in the spring of 2005 I bought a Canon 20D. As of the summer of 2007 that is still my main camera.

I bought some more glass as well, the Canon EF 100-400IS is a used for most of my bird photography. The Canon EF 28/f1.8 is my indoor lens. For wide angle I use the Canon EF 17-40/f4.0

Fall 2009 - My gear line-up has changed significantly in the last two years. The Canon 5D mark II became my main camera.

This picture shows the 5D mkII with my lens collection. From left to right (in front of the camera); Canon EF85/1.8, Canon EF24-105/4.0, Canon EF50/1.8, Canon EF28/1.8, Canon EF17-40/4.0 and Canon EF28-135/3.5-5.6. In the back, the Canon EF70-200/4.0 and the Canon EF100-400/4.5-5.6.

Copyright © 2004-2009 Lolke Bijlsma