GEAR & EQUIPMENT

My equipment choices have always been dictated by what I have to shoot and by the look I have in mind. This is true both for my choice of cameras, lenses and filters, as well as for other fundamental parts of my kit such as support, carrying and lighting. I believe that as vast a knowledge of equipment as possible, in terms of different cameras, tripods, filters, and so on, is of fundamental importance to constantly improving my work. More, mastering such knowledge is also fundamental to help my Workshop participants to make the most of their potential and to sensibly choose the equipment that best suits their workflow and shooting style.

MEDIUM FORMAT

When I started working professionally as a landscape photographer, back in 2010, I used medium format equipment – in particular, a Phase One P65+ digital back, with a Silvestri Bicam first, followed by a Linhof Techno; with both cameras I used some truly spectacular Rodenstock and Schneider lenses.

During the following ten years, I used medium format pretty much non-stop, working all around the world in extremely varied environments and weather conditions with cameras such as the Pentax 645D, Pentax 645Z, Leica S (Typ 007), Hasselblad X1D and X1D II. So, while I am learning something new every day, I can easily say that since the advent of digital medium format I built up an extensive experience with this amazing image-creating medium.

I simply love the aesthetics of medium format. I love the ability of covering the same field of view with longer lenses compared to 35mm. I love the way modern medium format lenses draw. Plus, modern large format sensors offer extremely high resolution, great dynamic range and beautiful colors. So, for me and my work, medium format is a no-brainer.

While 33 x 44mm small medium format sensors are a good start to get the look I want, it is only moving to full frame 645 digital medium format that you can really see a dramatic change in look. This is why, starting December 2020, I am back to my first medium format love, Phase One, and to full-frame medium format sensors.

PHASE ONE

PHASE ONE LOCAL AMBASSADOR | Starting December 2020, I am proud and honored to be a Local Ambassador for Phase One. Contrarily to others, in these influencer-based times, I’d only consider offers from manufacturers of equipment I truly love and I really use. Despite many requests, in my career I previously only accepted one other offer, as Leica Ambassador (2016-2018). When Phase One contacted me, I was delighted: Phase One produces what is arguably the best image creating equipment available today, I love their gear, and going back to Phase One was like going back home, to the beginning of my love story with landscape photography.

MY PHASE ONE CAMERAS & LENSES | Since December 2020, to create my images I use exclusively a Phase One XT, equipped with a Phase One IQ4 150 Mp digital back and Rodenstock lenses. This combination gives me the best image quality available on the market today, with the level of camera movements I need to create my images. In particular, in my bag, you’ll find:

Phase One XT
Phase One IQ4 150 Mp digital back

Rodenstock HR 23mm f/5.6 (14,7mm FF FOV equivalent)
Rodenstock HR 32mm f/4 (20,4mm FF FOV equivalent)
Rodenstock HR 50mm f/4 (32mm FF FOV equivalent)
Rodenstock HR 90mm f/5.6 (57,6mm FF FOV equivalent)

Vieri Bottazzini is a proud Phase One Local Ambassador

Please CONTACT ME if you are interested in trying Phase One equipment and in purchasing your Phase One kit at an Ambassador discount.

THIRD PARTY LENSES | Part of the appeal of using a tech camera is in the possibility to adapt pretty much every lens made for medium and large format. In particular, I enjoy using the following lenses on my Phase One XT.

– Hasselblad 50mm f/4 CF FLE (32mm FF FOV equivalent)

– Hasselblad 180mm f/4 CF (115,2mm FF FOV equivalent)

OTHER CAMERAS | Besides my main Phase One XT medium format system, I also use 35mm cameras, both as backup and for people and street photography. In my bag you’ll find:

LEICA CAMERAS (paid links)
LEICA M10-R

FUJIFILM CAMERAS (paid link)
FUJIFILM INSTAX SQUARE SQ20

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

FILTERS

FILTERS | For my work, high quality filters are as important as cameras and lenses. Filters allow me to balance the light and to control color saturation and reflections in my images. More, filters provide me with complete control over shutter speed, becoming both a great expressive and compositional tool. In short, filters bring me as close as possible to creating the images I envision directly in camera, helping me to reduce post-processing to a minimum.

After almost 5 years working with Formatt-Hitech filters as a Brand Ambassador & Featured Artist (09.2016-05.2021), I am now looking for new filters to help me create my Fine Art landscape photographs. I am currently testing various options, and will update you as soon as I’ll have found the best, highest quality solution for my work.

LENS COVER | Rather than using lens caps, I much prefer to leave a filter holder adapter ring on each and every lens I own. This way, I am always ready to work without the hassle of screwing adapter rings on and off my lenses, which is something unpractical – and potentially dangerous! – in cold weather, in precarious balance conditions, and so on. To protect my lenses, I then use a LENSCOVER HOODIE (SMALL) (paid link) for each lens I own. It only takes a second to take the hoodie on and off my lenses and they offer the same protection as a lens cap, or better (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

f-stop Gear

BAGS | For my photography, I travel and hike a lot. While I do my best to minimise the equipment I carry, to be as effective and efficient as possible, I still need to carry a hefty amount of gear. To do that as comfortably as possible, I need a truly comfortable bag, one that allows me to carry what I need with the least effort and the best balance. I also need a durable bag, a bag able to withstand the hard weather and environmental conditions I work in.

After years spent trying to find the perfect bag, I finally settled for f-stop bags for my Phase One gear.

f-stop AMBASSADOR | Starting in 2021, I am proud and honoured to be a f-stop Staff Pro and Ambassador, and today I am using exclusively f-stop bags to carry my gear in the field. My bag of choice is the Tilopa 50L, a bag built like a tank, extremely comfortable to carry and offering plenty of well-organised space for all my gear.

Here’s a detailed list of my bags (paid links):

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

CAMERA SUPPORT | Rock-steady, perfect camera support is fundamental for me to create the images I have in mind preventing camera movement and micro-vibrations from ruining my work. As well, to work in the best possible conditions it is very important for me to be able to comfortably carry my cameras around my neck & shoulders when I shoot. To support my equipment in the field, I use:

TRIPOD (paid link)
REALLY RIGHT STUFF TFC-34L MARK 2

HEAD (paid link)
ARCA-SWISS MONOBALL P0 CLASSIC

STRAPS
– 2 x Harry Benz The Brogue SL
– 2 x Harry Benz The Brogue Wingtips

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

THE HEAT COMPANY

CLOTHING & GLOVES | Working 6 months a year in the field, often in extreme weather conditions, clothing is a fundamental part of my equipment. For maximum flexibility, I prefer to dress in layers, and I use merino clothes as much as possible due to their amazing thermal proprieties, lightness and ability to pack small. I use Mammut down jackets & shells for their comfort, thermal proprieties & durability and Dolomite shoes for their sturdiness and reliability.

Cold hands are a serious problem when working in the field in sub-zero temperatures for long hours. After years spent searching for the best gloves, I finally settled for The Heat Company, which in my opinion makes the best glove system on the market.

In particular, I use their WIND PRO LINER, and their SHELL. Together, they provide me with the best thermal insulation together with maximum flexibility in use, allowing me to modulate the level of heat and of camera control according to the situation.

Starting in October 2020, I am proud to be a Partner of The Heat Company, and as such I am very happy to be able to offer you a discount on their amazing products with no kickback whatsoever to me. CONTACT ME to get your discount code!

LIGHTING | Finally, when I work on my architectural Portfolios or when I am on assignment doing commissioned work, to complement the sunlight or when the sunlight is not enough, I use (paid link):

GODOX AD400 PRO flashes

– Chimera softboxes

– Lastolite light modifiers

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

ANY QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions about my Phase One, Formatt-Hitech and f-stop gear, or about The Heat Company and my other equipment, or if you want to talk about about landscape photography and about my work, if you are interested in my unique LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS with attendance limited to just THREE participants or One-on-One, if you want to bring home the magic with my FINE ART PRINTS uniquely available in ONE copy only, or if you just want to chat, please don’t hesitate to CONTACT ME!

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