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 work.
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. During the following ten years, I used medium format pretty much all the time all over the world, working in extremely varied environments and weather conditions.
While I am learning something new everyday, I can easily say that, since the advent of digital medium format, I built up an extensive experience with this amazing image-creating medium. In particular, after briefly coming back to 35mm in 2012, in 2014 I moved back to small sensor medium format again, using cameras such as the Pentax 645D, Pentax 645Z, Leica S (Typ 007), Hasselblad X1D and X1D II.
I simply love the aesthetics of medium format. I love the ability of covering a vast field of view with longer lenses than those you’d need to use with 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, there is no coming back to 35mm if I can help it.
While 33 x 44mm small medium format sensors are a good start towards 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 LOCAL AMBASSADOR | Starting December 2020, I am proud and honored to be a Local Ambassador for Phase One. Contrarily to other people, 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 a 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.
PHASE ONE CAMERAS & LENSES | Since December 2020, I exclusively use Phase One XT, equipped with a Phase One IQ4 150 Mp digital back, and Rodenstock lenses to create my images. 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)
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 my people and street photography. In my bag you’ll find:
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.
In 2016, after thoroughly reviewing all filters on the market, I choose the superior quality of Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filter to create my images. In late 2016, I became Formatt-Hitech Ambassador and in 2019 I have been selected as a Formatt-Hitech Signature Artist.
Today, I am exclusively using Formatt-Hitech’s top of the line Firecrest Ultra filters: with their sandwich-made coating and their unique cinema-like polishing, they are the only filters that could do my images justice and could keep up with the optical quality of my medium format cameras and lenses, which deserve the best filters on the market.
In my bag, you’ll find:
FORMATT-HITECH FILTERS | HOLDERS
– Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra Grad ND filters: 0.6, 0.9, 1.2 and 1.5 stops, Soft-Edge
– Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra ND filters, 3, 6, 10, 13 and 18 stops
– Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra Reverse Grad ND filters: 0.6 and 0.9 stops
– Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 100mm Filter Holder (with built-in Polariser)
Enjoy my Vestrahorn, Iceland photo on the new Firecrest Ultra packaging!
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.
CLOTHING | 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!
SUPPORT & CARRYING | 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 extremely important for me to comfortably carry my gear with me, both in my bag when hiking and around my neck & shoulders when I shoot.
To move and support my equipment in the field, I use:
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):
– Chimera softboxes
– Lastolite light modifiers
If you have any questions about my Phase One gear & my other equipment, about landscape photography, about my work, my Workshops limited to just THREE participants, my Workshop One-on-One, my SINGULAR Fine Art Prints available in ONE copy only, or if you just want to chat, please don’t hesitate to CONTACT ME!