Today, we're talking with HB Mertz about his gear setup and settings he uses when shooting.
What kind of gear do you use?
- Camera body: Canon 5D Mark ii
- Lens: Canon 17-40 and 24-105
- Tripod: Dolica GX600B200
- Filters: Hoya 9-stop ND Filter, Tiffen UV Filters.
- Camera bag: Poler Outdoor Stuff Camera Bag and North Face Jester backpack.
"I honestly have a pretty simple setup. I'm sure someday I'll expand and be the guy carrying around more lenses than I know what to do with, but for now, keeping it simple is really the way to go. I like forcing myself to be content with what I have, adapting and finding creative ways to make my gear work in a situation where maybe a different lens would be more preferable.
Before I was really into photography, it was all about hiking- and it still is. Now, I'm just trying to integrate photography into my adventures, so my setup needs to be something that I can easily take with me on long distances and that I know won't fail me in extreme conditions."
Which is your favorite lens? Why?
"I really like Canon's 17-40. It's extremely versatile. It has the ability to go super wide, as well as a reasonable zoom. The only drawback is that it is limited to f/4, but I saved over $1k on it versus buying Canon's really popular 16-35 f/2.8. I've used that lens a little bit and couldn't notice much of a difference, although I'm sure it has far better performance in some areas.
I used to use a Sigma 30mm ART lens on my old camera and absolutely loved it. I'm pretty sure either their 24 or 50mm lens will be one of my next purchases. They make really awesome lenses. I just love how sharp they are."
In the field, what are your settings?
- Aperture: Generally anywhere from f/4-f/8. I'll adjust though if I need a longer shutter speed. It's important to know the relation this plays with your shutter speed. You don't want to be caught messing with your camera and miss epic light or the limited minutes you get during sunsets.
- Shutter Speed:I usually do auto for this unless I'm doing a long exposure, then I'll go full manual.
- ISO: 100 for sharpness, but I'll adjust in darker conditions. I'll use something higher for stars.
- White Balance: Auto. I've messed around with shade, but I change my white balance in post-processing so much that it really isn't worth changing.
- Focus: Usually auto, but there are times I'll use manual, like shooting stars or through an ND filter. I like messing around with the different focus points to try and create a unique depth or framing of an image.
- Image Format: RAW. Always always always.
If you would like to contact HB Mertz, you can reach him at (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow his journeys on..