In My Photography Bag: Maksim Kalanep

In My Photography Bag: Maksim Kalanep

 

What is inside photographer's bag is usually a well kept secret. Some photographers are happy to share it, some keep it to themselves, but on average we almost all use the same tools and the final result depends more on the creativity of the photographer, technical knowledge, eye for composition & small details, luck and of course post-processing.

'In My Photography Bag' series of articles we aim to collect and look at the work of established & upcoming skateboard photographers of past and present, as well as riders turned photographers and show what can be achieved with both simple & sophisticated tools available on the market.

We continue the series with photographer Maksim Kalanep - London based freelance photographer & 35mm Skate Mag regular contributor.

Maksim Kalanep: What I currently own and use are mostly Nikon cameras, lenses and accessories. My very first camera that I owned was a digital SLR Nikon D200. Up to that moment I've already tried Zenit E film camera from my grandad, as well as Nikon D70 digital, Nikon FM2 & FM3 film cameras at the university. Since then I've been through Nikon D700, lots of Nikon 50mm lenses variations, Nikon D750 & Nikon D800 which I lost in the accident, and several film cameras. I've stopped for now on Nikon D810 digital body and Nikon F100 film camera. As for my lighting setup I'm using  4x Nikon Speedlights with Pocket Wizard Plus II radio triggers. The full range of my past and present equipment with photo examples is listed below.

Nikon D810
This is my main camera body. It's a great all around camera with more than enough resolution and dynamic range for almost any situation. Not ideal for low light, but acceptable.

Gunes Ozdogan & Dennis Busenitz during adidas SB demo at the Southbank in London in 2015. Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 1600 at 1/800th sec.

Gunes Ozdogan & Dennis Busenitz during adidas SB demo at the Southbank in London in 2015.
Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 1600 at 1/800th sec.

Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D
Great for any skateboard photography situation when space is limited or traditional skateboard angle of view is required. I'm not so good with fisheye, I do get acceptable results from time to time, but it's more luck than consistency. Shooting Eric Koston below was a lot of pressure, but I think we got a fine result in the end.

Eric Koston - Fs Bluntslide at the Nike Town in London during Koston 3 shoe launch in 2016. Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/7.1. ISO 800 at 1/250th sec. Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Eric Koston - Fs Bluntslide at the Nike Town in London during Koston 3 shoe launch in 2016.
Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/7.1. ISO 800 at 1/250th sec.
Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Rune Glifberg - Bs Tailslide during Copenhagen Open 2015 opening event. Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/6.3. ISO 1600 at 1/1250th sec.

Rune Glifberg - Bs Tailslide during Copenhagen Open 2015 opening event.
Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/6.3. ISO 1600 at 1/1250th sec.

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 G ED
I haven't yet had a chance to properly shoot with this lens, since I just bought it to replace both Nikon 20mm f/1.8 ED G & Nikon 28mm f/1.8 G lenses that I owned before.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED
My second favourite lens after Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens. I can shoot almost anything with these two lenses. Both are plasticky, but light and compact. Optically both are supreme on Nikon D810 body when stopped down a bit.

Ishod Wair during Copenhagen Open 2015 final event. Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. ISO 400 at 1/800th sec.

Ishod Wair during Copenhagen Open 2015 final event.
Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. ISO 400 at 1/800th sec.

Nike SB Euro Series 2016 promotional shoot in Barcelona, 2016. Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2.8. ISO 800 at 1/1000th sec.

Nike SB Euro Series 2016 promotional shoot in Barcelona, 2016.
Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2.8. ISO 800 at 1/1000th sec.

Anthony Van Engelen outside Slam City Skates original store in London, 2014. Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. ISO 640 at 1/250th sec.

Anthony Van Engelen outside Slam City Skates original store in London, 2014.
Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. ISO 640 at 1/250th sec.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G ED
I only use 60mm lens to digitise my B&W film. Sometimes for extreme close ups. But it is still great to own one in case you need it.

Sylvain Tognelli & Raphael Zarka during 'Paving Space' exhibition in London, 2016. Originally shot with Nikon F100 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. Kodak T-Max ISO 400 pushed to 800. Digitised with Nikon D810 & Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G ED lens at f/8.

Sylvain Tognelli & Raphael Zarka during 'Paving Space' exhibition in London, 2016.
Originally shot with Nikon F100 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. Kodak T-Max ISO 400 pushed to 800.
Digitised with Nikon D810 & Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G ED lens at f/8.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G
My favourite lens since I got my very first 85mm - original Nikon 85mm f/1.8 D version. The modern G version has more resolving power on D800/D810 bodies, so once I upgraded from D700 that was a natural move as well. If you happen to shoot on D700 then D is a solid metal lens and performs as well. I'm mostly shooting at f/2.8 during day and open it up all the way to f/1.8 during low light situations. It's small, light and always delivers for a quarter of the price of its f/1.4 version - Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G ED.

Daniel Gronwall - Fs Bluntslide at the Borough blocks in London, 2014. Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.5. ISO 200 at 1/6400th sec.

Daniel Gronwall - Fs Bluntslide at the Borough blocks in London, 2014.
Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.5. ISO 200 at 1/6400th sec.

 
Luan Oliveira - Tuck Knee during Copenhagne Open 2015 opening event. Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 5000 at 1/500th sec.

Luan Oliveira - Tuck Knee during Copenhagne Open 2015 opening event.
Shot with Nikon D810 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 5000 at 1/500th sec.

 
Chris Jones - Ollie at the Shell Centre in London before it was closed down completely, 2014. Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 200 at 1/2000th sec.

Chris Jones - Ollie at the Shell Centre in London before it was closed down completely, 2014.
Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 200 at 1/2000th sec.

Nikon F100
Probably the best film camera available second hand for a very reasonable price. Packs everything you need in a robust body including support for all the modern Nikon G lenses. Want to shoot fully manual - you can, fully automatic - you can, auto focus - you can. Have old Nikon lenses - no worries, have modern Nikon lenses with no aperture ring - not a problem at all. 

Kyle Wilson portrait in London, 2016. Shot with Nikon F100 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2.8. Agfa CT Precisa 100 ISO.

Kyle Wilson portrait in London, 2016.
Shot with Nikon F100 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2.8. Agfa CT Precisa 100 ISO.

Blondey McCoy's 'Fourth Fancy' exhibition in London, 2016. Shot with Nikon F100 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. Kodak T-Max 400 ISO.

Blondey McCoy's 'Fourth Fancy' exhibition in London, 2016.
Shot with Nikon F100 & Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G ED lens at f/2. Kodak T-Max 400 ISO.

Olympus MJU II
Great little pocket film camera with a fast 35mm 2.8 lens. Fully automatic, weather sealed and very reliable. Misses focus from time to time, though, which is to be expected.

Olympus Mju II & Of London Yearbook 2014

Olympus Mju II & Of London Yearbook 2014

Nikon SB-800Nikon SB-600Nikon SB-80DX Speedlights
These speedlights are very compact, powerful enough and very reliable. Of course there are cheaper and more expensive alternatives, but these work for me.

 
Kyron Davis - Fs Nosegrind Tailgrab during Nike SB football inspired pop-up in London, 2014. Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 100 at 1/250th sec. Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Kyron Davis - Fs Nosegrind Tailgrab during Nike SB football inspired pop-up in London, 2014.
Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens at f/2.8. ISO 100 at 1/250th sec.
Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

 

Pocket Wizard Plus II Transceivers
I own 4 of these radio transmitters & triggers to accommodate my 3 flashes - one on camera body and 3 go with the flashes. They work flawlessly. There are cheaper alternatives these days, but I bought these a long time ago and see no reason to swap these for anything else at the moment.

Tim Zom - Fs Wallride Ceiling Grab at the Nike SB Project B.A. pop up in London, 2013. Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/2.8. ISO 500 at 1/250th sec. Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Tim Zom - Fs Wallride Ceiling Grab at the Nike SB Project B.A. pop up in London, 2013.
Shot with Nikon D800 & Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/2.8. ISO 500 at 1/250th sec.
Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Manfrotto Nano Stands
Very light, compact  & affordable stands. Maybe not as sturdy as a classic stand, but more than enough for standard speedlights. I own 3 of these.

Mark Gonzales - Wallie Fs Pivot during adidas SB demo at the Southbank in London, 2015. Shot with Nikon D810 + Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/6.3. ISO 640 at 1/250th sec. Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Mark Gonzales - Wallie Fs Pivot during adidas SB demo at the Southbank in London, 2015.
Shot with Nikon D810 + Nikon 16mm f/2.8 D lens at f/6.3. ISO 640 at 1/250th sec.
Light - 3x Nikon Speedlights + 4x Pocket Wizard Plus II transmitters on Manfrotto Nano Stands.

Bags
I use both LowePro Mini Trekker AW & Billingham Hadley Pro. Both are tried and tested and more than enough for a daily setup - camera body, couple of prime lenses and a laptop.

Accessories
Peak Design Leash neck strap - very compact, strong and easy to put and take the camera off it.

Computer & Backup
I use 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 13' in basic configuration for quick edits on the spot, I carry it with me most of the time, fits nicely in both LowePro & Billingham bags. As for the backup I use Lacie Rugged 1TB.

 
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