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Gear for Surf and Ocean Photography

As a professional photographer who specializes in surf and ocean photography, having the right camera gear is crucial to capturing the perfect shot. I am a firm believer in not relying heavily on the best and latest camera gear, but having confidence in your gear and knowing it inside out is absolutely fundamental. Over the years, I have tried and tested a variety of camera gear, and I have found that my Sony camera equipment is the perfect match for my needs as an ocean photographer. Sony have been pushing the limits of mirrorless technology over the past years, creating better and better cameras that are lightning fast at focusing and produce stunning image quality.

Here’s a rundown of the Sony camera gear I use for shooting surf and ocean photography.

Sony A7R III

The Sony A7R III is my go-to camera for all my surf and ocean photography. I have been using it for 100% of my work for the past 5 years and still to this day it meets all of my needs for photography. This full-frame mirrorless camera has a 42.4-megapixel sensor, which allows me to capture stunning high-resolution images with excellent detail and clarity. Such high resolution gives me confidence for printing large fine art prints, with the flexibility to be able to crop a bit when required and still maintain excellent print quality. The camera also has very fast autofocus capabilities, which are important for tracking moving subjects like waves and surfers. The mirrorless system of the A7RIII in all honesty took me a long time to get used to after coming from a DSLR, but over time I grew to love it. The live viewfinder allows me to see the exact exposure of my images as I shoot them. This allows me to shoot with more accuracy and visualize the final edited image.

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is my primary lens for shooting on the land (not of surf) for my personal and client based work. I use it in the water quite a lot, and although I do find it somewhat bulky, I can live with this due to the results I get from this lens. It’s a versatile zoom lens that allows me to capture a range of shots from wide-angle to mid-range. The lens has a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, which is ideal for shooting in low light conditions, and it produces sharp images with excellent contrast and color. If I am going out to shoot in the ocean and want to be able to get up close to the action but also have the option to draw back a bit, I will choose the 24-70.

Sony 70-200mm f/4 G

This lens has been my greatest surprise for in water photography and has swiftly become my favourite lens to shoot with. I originally bought it to shoot surf and waves from the land, however I found it did not have enough reach. I was thinking to sell it as I didn’t think I had a need for it, but then I thought it could be worth trying in the water. I am glad I did because I was blown away with the shots I could achieve. I always used to use an 85mm for more compressed and zoomed in water images, but this lens took things to another level for me. The 70-200mm focal range allows me to create incredible compression with the wave filling a good portion of the frame whilst creating stunning blurred backgrounds. I would say this is my go to option for creating more artistic photos in the ocean. On a good day I find I can shoot a great variety of artistic shots using the whole focal range in one session. The lens is also super lightweight for a telephoto and easy to maneuver in the water.

Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G

The Sony 200-600mm is my choice of lens for shooting surf and waves from land. It’s a super-telephoto zoom lens that allows me to be extremely far back and still fill the frame with the action. If I want a bit more foreground or background, I use the 200mm end of the range, and then go up to usually between 400-600mm when needing the extrareach or to fill the frame. The lens produces extremely sharp images and I love sitting down to edit a ‘keeper’ from this lens. The lens also has an internal zoom, meaning the lens does not extend when zooming in and out. This is one of my favourite things about the lens as it makes it easier to manage such a large lens and shoot on the move with more ease.

I also use a few other lenses for surf and ocean photography that are not Sony, such as a manual fisheye lens and a fewold analogue lenses that I adapt onto my Sony A7RIII. However as this blog is about my Sony gear, I will cover the other lenses in a future blog post.

In conclusion, my Sony camera gear has been a game-changer for my surf and ocean photography.

The combination of all my gear allows me to capture a wide variety of imagery both in and out of the water. Of course, there are more lenses on my wishlist and I hope to get a few of them soon (need to get back onto prime lenses!). If you’re looking to take your surf and ocean photography to the next level, I highly recommend investing in Sony camera gear. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with me 🙂

Credit to : Matt Power Photo