Here is a short list of architectural photography equipment we use most often. Because occasionally I would be asked about what camera system we use, I think I’d share that with you here.
Our architectural photography equipment as of May 2016:
Cambo Wide RS technical camera is one of our primary cameras. The one we have is their 65th Anniversary Edition. Combined with a PhaseOne IQ140 medium format digital back, not only would it deliver image qualities similar to 4×5 large format, it also allows a wide range of camera movements, which is usually called for in architectural photography. Another one of our primary cameras is Canon 5DS. With its 50MP sensor, the image quality is very close to medium format. It’s a great complement to PhaseOne IQ140 and provides additional coverage with its CMOS sensor (e.g., higher ISOs) and lens selections.
With the Cambo system, we have Rodenstock HR 40mm Digaron-W lens on a tilt/swing lenspanel. It has a large image circle and allows a lot of camera movements. Although Cambo does offer lenses with shorter focal lengths, the only lens that has the same size of image circle is the HR 32mm lens. So if we need a lens that provides a wider field of view and still allows lots of movements, we would be using a Canon 17mm f/4 TS-E lens on the Canon 5DS. We also use a Canon 24mm f/3.5 TS-E lens.
As you can see, we do not have a lot of lenses specifically for architectural photography. Our lens selection is based on our years of experience and photographic style.
We use Profoto B1 500 AirTTL as our location lights when needed. Although modern digital technology already allows photographers to easily create high dynamic range (HDR) photos without strobes, these additional lights can create a different look or add accent lighting to the scene.
There is really nothing special about tripods as long as it can support the camera and lenses. I have had my Gitzo G1227 carbon fiber tripod for more than 10 years, and it still works perfectly. Nevertheless, a good tripod head would make our job easier. For architectural photography, our choice is Arca Swiss C1 Cube. It lets me level the camera so quickly and precisely. I can’t imagine shooting architecture without one.
Light meter, shutter release cables, various filters, cases, just to name a few. Although these are not considered specifically as architectural photography equipment, they are essential to all kinds of photography. We may use an iPhone or iPad to take notes. To bring some coffee, we use lens mugs.