The Well-Worn Cameras of a Professional Photojournalist

You know you’re a professional photojournalist when you try to take good care of your cameras but they still end up look like these.

These belong to photographer Timothy Allen, who photographs the world’s indigenous societies for the BBC documentary Human Planet. He uses two Canon 5D Mark II DSLR cameras with 16-35 f2.8, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.2, 200mm f2.8, and 400mm f4.5 lenses. You can see some of Allen’s jaw-dropping work here and here.

Image credits: Photograph by Timothy Allen and used with permission

  • Andrés Mejía

    Why does he use 2 cameras of the same model?

  • Almond

    Less lens swapping. Can make the difference in getting the shot or missing it.

    Though… with the wear those bodies have, I’m surprised he doesn’t have a dedicated body for each lens… no way to get sensor dust that way.

  • Ollie

    Also leaving them on sand cant be a good idea!

  • Stefan Paetow

    Now this is brilliant. That’s what my kit looks like after a day out. :-)

    My 20D survived that kind of abuse for nearly 3 years… :-)

  • Wing Wong

    Now that’s a good use for weather sealed bodies: one body, one lens matchup.

    On a more humorous note, suggested Craigslist/Ebay post: 2 well loved and well used Canon 5DMKII cameras. Shows slight signs of use. Some nicks and scratches and a little dirt.

  • Ian

    The series ‘Human Planet’ has some of the most amazing images I have seen on television for a very long time. The episodes should be on the BBC iplayer and are well worth the time spent watching.


  • Yusuf

    What is this 400mm 4.5 lens?

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  • su

    I’m with Yusuf, what’s this 400mm f/4.5 that you speak of? I think there’s an old FD lens like that, but surely he’s not using that one.

  • Tyler

    In a post he made on his own blog, he states manual lenses are good because of the manual aperture, and he is able to lock the aperture at whatever without it resetting to wide open after every image.

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