My Camera for Railway Photography

My Camera for Railway Photography

Today, there are loads of different types of cameras that you can buy and use for your railway photographs. Even some mobile phones now a days have an excellent camera fitted to them.

I occasionally get asked by other photographers what camera do I use. Here I will let you know what camera and lens I use for my railway photography hobby.

Camera

Over the years I have had many different cameras. The one I have and use today is the Canon 5D Mark III. I have had this great camera for just over five years and I intend to keep it unless I win the lottery!

For me it is a lovely camera with a lot of advanced shooting options. Once I learned as much as I possibly could, It does everything that I want it to do. One good option on the camera is the 6 fps (frames per second) continuous shooting. I always tend to use that, that way at least one or two photos will be in the exact place you want it and sharp.

Yes, I know that the newer cameras have more or better options. But to be honest, If you are happy with what you have got I do not see the point in spending more money just to keep up to date with the new ones. Saying that, if the camera died on me, I would still purchase a decent second hand one of the same model.

Today (January 2021) you can buy this camera second hand at MPB from £819.00

Lens

I have two lens that I have and use for my train photographs. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon EF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 IS USM Lens.

The lens I use the most is the Canon EF 24-105mm one. This lens is just great for railway photographs. You can go wide to get a nice bit of background in the photo or go fairly close still with background but not as much. Both are ideal depending where you are and how you want to get your photograph.

This photograph was taken using the Canon EF 24-105mm lens at 47mm.

GWR 0-6-0PT No: 1369 and Beattie Well Tank 2-4-0WT No: 30587

GWR 0-6-0PT No: 1369 and Beattie Well Tank 2-4-0WT No: 30587  pass the river dart on the South Devon Railway working the 13.35 Totnes to Buckfastleigh service on the 19th February 2017.

I do not use the Canon EF 70-300mm lens very much for my train photos. When I occasionally do, it is because the spot I am standing on is to far away to get a half descent shot. The other reason is because I want a nice close up shot.

The diesel train photograph below was taken using the Canon EF 70-300mm lens at 200mm.

37800 is hauling 43170 and 43189

37800 is hauling 43170 and 43189 on Rattery Bank working the 0V84 10.00 Doncaster Works to Laira on the 2nd August 2018.

Conclusion

You do not need to have an enthusiast or professional camera for railway photography. A basic camera today will get you a very good photo.

I am interested to know what camera you currently use. Please feel free to let me know by leaving a reply below, thank you.

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2 thoughts on “My Camera for Railway Photography”

  1. Been using a Nikon Z7 for about a year now, I swapped from a Nikon 810 which I also still have but I do prefer to use the Z7 these days.

  2. I have a very similar set up to you, although use the ‘cheaper’ Canon 6D, with the same 24-105mm F4L. I also have the EOS 70-200mm F4 IS. The image quality is similar to the 5d III but the autofocus system is quite limited. Still plenty good enough for my use however!

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