Profile: Lincoln Brigham

Photographer Lincoln Brigham caught our eye with his dynamic shots of people weightlifting and participating in Crossfit. A convert from the Micro Four Thirds platform, Brigham shoots with a Sony a7II and legacy manual focus lenses. A “serious” photographer since 2009, Brigham spends most of his time as a coach, and photographs for some clients as well.

How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve taken photographs most of my life, like most people, but started getting serious around 2009. I started getting the occasional paying gig a couple of years ago.

What type of photography do you specialize in?
I do indoor sports photography for work; I’m a weightlifting/CrossFit coach and the photographs help with that business. I do art photography for myself, with a lot of nighttime landscapes. I do the occasional portrait assignment here and there.

One quirk about my style is that for most shots every setting is manual. Manual focus, manual power speedlights, manual ISO, manual aperture, RAW, and so on. I don’t like it when my gear second-guesses what I want. My camera is left on “A” mode most of the time and “S” when I’m shooting with flash. I don’t fiddle around with metering settings, just the default plus some manual exposure compensation.

Do you consider yourself a professional or an enthusiast photographer?
A semi-professional enthusiast?

What did you shoot with before your current Sony gear?
I started out with the Olympus EP-1, moved on to the Panasonic DMC-G2 and G3, then picked up a Fuji XE-1 which I still use as my backup camera. When I was shooting Micro Four Thirds my budget was limited and that’s when I started getting into legacy and manual focus lenses. That’s what I shoot with to this day, although my lenses have also gone through their own upgrade cycle.

What made you decide to buy Sony gear?
I really like mirrorless cameras but I needed better high-ISO performance. The Sony allowed me to upgrade without changing lens systems.

What Sony gear do you use?
I have the Sony A7 IIand that’s it. My lenses are a hodge-podge of F-mount legacy and Rokinon lenses with an adapter. I have a small suitcase full of generic manual speedlights that I use with dumb radio triggers/receivers. I use as many as 7 speedlights at a time for stop-action photography.

What are your thoughts about shooting with your Sony gear, and specifically versus other gear you’ve used? (Please include both pros and cons.)
The A7 is a tad bigger than my previous gear but not by much, so the portability is really good. The low-light high-ISO capability has enabled me to try shots I wasn’t able to do before. The high dynamic range lets me us “Expose To The Left” technique when I shoot sports, which gets higher shutter speeds. I’ve used the WiFi capabilities a lot more than I thought I might. My previous gear had no WiFi ability at all, which sometimes delayed getting my photos uploaded for days. The higher resolution files allow me more cropping options, which is important since I only use prime lenses.

I’m a bit concerned with the limited range of FE autofocus lenses, even though I don’t shoot autofocus at the moment. Sony doesn’t have many AF lenses, the ones they do sell are pricey, and there are no third party AF lenses from Sigma/Tamron etc. If I decide to get into autofocus lenses down the road it’s going to cost me a lot more than a CaNikon system would have. When I was considering upgrading from the XE-1 it was a close call between the Sony and the Nikon 750. However, I think the Sony, being mirrorless and using an EVF, works much better with manual focus lenses. The menu structure on the Sony is not the quickest to navigate but I’m getting used to it.

In all I’ve been very pleased with the A7 II so far. I bought it as an upgrade and to get shots I couldn’t get before. It has done exactly that.

My daily shooter is Sony A1 with a vertical grip and various Sony lenses attached like the FE 20mm F1.8. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.