Hamad Alhendi (@lensbrew) is a hobbyist photographer and photo editor as well as a doctorate student. We “met” him in the Sony Alpha Universe Community Forums, where he is an active community member, engaging in fascinating discussions and sharing his images. We loved his sports images as well as his street photography. We sat down with Hamad, or LensBrew as he is known on the Forums and on Instagram, to learn more about him, his photography and what gear he uses. Keep reading as he shares what’s in his bag.
Product Preview – In This Article You’ll Find:
–Sony Alpha 9 II
–Sony Alpha 7R IV
–Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master
–Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master
–Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master
–Sony 24-105mm f/4 G
–Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II
–Sony VG-C4EM Battery Grip
–Sony TOUGH Series Memory Cards
As a kid, I enjoyed grabbing a camera and taking pictures, without a thought in the world. As I grew up, it became a hobby and a passion. I moved from Kuwait with my wife and kids to pursue my doctorate, and surprisingly my research is in AI imaging and Image Processing. I’m also the Photography Editor for Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times. College sports opens up a variety of sports I can capture and enjoy watching. I also get the chance to connect with other photographers that have been working sports long before I was born. In addition to sports, I enjoy documentary-style travel photography and the occasional portrait photography. I’m always walking or traveling with a camera on me. I enjoy the places I visit and the people I meet, and I feel happier knowing that I’ve captured those fleeting moments.
Sony Alpha 9 II: The Sony Alpha 9 II is my first Sony camera, I chose it for its amazing autofocus and action-capturing capability. As I planned going back to university for my Ph.D., I wanted to utilize my time there to learn and develop my skills in sports photography. I didn’t know I would be hooked. With high frame rate in both mechanical and electronic shutters I’m able to use it in the middle of a noisy game or silence-demanding events. People might think of sports or wildlife when this camera is mentioned, but I got some amazing travel images from it as well.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/1050-sec., f/2.8, ISO 1600
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 400
Sony Alpha 7R IV: I needed to add this body as my second camera for sports. It became my go-to body for capturing coaches stressing on the sidelines or spectators far up the stands. With 61 megapixels I’m able to crop in, while having more than enough resolution for a crisp image. And when traveling, the Alpha 7R IV becomes my main camera to capture the scenes and beauty of the places I visit.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/500-sec., f/2.8, ISO 100
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master: The moment this lens was announced, I had to grab it. The 35mm focal length fits how wide I like to capture my images and the f/1.4 aperture makes it ideal for low light photography. Whether strolling in a city at night, or photographing basketball indoors, this is my absolute favorite lens. It's sharp, lightweight, small and the one lens I could not live without.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/1.4, ISO 800
Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master: This is my other favorite lens. Although the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master can cover that focal length, I always go back to the 135mm f/1.8 GM. It's amazing in low light and it's perfect for basketball from my usual shooting position. I love how close it gets me to the action and the players emotions. When I shoot portraits or photograph people while I travel, the quality of the images from this lens are captivating. With the 35mm GM, the 135mm GM make my favorite traveling lens duo, with the Alpha 7R IV.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/1.8, ISO 800
Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master: When I have an outdoor sport to photograph, the Sony 100-400mm GM becomes the workhorse for that day. It's a versatile focal range, making up 90% of what I capture on for the entire event. On the rare occasion, I take this lens when I travel when I need its focal range for the specific shots I planned.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/5.6, ISO 100
Sony 24-105mm f/4 G: When I’m photographing news or lifestyle events, this is the lens I reach for. Sometimes, I grab the 24-105mm f/4 G when I travel and I don't want to be switching lenses. It's sharp and versatile, making it an excellent choice for many genres of photography. The 24-105mm f/4 G is a staple lens for photographers looking for the one-and-done lens.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/400-sec., f/5, ISO 100
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II: This is the latest addition to my lenses. It's almost always attached to my Sony Alpha 9 II when shooting indoor sports. It also comes with me as my long reach lens when traveling. It’s light-weight makes my backpack light and my back happy. I haven’t used it for long, but I’m enjoying the sharp images it produced so far.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/1600-sec., f/2.8, ISO 8000
Sony VG-C4EM Battery Grip: A necessary part of sports photography work. I get the extra battery and the comfortable ergonomics for vertical shooting.
Sony TOUGH Series Memory Cards: Not only are they fast, but they are so tough that I don’t fear losing my work if they fall in the middle of the field or court.
Nomatic x Peter McKinnon Day Backpack: The size of this backpack fits all the gear I need for sports, travel or a simple ride on the motorcycle around the mountains. I even have space for snacks and first-aid kit.
Nomatic x Peter McKinnon Sling: Sometimes I like to travel light, I reach for this sling. It can carry my favorite body and lenses and I won’t regret going minimal that day.
Photo by Hamad Alhendi. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/2500-sec., f/2.8, ISO 500
ThinkTank Emergency Rain Cover: A must for outdoor sports. The weather can be unpredictable as the game itself.
Apple AirPods Pro 2: I enjoy listening to podcasts anytime I can. Yet when photographing a game, I like their noise-cancelation capability without the discomfort of conventional ear plugs.
PeakDesign Cuff & Leash: My favorite tools to carry my cameras and switch between bodies fast.
SmallRig Dual Charger: I need to prepare my batteries as fast as possible, and the dual charging makes battery management less stressful.
See more of Hamad Alhendi’s work on Instagram @lensbrew.