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My Equipment

Cameras

Lenses

Digital
Photography

Supporting Cast

Accessories



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Cameras

My current photographic equipment represents a distillation of equipment choices over the last 5 years of shooting digitally. Here is my current camera system, much pared down and more suited to my style of photography, which is probably 25% lanscape shooting and 75% wildlife.

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark II
w BG-E6 vertical grip

Lenses

Lenses are where photography and photographic discussions should really concentrate. The lens affects all other aspects of the process from sharpness, field-of-view, and the ability to capture sufficient light. I have slowly collected the best lenses I could afford. These were added one by one over several years, selling some older lenses to help fund upgrades and purchasing new ones when needed. My most recent purchase (although it should have been one of my first) was the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, one of the most versatile wildlife lenses I have used. It's nearly as sharp as my 300mm f/4L IS USM and provides an excellent range for capture small to large critters.

17-40mm

Canon EF 17-40 f/4L USM

24-105

Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM

Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

70-200 f/4 IS

Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM

100-400mm

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

1.4x Converter

Canon EF Extender 1.4x

Supporting Cast

Probably the most significant tool for anyone shooting serious landscape or wildlife photography is a good tripod. It doesn't have to be pretty or expensive -- just sturdy and with you at all times. Tripods become increasingly important when shooting with cropped sensor DSLR's (like the 50D) because cropping telephoto images results in increased blur. A 300mm lens suddenly requires the same shutter speed as a 420mm lens on a film or full frame sensor camera. Handholding this lens (especially those without IS is nearly impossible except in extremely bright conditions).

I have two different tripod solutions I use most frequently: the first is the standard (and rather heavy) Bogen 3021. It is aluminum and tall enough to shoot without stooping. It weighs quite a bit and is my choice when shooting from the car or for taking to a zoo or animal sanctuary.

The lightweight option is the much more expensive Gitzo 1128 Moutaineer. It is carbon fiber so not only does it have a cool name, it is made from high tech materials. All kidding aside, the lighter weight comes at a cost; it is shorter than the Bogen 3021 but it's nearly as sturdy as its metal counterpart. Highly recommended for those looking for light weight, sturdy design, and don't mind spending money on some real security when shooting telephoto or long exposures. It's quite a bit shorter than my large tripod, however, and forces me to stoop while shooting. Definitely not a solution for long-term shooting.

A good ballhead is a wonderful addition to your gear. I really like Kirk Photo's relatively lightweight and very sturdy BH3 ballhead. It's just the right size for anything under 500mm and works wonderfully with my setup.

Kirk Photo BH3
Kirk Photo BH3

Kirk QR Plate
Kirk Quick Release Plate for Canon 50D

Quick Release Ball Head

Manfrotto ProBall 306

Manfrotto 055CXPRO3

Manfrotto 055CXPRO3

Gitzo 1128 Tripod

Gitzo 1128 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod

Manfrotto 3018

Bogen 3018 Monopod

Accessories

I like camera bags that don't look like camera bags. I am a huge fan of Domke J-series camera bags and just can't recommend them enough. They are made from extremely durable canvas and have a beefy design that can take a lot of punishment. The insides are customizable with a large divided insert that can be moved around to create just the storage space needed. The two end pockets have removable padded inserts (on the two larger bags) that can either be used to store a flash unit, charger, filters, or any other accessory imaginable. I mostly use the smaller Domke J-2 for daytrips and serious shooting. The J-3 is great for a shorter day shoot and the J-1 is big enough to store equipment for a longer outing.

Domke J1 Bag

Domke J-1 Camera Bag
large

Domke J2 Bag

Domke J-2 Camera Bag
medium

Domke J-3
Domke J-3 Camera Bag
small

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Last Update: October 7, 2010


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