Since I last posted What’s in My Camera Bag last March, I’ve watched my camera kit evolve. I’m now carrying more equipment than ever, but I’ve also dropped a bit of equipment that I routinely carried but didn’t often use.
It’s probably a natural progression; my photography has really grown in the past 12-months and, along with a growing client list, I’ve discovered a growing need to purchase specific gear that helps make my job easier.
I’ve also been receiving plenty of questions on Instagram, all aimed at discovering what equipment I use. I am happy to share the information, but I caution any aspiring photographer that you are likely better off investing in photo opportunities than photo equipment. Almost any camera body and lens makes suitable quality images, especially since so much of our photography now appears digitally rather in print.
What’s in My Camera Bag?
Nikon D800 – Although it’s a couple years old at this point, the D800 is still my go-to camera for landscapes. Nothing, except perhaps the newer D810, matches its quality
Nikon D750 – The newest addition to my camera kit, I purchased the D750 for three distinct reasons. I needed a backup camera, I wanted something lighter to carry on backcountry trips, and I thought the higher frame rate would make photographing skiing and mountain biking slightly easier!
So far, I’ve been blown away with its quality, especially at higher ISO settings. I believe it trumps the D800 at ISO3200, so it’s also become my go-to star shooter.
Nikon 16-35mm f/4 – this is still my most widely used lens, for everything from big landscapes to dramatic environmental portraits. It does tend to have a bit of distortion around the edges, so it’s best to keep people closer to the rule of 3rd guides.
Nikon 20mm f/1.8 – The newest lens in my kit is also destined to be the least used. I grabbed this lens as soon as it was released to help photograph the night sky. The F1.8 aperture fives me 2 2/3 stops more light into the camera compared to my 16-35mm. Basically, I can shoot faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings to attain the same results.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 – This lens is sharp, fast, and does nearly everything. It’s great for portraits, landscapes, and sports action. I’ve recently shot entire projects using only this lens.
Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8 – The brick that singlehandedly makes me stronger. This lens rarely leaves my camera bag and it’s heavy to haul around the mountains; however, it’s irreplaceable for it’s reach. Racked out, I can safely photography wildlife, compress a landscape, and capture action sports. Truthfully, I’d love to trade it straight up for a newer 70-200mm F/4.0. Any takers?
I went years making do with the Gradient filter in Lightroom, but shooting with the Lee Filters is a revelation. They reduce post-processing time and decrease the likelihood of blown highlights.
Lee 0.3-0.6-0.9 Soft Grad | Lee 0.3-0.6-0.9 Hard Grad
Neutral Density Filters
Anybody who followed my Iceland photography adventure should have noticed I favored long exposures. I simply love the motion created in a 30-second exposure and these filters allow me to capture them throughout the day.
Lee Big Stopper (10-Stops) | Formatt Hitech 6-stop ND
Formatt Hitech 105mm Polarizer | Formatt Hitech 0.6 Soft Grad | Formatt Hitech 0.6 RND
Acratech GP Ballhead with Quick Release Lever – I just switched to the Arca-Swiss system and cannot believe the difference. My camera feels truly locked onto my tripod head, which is a nice and secure feeling!
Kirk Photo L Bracket for D800 and D750 – Along with the new tripod head, I bought two L brackets, which allow for easy transition between portrait and landscape shooting.
Tripod – Currently in a state of change, announcement coming soon.
Odds and Ends
- Lexar Professional 1000x 32 GB CF Cards
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SD Cards
- Spare Nikon Batteries
- Phottix Wireless Remote
- Sennheiser Shotgun Mic
What is the Actual Camera Bag?
I have a couple Lowepro Bags that I use regularly. All of this equipment easily fits in my new LowePro Pro Trekker 450 AW. For assignments that don’t call for all my gear, I use a Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L.
Recently Subtracted Equipment
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens – although it was blazing fast and razor sharp, I just never shot with this lens. It ultimately traveled around the province a few times before being sold off for a fraction of its original price.
Nikon SB-800 Speedlight – I still own this old, yet powerful flash. I just choose not to carry it too often. I rarely use it and the few times I have, I end up feeling like a bumbling idiot. It’s been a while since I knew how to use one of these!