Danny’s Camera Gear
I am a Nikon user through and through. I use the Nikon D800e to capture my Landscape images and as a landscape photographer I find this to be an amazing camera for capturing a huge amount of detail in my images. This in turn allows me to create quite large prints. I use a range of lenses to help capture my images. They are 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 50mm or my 105mm. These cameras and lenses are Nikon’s finest examples of precision photographic equipment and I would use nothing less when capturing the beautiful landscapes I see or the images I create for both my private and commercial clients.
Other accessories I use are Really Right Stuff tripod heads and Induro tripods. To carry all my gear around I use many different bags. Each situation calls for a certain type of bag. Whether I’m hiking to a location for a landscape shoot, on a commercial job or shooting a wedding.I may need a shoulder bag or a backpack, and some of the brands I use are F-Stop, Tamrac and Lowepro.
Do you need some advice about camera gear ?
Do you have questions about what photography gear to buy ? Are you looking for some help with making some tough decisions on what lens is the right one for you? Request a chat with Danny and he’ll do his best to put your mind at ease. Buying camera gear is not the easiest thing to do if you don’t understand all of the jargon. Fill in the form to the left and Danny will be in touch to arrange a time to chat. And no, there is no fee. This is just one passionate photography trying to help others with the same passion.
The Nikon D800e is an amazing camera. Even though it has since been upgraded to the D810, I have continued to use the D800e as the quality of the files from this camera and its 36mp sensor a truly amazing. The large file allow me to print huge prints which is very important to me. I would say that for the average person out there, 36mp’s is overkill by a long shot. So many megapixels are really only important if you are producing very large prints.
Anther huge advantage of shooting with a Nikon is that they seem to have really worked hard to increase the sensors dynamic range in all of their camera’s. They have really hit a home run when it comes the the D800 range as it has a greater dynamic range than any other camera on the market the world over. This is a huge help in retaining more detail in every image that I capture. This cuts back the need to use graduated filters in a lot of cases.
AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4
When it comes to shooting my landscape images, I absolutely love the 16-35mm lens. It is sharp and has amazing depth of field. Though yes this is a great lens, it does have its down falls. Shooting down at the beach or down beside a river, this is a great choice. It really captures so much in the frame. You can get quite a bit of distortion but again, that’s why you use this lens. Clouds look awesome when captured with a wide angle lens. On the other hand, things can look very very far away when they are in the back ground. Its not a lens I take with me when I’m planning on shooting a lot of large mountains that may be off in the distance. And I definitely will not take it when I’m doing a shoot from a helicopter. It just makes everything look very far away.
AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
What can I say about the 24-70mm lens, it’s truly awesome and so versatile. It is one third of what we as photographers like to call the holy trinity of lenses (16-35mm/24-70mm/70-200mm). I use this lens on a regular basis. I would never leave home without it. It is your absolute all-rounder and any good photographer worth his salt has one of these in his bag. This is the lens that you never leave behind. When you are trying to pack light for a trip, this one and the 50mm are first in the bag in my opinion. The 50mm ways nothing and this lens great for so many different things. I have been on some trips where I haven’t taken the 24-70mm off of my camera body. Its great for shooting landscapes and people. You can zoom in to fill your frame with whats important or you can go wide to capture a lot. My advice is to grab one when you can, you’ll never regret it.
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8
Again I can’t stress enough how good the 70-200mm lens is. It’s a great landscape lens even though its not wide at all. Most people think that if you’re shooting landscapes, you need a wide angle lens. Not true! As mentioned previously, when you are using a wide angel lens, things that are far away seem very very far away so sometimes you need to get that longer lens and get a bit closer to the subject that you are trying to capture. I find that when I visit somewhere like New Zealand I use this lens a lot for my landscapes. Its also a fantastic lens to use when you’re doing some panoramic stitching. And did I mention that it’s an incredibly sharp lens too.
It’s also a staple for those shooting wildlife and portraiture. It really is a great lens and can be used for many different things. Whether you’re in Siberia photography wild bears or at you child’s school athletics carnival photographing them taking out first place in the 100m sprint, you can’t go past a 70-200mm for great photos.
Teleconverters are a great way to get some extra reach from your Telephoto lens. They have some good and bad points but non the less they are a great addition to your kit. Without spending a whole lot of cash, you can attach these to your long lenses to get closer to the action. Sometimes you can’t move closer and sometimes its not safe to get closer. The problem is that they can cause you to loose a little bit of sharpness and you also loose and f/stop or two by using them also. I think they definitely have their place in you bag but you just need to understand their limitations and work around them.
A tripod is a very important tool for any photographer but as a landscape photographer it’s an essential part of your kit. If you’re shooting at sunrise and sunset, you will quite often find yourself shooting with long exposure times and without a good tripod, you will end up with blurry photos. I have used many different tripod brands over the years and I finally settled on one brand of tripod. The Induro brand for me was the perfect fit. High quality materials, great build quality, easy to use and the carbon fibre models are very light weight. I have had many students over the years both as group workshops or 1-on-1 lessons and I am alway amazed to see people put thousands of dollars worth of camera gear on top of a cheap $50 tripod. Save yourself the hassles and splash out a couple of hundred dollars and get yourself a good quality tripod. You will be very happy that you did.
Really Right Stuff Ball Head BH-40
There are many different tripod heads and many different brands also. This is another critical part of your kit to get right. As you can see from above, I use the Induro brand of tripod and yes they do make great tripod heads also. Never the less, I have chosen to use a different tripod head brand as I feel that the design aspects make life that little bit easier when you’re out shooting. The brand I use is Really Right Stuff and it is exactly as it states. This gear is amazing quality and they’re designs are simple but very practical. I do agree that it can seem a little expensive but the old saying ” you get what you pay for” really hold true in this case. You will only ever buy this stuff once and it will last you a very long time. Please click HERE if you would like a bit more information on my recommendation on how to choose the right combination or RRS gear to shoot your style of shooting.
Graduated filters can be great tools when you’re trying to even out your exposures at either sunrise or sunset. These were something that I used on a very regular basis before I got my hands on a Nikon D800e. The Nikon D800e has made it possible in a lot of situation to put away the filters because of the dynamic range available with this camera. But yes sometimes they are necessary and when I need to use them I always use Lee Filters. The quality is awesome and they have virtually no colour cast.
Neutral Density filters are also great tools and are perfect for those situations when you want to manipulate you shutter speed to create a certain look to your image. Again I use Lee Filters although their ‘Big Stopper’ does have a bit of a blue cast.
There are so many camera bags and brands on the market today. I get asked all of the time which one is the best, or which one I use. Well to be honest, I don’t believe that there is one single camera bat out there that is good for every single situation. When I travel I generally bring a back pack, namely an F-Stop Tilopa. If its a big hike and I don’t want a lot of gear well then I might bring the F-Stop Guru. If I’m shooting somewhere that I don’t need to walk very far I will definitely bring my Tamrac Pro12 which is incidentally my go to bag for commercial work too. But if I’m going to a family event or to a school concert then something like a Think Tank Retrospective 10 or 20 might be more appropriate. You see there is no perfect bag and for someone like me, I would have no less than 10 or so bags and they all get used on different occasions
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