What Camera Equipment Do You Use?

Most of us have a number of different cameras, lenses, filters and other accessories.  How we arrived at the choices we’ve made often raises valuable points to be considered by others.  So:

  • What is your favourite combination of camera, lenses, and other accessories?
  • What type of photographs do you mostly take with your choice?
  • What led you to the combination above?

If you were to change one of your pieces of equipment, what would it be?  And what would you like the replacement to be?

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Here’s what Larry Citra had to say:

First of all I have to admit that I really like camera equipment and I guess I am a bit of a “Gear Head”. There is so much stuff out there and it all looks so cool! Over the years (and there have been a lot of them) I have collected quite a bit of stuff to say the least. Some of this equipment I use all the time and some of it falls into the category of “It sounded like a good idea at the time” and rarely use. You can only comfortably carry so much and this ‘so much’ get a bit less every year.

Speaking of carrying …………….. I have found that a good camera vest is by far the best, most convenient and most comfortable way of carrying my camera gear. I’ve used my vest in hot places and cold places with equal comfort. A good vest needs to be well ventilated for hot weather and easily adjustable to fit over winter clothing for cold weather. I used a good LowePro camera backpack for years and I still use it to safely transport my gear on trips where you need to go through airports etc., but when you are actually photographing I find the vest to be best. It evens out the weight and you don’t have to keep taking it off everytime you need something or to change a lens. Some stuff you will have to carry in the rear pockets but I only put things in there I don’t need often. Also my tripods have a hook for hanging things, so if I need to take the vest off I can hang it on my tripod for easy access.
The best camera vests, in my opinion (and I’ve tried many) are made by John Storrie of the Storrie Parachute Company. There are several models and they are fully customizable to your needs.

Anyway back to EQUIPMENT!!! ………… I am a Nikon user because I like the equipment. I find Nikon equipment easy to use, for me anyway, and it’s extremely tough and durable. I’m sure the image quality is no better or worse than any other make, it’s just what I use and it works for me!

Here’s some of the stuff I use regularly:

  • Nikon D2x, D3 & D4

various lenses including:

  • 10-24 mm (Nikon)
  • 15 mm(Nikon)
  • 28-300 mm(Nikon)
  • 300 mm 2.8(Nikon)
  • 80-400 mm(Nikon)
  • 500 mm (Nikon)
  • 150 mm 2.8 Macro (Sigma)
  • 200-500 mm (Tamron)
  • 1.5 & 2.0 tele-converters, extension tubes, Nikon & Canon close-up diopters and various other pieces of macro equipment including Nikon Macro Flash kit, SB 800 & 900 Nikon Flashes, Better Beamer flash extenders.
  • Manfrotto tripods (055 & 190 Carbon, 055 aluminum), tripod snowshoes (so your tripod legs don’t sink in the snow), Really Right Stuff quick release heads and right angle brackets, Nodel Ninja Panorama head.
  • Molar Bean Bag.

The only filters I regularly use are Polarizers and the Variable Neutral Density filter by Singh-Ray

My absolutely, hands down favorite and most used lens is my Nikon 28-300 mm. On trips to other countries where weight and bulk are a concern, this is sometimes the only lens I take. On a full frame camera 28 mm is wide enough for a decent landscape and 300 mm is usually long enough to crop in closer. This lens focuses very close even at 300 mm, so it’s great for most close-up work. If you need to get closer you can attach a tele-converter, extension tubes or a close-up filter (Canon makes the best close-up filter, the 500D, which is available in various filter thread sizes).

My other favorite, and I consider most useful piece of equipment is the Really Right Stuff right angle bracket. I was recently on a workshop with Tony Sweet and he recommended this piece of equipment to me. I don’t know how I got along with out it all these years. All my gear is configured to the Manfrotto quick release system but I was able to easily modify the Really Right Stuff quick release system to the Manfrotto quick release system and it’s easy to switch back and forth. If you’re interested you can email me at montanalake16@hotmail.com .

Cheers and happy shooting, Larry Citra

So what do you use?

6 Responses to What Camera Equipment Do You Use?

  1. Sharon Jensen says:

    I enjoy taking landscape, close-up and candid people photos. I use the following equipment.

    Camera: Canon 450D (XSi)

    The canon Rebel DSLR cameras are not too pricey, not too heavy or bulky and their image quality is very good–unless you use poor quality lenses. The Rebels have APS-C sized sensors. They are NOT full-frame cameras, even if you use full-frame lenses with them.

    Lenses (Canon):
    EF-S 18-55mm f 3.5-5.6 IS (kit lens)
    EF 50 mm fl.8 ll (full frame lens)
    EF 70 – 300 f4 – 5.6 IS USM (full frame lens)

    I use the 18-55 a lot for landscapes and people, and the 70-300 for close-ups and landscapes.

    Each lens has a lenshood which has to be purchased separately. Naughty Canon!

    Tripod
    Manfrotto 190CXPRO04 carbon fiber – use it a lot and like it
    It has no hook. May be too short for taller people (I am about 5′)

    Tripod Head
    Manfrotto ballhead 498RC2 – maximum load 17 lbs. With the 70-300 lens, the head tends to sag-annoying! Also annoying to look in viewfinder when in vertical position. I have to bend down at an awkward angle to see properly.

    Kenko Extension Tubes (set of three). I like them, but each time an extension tube is added or taken off you do increase the chance of giving your sensor a nice dose of dust!

    5 in 1 reflector/diffuser set – handy
    Gary Fong “Puffer” – pop-up flash diffuser – helps with red-eye
    Backpack
    Small shoulder bag
    Wireless Remotes:
    Vello ShutterBoss Wireless timer/remote-uses radio signals and can fire the shutter from any position. Love it.
    Canon infrared remote RC-1 – has to be aimed at the camera from the front. Seldom use it.
    Gardener’s kneeling pad – great for flower close-ups
    Polarizer

    The next time I buy a camera, I will look for one with a tilting/swivelling LCD–helpful for creaky-old bodies taking pictures from awkward angles.

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  2. larrycitra says:

    Thanks for sharing Sharon, Lots of useful tips information ……………. exactly what I was hoping for!!! On the Manfrotto 190CXPro4 I use the little nub that sticks out where the legs swivel from as a hook to hang my photo vest. Opposite that nub is a metal loop that could accommodate an S hook for hanging a back pack I think.

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  3. I started in serious photography with a 35 mm Minolta film camera, given to me as a birthday present by my grandfather, when I was 14. Prior to that I had been using a Kodak 120 film camera.

    Many decades later I bought my first digital camera, for an outrageous price, in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, I continued to use a Canon camera filled with slide film, because of the superior image size and resolution.

    Much as I liked my Canon, equipped with a zoom lens that seemed to meet 99% of my photography needs, I finally concluded digital camera technology had caught up with film. I had to “go digital” in a more serious way. Following a great deal of research, and being influenced by my intended uses (one of which was astrophotography), I bought Nikon.

    My current equipment is:

    Nikon D80 (10.2 megapixels)
    AF-S Nikkor 18-200 mm 1:3.5 – 5.6 G ED (General use zoom)
    AF-S Micro Nikkor 105 mm 1:2.8 G ED (Macro use).
    Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with a Manfrotto 804RC2 3-way head.

    I have recently added the Kenko Extension Tube Set (12 mm, 20 mm, 36 mm), and a Vello Freewave Plus wireless remote. The latter is far superior to Nikon’s ML-L3 infrared remote (which requires that it be pointed at one of the awkwardly placed front or rear sensors). The Vello wireless remote works anywhere within a 300 foot radius.

    Despite having had my Nikon D80 for nearly a decade, I still haven’t exploited all its capabilities, in part because I haven’t found the situation that would required them. As a result, I am still learning some of the camera features and figuring out when I can use them to advantage. The journey may be somewhat helped by my increasing use of Photoshop Elements for post-processing, something I have not previously done to any great extent.

    My next camera will be another Nikon, either a D800 or a D600. I want a full frame camera so that I can print bigger, photo-quality prints on my recently purchased Epson Stylus Pro-3880 printer. Then, since I now have a suitable printer, I will soon cover the walls of our home with prints of my photographs! Of course, before I get there, I’ll have to have a new computer, bigger monitor, new software, tablet, new lenses …. So it may be a while before I fully realize my photo equipment wants!

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  4. larrycitra says:

    When you need/want a new piece of equipment, you should always rate that need on a scale of 1 through 10 ………… keeping in mind of coarse, that lens lust or equipment lust counts for 10 out of 10 ………………………….. “I’ve just gotta have that lens” always works for me!

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  5. Doerte Pavlik says:

    After going through some point & shot cameras and some frustration not getting crisp pictures of my racing horses, I finally got a Nikon D300s hoping for the better. Oh my, – I love my camera, but it was the beginning of an expensive passion.

    In addition to my Nikon D300s I collected the following items:
    Lenses:
    Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1.8 G (for portrait and some macro)
    Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm (my I have no idea what comes along lens – not really my favour- I have a hard time getting crisp pictures)
    Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm (kit lens) – I actually like this one quite a bit
    Tokina 11-16 F2.8 ( wide angle lens) this is one of my most used lenses, I use it for my landscape and for my night photography
    Sigma 150mm 2.8 – Macro lens ( a very good macro lens – I love it)
    Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 EX – I use this lens for event shootings, horse shows it does its job but I am certain there are better ones out there.

    Tripod
    Manfrotto 055CXPro3 Carbon fibre with Manfrotto joystick head
    Monopod
    Silk Lighty Pod 200 – I use this one mostly for event shooting

    Other equipments include: Extension tube set, Nikon R1 wireless speedlights, Bower SFD728N digital TTL Flash, Remote Freewave from Vello, IR R72 Hoya Filter, Singh-Ray Vari Duo filter (thin), ND Filters, Bower Polarizer Filter, reflectors, backbag,

    I also just have purchased a full spectrum Panasonic Lumix Point & Shoot camera and I am waiting for my IR Filters (620nm, 680nm & 720nm) for infrared (false colour) photography.

    Since I also love light painting and night photography my gear also includes some flashlights, gel-filters, honeycomb and a tool-belt to keep everything organized in the dark.

    To my husbands liking my wish-list right now is not too much longer. My biggest hope is to be able to purchase a fullframe camera (Nikon D600) with a higher ISO to improve the night photography and maybe get into a little astrophotography.

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