Aloha! I'm often asked questions regarding the photography equipment that I use. Below, I've created a list of questions that I generally get asked and why I use it.
There's only one rule when it comes to purchasing/using photography equipment. You need to understand that a camera is just a tool. A tool that can be used in multiple ways, upgraded in many ways but most importantly, it's all personal preference. Only you can decide which camera is right for you.
What photographic equipment did you start with?
My first camera was a Nikon D40 kit that came with a Nikon 18-55mm lens. It was a great starter camera. It was actually a birthday gift from my Mother. Shortly after receiving it, I purchased a Nikon 50mm 1.8 and then the addiction began.
What equipment do you use now?
- Nikon D800
- Nikon D7000
- Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
- Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5
- Nikon 50mm f/1.4
- Nikon 300mm f/4
- Nikon TC-14E II (teleconverter)
- Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod
- Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head
- Sandisk 32GB Extreme Pro Memory Cards
I really love my two DSLR bodies (D800 & D7000.) The D7000 is a crop sensored camera, so that gives me a little extra reach while photographing wildlife. The image quality might not meet the D800 standards, so shooting wildlife with the D7000 must be done during prime sunlight hours. The D800 is amazing, I really really enjoy it. The 36.2 million pixel 35.8x24mm sensor is a beast! This allows me to pick up amazing details far out in the distance. This allows me to crop photos and still produce a solid, sharp image.
What's your favorite lens for wildlife photography?
I love my combination of the 300mm f/4 paired with the TC-14E II. That teleconverter allows me to extend my zoom from 300mm to 420mm. While allowing me to do that, I loose the f/4 aperature. The lowest aperture for the combo is now f/5.6.
Do you always use a tripod?
Why would you use a tripod while shooting at noon?
Since I started printing some pretty large sizes, I need to keep my ISO as low as possible so I don't produce grain in my photos. When I shoot with my tripod, the camera is extremely steady so that I can keep a very very low ISO. My camera setup is also pretty heavy, having the tripod hold my camera for a while is a very nice treat.
What equipment would you recommend for beginner wildlife photographers?
Wildlife photography is very expensive, however, Nikon and Canon both have awesome relatively cheap lenses. Nikon has a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED for $589 and Canon has a 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for $649.99.
Where do you purchase your camera equipment?
I have always purchased my equipment from B&H Photo and Video in NYC. Their store literally has everything and great prices. I also love buying from them because they are very close to me and it usually takes only one day to receive packages. Their store in Manhattan is really awesome too. You can test out any lens and any body there. Their staff is super knowledgeable and it's just one of those stores that you need to experience.
I also wanted to point out, that Sony has produced some really amazing cameras and lenses over the past few years, so it's not all about just Canon or Nikon. If you have any questions regarding cameras, lenses, memory cards, tripods, etc, please let me know!