Wildlife Photography: What’s in my camera bag

When I do talks for other photographers or meet with camera clubs; one of the most common questions is: what equipment do you use and what is in your camera bag. In the old days, it was pretty simple; most of us used the Nikon F5, F4... or the Canon 1V series. Now, with digital, the environment is a bit changed.

There are full-frame bodies and their are bodies with sensors that have a pseudo-magnification factor (smaller than the standard 35mm frame). Most landscape photographers will use the full-frame sensor to get full benefit of the wide-angle lenses. For wildlife photographers, usually we need a bit of extra reach. So a 1.5X sensor gives us an extra boost.

For camera bodies; I have the two Nikon D300s bodies and one D7000 body. I recently got the D7000 as it has more megapixels and a bit better ISO than the D300 series; it is not as robust as the D300 series but more than adequate. I had a D3s full-frame body but found it was becoming a camera bag anchor so I unloaded it.

The real bulk of my equipment is lenses. My primary lens is the Nikon 600mm f4. I had the 200-400mm f4 but it was also not being used much, so it was also unloaded. I also have the Nikon 75-300, the 70-200mm f2.8, the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 14-24mm f2.8. For macro, I use the Sigma 150mm f2.8. My teleconverters include the Nikon 1.4x and 1.7x and I have a set of Nikon extension tubes; but I seldom use these.

I have three electronic flash units; one Nikon SB900 and two SB600 units. Add to these a whole selection of flash cords, flash filters, diffusers, etc. In the studio, I have a four light Speedotron Brown-line “pack and head” system with umbrellas, diffusers, etc.

In the side pockets of my bag are Singh-ray graduated filters, a polarizer, shutter release, cleaning material and tool kit.

My tripod of choice is Gitzo Carbon Fiber (3000 series) and I have two different heads. For the 600mm lens, I always use the Wimberley head. For smaller lenses, I use a RRS BH-55 ball head.

For photo review, I have a MacBookPro 13” laptop and backup hard-disks. I will discuss my software choices in a separate blog.

The cameras and lenses are all carried in a Think Tank Airport Security II bag and a Think Tank Urban Disguise 50 bag. After a day of lugging this equipment, you are tired; trust me. Total weight is about 50 kilograms.

Photo credits: Moose Henderson.

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January 23, 2011


Fascinating! A very interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

January 22, 2011


Wow! You have a lot of equipment . And you have made beautiful photos.

January 22, 2011


An impressive list of kit ! I think your gear expands to fill your bag ;o)

January 22, 2011


Good that you don't carry your models with you!! haha "kidding"!
That's so great & the results are notable in your ravishing shots!

January 22, 2011


That is a lot of equipment

January 21, 2011


Amazing... You have too much stuff... I'm going to ask Santa to bring me only half of what you have..... : )

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