Photography Gear

Current Gear

  • Nikon D810: I upgraded to the D810 from the already great D800 (why?).  The camera is stellar.
  • Sony DSC-RX100:  The original version.  A fantastic, compact, point and shoot camera.  I take it when I don’t (or can’t) take the DSLR.  It produces fantastic results.  There is a new model out, Version III which is even better.
  • AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED: One of the members of the Nikon “holy trinity”.  Possibly the best wide angle out there.  If you are shooting DX, you may want to look at a wider lens but this one is hard to beat.  The only drawback is filter systems are non-standard and expensive.
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED: Another member of the Nikon “holy trinity”.  Sharp, fast, and a very usable zoom range.  Not a light lens, but in this zoom range it’s hard to beat.
  • AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR: Nikon’s least expensive way to get to 500mm.  It’s sharp, VR works great, and price is right.  A keeper.
  • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art: I found that I was shooting my Nikkor 50mm indoors a lot, especially for family shots.  I upgraded to the Sigma 50mm which is costly but an improvement over the Nikon.  I can only recommend this lens if you need every last bit of quality from your full frame cam, you use the 50mm focal length a lot, and you don’t mind shelling out the $$.
  • AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G: I bought this when I had my kids, it’s a great portrait lens.
  • AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED: Razor sharp, fast, and can shoot 1:1 macro.  A fantastic lens though quite heavy.  A lot of my close nature shots were taken with this lens.
  • SB-800 AF Speedlight: A massive improvement over the on-camera flash.  If you shoot a lot indoors, invest in a decent speedlight.  The SB-800 has been discontinued, but there are plenty of new models available both from Nikon and other brands.
  • Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Tripod + BH-55 LR Ballhead: Not a lightweight combo, but if you don’t mind carrying it around it’s the only tripod you will ever need.  The ballhead is  beast, can even hold big zoom lenses steady.

 Other Gear (Borrowed, Previously Owned, Etc.)

  • Nikon D800 – Nikon’s best camera to date, at least that is my opinion.  I put my deposit down the day it was announced. The D800E is the same thing, but with effectively no low pass (AA) filter.
  • Nikon D90: An upgrade from my D50, it taught me a lot and really got my hooked on photography.
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G: The ‘nifty fifty’, a classic focal length on full frame cameras.
  • AF Zoom-NIKKOR 80-200mm f/2.8D ED: A fast, heavy zoom with great optics.  Half the price of a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and optically equivalent which is why it’s so popular.
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR: “Jack of all trades, master of none” is the best way to describe this lens.  Extremely versatile, just throw it on your camera and go.  It’s not fast, so low light can give it problems even with VR.  Some softness at 200mm and distortion at 18mm, but few lenses can touch the range of this one.  A great choice if you don’t like swapping lenses or only want one lens on a vacation.
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G: One of the first lenses any DX shooter should buy.  Equivalent to the “nifty fifty” on a full-frame camera, great lens for available light and cheap.

 Wish List

My Photo Software

  • Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom CC- The photography subscription. Where it all starts, workflow, image selection, image adjustment.
  • Photomatix Pro – Tool used to create HDR images.
  • Oloneo PhotoEngine – Latest tool to create HDR images, really like it so far.
  • Imagenomic Noiseware – PS plugin to reduce noise in images, common in HDR, works very well.
  • Imagenomic Portraiture – PS plugin to create nice portraits.  Soften skin tones while retaining detail.
  • Topaz Labs Photoshop Plug-ins – Several useful tools, I like “Adjust”, “Detail 2”, and “B&W Effects” the most.
  • Google NIK Plugins: Color Efex and Silver Efex both useful.
  • Picasa – This is how I manage most of my exported jpeg files.  Easy to use so my wife can find images and has face recognition which is really nice.