- Nikon D800 - Nikon’s best camera to date, at least that is my opinion. I put my deposit down the day it was announced.
- AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G: The ‘nifty fifty’, a classic focal length on full frame cameras.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- SB-800 AF Speedlight: A massive improvement over the on-camera flash. If you shoot a lot indoors, invest in a decent speedlight.
- 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.
- Black Rapid Camera Strap: It may seem odd to mention a camera strap, but the Black Rapid is so handy I had to throw it in. Makes carrying the camera more comfortable and easier to use.
- PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED: An expensive specialty lens but it can do what traditional lenses can’t: tilt and shift. If your subject matter needs this ability, no other lens can fill in.
- AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III: Double the focal length of lenses that support it.
- AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II: I have the 80-200 so no rush to get to get this lens, but it’s still a great zoom that would be great addition.
- AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR: Possibly the best Nikon lens made, but at $10,000 is likely to stay on the wish list for some time.
- Wacom Cintiq 24HD: A tablet and monitor in one, do you editing right on the image. Slick, but not cheap.
Other Gear (Borrowed, Owned, Etc.)
- Nikon D90: This has been a workhorse for me for the last few years. An upgrade from my D50 (which my bro still shoots), it has taught me a lot.
- 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.
- AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II
- AF Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G
- AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D: I purchased this lens before the 35mm was available. Great lens but the focal length just isn’t as good as the 35mm on a DX camera. Sold it once the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens was available. It has full-frame coverage, but I opted now for the new AF-S 50mm f/1.8G.
- Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16mm f/2.8: My wide angle for several years, has been around the world with me. Sharp and fast, a great DX lens. Doesn’t have the zoom range of others, but I almost always shoot it at 11mm so who cares. Sold it to a friend when I purchased the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8.
- Manfrotto 190XB Aluminum Tripod and Manfrotto Junior Geared Head
My Photo Software
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 - Where it all starts, workflow, image selection, image adjustment.
- Adobe Photoshop CS5 - Detailed editing, plugins.
- 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.
- 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.