Photography Gear

Nikon Z7 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera - Small

Current Gear

  • Nikon Z7 : Nikon’s first full frame mirrorless camera.  Still new so not much to say.
  • NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S : It hurt to sell the 14-24 but after years of shooting wide angle shots without filters and carrying around such big heavy lens it was time to move on.  The 14-30 is small, light, ultra wide, and sharp.  Plus it takes standard filters, sweet.
  • NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S – Sold the 24-70 f/4 to buy this lens simply to gain versatility.  Have to carry a bit more weight but less than a second lens. Considered the 24-70/2.8 but I want the reach more than the extra stop.
  • NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) – Small but mighty, use it on my Z7 for a very small but capable package.  Easy to carry around on outings with my family.
  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S : Stellar performer though far from the old ‘nifty fifty’.  It’s not a small lens, but worth carrying around.  The f/1.2 is even better but huge and expensive.
  • Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO – One of the first third-party Z-mount lenses and it’s great.  Manual focus only, so can’t use the automated focus-stacking ability of the Z7 but the Nikkor wasn’t available at the time.  This lens does 2:1 though, the Nikkor does not.
  • Nikon 500mm f/5/6E PF ED VR : Lightweight super telephoto.  Replaced my 200-500mm f/5.6E which was great as well but bigger and slower to focus.
  • Godox V860IIF Speedlight – Used almost exclusively for macro work with a diffuser.  Great light.
  • 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.
  • Wine Country Camera 100mm filter kit : Heavy but excellent filter holder.  I have a polarizer, 6 stop, 10 stop, and soft grad.  All I really need for any long exposure work.
  • Smallrig L-bracket
  • Peak Design Slide and Capture

 Other Gear (Borrowed, Previously Owned, Etc.)

  • NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S : Nikon’s first Z-mount zoom.  A stellar value as part of the kit but good even if you buy it later at retail.  Hits well above what it’s price might suggest.
  • NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR : I used this lens for a while to get a compact walk-about lens paired with my Z7.  I realize it’s a DX lens but the Z7 has plenty of pixels to spare for non-critical shots.  Makes the cam a 20 megapixel with 24-75 lens.  I have since switched to using the full frame 28mm f/2.8.
  • 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.
  • 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 $$.
  • Nikon D810: I upgraded to the D810 from the already great D800 (why?).  The camera is stellar.
  • 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 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.
  • AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G: I bought this when I had my kids, it’s a great portrait 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.  I sold it as I often prefer shooting with natural light.
  • 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 big camera.  It produces fantastic results.  There are several updates from the original, which are even better.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 : Not bad as a basic tripod but it often left me frustrated.

Wish List

  • NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S – A 400 f/2.8 and a 560 f/4, pretty much the holy grail of wildlife lenses.  Post lotto, could be an option :)
  • NIKKOR 19mm f/4 PC : 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 NIKKOR 180-400 f/4E : Stellar choice for wildlife (though I would still take the 400 TC).  One can argue that the 400, 500, 600, and 800 prime lenses have higher overall quality but they can’t match the versatility of the 180-400 with built in 1.4 teleconverter.  Due to the insane price, it’s likely never coming off the wish list :)

My Photo Software

  • Phase One Capture One Pro – I have moved over to Capture One for my raw editing.  Looking forward to iPad version in 2022.
  • Affinity Photo for a few more detailed items.  Does a better job of panorama stitching than Capture One.
  • I used to use Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom CC- The photography subscription. Lightroom is just too slow for me, gave up on it years ago.  Doesn’t make sense to pay for Photoshop alone, moved to Affinity.  Still a good combo though.
  • 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.  Discontinued but I still use it and love it.