Equipment

For the curious ones, I’ve decided to provide the list of equipment I use.  I will always prioritize my full-frame camera, but at times, it will make sense to use my DX (APC-S) camera.  I have 2 cameras: 

  • Nikon D610 (Full Frame FX)
  • Nikon D3300 (APS-C/DX)

I will also give a brief description on how I use the lenses, but by no means it is what the lens ‘should be used for’ or a fixed aspect of how I use it.  The more I use the lenses, the more likely it is that I will broaden its usage.  I may find ways that I never thought possible to use the lenses.

Lenses

For D610

  • Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR
  • Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR
  • Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED (Wide Angle)
  • Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G (Prime)
  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG OS HSM (Macro)
  • Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports (Telephoto)
  • Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art (Prime – Wide Angle)

Usage

Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

This is my ‘versatile’ lens, my go-to lens.  If I have to go out to the city or anywhere without a specific purpose, I will take this lens.  At 24mm it functions as a Wide Angle Lens and at 85mm it also can act as a small zoom telephoto lens.  The VR allows me to work with lower lights.


Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG OS HSM

I LOVE this lens.  I use it to take photos of my garden: from flowers to bees to other insects.  I sometimes use it to take portraits.  It is relatively big, but that’s because it is a 105mm.  If there is ANY chance I may take a macro photograph, I surely take this lens.


Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Bright (ultra) wide angle lens. Will used mainly for night sky photography, but not being restricted to that use. It is a prime lens and it is significantly heavy compared to its size. Produces crisp, bright photos for great results.
(photo to be added).

Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR

I often take this lens when I know I won’t be able to get too close to my subject, such as in zoos or plane spotting at the airport.  It is quite a big lens (not counting the 400mm+ sizes) to carry around without a purpose, so I avoid it.


Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G

The quality of the photos taken with this lens is stunning. I generally don’t take it out as often because it lacks the ability to zoom. For me to take this lens with me, would be to go for a portrait shoot, or somewhere where I know I will be able to get as close as required to take the photo (with a good framing of the subject). Due to the zooming restriction, I don’t generally take it with me (although I am thinking I should).

Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

I like wide angle lenses, but don’t have a lot of practical usage for it on a day-to-day photographing.  I generally use this (ultra) wide angle lens when I know I will need to take indoor photos and want to capture most of the environment.  I also take it to places where I will have a lot to fit into the photo, i.e. a lot of landscape.


Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports

This lens – I call it Big Bertha – is amazing. It is fast, has an incredible zoom and takes very clear photos. It is a significantly big and heavy piece of equipment (weighs 2.86 Kg), so I don’t take it everywhere. The focus is on taking wildlife and sports photography. Because of its weight, it requires a tripod or a monopod to use it.


Other Equipment

Flash (and Accessories)

  • 3x Yongnuo YN560 IV
  • Yongnuo YN560TX (wireless remote)
  • 2x Neewer flash 210 cm stands
  • 1x Neewer aluminium mini back light flash stand
  • 2x Neewer 60×60 cm Softbox with Grid (honeycomb)
  • 1x Godox 30×120 cm Honeycomb Rectangular Softbox
  • Assorted colored gels for the flash (Rogue and Selens)

Tripods and Mono-pods

Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3W 290 Xtra 3-Way Head Kit tripod

This is my “everyday” tripod. I put everyday under quotes because I don’t use the tripod as often as I should. It weighs just over 2.5 kg and supports a 5 kg payload. As sited above, the Sigma 150-600mm lens alone weighs almost 3 kg. Considering the D610 weighs just under 1 kg, it 5 kg is more than enough to support the camera.

Neewer 50 Centimeters Portable Compact Desktop Macro Mini Tripod

This is my mini tripod for close ups/macro photography. Because it is so close to the ground (50 cm/20 inches is nothing), it really allows me to get up close to things close to the ground (that aren’t in movement) without having the interference of my breathing. It also helps when wanting to take selfies (or groupies). The mini tripod supports 5 kg of payload, but I believe that with the head that I bought for it, it can support up to 8 kg, which would allow me to photograph with my 150-600mm lens.

Promaster MP528 monopod

This monopod I’ve used only once, on my second Plane Spotting adventure. It is not the lightest – which you would want if you are going hiking – but it is lighter than the tripod. It is well built and has screws for mounting in both sizes: 1/4-20 and 3/8″. The carbon fiber version is twice the price, but would be half the weight.


Desirables

As with human nature, we are never fully happy with what we have. So here is a small list of wants.

  • Nikon D850 – Don’t really need this camera, but having a second full frame camera would help. Would also enable me to convert my D610 to take better infra-red photos. Ultimately, another D610 would also suffice.
  • Godox Portable P120L 120CM Deep Parabolic Honeycomb Grid – this softbox will allow for better softer lighting on my photos. Having said that, I already have everything that I *need* for my studio photography – this is more on a: if we do more studio/off camera flash type photography. It is more practical to set up and tear down.
  • Neewer Photo Studio Equipment Trolley Carry Bag 96x39x29cm with Straps Padded Compartment Wheel – need a better way to carry around my ‘studio’ equipment to take photos outdoors. a little luggage that will fit the off light camera flashes, its tripods and the softboxes would make life a lot easier.

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