What’s in my Camera Bag
I’m always curious about what type of camera people use. One thing I like about going to Jackson in the summer is the chance to shoot with, and talk to other photographers. Some of you expressed interest in what I shoot, so this is what’s in my camera bag.
First off, I don’t have the financial ability to own thousands of dollars in camera equipment. So I have learned all I can about what I do own, how it works best, and what are the optimal settings for each situation. Bigger and better, does not mean you will take better photos. You can buy a $5000 camera, and take crappy pictures because you haven’t learned how to use it.
I bought a Nikon D7100 2 1/2 years ago. The set up I bought was the body, the 18-55mm lens, and a 55-300mm lens. I already owned the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens shown on the right. Prior to this camera I had a D70 that Al had bought years ago.
This was a big step up from the Panasonic bridge camera I owned, and there was a learning curve for sure. But I bought a book, studied the manual, read a ton of stuff on line, and learned from other photographers.
The 18-55mm is a great walk around lens. It’s shoots closeup, macro, and has a decent reach for a nice landscape shot. It’s lightweight too, which makes it perfect for taking on a walk.
The Dogwood 52 week challenge is Artistic-Land. So I shot this while out walking. The hills have eyes.
The 50mm is fixed focus, and honestly I don’t use it as much as I use to. Because it’s fixed focus it takes amazing photos, you just have to adjust your distance with your feet. Which isn’t all bad.
The 55-300mm was my go to telephoto until a few months ago. I have taken good shots with it, but I have been left wanting more reach on a ton of occasions. Especially in Wyoming with the wildlife, or when I visit the wild horses.
This 2 LilOwls 52 week challenge photo was shot with the 55-300mm. Something that makes you smile.
My friend Mike in Jackson has shot a Tamron 150-600mm for a few years, and loves it. I have wanted one the past couple of years, and finally in September I found a lightly used one, and bought it. I have been thrilled with it, and shooting the horses with that much more reach has made a lot of difference.
The pet photography 52 week is shallow depth of field. I shot this hummingbird with the Tamron lens.
It’s big, and it’s heavy at 4 1/2 pounds so that was a big adjustment. To carry it all over everywhere is not as easy as my 55-300mm, but oh so worth it.
(shot with my phone, so not the best photo)
My tripod is a Dolica Proline 65″ travel tripod. I need a tripod that is compact and lightweight. It’s not unusual for me to walk a mile or two carrying my camera on the tripod ready to shoot. I have been very impressed with Dolica. When I bought the tripod 2 1/2 years ago, I did a lot of research to see what was out there. There are other tripods that are very expensive, but this one is good quality and didn’t break the bank. I had an issue last year with one of the legs and the warranty covered it, no questions asked. Customer service was outstanding. One of the legs unscrews to be used as a monopod too. It works pretty good with my Tamron lens, I would at some point like a gimbal head, and a bit sturdier tripod however.
My newest purchase was a camera carrying strap. I had seen photographers with straps that carry your camera more easily, and efficiently. As much as I walk around with my camera, this was something I needed. I searched on Amazon for the straps, and again, some were expensive and some not. I read the reviews for this non expensive one, and ordered it in November.
I love the way it carries my camera by connecting to the bottom, and it also came with a safety tether. The strap is padded on the shoulder, and has a little zipper pocket to carry extra SD cards, and a small lens cloth. Both, I’ve needed more than once out on a shoot.
So that’s about it. Eventually I want to get a Nikon D500, and the newer Tamron 150-600 lens. The D500 is much better in low light situations, which I find myself in frequently with wildlife. Al wants to be able to photograph too, so a new camera and lens are definitely on the want list and he can use the D7100.
Mainly I would say learning to use whatever it is you own, the best way possible is the most important thing.
The best camera, is the one you have with you.
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