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  RICHARD'S GEAR

How important is our photographic equipment?
Is one manufacturer significantly better than another?
Which lens and camera should you buy?

The disappointing answer to these important questions is that photography is a compromise and there is no straight answer!

If you are in the market for a new camera or lens then you should first think about what it is you want to achieve?

Do you want to make large fine art prints, 4x6 prints, or email the photos to friends?
The answer to that question will determine a lot of your photographic needs.

When it comes to buying a digital SLR there are some very competant camera systems on the market that are made by a variety of manufacturers. Pentax, Olympus and Sony all make great cameras but in my opinion there are only two major players around; Canon and Nikon. The reason is that if you want to rent lenses or buy non-manufacturer lenses then it is far easier to rent something that fits Canon or Nikon then it is to rent a lens for a Pentax or Olympus. Of course a Nikon lens will fit a Sigma or Fuji dSLR.

Which is better, Nikon or Canon? Neither and both! It depends on what you want the camera to do. I use Nikon but I am sure I would get just as good images if I used a Canon. However, I love the feel of a Nikon camera, the iTTL flash system is incredible and easy to use and feature for feature they are competively priced when compared to Canon dSLR's.

I use a variety of cameras and lenses, the reasons why I use each system I will explain below.

 

 

 Landscape Photography Gear

Why?

Nikon D3x

I actually 'downgraded' from a 39 mega-pixel PhaseOne P45+ to the Nikon D3x. The reasons for doing this were:

  1. I am doing much more wildlife photography which requires 35mm cameras.
  2. I was tired of travelling with two complete systems (medium format in one camera bag and 35mm in another).
  3. I find the Nikon D3x much more fun to use than a Mamiya AFDII.
  4. My clients don't need 39 mega pixel files.
  5. My insurance is much cheaper!

Nikon D3 This is an amazing camera. Superb quality photos, amazing high ISO performance and very fast. I love my Nikon D3, the Nikon D700 is smaller and cheaper but equally impressive.
Nikon 17 - 35mm f2.8 AF-S lens

This is very wide lens on the full frame Nikon's and it is very sharp!

This is my only zoom.

Nikon 45mm PC-E lens  I love this tilt - shift lens and use it a lot for landscape and macro photographs
Nikon 50mm f1.4G AF-S lens Lightweight, very fast and superb to use with the D3 in dark places where you can't use flash or a tripod. Everyone should have a 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 lens. Nikon's new AF-S 50mm lens has much faster autofocus than the older AF lens and I'm glad I upgraded.
Nikon 85mm f1.8 AF lens Light, sharp and a great portrait lens. When I'm out hiking on a sunny day I'll take the D3x and my 28mm f2.8 and 85mm f1.8 lenses in a top loading camera bag such as the LowePro
Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR AF-S micro lens I use the 105mm as both a portrait lens and a macro lens. It proved invaluable in the Galapagos Islands. The new version of this lens has VR and AF-S which are invaluable for hand held, low light photography.
Nikon 180mm f2.8 AF Optically sharp with little vignetting and much lighter and smaller than a 70 to 200mm f2.8 zoom. A fabulous lens that I use a lot.
Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR lens A fast, hand holdable telephoto. This is my favourite lens and probably the lens that I use the most. The VR is awesome. Nikon's new 300mm VR II has a one stop advantage over my lens.
Nikon 600mm f4 VR II lens This is a BIG lens. Incredible for making small things look big, especially with a 1.7 tele-converter. It is big and heavy and if you want something more manageable then buy the 500mm f4.