Equipment

The questions and debates about equipment could make this a very long post or a very short one! I’ll try for a medium sized one :-)

I use Canon cameras and lenses….but not for any specific reason other than I was introduced to Canon before I had heard of Nikon and the others. (Well, except for a Kodak Instamatic). It was also way before I took up photography in earnest. (My Granny had a new fangled Canon hybrid electronic typewriter which I thought was pretty cool having watched my Dad hammer away at an old mechanical beastie. You know the ones with the carriage that had to be wacked back after every line, like in the old cop movies! New fangled for 1984 anyway!)

To date I have no complaints with Canon either. Good kit that performs well. My equipment list then, for your perusal:

Cameras:

  • I use EOS 7D camera bodies because they are compact, light plus very robust and water and dust protected. These points are very important for me as I spend a lot of time outdoors, travel a lot and carry my camera equipment in my hand luggage. Weight allowances are not getting bigger and I am aloooong way off travelling in the upper class cabins! Although the 7D has a 1.6 crop sensor it works a treat on long lenses and macro.
  • I am steeling myself to acquire a full frame camera in the near future.
  • I have a little pocket G1 X too – which is a handy little number with the flexibility (if not the quality) of a DSLR, which I use for covert missions and when I want to travel very light!
  • I carry a Garmin VIRB Elite action camera too. This is a small, fist size device I use for documenting travel, places and wild rides!

Lenses:

  • I have a selection of lenses: my first (excluding kit lenses) was the classic EF L 100 – 400mm zoom. An absolute beauty in terms of flexibility for a wildlife safari in regions where there is usually a lot of good light – such as Africa.
  • My pride and joy is the EF  300mm f/2.8 IS USM L beauty. One of Canon’s flagship lenses and is a so-called “fast” lens for having a large maximum aperture of f/2.8. That is it gathers a lot of light.
  • I use the 300mm lens above with a 2x Mk III Extender in bright light and mostly for bird and close up photography of flowers for example. There is a tremendous capacity for managing the backgrounds of the subject with this set-up.
  • My little EF 100mm IS USM L Macro lens has given me endless hours of fun – and be warned – a macro lens opens up a whole new world of photographic possibilities! A really flexible lens and well suited to portraiture too.
  • In readiness for a full frame camera I have a wide angle 17 – 40mm L USM f/4 zoom lens. This is a very handy landscape lens and is a fun addition to my bag even on the Canon 7D…although this is not using it to its’ full potential as the 7D, as mentioned, is a 1.6 crop sensor.

Kit:

  • I seldom go anywhere without my Circular Polariser filters. Tremendous bits of kit for brightening blue sky and removing reflections of water and wet plants for example. These filters will saturate colours too.
  • I use a tripod in low light but have always found them rather cumbersome unless located in one place for an extended period.
  • I prefer a monopod when I am on the go as they are very convenient to move about with especially if travelling through bush!
  • A remote release is a superb piece of low light or long exposure kit. Very useful and very small so no extra burden.
  • I have a Canon 430 EX II Flash gun for those creative moments, portraits or dark corners! Small but packs a punch.
  • Of course I also carry a bean bag, rain cover, bag hide and assorted bits when travelling. I tend to leave the tent hide at home!

My one “must have”? Well that would have to be a my Spider Pro Camera Holster. This is a belt mounted clip that accommodates a 7D and small lens and allows me to safely carry two camera/lens combinations when on the move.