Equipment – my cameras and lenses

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As I stated in a previous posting, photography is not primarily about gear. At least not to me. Cameras, lenses and other equipment are mere tools to create images. And tools can of course be somewhat important. My equipment must fulfill three criteria:

1. The equipment must stand the conditions where it is used. I need a weatherproof camera as I often work in more or less extreme condition. Sometimes in extreme heat, other times in pouring rain or in a snowstorm with gloves on. Only a few days ago I was shooting by a river in pouring rain. And I mean pouring. The water was not dripping from my camera, it was literally running! Bad weather is good photography-weather, and the equipment must take the conditions and have controls that are possible to use under the conditions I photograph.

 

2. The equipment must have an intuitive layout and be easy to use. It is no fun to be fumbling with difficult menus and touch screens when there is a golden opportunity in front of the camera for only a fem seconds. I have used Nikons since I was 12 years old. I am familiar with their menus and have the controls in my fingers.

 

3.The equipment must give good enough image quality. In my opinion this is not a major problem with modern cameras. Every camera in trade today have the potential to create technically very good photos under most light-conditions. A good photographer do not need a big, expensive camera to make good images! When it comes to sharpness and resolution, lenses are probably more important than the camera. Other equipment must not hamper image quality either. It doesn’t make sense to buy a good camera and lens if I degrade the image with a low-quality filter in front of the lens, or have unsharp pictures because of a bad tripod. I regularly print very large (sometimes bigger than 1,50 m) and in such circumstances, larger format sensors with a high megapixel count may have a slight advantage when it comes to resolution, sharpness and noise. And I am fairly obsessed with technical quality. However if my primary goal was to share images on social media or print smaller, a smaller format sensor (e.g. APS-C or smaller) with a lower resolution could definitely do the job!

When I invest in equipment I have these thoughts in mind, although compromises often need to be done. To me, the professional Nikon D800 seemed close to perfect when it was launched. I currently own one D800 and one D800e, and I must say that I am very happy with them. Due to all the aforementioned reasons. When it comes to lenses, I am mostly a “normal-range” guy. I have worked with many primes, but as I hike a lot I have invested in a few zooms. The Nikkor 24-70 f.2.8 is definitely my mostly used lens. It’s built like a tanks, stands most conditions and is very sharp. For wide-angle work I have chosen the Nikkor 14-24 f.2.8 due to its superb sharpness and similar sturdiness. For tele-work, I use the Nikkor 70-200 f.2.8. Sometimes, on long hikes, I regret not buying the 70-200 f.4 instead, as it probably is equally sharp but more compact and much lighter. But other times, I want to work with shallow depth-of-field and I’m happy with the f 2.8…. I have also got a few other lenses for special purposes, and I will come back to them in a later posting. The new Sigma 50mm f 1.4 Art definitely deserves its own post! I will also be back with articles on my other equipment such as filters, tripods and bags. And I won’t forget software, papers and printers either. Feel free to comment and ask questions and I will try to answer as quickly and good as I can. Stay tuned!

BTW, I have absolutely no affiliation or financial interest in any brands or products mentioned.

 

Dag Ole

 

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