My Current Preferences
Since moving to digital photography from film, my preference has been for Canon gear. My first purchase was a Canon EOS 10D which I soon upgraded to the ever popular EOS 20D and then the full frame EOS 5D along with a BG-E4 Battery Grip. The full frame sensor of the EOS 5D allowed me to take images as I saw them through the lens without any multiplication of the focal length and I found that this feature was especially useful for landscape photography, as it allowed me to get better use from my wide angle lens. A couple of years ago I upgraded to the EOS 5D Mark 3 (again with a full frame sensor) which is a truly fabulous camera. My latest purchase is now the Canon EOS 1DX Mk 2 - awesome !!
Talking of lenses, I mainly use the following:
- Canon EF 16 – 35mm f2.8 L USM wide-angle lens
- Canon EF 24 – 105mm f/4 L IS USM Zoom lens
- Canon EF 100 – 400mm f/4.5 – 5.6 L IS USM Zoom lens
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens
- Canon EF 500mm f/4 IS USM Mk 2 lens
I also have a Canon Extender EF 1.4 X III for use with the Canon 500mm Mk 2 lens and a Canon Speedlight 430EX for use in low light levels and for indoor photography.
To support my camera I use a Manfrotto 055 PROB tripod with an 804RCT 3 pan-tilt head which gives me excellent stability on uneven terrain and in the gale force winds that summer in the Lake District can sometimes bring! Whenever I use my Canon 500 mm F4 Mk 2 I use a Benro Head which gives me great control for obtaining that wildlife shot that I could miss with the pan tilt head. I also use a Canon RS80 remote switch to obtain the crisp images essential for printing and publishing. I recently purchased a Hahnel Giga T Pro II Wireless Timer Remote also which I am just starting to use for my bid photography and it’s very impressive.
I own a wide variety of Lee and Cokin filters but, in all honesty, I use very few of these to get the images that I require. My soft ND grads, however, are in constant use allowing me to correctly expose images where there is a wide contrast between light and dark. I use a polarising filter when photographing in bright sunlight especially when this falls on the lakes and tarns which appear in many of my Lakeland images.I also have a Lee Big Stopper which I use if I want to capture slow water shots.
My preference is for Sandisk Extreme III CompactFlash cards and a recent addition is the 64 gig Fast CF card for shooting wildlife. Memory is very cheap nowadays so, as I always shoot in RAW, I keep a good supply of these in my case and housekeep them regularly!
I store my kit in either a Lowepro Orion Trecker or a Tamrac Expedition 5 depending on how much kit I require for a day’s shoot and how strong I’m feeling as the later when full is very heavy!
I have recently begun to shoot some wild life images to fulfil a long-time ambition of mine. To assist with this, I have purchased a Canon EOS 1DX Mk 2 which when coupled with my 500mm F4 MK 2 lens and my 1.4 X Extender allows me to obtain a much longer focal length which will hopefully allow me to get those distance shots that were not accessible before. This is an area of photography that I know is very competitive but which my love of wildlife impels me to enter.