Equipment selection is often a battle between efficiency and necessity. A natural inclination towards a lightweight, simple gear selection can be overshadowed by a need for the precise tool for the job.
Below is the list of the current equipment I use.
- I used to own the 1D and 1Ds series cameras, but with the advent of the 5DIII, I sold off the 1D series and hope to find sufficiency for what I do, in the 5D III. If necessary, I may end up with a 1Dx, time will tell.
- Canon 5d MarkIII
22MP full frame sensor DSLR, light weight option
To compliment the cameras I use a variety of common and special
purpose lenses, including:
- Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF
A well priced alternative wide angle prime for shooting aurora borealis and super wide landscapes.
- Nikor 14-24mm f/2.8 with Canon mount adaptor
Super sharp, a little odd to operate, but worth the quality – a target lens for auroa
- Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Manual Focus
A very expensive lens, but extremely superb optical quality. The manual focus allows just turning the lens barrel to infinity and it is in focus, a huge bonus for aurora borealis photography.
- Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L II
This photographer’s staple has many uses. Its wide angle of coverage is perfect for many scenic and landscape photos. Outstanding optical performance, even wide open, makes it a favorite lens for aurora photography, where any optical defects will be made more obvious.
- Canon 17-35mm F/4L
A lighter weight option for a wide angle lens
- Rokinon 24mm F/1.4
A much cheaper alternative to the Canon version, and very similar in quality at f/1.4
- Canon 24mm F/2.8
The third 24mm lens in the arsenal makes a great landscape lens that takes virtually no bag space. Being a prime lens (not a zoom) it suppresses flare and gives light sources a very pleasing “star” appearance. This is perfect for photographs with the sun in the frame.
- Canon 24-105mm F/4L Image Stabilized
- A good lens for overall midrange shooting, but vignettes strongly. The versatility of range makes it a winner however.
- Canon 70-200mm F/4L Image Stabilized
A lightweight alternative to the f/2.8 version.
- Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L Image Stabilized
Speed and great handling make this a wonderful lens for large wildlife that is approachable. It’s large aperture and
image stabilization make low light photography possible without a tripod.
- Canon 100-400mm F/4.0L Image Stabilized
Very versatile zoom range
- Canon 100mm F/2.8 Macro II lens
Allows subjects as small as one inch tall to fill the frame. The 100mm focal length provides longer working distance to avoid shadowing (or scaring!) the subject
- Canon 400mm F/5.6L
Extremely sharp and lightweight
- Canon 500mm II F/4 Image Stabilized
Another optical marvel, this massive lens is often used for Arctic wildlife, often with a 1.4x and sometimes a 2x extender.
- Canon 1.4 and 2.0x Teleconverters
Tripods and Mounts
All of this gear must be securely anchored to prevent vibration and soft photos.
- Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Tripod: My large carbon fiber tripod. Light but durable and works well in the cold weather conditions. I use the Kirk BH-1 Ballhead with this tripod.
- For lighter weight gear, I use use a smaller Gitzo G1227 carbon fiber tripod with a Kirk BH-3 ballhead.
- Super lightweight Gitzo Trip: GT0541 carbon fiber-1.7lbs with a Really Right Stuff BH25 Mini Ballhead
- Canon 600 EXRT flashes
- Chimera mini soft boxes
- Canon wireless flash system