I am often asked about what equipment I use to capture my images and with constantly evolving photographic technologies. It's always a difficult question to answer. Choosing your equipment and the rate at which to succumb to the new technologies is very much a personal matter and is highly geared toward the type of photography you are interested in.

I use Nikon cameras and Nikon lenses exclusively, and have done so now for over 20 years. The debate will forever rage as to the relative merits of both Nikon and Cannon. The answer is simple... they are both outstanding photographic systems and you have to make a personal choice as to which "camp" you want to belong. Switching systems at a later stage can be prohibitively expensive so chose wisely and stay with your "brand". Familiarity with the camera's dial set up and menu options will grow and for the most part, even when new and upgraded camera models arrive from the manufacturer, the use of the core functions remains the same. You will operate quicker and more fluidly if you familiarise yourself with your equipment.

My choice of lense has always been Nikon and I don't utilise any independent manufacturers lenses. Why? Quite simply the optical quality of Nikon glass is unsurpassed in my view. Camera body technology will always evolve but your lenses are an investment, and as such you should always buy the best you can afford and accept no compromise. At the end of the day it is your lens quality (and your talent of course!!) that will determine your picture quality. With care and attention your lenses can, quite simply, last you a lifetime.

Hopefully, the following will help satisfy some of your questions. I've tried to be as comprehensive as I can and clearly not everything will travel in my bag on every shoot. Whilst in Africa, I work out of a vehicle for most of the time so weight and bulk is not an issue. When flying is involved, particularly into remote areas, then a light weight kit and smaller backpack is used. That said, each and every thing has a purpose and all these products have been tested and used by me in the field and as such their quality and robustness in my view is unquestionable.

Camera Bags
I use Lowe Pro bags pretty much exclusively these days. Like most photographers finding the absolutely perfect bag continues to evade me but I have a system now that allows me to meet the demands of the much stricter airline carry on regulations that are prevailent these days:-

Lowe Pro Vertex 300 AW, (great short trip weekend carry on bag)
Pro Trekker 600 AW, (a monster bag but supreme for lugging in gear to camp)
Lowe Pro Slingshot 200AW (nice for out and about shoots with a single body and couple of lenses)
Lowe Pro Photo Trekker (15 years old, mis-shapen, bush beaten, but still my favourite!!)

Camera Bodies
Nikon D3 (main body) will be upgraded shortly to D3s
Nikon D700 (back up) plus MB-D 10 muti power battery pack
Nikon P6000 (point and shoot for quick candid work; perfect for web blog images!!)

Lenses
First choice lenses - all very heavy!!

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S
Nikon 70-200 f2.8G ED VRII AF-S

Nikon 200-400 f4G ED VR AF-S
Nikon 60mm f2.8ED AF-S micro
Nikon 105mm f2.8D AF micro Nikkor

These I use for a very specific project, or as a lightweight travel alternative to the above

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF Nikkor
Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AF Nikkor
Nikon 24-120 f3.5-5.6 ED VR AF-S

Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF Nikkor ED
Nikon 70-210mm f450%-5.6 AF Nikkor
Nikon 300mm f/2.8 ED AFS

Teleconverters
TC-14E II Teleconverter
TC-17E II Teleconverter
TC-20E II Teleconverter

Gorilla pod

Filters
I use Hoya professional threaded UV filters on all lenses, as well as threaded Circular Polariser Filters

Flash
Nikon Speedlight SB-900 with off camera cord as required.

Tripods
Manfrotto 681B monopod (goes everywhere with me!!)
Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod
Manfrotto 804RC2 pan & tilt head


All effects filters are Cokin "P" series:-
ND Graduated filters
ND filters

Flash Cards
SanDisk 16GB Extreme UDMA Card

Card Reader
Lexar Professional UDMA FireWire 800 Card Reader

 

Camera Straps / Accessories

  • Lowe pro / OpTech straps
  • Electronic remote camera shutter release (independent brand)
  • Micro-fibre cleaning cloths / Spudz cleaning cloths
  • Rechargeable batteries (AA) for flash unit
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Mini Maglite torch
  • Notebook
  • Lastolite reflectors (various sizes)
  • Leica 10x42 binoculars
  • Storm Jacket camera rain covers
  • Op Tech rain sleeves
  • Dust bags (Wildlife Watching Supplies, as well as home made (velcro sealed!!) pillow cases.)
  • Battery Bag
  • Spare Nikon rechargeable batteries for all bodies
  • Separate Cord bag
  • USB cables
  • Nikon battery charging units
  • Portable storage
  • MacBook Pro -17 inch.
  • LaCie 500gb Rugged Hard drive
  • Epson P7000 portable media viewer

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chris@chrismartin.co
+27 (0)83 325 6580
PO Box 785569
Sandton
2164
South Africa

 
2012/07/05

Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Programme Mode? Which should I use??

Probably the single question I'm asked most by people keen to improve their photography is "How do I move on from using the Program or Auto mode on my camera"; "What settings should I use".
Read entry

The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg has become a 'place of sanctuary' for an impressive variety of wildlife Read more

   
 
2011© Chris Martin Photography