Tony Beck - Photography, Nature and Birding Tours, Local Birding Excursions

Archive for February, 2010

My Camera Equipment

male Wilson's Phalarope

male Wilson's Phalarope

The question most often asked of my photography is “what equipment do you use?”.
I’ve been a Nikon user since I bought my first SLR back in the early 1980’s.
For many years I used the dependable Nikon FM2, later adding Nikon F4 to the mix. I resisted the change to digital until the end of 2006 when I finally bought a DSLR in the form of a Nikon D200.
I quickly realized the versatility of a good digital camera.
Shortly after, the D300 came out, and everything changed for me.
I immediately became comfortable with a fast and responsive auto focus (I preferred  manual focus up to this point).
With the D300’s clean, high-quality sensor, and the ability to change ISO in the middle of a photo-shoot,
I found myself capturing images under conditions I never would have tried with film.

Now, with Nikon’s amazing D3s (possibly the best commercial camera ever made), I feel unstoppable as a photographer, approaching any assignment with complete confidence.

Here is what I’m currently using for the vast majority of shoots.

CAMERAS
* Nikon D3s
* Nikon D700
* Nikon D300

LENSES
* AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4D ED-IF (two of them)
* AF Zoom-Nikkor 80 – 200mm f2.8D ED
* AF-S ED Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
* AF-S DX VR Zoom -Nikkor 18 – 200mm f3.5-5.6 GII ED IF

* AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II

ACCESSORIES
* Manfrotto Monopod with joystick head
* Various generic gunstock shoulder supports.
* (rarely used anymore) Manfrotto Tripod

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Making Bird Noises

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

A sunny winter’s afternoon, inside a sheltered woodlot, strolling along a well-packed trail, I encounter a family -parents with their youngsters. “Have you seen the owl?” I ask. “No.” they respond, “… is there one here?” I then proceed several metres along the trail, veer off the beaten track another few metres and say, “Up there, in the upper quarter of the cedar.” There it is, a gorgeous Barred Owl, seemingly oblivious to our presence. The young, rosy-cheeked boy, about 10 or 11 years old, lifts his binoculars. “It’s beautiful!” he exclaims. Hearing his innocent enthusiasm and seeing his look of amazement, I’m overcome with feelings of satisfaction and hope.

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