Camera Gear

Recommended Photography Equipment

General Note: Ideally it is recommended to have two camera setups, one optimized for landscape and the other for wildlife. This arrangement offers several advantages by (1) allowing for quicker change out from landscape to wildlife shooting modes without having to take the time to swap out lenses, etc; and, (2) help protect delicate internal components of camera body and lenses by minimizing lenses swapping which eliminates risks of inadvertent dust, water and debris from entering camera body and lenses. 

Example setup:

  1. General Landscape and Iconic Cultural-scapes: Full Frame Camera body with Mid Range Telephoto – could be swapped out with wide angle lenses for nighttime shoots.
  2. Wildlife and details: ASP-C Crop Sensor Camera body with Max Range Telephoto Lens. This arrangement will amplify the lenses telephoto effect by the camera crop factor (1.5-1.6x)

Two Camera Bodies

  1. Full Frame
  2. ASP-C Crop Sensor

Three Lenses

  •  1. Wide Angle:
    • Usage: Astro Photography, Aurora Borealis, Wide Angle Landscapes
    • Telephoto Range: 11-24mm
    • Max Aperture: F1.4 – F2.8 – essential for night photography
    • Could be a manual prime lens such as a 14mm, F2.8 or 24mm, F1.4
  •  2. Mid Range Telephoto:
    • Usage: Primarily for landscape and iconic cultural photography, could be used for night photography if min focal length = 24 mm and max Aperture = F2.8
    • Telephoto Range: general 24-120mm (examples: 24-70mm F2.8, 24-105mm F4.0)
    • Max Aperture: F2.8-F4.0
    • Prime Lens not recommended
    • Examples 
      • example 1: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
      • example 2: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR
      • example 3: Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD
      • example 4: Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM
  •  3. Max Range Telephoto:
    • Usage: Primarily used for wildlife and for landscape & iconic cultural detailsTelephoto Range: general 80-600mm
    • Max Aperture: F4.5-6.3
    • Examples 
      • example 1: Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM
      • example 2: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
      • example 3: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S
      • example 4: Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2

Additional Gear List

  • Sturdy lightweight tripod & Head
  • Cable Release or IR remote control
  • Circular Polarizing Filter
  • Solid ND Filter or Variable ND Filter for long exposures
  • Graduated ND Filters, 2 & 3 stop
  • Multiple Memory card(s) – at least up to 64 gig’s
  • Spare Batteries
  • Battery Charger
  • Photo backpack
  • Lens Wipes
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Laptop computer with Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop (optional)
  • 1-2 portable hard drives (primary and backup)
  • Pen & Note Pad
  • Camera/Lens Rain Cover
  • Umbrella
  • Head Lamp (for night photography)

Gear Rental Option

If your camera gear is older and dated you may wish to consider renting equipment to augment or replace your existing equipment as a less expensive alternative to purchasing. For example you may have a great 150-600mm telephoto lens but an older 10 megapixel camera body in which case you may choose to rent the latest 30 megapixel camera body which will give you a 3x resolution improvement and effectively boost your equivalent telephoto range to 450-1800mm. As you can see, renting gear could be a inexpensive and great way to maximize your tour/workshop investment and photographic opportunities. If you would like advice feel free to contact Tao of Light Photography for recommendations.