My Gear

What are the tools of my trade?

I very often get asked what camera gear and accessories I use for my landscape photography.  So, I've catalogued below all my photographic equipment, accessories and ancillaries that I use to produce my photographic art work and a short word on why I own that particular product or model.  The list is subject to change because I am subject to - and very susceptible to - the power of online advertising; i.e. I'm a real sucker for the 'latest and greatest'!  Also, I've included a supplemental piece detailing what elementary kit I have for keeping myself safe when out in the wilds ~ this list, however, does not include weather gear.

"I'm going to use all my tools, my God-given ability, and make the best life I can with it."

~ LeBron James

This page is quite lengthy, so I've positioned short-cuts to each topic for your convenience.  The topics discussed are:-

PLEASE NOTE:  This page contains two types of off-site links which, when clicked, will open in a new window.  These are described below in the itemised list.  The first word of each link-type defines the link format used throughout my site:-

  1. Monetized Links link directly to Amazon Affiliate Products.  I receive a small commission from Amazon each time a link is clicked or a sale generated from the link.  This income helps fund the maintenance of this site and my photography, in general.  Product images that occur through-out my journal pages are also linked to Amazon

  2. Non-Monetized Links link to other web-sites and sources of information I feel would be useful and/or interesting to my site visitors.

  • Remote Shutter Release:  Essential for removing camera-shake.  I've tried several models of trigger releases.  It seems to me, the more expensive and technically convoluted they are; the easier they malfunction or break.  I've now settled on a no frills, low-cost - but quite robust - model:  Pixel MC-30 Remote Switch

  • Shoe-Mounted Spirit level:  although my cameras have electronic levels on them, I still prefer the convenience of a shoe-mounted level (immediately at eye-level) when I'm composing a shot.  

  • Tripods:  I have three tripods and 1 monopod.  (A man's gotta support the family...)​

    • Giottos MTL 8361B - a sturdy beast & workhorse.  I take this with me on days when the wind is howling and I don't intend on walking too far.​

    • Manfrotto 190XPRO - Smaller size, when folded, than the Giottos.  Easier carried.  It's my go-to tripod on long days out.

    • Gorilla Pod - useful to have in the bag when on city-shoots.  You never what position you get yourself into in narrow dark alleys with no width for a tripod set up.

    • Konig KN-Tripod45 - Believe it or not, this is the monopod I mentioned earlier!  Yes, the Konig KN-Tripod45 is affectionately known within the Konig family circles as a 'single leg tripod'!  We Irish are stereo-typed across the globe as not being very bright.  If there's any truth to this, then Konig (a German Company) must have an Irishman working in their  product line management department!  But, on a serious note, the monopod is easy carried and works well on city-shoots and rural landscape shoots where it has seconded as a walking support and even a defence weapon! (mad cow charges: but, that's another story....).

  • Ball Heads:  I have tried several makes of non-geared ball heads with my Giottos and Manfrotto Tripods.  But, I was never fully satisfied with them - for various reasons.  Ultimately, I prefer geared-heads and the one I use is:-

  • Camera Bags:  I have three camera bags.  Each has it's own specific purpose for convenience and expediency.   I quite like the Lowepro range of bags - I have two of them.

    • Lowepro Slingshot 200AW - when I'm not venturing out too far, this small compact bag is convenient and suited to my needs.

    • Lowepro Flipside 500AW - I use this bag if I'm travelling far and need more storage space (for provisions and weather gear) than the Slingshot offers

    • Zeikos ZE-CA58A Deluxe Medium Camera Bag - I use this bag if I'm on an indoor shoot.  It's small, compact and functional.  Not much too it, really.  I usually have my back-up camera (Nikon D610) stored in it along with my Speedlight flash unit for quick 'grab-and-go' purposes.

  • Camera Strap: - If I do have to work off a tripod for a protracted period of time, I ALWAYS make sure to have my camera strapped to me.  (Dropping camera kit is an expensive mistake - see my journal entry, "An Expensive Day Out!").  The camera strap I use is from Ebest - Decompression Camera Shoulder Strap.  It's low-cost, but comfortable and very robust.

  • Batteries:  I always carry spare batteries.  Luckily my Nikon D610 & D810 use the same battery pack model (EN-EL15), of which I have three.

  • SD Cards:  although the Nikon D810 can take CF-type cards, in addition to SD-types, I only use SD cards.  Also, I've no particular allegiance to any given SD card-type, but I should stress that I tend to buy the lower capacity types - i.e. 8GB, say.  I've conditioned myself not to take too many photographs on a landscape shoot as I believe there's greater value in a slower, more deliberate selective composition process.  Therefore, I don't require anything more than 8GB ~ even on a full day outing.   Why put all your eggs in one basket?  (I do confess, though, I have multiple SD cards ~ just in case a replacement is required, either for technical malfunction or capacity reasons)  The 8GB card in my three cameras at the moment is the SanDisk SDSDB2-008G-B35 8 GB Class 4 SDHC.

  • External Hard-drives​ - My (I admit) out-dated PC is limited in storage capacity so, therefore, I use a variety of external Hard-drives. I favour the Freecom devices.  I've had various capacity types over the years and never had any technical issues with them.

  • Safety Items:-  when working in remote, lightly populated, infrequently visited areas, it's always best to keep personal safety to the forefront of your mind and be prepared...

 

So, that concludes my inventory​.  All items listed above have been purchased by me at some point and it's the kit I use - it's not a buy recommendation by any means, but I've commented honestly from my perspective.  I hope my comments prove useful to you.

"A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion."
~
Grantland Rice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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