I am frequently asked about my equipment. Good equipment gives you the chance to make a good photograph but the camera is only the vehicle that captures the image. Our eyes see what the camera captures. I use exclusively FUJI mirrorless cameras and FUJINON lenses but the most important thing is to develop your personal vision and only then worry about acquiring top rated gear.
FUJIFILM™ MIRRORLESS (X series)
CAMERA BODIES: X-T2 ; X-T1, X-E2, X-T10 (Battery Grip on the XT-1)
LENSES: All Fujinon Lenses:
PRIMES: XF14mm F2.8 R /XF 23mm F2 R WR / XF35mmF2 R WR / XF 50mm F2 R WR
XF 56mm F1.2 R / XF 60mm F 2.4 R Macro ( with Fujinon Extension Tubes XF1.4X TC & XF 2X TC) /
XF90mm F2 R LM WR
ZOOMS: XF 10-14mm F4 R OIS XF18-55mm F2.4-4 R LM OIS / XF16-55mm F 2.8 R LM WR / XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR /
XF 50-140 F 2.8 R LM OIS WR / XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR / XF55-200 F.3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Here is what the letters mean on Fujinon Lenses:
NIKON 200mm F4 D IF-ED (For Macro, at times, I will use a Nikon 5T or 6T or Canon 500D dioptors to gain closer magnification. I also use focusing rails made by Really Right Stuff.)
TELECONVERTERS: XF 1.4X TC WR 1.4 XF 2X TC WR
CAMERA BAGS: I’ve been through so many camera bags it’s not even funny anymore. I have now found what I believe to be the best bags available. They WERE made by GURA GEAR. I say were as the current high end bags from Gura Gear in no way measure up to the older ones. BEWARE! These are now hard to find. YOU MIGHT be able to find them at OUTDOORPHOTOGEAR.COM. My favorite absolute bags (though they don’t make them anymore) are the Bataflae 18L and the KIBOKO 22L. Other bags I use for specific trips or needs include the Retrospective 20 & 30 from Think Tank as well as the Airport Advantage (Roller Bag). I really like the First Light 30L & 40L from Mind Shift. … and let’s not forget my “OLD” original bag from the folks at F-Stop. It doesn’t look like they are long for the business world. (READ THIS). Too bad … they made a good product. Bags are always challenge. Gura Gear is not what it was, certainly F Stop… However, the folks at Think Tank and Mind Shift (same group) have their act together both in manufacturing, quality and marketing. They will survive! MAKE YOUR LIFE EASY AND CHECK THESE ALL OUT AT OUTDOORPHOTOGEAR.COM
FILTERS: Until recently, I used to exclusively use Singh-Ray filters. Recently, after making images using the polarizer and ND filters (2x & 4x as well as their circular polarizer) from BREAKTHROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY I have determined that these will be my go to filters. They have absolutely NO color shift at all. The Singh-Ray NDs, though infinitely better than the Lee Big Stopper (10 stop ND – the Lee has a terrible bluish cast to it) the Singh Ray does have a magenta cast. The Breakthrough products have NO COLOR SHIFT AT ALL ! They are quickly becoming the top pick of most working professionals. They also superseded my older (and really great) Nikon circular polarizers. I try and use lens hoods for all lenses all the time. I’ll be replacing my current Graduated NDs with those from Breakthrough Photography soon, when they become available.
IMAGE BACKUP in the FIELD: DIGITAL FOCI, I use the Picture Porter 35. It allows me to view RAW images (and all other formats) that I have backed up. I also can copy directly from a USB drive if I need to. I can also rename or move images around in my folders easily. Add that to a 90sec/GB copy speed … this is a winner!
TRIPODS: “There are two kinds of tripods, ones that are easy to carry, and good ones” … Bill Fortney
I recommend a good quality tripod and ball head. I use a tripod virtually all of the time when photographing the landscape. My main tripod is a Really Right Stuff TVS Versa 33 carbon fiber tripod along with a TA-3-LB leveling base — a huge help in photographing panoramas. When shooting from my vehicle I always use the Window Mount with my BH55 from KIRK PHOTO.
PRINTING: MAGNA CHROME is without a doubt to leader in metal (aluminum prints). They also offer unique framing options. These folks really know how to print on metal. I totally trust them to fine-tune images as needed as well.
I am currently using the following software:
- Latest versions of Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom CC
- NIK SOFTWARE (VIVEZA 2.0, Define2.0, Sharpener Pro 3.0, Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2.0 for B & W conversion)
- TOPAZ –Noise Reduction
- ON ONE–some of their programs especially perfect Resize for resizing to bigger prints
- I use Breeze Browser Pro to do my initial sort and edit, then move into Bridge or Lightroom for more editing as well as Camera Raw conversion
- Spyder 5 Elite from DATACOLOR to calibrate my monitor
- Epson Printers along with either Ilford Gold Fiber Silk or Epson Fine Art Matte Paper are used for printing, though I actually do very little printing myself.
My absolute favorite place to get equipment is Outdoor Photo Gear, they carry items other don’t, they have great prices, great customer service and are the most knowledgeable retailers in the field. The bottom lines is … these folks “get it!”