Gears I use
by Chan Kwok Wai 23 May 2013
I use both Canon and Nikon system. I started with Canon EOS 10D and soon enough, I realized that Canon DSLR has problem locking focus in low-light. Low-light focusing is crucial in wildlife photography especially when dealing with nocturnal animals. I had several bad experiences when I was out in the field photographing a nocturnal animal with a few of my friends using Nikon system and my Canon DSLR simply refused to lock focus while my friends were happily snapping all the way. I later got myself a Nikon. A D200.
Today, I am still using Canon because of its EF 100-400mm L IS. Nikon's latest equivalent is too expensive. My copy of 100-400mm is tip sharp. I simply love it. I am currently using Canon EOS 7D. Although, Canon's low light focusing has improved over the years but it is still no match to Nikon.
Over the past years, I have learnt the pros and cons of each system. At times, I bring both system in the field. It really depends on what I am photographing. Previously, for night photography, I used Nikon D300s. As for day-photography, I go for my Canon. But now that I have D600, I thought that it could totally replace my D300s. I am wrong! D600 autofocusing in low light is inferior compared to D300s. What a headache!
Here's a list of photography gear I use:
- Canon EOS 7D - This is currently the best APS-C DSLR at this moment.
- Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM- Simply sharp and versatile. I have this in my bag all the time!
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM- I started using this with 2X extender. But later settle for EF 100-400mm because it is more convenient.
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II- Cheap and light.
- Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP - My first macro lens and still heavily-used today. It is sharp and light. There's now a vibration compensation(VC) version. But why bother when you use macro lens on tripod. For me, I uses it for frogs and reptiles at night with flash photography. So I don't see the need for VC.
- Cosina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 - Old lens. Hardly use.
- Canon Speedlite 580EX II- My workhorse.
- The Flash X-Tender (Better Beamer) FX-3 Flash Output Booster - I used this for night wildlife photography oversea especially when the animal is a distance away.
- Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord 3- Used for off-camera flash.
- LumiQuest SoftBox III- Used for macro subjects.
- Nikon D600 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)- My latest new toy! My first full-frame DSLR. I am very comfortable shooting at ISO3200 now.
- Nikon D300S- I am still waiting for D400! D7000 has low frame-rate unfortunately.
- Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR - This is the reason why I am still using Canon.
When is Nikon going to replace its 80-400mm?!Still it is relatively sharp and it is my always carry lens in my bag if I am using Nikon. Nikon finally updated their 80-400mm but it is too expensive and cost more than 70-200 f2.8 VR!
- Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro- Another heavily-used lens with my R1 flash system. Highly-recommended.
- AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR - My first long prime. Its very sharp but it is heavy. There's now a new version.
- Nikon 50mm f/1.8D - Cheap and sharper than Canon's.
- Nikon TC-17E II (1.7x) Teleconverter- I used this with my 300mm prime.
- Sigma AF 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO macro - My first macro lens for Nikon system. I am learning to like it now as I think it is sharper than my AF-S VR 105mm. There's now an OS version.
- Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG Macro- If I could only bring one lens to the field, this will be it. It is a tele-zoom and it give you 1:2 maximum magnification ratio. Thus it can double-up as a macro lens if you don't need 1:1 magnification! And the best thing is, it is very affordable.
- Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical (IF)- Affordable wide angle lens. And its F2.8!
- Nikon Speedlight SB-900 - My workhorse.
- Nikon R1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight System - Always on my 105mm. I used my SB-900 as master.