Gear

I’m often asked what kind of camera gear I use for my images. Sometimes I dance around the question, not because I’m keeping it secret, but because I want the value in my images to be based on my skills, not the tools I use. It’s pretty hard to walk into a camera store today and buy a bad digital SLR – they are all very capable.

That being said, some of the tools I use are required to get the same results. Below is a detailed list of all my gear; Lenses and tripods, cables, filters and more. If you’re looking to expand your own camera kit, consider clicking through to B&H Photo and buy from them. Shipping is cheap, you pay the taxes up front and I don’t know of anyone with better prices.

You’ll also support me in a small way, as B&H returns a small percentage of the purchase price back to me as a thank you. I buy everything from them if possible.

Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

The latest and greatest camera from Canon, and my current workhorse. The very best auto-focus, the best high ISO performance and a faster framerate than I could ever need.

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Canon LP-E4N Battery Pack

I always highly recommend extra batteries – long shoots in the field or simple forgetfulness, extra power has saved me on many occasions. The 1D-series cameras also have two slots in their power charger!

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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Autofocus Lens

Most of my landscape work is done around 24mm, and this lens performs perfectly. The wide aperture allows for new possibilities with night landscapes, and the optical quality is second to none!

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Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-105mm f/4L IS Lens

If one lens was on my camera more than any other, it’d be this one. Solid and versatile, nearly all of my travel, commercial, and aerial photography is done with this lens. It handles an IR filter well, too!

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Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS Lens

Flexible and light-weight, the 100-400 lens is in my bag as the best telephoto lens I can afford – and afford to take with me on my travels. I use it for background isolation (a factor controlled by focal length) as much as I do for wildlife.

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Canon Macro Photo MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Lens

Insects, water droplets, snowflakes and flowers – getting close requires a special lens. Most macro lenses can’t get as close as I need to for my work, and this lens gets 5 times closer. Very difficult to use, and near impossible without flash… but worth all the trouble!

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Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye Zoom Lens

I own the 15mm F/2.8 version of this lens, which is no longer available. The 8-15, however, is equally fantastic. My star trail images are all done using fisheye lenses, and the effect can bring an abstract look to certain subjects. Don’t over-use it, but some images cannot be made without it.

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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Used for macro photographs mostly, specifically with an off-camera shoe cord. This flash unit is used for anything with spherical surfaces, from water droplets to the eyes of spiders. The 600-series flash is now available, but gives no benefits to my use of the flash units.

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Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord

Required to take my 580EX II flash off camera and position the light perfectly for macro subjects. It’s weather sealed, so I could use it in a snow storm (and I have!)

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Canon MR-14EX TTL Macro Ring Lite Flash

The majority of my macro work is photographed using this flash unit. It clips to the front of the lens and it’s incredibly easy to use. Most of my snowflake photographs are made using this flash.

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Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack

The framerate I use to photograph insects and snowflakes is often too much for the flash to keep up with. This unit gives extra power to the flash – it lasts longer, recharges faster, and work with both my flashes. (takes 8 AA batteries)

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Gitzo GT2541 Mountaineer 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs

Lightweight, compact, very solidly built and perfect for wilderness hikes. These tripod legs come with a steep price tag, but you’ll never have to buy another tripod again. (you’ll need a head for it, though!)

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Induro PHQ3 5-Way Panhead

The best tripod head out there for landscape photographers. The extra movements allow for perfect panoramas, and even allow for stereoscopic 3D. Very solid and fluid, locks tightly and it’s Arca-Swiss compatible!

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SanDisk 128GB CompactFlash Memory Card Extreme Pro UDMA 7

I’m a strong believer that my memory cards are safer in my camera than out of it – go for the bigger cards. I trust the Sandisk cards and have never had one fail on me, and the 128GB version is a little faster too.

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Hoya 77mm RM72 Infrared Glass Filter

Infrared Photography has always fascinated me – basically seeing the entire world in invisible light. A filter in front of an unmodified camera can still see this light with a little effort, and the results are surreal.

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B+W 77mm 1.8 ND MRC 106M Filter

A Neutral Density filter is a necessary piece of equipment when photographing waterfalls, and it’s also a handy tool to show motion blur in clouds. This is a dark one, difficult to even see through!

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B+W 77mm Kaesemann XS-Pro Circular Polarizer MRC Filter

Deepening blue skies, cutting through reflections and glare – a circular polarizer can add an extra punch to landscapes and cityscapes. If you’re going to use one, don’t buy a cheap one!

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Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6300 Large Format Printer (24″)

I print all of my own work, and I don’t like anyone else in creative control of printing. From the choice of paper to the way the printer is calibrated, it’s all me.

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