PHOTOGRAPHY  GEAR

 

I realized this page in order to help all the people who are looking for advise to choose the best photographic equipment.

 

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There is not the best photographic equipment: it depends on different aspects such as the kind of pictures you want to take, the amount of money you have, how much weight you are ready to carry while you are travelling... I described here my photographic equipment adding some information: I think they can help to solve some doubts and/or make the right choise when you buy something.

 

 

                            CAMERA BODIES

Leophotographer uses three different camera bodies: Nikon D5, Nikon D4s, Nikon D4. In this way I always have three different lenses with three different focal lenght ready to be used and, at the same time, I always have with me at least one spare camera. 

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 Nikon D5 is a reflex camera (DSLR) full frame and is the latest model of Nikon (march 2016). I give you here under some of the main technical features:

  1. New generation AF with 153 AF points and 99 cross-type sensors; this ensure a wide cover for the shooting of an hunting scene or a sports competition.
  2. Image sensor CMOS in full FX format of 20,8 MP in order to have a very accurate sharpness of the pictures.
  3. Shooting till 12 fps and high performance buffer that allow to take untill 200 pictures in RAW or JPEG Large in one single high speed sequence.
  4. Sensibility range of ISO from 50 to 102.400 extensible till ISO 3.280.000 (setting Hi5). It makes possible to shoot even what your eyes can't see.
  5. For all the video-makers there is D-movie function that allow to record video 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) right from the camera.
  6. Very quick workflow: there are two slots for XQD card. Nikon D5 has a double slot of memory: Compact Flash or XQD: I highly recommend the XQD because of its performance. 

 

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Display still has a 3,2" diagonal but from the old 921.000 points is now at 2.359.000 points and it's also touch-screen.



     

 




                 SUPER  TELEPHOTO  LENSES

If you are a professionist or just a simple amateur photographer but with a huge passion for wildlife and/or birds, you need a lens of at least 400mm or your subject in the pictures will all be too small to obtain a good enlargment.

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                                           AF-S NIKKOR 600mm F/4 VR

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                                        AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm F/4 VR II

This is what I use: AF-S NIKKOR 600mm F/4 VR Fixed Focus and  AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm F/4 VR II Zoom. I can say with no doubt that at least 80% of my shooting of wildlife when I'm in Africa, Asia, or North and South America are taken with these two lenses. These lenses represent the ideal choise for every shooting of naturalistic and/or sports kind because they cover long distance, ensure great performance in every different lighting condition and shoot awesome sharp and contrast images.

Both lenses have a VR system (Vibration Reduction) and a coating of Nano Crystal in order to have sharp images reducing effects such as ghosting or unwanted reflections.


 


                      TELEPHOTO  LENSES

As for the telephoto lenses there is a wide choise. A good lens is the  70-200mm F/2.8 VR II. This is a professional zoom telephoto lens (with a fixed opening of f/2.8) with the tecnology reduction of the vibration (VR II)  and the Nano Crystal Coat treatment.

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                                          AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm VR II
 

 

 

 

                        WIDEANGLE  LENSES

 

A good wideangle lens is essential for landscape photographing: all of us has been astonished in front of a nice landscape.


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Down here you can see a couple of example of wideangle lenses on my Nikon cameras: they are very used even in naturalistic photos.

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Every lens with a focal lenght that is less than 50mm is considered a wideangle lens. I use AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F/2.8 ED and  AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8 G ED.

 

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                                         AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F/2.8 ED

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                                          AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8 ED

This last one is considered to be maybe the best existing wideangle zoom lens. It has a maximum fixed opening of f2/8, the Nano Crystal Coat treatment and the ED glass guarantee an exceptional contrast and an absolut sharpness.

 

 

 

                            TELECONVERTER

 

One of the accessories most used is the teleconverter. It is an ottic system that can enlarge the image coming from the lens; in this way we can multiply the focal lenght of our lens.

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Teleconverter multiply the original focal lenght of 2x, 1,7x, 1,4x.

If you compare it to an equal telephoto lens there are the advantages of lower cost and an easyer way to carry it but there are also disadvantages. First of all the image you get in this way has of course a lower quality; they then absorbe a part of the lens light. This means that a lens with an opening of f2/8 when multiply with a 1,5x teleconverter becomes a f4, with a 2x becomes a f/5.6...

 

 

                                MEMORY  CARD

XQD memory card (Lexar o Sony) are my favourite because of their great performance. They have a reading speedness of till 2933x (440 MB/s) that means 2-3 times better than a Compact Flash. If you then use them with a XQD USB 3.0 reader the back-up time will be very short so that the workflow can be great even with big quantity of RAW files or 4K videos.

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                          DIGITAL  WORKFLOW

 

When we talk about digital workflow, both talking about pictures or video, COMPUTERS play an essential role. I use two different brand of laptop with two different systems: Windows and MAC OS.

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My MAC BOOK PRO 15"  Apple has these features:

  1. Backlit led screen with 2880x1800 pixel resolution for inch.
  2. Processor Intel Core I 7 quad-core 2,8GHz and turbo boost till 4,0GHz.
  3. 16 GB SDRAM memory.
  4. Storage system with SSD unit of 1TB.
  5.  USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 2 and HDMI slots.
  6. Backlit key board.
  7. Battery lithium polymer with 99,5 WATT/hour.

My ASPIRE V NITRO 15"  Acer has these features:

  1.  4K UHD screen with 3840x2160 pixel resolution for inch.
  2. Processor Intel Core I 7 quad-core 2,6GHz.
  3. 16 GB SDRAM memory expandible till 32 GB.
  4. Storage system with SSD unit of 256 GB and mechanic Hard Disk of 1 TB.
  5.  USB 3.0, USB 3.1 e HDMI slots.
  6. Baklit key board.
  7. Lithium ion Battery with 4605 mAh.

 

Also the STORAGE UNITS are very important in order to do back-up. I usually save my "file" of the photo journey two different times, that means in two different Hard Disk that I can keep in different places.

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Usually I work with a 2,5" Hard Disk Selfpowered: they work when connected to the laptop with the USB 3.0 cable , so I can have a data transfer speed till 4,8 Gbps.

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Another standard to consider is the Thunderbolt: in fact it is very hard to find and usually only Mac uses it.

 

 

 

                                     TRIPOD

 

I use Manfrotto Tripod that's made in carbon with a Benro carbon Gimbal head, because it is able to support even very heavy lenses and it's great for naturalistic photo.

 

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Thank to this support, it is possible to focus an object obtaining sharp and still images; it's also possible to use long exposition for special effects or the multi-shot or the bracketing...

               

Monopod also can be usefull, it is more handy, lighter and quicker to prepare but it can't replace a tripod: they can only be complementary.

 

 

 

                                ACCESSORIES

 

A FLASH in photography is a very versatile accessory, sometimes it is essential to increase visibility. I use the external  Flash Nikon SB 900.

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THE REMOTE CONTROLLl Nikon WR-10 is another usefull accessory: with it Nikon introduced a complete system of wireless shooting.

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The main use I did of it has been a "flexible virtual shoot", in order to avoid to touch the camera during shooting, so that I also avoid vibration on the long exposure (30/40 sec.) when I shot Northern Light.

 

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