I’m often asked by other photographers about the type of photographic equipment I use shooting nature and wildlife professionally as I have for the past 22 years. I started with Olympus cameras and lenses in the late 1970’s while I was studying wildlife management in college. My first slr camera was the Olympus OM 1. In 1984 I switched to Nikon using F3’s and lenses up to the 600mmF5.6 ED. My favorite lens was the 400mm F3.5 ED. In 1992 I was getting pressure from my photo agents to film more action type wildlife images. Nikon’s AF at the time was clunky and Canon had recently came out with the Eos1 and the EF300mmF2.8L. One day I was picking film up at my lab in Denver when I saw a friend from my camera club viewing images on the light table. He asked me to come over and have a look. He had an entire box of slides (36) laid out and I examined them carefully with a loupe. What I saw was 36 sharp, in focus, images of bald eagles in flight…. I was completely amazed. I asked and he told me what equipment he used to accomplish, what I thought was a miracle at the time, and I was hooked. He had used the recently introduced pro model Canon Eos 1 camera and the EF 300mm F2.8L AF lens to capture the images. I quickly sold all my Nikon gear, bought the same, and have been happily using Canon cameras and lenses ever since. In the years since I’ve never seen a strong reason to change. This is my current selection of equipment.
Canon Eos1dmkIV, My main camera for action. Canon Eos 5DmkII, I love this camera for landscape. Canon Eos 7D, I like the crop factor for extra reach and a wonderful macro body.
EF16-35mm F2.8L, EF 24-105mm F4L IS, EF70-200mm F4 L IS, EF100-400F4.5-5.6L IS, EF180mm F3.5L macro, EF300mm F2.8L IS, EF500mm F4L IS, EF800mm F5.6L IS.
Flashes and Lighting
Canon 580EX, 550EX, and 3 430 EX’s. ST-E2 infrared trigger, 5 flashstands and lots of assorted accessories. I used as many as 8 flashes in some complicated lighting setups while participating in the Images for Conservation Pro Tour of Nature Photography Contests.
Tripods & Heads
I use Gitzo Carbon Fiber tripods and have 3. A lightweight model 1227 for hiking and landscape work, a medium weight model 1325 and a heavyweight model ?? for my 800mm. For heads I have a Wimberly gimbal mount a Foba superball and a Markins M20.
I use a variety of Lowe Pro and Think Tank bags, backpacks, and belt systems.