I often get asked what camera I use, or if I use lens filters when taking sunrise shots, so I thought I’d do a breakdown of what’s in my camera bag. It’s important to note that gear does not a photographer make. A great photographer can take good images using any camera, however having quality tools for the job makes it much more enjoyable! The main thing is knowing how to make the most of the camera you’ve got.
Firstly, the camera bag I use to carry it all is a Tenba Skyline 13 Camera Backpack (I also have a larger Lowepro one for my DSLR D750 and it's bulkier lenses).
I bought this mirrorless camera a couple of years ago as I was keen to reduce the weight of the gear I was carrying around, and was interested in the new technology of mirrorless cameras. The Z6 has a full-frame sensor producing excellent image quality, and is built to D850 standards but weighs significantly less.
If you’d like to read a more detailed review of the Z6, I always find Ken Rockwell’s reviews of camera bodies and lenses very informative and clear.
Nikon Z 15-30mm f/4
I bought this lens specifically with real estate photography in mind, but it is on my camera at least half the time I am shooting landscapes as well. A good wide angle lens is essential in any landscape photographer’s kit, however these days I find myself trying to focus on specific parts of a scene using a longer lens more often, rather than shooting wide all the time. In my opinion, unless you’re shooting the Milky Way really regularly, there’s no need to opt for the bulkier, more expensive f/2.8 version of this lens.
Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4
I tested out this lens on loan from Nikon, and thought it was a great all-round lens with sharpness and reasonable compression for an f/4 aperture. Selling my 24-70mm to buy this one was an easy decision as it combines the focal lengths of two lenses into one. Compact and lightweight, I’ve loved experimenting with this lens more and more often to zoom in and get better compression on landscape scenes.
Nikon Z 40mm f/2
40mm is not a focal length I default to often but this lens was great value for money and so compact, fast and sharp I thought it was a great addition to my kit. I’ve used it mostly for taking photos of my nephew and niece (who never sit still!) and loved the results.
I just keep the one filter in my bag, for use with my wide angle lens, for those mornings where I want to shoot a longer exposure at sunrise, or when I’m hiking and want to capture the flow of the waterfall.
Manfrotto Compact Advanced Aluminium Tripod
I choose a compact lightweight, reasonably priced tripod for landscape photography because I often need to carry it while hiking, or packing it into a bag for a weekend away or on the beach with saltwater and sand on it. I chose a tripod head with the same base-plate for the camera as the one needed for the larger, heavier tripod I use for work so that I am not constantly needing to switch from one to the other depending on which tripod I intend to use.
Sensor swabs and lens cleaning wipes
You never know when you’re going to need to clean dust spots off the sensor (quite often, if you’re switching lenses all the time!) And lens cleaning wipes help remove any accidental fingerprint smears from the front of the lens.
Extra memory card
Definitely handy for all those times when I arrive at a location for sunrise only to discover my memory card slot is empty and I’ve left a card in the computer at home.
In case I have forgotten to charge the first one! Or on weekends away it means I shouldn’t need to pack the battery charger, if I have two charged batteries.
This is handy for keeping the camera dry, or wiping water splashes off if I end up shooting too close to a waterfall or caught in the rain.
Snacks and a water bottle
If you know me then this requires no explanation…
Hope you found this useful :)