Many people, especially other photographers are interested in the equipment I use for my nature and wildlife photography. Since 1992 I’ve been using the Canon system and overall have been very happy with it. Before that I used Olympus and Nikon. Canon offers a complete system of cameras, .lenses, and accessories and support their working professionals very well through Canon Professional Services. In my opinion only Canon & Nikon offer the most complete systems required by serious nature photographers. Sony is making inroads with some innovative cameras and great lenses. Olympus and Pentax have their followers.
Canon Eos 1DX: This is my main body for action and wildlife photography. It’s a very responsive camera with great image quality and excellent AF. I feel the camera is basically noise free up to ISO 1600 and very usable at ISO 3200.
Canon Eos 5Dsr: A great landscape camera with amazing resolution. I use it mostly for landscape photography and is fast and responsive enough for occasional use for wildlife photography. This camera has very good noise control up to ISO 1600 and for my night starscape photography I find it works very well up to ISO 6400 with a bit of noise reduction.
Canon Eos7DmkII: Canon’s top of the line crop camera. It’s a good camera that has great and responsive AF and has a very fast 10fps. Canon needs to update and upgrade this body soon following the release of the D500 from Nikon which has some distict advantages over the 3 year old 7DmkII.
Canon EF 8000mm F5.6L IS: I borrowed this lens for the 2010 Images for Conservation Pro Tour Contest and used it extensively. After the month long contest I knew I had to have one and replaced my EF600mm F4 IS with it. I saved nearly 3 lbs and gained reach over the 600mm. Optically I feel the 800mm was a bit sharper than the 600mm The 800mm had a better IS system and focused faster that the 600mm. It was light enough to handhold which I did so with great success during the contest. I was able to get tack sharp images down to 1/60th of a second. At times I miss the F4 aperture of the 600mm. The 800mm is a great lens for birds. I also love this lens for bears and wolves in Yellowstone National Park where you’re restricted to how close you can be to the animal. I also use the 800mm extensively from my car from my window mount. I often use my car as a rolling blind in National Wildlife Refuges. Read this blog post here for examples.
Canon EF 500mm F4L IS: The 500mm F4 may be the best all around bird and wildlife lens. If you could have only one big telephoto the 500mm F4 would be ideal. The lens is optically superb and light enough to handhold, though I still use it off a tripod most of the time. This is the lens I carry with me when I travel by plane. Recently Canon upgraded this lens to the EF500mm F4IS L MKII version which is just amazing. Canon managed to reduce the weight of the lens to 7 lbs, compared to 8.5 lbs of the former, improved the IS system, improved the AF speed & responsiveness and improved the optical performance… I’ve used the new mkII version several times. I want one!
Canon EF 300mm F2.8L IS: I use the 300mm most often when chasing deer and elk through the woods and up and down mountains. The 300mm is a amazingly sharp lens, perhaps the sharpest Canon lens I’ve ever used. It’s my go to lens for photographing wildlife in low light conditions. The 300mm F2.8 is also an excellent lens for photographing larger birds in flight. I find it to be the best focusing lens I have for photographing eagles in flight during my annual Alaska bald eagle photo tours. The lens pairs very well with both the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters maintaining professional image quality with each.
Canon EF70-200mm F4L IS: I’ve always had an lens in this range in my arsenal. I’ve gone through the original EF 80-200mm F2.8L to the EF70-200mm F2.8L to the EF70-200mm F2.8L IS. All were very good lenses. A few years back I heard the rumor of a new 70-200mm F2.8L IS mkII that would soon be announced. I decided to sell my 70-200mm and purchase the new one when it became available. During one of my workshops I had the chance to play with the Canon EF70-200mm F4L IS and was really impressed with the sharpness and how light and easy to use it was. I went ahead and purchased one and figured I’d sell it when the new MK II F2.8 version came out. The new lens has been out for several years now but I still use the F4 IS version. Optically it’s nearly as good as the new F2.8L mkII and is a joy to carry around. I find myself having the lens with me more than I probably would with the heavier F2.8 version. I have no great desire to part with this fine lens.
Rokinon 14mm F2.8 ED:
Canon EF16-35mm F4L IS:
Canon EF 24-105mmF4L IS:
Rokinon 35mm F1.4 ED:
Canon EF180mm F3.5L IS:
Canon EF90mm F2.8 TSE: