Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Favorite Equipment

My good friend Abe Lincoln asked in a comment on the previous post what lenses the photographers were using. I should have included this in the post, so I am making a small post without pictures to cover this lack of information.

In the first photo, Buckwheat is using a 70-200mm F2.8 IS L lens. His favorite lens is an old 300mm F2.8 L lens that is tack sharp and has a butter-smooth tripod ring, which makes it easy to rotate the camera from horizontal to vertical and back. He is using the 70-200mm more and more for elk as he finds that the animals are often too close to frame correctly with the 300mm.
He recently acquired a 24-105mm IS L lens, which he uses for scenics, etc.

Randy Quinn uses a recent 300mmF2.8, and a 70-200mm of the same variety as Buckwheat. In the photo of he and Odie the 300f2.8 is partially visible in the left corner of the photo. He is holding a point and shoot camera. I forget the brand, but I think it is a 3.0 Megapixel and that camera is proof that it is not just the camera and lens that counts, but it is more about lighting, composition and focus. I have seen photos from that camera that print out extremely well and that would make anyone proud.

Odie uses a 300mm F4 L that is of pre-image stabilization vintage.

Salty shoots a 24-105 IS L, and a 100-400 IS 3.5-5.6L. He is strongly considering a 70-200mm F2.8 IS also. A common theme seems to be that one often needs the 2.8 aperture in big game photography and that in many cases 300mm or greater is just too much magnification for much of Pennsylvania's elk photography.

I carry the Canon XL-1H Camcorder with normal lens, 70-200mm IS F 2.8 L, 300mmF4 IS L, and the 17-40L. All of the SLR lenses work on the camcorder with an ef adapter, which extends the effective focal length of these lenses by a factor of 7.2. I usually carry a DSLR body, which gives me the option of taking stills with any of the above lenses except the camcorder's normal lens. Sometimes I also have the 100-400mm along, usually when I am not walking too far from the vehicle, or I substitute it for the 300mm if I think there is a good chance of encountering long range shooting. If I do not carry the camcorder, I often use the 500mm F4 IS L, in which case I also carry the 70-200mm and 17-40mm to be able to cover varying types of situations.

We carry Canon 20D, 30D, and 40D cameras. All of the lenses are Canon. The tripods are various models of Gitzos except for Salty's and he intends to upgrade to a Manfrotto of some type in the near future. I use a Manfrotto Video tripod, and a Gitzo 1348 with Wimberley head or Arca-Swiss ZR-1 ball head for still photography.

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