This Year’s Moose Photography Kit

Moose photography by Gary Gray
Moose in Red Feather Lakes

I spent my day assembling my camera gear for the start of moose photography season. Here’s what I’ll be shooting with this summer.

Nikon D810 Full frame DSLR

Nikon D750 Full frame DSLR

Nikon D7200 Crop body DSLR (my teleconverter)

Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 VR

Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 VR

Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR

Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 prime

Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 prime

External flash, spare memory chips, adapters, laptop, cleaning kits, flashlight, tools and other misc stuff to fill the pockets in the pack. The whole thing weighs less than 40 lbs.

I’ve retired the Nikon D800 this year.

This three body, five lens kit will get it done. All in one pack with room to spare. None of this gear costs a fortune and the image quality will be excellent.

I’ll probably start with the 200-500mm on the D810. I’m not inclined to upgrade it to the D850 yet and the fact that it’s still on back-order some 6 months after being released sorta sealed the deal for this year. I’ll wait a couple of years and pick one up used at a much cheaper price.

Why no D500?

Don’t need it. The image quality of the D7200 is superior and 10 frames per second isn’t needed for large ungulates. I won’t be upgrading the D7200 for a D7500 either as the D7200 has the best image quality of any crop sensor body ever made and specs out roughly identical to the full frame Canon EOS 5D Mk III.

I’ve never been someone who rushes out to buy the latest greatest camera. I shot with the Canon EOS 1Ds MK II for 8 years. My Canon 7D fired over 100,000 shots and is still to this day the camera that has made me the most money with wildlife photography. So all these latest/greatest bodies are very nice, but the truth is, you can pick up most of what’s in my kit used and save a fortune

Your mileage may vary.

 

Vintage Lenses

Landscape Photography by Gary Gray
Merrimac and Monitor Butte Near Moab, Utah

I’ve been playing with a vintage Nikon lens on the D810.

The Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 D

An older lens built in the day for use on their film bodies, this lens can be found dirt cheap on eBay for between $200-300. 20 years ago, this was a professional grade lens and it was commonly used by photojournalists. Production ran from December 1987 through 1992.

Today, it’s been relegated to the odd collectors item.

You can read more about this lens here.

Today’s photo was taken with this lens using a Nikon D800.

The quality holds up too.

I’ve been contemplating selling it, but for what it costs I’m not sure I want to let it go.